When our clients suffer a life-changing personal injury they come to us in the hope of brighter days ahead, for them or their loved ones.
Everyone’s circumstances and problems are unique, and behind every case there’s a story to tell and lessons to be learned. It’s often very complex and for anyone to be able to move forward they need the help of a wide range of experts from health professionals to invaluable charities to client liaison managers.
A legal dispute means different things to different people, but it can be a chance for more support, more answers or more exposure of a situation that should never ever happen.
Over the past few months we’ve been reflecting on some of the landmark cases that our solicitors have been involved in and the long lasting impact it’s had on them on and more importantly the person they represented.
You can read all their stories here...
“I was a latecomer to the law. I trained and qualified as a nurse in Dublin before heading to London in 1987, and funded my legal studies by working in hospitals across London before qualifying in 1998.
One of the most challenging cases I’ve dealt with since then went all the way to the Supreme Court. It was a surrogacy case brought by a woman diagnosed with cervical cancer aged 29. Her cancer was missed at several opportunities, and as a result of chemo-radiotherapy, she became infertile.
Throughout the legal action, she stayed focused on having a family, and wanted to do that through surrogacy in California. The High Court originally ruled against this, so I took the case to the Court of Appeal, and won – but there was then an appeal on that decision.
In April, the Supreme Court agreed that she was entitled to recover the costs for IVF and surrogacy. The issue of surrogacy costs had been taken to the Supreme Court only once before, in 2001.”
Anne recalls a case she took to the Supreme court to support her client.
Read Anne’s story
"I recently settled a complex claim on behalf of a little girl who had Erb’s Palsy.
The impact of her disability resulted in her developing post-traumatic stress disorder, which presented as selective mutism. Her family approached us to see how we could help to improve quality of life for their daughter.
With a severely injured child at the heart of this case, I worked tirelessly to secure one of the biggest settlements we’ve seen for this type of claim. It was wonderful to achieve such a good result in this case for a lovely family, and to make sure that their child can enjoy the rest of their childhood without being too held back by their disability."
Tom remembers a case in support of an injured child, to ensure they got the rehabilitation and care they needed.
Read Tom’s story
"Josiah was starved of oxygen at the final stage of his delivery – the heart rate monitor showed signs he was in distress.
Instead of calling for senior review, the midwives turned off the monitor and it remained off for over 100 minutes. When it was turned back on, Lotti’s delivery was progressed to an emergency within 15 minutes. Independent experts suggest if Josiah had been born just five to ten minutes earlier, he would have avoided a brain injury altogether.
I can still remember the day I called Lotti to tell her that the Defendant had admitted liability. She burst into tears which made me well up too, and neither of us could speak. She says she still remembers the call vividly."
Lindsay recalls a case where she fought for her client to get the support and care they needed for their child, born with cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence.
Read Lindsay’s story
“One case that stands out to me recently was that of a man – Martin Rix – who passed away from mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos related disease. He was the managing director of a successful family business.
I supported the family through a case which involved four years of litigation and which eventually went to a remote trial at the High Court, during the first coronavirus lockdown. We secured justice for the family, with the court handing down judgment in their favour.
We pushed the boundary of the law for the Rix family, and the Judge recognised the need to look at the practical realities of each individual family in cases like this.”
Joanne shares her perspective on work she did for a client to support them after the loss of their husband to mesothelioma.
Read Joanne’s story
"I grew up in a family of medics, which is where my interest in personal injury law comes from. I was always far too squeamish to go into medicine and knew I wanted to work in law. I decided that by becoming a solicitor I’d be directly supporting clients and could see a case through from beginning to end.
It’s the 25th anniversary this year of a landmark case I worked on, for a wonderful lady called June Hancock. June had pleural mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lungs.
She was exposed to asbestos as a child, when she played on the grounds of an asbestos factory very close to where she grew up in Leeds. June and her friends used to innocently jump around on bales of asbestos, creating clouds of dust around the factory site. At that time, the long-term effects of the substance weren’t known to the people living near to the factory.
It’s an immense privilege to represent mesothelioma clients and their families. If we can get the necessary funds so they can access better and more effective treatment, their life could be extended. Knowing this, along with helping people to achieve some measure of justice and giving them some peace of mind, I find incredibly rewarding."
Adrian recalls a ground-breaking environmental mesothelioma case that paved the way for many other such cases.
Read Adrian’s story
Protecting what matters most
As part of our look at our leading litigators and the cases that have shaped their career, we’ve also looked back at historical cases in the world of business and family law.
You can read all our litigation stories here.
More litigation stories
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