The Draft Protocols were released on 19th February 2013 and most of the Protocols are as you would expect. However there is one aspect of the protocols that would seem somewhat contrary to what practitioners might have expected.
When the Protocol first came into force on 30th April 2010 it applied to all accidents occurring on or after that date and this logic is applied to the Employers’ Liability and Public Liability matters i.e. it is date of accident that is the trigger point.
However in the RTA Protocol (clauses 4.1 and 4.2), rather than date of accident being the operative date, the new Protocol will apply to all claims where the CNF was submitted on or after 1st April 2013.
So if you have a client who was involved on an accident in February and you submit his claim onto the Portal in February the current (30th April 2010) Protocol will apply. But if the client’s friend comes to you after 1st April 2013 and you submit his claim, then the new Protocol will apply.
This means that all historical accidents that are submitted after the new Protocol comes into force will be dealt with under the new Protocol. So no payment at the end of Stage 1 and equally as importantly the new cost regime will apply.
as a result of the wording there is no “overhang”, more like a portcullis coming down
If the Protocol had been drafted using date of accident as the trigger there would have been an overhang of up to 3 years of personal injury claims in which the current cost regime would have applied. This “overhang” would have helped aid the transition between the old and new cost regimes as the old regime ran off, the new regime would have bled in.
But as a result of the wording there is no “overhang”, more like a portcullis coming down. On 30th March 2013 costs are £1,200 plus uplift and on 1st April 2013 a new regime is set to come into force.
This is a superb result for insurers and yet more bad news for the claimant representatives.
So as of 19th February 2013 claimant practitioners have lots of information via LASPO, statutory instruments, draft statutory instruments and the draft Protocols, but what we do not know is the actual cost that can be charged.
It is now less than 6 weeks to the 1st April 2013 (the proposed implementation date) and how on earth do we plan?
What is clear is that whatever the costs come back as, you are going to have to be good at change management, as due to the drafting, the costs that a claimant representative can charge changes overnight.
About The Author
David Bott is the Managing Partner of Bott and Company. He was elected to the Executive Committee of APIL in April 2006 and is the Immediate Past President of APIL, having been President until April 2012. He has been extensively involved in the MOJ streamline process and now sits on the Board of “Portal Co” as an APIL representative. He lectures on Business Management, the new process and PI Law.
David was elected to the Executive Committee of the Legal Management Section of the Law Society in April 2006. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Legal Management Section and regularly lectures on business management, quality control and Lexcel. David has sat on the Fund Raising board and organising Committee of the Spinal Injuries Association Cornflower Ball since 2005.