Kerry Underwood


with 10 comments

Here are some ideas for cleaning up personal injury work and I have put them in the form of a draft Bill.


Any other ideas?


  1. It shall be an offence, punishable by up to two years imprisonment, for an insurance company to seek to settle a personal injury claim with its insured’s opponent direct, save as provided for by section 2.
  2. If a potential claimant enters a matter on the portal as a Litigant in Person then Section 1 shall not apply.
  3. It shall be an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment for a solicitor to act for a client with Before-the-Event insurance where that solicitor knows, or should reasonably have known, that that client has been deprived of freedom of choice of solicitor by that BTE insurance company.
  4. It shall be an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment for a BTE insurer to seek to persuade its insured to go to a solicitor of the BTE insurance company’s choice.
  5. It shall be an offence, punishable by up to two years imprisonment for a solicitor to place a matter on the portal without the written instructions so to do from the claimant.
  6. A representative who does not physically meet with a client shall not be able to recover costs.
  7. A solicitor paying a referral fee in a personal injury case shall be struck off the Roll and be subject to imprisonment for up to two years.
  8. Any person who knowingly presents false information in any Parliamentary consultation shall be guilty of an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
  9. No person, company or body of any kind which deals with personal injury work shall make a donation to any political party, or associated body, which exceeds £5,000.00 a year and anyone who does so shall be guilty of an offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
  10. If a defendant in a personal injury claim alleges fundamental dishonesty or fraud and fails at trial to substantiate that allegation then the court shall increase general damages by 100% and shall award the claimant costs on the indemnity basis and shall increase those costs by 100%.


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Written by kerryunderwood

July 19, 2016 at 10:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses

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  1. Harsh Kerry, but I love it. If only !!

    Dawn Slow

    July 19, 2016 at 10:13 am

  2. Beheading for anyone taking an instruction that was obtained via cold calling.

    Beheading for cold calling.



    July 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

    • Well I do not believe in capital punishment but……


      July 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

      • I’m happy to do the beheading. With a cheese grater.



        July 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

  3. 🙂


    July 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

  4. Your para 7 at a stroke would remove the majority of problems. I would add a 7(1), which would say

    “Any monies (whether fees, costs, disbursements, payments on account or any other sum) received by a person conducting the Reserved Legal Activities of litigation or advocacy, in respect of any client whose instruction was procured or introduced by any intermediary in return for any pecuniary consideration (however such a fee is described) shall be deemed the proceeds of crime and subject to civil recovery and confiscation from the person conducting the said Reserved Legal Activity”

    Also I would wrap up your numbers 1, 2 and 5 by the following:-

    (1) Save as provided for below, no compromise, settlement, or agreement shall be of any effect whatsoever, if the purpose of the compromise, settlement or agreement is reach a determination of civil liability for damages in respect of a personal injury claim.

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the following agreements shall be binding:-
    (a) An agreement, in writing and signed by a person seeking payment of damages for personal injury, where the terms of that agreement include a certificate signed by a solicitor independent of, and not selected or recommended by, the tortfeasor to confirm that the person seeking payment has been given legal advice on the terms of the settlement at least seven days before it is proposed to come into effect.
    (b) An agreement embodied in an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (3) Where a tortfeasor makes a payment of damages for personal injury to a person pursuant to an agreement that is of no effect due to subsection (1) above:-
    (a) The person shall be entitled to retain and be under no obligation to repay any sums advanced,
    (b) The payments shall be treated in law as not having received the sums,
    (c) Any limitation period and any period under any pre-action protocol shall be suspended from the date the payment was made, and
    (d) There shall be no bar, whether procedural, by virtue of costs penalties, or otherwise, to the person making a fresh demand or claim for the damages for personal injury and in any such claim the court shall disregard the earlier payments entirely.

    If you did something like this, the insurers could still negotiate direct, but any sign off would have to be in writing (not just over the phone) and would have to be certified by an INDEPENDENT solicitor. And if they tried to reach an agreement anyway, the client would be entitled to bring a fresh claim for the same damages again (which the insurers would do anything to stop at all costs and would therefore insist on compromise agreements being signed).

    Dominic Cooper

    July 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

    • Dominic

      I was trying to keep it simple. 🙂 However I have long advocated Settlement Agreements in personal injury work which work extremely well in employment matters and are governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996.

      Please see my post Settlement Agreements in Personal Injury.



      July 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      • “Keep it simple”? Yes I think I have heard people mention such heresy before!

        On a serious note, yes I agree with your settlement agreements. I actually think that could work. Coupled with, as you have previously said, a reduction in primary limitation to six months, it would ironically encourage low-value claims to be settled by direct contact between opposing insurer and client directly, which could save money for insurers.

        The only people to lose out would be the high-volume, low-skill, claimant firms, CMCs and general hanger-onners that inhabit this strange land between the Ribble and the Mersey.

        If only…

        Dominic Cooper

        July 20, 2016 at 9:57 am

  5. Settlement Agreements were being considered by the Labour Government but seem to have gone off the agenda now, but their time will come. As you say potential benefits to everyone except the factory firms who never meet clients.



    July 20, 2016 at 12:43 pm

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