The extensive materials that Thompsons, the UK's biggest personal injury law firm, has handed over to the researchers appointed by the Civil Justice Council to look into fixed costs debunk the myth that costs are rising and show that they have in fact been falling year on year.

The figures also show that the percentage of cases that settle pre issue has substantially increased over the same 5-year period.

Thompsons case management partner Rachel Sarfas today said:

"Our statistics, extracted after going into detail on our case holding, nail the insurance industry's over pedaled myth that costs are out of control.  The statistics we have handed over to assist the researchers show average costs recovery per case is actually falling.  In real terms our average costs recovery (based upon the hourly rates fixed by the courts) is 80% of what it was in 1997.

"The only explanation for the fall in costs recovery is more cases settling pre issue, something the Civil Justice Review aimed to achieve.  The figures we have handed over show that there are now less Thompsons' cases 'clogging up the courts'. Today 77% of our cases conclude pre issue as compared to 53% in 1997."