29 July 2021 - Written by Shilpa Shah

Chan v Peters: The Principles Governing Liability in Road Traffic Accident Cases

In the High Court case of Chan v (1) Peters (2) Advantage Insurance Company Ltd [2021] EWHC 2004 (QB), Cavanagh J took the opportunity to carefully distil the main principles at play ...

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21 July 2021 - Written by Alex Denton & Hollie Birkett

Damages Claims Portal Pilot Scheme: An Overview

In an attempt to modernise an oft-labelled ‘antiquated’ justice sytem, a view more compelling in light of the difficulties faced during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has developed a programme of refo...

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15 July 2021 - Written by Kate Longson

Transcripts! Who needs 'em? Bates v Snozone (Holdings) Ltd [2021] EWHC 1828 (QB)

In an appeal which raises questions of a trial judge’s evidential analysis, you could be forgiven for assuming that obtaining a transcript of the evidence should be the first job on any appellant file handler’s ‘to do’ list. However, the High C...

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30 June 2021 - Written by Richard Seabrook

High Court Provides Further Guidance in Relation to Interim Payments

In AL (by her Mother and Litigation Friend, S) v Collingwood Insurance Company Ltd [2021] EWHC 1761 (QB), a catastrophic brain injury case, Robin Knowles J provided further guidance to practitioners as to the application of the established principles previous...

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24 June 2021 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Mission Creep: Begum v Maran (UK) Ltd and the Duty of Care

“That the tort of negligence is a mess goes almost without saying.” So said David Ibbetson in How the Romans Did for Us: Ancient Roots of the Tort of Negligence (2003) 26 UNSWLJ 475. As James Plunkett ...

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22 June 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Local Standards Not Necessarily Determinative of the Standard of Care in Package Holiday Claims: TUI v Morgan

In TUI v Morgan [2021] PIQR P12, the Respondent, Mrs Morgan, sustained injury whilst on a package holiday to Mauritius, which she purchased from the Appellant, TUI. She was walking along an outdoor, unlit sun terrace at the hotel where she was staying when sh...

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17 June 2021 - Written by Jessica Woodliffe

Dishonesty and Exceptional Circumstances under CPR rule 45.29J

On 27 November 2020, the High Court handed down judgment in James West v Joseph Olakanpo [2020] EWHC 3830 (QB) which concerns both dishonesty and the ‘exceptional circumstances’ test for costs exceeding fixed costs in low value personal injury cla...

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16 June 2021 - Written by Philip Turton

British Psychological Society Publish Guidance on Recording of Neuropsychological Testing

In May 2021, following preparation by an advisory working group of its Professional Standards Unit, the British Psychological Society, Division of Neuropsychology, published Good Practice Guidelines on the recording of neuropsychological examinations and testing under...

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10 May 2021 - Written by Rochelle Rong

The Key to a Successful Application for an Interim Payment: PAL v Davison [2021] EWHC 1108 (QB)

In PAL (a child by her mother and litigation friend COL) v Davison [2021] EWHC 1108 (QB) (judgment here), Yip J granted the Claimant’s application and ordered a furthe...

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3 May 2021 - Written by Georgina Crawford

The Great British Public (and Their Dogs) v Farmers

I am sure that in our Brave New Covid World my dogs are not the only dogs who roll their eyes when I announce it’s time for (yet another) walkies. But where does the huge increase in the use of public rights of way leave our landowners, or more specifically the ...

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29 April 2021 - Written by Edward James & Nicholas Robinson

Saliva Testing to Assist Diagnosis of Concussion in Sports Head Injuries

The development of a highly accurate saliva test to diagnose concussion in elite male rugby players has been labelled "game-changing" by Professor Antonio Belli, Chief Investigator of the study SCRUM (Study of Concussion in Rugby Union through MicroRNAs)...

