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Personal Injury Law Journal: April 2011

Demise of legal professional privilege; end to expert shopping?

This appeal raised the following question: if the claimant has obtained a medical report from expert A, but chooses not to rely on it, and the permission he seeks is to rely on the evidence of expert B in the same field, ought he to be put on terms that, before he can rely on expert B, he must disclose what expert A has said?

Mark Solon offers tactical advice on trial preparation

The majority of disputes now settle well before trial. This article gives practical advice on working with experts in the run up to trial and at the trial itself.

Practical tips regarding appeals from Compensation Recovery Unit decisions are provided by John Marston, Keith Wilding and William Hillier

Lawyers working in the personal injury field are aware of the requirements set out in the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997 (the Act) for the recoupment of certain benefits by the Department for Work and Pensions from damages where they are paid by a compensator in respect of injury, accident or disease. They are equally well aware of the existence of the Compensation Recovery Unit (a specialist arm of the DWP) since the provisions of s4 of the Act require a compensator to apply for a CRU Certificate.

Pannone LLP

Emma Holt reviews the lottery of protection of the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life, for the highly vulnerable people in society

This article examines the case of Rabone & anor v Pennine Care NHS Trust [2009] and the current law surrounding when a duty of care is owed under Article 2 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to a non-detained mental health patient. In particular, it considers the artificiality of drawing a distinction between detained and non-detained mental health patients.

Paul Jones examines an extremely useful case that provides a senior costs judge’s guidance on issues large and small

Most paying parties baulk at the size of their opponent’s Bill of Costs once a case has concluded. However, one can only imagine the reaction of the defendant in the recently reported case of Yao Essaie Motto v Trafigura [2011], when they received the claimant’s Bill of Costs in excess of £104m. The senior costs judge described their reaction as ‘dismayed’ and, unsurprisingly, the defendant set about attacking those costs with zeal.

Julian Matthews considers the care required when commissioning, reading and relying upon expert reports and interpreting the findings.

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Warner v Penningtons & ors [2011], provides a cautionary tale for practitioners, illustrating the care required when reading and analysing expert reports in clinical negligence and personal injury cases, and an object lesson in ensuring that experts have all of the necessay and relevant material before them.

Christopher Stone looks at the treatments available and costs involved for scar amelioration

Between 2008 and 2010, the UK market for cosmetic surgery is estimated to have grown by 17% to reach an estimated worth of £2.3 billion. A cosmetic surgeon can expect, on average, to receive a claim in negligence every two years (although around 70% of all claims are discontinued), and one quarter of all negligence claims are related to poor scarring. It is easy to appreciate the value of scarring to the claimant; between 1996 and 2005 £8.5m was paid in damages and legal costs, with individual claims attracting awards of up to £300,000.