I have to be honest and say that the title to this piece surprises even me. But there are two things which the Law Society has done recently which I think deserve comment and praise.
The first is squaring up to the Minister of Injustice, Chris Grayling, who is determined that the right to choose a solicitor and for people to receive proper legal advice and help in criminal proceedings is something that could be dispensed with in the name of austerity.
Both Alistair McDonald QC, the leader of the North Eastern Circuit and the Bar Council also did their bit in roundly criticising these proposals and the Law Society was at the forefront of trying to bring pressure to bear on Grayling to change his mind. So far so good, in that it looks as though a change of heart is on its way.
The second praiseworthy item involves the Law Society at long last standing up to my old enemy, the insurance industry. There are those critics who (justifiably) will say all of this is too little too late, but the Don't Get Mugged Campaign is something which is very close to my heart.
One of the founding tenets of Review My Claim is to allow those who have been mugged by insurers or by unqualified claims handlers to get proper advice and assistance to redress the huge imbalance between a private individual on the one hand and the multi-billion pound insurance industry on the other. The Law Society campaign recites the fact that accident victims who don't use solicitors can receive up to two to three times less than those who turn down an insurer's initial offer and take proper advice from a solicitor.
On any view, that is a staggeringly unfair advantage which insurers exercise. In offering to settle claims to individuals who are only just recovering from the shock and physical impact of accidents is, in my view, morally wrong and reprehensible.
Of course, Review My Claim can help those victims.
However, it can go further and give assistance to those who have had poor experience from some of the personal injury factories that masquerade as solicitors providing high quality legal advice.
So, well done Law Society on both fronts, helping to redress potential injustice in steering the Ministry of Justice away from a badly thought out and certainly unjust proposal and secondly for at least endeavouring to point private individuals in the right direction following their accidents.Back to Blog