Press & News

15th February 2011

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VAT Tribunal Barrett, Goff and Tomlinson & The Commissioners for HMRC & The Law Society

27th January 2011

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VAT victory on personal injury medical reports

27th January 2011

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A soft tissue of lies?

6th December 2010

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Join AJAG to positively influence government policy

6th December 2010

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RTA Portal Co Ltd Directors appointed - 29 November 2010

8th November 2010

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Upheaval for PI lawyers as MoJ confirms claims process extension; Jackson imminent

3rd November 2010

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New warning about telephone scams

6th December 2010

RTA Portal Co Ltd Directors appointed - 29 November 2010

Several leading experts from across the legal and insurance sectors have been appointed as directors with responsibility for the ongoing management and development of the new RTA Portal.

The RTA Portal is used by motor insurers/compensators and claimant legal representatives so that claims information, such as medical reports, can be exchanged in a secure way and also ensures that faster agreement on liability and settlement of claims is achieved as set out in the new RTA Low Value PI process.

The Portal’s users are also being prepared for a series of system enhancements scheduled for roll out in March. The changes to the online exchange have been prioritised based on feedback and are aimed at improving some functionality aspects so that fewer tasks need to be entered manually, while others will require essential changes to software.

Tim Wallis, appointed as independent Chairman of the RTA Portal Co Ltd, commented: “The RTA Portal supports the secure sharing of information relating to claims that fall under the MoJ’s new process. The system has been available since April this year and we’ve been talking to the different types of users to make sure that the next enhancements to the RTA Portal are suited to their needs.

“By virtue of the range of interests represented by the directors, the users of the RTA Portal can be satisfied that their ongoing needs are being met and most importantly, so too are those individuals making claims in this category.”

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) introduced the new process in April 2010 for RTA PI claims valued between £1,000 and £10,000. To support the new approach, representatives from insurers, unions and claimant lawyers have been cooperating to establish and manage the development of a secure environment which allows claims information to be exchanged between key parties.

Background to RTA Portal Company

The RTA Portal Co Ltd is responsible for the management of the settlement portal – RaPID – and is aimed at supporting users through the new Road Traffic Act (RTA) PI Claims Process established in April 2010 by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The process aims to enable faster agreement on liability and payment of low cost RTA injury claims (between £1,000 - £10,000).

Guided by an independent chairman, a group of representatives from the Law Society, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and insurers are managing and developing this system for the secure transmission of claims information.

Insurers previously had between 90 days to accept or deny liability for such personal injury claims. The new MoJ rules reduce this timeframe to 15 business days for insurers and 30 working days for the MIB. It is likely that 500,000 claims per annum will be processed via the new system.

Director Biographies

Independent Chairman for RTA Portal Company

Tim Wallis is a full time, independent mediator. A director of Expedite Resolution Limited and Trust Mediation Limited, he mediates commercial, insurance and personal injury claims for these and several other organisations. He is a founder member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC) and chairs its Dispute Resolution Committee. Having regularly assisted the CJC and, more recently, the Ministry of Justice in mediating and facilitating litigation costs negotiations he has become established as an accepted neutral in the insurance industry/personal injury sector. Sweet & Maxwell retain him as a contributor to the ADR sections of "The White Book" and "The Litigation Practice".

Directors for RTA Portal Company

David Bott is the Vice President for APIL and Managing Partner of Bott & Company. Graham Gibson is Director of Claims at Allianz with responsibility for technical integrity and service delivery. He is a member of the UK Management Board. Prior to this he held a number of senior management positions in the industry, most recently as Claims Director for Groupama. Graham represents Allianz in a number of market initiatives and is currently a member of the Civil Justice Council, the ABI High Level Working Group (HLG) and the Chartered Insurance Institute’s, Claims Faculty Advisory Board to where he advises on their strategy and direction.

Richard Harris joined Ageas, formerly known as Fortis – the UK’s third largest private car insurer – in April 2006 and is Head of Operations, responsible for a key part of Ageas’s award winning claims division. With more than 25 years experience within the insurance market, Richard is responsible for all aspects of motor claims handled out of Ageas’s Eastleigh and Gloucester sites. He is also responsible for the setting up and delivery of the claims handling process for Ageas’s new insurance partnership with Tesco Bank, the largest affinity partnership of its kind in the UK insurance market.

Tony Sherman is Finance Director at MIB and has held financial management roles in the insurance sector for more than 20 years. Tony is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

John Spencer is a respected solicitor in the field of personal injury law. John has exceptional relationship management skills, has forged good business partnerships and held key positions within the Industry. John is presently the Motor Accident Solicitors Society’s (MASS) Chairman. John has been a member of APIL since 1995 and a Fellow since April 2006. John has had high level involvement in Government policy development and was co-opted onto the Civil Procedure Rules sub-committee. He has participated in stakeholder meetings and is a regular invitee to the Civil Justice Council (CJC) meetings.

John Usher is a solicitor, who works primarily as a trade union legal consultant and labour law lecturer. He is a member of the Civil Justice Council and has a keen interest in collective fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as access to justice. He is a member of the Ministry of Justice's Advisory Committee on Civil Costs. John has been involved in the initiative to develop changes in the civil justice system resulting in the lower value RTA claims process. He is also an accredited mediator, a member of the Advisory Committee of Trust Mediation and a member of the Civil Mediation Council.

Martin Ward is a Project Manager in the Chief Operating Office of RBS Insurance. With 20 years experience in financial/ insurance services, he leads strategic change and major technology projects within RBS Insurance and is responsible for operational, transformation and technology projects. Martin is a member of the Association of Project Managers.

Fraser Whitehead is a senior litigation partner at the law firm Russell Jones and Walker. He is and Head of the firms Parliamentary and Legal affairs Department and Head of its Trade Union Services Group. He is Chair of the Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Section, a member of the Law Society’s Council and its Legal Affairs and Policy Board and Civil Litigation Committee. He chairs the Society’s Costs and Funding working party. He is also Chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers and past Chair of Trustees of the Child Accident Prevention Trust. He is a member of the Advisory Council of Unions 21, a committee member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, a founder member of APIL and sat as member of the Blackwall Committee appointed by the Lord Chancellor to report on the role of claims management companies in Personal Injury and Employment claims handling. He is a member of the Ministry of Justice Advisory Committee on Civil Costs.