LASPO reforms research summary

Research highlights necessity of legal expenses insurance as LASPO limits access to justice

Independent Research, carried out by Bristol-based legal insurance specialist ARAG, amongst solicitors in England and Wales reveals that since the Legal Aid Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force in April 2013, access to justice has been greatly restricted and the deduction of after the-event (ATE) premiums and other costs from compensation has reduced claimant settlements.

These changes reinforce the need for before-the-event (BTE) legal expenses insurance, especially for those without the financial means to fund a claim.

Key findings:
• 80% of solicitors say claimants have reduced access to justice with 64% saying it has been significantly restricted. Solicitors are now more risk averse and take on fewer personal injury cases.
• At the same time, claimants have to pay higher costs, including the ATE premium, which will then be deducted from their award. This has a particularly adverse effect on those with lower value claims including RTAs.