On 15 October 2010, the government published Lord Young's report entitled "Common Sense, Common Safety" following his review of health and safety laws and the so-called "compensation culture". The report is aimed at reducing the regulatory burdens of complying with health and safety legislation. Commenting that businesses operate their health and safety policies in a climate of fear, it states that the advent of "no win, no fee" claims and widespread advertising by claims management companies have fuelled the perception of a nationwide compensation culture.
Lord Young fully endorses the recommendations in Lord Justice Jackson's report on civil litigation costs, in particular the end to recoverability of conditional fee agreement (CFA) success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance premiums. The report "warmly welcomes" the anticipated Ministry of Justice consultation into the implementation of Lord Justice Jackson's proposals (reported in our e-bulletin of 27 July), which is due to be published in November.
In addition to implementing Lord Justice Jackson's recommendations, Lord Young makes a number of other recommendations aimed at combating the compensation culture, including: controlling advertising by claims management companies and personal injury lawyers; clarifying that people will not be held liable for the consequences of well-intentioned voluntary acts; and introducing a simplified claims procedure for personal injury claims (and possibly low value clinical negligence claims) along the lines of the newly introduced fixed costs scheme for low value road traffic accident claims. For more detail on Lord Young's other recommendations see our health and safety e-bulletin dated 15 October 2010.