NewLaw to charge whiplash clients up to 30% under DBA


Lock: Valuing injuries will be tough for litigants

Leading personal injury law firm NewLaw will charge clients up to 30% of their damages to handle small claims going through the new whiplash portal, it has revealed.

Managing director Tim Lock said it would represent clients under a damages-based agreement.

It is the first firm to make clear its charging strategy for the new regime, which does not allow for recoverable legal costs for cases valued at less than the new small claims limit of £5,000.

The firm announced last week completion of core testing of its online personal injury portal ‘Pilot’ through which it will offer the option to assist whiplash claimants through the government-mandated Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal.

NewLaw – one of the very first alternative business structures (ABSs) – is owned by listed ‘mobility solutions’ company Redde Northgate. It also has six joint venture ABSs with the likes of the British Medical Association and NAHL.

Most of its work comes from partnerships. Where clients have legal expenses insurance, NewLaw will receive a payment via the policy. Where they do not, Mr Lock said the firm would charge 20-30% of the damages.

The lowest rung of the damages tariff is £260 for whiplash injuries lasting up to three months with a minor psychological injury too. Mr Lock described paying around £60 for “professional” advice as “reasonable”.

“We think it’s vitally important that people continue to have representation,” he said, suggesting that many people would struggle to “get their heads around” the new portal. Valuing injuries would be particularly tough.

NewLaw has worked with the Motor Insurers Bureau project team building the OIC while developing Pilot, allowing for regular testing

Mr Lock said it would not be a fully automated process. There will still be an ‘onboarding call’ for new clients and the NewLaw team will double-check the claim notification form generated, as well as being available if needed during the process.

He said he would advise motorists to take out legal expenses insurance now, but said penetration was actually dropping, in part due to aggregator websites wanting to show the lowest price possible for motor insurance and so stripping out legal cover.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


Assessing partner profits – changes afoot

The way in which partnership profits are assessed is set to change with the introduction of Making Tax Digital, and the intention is that the basis period will change.


Another nail in the coffin of solicitors’ undertakings?

Every solicitor knows that an undertaking is serious stuff. Arguably it is the greatest power available to a solicitor – a promise, if broken, that will lead to immediate and serious consequences for the giver.


Litigators reap the benefits of technology adoption

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged many litigators head-first into a new world of digital case management, and virtual and hybrid hearings.


Loading animation