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27 April 2021 - Written by Sarah Hopkinson & Thomas Herbert

Part 36 Superposition: A Look at Wormald v Ahmed [2021] EWHC 973 (QB)

In a case concerning a child or protected party, during the period between its purported acceptance and approval under CPR Part 21, a Part 36 offer is – much like Schrödinger’s cat – in a state of superposition: it is both accepted but not bindi...

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22 April 2021 - Written by Philip Turton & Katie McFarlane

Secondary Victim Appeal Listings in Paul and Polmear

In March, as part of the Ropewalk Chambers' Spring Webinar series, Philip Turton and Katie McFarlane reviewed the law relating to secondary victims in light of the decisions in Paul v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2020] PIQR P19 and Polmear v Royal C...

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19 April 2021 - Written by Tom Panton & Jack McCracken

Strict Liability is Dead, Long Live Strict Liability?

Anyone practising in employer’s liability personal injury litigation will be familiar with the strict approach to liability for work equipment imposed by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (“PUWER”). ...

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14 April 2021 - Written by Philip Davy

Pleading Fundamental Dishonesty Allegations: Mustard v Flower [2021] EWHC 846 (QB)

The mustard flower is simple and delicate. The mustard seed, on the other hand, packs more of a punch. Pleadings of fundamental dishonesty in cases where there is no strong evidence (such as damaging surveillance) of a claimant’s fraud should, it seems, be more ...

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9 April 2021 - Written by Nicholas Robinson

Highways Litigation: ALARM Bells Ring for Highway Authorities following Maintenance Survey

Last week saw the publication of this year’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey. This was the 26th such report commissioned by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA). It is an independent survey of local authority highways departments in England...

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8 April 2021 - Written by Georgina Cursham, Hollie Birkett & Samuel Ford

Contributory Negligence in Road Traffic Accidents: Seatbelts and Drunk Drivers

Findings of contributory negligence against passengers who fail to wear a seatbelt and those who voluntarily get into a car with a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs are commonplace. This blog aims to set out the underlying principles for quantifying the a...

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25 March 2021 - Written by Shilpa Shah

Part 36 Offers: Liability Encapsulates Causation

In Seabrook v Adam [2021] EWCA Civ 382, the Court of Appeal held that a Claimant’s Part 36 offers to accept a ‘discounted’ 90% of his claim for damages to be assessed were not effective when causation was successfully challenged....

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23 March 2021 - Written by Abigail Scott

Revisiting the Close Connection Test for Vicarious Liability: Adult Sexual Abuse Cases

In The Trustees Of The Barry Congregation Of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB [2021] EWCA Civ 356, the court revisited the two-stage test for vicarious liability and considered the application of the tailored close connection test to cases involving adult vict...

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19 March 2021 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

The Cost of Care: Night-time Carers Are Not Entitled to Minimum Wage During Periods of Sleep

Today, 19 March 2021, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the conjoined appeals of Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake; Shannon v Rampersad and another (T/A Clifton House Residential Home) [2021] UKSC 8. This is an employment law case that will ...

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18 March 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

The Limitations of Challenging Uncontroverted Expert Evidence

An appeal is currently outstanding from the significant decision made on appeal by the High Court in Griffiths v TUI UK Ltd [2020] EWHC 2268 (QB). The Decision at First Instance The p...

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15 March 2021 - Written by Andrew McNamara, Samuel Shelton & Thomas Herbert

Advocacy at Inquests: A Unique Opportunity

Inquests can be destabilising for advocates. Although there are similarities with other work – they take place in a Court (albeit sometimes at unconventional locations), they are presided over by a judicial figure, witnesses appear and are questioned and juries ...

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3 March 2021 - Written by Damian Powell

Pondering the Imponderables: Future Loss of Earnings Claims Post-COVID

The significant uncertainties in the economy and the employment market caused by the pandemic may lead to an upsurge in defendants arguing that damages for future loss of earnings should be assessed by way of a Blamire and/or a Smith v Manchester awa...

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25 February 2021 - Written by Alexandra Pountney

A Spate of Strike Outs: A Review of the Law on Res Judicata

During January 2021 the Court of Appeal handed down three judgments on appeals relating to strike out applications under CPR 3.4(2)(b): Allsop v Banner Jones Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 7, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v BTI 2014 LLC [2021] EWCA Civ 9...

