In a strong article Allan Gore QC, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) says raising the small claims limit in personal injury would be a disater for access to justice.
The full article has been published in the Barrister Magazine. Allan Gore QC is a well respected former barrister now judge who has forged a career fighting for the rights of injured accident victims. In his article he raised the spectre of the latest proposals to raise the limit below which cases are referred to the small claims track of the County Court. Presently if cases for minor injuries are worth less than £1000 they are referred to this track where, contrary to rules for bigger cases, costs do not follow the event. This means that solicitors will not offer to act on a no win no fee basis and it would be uneconomic for the claimant to pay his lawyers privately.
Most injury cases avoid this trap as only a modest injury will jump this hurdle and have a value of over £1000. If the proposals came in to raise this to £5000 this would make pursuing these cases uneconomic and prevent innocent victims from engaging lawyers. On the other hand, massive insurance companies and businesses that have bottomless chequebooks would need to pay big city lawyers so the playing field would be massively tilted as argued by Gore.
All APIL lawyers support the campaign to make the Government realise that this would prevent the little man getting access to justice when he is wrongly injured and would give a massive windfall to the insurers.
As APIL members Lampkin & Co Solicitors support and applaud this campaign.