In response to the whiplash reforms, which came into force on 31st May 2021, NAHL Group PLC (owners of National Accident Helpline) have introduced a number of measures in preparation for the new reforms. As well as setting up a new, automated system to allow them to deal with a large number of small-track RTA claims, the firm also plans on introducing a 35% contingency fee agreement. This agreement will replace the conditional fee agreements which were commonplace before the whiplash reforms were introduced.
In the early ’90s, 35.25% contingency fees for low-value RTA claims were standard in the Scottish legal system. Are we heading for a full circle to adopting a Scottish system from an earlier generation?
Some may also argue that the outcome of these reforms completely contradicts the aims of the Jackson Reforms, in which a 25% cap on success fees was introduced to help improve access to justice for claimants.
35% contingency fee whiplash claims: Why are they being introduced?
The new whiplash reforms have introduced a number of changes including:
- The introduction of a fixed tariff of damages awarded by the Courts for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
- A ban on claims being settled without a medical assessment and subsequent report.
- Raising the Small Claims Track limit to £5,000 – removing the ability for Claimants to recover any legal costs.
With costs no longer being recoverable on these RTA whiplash claims, many solicitors will be reluctant to take on them on; many claimant firms of solicitors may follow suit in introducing 35% contingency fee but for many the contingency fee arrangement simply will not be sufficient to allow them to profitably continue whiplash claims, and some may make the decision to exit the market completely.
How can Recovery First Assist?
Whilst there are various options available to enable this, Recovery First help law firms to withdraw from the legal market whilst ensuring 100% of the recoverable WIP value is retained by the law firm. We work alongside solicitors, accountants, restructuring and corporate recovery specialists to ensure the most profitable outcome is achieved on any file transfer agreement.
We offer a positive solution for those affected by the whiplash reforms and wishing to exit the market to focus on other areas of law or for those requiring a structured exit from the legal market.
For a confidential chat about how Recovery First could assist, email David Johnstone at email@example.com or telephone on 07887 796 989, or contact Sally Dunscombe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07774 205 870.
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