The High Court has rejected a legal challenge to the government’s independent panel for whiplash diagnosis.

Speed Medical, one of the top-tier providers of assessments in the online MedCo scheme, argued that the government would be acting unlawfully by preventing claimants choosing from a range of large providers.

But the company today announced it has lost a judicial review challenge following a judgment in the High Court by Mr Justice Cranston.

Speed Medical immediately confirmed it will appeal the decision.

The legal challenge had argued the MedCo system was irrational and incompatible with national and European competition law.

Lawyers acting for claimants who have suffered a soft-tissue injury are given a choice of six smaller providers and one top-tier provider of medical examinations.

The Ministry of Justice, which was the named defendant in the JR, has said the scheme ensures independent diagnosis and in turn a reduction in exaggerated or fraudulent claims.

Graham Pulford, managing director of Speed Medical, said: ‘The random allocation process is, at its core, fundamentally flawed and the anti-competitive nature of it, uncontrollable.

‘Its introduction has greatly diluted the availability of quality provided to the consumer yet has not effectively addressed the government’s stated objectives.’

Pulford added that the company supports the government’s aims to reduce fraudulent claims, but believes the present system of allocation was ineffective in achieving those aims.

Speed Medical originally lodged its legal claim in late March, arguing that including just one national provider was anti-competitive.

That was rejected by the High Court in May, when Mr Justice Leggatt ruled the MoJ had given coherent reasons for its decision to create MedCo.

But following a renewed application, the High Court then allowed the case to proceed to a rolled-up hearing because of the complexity of the arguments to be considered.