Plans to axe legal aid for clinical negligence claims will make it harder to sue, say claimants’ lawyers

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 11 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2985
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Government plans to axe legal aid for clinical negligence claims in England and Wales and end the NHS’s responsibility to pay patients’ lawyers’ success fees will drastically curtail the ability of injured patients to sue for negligence, claimants’ lawyers have told MPs.

At present, lawyers taking cases against the NHS on a no win no fee basis can claim an additional success fee of up to 100% of their normal fees—giving them double fees—if they win a case. Both their usual fees and the success fee are payable by the NHS.

Under the plans, drawn up by Appeal Court …

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