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Since its introduction over a year ago, the professional negligence protocol has undoubtedly encouraged the full investigation of claims prior to commencement of litigation and litigation has been avoided in some cases as a result. But there is little evidence of settlements being concluded more quickly or cost-effectively than if litigation had been allowed to take its course. Where litigation follows anyway, the protocol will probably have added substantially to the overall time and cost required to resolve the claim. A faster investigation of the claim under the protocol, or a streamlined litigation process, and preferably both, might improve things.

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