Claims management regulators are briefing the SRA on solicitors suspected of malpractice over the handling of holiday sickness claims.
The Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulator (CMR) reported this week that action to investigate rogue elements of the industry has been stepped up in the past three months.
Action dedicated at tackling holiday sickness claims began in April this year. From April to June, six unauthorised claims management company (CMC) websites were shut down, 40 CMCs were visited or audited and two investigations were started. In the previous quarterly update, the regulator did not report any action, merely the start of talks with the travel industry about how to deal with increasing numbers of claims.
The net is now closing in on any solicitors with links to fraudulent claims or who acquire cases through cold calling. The claims management regulator says it is working with the SRA and Association of British Travel Agents members who have provided ‘intelligence, information and evidence’ on market practices.
The CMR reported: ‘The regulator has established a dedicated project team to monitor this sector closely, and deal quickly and effectively with any misconduct by regulated CMCs, or those who are simply operating completely illegally.’
The government has already given notice of its intention to introduce fixed recoverable costs for sickness claims made following a holiday abroad.
Meanwhile, the CMR has given an overview of the claims management sector with a report covering the 10 years since its formation.
After a period of rapid growth up to 2011, the report charts a decline in the size of the claims management industry, with regulated organisations falling from 3,213 at its peak to 1,388 in 2017.
While the personal injury market remains the largest sector in terms of the number of CMCs in operation, the financial claims sector now generates twice the turnover of the PI market.