SCIL 2019: A meeting of minds

8th April 2019

Fran Clothier, DAS UK Group’s ATE Business Partnership Manager, shares her thoughts on the thought provoking annual SCIL (Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers) conference which took place in Birmingham recently.

Now that I’ve just about caught my breath after a busy week, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on my first SCIL event – at which we were exhibiting – and share some of my takeaways from the day.

Firstly, after spending the last 15 years in an ATE operational role I’d not attended an event like this before and it was a real eye-opener, offering invaluable insight into the clinical negligence industry as a whole, while giving voice to a wide range of different opinions.

The first speakers of the day weren’t from inside the industry in traditional terms, but brought unique insights from a client perspective. Tom and Nicola Ray took the stage to talk about their personal experience with Sepsis and among other things discussed what the ‘red flags’ are for early detection. This was a hugely impactful session and many delegates came away visibly moved by it. After a conversation with Tom and Nicola I learnt they have written a book about their experiences called ‘Starfish’ which I have already purchased.

One of the main topics of conversation was of course Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) and the challenges that have been put forward by SCIL and AvMA. Worryingly for the industry, even without FRC the introduction of proportionality has already meant that many practitioners struggle to run a case under £100,000 in value to conclusion.

Obviously these claimants will not cease to exist but their access to justice is now seriously under threat, leaving some no choice but to fight their own case, at their own financial risk.

Regulatory challenges were also to the forefront with the imminent introduction of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations. It’s clear that our partner firms will have a lot to consider in governance terms and it’s important that as insurers we understand their pressures not only from a case handling point of view, but also a business perspective.

In all I found the conference really interesting and enjoyable; as well as the delegates it was so useful to meet all the other exhibitors and chat with them about their challenges and successes.

It seems to me to be an important forum that brings the industry together, giving us all opportunities to network and discuss the market. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

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