Chief exec Asplin has spoken out against shifting court costs onto injured claimants

DAS Legal Expenses is to withdraw its membership of the ABI because of a disagreement over the Jackson Review.

Chief executive Paul Asplin said DAS was opposed to the Jackson Review, but acknowledged that the ABI was taking a “positive stance”.

Asplin, head of the largest legal expenses insurer in the UK, said: “It’s not possible to support a trade association that is actively lobbying against our interests. The ABI understands there is no argument. It is just a withdrawal.”

An ABI spokesman said DAS would withdraw from the beginning of next year. Many insurers support Jackson because they believe the review will reduce their court costs.

The spokesman said: “We do not want any company to leave the ABI, but individual companies have to make their own decisions on where they stand on individual issues.”

Asplin is critical of a range of issues within the Jackson Review, including ending recoverability of the ATE premium.

Asplin said: “Lord Jackson was asked to try and find ways of reducing civil litigation costs, but in reality what he has recommended is shifting the costs of litigation from the unsuccessful defendant to the injured claimant.”

Asplin is president of RIAD, the International Association of Legal Expenses Insurers, while DAS is a member of the Legal Expenses Insurance Group (LEIG).

Legal expenses insurers, personal injury lawyers and consumer groups have set up the Consumer Justice Alliance to thwart the implementation of the Jackson reforms of civil litigation costs.

The coalition government plans to consult on the Jackson reforms following next week’s comprehensive spending review.