Law Society slams 'self-serving' insurers
Claims the country is in the grip of a 'compensation culture' are a myth, the Law Society has said. Responding to a report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that said Britain has a 'have a go' compensation culture, the society said the report 'is entirely self-serving to the insurance industry.' The ABI report is the insurance lobby group's response to proposals in the Legal Aid and Punishment of Offenders Bill, measures the TUC has warned will be bad news for many of the hundreds of thousands of people harmed by their work each year (Risks 515). Many of the TUC's concerns are shared by the Law Society, whose chief executive Desmond Hudson said: 'The claim that there are 'ambulance chasing lawyers' manipulating the system is utterly unpersuasive. If this is happening why are the insurers not acting and challenging these cases in the courts? It is nonsense and the ABI should know better.' He added: 'The law in this country sees to it that those who are harmed by the negligence of others are entitled to fair compensation. They are not entitled to make a profit from their loss. This is just and it is fair. It is how reasonable insurers seek to settle claims.' The head of the lawyers' body said: 'While we agree with the ABI's report that there can always be improvements to the system - and we believe in particular that claims management companies have no useful role to play in the system - the current government proposals in the Legal Aid and Punishment of Offenders Bill will mean that many victims will lose their opportunity to gain the compensation they deserve. As a result many will end up on state benefits, causing a drain on the public purse rather than claims against insurers.'
Issued: 9 September, 2011