9:18pm UK, Tuesday March 29, 2011
The Government has been accused of denying justice to the victims of serious injuries after the launch of a crackdown on 'no win, no fee' legal cases.
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Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly MP defended the announcement, saying the new regulations would not deter legitimate claimants.
"If it's a straight-forward claim then they'll go to a solicitor and the solicitor will take the case. If it is a marginal claim then what we're saying is those cases should not necessarily proceed."
But in a statement sent to Sky News, David Bott, incoming president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers hit out at the rules.
"People with the most serious of injuries face being denied access to justice because lawyers will be less able to offer 'no-win, no-fee' in difficult, high value cases."
The comments came after the announcement of a crackdown on 'no win, no fee' legal cases in England and Wales.
The overhaul is aimed to ensure defendants in such cases are not crippled with lawyers' fees.
Under the new system 'success fees' for lawyers will be deducted from damages awarded to the winning client rather than being charged entirely to the losing party.
The regulations will also see fees payable to lawyers capped at 25% of the damages awarded by the court.
A consultation was also launched into expanding an online system to help resolve cases between lawyers and insurance companies aimed at cutting waiting times and legal expenses.