The personal injury landscape has transformed dramatically since APIL began in 1990. Speaking in this month's PI Focus David Marshall, Managing Partner at Anthony Gold and former president of APIL says, "There have been some measurable changes which APIL has played its part in bringing about. In the early 1990s - well before the Woolf reforms - litigation was much more adversarial.
"There weren’t even many witness statements. You could go to trial and have surveillance people giving evidence that you knew nothing about. But now, it is about cards on the table, and getting matters sorted quickly - which have always been APIL priorities."
Marshall points out that APIL helped to write the first PI pre-action protocol in 1999, leading to parties putting their cases forward early on, which encouraged settlement. It also influenced the introduction of periodical payments in 2005 - crucially ensuring that these were linked to a weighted index, which has made a big financial difference to claimants. APIL has helped to shape PI case law, too - intervening in significant cases such as Callery v Gray  EWCA Civ 1117 on success fees. Marshall, who was involved in the Callery intervention, recalls that "We got the system working again where it had become a log jam, because the insurers were more or less going on strike."
Marshall acknowledges that there is still much to be achieved - and APIL is still fighting long-running battles on issues such as bereavement damages and psychiatric harm. But he believes claimant lawyers should not be too glum about the future. "If you think about it, we are in a much better position than we were 25 years ago,’ the solicitor reflects. ‘We have better remedies, and better lawyers. There is no reason to suppose that that is going to be any different going forward."
You can read the full article in PI Focus, April 2015.