Ministers have consistently demanded that solicitors who have unfairly taken a proportion of miners’ compensation repay the money. However, the issue of solicitor conduct is a matter for the Law Society and I welcome the progress being made by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in investigating these cases. Once the detailed ruling of the SDT hearing into Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith is published, the Department will consider the issue further. The Ministry of Justice has helped to coordinate action to address this abuse and has taken action to ensure quicker redress of complaints in the future.
Both DECC and the Ministry of Justice continue to support the Legal Complaints Service in their programme to highlight the issue with coal health compensation claimants and Ministers will be meeting the Legal Complaints Service and the Solicitor Regulation Authority in March to review their progress on this important issue.
The medical test centres used under the coal health compensation schemes are shown in the following lists.
the total medical costs for chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are £404.64 million; and for vibration white finger are £34.95 million as at December 2008. We are unable to breakdown these figures by medical test centres.
Coal health claims—medical assessments centres
COPD—medical assessment locations
COPD—mobile test centres
Bury St. Edmunds;
Isle of Wight;
VWF—medical assessment locations
From April 1999 to October 2008, the Department and its predecessors spent £28.7 million + VAT in relation to Nabarro's fees across all mining-related industrial disease claims. But note this excludes all Counsel costs, expert fees, cost draftsman's fees and foreign lawyer's fees.