Cases by Area of Law

Nicola Ward v Ministry of Defence

Barrister: Andrew McLaughlin
Date: 23rd May 2018
Area of Law: Personal Injury
Summary: Andrew McLaughlin, who has been reappointed by the Attorney General to the Government A Panel of Counsel, has successfully defended a claim for £1.4m brought by Nicola Ward, a former Sergeant and nurse in the RAF, against the Ministry of Defence for devastating psychiatric injury allegedly caused by bullying and harassment at work between 2013 and 2015. The Claimant was represented at trial by Mark Evans QC (Clerksroom) and Alex Fletcher (218 Strand) and for the previous three years by Jonathan Dingle (218 Strand). The case was listed for nine days at Oxford Combined Court Centre before the Designated Civil Judge HHJ Melissa Clarke. Twelve witnesses were called by the Claimant, six by the Defendant. The Claimant alleged she had been unfairly upbraided by her senior commanding officer at the medical centre on base, was subjected by him to a campaign of discriminatory conduct, was excluded from the chain of command and the management team at the medical centre, stripped of Acting Flight Sergeant rank and the pay that came with it, humiliated in front of the nursing department, downgraded on a reference for promotion, and was then stalked after going off sick. The Claimant and her witnesses were cross-examined by Andrew over four days before the defence witnesses were called. At the end of the witnesses’ evidence on day 6 the Judge decided to rule on liability before the medical experts and employment consultants were due to be heard. HHJ Melissa Clarke rejected the entirety of the Claimant’s allegations. She found the Claimant was neither bullied nor harassed. She held that the alleged stalking did not happen. The claim was dismissed with costs. Andrew has been involved in a string of high-value stress-at-work, bullying and harassment claims which he has resisted successfully at trial, some of which are available on Lawtel.

Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited (costs)

Appeal REF.BM5/007/A, Birmingham County Court, HHJ Lopez, 16/6/16

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Civil Procedure/ Personal Injury
Summary: In Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited the Claimant had wrongly said that a pre-1/4/13 CFA was in existence (in fact there was none). Having lost the claim he said that because there was no pre-1/4/13 CFA in existence, QOCS applied. He was estopped from doing so and the defendant is entitled to enforce the costs order against him.

For further discussion of the case click here

Download full judgment: Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited

Dawid Masel v Esure


Barrister: Ben Handy
Areas of Law: Personal Injury
Summary: Ben was instructed by Horwich Farrelly solicitors in order to defend this claim on behalf of the defendant insurer, Esure.

The trial took place on the 21st April 2016, the claimant claimed that he had been injured for a total of four months following a minor car accident with Esure’s insured driver. Investigations by Esure and Horwich Farrelly uncovered a publicly-available video on YouTube in which the claimant took part in, and won, a ‘Total Full Contact’ kickboxing fight within a month of the accident. The Judge watched all six rounds of the contest, during which she commented that the claimant looked “a picture of health”.

The claim was dismissed, and the defendant successfully argued that the claim was fundamentally dishonest. The claimant lost his costs-protection and the Judge ordered him to pay the defendant’s costs, which were assessed on the indemnity basis.

Sullivan v (1) Cardiff Council; and (2) Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water

Cardiff County Court (Recorder Lloyd Williams), 3/11/15

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal Injury / Highway Law
Point of interest for highway lawyers: Shine v Tower Hamlets [2006] EWCA Civ 852 (no s.41 duty in respect of street furniture) applies to pillar fire hydrants just as much as it does to bollards. The Claimant (“C”) had tried to argue that because the covers of the usual subterranean hydrants are part of the highway, so must a pillar hydrant be part of the highway. Unsurprisingly the court rejected that argument.
Summary: C was out for a jog on the street where he lives in daylight hours. As he ran past the local pub a friend called out in greeting. C turned to wave to his friend and ran into a pillar fire hydrant at the side of the pavement and broke his thigh bone. He claimed against both the highway authority (D1 – represented by Matthew) and the water company responsible for the hydrant (D2). The fire hydrant was missing part of its cover and C’s case (supported by an orthopaedic expert) was that if the cover had been there he would not have broken his leg (albeit that he still would have run into the fire hydrant).

His claim failed on medical causation (the judge preferring the evidence of the defendants’ orthopaedic expert that the presence/ absence of the cover made no difference to the broken femur). The judge went on to determine that in any event the fire hydrant (covered or not) did not pose a foreseeable risk of harm.

Download full judgment: Sullivan v (1) Cardiff Council and (2) Dwr Cymru-Welsh Water

Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited

Appeal REF.BM5/007/A, Birmingham County Court, HHJ Lopez, 3/11/15

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal InjuryCivil Procedure
Summary: No fee means no application. Matthew acted for the defendant employer and the claim was struck out on the basis that an application to extend time for service of the claim form, whilst received by the court in time, did not have the right fee with it so was in fact not made until too late.

For a more detailed discussion of the case: No fee means no application. Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited
Download full judgment: Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Limited

Walsall MBC v Millard

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal Injury
Matthew successfully represented the defendant/appellant highway authority in Walsall MBC v Millard, unreported, Walsall County Court (HHJ Gregory), 30/6/14, a decision that should give solace to highway authorities worried about the implications of the decision in Wilkinson v City of York Council [2011] EWCA Civ 207.

View Matthew’s comments on the decision: Walsall MBC v Millard

Denton & Ors v TH White

[2014] EWCA Civ 906

Barrister: Andrew McLaughlin 
Area of Law:
 Personal Injury
Summary: Andrew successfully represented the defendant in the lead case of Denton & Ors v TH White. On 4th July 2014, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in this matter and the conjoined appeals in the most eagerly awaited case this year. The decision will have wide-ranging implications for the conduct of civil litigation generally.

Andrew gives his view in Denton v T H White Ltd and the conjoined appeals here. This article can also be viewed on the Law Society Gazette website.

View judgment: Denton & Ors v TH White [2014] EWCA Civ 906

Denton v TH White

 [2014] EWCA Civ 906

Barrister: Richard Stead
Area of Law:  Personal Injury
Summary: Richard represented the claimant in leading Court of Appeal case on relief from sanctions. Read more here.

Percy Leonard McDonald v (1) Department for Communities and Local Government; and (2) National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC

[2013] EWCA Civ 1346

Barrister: Matthew White
Area of Law: Personal Injury
 Matthew succeeded in the Court of Appeal in a battle over exposure to a modest amount of asbestos in the 1950s. The judgment confirms that there must be enough exposure for harm to have been foreseeable at the time of exposure for a claim in negligence to succeed. A claimant can succeed against an occupier responsible for asbestos on (effectively) a strict liability basis under the Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931 without needing to prove foreseeability, but an employer is not liable for an occupiers’ breach on the basis of a non-delegable duty.

For a more detailed discussion of the case, click here.

STOP PRESS:- An appeal by the occupier defendant (seeking to contend that Cherry Tree was wrongly decided) and a cross appeal by the claimant was heard by the Supreme Court in February 2014. The result is awaited.”


Hide v The Steeplechase Company (Cheltenham) Limited & Ors

[2013] EWCA Civ 545

Barrister: Anna Symington
Area of Law:
Personal Injury
Christopher Sharp QC and Anna Symington were instructed by Withy King LLP to appear for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal of Hide v Steeplechase Company, an important case about the interpretation of Regulation 4(1) and 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Download judgment: Hide v The Steeplechase Company (Cheltenham) Limited & Ors