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Legal Costs & Legal Services

What are the problems in the delivery of justice? Is the system the victim of widespread fraud? Or is the problem one of inadequate delivery of legal services by the system, to Plaintiffs? “Systemâ€? includes lawyers, legislators and courts.

Winterthur, the giant german insurance group has challenged some UK lawyers on their alleged inadequate handling of Plaintiff actions for personal injury.

90% of the claims were failing, causing loss to Winterthur as the legal costs insurer. Wintherthur has issued proceedings against the lawyers and has won the right (correctly) to inspect the full files, incliding medical reports, to make an audit of the handling or mis-handling of the claims.

The audit (of 3,000 files) has resulted in Winterthur deciding that most of the failing cases were valid and should have been pursued. In fact, the ratio of good to bad was the reverse of the ratio of success to failure of the lawyers.

Put another way, Wintherthur say, of the audited files, only 10% were not worth pursuing. Therefore, 90% of them were valid claims. Yet the lawyers were being successful only in 10% of cases, and were, effectively, failing in 90% of the cases.

Not only did Winterthur suffer, apparently, needless loss, so, of course, did the injured Plaintiffs.

In Ireland, what information does the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform have on the situation relating to unmet legal needs?

What efforts has he made to find out the facts on the question?

What is the effect of inadequate legal service on personal injury plaintiffs in Ireland?

Is it as bad as Winterthur appears to claim in the Winterthur case?