Current views on the Reforms MIB, MOJ, the Industry and Carpenters Group

Source: Carpenters Group

ABI Conference – Civil Justice Reform

29th January 2020

The MIB and the MOJ provided updates on the progress of the Whiplash Reforms at this week’s ABI, Civil Justice Reform Conference.

View from the MIB

Dominic Clayden (CEO of the MIB) was clear that, as far as the system is concerned, the MIB will be ready to go live on 6thApril.  They are currently working on sprint 17 of 17, and some “tightening” of the system.  Consumer feedback has been excellent, and user testing has been positive.  Call centre staff have been recruited, and 85 law firms and 8 insurers have registered with the system.  Where decisions are awaited, assumptions have been “pencilled-in” to provide a working system.  There is time to update the system if awaited decisions differ from the assumptions.

View from the MOJ

David Parkin (Deputy Director for Civil Justice at the MOJ) was equally clear that Ministers are committed to implementation of the reforms.  The big question is whether the implementation date will be April 2020.  Mr Parkin told the conference that no decision has yet been made by Ministers as to whether the date current date would move, and accepted that there are outstanding issues:

  • The rules
  • Dispute resolution
  • Children
  • The Tariff

While the MOJ is committed to the Reforms, it is also committed to implementing a system that is fit for purpose.  No date has been set for any “go/delay” decision.  Unless and until a different decision is made, the assumption is that reforms will be introduced on 6th April.

View from the Industry

There appears to be widespread concern about the lack of available detail in relation to the new process. Systems are being built with gaps to be filled, and time is running short to re-structure and re-train handling teams. 

Concern was expressed about the possibility that some insurers would use the complexity of the new process to defeat claims. The MIB were clear that data on compensator behaviour would be available, and the MOJ’s view is that Regulators will take a keen interest in adverse behaviour.  

Carpenters’ Group View

We have real concern about the lack of readiness for an April launch.  

Moving dispute resolution from the current Portal to the court system goes against everything the new “simplified” process was intended to achieve. 

What the industry needs most is certainty; certainty about what the process will be, and certainty about when it will be introduced.  Rushing implementation in the current state of un-readiness can only be to the detriment of the consumer.

Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group


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