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There’s an argument to say that the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders ACT 2012 (LASPO) has been good for the legal expenses sector. After all, the cuts to legal aid, law centres and almost every other source of legal support, whether brought about directly by LASPO or merely part of the same drive to reduce government spending, have left very few legal options within reach for most families and SMEs.

Legal protection was once a ‘nice-to-have’ add-on for policyholders, but has become essential cover for most households, motorists and small businesses, and LASPO certainly played its part in making legal expenses insurance even more important to policyholders.

It’s now been ten years since the landmark legislation was implemented in 2013, but the succession of less-heralded changes to the justice system that have followed in LASPO’s wake have decimated the principle of access to justice in the UK.

It would be wrong to suggest that the past decade has been all plain sailing for legal expenses underwriters, however. Insurers typically depend upon a certain level of stability to thrive and the succession of legislative and procedural changes and numerous proposals since LASPO have created just as many challenges as opportunities.

Many underwriters have struggled, and several providers have withdrawn from the market over that decade, or failed even more dramatically, creating yet more disruption for brokers and their clients.

The After The Event (ATE) market has suffered as much as any, with repeated challenges in the courts adding to the hurdles insurers must overcome, simply to enable access to the civil justice system for those who often need it the most.

We recently hosted a successful roundtable discussion at the Law Society alongside the Law Society Gazette. Despite the diverse participation, representing both the claimant and defendant sides of the debate, there was remarkable consensus around the legacy that LASPO left, and the prospect of future reform.

You can see some of the highlights of what the participants had to say in this video and read more about the detail of the event in this article from the Law Society Gazette.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.