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23 February 2021 - Written by Richard Seabrook & Philip Godfrey

Non-Delegable Duties of Care: A Review of Recent Developments in the Law

The recent case of Hopkins v (1) Akramy (2) Badger Group (3) NHS Commissioning Board [2020] EWHC 3445 (QB) considered whether an NHS Primary Care Trust owed a non-delegable duty of care with regard to healthcare services provided by a third party. HHJ Melissa...

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17 February 2021 - Written by Alexandra Pountney

No Reason to Reply? Martlet Homes Ltd v Mullalley & Co Ltd [2021] EWHC 296 (TCC)

On 16 February 2021 the High Court handed down judgment in Martlet Homes Ltd v Mullalley & Co Ltd [2021] EWHC 296 (TCC), which gives guidance to practitioners on the often misunderstood role and remit of a Reply to Defence. ...

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15 February 2021 - Written by Jason Cox

Very Late Permission for Expert Accommodation Evidence and Adjourning Trial Issues in a Serious Injury Claim

A judgment resolving various cross-applications a few weeks before trial in a serious PI case is perhaps not the most obvious subject for a blog. However, there is so much packed into the 15-paragraph judgment of Fordham J in Pass v Ministry of Defence [2021]...

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3 February 2021 - Written by Richard Gregory

Bankrupt Claimants: Tips for Practitioners

Bankruptcy orders are relatively rare. Having never exceeded 10,000 per year before 1990, they exceeded 100,000 in 2009, and have only occasionally dipped beneath that figure. Even at those numbers, in recent years they approximate to 26 people per 10,000, or about a ...

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29 January 2021 - Written by Alexandra Pountney

Pleading for Particularisation: The Downfall of a Deceit Claim

On 28 January the High Court handed down judgment on an interlocutory appeal in Kasem v University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 136 (QB). Saini J struck out the Claimant NHS Trust’s statement of case for a defective pleading...

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28 January 2021 - Written by Richard Gregory

Fundamental Dishonesty: A Review

A finding of fundamental dishonesty can be pursued by a defendant in a personal injury or disease claim through two different routes. The first is to secure the dismissal of the claim under section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 1957. Most commonly,...

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26 January 2021 - Written by Andrew Lyons

Solicitors' Hourly Rates on the Rise?

Almost all practitioners will know that the GHR have remained unchanged since 2010. These rates are set out in the following table: Guideline Hourly Rates In 2014 the Master of the Rolls refused to implement the recommend...

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22 January 2021 - Written by Hollie Birkett

Voluntary Acceptance of an Obvious Risk May Not Be Fatal to an Occupiers' Liability Claim

In The White Lion Hotel v James [2021] EWCA Civ 31 the Court of Appeal considered the ambit of the well-known authorities on ‘obvious risks’ in the context of occupiers’ liability, and the proper approach to section 2(5) of the Occupiers' Li...

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14 January 2021 - Written by Abigail Scott

Very Late Applications for Expert Reports: The Key is 'Significance'

In Knapman v Carbines [2020] EWHC 3586 (QB), HHJ Cotter QC considered the balancing exercise to be conducted upon a very late application to rely on an expert report. The Context Mr K...

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13 January 2021 - Written by Philip Turton & Katie McFarlane

Young v Downey: A Commentary

On 16 December 2020, Martin Spencer J handed down judgment in Young v Downey [2020] EWHC 3457 (QB), an interesting decision on secondary victims in nervous shock cases. In this blog post, ...

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5 January 2021

Jayne Adams QC Appointed a Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn

We are delighted to announce that Jayne Adams QC has been appointed a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn. Jayne’s appointment marks a recognition of her contribution to the law and her...

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4 January 2021 - Written by Gareth McAloon

Control and Warnings under the 1957 Act: A Recent Decision from the High Court

The recent decision in Mathewson v Crump & Crump [2020] EWHC 3167 (QB) concerned a claim under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. In determining the claim, two particularly interesting features arose: Firs...

