A series of 15-minute webcasts
A series of bitesize sessions brought to you by our specialist lawyers and featuring some special guest speakers.
The series is designed to deliver concise and interesting updates, conversations and presentations on a range of topics.
Stress in personal injury litigation and managing your client: a guide for rehab professionals
Emma Lyons speaks to Stewarts partner Ben Townsend to discuss the inherent stress experienced by claimants and their support network during the litigation process.
It is natural that some clients will feel more stressed with the litigation process than others (sometimes influenced by the nature and extent of their injuries). However, Ben will identify the most common triggers and stages of personal injury litigation which generally cause stress and worry for claimants.
Emma and Ben discuss the importance of forward planning and developing agreed strategies to assist and support clients during these times to minimise any adverse impact upon rehabilitation and engagement. Ben explores how a case changes after court proceedings are commenced and offers advice upon the specific stressors arising from expert appointments. Ben provides some top tips for case managers and other professionals who accompany clients to both claimant and defendant expert appointments.
Finding and adapting accommodation in a post Covid world – what has changed?
Emma Lyons was joined by Jonathan France to discuss how finding and adapting accommodation for those affected by catastrophic injury has changed since Covid-19.
Jonathan explored the new challenges presented to individuals and rehab teams in finding suitable property for people who have sustained life-changing injuries. He explained the difficulties experienced by patients transitioning from hospital to home and the impact Covid-19 has had on this.
Jonathan also discussed the effect of Covid-19 on adaptations to properties and whether it is likely to have a long-term impact.
Finally, he offered top tips for rehab teams working with clients who are renting or purchasing adapted properties in the current climate.
Soundbites Episode 34 - Sleep after catastrophic injury: a quick-fire guide for rehabilitation professionals
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons speaks to Dr David Lee, Clinical Director of Sleep Unlimited, about how sleep can become corrupted after catastrophic injury.
Dr Lee discusses the most common sleep issues people experience (based upon the nature and extent of their problem) and how to identify the stage at which a sleep assessment is appropriate (if at all).
Dr Lee explores how corrupted sleep can impact a programme of rehabilitation and offers top tips to the multi-disciplinary team when dealing with someone experiencing sleep problems in the course of therapeutic interventions. Dr Lee and Emma also discuss the most common means of treating corrupted sleep.
Soundbites episode 33 – Functional neurological disorder: A discussion with Professor Jon Stone, Consultant Neurologist
Professor Jon Stone, Consultant Neurologist discuss the fascinating and important topic of functional neurological disorder (FND).
FND and functional symptoms are surprisingly common but can be complex to diagnose and manage. Professor Stone explained what FND is, its main symptoms and causes and how it can be diagnosed. Professor Stone explored the interplay between FND and other disorders and discussed the prognosis and recovery for those affected.
Soundbites episode 32 – Relationship breakdowns and protecting the vulnerable
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons spoke to Jenny Bowden, a senior associate in the Stewarts divorce team, about the wider implications of catastrophic injury upon family life and relationships.
Jenny and Emma will discussed the most common family problems that arise after someone has sustained a life-changing injury.
Jenny explained the potentially complex implications of serious injury upon family dynamics and advise on precautionary measures to consider to help manage familial problems that may arise further down the line.
Jenny explored planning options, including cohabitation agreements and pre and post-nuptial agreements.
Emma and Jenny discussed what happens to compensation/property if a relationship breaks down and how best to advise vulnerable clients who may be experiencing difficulties in their marriage or other relationships.
Soundbites episode 31 – The Role of an independent Financial Advisor in personal injury litigation
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons spoke to Alison Taylor, Senior Consultant at Frenkel Topping, about the role of an independent financial advisor (IFA) in personal injury cases.
Alison explained the stage at which input from an IFA may be beneficial or necessary, the types of issues that can be dealt with and the extent to which they may be able to assist the litigation team, including the case manager.
Alison explored the difficult issue of financial abuse where particularly vulnerable clients are involved and discusses the role of an IFA as a means of supporting catastropically injured clients.
Soundbites episode 30 – The future of autonomous vehicles for the catastrophically injured
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Lucie Clinch of Stewarts discussed the emergence of autonomous vehicles and their potential impact on the lives of those affected by catastrophic injury.
Lucie explained some of the potential risks and benefits of introducing these vehicles to our roads and considers the types of individuals who may benefit from this advancement in technology. Lucie explored the timescales involved in introducing autonomous vehicles to the UK and examine some of the issues that have arisen with their use in the US.
