piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

"Professional" McKenzie Friends: LSB reaction to Consumer Panel's Recommendations

Those of us who are professional advocates reacted largely with horror when the Legal Service Consumer Panel called in April of this year for a “culture shift” in favour of recognising the rise in and increasing use of paid McKenzie Friends in our courts by extending regulation to them. Quite why this quango exists in the first place may well be a mystery to some (as it is to the write... [More]

The ever-ageing 13-Year-Old Compensation Discount Rate

There has been a further delay to the much-anticipated and important decision on the discount rate to be applied to compensation. And this comes almost two years after conclusion of the consultation on the question of whether the current rate of 2.5% should be modified.   This issue is of course of extreme importance to anyone involved in injury litigation. The legal professions are somew... [More]

Fighting Fraud - paying off for motor insurers and their customers?

Recent growth has been seen in the litigation market in the field of allegations of fraud in road traffic accident cases. Insurers (particularly certain insurers) have latterly been far more confident in fighting claims where there is good evidence of something untoward: dishonesty, such as contrived accidents, phantom passengers or exaggerated medical symptoms.   This strategy appears to b... [More]

Less of the Male, Pale and Stale? Judicial Appointment Statistics Published

The Bar is quite properly concerned about diversity amongst its ranks. However attention yesterday was paid to diversity amongst those who sit a little higher up than counsel in court.   The 10th set of Judicial Appointments Commission Statistics on this subjecty were published on 5 June 2014. They show change is slowly occurring as more women than ever have been appointed to judicial off... [More]

Legislating for "Statutory Common Sense" and Personal Injury Litigation?

A court considering a claim in negligence or breach of statutory duty may, in determining whether the defendant should have taken particular steps to meet a standard of care (whether by taking precautions against a risk or otherwise), have regard to whether a requirement to take those steps might— (a) prevent a desirable activity from being undertaken at all, to a particular extent or in ... [More]

Fall in the number of Small Claims - a trend set to continue?

It was widely reported last week that the number of small claims hearings has dropped by over 50 per cent in the last five years. Figures have been reported showing there were 29,577 hearings in 2013 compared to 53,248 in 2007.   A well-known consortium of about 100 solicitors’ firms has suggested that the reason for the drop in claims is due to the process becoming more expensive ... [More]

Costs Budgets and Unallocated Part 8 Claims issued before 22 April 2014

Some further clarity as to when to file costs budgets can be gleaned from the decision of Mr Justice Hickenbottom in the case of Kershaw v Roberts & Anor  [2014] EWHC 1037 (Ch). Here it was argued on appeal from the county court that the first directions hearing in a Part 8 Claim should be treated as the “first CMC” for the purposes of CPR 3.12-14 and thus costs budgets must b... [More]

The Problem with some Uncooperative Litigation Friends

What happens when you are involved in litigation where a party’s interests (either your client or the other side’s) are represented by litigation friend who refuses to cooperate with you or other people involved in the case? In many cases, surely the answer is simply to apply to the court for the recalcitrant litigation friend to be replaced for the best interests of the protected l... [More]

Two Recent CFA Cases: Effect of a Failure to Serve a Notice of Funding and Powers of the Ombudsman

There have been two recent decisions concerning Conditional Fee Agreements which should be of interest to any practitioner practising in any area of the law where such funding arrangements are prevalent.   The first is Harrision & Anor v Black Horse (20/12/13, Sen Cts Office per Maser Gordon-Saker), where the strict application of the Mitchell judgment was applied to a case where relief w... [More]

Lest we Forget (our senses)

Personal injury law has a poor image in the eyes of the general public. For many reasons of course, this is unfair. Often it is the overreactions of various (frequently Public Sector) organisations who utterly overreact to potential alleged “health and safety risks”. Examples are legion: conkers in schools, blu-tac on walls and Christmas decorations are all subjects of recent media hyp... [More]