The courts have given guidance on medical reporting agencies' fees which insurers could use to their advantage, DLA partner Alan Jacobs said.

Stringer v Copley, on appeal from a district court decision, contested issues including the recoverability of medical agencies' fees, the nature of agencies' invoices and how solicitors should charge for work by agencies.

Judge Michael Cook ruled that medical agencies' fees could be recoverable, that their invoices should distinguish between the medical fee and the agency's charge and that claimants' solicitors could charge for the agencies' administrative fee as part of their own costs.

"It makes the point that agencies should provide true transparency," Jacobs said.

"All of this should enable insurers to undertake greater scrutiny of medical reporting agencies' charges and, in particular, to make sure they're paying for work that adds value."