Specialist lawyers from Stewarts’ Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury teams once again supported the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Brain and Spinal Injury Conference this year. The event, which was held in Newport, Wales in June, brought together lawyers and medical experts to consider the impact of recent legal and medical developments.

The conference heard from neurosurgeons and neurologists on developments in brain imaging and our understanding of concussion. It also considered legal topics such as expert medico-legal discussions, capacity considerations, rehabilitation protocols and the complexities of case management during a claim.

Introducing the conference as chair, Hugh Johnson told delegates:

“Research from the spinal injury charities now suggests that somebody in the UK sustains a spinal injury every four hours (not every six hours as had been the case). Leading brain injury charities estimate that hospital admissions for an acquired brain injury occur every 90 seconds an increase of 10% from 10 years ago.


Hugh Johnson, co-ordinator of the APIL spinal cord injury SIG

Hugh Johnson, co-ordinator of the APIL spinal cord injury SIG


“Whilst not all injuries will give rise to a legal claim, it is clear that social care resources are becoming further and further stretched. The work we do for our injured clients to fund their future care and other needs is now more important than ever.”

A theme of the conference was best practice and matters learnt in complex litigation. On the panel of experts were Julian Chamberlayne, Head of Aviation and International Injury and Kevin Grealis, Head of Complex Injury team.

Julian addressed delegates on the topic of ‘lost years’ where there has been life limiting injury and how interim payments should be addressed. He considered in detail the Stewarts case of Chaplin v Pistol in which the claimant was advised by partner, Stephanie Clarke. He explained how the additional award for foreshortened life expectancy may permit the court to award larger interim damages than one might at first consider.

Kevin outlined, as he saw them, the seven habits of effective case managers who work with clients and collaboratively with solicitors conducting complex litigation.

Reflecting on the conference, Hugh commented:

“Opportunities to share best practice and to learn about the latest legal and medical developments such as the APIL Brain and Spinal Injury Conference help us ensure that we continue to offer our clients the very best service and technical expertise.”



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