Two MPs – Bob Neill and Alberto Costa – are to address a fringe meeting that will look at personal injury claim reforms during the Conservative party’s conference next week in Manchester.
Neill, the Justice Select Committee chair, and Costa, a leading member of the Conservative Society of Lawyers, are to join Access to Justice (A2J) spokesperson Andrew Twambley and AXA’s David Williams on the panel at an event organised by think tank the Social Market Foundation.
A2J – which represents the interests of the personal injury sector – is sponsoring the meeting. Labeled A fair, accessible legal system – what price civil justice? it will underscore the crucial role of the Justice Committee in providing guidance to the Government on civil justice issues such as the Discount Rate and the whiplash reforms.
Twambley, the managing partner of Amelans and founder of injurylawyers4u, said: “The fringe meeting will provide a fascinating insight into the politics and the personalities in civil justice reform and set the scene for what is going to be an intensive period of parliamentary activity in the months ahead.”
“We believe it is important for these issues to get an airing in wider political circles, and I am sure Conservative activists will welcome a chance to hear these important issues debated with some of the leading political players in civil justice issues.”
Twambley is expected to stress that the current personal injury reform agenda risks putting the general public’s historic legal rights in jeopardy while giving insurance companies the chance to increase profits and shareholder dividends at the same time. He will also argue that the UK’s civil justice system is under threat from disproportionate cost cutting.
“There’s a race to the bottom and the only other beneficiaries – other than the insurers – from civil justice reforms are claims touts, cold callers and McKenzie friends,” said Twambley.
And on the discount rate, Twambley believes that the Government has failed to grasp the key issue in its proposed changes.
“Giving power to the Lord Chancellor to set the level of compensation for catastrophic injuries has been a disaster, as until 2017, successive chancellors ducked the issue since the 2.5% rate was set in 2001,” he added.