We specialise in highways claims, social services claims, human rights act claims, stress at work and educational negligence claims.
Our approach is to be proactive. From day one we recognise the importance of controlling costs. That’s why we work hard to identify the chances of successfully defending a claim at the earliest stage and to adopt the appropriate strategy to achieve a swift conclusion
Our tailored, no-nonsense approach provides you with on-going benefits long after a claim is resolved, and our case management system captures a wealth of information, through which we are able to offer meaningful, analytical intelligence.
We’ll work with you to apply best practice techniques in identifying key risk management issues and setting out strategies and tactics for reducing future claims.
Caroline Sanders acted for Surrey County Council in Surrey County Council v Hillard on their successful appeal against a district judge's decision that it was in breach of s.41 Highways Act 1980, after a cyclist was injured in a closed road cycling event. The appetite of the appellate court to analyse the trial judge's approach and willingness to interfere with the judgment given the compelling evidence at hand, sends a powerful message. Caroline draws out the relevant tests and the persuasive statistical evidence.
There has been an unprecedented surge in the number of housing claims where it is alleged the property is in disrepair, resulting in extensive financial exposure to private landlords, local authorities and insurers. DWF's intelligence suggests that these types of claims are presented by a handful of solicitors and claims management companies. Denise Brosnan, Hannah Turner and Samuel Dawber take a look at the potential reasons for the rise and how local authorities can deal with this increase and help combat claims farming practices.
Gabriel Fay examines the different reasons behind the findings and comments on the potential implications of the judgment for local authorities and other landowners.
Earlier this month the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd (2018). Samantha Chambers and Paul Donnelly consider the implications of the judgment which continues the line of recent appellate court decisions concerning vicarious liability for physical assaults or criminal acts.
Vicarious liability has regularly been under the spotlight recently. Sheryl Bignell and Paul Donnelly look at the Court of Appeal's decision which clarifies that following repeated extensions to the doctrine of vicarious liability, such claims can no longer be defeated on the basis that the tortfeasor is an independent contractor.
Gabriel Fay reviews this sensible and useful decision for highway authorities and other landowners. In Sumner v Colborne, Denbighshire County Council and The Welsh Ministers, the Court of Appeal rejected an attempt by a motorist to impose a duty of care on the highway authority and landowner to prevent roadside vegetation from impairing visibility for road users.
In A v London Borough of Southwark, the judge found that taking part in a school sprint race was a desirable activity and whilst the claimant's collision with another pupil was unfortunate and not the Claimant’s fault, it was not reasonable to hold the local authority liable, as there was no foreseeable risk against which further precautions should have been taken.
For liability to attach to a defendant authority in tripping cases, the defect does need to be objectively considered to be dangerous. It is not sufficient for a claimant to point to the fact that they tripped to be proof of the dangerous nature of a defect.
In the recent appeal in Pook v Rossall School, the High Court considered the nature of the duty schools owe to their students and the circumstances in which the courts should interfere with the school's assessment of the risks. David Woolley who was instructed to act on behalf of the school and its insurer RSA, outlines the key findings.
In the recent case of Cook v Swansea City Council , the Court of Appeal dismissed the Claimant appellant's claim for damages after he slipped and fell on ice in a car park owned by a local authority. The court upheld the finding that there was no breach of duty under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 s.2(2) to take reasonable care to ensure that visitors would be reasonably safe when using an unmanned car park in icy conditions.
The Court of Appeal recently handed down its judgment in CN v Poole Borough Council, a ground breaking case for local authorities.
Denise Brosnan reviews her recent successful appeal on behalf of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, against a finding of a breach of the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 in a tripping claim. Denise highlights the evidential concerns which were central to the case and which illustrate a key issue to consider when dealing with occupiers' liability claims.
As the authors of Local Authority Liability and legal advisors to Alarm, the public sector risk management association, we understand that managing a claim doesn’t just come down to litigation – drawing expertise from across the firm.