Colin Ettinger

Partner

Biography

I qualified as a solicitor in 1978. Throughout my period of training, and since then, I have been representing people who have been injured. For many years now, I have represented those who have been particularly badly injured, having sustained injuries that have proved to be life changing events.

The law provides that in a successful case, an injured person can recover compensation. However, in every case it is possible to use this process to generate interim payments of compensation to fund  a rehabilitation programme and also to identify how a disability can best be managed. It is very much part of Irwin Mitchell’s policy and, indeed, culture when dealing with these cases to ensure that the maximum that can be done for the client in terms of their recovery, is done. In all our cases there is evidence of this approach.

"determined, ambitious and thorough in the way he runs cases" - Chambers & Partners 2015

Sources say he is "absolutely superb" and is widely considered to be amongst the most experienced practitioners operating within the personal injury field nationally." - Chambers & Partners 2014

"Extraordinary skill and efficiency." - Chambers & Partners 2013

"A superb litigator." - Chambers & Partners 2012

"A great litigator." - Legal 500 2014 

"sets the standard for the rest of the team" and his "client care is second to none." - Legal 500 2013

Recent Cases

Case Study 1: Moderate Brain Injury Leaves Woman With Poor Vision

My client suffered what was acknowledged as a moderate brain injury. However, the injury has affected her significantly with regards to fatigue and concentration. She also has very poor vision in one eye which has led to her only being able to work part time. She also had a love for recipe writing, but found this process quite difficult after her injury. With the assistance of an occupational therapist, appropriately qualified, and support workers, a scheme of work has been identified whereby the level of support that our client needs in order to carry out effective recipe writing has been achieved.

Case Study 2: Support And Therapy Achieved For Serious Brain Injury Victim

Another previous client sustained a very serious brain injury whilst in a residential care home. It took a while for his case to be resolved as liability was in issue. He led a very basic existence and his personal care needs were attended to but that was about it. Once we were able to finalise the issue on liability and generate interim payments, we involved a case manager who co-ordinated the involvement of various therapists for our client. This included an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, as well as a psychologist and support workers. The effect of this has been that our client now is able to participate in and carry out many activities. His quality of life is restored to a level that was, at one time, thought unimaginable.

Publications

For over 10 years I have been one of the editors of the Journal of Personal Injury Law. In every one of their editions I will write notes on various cases. I have also written articles of a topical legal nature that have gone into that Journal as well as the Law Society Gazette, the Solicitor’s Journal and other publications.

What Inspired You To Get Into The Law?

I wanted to become a lawyer so that I could help people. People regularly need legal advice and not only should this be top quality but those representing them should have empathy with the people whom they represent. I hope that I can offer that. As I have indicated in the case examples I have given, representing injured people does give an opportunity to help repair their lives. I do not consider that people realise the opportunities that claims involving personal injury present. It is not just a question of recovering as much compensation as possible, it is also about helping people with their standard and quality of life after they have been injured.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect of Your Role?

The answer to that question is, as I have already indicated in the cases where we represented injured people, it gives me immense satisfaction if we are able to help them with the recovery from what is very often a catastrophic injury. Statutory services provide a very important opportunity for individuals when they have been injured but they have limited funds. If there is a successful personal injury case then this can supplement what is on offer and can so often help them to a very significant extent.

What Do You Like About Working at Irwin Mitchell?

Irwin Mitchell is a vibrant firm. It is very modern in its approach and outlook. The personal injury department has a very good reputation for the work that it does. It is, at least, one of the best in the country. What I really like about working within the department is that it very much supports and promotes the approach that I have already described, that is to help our clients improve the quality and standard of their lives as much as we possibly can.

What Do You Do Away From the Office?

I am a family man. I am married with three grown up children who I see as often as I can and whose company I enjoy very much. I also have what I think is a wide circle of friends and I very much enjoy socialising with them. I love music, in particular jazz and I enjoy watching live concerts. Brazilian music is also of great appeal to me. I take a keen interest in current affairs and will often attend political events. I try to keep fit, I regularly run in races which includes, now, 6 half marathons. I am a football addict and go to watch my football team whenever I can and have been doing so for many, many years. What football team do I follow? That is a closely guarded secret.


Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 16/11/2016
    Croydon Tram Was Travelling ‘Three Times Over Speed Limit’ As It Crashed

    “The impact of incidents such as this are obviously devastating for those families who have lost loved ones and the injuries suffered by other victims can be life-changing with survivors needing a life-time of care and rehabilitation to help them overcome both the physical and psychological trauma. “For the vast majority of the time public transport is an incredibly safe way to travel, but sadly was not the case for those unfortunate victims on board this Croydon tram which has now been found to have been travelling too fast. “Lessons must be learned from the thorough investigation by the RAIB into why the tram was travelling at this speed, to ensure an accident like this cannot happen again. “The investigation will need to be clear and concise to restore the public’s confidence in using such transport. And so that the survivors and family members of those who tragically did not survive receive the closure that they deserve.”

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  • 17/05/2016
    Double Decker Bus Crash In Harlesden Injures Seventeen

    This was clearly a very serious accident that endangered not only those travelling on the bus but those on the pavement and in the shop the bus collided with. "A number of people have suffered injuries, some of them serious, as a result of the incident and it is imperative a thorough investigation is conducted to determine exactly what caused the crash, as those involved will understandably want answers about what happened. "Through our work we have seen the long-term impact incidents like this can have, not only physically for those injured, but psychologically for those on-board the bus or those who witnessed the collision. This incident could have resulted in the loss of life and it is vital a transparent and thorough investigation is conducted in a bid to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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  • 03/03/2016
    Number Of Motorcycle and Scooter Deaths Soars In Capital

    "We work closely with clients who have suffered serious injuries and families who have lost loved ones after being involved in motorcycle accidents. “We see the devastation and heartache that these types of accident cause and urge that as much as is humanly possibly is done to make the roads safe for all users, including vulnerable groups such as motorcyclists. “We welcome the news that TfL are trying to improve safety standards and invite people to take a look at our #SaferJourneys campaign, which we have worked on with road safety charity Brake, to offer advice on how to stay safe on the roads.”

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  • 25/02/2016
    Supreme Court Overturns Damages Assessment Rulings In Fatal Accident Claims

    Yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court is an extremely welcome one and corrects a problem many people who have lost loved ones have faced since 1979 when bring legal claims. The decision supports what we have been arguing in our fatal cases for several years, namely that the law should be changed to reflect the very real emotional and financial impact the loss of a loved one can have on families, who often struggle to rebuild their lives. The Supreme Court’s decision supports a basic principle that has been with us for many, many years to compensate people, so far as money can, so that they are restored to the position they were in before the death of a loved one.

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