Perhaps it is just me, but the amount of TLC afforded by the government to the City seems extraordinarily generous. To begin with we have the implementation of the civil justice reforms. All serious commentators agree that they herald a transfer of wealth from accident victims and their advisers (disproportionately concentrated in the regions, in particular the north-west) to insurers based in the City.
Second, and precisely when the government announced the extension of the portals and fixed costs for personal injury work, I was reading that the chancellor was over in Brussels fighting to protect the bonuses of bankers in the City. I now learn from the Gazette (18 March) that our lord chancellor has initiated a plan to protect the profits of City law firms. This really is a striking state of affairs, especially coming on the back of the decimation of legal aid, not to mention the harsh reforms heaped upon the criminal injuries scheme.
It may be the coalition has calculated that woolly concepts such as fairness, access to justice or equality of arms are expendable, but it is surely not all about the economy (in the Square Mile) – stupid.
Richard Edwards, solicitor-advocate, E Rex Makin & Co, Liverpool