The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Costs – illegal retainer

Irrespective of arguments about failure to comply with conditional fee requirements, it is always possible to argue that the other side’s retainer is tainted by illegality.

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Work equipment – definition

The question of what constitutes ‘work equipment’ for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regs 1998 is an important one. This is because ‘work equipment’ must be suitable in any respect in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will affect the health and safety ‘of any person’.

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Stress – foreseeability

In Hatton [2002] the CA laid down relatively strict guidelines on bringing stress claims. The key point was that there had to be a ‘plain indication’ that the employee might go over the edge from mere stress to actually suffering injury to health.

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Foreign accident – applicable law

A foreign accident that is litigated in the UK may involve our domestic courts deciding the case using foreign law.

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Occupier’s liability – historical sites

OLA 1957 requires the occupier to take reasonable care that a visitor ‘will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there’. But, what happens if the location is a historical monument, or some other place of intrinsic ‘social value’?

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Rome II – applicable law

Rome II introduces important changes on the ‘applicable law’ rules when dealing with foreign claims. Note that these apply to all torts (not just PI claims).

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Rome II – road traffic cases

As noted above, Rome II is meant to apply to all non-contractual claims as from 11 January. But, as far as road traffic accidents are concerned, there is some scope for confusion because of Recital 33 in the preamble to the Regs:

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ATE insurance – providers?

There is a useful table summarising the main after-the-event insurance products that are available for clients at


Road traffic – fixed costs

The fixed-costs regime applies when:

  • costs-only proceedings are brought, or proceedings are brought for approval of a settlement or compromise;
  • the claim arises from an RTA occurring after 6 October 2003;
  • the agreed damages include compensation for property and/or PI but the total value does not exceed £10,000; and
  • if the claim had been for the recovery of the agreed damages then the small claims track would not have been the normal track for that claim.
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Cosmetic surgery – claims

Cosmetic surgery claims are unlike other clinical negligence claims. The key point with cosmetic surgery, of course, is that there will be no physical detriment to the patient caused by foregoing the treatment; in simple terms it will normally be designed to meet social or psychological desires, with the results of the surgery not being objectively measurable (its ‘success’ will largely be dependent on the perception of the patient).

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GDPR – references
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