By: 11 March 2015
Nesbit Law Group highlights access to justice vacuum in complex fraud matters

Claimants who have been accused of fraud in road traffic accidents are finding that their access to justice has become severely limited almost two years after the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act.

According to Nesbit Law Group (NLG), the sharp fall in the amount of costs that solicitors can recover for personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents has meant that many firms are now avoiding the niche area of allegations of fraud.

“Once fraud has been alleged it appears that many claims stall, leading to a breakdown in the relationship between solicitor and client,” says the firm. “It is this situation that is creating the access to justice problem.”

As the ability to recover standard costs has been heavily restricted, many solicitors have taken the time to undertake a costs benefit analysis, with the outcome being that the risks usually outweigh the potential benefits.

NLG says that running high numbers of road traffic work in which fraud has been alleged requires specialist business partners, specialist working knowledge, highly efficient case management protocols, and all this must be considered against a backdrop of low costs recovery.

The firm specialises in dealing with high numbers of claims in which fraud has been alleged and says that it has passed back more than £500,000 in costs to other law firms that decided to transfer their fraud alleged claims to NLG.

“Many firms are now deciding to avoid dealing with matters where fraud has been alleged, even if such a decision has not been made, if the individual dealing with such a claim does not have the requisite knowledge and support network around them, then many fraud alleged claims will gather dust at the back of a file-load,” added the firm.