In a previous post, Partner Justin Houlihan highlighted the insidious practice of "claim farming" by some unscrupulous personal injury lawyers in Queensland.
Claim farming is a process by which a third party cold-calls a potential client to encourage them to make a compensation claim and the sell these claims to law firms.
Since that post, the ABC has alleged that a high profile, national compensation firm had been paying a marketing firm $1,290 for each new claim recruited for personal injury compensation claims.
The Queensland Law Society (QLS) has made it very clear to legal practitioners in this State that such practices may well result in a breach of a lawyer's ethical obligations. The QLS has previously suggested that the law be amended so that as part of the litigation process, personal injury lawyers must sign a statutory declaration that a claim did not stem from a claims farmer.
It was pleasing to hear today that the government will legislate to stamp out claim farming in Queensland.
At Rees R & Sydney Jones, we pride ourselves on the fact that most of our injury claim referrals come from existing clients who value the integrity and skill of our lawyers. We hope that the practice of "claim farming" is eradicated as soon as possible so that the reputation of ethical lawyers is not tarnished by a few rotten apples in our profession.