In brief: Med neg work to be restricted to franchisees

Only law firms with a legal aid franchise will be able to do medical negligence legal aid work from January 1999. When the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, originally announced his plans to restrict medical negligence work to specialist firms, it was believed firms on the two specialist medical negligence panels would qualify. But a Legal Aid Board spokesman told The Lawyer that from January only firms with a personal injury franchise will be able to do medical negligence work. That pool will be further reduced when a new medical negligence franchise scheme is up and running around six months later.