The Ministry of Justice is proposing that rather than focus its resources on attempting to disentangle the last 45 years of domestic legislation and case law from EU law in readiness for when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union it would rather spend time looking at imposing a cap on the fees that solicitors acting for those who are the victims of clinical negligence can recover.
The proposal is for fixed legal fees on cases with a value up to £25,000 irrespective of the complexity and actual costs of bringing such a claim. Interestingly there is no indication that these acting for negligent medical staff will also be subject to such a cap.
The Government cites an example of a Solicitor firm charging £83,000 in legal costs in a matter where a claimant was awarded just £1,000 at trial. While £83,000 is undoubtedly a large amount the legal costs would include an insurance premium, multiple medical reports, court fees and barrister's fees as well as VAT. In practice the actual legal costs could be less than half the total bill. The question must also be asked as to why the NHS legal team did not settle the matter out of Court rather than allowing it to run to trial in the full knowledge that the legal costs would massively increase.
At Fosters, no matter what the proposals may be, we will continue to advise and guide our clients in matters of clinical negligence. If you have suffered injury or loss due to the negligence of a medical professional you may be able to pursue a claim. For a free no obligation chat telephone us on freephone 0800 731 8539 or e-mail us.