Medical Reporting Organisation Agreement, 2012
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In May 2006 Colman Coyle, instructed by Mobile Doctors Limited and the Association of Medical Reporting Organisations ("AMRO") succeeded in the important Appeal in Woollard v Fowler  EWHC 90051 (Costs) which established the right of successful claimants to recover fees paid to Medical Reporting Organisations ("MRO's") in successful road traffic accident cases.
The unsuccessful insurer defendants obtained permission to Appeal to the Court of Appeal but prior to the hearing an industry wide mediation under the auspices of the Civil Mediation Council took place with Beachcroft LLP representing a large number of the liability insurers and Colman Coyle representing the MRO's.
The parties were able to reach agreement which was then embodied into the first MRO Agreement which was prepared initially on the basis that it would last for a one year period as, at that stage, it was anticipated that the terms would eventually be incorporated into the Rules of Court.
In each subsequent year a new Agreement has been entered into by the parties because the anticipated rule changes had not been implemented.
The Agreements have worked well in practice, so much so that, following Lord Justice Jackson's report it seems clear that, at least at present, the view is that there is no need for the rules to be changed.
In the light of this both sides have agreed that rather than incur the expense and inconvenience of an annual renewal, the 2012 Agreement will, for the first time, be a "rolling" Agreement. This means that all parties will be bound by the Agreement indefinitely unless and until they give the required notice to withdraw as provided in the Agreement.
This has also led to a number of other changes some of which are quite minor.
Perhaps the most important change is the establishment of a "Fees Committees" where representatives of both the Compensators and the MRO's will meet regularly to review fees.
The first such meeting took place at the end of 2011 and has led to the first increase in fees since the established of the first MRO Agreement.
The success of the MRO Agreements is evidenced by the rare occurrence of disputes over MRO fees and a large number of Compensators and MRO's who have voluntarily chosen to become parties.
It is hoped and anticipated that the 2012 Agreement drafted jointly by DAC Beachcroft LLP and Colman Coyle LLP, will continue and improve upon the earlier success.