I'm interested in…

  • Strategy & Procedure
  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Motor
  • Fraud
  • Disease
  • Liability
  • Commercial Insurance
  • Costs
  • Local Authority
  • Scotland

Case watch

Catastrophic injury – capacity to litigate – settlement

Dunhill v Burgin concerns issues of whether a claimant had capacity at the time of settlement and whether the requirement for court approval under CPR 21.10 applies even if at the time of settlement the claimant was not known to lack capacity. The Supreme Court hearing is due to take place on 4 November 2013.

Professional risks – solicitors – duty of care – acceptance of instructions from executive directors

Newcastle Airport was granted permission to take its professional negligence claim against Eversheds to the Court of Appeal. A hearing took place in June and judgment is awaited. Newcastle International Airport Ltd v Eversheds LLP.

Insurance – s.151 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Directive 2009/103/EC - compatibility - right of recovery – uninsured driver

Post Magazine reports that the Supreme Court appeal in Churchill Insurance Company Ltd v Fitzgerald & Wilkinson & Ors is due to be heard on 12/13 February 2014. This case concerns the right of recovery in motor claims pursuant to s.151(8) Road Traffic Act 1988. Read DWF’s update following the 2012 Court of Appeal judgment.  

Schools – duty of care – acts of independent contractors

a 10 year old girl suffered a brain injury in a near drowning incident during a school swimming lesson. The question for the Supreme Court to consider was the scope of the school’s duty to pupils in its care: was it a duty to take reasonable care in the performance of the functions entrusted to it only if it performed those functions itself, through its own employees; or was it to procure that reasonable care was taken in their performance by whomever it might get to perform them – a non-delegable duty? The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the Claimant‟s appeal against the order striking out the allegation of a non-delegable duty.

On the facts of this case, the school had delegated the control of the Claimant to third parties to carry out an integral part of its teaching function during school hours, in a place where the school chose to carry out this part of its functions. If it is found that the third parties were negligent then the school will be in breach of duty.

The case will now return to the High Court to determine whether the Claimant was in fact a victim of negligence. Woodland v Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66 (23 October 2013)


For further information Brief please contact:

Fiona James, Director, Professional Support Lawyer on 0191 233 5220

Alex Fusco, Associate, Professional Support Lawyer on 0161 603 5211

Catherine Hart, Associate, Professional Support Lawyer on 0141 228 8000


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.