Car vs Cyclist: Apportionment of liabilty by Sophie Mortimer

Fenella Sinclair (A protected person by her litigation friend & daughter) v Rachel Joyner [2015] EWHC 1800 (QB). The Claimant was cycling along a rural road. She was in the middle  of the road, standing on her pedals. She was not wearing a helmet. The Defendant was driving her car along the same road in the opposite direction. She had just come around a bend when she saw the Claimant. She... [Continue Reading]

Expert evidence in road traffic cases by Ian Miller

Is the evidence of an expert in cycling safety reasonably required in a personal injury claim arising out of an accident which the claimant alleges was caused by the highway authority’s breach of duty (in respect of maintenance, layout etc)? At a Case Management conference in the case of Allen v Cornwall Council [2015] EWHC 1461 the District Judge gave the claimant permission to re... [Continue Reading]

Guidance as to Litigants-in-Person, a sign of the times? by Thomas Crockett

The Bar Council, Law Society and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives has produced some joint guidance for lawyers in how to conduct themselves towards a litigant-in-person. The Guide (available at http://bit.ly/1IkTPig) remind practitioners of their professional obligations and that the growing rise in unrepresented parties should be regarded as a sign of the times, rather than a sign of there... [Continue Reading]

Have we started yet? Commencement of contested hearing and CFA uplifts by Thomas Crockett

When a trial begins is of obvious import to any litigant where one or more party is funded by a conditional fee agreement which provides for an uplift per CPR 45.16 and 45.17. Mrs Justice Slade in a recent appeal from Master Campbell held that a contested hearing on the issue of liability had yet to commence before a subsequent settlement.   The facts of James v Ireland [2015] EWHC 1... [Continue Reading]

Direct actions against foreign insurers in PI claims: the sting in the tail by Jack Harding

Barristers and solicitors practising in the field of personal injury litigation arising from accidents abroad have, for some time, been comforted by the fact that - at least as far as EU member states are concerned - it is relatively easy to idenitfy a direct cause of action (under the relevant local law) against the tortious party's insurer, thereby permitting a claim to be brought in the Courts ... [Continue Reading]

Relief from Sanctions / Strike Out - Is it "worth a go"? by Thomas Crockett

Last week the Commercial Court dealt out a salutary warning to Parties whom are seen to opportunistically attempt to take advantages of defaults by their opponents.   Mr Justice Popplewell in the case of Viridor Waste Management Ltd v Veolia ES Ltd (unreported, QBD (Comm) 22 May 2015) awarded a claimant its costs assessed on the indemnity basis in circumstances where it was held that the... [Continue Reading]

More Political Uncertainty for PI Litigators by Ben Hicks

Ian Miller’s recent post looking at of what party manifestos might tell us about the way ahead for personal injury lawyers identified a large number of potentially significant and yet radically differing changes ahead. Which actually lay in store for us was, of course, going to be dependent upon which way we voted – and upon which post-election alliances were formed and the compromises... [Continue Reading]

Changes to the Spanish Baremo System by Matthew Chapman

English lawyers familiar with the ECJ decision in Odenbreit and the inroads made into English law by the Rome II Regulation are also likely to have at least a passing acquaintance with the Spanish Baremo Rating System for the Assessment of Damages in personal injury claims. The system applies compulsorily in a road traffic accident context, but is characteristically applied (by analogy) by Spanish... [Continue Reading]

Costs Budgeting: reforms on their way… by Ian Miller

Jackson L.J. delivered a speech on costs budgeting on Wednesday. For many of us engaged in CCMCs who encounter inconsistency, courts overwhelmed by the volume of hearings, unnecessary costs incurred and often the thinly disguised frustration of judges with the process, his conclusion that ‘costs management works’, may come as a surprise. His proposals for reform, including fixed costs ... [Continue Reading]

Insurers’ proposals for further reform to the PI sector by Ian Miller

The Association of British Insurers' website recently set out its top 10 insurance and savings priorities for the next parliamentary session. The most striking of these for personal injury lawyers is the proposal for “Modernising the civil justice system to get compensation to claimants rather than lawyers.” The ABI fleshes this out by suggesting increasing the small claims track limit... [Continue Reading]

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