The defendant costs specialists

LASPO amendments overturned

By on Apr 19, 2012 | 5 comments

The government has, unsurprisingly, overturned all of the House of Lords amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill and, in particular, the one that sought to exempt all EL industrial disease cases from the end to recovery of success fees and ATE premiums.

It is a perfectly arguable position to adopt that all claimants should be allowed to litigate entirely risk free and keep 100% of their damages. It is also perfectly arguable that injuries of a certain level of seriousness should be exempt (eg those that will, or have, resulted in death). However, the position of the House of Lords’ amendment to exempt all EL disease claims (and why not non-EL disease claims?) was neither rational nor consistent with whatever it was that was trying to be achieved (unless it was simply pandering to the trade unions).


  1. Labour arent in power so not sure why trade union pandering would apply

    Besides would make a change from Insurer lobbyist pandering


    19th April 2012

  2. If you’re sad enough to read yesterday’s Hansard and you look at the MPs trying to uphold the amendments then it soon becomes apparent that your last comment is pretty spot on.

    The debate also shows a woeful lack of understanding of the proposals – lots of ‘it’s disgraceful the government wants injured people to pay all their own costs and not to be able to recover them from those big bad insurers’


    19th April 2012

  3. Although all have been overturned, after a considerable amount of pressure, Ken Clarke decided that it may just be a step to far to deny victims of domestic violence access to Legal Aid. Wasn’t that nice of him.

    The EL disease claims touch a nerve with some MPs and Lords, especially when on remembers the headlines surrounding the 1999 Coal Compensation Scheme and the subsequent disciplinary proceedings which surrounded it.

    Also, experience of dealing with those types of claims shows that most EL-disease claims will involve litigants of slender means.

    Brian Dempsey

    23rd April 2012

  4. A welcome development. And logical. The idea of having Claimants make a contribution to their legal costs to deter weak or spurious claims doesn’t really apply to these types of cases, since you can’t really fake Mesothelioma.

    Applying that logic, I agree with Simon that it should also be the same with other disease cases.

    Brian Dempsey

    25th April 2012

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