Published: 25 June 2018
Author: Ron Pearce
Stamp out claim farming now
An investigation by the ABC has revealed that some injury law firms – including it is alleged, Slater & Gordon – have been engaging in the unethical practice of what has been dubbed "claim farming".
Claim farming is a practice whereby a law firm pays an agency or an individual a fee for having referred an injured person to the firm as a client. In short, it is the practice of paying intermediaries for tracking down and harassing the families of people injured on the road or in the workplace in order to sign them up as clients, for which they are paid a referral fee.
This dubious practice fails to respect the privacy and dignity of the injured party. It is an odious intrusion into the private life of a person at a time when they are vulnerable and are susceptible to the persuasion and pressuring techniques of sales people who are not lawyers, are not governed by a professional oath to act in a client’s best interests, and who are only motivated by financial gain.
It is a parasitic practice that preys on the vulnerable. The law firms that pay third parties to engage in this practice are themselves predators.
The Australian Lawyers Alliance has called on the practice of claim farming to be made illegal. It is already illegal in several states.
We whole heartedly back the ALA’s position.
The practice not only comprises a client’s best interests, it is a blight on the legal profession.
It demands a swift legislative response from government.
Categories Personal Injury