The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Negligence – hospital receptionist

The Supreme Court has given an important decision in finding that a hospital receptionist was negligent because she gave a misleading waiting time.

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Inquest – suicide?

The High Court has recently held that the civil standard of proof should apply to an inquest finding that the deceased took their own life. Prior to this decision, there was a criminal standard (ie ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’).

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Noise – de minimis

Insurers have won an important victory in noise-induced hearing loss claims, in successfully raising a de minimis defence.

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Contrib – child?

Can an eight-year-old child be guilty of contributory negligence? In principle, the answer is ‘yes’, but in practice, ‘no’.

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Medical expert – prison

A ‘reckless’ medico-legal expert has been sent to prison for contempt, because of false medical reports.

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Part 36 – high-percentage offer

Any Part 36 offer must be a ‘genuine attempt to settle the proceedings’ for it to be valid. Accordingly, an offer by a claimant to settle on the basis of 100% liability by the defendant will never be effective.

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Infant approval – fee

A useful note by Gordon Exall clarifies the position on infant approval fees. Apparently, many courts treat such a Part 8 application as being identical to a Part 7 claim (ie with the fee being a percentage of the value of the claim).

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QOCS – counterclaim?

Can a defendant bring a PI counterclaim, and then claim the benefit of QOCS (qualified one-way costs shifting)? The answer is that it can.

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Fundamental dishonesty – need to plead?

Does ‘fundamental dishonesty’ need to be pleaded by the defendant? And, if so, at what stage?

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MIB – exclusions

The High Court has recently held that the Motor Insurers Bureau is an ‘emanation of the state’ under the EU Insurance Directives.

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Most-read articles

Probate fees – increase delayed
Thursday, 09 May 2019
We reported in the April 2019 edition (p34) on the increase of probate fees which was due to come into effect in April 2019. Read more...
VAT Order – construction services
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The VAT (s55A) (Specified Services and Excepted Supplies) Order 2019 comes into effect in relation to supplies made on or after 1 October 2019. Read more...
Brexit – impact on solicitors
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The Law Society has issued guidance for solicitors on the impact of the postponement of the UK’s departure from the EU. Read more...
RTA claims – no lawyers
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The Gazette reports that the MoJ has issued a consultation as to how to create an IT platform to enable unrepresented litigants to progress their own claim. Read more...
CFAs – no automatic 100% success fee
Thursday, 09 May 2019
In RTA claims, may firms routinely set a 100% success fee and claim the maximum limit of 25% of total damages. Read more...
T’s failure to respond – not a refusal of access
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The UT has held that T’s failure to reply to a letter from L requesting access to the property did not amount to a refusal of access. Read more...
MEES non-domestic rentals – reminder
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The MEES regulations are designed to tackle the least energy efficient properties in England and Wales and the Regs establish a minimum standard of EPC band E for domestic and non-domestic private... Read more...
‘Highway’ – no single meaning
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The SC has recently clarified the meaning of a highway. Read more...
Procedure – divorce
Thursday, 09 May 2019
Divorce practitioners may be particularly interested in the background to a recent case setting out the administrative processes and procedures by which errors in divorce proceedings are picked up... Read more...
EU citizens – right to work checks
Thursday, 09 May 2019
The government has issued guidance on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, after Brexit. Read more...


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