Silk launches personal injury arbitration service

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A silk from 9 Gough Square Chambers has launched a new arbitration service for personal injury claims, called the Personal Injury claims Arbitration Service (PIcARBS).

Andrew Ritchie QC, who is the chairman of the Personal Injury Bar Association, has set up the service for those dealing with claims worth over £50,000. The PIcARBS website encourages people to regain control over the claims process and avoid the raised costs and delays of civil litigation in the courts.

He told Litigation Futures that 15 silks had already signed up to the service and that its use would mean avoiding Mitchell strike-outs, costs budgeting and court fees. He also said that all the service’s

arbitrators were specialist QCs, rather than district or circuit judges who had no personal injury experience.

Ritchie also said that the PI sector had not moved with the times.

“It has not done what the shipping people, or the building people or the commercial people have done. There is no personal injury court of arbitration,” he said.

“The pre-action protocol expressly says that ADR should be considered by the parties, including arbitration.”

Ritchie also said he had discussed the arbitration service with insurers and the NHS Litigation Authority, and that he hoped that both would eventually come on board.

“This is a three-year project for me,” he said. “In the next three years the dam will break. It will either be the NHSLA or an insurer, and there will suddenly be a rush.”

A full interview with Andrew Ritchie QC will be available in the next issue of Claims Magazine.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk