Lawyers start personal injury consultancy for group actions

TWO Liverpool lawyers are setting up a personal injury consultancy to bypass the “clubbiness” of multi-party action steering committees.

The joint venture between Graham Ross and Keith Park, of Merseyside firm J Keith Park & Co, aims to research and investigate new avenues for group actions.

Work will then be referred to a national network of member law firms to be called the Allied Lawyers Response Team (Alert).

Ross, who heads the consultancy, says 10 firms have so far expressed interest and are taking part in a trial launch.

The consultancy aims to break away from the system of ad hoc steering committees set up to co-ordinate group actions. Ross says that such groups have led to duplication of work.

“The network will provide a way for firms to get into what is very much a closed shop. It is a bit too clubby at the moment,” he says.

The relationship between the lead firm and other solicitors involved will also be turned on its head. Ross is currently negotiating indemnity cover for the consultancy which will take on liability for work carried out by members.

“Conditional fees come into force soon which is all the more reason to work in pre-set teams and to be guided by expertise,” says Ross.