THE NETWORK of lawyers set up last week to develop multi-party personal injury claims is to complain to the BBC about the documentary screened on the day of its launch.
ALeRT – Allied Lawyers' Response Team – says it was misrepresented in the BBC2 Public Eye investigation 'If in doubt, sue'. Graham Ross, one of two Liverpool lawyers behind the group, says critics of the group's approach were given unfair prominence.
Ross also says that the programme was edited in such a way as to imply that his firm, the Ross Park Partnership, and, by association, ALeRT, encouraged clients to begin actions which were unlikely to succeed.
“It was a distortion of the truth,” he says. “We are not going to the public and saying 'give us instructions' or chasing people. We are researching projects before we are instructed, and only when we have gone so far and got counsel's opinion will we go ahead.
“This is frustrating for me because we have a very firm view about where we are going and a clear view that what we are doing is highly ethical.”
The documentary described the growth in litigation and quoted critics of the trend, including Lord Templeman, the retired law lord, and defence lawyer David McIntosh, of City firm, Davies Arnold Cooper.
McIntosh said: “There is more than a hint of the worst excesses of the American attitude towards litigation here.”
A BBC spokesman says: “When we get his complaint, we will consider it. Until then it is hard to comment.”