Personal injury partner shares his views on the Autumn Statement

Posted: 03/12/2015


Warren Collins, a personal injury partner who specialises in catastrophic injury cases, was interviewed by LexisPSL on his reactions to this year’s Autumn Statement.

According to Warren, the five main points of the Autumn Statement for personal injury lawyers are:

  • The great majority of injured accident victims are going to be left without the opportunity for legal representation - as most personal injury claims settle for less than the suggested £5,000 threshold.
  • There will still be a market for personal injury lawyers who will cut their margins - but the work will be undertaken by a deskilled workforce.
  • The insurance industry has to be careful what it wishes for as these reforms may lead to efforts to drive claims to over £5,000, in circumstances where claimants may have accepted lesser amounts under the current regime.
  • The removal of damages for whiplash injuries may be in breach of European, discrimination and human rights legislation.
  • Those firms who have concentrated on low value volume work will either have to change their business models or will disappear.

He commented: “I suspect there will be some big, and some surprising, changes in the personal injury sector.”

In response to Lexis PSL’s question about any surprises in the Statement, Warren said: “There were no real surprises. This government seems intent on eroding access to justice to injured accident victims. While it is right that legal costs must be just and proportionate and fraud needs to be eliminated from the system, there are already features in place to deal with these concerns.

“The increase of the small claims limit and removal of damages for whiplash injuries will deny justice to a significant number.”

When asked what PI lawyers should be doing when the dust settles, Warren concluded: “PI lawyers have faced numerous challenges and changes in recent years. If they are to stay in business, they will have to adapt. I suspect those concentrating on low value bulk work will attempt to reinvent themselves as catastrophic injury lawyers.”

The full LexisPSL article can be read here.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP