… while Notts Law School studies the ethical implications

NOTTINGHAM Law School is studying how the funding of civil litigation through insurance products and conditional fee arrangements is affecting legal ethics.

The study, to be published next month, will ask if the current ethical code underpinning the legal system will protect clients whose cases are being funded by the growing number of insurance-based products.

It will also look at the impact of the Government's plans to withdraw legal aid cover from personal injury cases.

Head of research, Peter Kunzlik, was reluctant to reveal details of the study. But he did say that it would ask how important it was for insurers developing new products and others in the legal marketplace, that the ethical framework was strong and clearly understood.

The research takes place amid concern at the impact of the Government's reform plans.

The Bar Council's long cherished cab rank rule has already had to be abandoned by the Bar for cases being funded by conditional fee agreements.

In April, Geoff Hoon, parliamentary secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, warned that the Government's reforms would need a new ethical code.