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APIL APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT

The incoming President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers gave a very candid interview with Post Magazine this month, revealing his plans for the body and one or two career secrets.

David Bott, senior partner at Bott & Co has recently succeeded to the role of President at Apil and as has become customary, one of his first ports of call was for an interview with Post Magazine. Post is a completely subscriber-only publication so links are of limited use, but to paraphrase; David's view on the principal challenges for personal injury lawyers includes grappling with the consequences of the Jackson Review and what the practical impact of the increase in damages versus the removal of loser pays will be.

Any shortfall in compensation could force claimants to stretch an open palm before the public purse. "Ultimately that shortfall will be made up by the government and the NHS or the welfare state will have to pay," he told Post. "If there is a lack of money it has to come from somewhere. The concern is that you are shifting the costs away from insurance and onto the state."

Of further concern was the potential for an increase in general damages to negatively affect people with more serious injuries. "These are the people who need redress most and access to justice and, according to statistics, they are likely to be hit harder than anyone else."

There were also some positive thoughts about steps being taken to improve claimants' prospects. In particular David was enthusiastic about the prospect of an Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau being formed to mirror the Motor Insurers' Bureau. "The Employers' Liability Tracing Office looks forward and is a step in the right direction. But it only looks forward," he explained. "The problem with looking backwards is finding the right insurer in the first place. Insurers aren't necessarily trying to duck claims - if the right insurer is found they will deal with it."