Government commits to implementing peer's recommendations

Lord Young of Graffham has backed a shake-up of the claims handling process in his wide-ranging review of compensation.

The Tory peer’s report ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ recommends

  • restrictions on advertising for “no win, no fee” compensation claims
  • extending the Ministry of Justice’s simplified and fixed cost Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury Scheme for claims below £10,000 to include other personal injury claims
  • exploring an extension of the MoJ framework to cover low value medical negligence claims.
  • exploring whether the MoJ scheme’s upper limit for road traffic accident personal injury claims should be extended to £25,000.
  • implementing the recommendations in Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs.
  • restricting the operation of referral agencies and personal injury lawyers

The report also says insurance companies should stop requiring businesses operating in low hazard environments to employ health and safety consultants to carry out full health and safety risk assessments.

And the ex-Tory Cabinet minister wants the insurance industry to collaborate with the government on drawing up a code of practice to ensure that worthwhile activities are not unnecessarily curtailed on health and safety grounds. If the industry is unable to draw up such a code, the report says legislation should be considered.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet have accepted all of the recommendations put forward by Lord Young, who will continue to work across departments to ensure his recommendations are carried through.

Lord Young said: “For too long, health and safety has been allowed to become a joke in the media and among the public. It’s about time it was taken seriously. I believe that the best way to do this is to ease the burden in places where health and safety is not an issue, and to discourage the compensation culture that has spread fear of litigation throughout our society.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said: “The government welcomes Lord Young’s call for reform of the way in which personal injury claims and other civil cases are taken before the courts. We will be consulting shortly on how ‘no win no fee’ conditional fee agreements should be improved