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Personal Injury Law Journal: March 2012

Bill Braithwaite QC discusses the essential ingredients for effective case preparation

I would like to start the year with an exploration of what ‘advocacy’ means in personal injury. I feel that there is a serious point to be made about creating the most effective team in cases of severe (not just catastrophic) injuries. The best results in major personal injury claims are achieved by good teams; those who have been there, seen it, done it, won it and lived to tell the tale.

Paul Jones considers the date from which interest should run

Interest on legal costs was, for many years, an uncontroversial issue. Sections 17-18 of the Judgements Act 1838 provided that interest was payable on a judgment debt and this included a judgment for costs. The House of Lords judgment in Hunt v AM Douglas Roofing Ltd [1990] had confirmed that, even though the quantum of costs was not assessed until a later date, interest was calculated from the date of the order giving a party the right to costs, the so-called incipitur rule. However, in 2011 there were a number of decisions, including Gray v Toner [2011] and Motto & ors v Trafigura & anor [2011], that held that, where a case was funded by a CFA, interest should not run from the date of the order but should, rather, only run from the date the costs were actually assessed. Motto was appealed to the Court of Appeal but settled, leaving the path clear for the case of Simcoe v UK Jacuzzi Group plc [2012] to hold centre stage in the Court of Appeal – judgment has just been handed down.

Anthony Gold

Stephanie Prior explores the road to recovery

In December 2011, an article was published in the National Post (‘Breast-implant-safety fears spread worldwide on eve of French recall announcement’, by Kate Kelland and Daniel Flynn), which revealed that the French government proposes to pay for tens of thousands of French women to have breast implants removed if they are found to be responsible for causing cancer. The government said that they would not pay for inserting new implants unless the patient can show that they had reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy.

Tim Trotman reviews the tests for factual causation following Sienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd

This article reviews the law currently in England and Wales as to factual causation in personal injury cases with specific reference to industrial disease. The aim is to put forward a scheme matching factual scenarios to the appropriate legal test for factual causation, and an attempt to do this can be found below.

Vicarious liability; assault; acting in course of employment

This case concerns two contrasting decisions in conjoined appeals and addresses when an employer will be vicariously liable for anemployee’s tortious attack of another employee.

Robert Glancy QC and Georgina Hirsch examine whether a tragedy for Gareth Owen Jones will prompt a narrowing of the CICA scheme?

While the Ministry of Justice consults on changing the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (the Scheme), the Supreme Court awaits its chance to clarify the meaning of a key aspect of that scheme, in a case where a suicide on a motorway caused catastrophic injury to a nearby driver. This article considers some of the intertwining issues arising.