Harlow-based personal injury lawyers Attwaters, located in West Gate, remark that the reforms, which are designed to cut Government costs, will ‘deny justice’ to vulnerable claimants, as legal professionals will no longer be able to rely on no win no fee conditional fee agreements, as the reforms seek to restrict their ability to charge success fees to defendants. David Kerry, medical negligence expert and law firm partner, recently remarked that the proposals need to be rethought by ministers, adding that many firms throughout the UK have deep concerns that Legal Aid withdrawals from medical negligence claimants will severely limit their access to justice.
With so many claimants suffering and in pain, and possibly not even able to work, their only” recourse would be to rely on no win no fee arrangements, even though many solicitors may be reluctant to take up a complex case due to the limitations placed on their ability to collect success fees by the proposed legislation. This could leave these highly vulnerable claimants with no access to justice, Mr Kerry warned, and could result in children with permanent brain damage from a birth injury lacking the financial support they would throughout their life.
The NHS’s additional claims investigation costs would more than wipe out any savings made by the Government through the Legal Aid bill’s changes, he also said. Mr Kerry’s concerns are shared by Rob Halfon, MP for Harlow, who said that he will campaign for Legal Aid bill concessions to be made as it makes its way through Parliament.