The Legal Services Board has backed improvements to the transparency of referral fees paid by licensed conveyancers following a review that found absolutely no justification for a ban.
Direct Line Group – which last month announced plans to launch its own legal business – made a final £6.1m in referral fees from solicitors this year before the ban was introduced on 1 April, its half-year results have shown.
MPs have attacked insurance companies for not being more transparent over the referral fees they receive from a range of sources. The transport select committee said “the motor insurance sector remains as opaque as ever”.
Almost a third of personal injury law firms in the north-west have seen fee income drop due to the introduction of LASPO reforms on 1 April, new research has found. More than 70% said that the regulatory and structural changes have had a negative impact on their businesses.
A ban on referral fees in conveyancing is unjustifiable, according to a narrow majority of respondents to a Council for Licensed Conveyancers consultation – but there was strong support for enhanced disclosure requirements.
Law firms will be held responsible for breaching the personal injury referral fee ban if they sign up to ventures that appear to be genuine joint marketing schemes but prove illegal, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned. It will also target senior individuals within firms that “recklessly trade into insolvency”.
A quarter of conveyancing firms have experienced a client attempting to commit property-related fraud or money laundering, new research has revealed. This frequency suggests that many firms “might be over-optimistic” about the likelihood of encountering similar attempts in the future
A company that provides both claims management services and legal expenses insurance has joined forces with a law firm in an alternative business structure that needed a waiver to allow a 27-year-old solicitor to be its head of legal practice. It was one of two newly licensed CMCs.
Banning referral fees in personal injury may have unintended consequences that will be worse than the current situation, Legal Services Board chairman David Edmonds told MPs yesterday. He also said the current regulatory regime could move rapidly to a single over-arching regulator.
Nearly a fifth of the north-west’s specialist personal injury law firms are considering shutting up shop due to the financial impact of the government’s civil costs reforms, with many predicting huge cuts in their profitability as a result of the new RTA portal fees, new research has revealed.