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R (on the application of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) v Secretary of State for Justice [2013] All ER (D) 11 (Mar)


This case revolved around ss.56 - 60 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which bans the payment of referral fees in personal injury cases after 1 April 2013. One of the effects of this ban is that the recoverable fixed costs in small value personal injury claims is reduced.

The claimant submitted that the secretary of state had, by meeting with representatives of the insurance industry, established a process of consultation. That process of consultation was defective in that - inter alia - the process had failed to engage with other stakeholders in the process, including the claimant and interested parties.

The Administrative Court dismissed the case. Discussions with the insurance industry had merely been negotiation in respect of what the level of recoverable fees would be. The decision to ban referral fees had already been made before such decisions were made. There had accordingly been no consultation process; so the claim that there had been an unfair consultation process would be dismissed.


  • High Court (Administrative Court)
  • Monday, 01 April 2013