“Steps must be taken” to find out why the cost of legal services is increasing, despite the changed market and “great number of providers”, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, has said.
Quindell Portfolio, the alternative business structure that has acquired three law firms in the past 12 months, will have “15% of the UK market for personal injury claims” this year, it has claimed. Meanwhile, another major ABS – Countrywide Conveyancing Services – has reported profits of £8m for last year, up 4% on 2011.
Alternative business structures in the personal injury market will do little to improve injured people’s access to justice but will benefit larger law firms at the expense of smaller ones, a new survey has found. Firms were split over whether their business models can survive the Jackson reforms.
The law firm that yesterday agreed to be bought by Quindell Portfolio did so in the face of a “future laced with uncertainty” for personal injury practitioners, its managing partner has told Legal Futures.
The reshaping of the personal injury market ahead of the Jackson reforms continued apace today as leading Manchester firm Antony Hodari acquired a direct marketing capability by buying well-known brand Paul Rooney Partnership.
There is to be no means test to benefit from qualified one-way costs-shifting, the government has announced. Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly provided an update on implementation of the Jackson reforms.
The Jackson reforms will lead to a rise in the number of costs disputes between solicitors and their clients, as well as demand for help with costs management, specialist costs lawyers have predicted.
Satellite litigation may be necessary to work out the new rule on proportionality in costs, the Master of the Rolls has said, but it will be a “very small price to pay”. Lawyers were also warned that if they fail to submit a budget from next April, then it will by default comprise only court fees.
The last week has seen both a victory and a defeat for lawyer lobbying, and perhaps the most fearsome legal lobbying machine – the Bar – crank into action. The victory came in the surprise climbdown by HSBC over its restricted conveyancing panel. A global banking giant felled by a campaign spearheaded by the Law Society but with strong support from the likes of the Bold Group. It was pursued at a national level, with coverage in several national newspapers, and also at a local level, with solicitors talking to their estate agent contacts.