by Tristan O'Carroll

Insurers and claims specialists were claiming victory this week following the latest ruling on The Accident Group (TAG) test cases.

Insurers welcomed a ruling by senior cost judge, Master Hurst, that a solicitor's payment made to The Accident Group's (TAG) subsidiary, Accident Investigations (AIL), was not recoverable.

The judgment was the second tranche in the test cases over the level of after-the-event (ATE) premiums recoverable by companies such as TAG.

Carters Solicitors, which acted for Admiral Insurance in a previous case, claimed that the level of ATE premiums recoverable is now moored between £367.50 and £621.13.

A Carters' statement said: "Yet again, the courts have dramatically reduced the cost of ATE premiums that are recoverable."

TAG claimed that insurers could now face a £4bn bill as result of Master Hurst's conclusion that no-win, no-fee agreements are legal. TAG claimed the ruling means that more than 200,000 personal injury victims will now be able to recover the legal costs of their cases.

TAG head of corporate affairs Clive Entwistle said: "Today's ruling is a further justification of The Accident Group's campaign to provide the public with a true replacement for legal aid in personal injury cases."

Beachcroft Wansbroughs litigation partner Andrew Parker, who acted for one of the insurers, said: "The judgment represents a further step towards finding a solution and certainty in the funding debate."