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LD’s The Changes Conference: London 15 April

Lyons Davidson’s The Changes Conference took place on 15 April and was a great success, with representatives of insurance organisations from around the country gathering at The Brewery, in the heart of the City, to understand what impact dramatic recent changes to civil law will have on their claims and overall businesses.

Chair for the day was Trevor Still, who welcomed a full house; first to address them was Mark Savill, Lyons Davidson’s Managing Director, who explained why technology is a vital component in being able to adapt to the recent changes, using examples from LD’s own experience of the MOJ Portal, as well as key MI gleaned from the company’s case management system, Filestream.

The next speaker was Head of LD’s Defendant Division, who looked at the effects of extension of the MOJ Portal to EL/PL cases. Ian identified potential ‘hotspots’ in the way cases are dealt with, including how multiple defendants might be handled and potential problems with identifying insurers. He ended on a positive note, saying that, although there would undoubtedly be problems along the way, the outcome would certainly not be all bad.

Eric Chalmers, Head of LD’s Claimant: Motor Division, then examined the major changes affecting motor claims – the greatest impact, he said, is on costs. He described how Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting – also known as ‘QOCS’ – works and said it will mean that far more cases get struck out. Outlining other pitfalls for motor claims, Eric said that problems could arise around review of medical records and that he believed there would generally be more satellite litigation.

Next to the podium was LD’s Head of Meruit Costs , who examined how claims under £25,000 would be affected. He sketched out the proposals of the recent government RTA claims consultation on whether to increase the small claim personal injury limit or keep it at £1,000 – the result is likely to be implemented this autumn. He also outlined the stages in the draft protocol, highlighting recurring issues, including a high drop-out rate.

The day was rounded off by Lyons Davidson’s Chairman Bernie Rowe, who gave delegates the benefit of his many years’ experience in the claims industry to look at the wider picture and predicting what may occur in the future. Reflecting that there had been four major civil justice reviews over the last 40 years, he noted that the main points raised from each review were cost and delay. He recommended that all present read the judgment in Germany v Flatman [EWCA Civ 278] and them moved on to how he saw the legal landscape shifting in the future. Over the next 15 years, Bernie believes that legal services will develop into products that can be easily understood by everyday consumers; he also believes that engineering and technical developments in car manufacture will mean that serious injuries will be reduced but soft-tissue and psychological injuries will increase. He concluded the conference by leaving delegates to ponder “the big unknown”: what will happen with whiplash?

Several Lyons Davidson services were also on hand to offer more information about their work to delegates, including LDlife, Lyons Davidson Scotland LLP and the Information Services team, who gave demonstrations of our in-house file management system Filestream. The Meruit Costs department distributed the Costs Update seminar pack (if you didn’t get one and would like to receive a copy, please email london@meruit.co.uk).


Posted on Apr 26th, 2013 by Lyons Davidson