In 1998, a decision was made that was seen as very controversial at the time – to abolish the right to legal aid in personal injury law cases. This eventually came into effect in 2000. The main reason this cut-off was deemed necessary was because an average of 700,000 claimants a year in this area of law alone meant that the cost to the public purse was soaring out of control.
Bureaucracy seemed to have a role to play in this abolition too, with many successful claimants finding that once they had covered the statutory payments that were required to settle all costs, there was very little in the way of compensation left for them. It would seem that the claimant was getting a far better deal if they lost, as in these circumstances legal aid would cover all applicable costs. Moreover, this scheme was seen as being completely inflexible.