New PI firm to eschew referral fees ahead of Government ban

A new personal injury law firm that will shun referral fees has been launched in the wake of the Government’s plan to ban the controversial payments.

Acorn Law has pledged not to pay referral fees to secure work or to charge referral fees to business it refers to and will instead market itself directly to the public.

The firm claims it is the first to launch in response to the Ministry of Justice’s decision in September 2011 (9 September 2011) to ban referral fees in personal injury cases, which is expected to come into force next year.

Acorn Law was set up in September under the leadership of chief executive David Green, who is also managing partner of national firm MTA Solicitors. The new venture will share central resources like marketing with MTA Solicitors, but will operate as an independent entity and will be funded by its own partners.

The firm has eight solicitors and four partners, all of whom have been drafted in from MTA Solicitors.

Acorn Law is also recruiting an advisory panel of former personal injury claimants who will meet with senior members of Acorn twice a year to help create a process in line with clients needs. Green added that the firm also hopes to have a medic, solicitor and a journalist on the panel, whose first task will be to draft a client charter.

“Personal injury’s a massive market and there’s space for a lot of people,” said Green. “Also, as the market changes, firms are going to withdraw from the market leaving even more space behind.

“Lawyers have always been able to market themselves but because they were caught in the referral fee game didn’t have the resources.”

As well as personal injury law, Acorn Law will also provide advice in a number of other sectors, including employment law, wills and probate, debt recovery and general litigation.