Over the years personal injury has rarely received such a billing as the media gave it on March 29th, with Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke and his number two Jonathan Djanogly hosting a packed press conference to deliver their plans. However, much of what he planned to announce seemed to have leaked, as this report from the Telegraph suggests.
By the end of the Day, Mr Clarke's words had become official and his declarations were made in an editorial for the Daily Mail. Practitioners were largely spared any analysis of the subject in the mainstream press, instead having to flick through Solicitors' Journal, which led on the claim by Djanogly that as much as 90% of all Personal Injury traffic could go through the MOJ Portal, while Legal Week juxtaposed the opposing views of the claimant and defendant side rather bluntly in its roundup story.
There has been a sense that debate prior to the MOJ announcement was rendered largely academic given the government's stance on reform. However a quick read through some back issues unearthedthis debate from Total Politics magazine, which is no less fascinating for the breadth of opinion heard from across the table.
There was a single chink in the review's comprehensive sweeping away of the rules which in her editorial, Post Magazine's Lynn Rouse was quick to point out. She explained that despite the insurance industry winning significant concessions on civil justice costs reform, the question about referral fees remains something of a 'buck passing' exercise, having been through the Transport Select Committee and now residing in the hands of the Legal Services Board.