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BTE could do more harm than good

Michael Williamson warns that legal expenses insurance may not fill the gaps left by the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act

19 October 2012

Cracks have started appearing, already, in the cheap and supposedly cheerful legal expenses insurance regime much vaunted by insurers, government and ?others who have little or no real concern for the rights of accident victims.

In August we read about the case of the Manchester motorcyclist whose Bristol solicitors, appointed by legal expenses insurers, settled his case for £500,000 – when, as subsequently demonstrated, it was worth over £1m.

This was followed by reports last month on the rise in professional negligence claims against personal injury law firms citing “reliance on under-qualified staff, a lack of face-to-face contact with clients and failure to understand medical reports” as “all factors in the trend”.

Surrey firm Baker Law reported a recovery of £700,000 for a client whose original solicitors had achieved an award of £16,000. An associat...

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