Solicitors’ fees were negotiated as part of the original Claims Handling Agreement between the Department and the group representing claimants' solicitors. These are court based schemes and the Department was obliged to negotiate all elements including solicitors’ involvement and associated costs. At the time, it was felt that the fees reflected fairly the cost of the provision of legal advice to claimants.
The Department negotiated a reduction of legal costs of 16.66 per cent. for claims represented by UDM/Vendside, compared to the group representing claimants’ solicitors.