Forum shopping and cost shifting hot topics at Scottish Liability Conference



Lesley Allan

After almost a decade of constant change, the evolution of the Scottish liability claims landscape shows no signs of slowing down, according to Clyde & Co’s annual Scottish Liability Conference in Glasgow.

The conference explored liability issues affecting UK insurers and their insureds. Chaired by partner Lesley Allan, the event attracted over 100 delegates from a range of organisations across the insurance, personal injury and risk sectors.

Change was a key theme this conference as each speaker explored the future of Scottish claims commenting on issues affecting volume claims, casualty, regulatory, disease, and property & liability.

From the accelerated growth of AI and technology in improving claims-handling efficiency, to the impact of past and anticipated reforms, the conference considered what the future holds in store.

Guest speaker Alastair Ross, assistant director of Association of British Insurers (ABI) reflected on the incredibly busy past decade of civil justice reforms affecting personal injury law.

Looking ahead, he also identified risks associated with future reform - from the potential of forum shopping due to differing discount rates north and south of the border, to how the introduction of Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS) could impact defenders.

Mr Ross predicts that QOCS could lead to a spike in claims prompting questions of how to maintain the balance between increasing access to justice and having a fair system for defenders.

Ms Allan said: “This year’s conference highlighted that the changing landscape in which we and our clients operate is unlikely to become static in the foreseeable future. As developments in technology accelerate, and we respond to past and future reforms, as legal advisors we must continue to adapt and prepare to provide the best service for our clients.”

For more information on some of the significant reforms impacting civil justice delivery in Scotland, specifically the discount rate and the introduction of QOCS, see this video interview with Alastair Ross and Clyde & Co partner Gordon Keyden.