Insurers were given extensive access to MoJ officials in advance of the civil litigation reforms contained in LASPO. Indeed, a cabal of chief executives was invited into Downing Street to discuss with David Cameron how they would like the costs of civil litigation to be addressed.
George Osborne’s autumn statement shows that the industry’s lobbying clout remains mighty – it was telling that it fell to the chancellor himself and not the justice secretary to do the insurers’ bidding this time round.
Perhaps the trumpeted savings for insurance companies will indeed be passed on to drivers in lower premiums and not be taken straight to the industry’s bottom line. But you’d be unwise to risk a wager on it. In any case, the reforms are predicated on a politically useful myth. Only last month, the master of the rolls urged lawyers to help ‘explode the false perception of compensation culture’, but ministers are not listening.
And there could be worse to come for PI victims. If ‘minor’ whiplash injuries (whatever they are) should only qualify for rehab and cover lost earnings, why not other injuries?
Michael Gove was allowed to attend the chancellor’s parade in as much as he contributed a quote hailing a ‘one-nation’ justice system.
As we contemplate further draconian curbs on access to justice, the lord chancellor’s disingenuous rhetoric could hardly be more grating.