NHS legal costs skyrocket

July 20, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

Over 270 million pounds is spent by the NHS every year to defend personal injury and negligence claims as legal bills

The bill for compensation is around twice this enormous spend on legal teams, coming in at more than 500 million.

However, even though the figures are eye-watering allegations persist that no win, no fee lawyers frequently get the lion’s share when it comes to payouts, rather than injured clients or their families.

One such case gives a vivid illustration. The family of a patient who died as a result of an infection while receiving treatment for cancer received 2,000 in damages. However, their solicitors were paid 61,268, and the cost to the NHS to defend the claim was 31,541 making a grand total of 92,809 in legal fees,

In one case a family received 2,000 after their relative died during cancer treatment from an infection. Giving a stark example of the claims of exaggerated legal fees, however, the families successful solicitors were paid 61,268 and it cost the NHS 31,541 to defend the claim, which is 92,809 legal, all in.

Another case saw lawyers submit a bill to the NHS for 208,636 after they secured a client’s family a total of 5,000 compensation. The defence costs were 32,700. Although the winning solicitors later negotiated their whopping fee down to 145,000, this still represents nearly 36 times the amount of compensation spent on the legal fees.

In another repugnant result, winning lawyers billed 208,686 (although they must have been shame-faced about it because they later negotiated it down to 145,000). They had won just 5,000 in compensation for their client. The defence costs were 32,700 leaving the NHS to foot a total bill of 177,700 – shockingly about 36 times the damages awarded.

Steve Barclay, Conservative MP scowled: “Lawyers… have an incentive to increase the length of cases to push up costs.”

There have been claims from the Ministry of Justice that the Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act will next year put something of a cap on outlandish success fees when it reforms no win, no fee arrangements.

Mediation of potential court actions produces successful results on average in nearly 90% of cases.

If you have ever been involved in a legal dispute, you will understand how quickly the costs can spiral out of control and before you know it, you’re deciding whether to continue the case based on what its going to cost you to continue rather than whether you actually have a legitimate argument or not. With mediation a solution could have been found much faster. If you need legal help, you may now consider direct access Barrister as your first port of call. If you contact Barrister Direct, you will find Barristers most professional, very helpful, and extremely knowledgable in your desired area of expertise. They will guide you through the process of sorting out your legal issue, and finding a resolution.

For further information or If employers are in any doubt, or need advice to implement or overhaul their staff handbook then employment law experts are available to help at Barrister Direct which also offers a direct access barrister service.