March 1, 2013

So it’s official. The government has decreed that legal services for the personally injured must henceforward be piled high and sold cheap, like any other commodity.

Unimpressed by representations from the legal profession, the Labour party, and rampaging hordes of so-called claims management firms, the Tories have opted to plough on with their revolutionary plans to put a decisive and summary end to the extensive UK cottage industry that has grown up around the unscrupulous opportunism of the general population and the extraordinary injury-claims-paying largesse of the various overseas insurers who are good enough to operate in this country.

Insurance firms have asked, quite reasonably and pleasantly, whether the government would be so good as to ensure that it pays out a bit less on compensating personal injury claims in future. Quite rightly, and properly, the Conservative party has listened to this request and done as it is told.

The temeritous suggestion that implementation of [whatever it turns out we are implementing in a month or so’s time] should be put off for six months, has quite rightly received short shrift from those in power.

This is a time resolution, not for wishy washy worrying and hand-wringing over some hypothetical harms that may ensue. Fortune favours the brave! Who dares wins! What does this button do?

At what online legal publication Litigation Futures described this week as a “scarcely attended” grand committee debate in the House of Lords (by which they may have meant sparsely attended, or indeed that it was barely possible to describe the event as having been attended at all), justice minister Laird McNelly (following about five minutes’ due consideration of various representation recommending that the current round of civil justice reforms should be deferred to give everyone a chance to work out what they mean and what effects they will have) declared resoundingly that “We will not be deferred from the course that we have set.”

By which, presumably, although Hansard clearly states ‘deferred’ (i.e. carried forward, put back or otherwise rescheduled for a later date), he presumably meant something else – like deterred, or turned away from, or prevented from pursuing, or made to listen to reason.

Whether or not listening to reason would have a deterrent, or deferrent, effect on the Government was quickly thrown into question, however, as Lard McNally insisted that “We are not persuaded that the timescales we have set are unreasonable.”

It may be worth noting in this context that, whilst Bankstone News is not persuaded that it may perhaps be a trifle overfond of the occasional tipple, this does not make it so!


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