The government has confirmed that it will seek to legislate on fixed costs for clinical negligence claims worth up to £100,000. The intention to reduce legal spending on clinical negligence, first revealed in the Gazette on 15 June, was outlined by health minister Ben Gummer last week.

Gummer alleged that some lawyers have ‘unscrupulously’ used patient claims to load ‘grossly excessive’ costs on to the NHS and charge far more than the patient receives in compensation.

The Law Society said medical negligence cases are often complex and require specialist knowledge. ‘Harmed patients do need the support of a solicitor to help them bring a claim so that they can get the vital funds they need,’ a spokesman said.