The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Whiplash reforms – delayed?

The Gazette online reports that the start date for proposed whiplash reforms is in doubt. The proposal is to increase the small claims limit for RTA claims to £5,000 and this was due to go live in April 2020.
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LiPs – tips for dealing

Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best interests of the client can be difficult. An article provides pointers to assist when dealing with LiPs in disputes or court proceedings.
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Interim costs – requires clear application

The HC has refused an application in a clinical negligence case for interim costs of £150,000. The judge pointed out that the supporting witness statement failed to address any key issues and was just a ‘cri de coeur’ for more money. The HC accepted the need for solicitors engaged in heavy and protracted litigation to expect adequate cash flow, however, such applications must be properly argued. Helpfully the judge set out examples of the information which applicants for interim costs may wish to specify:
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Infant approval hearing – top tips

An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the settlement of claims of those under 18 who have been injured. CPR 21 provides the rules relating to cases involving children and protected parties; this article gives practitioners some helpful guidance about the actual hearings.
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Anonymity orders - rare

As the name implies, an anonymity order is an order in relation to court proceedings which withholds the name of the parties but not the fact that the proceedings took place. The principle of open justice means that the press will be permitted to attend hearings and report on them in the absence of an anonymity order.

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Fixed costs - the norm

Costs disputes often revolve around whether a case should attract fixed costs or standard basis costs - often the difference between the two can make it a contentious issue. A recent case considered this point within the context of an RTA and whether the situation was sufficiently exceptional to avoid fixed costs.

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Experts - joint statement

CPR 35.12 provides for discussions between experts. These are not obligatory unless directed by the court, but such direction may be given at any stage of the proceedings. The object of the discussion is:

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Exaggeration – or fundamentally dishonest?

A recent case considered the provisions of s57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which provides that, in a PI claim, if, on the balance of probabilities, the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest,
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Fatal accident – benevolence exception

Benevolence exceptions are contributions made by a third party or as part of a disaster fund which cannot be deducted from personal injury settlements. 
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ATE insurer – in liquidation

LAMP Insurance is a leading ATE insurer for personal injury and negligence claims. It has gone into liquidation. A note on its website states that the company’s insurance policies that have not expired remain in force. However, as the company is insolvent it is unable to make any claim payments. Policyholders are advised to immediately consider acquiring alternative insurance protection. Where policyholders have bought policies from the company through an insurance broker, solicitor or other intermediary, they should consult that person to seek advice as to what options are open to them.

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Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...


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