Lord Young will not seek to ban TV advertising for personal injury work in his review of the ‘compensation culture’, but is expected to call for a strengthening of referral fee regulations.
Sources close to Lord Young of Graffham’s review, due to report this month, said he will recommend that the content of personal injury advertisements should be restricted, rather than subject to an outright prohibition.
Downing Street announced a ‘Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture’ on 14 June. As adviser to prime minister David Cameron on health and safety law and practice, Young was tasked with investigating ‘concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade’.
On the day the review was announced, Young was reported as saying that he wanted to ban TV advertising by personal injury claims firms. But one source close to the negotiations said this week that Young has avoided the ‘hot potato’ of banning advertising, and instead recommended strengthening referral fee regulations, and the regulation of claims management companies. ‘Stopping TV ads was a sexy sound bite, but was so fraught with unintended consequences that it had to be a no-go area,’ the source said.
Another informed source said: ‘Advertising will not be banned, but recommendations are likely to be made with reference to the content of the ads.’
The Cabinet Office declined to comment on ‘speculation’ ahead of the report’s release.
Meanwhile, the Legal Services Board will issue a consultation outlining its proposals for regulation of referral arrangements next week, which will include improving transparency.