A coalition of insurers and lawyers is to lobby for tougher measures banning referral fees. The Civil Justice Group aims to promote a private member’s bill introduced by the former justice secretary, Jack Straw, which would make paying or receiving referral fees a criminal offence.

A measure banning fees appears in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, but the government has resisted calls for criminalisation.

The Civil Justice Group will lobby the Lords before the bill’s second reading next week. Speaking on behalf of the group, Richard West, a partner at City firm Kennedys, said: ‘We will be working closely with members of parliament and officials at the MoJ… to ensure that policy-makers understand the need for a comprehensive reform package which addresses any unintended consequences.’