Compromise and capacity: Protecting the vulnerable is paramount

Dunhill v Burgin

Supreme Court

12 March 2014

In the recent case of Dunhill v Burgin (2014) the Supreme Court had to consider the unusual scenario of a case that had settled where the claimant lacked capacity but the defendant was unaware of this. This is a case which has twisted, turned and even leapfrogged its way to the Supreme Court. In a judgment which emphasises that the policy underlying the Civil Procedural Rules is the protection of vulnerable parties, the Supreme Court held that the claimant did not have the capacity to conduct her claim and the settlement was invalid. In this legal update Paul Banks and Philip D’Netto review the judgment and consider its implications.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Paul Banks


I am a Partner in the catastrophic injury team of the Leeds insurance department.

Philip D'Netto


I am a Partner specialising in catastrophic injury and large loss claims, based in the firm’s Manchester office and heading up the practice area there.