CHO Meeting with Ministry of Justice Summary
As part of The CHO’s wider strategy of constructive engagement with external stakeholders, Chair Lucy Woods and CEO Peter Gomes met MoJ officials yesterday afternoon (24 June).
The MoJ was represented by Scott Tubbritt, senior policy adviser, and Rachel Powell, whiplash reform lead, in the Civil Justice section. Rachel replaced Ian Henderson in February and has come to the MoJ from the Department of International Trade. Scott reports to Rachel.
The virtual meeting was constructive and friendly. The key points arising were:
The MoJ intends to take another look at Part II of the Whiplash Consultation over the next couple of months but both Scott & Rachel were at pains to say that did not mean that Part II will necessarily be taken in respect of credit hire. If it does, there may well be another call for evidence required as they acknowledge that information gathered at the start of the Whiplash Reforms process and in the CMA review of 2014 is now well out of date.
It was agreed that it was too early to tell, beyond anecdotal evidence, how the OIC portal is performing, both for credit hire & other heads of claim. The MoJ nevertheless continue to monitor the OIC closely and would welcome input from The CHO and its members as appropriate.
The MoJ was briefed on the GTA and similar bi-lateral protocols. Feedback from Scott was that the GTA was perceived as a ‘good thing,’ but he noted that as a voluntary agreement it did not apply across the whole industry. That said, the MoJ is sensitive to Competition Law ramifications of any alternatives such as some form of regulation.
We talked Rachel through credit hire more generally and making the point that the credit hire at almost 40 years old is a mature sector in the form of a professional industry, with an excellent track record of providing mobility to non-fault RTA victims. Our members which include the major providers in the sector, are well governed, in many cases are already regulated by the FCA and have constructive relationships with insurer partners with no interest in fighting battles.
We have agreed to meet again in mid-September.
It is good news that we have established communications with the MoJ again post pandemic, and it is clear that the MoJ is keen to engage with us. We are due to meet the ABI next week, and will update members following that meeting also.