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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Court reform plans set to leave ‘massive black hole’ in public purse, lawyers warn

17 Apr 2014
APIL news

Government plans to move personal injury cases out of the Court of Session will leave a £1 million black hole in annual income from court fees, lawyers have warned.

The Civil Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill is a vehicle for sweeping changes to the civil court system, including the transfer of the majority of injury claims from the Court of Session to the sheriff court.

But the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has urged Parliament’s justice committee to seek clarification from legal affairs minister Roseanna Cunningham about the impact of losses to the public purse at its next evidence session on Tuesday (22 April).

“Rigorous parliamentary scrutiny has now prompted the Government to admit that a new fee structure is to be introduced but it is still silent on how much sheriff court fees will need to be hiked to make up the shortfall,” said Ronnie Conway,Scottish co-ordinator of APIL.

“Figures obtained through a freedom of information request have helped us to establish that the average Court of Session fee for a personal injury case is more than £500 higher than the average sheriff court fee,” he said.

“So it is easy to calculate that if Government plans to move more than 2,000 cases from the Court of Session to the sheriff court go ahead, the shortfall is going to be around £1 million a year. And if vulnerable injured people and other court users are going to have to stump up the money to cover that cost, we need to be told.

“There is much in the reform package which we support,” Mr Conway went on. “But plans to introduce such far-reaching change without clarity about the costs involved and resources needed to make the whole work is completely unacceptable.”

 

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Notes to editors:

  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: tim.carter@apil.org.uk.
  • Visit the association's website at www.apil.org.uk.
  • •Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

Past press releases

Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018
APIL, FOIL and MASS join forces for mediation project, 29 May 2018
Grieving relatives cruelly ignored by justice system, 27 Apr 2018
Car insurance injury claims lowest this decade, 23 Apr 2018
Court closure threat to local justice system , 21 Mar 2018
Government washes its hands of injured people, 20 Mar 2018
Cold calling ban: time for Government to deliver, 08 Mar 2018
MPs told: Now is the time to ban cold calling, 22 Jan 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400
lorraine.gwinnutt@apil.org.uk

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416
jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431
lizzy.freeman@apil.org.uk