Your front page article headed"ABI claims reform plan faces lawyers' anger" (News, 15 December) did not do our proposals for compensation reform justice.

While it is inevitable that there will be some criticism from the legal profession, the fact is that lawyers, like insurers, are part of a slow and costly compensation system that is failing many genuine claimants.

Our proposals are not an attempt to exclude lawyers from the process, but to bring much- needed change to ensure that genuine claimants receive fair compensation more quickly and cheaply.

They would cut down the time taken to settle the average personal injury claim for employers' liability from three years to six months. They would also reduce significantly the unacceptable level of legal and other costs inherent in the current process.

The government has acknowledged that there are some cases involving compensation of less than £2,000 that have incurred claimant costs of up to £7,000.

Our proposals reflect the fact that insurers are ready to play their part on the road to reform, through the development of a simple-to-use claim form and quicker deadlines when dealing with a claim.

A public tariff of compensation levels for prescribed injuries, and an independent mediation process will de-mystify the current adversarial process for claimants, and ensure that they get fair compensation more speedily.

As Ireland has already demonstrated, radical reforms can deliver compensation faster and more efficiently.

We urge the legal profession to recognise that reform is now needed and, like us, work to ensure that the UK moves to a compensation system that looks after the people it is designed to serve.

Justin Jacobs,

Head of liability, motor and risk pricing, ABI