Will victory for 'leave' prove a defeat for freedom of choice?

I often speak to people who wish to claim on a legal expenses insurance policy to assist with the cost of instructing a solicitor, but who are being told by their insurer that they must use the insurer’s preferred ‘panel’ solicitor.

As things stand, this is not the case when it comes to litigation as a result of the European Legal Expenses Insurance Directive which states that the insured person has the right to choose their own lawyer in those situations.

Legal expenses insurers have repeatedly challenged this directive and tried to restrict the insured’s freedom of choice so as to save themselves costs.   However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has stood firm, and did so again in two further recent cases brought in the Netherlands.

Now that the country has voted to leave and the insurers are no longer held in check by the ECJ, it is possible that this important right to choose your own lawyer could be lost.  Hopefully this will not prove to be the case but, as with so many other things that remain uncertain following the leave vote, only time will tell.

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