The government should consider strengthening the fining powers of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and lowering the burden of proof in cases that reach the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as part of the reforms needed to combat insurance fraud, a major report has recommended.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority will not introduce specific rules to deal with the upcoming legislative ban on personal injury law firms paying inducements to claim, but has pledged to take “strong enforcement action” if firms breach it.
Quindell plc is outperforming its two closest alternative business structure comparators – Slater & Gordon and NewLaw Solicitors – the AIM-listed company has told the market. Quindell also insisted that its model complies with the referral fee ban.
The referral fee ban has reduced the number of nuisance calls made to potential personal injury claimants, the government has claimed. It is also looking to increase its powers over claims management companies yet further so that it can fine them up to 20% of their turnover.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has launched “forensic investigations” into 10 law firms that may have breached the personal injury referral fee ban, in a move that will be seen as a warning to the profession. Meanwhile, 141 firms without indemnity insurance are heading for closure.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s recent guidance on the referral fee ban is “extremely unhelpful” and only aimed at extremes of behaviour, regulatory expert Andrew Hopper QC has argued.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has issued its first warning notice over the way personal injury firms are dealing with the referral fee ban. It highlights concerns that some solicitors are so busy ensuring they do not breach the ban that they are failing to consider their wider professional duties.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has rejected potential alternative business structures on the basis that the aim was really to continue illegal referral fee arrangements, it emerged this week.
The ban on referral fees in personal injury is set to cost Admiral Insurance around £15m this year, it emerged yesterday. The insurer also said its two new ABS joint ventures are “not expected to make a material contribution to group profits in the foreseeable future”.
The government has pledged to revisit the terms of the personal injury referral fee ban if it looks as though alternative business structures (ABSs) and other arrangements are being used to get around it.