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April 2014 Contents

Welcome to the April 2014 issue of PI Brief Update Law Journal. Click the relevant links below to read the articles and take the CPD quiz. Please remember to fill in our quick feedback form after you have finished.

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Personal Injury Articles
Editorial: How to Identify the Basic Hire Rate - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
In Stevens v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd [2014] EWHC 689 (QB), Burnett J reviewed the authorities and discussed the right approach to identifying the Basic Hire Rate in a credit hire case. His analysis will assist County Courts in the many credit hire cases where the court is asked to...
Out of 'Control'? Credit Hire and CPR Part 31 - Gary Herring, Horwich Farrelly Solicitors
Disputes relating to disclosure remain an enduring feature of credit hire litigation and, largely to the understandable annoyance of the judiciary, are the source of much satellite litigation. It is perhaps not difficult to understand why this is so, given that a claimant and a defendant's interests will...
More Reasons to Look at the Law: Practical Problems With Vicarious Liability - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
The issue when and how someone (usually an employer) is vicariously liable for acts of others has been considered in three recent cases. Three recent cases give different results...
Wall v Mutuelle: The Court of Appeal Explores the Limits of Applicable Law - Frances McClenaghan, 1 Chancery Lane
In an article last June, I discussed the High Court decision of Wall v Mutuelle De Poitiers Assurances ([2013] EWHC 53 (QB)). I noted that Sir Richard Buxton had refused permission to appeal on the papers with the following comments...
Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated [2014] EWHC 273 (QB) - John Ross QC & Matthew Chapman, 1 Chancery Lane
This claim arose out of a road traffic accident in Egypt on 3 January 2010 in which the Claimant sustained personal injury and in which the Claimant's husband and his daughter were tragically killed. At the time of the accident the family were participating in a...
"Micro Sleep" Defence in Fatal Crash Trial - Hayley Betteridge, Associate Partner, Plexus Law
R v Soutar, Newcastle Crown Court. Charge: Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. On 12th November 2012 at 07.37 on A1 near Felton, Newcastle, Mr Soutar was driving a white BMW when his car crossed from the southbound into the northbound carriageway colliding with a small Volkswagen...
Sporting Bodies Should Fear the Consequences of Brain Related Injuries - John van der Luit-Drummond
The inquest into the death of England and West Bromwich Albion footballer Jeff Astle ruled he died from brain trauma caused by the repeatedly heading leather footballs. That verdict was pronounced 12 years ago and the FA has still failed to publish promised research into the possibility that...
Impecuniosity and Failure to Mitigate - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
The Court of Appeal has not lost its ability to surprise in credit hire cases. In Zurich Insurance Plc v Umerji [2014] EWCA Civ 357, it had to grapple with the reasonableness of a substantial credit hire claim. Its judgment contains vital practical guidance about the meaning of a debarring order in relation to...
Hillsborough 25 Years On - Scott Whyte, Watermans Solicitors
The 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster was marked on 15 April 2014 with a minute's silence in Liverpool and the late kick-off of all matches in England the preceding weekend. It was, and remains, the largest modern day tragedy at a football match...
The "Single" County Court - Ian Miller, 1 Chancery Lane
The County Courts Act 1984 has been amended to create a single county court. Hitherto s.1 of the CCA divided England and Wales up into districts and established a court of record, with a seal, for each district. Under s.A1 there is now to be a single court called...
Damages for Loss of Fatal Accident Act Damages When Life Expectancy Is Reduced: Haxton -v- Phillips Considered - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
HAXTON V PHILIPS ELECTRONICS UK LIMITED [2014] EWCA Civ 4. What can a claimant do if your claim under the Fatal Accidents Act is reduced because, as a result of the defendant's negligence, their own life expectancy is lowered and the claim under the Fatal Accidents Act is therefore...
Costs Budgets and Unallocated Part 8 Claims Issued Before 22 April 2014 - Thomas Crockett, 1 Chancery Lane
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...
The Work at Height Regulations: New HSE Guidance and a Potted Guide - Gordon Exall, Zenith Chambers
For accidents after the 1st October 2013 there is no action for breach of statutory duty in relation to these Regulations.  However this does not mean that the Regulations are not relevant. Indeed they remain highly relevant for the reasons discussed in previous posts.  Here we look at...
Rule 3.10: Looking Beyond 3.9 for Relief - Ian Miller, 1 Chancery Lane
The dreaded realisation that you have not complied with a rule or practice direction. Your life flashes past you and a cold sweat breaks out. Out comes rule 3.9 and the new criteria,Mitchell, a call to the insurers... Or perhaps r. 3.10 applies?
Fall in the Number of Small Claims: A Trend Set to Continue? - Thomas Crockett, 1 Chancery Lane
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...
Mental Capacity: Who Really Makes the Decisions? - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
I'm giving a talk in Leeds, about who makes decisions in cases where, following severe brain injury, the claimant has lost mental capacity. Superficially, it's easy to say that the court decides issues, but in reality there is much more to it than that...
Reform to Deliver Seismic Shift in Insurance Law - Shirley Denyer, Shirley Denyer LLP & Knowledge Services Consultant for FOIL
Whilst insurance professionals handling litigated claims are working through the full implications of Jackson, and their colleagues in the annuity department are mulling over the implications of the 2014 budget, insurers and underwriters involved in writing policies and handling cover issues are...
The Difference Between What Someone Needs and What They Will Accept - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
A recurring theme in the cases I see is the important difference between what someone needs by way of support and what they will accept. The law is that an injured person does not recover compensation for what he or she needs if they will not tolerate it. For example, the clinicians might...
What Factors Should Influence Choosing a Physio for Your Client's Rehab - Anne Wrightson, Thetford Physiotherapy Clinic
Your objective: fast efficient resolution of your client's symptoms facilitating a rapid return to work and normal life style in a safe and cost effective manner, reflecting your quality and professionalism.
UKABIF: Doing Good Things for the Brain Injury World - Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers
We did a seminar, jointly with UKABIF, on Capacity Issues for people with acquired brain injuries. Although I say it who shouldn't, it was one of the best seminars I've been to for a while. The delegates were genuinely interested in the topic, and obviously had a lot of experience between them...
Summary of Recent Cases, April 2014
Here is a summary of the recent notable court cases over the past month.
PI Practitioner, April 2014
Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area. This month: Agreed Extensions of Time
Expert Witness Articles
Unhappy Expert Witnesses: Bond Solon Finds Expert Rumblings of Discontent About Jackson One Year On - Mark Solon, Bond Solon
As this month sees the first anniversary of the Jackson reforms in civil litigation, we asked expert witnesses for their views. The natives are restless: there is discontent around fees, timetables, the amount of work and access to justice. Here are some typical quotations (occasionally abbreviated) from expert witnesses.

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