We’ve launched our annual State of the Market survey  and really appreciate your time to share your views and insights. Now in its fifth year, the survey is designed to gauge the challenges and changes facing the personal injury and clinical negligence sector, to build a comprehensive picture of the market.
Tell us what you think  – The survey only takes about five minutes to complete and we’d love to hear your views. Our survey is completely confidential and all answers will be treated anonymously.
Last year’s survey predicted closures and redundancies as a result of Civil Liability Act reforms
The findings last year , to which over 100 solicitors responded to our survey, painted a picture of a market in great flux.
The Civil Liability Act reforms were predicted to lead to a sharp contraction in the claimant personal injury (PI) market, with firm closures and staff redundancies, though a significant minority expect these trends to continue with only 13% of respondents saying the reforms – including the increases in the small claims limit – would lead to their firm closing. Some 41% said they would have some impact, but their firm was sufficiently diversified to cope, while 21% said the lower small claims limit for non-RTA cases would allow them to adapt and survive.
After implementation, 61% of respondents last year predicted a huge cull of law firms, leaving a small number of big practices, while many expect a new breed of claims management company to become the dominant handler of low-value work. An optimistic 21% said the profession would find a way to handle small claims, but two-thirds think insurers would then start pushing for yet more reform.
With the legal and claims sectors, insurance industry and consumers still in the dark in the absence of the necessary rules and protocols, there’s potentially just weeks left and the clock is ticking on the introduction of whiplash reforms. How will the PI market look after the Civil Liability Act is introduced, how will the changes affect your law firm and do you plan to even continue to manage RTA claims?
Respondents last year whose firms handled clinical negligence work indicated that it had been a tough year for them too, although not as bad as for their PI colleagues. There was a widespread expectation that the outcome of the Civil Justice Council-led process to agree fixed fees for claims worth up to £25,000 would not be beneficial for either claimants or their lawyers, but it was still better than leaving it to the Department of Health.
Despite the complexity of medical negligence claims, work continues on plans to bring in fixed costs for claimants pursuing medical negligence claims worth up to £25,000. What can we expect the impact to be and are we then likely to see fixed costs proposed for higher-value cases?
Tell us what you think – The survey  only takes about five minutes to complete and we’d love to hear your views. Our survey is completely confidential and all answers will be treated anonymously.