Express and Jefferies look to resist Ministry of Justice’s proposal over law firms’ ownership of medical reporting agencies  

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The managing partners of Express Solicitors and Jefferies Solicitors are trying to mount a legal challenge against the Government's plans to stop law firms from having a financial interest in an medical reporting intermediary.

 

James Maxey and Michael Jefferies are looking to speak to PI firms whose partners or owners are also involved in the ownership of a medico-legal agency, or using some form of white labelling for medical reports, in order to gauge whether there is sufficient interest in making a challenge against the proposals from the Ministry of Justice.

 

Both Maxey and Jefferies themselves own medical reporting agencies Ontime Group and Lawyers Medical Agency, respectively. If they connect with a sufficient number of like-minded individuals, then they will work to instruct Counsel on the matter.

 

The MoJ proposals cover the reform of whiplash claims and the costs incurred, in particular the further reform of the medical examination and reporting process.

 

“This appears to be another pre-decided outcome on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and in particular its proposal of '… a prohibition should be introduced on either party having a financial interest in an intermediary through which a medical report is obtained," said Maxey.

 

"Is it me or have the government decided that claimant personal injury lawyers are criminals?"

 

“Our feeling is that this is ‘an unreasonable restraint of trade’. Solicitors are not precluded from owning non-solicitor businesses and why should they be in these circumstances?

 

"The last people trying to undermine the experts’ independence are in fact the claimant’s solicitors."

 

“Time is of the very essence here, so we would encourage anybody this affects to contact me as soon as possible,” he added.

 

Anyone wishing to speak further about this matter should email James Maxey via his colleague emma.bates@expresssolicitors.co.uk.

 

Two days after announcing his aim to challenge the Government, Maxey's Ontime Group celebrated a contract win with Withy King worth £3m.

 

Ontime Group will provide Withy King with medical reporting, non-medical reporting and medical record analysis services having agreed an open-ended contract with the firm.

 

Head of Clinical Negligence at Withy King, Simon Elliman said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Ontime Group as we move forward in the brave new post-LASPO world.

 

"Strategically it is a very good fit for us as the Group is forward-thinking, commercial and understands the wider market as well as Withy King’s business goals.”

 

The new client win will lead to the creation of at least five new jobs at Ontime Group, with recruitment well underway for administrators and nurses to work out of its Northenden-based headquarters.

 

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk