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May 2023 Contents

Welcome to the May 2023 issue of PI Brief Update Law Journal. Click the relevant links below to read the articles.


Note that there are no new monthly CPD quizzes since the SRA and the BSB have both updated their CPD schemes to eliminate this requirement. Reading PIBULJ articles can still help to meet your CPD needs. For further details see our CPD Information page.


Personal Injury Articles
Unsuccessful parties can be ordered to pay the costs involved in applications against a non-party: McCarthy v Jones & Anor [2023] EWCA Civ 589 - Anisa Kassamali, Temple Garden Chambers
The Court of Appeal considered an appeal against a decision that an unsuccessful party pay the costs involved in applications in relation to a non-party. The Claimant was awarded a sum in excess of £1 million for breach of contract. During the course of the proceedings, he had applied to the Court for an order requiring a third party to preserve documents, and for an order allowing him to rely on documents disclosed in the proceedings for the purpose of pursuing that third party. It was envisaged that a third party application for disclosure would follow but, in the event, this was not necessary as the third party gave voluntary disclosure...
Intervening Medical Treatment and the Chain of Causation: Jenkinson v Hertfordshire County Council [2023] EWHC 872 (KB) - Sebastian Bates, Temple Garden Chambers
In this case, Andrew Baker J addressed whether Webb v Barclays Bank PLC and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust [2002] PIQR P8 'establishe[d] as a rule of law that medical treatment of an injury caused by a defendant's tort cannot break the chain of causation unless it is such grossly negligent treatment as to be a completely inappropriate response to the injury': see [13] (emphasis original). Andrew Baker J referred to this putative rule as 'the Specific Rule'. It closely tracks what is currently the final sentence of [2-124] in Clerk & Lindsell on Torts, as Andrew Baker J noted at [39]...
Pre-Action Disclosure as to Impecuniosity: Holt v Allianz Insurance PLC [2023] EWHC 790 (KB) - Sebastian Bates, Temple Garden Chambers
As set out at [1]-[11], there has been a divergence of practice in the County Court on whether prospective defendants in credit hire cases who apply for pre-action disclosure of documentation of prospective claimants' impecuniosity should succeed. This appeal, from a decision by HHJ Harrison to grant such an application by Allianz Insurance PLC, was heard by Andrew Baker J in order to make it possible for guidance to be given to address this divergence...
A reminder to practitioners about the importance of skeleton arguments: Masih & Anor v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2023] EWHC 1280 (KB) - Anisa Kassamali, Temple Garden Chambers
A judgment handed down by Ritchie J reminds practitioners about the appropriate role of skeleton arguments in proceedings. The Appellant had been granted permission to appeal in relation to a 'complicated clinical negligence case' [33]. However, permission had only been granted on a number of grounds. There were also a number of grounds in respect of which no permission was granted...
Appeal judge rules that credit hire company has no costs liability following a finding of fundamental dishonesty in personal injury case:RSA v. Fastrack Solutions Limited [2023] 4 WLUK 92 - David Bowden, Erimus Chambers
Mr Shazad staged a car accident on 25th November 2015. The other driver said at the beginning 'I thought the accident was suspicious straight away'. A court claim was brought for minor whiplash injuries which the claim form valued at less than £1,000. Included in those court proceedings was a claim for storage of Mr Shazad's damaged car and the cost of hiring a replacement car (used as a taxi) from Fastrack Solutions Limited. Five years later the liability trial was heard before District Judge James in Wakefield County Court on 9th September 2020. In his reserved judgement dated 5th October 2020, DJ James ruled that the claim was fundamentally dishonest and stripped Mr Shazad of his costs protection. On 4th January 2021 RSA (as insurer of the other vehicle) issued an application seeking a non-party costs order ('NPCO') against the credit hire company. Unusually, the insurer obtained an order that its director attend court for cross-examination...
Paralegal Apprenticeships Helping Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession - Jane Robson, CEO, National Association of Licensed Paralegals
The legal profession is often viewed as being exclusively for the 'elite'. To be fair, there has been a lot of snobbery around the law - both real and perceived - and it is well documented that the traditional legal professions lacked diversity and did not reflect those they were representing. Let's look at the issues and how the changes to apprenticeships will be of value to Personal Injury law practices...
Clinical Negligence Medicine by Dr Mark Burgin
How AI is Changing the Legal Landscape - Dr Mark Burgin
Dr Mark Burgin explains the different AI technologies available and how they will and are being used to disrupt legal practice. When a legal practice considers whether AI will assist their business it is easy to become overwhelmed. AI is cheaper and has had recent a step change in effectiveness with AI like ChatGPT so it cannot be ignored any more. There are so many different types of AI technologies available, each with their own promise. In this article I describe the main types and what they are good at...
How can Lawyers assess Medical Expert's Skills - Dr Mark Burgin
26/05/23. Dr Mark Burgin explains how lawyers can achieve a more comprehensive view of an expert's performance using an open access claimant feedback questionnaire. When lawyers are looking to instruct a medical expert, they will often use experts that they have previous experience of. This is because it is helpful to be familiar with an expert's work style, approach, and areas of expertise. However, it is not always possible to use an expert that the lawyer has worked with before. In these cases, it is important to take steps to get to know the expert and to ensure that they are a good fit for the case...

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