Malcolm Henke, Partner, Horwich Farrelly and Paul Paxton, Partner Stewart Law provide a perspective on the potential consequences of Coronavirus....
Our expertiseOur extensive expertise covers motor, EL, PL, product liability, property damage and travel claims.
We specialise in severe and subtle brain injury and FND, spinal, amputation, polytrauma, severe orthopaedic, complex psychiatric, fatal, and chronic pain claims. We have advanced experience of indemnity/coverage, rehabilitation, state funding, periodical payments, fundamental dishonesty, cross border claims, criminal prosecutions, HSE investigations, innovative ADR, autonomous.
We have unsurpassed indemnity/coverage knowledge with Andrew Baker, the leading specialist in the motor insurance market. He has spent 25 years working in the field of insurance and has considerable experience of preparing cases to be put before the Technical Committee of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Andrew has been involved in helping shape legislation and works with insurers to improve policy wordings.
His recently reported cases include Nagorski v Nikolics and Tradewise Insurance in 2021, AXA Insurance UK Limited v EUI Limited (t/a Elephant Insurance), Daudher v Hoisani and Farah Abdullahi in 2020 and Haven Insurance Co Limited v EUI Limited (t/a Elephant Insurance) in 2019.
Our pre-eminent experience of the case management and rehabilitation market is underpinned by our lawyers who were involved in the original launch of Rehabilitation First and BICMA (Bodily Injury Claims Management Association).
We can assist our insurer clients with drafting a “Principles of Rehabilitation” (a statement of core rehabilitation principles going beyond the Rehabilitation Code and circulated to all leading claimant solicitor firms). We interview case managers to establish an insurer panel of specialists and we work with insurers to design (and undertake) audit processes to identify financial return on rehabilitation provided (which now forms the basis of a monthly report to the CEO and Board of a major insurer).
Significant successes include mitigating very substantial care claims via statutory funding and success on claims with 100% compensation with some of the leading and historically most difficult players in the claimant legal market.
Recent examples include securing a contribution of £450,000 pa to a proposed care regime of £600,000 pa in a 100% liability case; a contribution of c. £300,000 pa to a care regime of £430,000 pa, again in a 100% liability case; and a contribution of £290,000pa to a £400,000 pa care package in a 50% liability case. Only on one of those occasions has the settlement taken the form of a PPO.
We have extensive experience dealing with PPOs (Periodical Payment Orders), settling claims involving foreign indices, variable PPOs, and reverse indemnities.
At a strategic level, our lawyers have shaped change:
Sitting on the Master of the Rolls Working Party at an early stage in the development of the legislative framework and acting as consultant to potential market entrants seeking to buy out insurer’s PPO claims.
Involvement in pivotal decisions exploring the liability of the MIB and security of payment. Undertaking modelling exercises for reinsurers and insurers to calculate the future cost of PPOs. Primarily – successfully developing strategies that focus on avoiding PPOs where possible.
We were the first in our market to create a dedicated large loss fraud team, led by a fraud lawyer, who works strategically with our large loss team on suspect claims.
A key example is the fundamental dishonesty cases of Mark Bolt and x both of which received national press coverage, serving as a deterrent to those with genuine large loss claims who may consider exaggeration and deception.
Cross border claims
We regularly handle foreign claims of significant value and have been involved in landmark decisions in the field, eg Booth v Phillips, Harding v Wealands and Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances. Many cases have been of the utmost severity involving foreign discount rates, foreign care regimes and foreign indices for PPOs.
The application of EU law to motor claims is a key strength of our team which also has extensive experience in dealing with product liability claims, eg where a product has been exported from the UK or an overseas recovery action where a product has been imported into the UK.
The introduction of automated and electric vehicles (AEVs) brings with it an uncertain legal future and we are at the forefront of this change. We are involved in the Law Commission’s Consultation on Automated Vehicle Law and advise key insurers on the issues involved.
The team’s depth of knowledge and experience in both motor and product liability claims perfectly places us to tackle what is likely to be complex test litigation. We have already received instructions in one of the first recovery actions of its kind against Tesla.
Large Loss costs
Our average saving in large loss costs claims at end stage is 30% and our average savings for budgeting are 40%.
We’re able to deliver exceptional savings on costs claimed through our collaborative approach at the costs management stage.
Budgeting is used as a tool to drive our strategy on a case, to control the permitted evidence, drive quick settlements through limiting costs and removing the benefit to pursuing the litigation. Through securing fixed costs agreements for our clients and developing a costs ADR strategy, we have improved savings by 25% and reduced lifecycles by 70%.
For expert legal advice from real people in our specialist teams, get in touch – we look forward to hearing from you.