Cap to control legal costs in clinical negligence claims is important first step - DDU

The government is capping disproportionate legal costs in lower value clinical negligence cases.

The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has welcomed the announcement by the government that it is to cap legal costs in lower value clinical negligence cases. The leading not for profit indemnifier says this is likely to make some impact on disproportionate legal costs.

John Makin, head of the DDU, said:

"We welcome that the government has finally responded to this much anticipated consultation, however, this development should only ever be seen as the start.

"The DDU has always believed that for this scheme to have a meaningful impact on rising clinical negligence costs, it should be far more ambitious. Rather than just applying to claims up to £25,000, it should include claims up to £250,000.

"However, this is an important first step given that disproportionate legal costs are one of several defects in the current litigation system and affect lower value claims.

"In DDU cases, during 2022 the average sum paid in claimants' legal costs on dental claims settled for up to £10,000 was over £12,300, while for claims settled between £10,000 and £25,000, the average was around £21,000. It cannot be right for legal costs paid to claimants' lawyers to regularly exceed the damages paid to claimants."

This page was correct at publication on 18/09/2023. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.