The fatal flaw of Claims Direct

Claims Direct's commercial director did not mention the the most contentious part of his firm's service – the reason why many personal injury specialists consider the scheme inappropriate (The Lawyer 6 October).

He refers to the client paying 30 per cent plus tax if compensation is recovered. In fact that is only paid if compensation is obtained without court proceedings. If court proceedings are issued – and Claims Direct is the sole arbiter of whether that occurs – no compensation is payable. An excellent result for the client, but this puts substantial pressure on lawyers to settle without recourse to proceedings.

In Nirvana it would be possible to settle all claims through insurance company goodwill, but in the real world proceedings are often necessary to win appropriate compensation.

Mark Harvey, Smith Llewelyn Partnership, Swansea