Staggering Rise in Practice Abandonment figures

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has released a summary of performance measures and statistics to March 2011 showing an increased level of abandonment allegations having been received.  Abandonment of Practice reports are now at their highest level since 2008 with 94 reports being filed in Q1, a staggering 49 per cent increase, from 63 for Q4 2010.  With the current climate this is probably not surprising although I will be interested to see what effect Alternative Business Structures will have on these figures.
There are currently 2,226 claims currently under investigation with the SRA and whilst the total number of claims made on the compensation fund show a decrease in Q1 to 661, from 793, the total amount claimed has more than doubled from £18.2 million to £37.83 million.  The average claim amount for Q1 is £63,500.00, and the total paid out in claims in Q1 is £5.03 million.
The current value of open claims at the end of March stood at £183m, 12% higher than December and a staggering £88 million more than Q1 2010. This is due to an increase in the average claim amount.
Claims made in respect of mortgage fraud were down from 29 in Q4 2010 to just 9 for Q1 2011, a definite improvement but how much of that is due to stricter lending policies? 
Unredeemed mortgages accounted for only 2 of the claims in Q1, compared with 5 in both Q4 and Q3 2010.
In Q1 899 claims were closed, of which over half were with a payment, 52 per cent, and a total of £8.99 million has been paid out on claims that were closed in Q1, compared to £6.99 million in Q4 of 2010.
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