Further Delay to LiP Portal

The Justice Secretary, the Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP, has published a ministerial statement this afternoon advising that the LiP Portal, the flagship part of the government’s personal injury reform programme, has been delayed again, this time until April 2021. The statement was widely expected and follows concerns raised by all sides of the industry that the Covid-19 pandemic meant it would be impossible for businesses to prepare adequately for the launch of the portal in August, notwithstanding the long list of outstanding portal issues the government needed to resolve.

The move has been welcomed by claims industry representatives. The CHO also welcomes the delay. It has raised with ministers and officials numerous concerns about the operation of the portal in respect of credit hire, and it is hoped that the new delay will enable these concerns to be properly addressed, leading to satisfactory outcomes for consumers.

A copy of the statement is here:

Robert Buckland, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State forJustice

I would like to provide an update on next steps for the Whiplash Reform Programme.

The Government remains firmly committed to implementing these measures which are intended to control the number and cost of whiplash claims. Under the Programme, we will increase the small claims track limit for road traffic accident related personal injury claims to £5,000; as well as introduce a fixed tariff of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for whiplash injuries, and a ban on the making or accepting of offers to settle a whiplash claim without a medical report.

The Government indicated on 27 February 2020 that after careful consideration it had decided to implement the whiplash reforms in August 2020. However, it is apparent that the current Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the medical, legal and insurance sectors. While the whiplash reform measures remain important, the Government is committed to acting to ease the disruption and pressures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak where it can.

As a result, the Government has considered representations from key stakeholder groups and agrees that now is not the time to press ahead with significant transformational change to the personal injury sector.

We have therefore decided to delay the implementation of the whiplash reform programme to April 2021. This will enable key sectors of this country’s business to focus their energies on delivering their response to Covid-19, and will allow the Government to focus on delivering key services in the justice area during this difficult time.

The Government will continue to monitor developments in relation to the current pandemic and will, if necessary, make further announcements in regard to the implementation of these important reforms.