Book recommendation: 'Lewis & Buchan: Clinical Negligence'

Written in a clear and concise style, this new 7th edition of this popular and highly respected title has been fully updated to take account of the various important developments in legislation and case law that have occurred since the previous edition. Practical and accessible, it provides practitioners with a structured background to the law. This information is supported by numerous case illustrations, plus a large amount of highly valuable practical guidance on procedure. A 'must-have' title for all practitioners specialising in this complex area of the law. Fully revised and updated to include: * causation in negligence, * human rights and clinical negligence, * damages, * expert evidence, * terms of duty of care, * detention under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, * the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and * the NHS Redress Act 2006.

Available from Amazon.co.uk


Sponsored blog post: Cycling Safety Call to London Mayoral Candidates

Candidates in the upcoming elections for Mayor of London have been asked to declare their plans to reduce cycling accidents in the capital by a senior cycling advocate. Brian Cookson, President of British Cycling, issued an open letter to all candidates in this year’s elections, after new figures revealed more cyclists are being injured in accidents on London’s roads. According to these figures, 16 cyclists were killed on roads in London last year and already this year, a 53-year cycle courier has died after being knocked off his bike in the City of London. With bikes becoming an increasingly popular way of cycling to work, road safety campaigners and cycling groups are calling for more to be done in terms of better road design, more training for motorists and reduced speed limits on certain key inner-city routes.

As well as these measures, Mr Cookson highlighted the need for more to be done to make heavy goods vehicles less of a risk for cyclists. Changes to the design and placement of mirrors, especially in the so-called “blind-spots” behind the heavy goods vehicle and either side of the driver’s cab would make it easier for the drivers to spot cyclists. As the letter says, a serious road accident could happen to anyone who cycles on the road not just those who cycle for a living, such as cycle couriers, or commuters.

My Cycling Claim is the specialist bike accident compensation service set up to help the victims of non-fault cycling accidents to claim compensation for their injuries, as well as providing a comprehensive repair or replacement service for their bikes. For more information, visit the My Cycling Claim website.

Neil Worrall
My Cycling Claim


Book recommendation: ' Personal Injury Schedules: Calculating Damages'

The new edition of this text is your authoritative and up-to-date guide to the assessment of damages and presentation of schedules. This book offers practical, expert guidance helping you accurately to assess the value of a claim and decide on what basis to seek damages. It also provides an up-to-date toolkit for best practice in the presentation of schedules and counter-schedules.

Available from Amazon.co.uk


Sponsored blog post: Potential for higher mesothelioma compensation after High Court ruling

A ruling in the High Court last week over looks likely to have a widespread impact for people affected by asbestos related diseases. A 92-year former coal miner who had been diagnosed with mesothelioma was awarded £50,000 compensation for the pain and suffering associated with his condition.

The claimant in this case had spent his career working for the National Coal Board and the British Coal Corporation. He had been exposed to asbestos fibres on numerous occasions. After retiring he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given only a few months to live. The size of his compensation was disputed by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who was the defendant in the claim.

In court the defense team argued that the age of the claimant meant his compensation should be reduced. The former miner’s legal team said this was not the case and argued he was entitled to compensation that was not prejudiced by his age or his life expectancy and the High Court judge agreed.

In future mesothelioma claims, the compensation awarded should reflect the pain and suffering endure by those affected by mesothelioma. It is likely to pave the way for elderly mesothelioma sufferers and people suffering from similar asbestos-related terminal conditions to claim compensation that reflects the impact that their industrial disease has had on their life, regardless of their age or their life expectancy.

For more commentary on this mesothelioma case, visit the Camps Solicitors website.

Neil Worrall

Sponsored blog post: The relationship between immigration law and human rights

Extensive debate over radical cleric Abu Qatada’s future in Britain has raged during the past weeks. Immigration solicitors will inevitably come across multiple cases where the application of human rights standards produce results that seem incomprehensible to many.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain could not deport Qatada to Jordan as long as there is a risk that his right to a fair trial would be violated by admitting evidence against him obtained under torture. Importantly, the Court never ruled that Qatada should be made a free man.

