Neil Rose’s latest column in the Guardian illustrates the difficulty facing policymakers in curtailing the negative consequences of a system that is unpopular with the public while simultaneously being one of the only ways to fulfill our basic right of access to justice.
The proposals to ban ‘no-win-no-fee’ advertising are juxtaposed with Rose’s assessment of the bigger picture – something often lacking in media reportage. His point that claims management companies – those felt largely responsible for the advertising campaigns in question – are simply filling a gap left vacant by solicitors who would probably add this marketing cost into their own if it were up to them.
This fact then leads to issues of restrictions in trade and a further quandary for policymakers. Changes to the rules on who can own a law firm will be introduced next year under the Legal Services Act, with CMCs widely expected to be circling the very law firms on whose behalf they currently advertise. with £40m of revenue made from NWNF advertising each year, Rose asks whether David Cameron can comfortably remove this particular rug from under the feet of the very people for whom he used to work?
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