Legal Cost Specialists

No win, no fee, no logic

The muddled thinking coming from the anti-Jackson movement continues, as charmingly shown by Nigel Muers-Raby, Chairman of the Consumer Justice Alliance (Law Society Gazette, letters, 26 May). His letter begins:

“Your recent article reporting on the increased number of medical negligence claims in 2010 is interesting, but the Medical Defence Union reaches a highly speculative conclusion. The MDU offers no firm evidence for its suggestion that ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements are behind the increase in medical negligence claims reported in 2010.”

Fair enough. The point being made here is that there is no evidence that ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements increase the number of medical negligence claims that are brought.

And then, with just one sentence separating this argument, we are presented with:

“There is no doubt in our minds that someone who has suffered an accident will find life much tougher if ‘no win, no fee’ agreements are lost: ultimately it will hinder their ability to seek fair and reasonable access to justice.”

We are now presented with the argument that ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements enable more medical negligence claims to be brought than would otherwise be the case.

Either ‘no win, no fee’ agreements have no effect on the number of claims brought or they increase the number. What they can’t do is both these things at the same time.

I can understand the anti-Jackson lobby trying to mobilise whichever argument suits them on any given occasion but surely they have the sense not to use contradictory arguments in the same letter. And they wonder why Jackson totally ignored them.

1 thought on “No win, no fee, no logic”

  1. Robert Pettitt

    Simon, this is one of your weaker articles.

    The MDU are comparing the 2010 rise with the ‘steady’ period prior to 2010 and come to the conclusion that no-win no-fee ‘may’ be one of the causes. This is pure speculation and does not hold up to scrutiny.

    If a comparison had been made between the number of claims brought in the 90’s and the last 10 years the data and circumstances might support their point (although public awareness of an entitlement to sue may be part of the reason for the larger trend).

    The chap from the CJA has not contradicted himself. Para 1 is a direct response to the article and para 2 is simply a stroll down CFA Debate Street (and the full article makes this clear).

    I could speculate that medical negligences claims have risen in 2010 because of the announcement of reforms. Maybe claimants and their solicitors are getting their claims in the system before the reforms kick in, since both will be worse off after.

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