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MODEL BEHAVIOUR

Most of us are still coming to terms with the new post-LASPO regime, and so it seems is the Law Society. With guidance from Chancery Lane frequently criticised, we report on how the industry body has come in for some serious stick during the first weeks since Jackson…

Many practitioners have pointed the finger of blame for the industry's challenges squarely at the Law Society, so the  recent frustration around its draft conditional fee agreement model probably comes as no surprise. However, costs experts have been jumping to the rescue, with Kings Chambers barrister Dr Mark Friston  providing his own guidance, saying the move was "in response to the fact that the Law Society appears not to have published a 'model' conditional fee agreement for use after J-Day." 

Tensions are understandably at an all time high with the personal injury sector's general demeanour amplified by a campaigning stance from the 'Save the Legal Industry'  petition. Meanwhile, claims management companies have been the subject of yet another Ministry of Justice 'crackdown' during which Premextra noticed an interesting dichotomy. In its victorious statement on 8th April, the MOJ reminded CMCs that they are in fact under supervision of the Claims Management Regulator, not the MOJ itself and as such should not associate themselves in their dealings with consumers as being regulated by 'The Ministry'; this it appears could be construed as offering some kind of 'government endorsement', the Whitehall mandarins said. 

However, one can't help but speculate as to whether future 'crackdowns' will be awarded the full-blown Ministerial seal or a whether they'll be relegated to the lowly regulator's desk-stamp.  

Elsewhere in the market aggressive moves are being made left right and centre. Chief amongst these has been from some of the old regime's most controversial proponents, whose plans have been pored over in the legal press. Jon Hyde of the Law Society Gazette suggested late last week how Ageas and Admiral's new Alternative Business Structure ventures are in fact thinly veiled  attempts to circumvent the referral fee ban. 

The next few months promise to be some of the most turbulent and interesting this market has ever seen. We'll do our very best to give you a continued independent perspective.