Many professionals highlight that Qatada could remain behind bars if he was charged and convicted in the UK.
Immigration and human rights do not value Qatada's right to a fair trial over the security of British citizens. The law is concerned with both.

The current state of affairs partly reflects national authorities’ reluctance to put Qatada on trial as their mistake, of classifying him as harmless when he entered the country, would be highlighted The fact that Britain does not automatically deport Qatada to Jordan is perhaps the price of the Government abiding by the rule of law and upholding liberty.

Therese Wallin is Content Editor at Contact Law (Thomson Reuters) and reflects here about some of the current ongoing issues affecting many in the UK. Therese has an LLB in Law and Human Rights and an LLM in Public International Law.


Book recommendation: 'The Lincoln Lawyer' by Michael Connelly

It's always good to welcome a Michael Connelly novel, and The Lincoln Lawyer is a strong addition to the Connelly bookshelf. This stand-alone legal thriller has all the adroit plotting and no-nonsense prose that are Connelly's trademarks, with a particularly strong protagonist.

In the hierarchy of American lawyers, ‘Lincoln lawyers’ are not held in the highest esteem. These are criminal defence attorneys who run their practices from a travelling Lincoln car, traversing the county of Los Angeles to hoover up whatever work is available, however basic. Connelly's tarnished hero is Mickey Heller, who has fine-tuned this less-than-impressive side of the legal profession to such a degree that few can match him: he knows all the ins and outs of the system, including precisely who to slip a back-hander to when appropriate. But Mickey finds a way to move upmarket when he acquires a well-heeled client. A rich young man from Beverly Hills has been arrested for savagely assaulting a woman, and the case falls in Mickey's lap. And though the lawyer is used to defending clients who are guilty as sin, it actually looks (for once) that his client is innocent. But Lincoln lawyers like Mickey are fully aware of the lottery that is their profession, and he isn't too surprised when the case goes pear-shaped. But (to his dismay) Mickey slowly learns that neither his client nor the victim in the case is quite what they seem to be, and soon there's a lot more than a penny-ante case at stake, with Mickey's life quite as much at risk as any reputation he might have.

Connelly fans (an ever-growing army) will be pleased to hear that all the customary traits are fully on offer here, with one key component even more finely honed than usual: the gritty, idiomatic dialogue, which is richer and more entertaining than usual.

Available from Amazon.co.uk


Book recommendation: 'Uncommon Law' by AP Herbert

First published as an omnibus of AP Herbert's Misleading Cases, Uncommon Law is a quite brilliant collection of his satirical law reports or judgments on various aspects of the British legal and judicial system. These reports, although entirely fictional, were on several occasions mistakenly reported as factual by the British press. The reports often had a sharp political point beneath their satire, and tied into Herbert's personal crusades against obsolescent legislation. As Lord Falconer of Thoroton points out in his foreword, 'There is hardly a work in English literature which captures more accurately and entertainingly the attitudes and approach of the English courts with their vanity, their humour and their strength.'

Available from Amazon.co.uk


Book recommendation: 'Facts and Figures 2011/12'

Now in its 16th edition, this collection of tables enables you to effortlessly calculate special damages and claims for loss of earnings in personal injury cases. Facts & Figures 2011/12:

  • Brings together all the information in one volume, to assist you in assessing special damages information quickly, easily and efficiently

  • Provides access to the latest, up-to-date material and includes the 6th edition of the Ogden tables

  • Ensures accuracy in the calculation of special damages and claims for loss of earnings

  • Provides you with up-to-date financial and statistical information

  • Helps with the production of schedules and counter-schedules

  • Widely used across the profession and frequently cited in court

  • Includes: Life, multiplier and discount tables, Earnings tables, Various interest tables, Price tables, Investment tables, Tax and insurance tables, Benefits, allowances and charges, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Multipliers Table, Decimal Years Table

  • Provides clearer, easier to use Carer Rates tables, Nanny cost-to-client rates to be re-calculated in accordance with formula used for carer rates and a simplification of Tables C-1 Earnings Losses

Available from Amazon.co.uk