Senior associate Victoria Williams and partner Peter Neenan spoke at Outer Temple’s Travel Law Conference in London on Thursday, 19 October. The event saw practitioners from around the world discuss their views on the wide array of international law issues arising in cross-jurisdictional injury claims.
Trainee solicitor Victoria Lee Domenech outlines the key takeaways.
Senior associate Victoria Williams and Natalia Astigarraga Bronte (Astrom Legal) delivered a joint presentation on British-Spanish clinical negligence claims and the importance of co-counselling when issuing abroad.
They discussed some of the issues lawyers should be aware of when bringing negligence claims in Spain on behalf of a British client, including differences in limitation periods, obligations on medical defendants to take out professional insurance and the ability to recover legal costs from the other side.
Victoria and Natalia went on to present one of the matters they are currently working on together as co-counsel, drawing on practical examples to highlight the importance of selecting the right co-counsel in such cases. They concluded by saying you need to communicate, collaborate and have confidence in your co-counsel.
Victoria is a specialist in cross-border clinical negligence cases, frequently representing clients who have suffered brain and spinal injuries as a result of medical mismanagement overseas.
Attendees later listened to a panel discussion between Aviation partner Peter Neenan, Sarah Crowther KC (Outer Temple) and John V Kalantzis (Clifford Law), led by Gerard McDermott KC (Outer Temple).
Peter touched upon the issues he first thinks about when a case comes across his desk, including the existence of any investigation reports of the crash or other similar accidents that may be relevant, saying: “An accident report can be useful beyond providing information about the causes of the accident, such as piloting error or manufacturing defects. The families are not party to the official investigation and often do not have experience of reading technical reports like these. Reviewing these documents and explaining the causes to families early on therefore helps them to understand what has happened.”
When asked about the best jurisdictions for recovery, Peter favoured the United States, although he warned that the law and approach by juries varies between states. As an English solicitor and Illinois attorney, Peter has significant expertise in complex aviation matters with dual British-American elements. He has acted in a number of multi-million pound claims brought against airlines headquartered in the United States, including the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 and Lion Air JT610 Boeing Max cases against Boeing heard in Chicago.
The most reiterated message throughout the conference was that cross-border injury claims are complex, with traps for the unwary. They require specialist advice and the effective instruction of co-counsel in the foreign jurisdiction where the claim will be heard. Stewarts, with its leading specialisms in both clinical negligence and aviation, is well-suited to assist. Our experience bringing complex disputes abroad and established network of international practitioners enable us to issue claims in foreign jurisdictions and ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.
If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.
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