Archive for: March 2013

Big changes ahead for Personal Injury Claims

In the UK a new law will come into effect from April 1st 2013 called the LASPO – which stands for The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offences Act. This has come about following an ongoing investigation regarding pricing by Lord Jackson, which started 3 years ago.

There will also be other changes taking place including the possibility of reduction to Road Traffic Accidents fixed pricing, from £1200 to £500, although this hasn’t been confirmed just yet.

The overall compensation commission to solicitors schedule to rise by 10% after April 1st. This contradicts the contingency fees which are in place at present where a solicitor can charge any fee “up to a maximum of 25%”, this is known as a success fee. This is to cover the risk element that the solicitor takes if the case is unsuccessful and therefore the solicitor doesn’t make any money.

‘Referral fees’ will also come to an end from April 1st 2013 which will largely affect how Claims Management Companies will deal with new claims.

This will have a huge impact on the “compensation culture” some suggest has come over from the way things work in the USA.  It has been reported that Claims Management Companies were passing on personal injury claims without being checked first, on to solicitors to obtain a referral fee.

Under the new legislation on April 1st, a person will no longer be in a position to become insured to cover them losing if their case is unsuccessful and so will be liable for their own cost.

Despite these plans, the future of personal injury claims remain unpredictable as it is still important to promote justice to innocent and trustworthy people who have genuine cases of personal injury. What will happen still remains to be seen.

A $12 Million fund for a U.S. Gun Law Campaign

A $12 Million fund allotted for a U.S. Gun Law Campaign coming from the Mayor of New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to push through with a campaign that would enable control the use and owning of guns in the U.S. The advertisement will be seen on the television in different states in the U.S. This Ad Campaign will influence the voters to convince their Senators to have a tougher law for gun buyers and owners.

The Mayor of New York City has been supporting the gun control and he is positive that this will win in the Congress. The voting of the law will occur in April. Unfortunately, the Ad campaign that aimed for tougher laws on gun usage was said to be dismissed by the NRA or the National Rifle Association. The CEO or NRA said that the Mayor could not simply impose his own will to the Americans because they have their freedom to choose what to support. The Mayor in a counter statement released through NBC said that he was trying to do everything to make the Senator feel impressed about the law because it is what the public really wants, a law that would control the guns in the U.S.

The Congress will already consider legislation next month. This said legislation was drafted by the Administration of President Obama because of the number of gun violence in the Unites States that occurred in December. The numerous shooting incidents that involved a lot of innocent people including children were already a wake-up call that something should be done. Gun control has been a famous issue in the U.S.

The UK government will help the British civil servants and troops in Cyprus

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the British civil servants and military personnel will be protected from the savings tax in Cyprus. The said levy on savings will be part of eurozone bailout amounting to £8.7bn. It is estimated that there is around 2 Billion Euros of British deposits in Cyprus. There are also a lot of British people working and serving in Cyprus.

During the Andrew Mar Show in BBC, Mr. Osborne said that the Cypriot Banks in the United Kingdom will not be affected by the levy on savings in Cyprus. He added that the British civil servants and military personnel will not be part of the bailout because Prime Minister David Cameron has already got them out when he became Prime Minister. He added that when there will be affected British people in Cyprus, the UK government will compensate them. They will be protected from the Cypriot bank tax.

It has been a dilemma in Cyprus when the news about the levy on savings erupted. Nicos Anastasiades, the Cypriot President delayed the informal meeting with politicians because of the unrest that happened in the country after the news on levy broke out. It was reported that Cyprus was already the 5th country who asked the eurozone for support. The new agreement in the country aims to increase the corporation tax by 2.5%. The European parliament’s chair on economic and monetary affairs committee, Ms. Sharon Bowles said that the bailout seems to rob the small investors on the protection that were promised to them. She said that is Cyrus was a bank; it was already brought in court due to mis-selling.

Dropping the plan for minimum alcohol pricing

There is a huge possibility that the plan for minimum alcohol pricing will be dropped because the support towards the proposal has not been firm. It was reported that the Conservative ministers were not one in support of the proposal. The Prime Minister has been supporting the said minimum alcohol pricing proposal. The UK government also consulted the price for a unit of alcohol to 45p. It just so happened that there cabinet ministers who did not agree about the plan.

The government has been arguing about the plan of introducing the new price per unit because it was reported that if the said minimum price would take place, it can lower the levels of crimes that is related to alcohol drinking. It was also said to improve one’s health when they wouldn’t be drinking too much alcohol.The UK government has considered many steps in making it possible for consumers not to have too much intake of alcoholic beverages. It considers the ban of promotions on alcoholic drinks like having the offer of buying two units for the price of one.

Since the government has introduced the minimum alcohol price to 45p per unit, most of the health campaigners wanted the price to be higher. They have proposed a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol. A consultation will be made and all the suggestions will be considered during the 10-week consultation regarding the proposal. In England and in Wales 45p per unit was introduced and in Scotland, there will be plans of introducing the 50p per unit.

Big Loss for Lloyds as bill for PPI claims increased to £6.8 Billion

Lloyds Banking group is one of the biggest banking groups in the United Kingdom. It was known to many that the bank has suffered a lot from the Payment Protection Insurance compensation claims (PPI Claims). The current PPI scandal that the bank is facing has forced the bank to allot £3.6 Billion intended for PPI compensation payouts to the banks customers. The bank is known to be providing a lot of financial services in the UK. Lloyds is already expecting an increase of £6.8 Billion from the PPI claims alone. Big sum of amount was used by the bank to compensate the customers who were victims of mis-selling; this includes the £400million for compensation payments given to victims due to an interest rate mis-selling to small business.

As for the trading, the banks’ sales decreased by 3.76 percent and the decreased were coming from the bank’s biggest problem on compensation claims. The huge percentage of the bank’s loss was largely affected by the PPI claims scandal. Up until now the bank is on red alert, trying to figure out how to solve the ongoing issue of PPI mis-selling and compensation claims.

Meanwhile, amidst the problem the bank was facing, their CEO, Antonio Horta Osorio has earned an award amounting to a £1.5million shares bonus even if the bank’s profit fell drastically. Even the employees of the bank will earn their bonus of £3,900, although it was reported that the bonuses has dropped by 3% since 2011. Having continuous problem with PPI compensation claims, the bank still has improvements in some of its business. The bank has developed lending to small business and was able to help a number of fifty-five customers to own a home.