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17 December 2020 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Medical Records in Civil Proceedings

Claimants often rely on medical records as evidence to corroborate their case as to the nature and extent of their injuries in personal injury litigation.  Conversely, Defendants often use a Claimant’s medical records against them where those records c...

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14 December 2020 - Written by Katie McFarlane

Recording of Medical Examinations: Revisited

Since the pandemic, the issue of covert recordings of medical examinations has risen to the fore following the drastic increase in use of technology to deliver patient care (telephone consultations, video consultations), making covert recording easier than ever before...

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2 December 2020 - Written by Jayne Adams QC

Fatal Accident Claims - A Brief Overview

The area of fatal accident claims is wide and occasionally very complicated. An understanding of the principles and the cases that historically have shaped the Court’s approach is necessary. It is an area in which once the statutory provision is understood, a 'f...

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30 November 2020 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Bolton v Stone Revisited

The seminal case of Bolton v Stone [1951] AC 850 concerned a Claimant on a residential side road who was hit by a ball struck by a batsman on an adjacent cricket ground. The claim ultimately failed. Some 67 years later, the Claimant in Lewi...

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16 November 2020 - Written by Sarah Hopkinson, Kate Longson & Megan Verity

Identifying the Correct Defendant in RTA Claims

This is a brief guide to identifying the correct Defendant(s) in RTA claims. We will consider the position of the Defendant tortfeasor, the hierarchy of claims that can be brought against the tortfeasor’s insurer and when claims are correctly to be intimated aga...

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13 November 2020 - Written by Thomas Herbert

More Likely Than Not: The Civil Standard of Proof Applies to All Short-Form and Narrative Conclusions at Inquests

By a majority of three to two, the Supreme Court has held that the standard of proof for findings of suicide and unlawful killing at an inquest is the balance of probabilities: R (Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46....

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12 November 2020 - Written by Gareth McAloon

Failing to React and Reasonable Practicability under Section 41(1A) of the Highways Act 1980

A recent decision of particular importance to those involved in claims against Highway Authorities – particularly such claims as engage the Authority’s duty under s. 41(1A) of the Highways Act 1980 ("the Act") – is Smithson v (1) Lynn (2) North Y...

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5 November 2020 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Three for the Price of One: Impecuniosity, Service and Relief from Sanctions

The Court of Appeal’s decision in Diriye v Bojaj [2020] EWCA Civ 1400 is of significance to all civil practitioners, and credit hire practitioners in particular. It considered (i) the proper pleading of allegations of impecuniosity in credit hire cases,...

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23 October 2020 - Written by Jessica Woodliffe

Context is Everything: Considering Risk of Injury in the Workplace

In Needle v Swallowfield plc [2020] EWHC 2759 (QB), the High Court considered the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and reiterated that risk of injury is a context-specific question. The Court must have regard to the particular place of employment a...

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20 October 2020 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

Proving Breach of Duty: The Uses and Limits of Adverse Inferences

Adverse inferences are means by which at least an evidential burden can be placed on the Defendant’s side of the litigation fence. They can be drawn where there is a failure to call witnesses that are available or to adduce documents that should be available. In...

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13 October 2020 - Written by Damian Powell & Samuel Shelton

Statutory Bereavement Damages Extended (Only) to Cohabiting Partners

The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020 (“the Order”) came into force on 6 October 2020. The effect of the Order is to extend the eligibility for bereavement damages under section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Ac...

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27 August 2020 - Written by Samuel Shelton & Thomas Herbert

Inconsistencies and Inaccuracies are a Fact of Life, but Lies are Positively Manufactured

In Pegg v (1) Webb (2) Allianz Insurance plc [2020] EWHC 2095 (QB), Martin Spencer J overturned the trial judge’s finding that a personal injury claim arising from a road traffic accident was not fundamentally dishonest. To read the judgment, please cli...

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