APIL chief targets insurers

The Law Gazette reports that Jonathan Wheeler – incoming president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has his sights set on the insurance industry in the association’s upcoming annual conference.

Last week, the government implemented, as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act, new rules which prevent a claimant receiving compensation if they have been found to be fundamentally dishonest, unless the decision would lead to substantial injustice.

APIL members meet in Newport on Thursday for their annual conference, where new president Jonathan Wheeler will describe the treatment of claimants as ‘draconian’ and appeal for insurance firms to come under the same scrutiny.

‘What about defendants who pursue fundamentally dishonest defences?’ he will say in his keynote speech. ‘How about the defendant who purposefully sets out to delay a settlement on behalf of a terminally ill claimant, because it would be cheaper to pay out on the claim when they are dead?

‘Why aren’t such defendant practices also caught by legislation?’

The speech is also likely to attack recent court fee increases and call for members to ‘raise the bar’ on quality of service.