Soundbites episode 29 – Working with Court of Protection and personal injury trust clients: the benefits of a joint approach
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, guest host Nickie Maple-Pearson spoke to Clare King and Lynsey Harrison of Clarion about the benefit of a joint approach when working with Court of Protection and personal injury trust clients, covering non-contentious and contentious issues.
Clare and Lynsey discussed some important issues arising in dealing with clients who lack capacity, including financial abuse, how to deal with those suspected of not acting in the client’s best interests, and who should and should not act for them.
They offered some practical tips for recognising the signs of financial abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse is happening, whether financial or in another form. They also explored the importance of the client’s best interests being kept at the centre of any dispute and discuss the sensitive issue of how to address a situation where a litigation friend appears not to be acting in the best interests of a client who lacks capacity.
Clare and Lynsey are highly regarded experts in their respective fields.
Soundbites episode 28 – The importance of speech and language therapy provision and social communication after catastrophic injury
In this episode, Emma Lyons speaks to Judith Scholefield about the importance of speech and language therapy provision and social communication after serious injury.
Judith will explore how to identify when a speech and language therapist is required as part of a multidisciplinary team and the point at which it is appropriate to introduce them to the rehabilitation process. Judith will discuss the difficulties experienced by those who suffer from social communication disorders and how a speech and language therapist addresses those problems.
Judith will explore how understanding in people affected by severe traumatic brain injury is assessed. She will also analyse whether there is room for speech and language therapy for patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness and non-brain injury cases.
Soundbites episode 27 – Jason Richards: from hero to zero and working his way back up again, 25 years after spinal cord injury.
In this special episode, Emma Lyons interviews Jason Richards, a father of three and a successful building services engineer and sustainability consultant, who sustained a complete spinal cord injury at the age of 26.
Jason was involved in a road traffic accident in 1996, which transformed his life. He was a keen sportsman before his injury and has passionately pursued an impressive career as an athlete as part of his rehabilitation. His sporting endeavours include competing in marathons and pentathlons, and javelin, shot put and discus events, as well as wheelchair racing.
As well as discussing the highs of his athletic career, Jason shares powerful and personal insights into the challenges of his life after injury and the ongoing issues he deals with 25 years on. Jason discusses his recovery, his journey into parenthood (he is the proud father of 13-year-old twins and a two-year-old little boy) and his mental health challenges. He also shares some top tips for people working with and affected by catastrophic injury.
Soundbites episode 26 – Twenty one years after spinal cord injury: a conversation with Allan Clayton
In this special episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons spoke to Allan Clayton, a counsellor and coach.
Allan was a promising young footballer who was only 17 when he sustained a spinal cord injury in a road traffic accident. He was told there was only a 5% chance that he would be able to use his limbs again. Against all the odds, he excelled in his rehabilitation and walked away from the spinal unit.
After pursuing a personal injury claim, Allan struggled to manage his compensation and found himself investing in failing businesses. He battled with his disability and depression and began drinking and taking drugs.
Twenty-one years later, Allan is an inspiring and motivated coach and counsellor. In this episode, Allan took us through his journey, his problems after the settlement of his injury claim and the turning points in his life. He discussed what support he thinks would have been valuable to him following his injury, his ongoing challenges and provided some top tips for those working with and supporting catastrophically injured individuals.
Soundbites episode 25 – Robotics and rehab; intensive rehabilitation, the technology and the client
In this fascinating episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons spoke to Sarah Daniel, Neurological Physiotherapist and Clinical Director of Motion Rehab for Yorkshire and Humberside.
Sarah provided insight into the Lexo Robotic Gait Trainer, an innovative technological advancement in rehabilitation. She explored the meaning and value of “intensive rehabilitation” and discussed the management of fatigue in clients who regularly undertake intense physical therapy.
Soundbites episode 24 – Drones – the evolving liability regime and implications for personal injury litigation
In this episode, Associate Kieran Mercer and Max Archer, a barrister at 12 King’s Bench Walk, discussed the growing number of drones in the sky, the evolving liability regime and the implications for personal injury litigation.
Max examined the potential parties to a personal injury claim following a drone accident and highlighted the issues a claimant may need to overcome when seeking redress. Max looked at recent legislation and considered whether the removal of the distinction between non-commercial and commercial drone operations will affect the numbers of drones seen above us and the corresponding risk of injury.
Soundbites episode 23 – Best Interests Decisions on behalf of Incapacitated Individuals; Applying Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
In this episode, Emma Lyons and John McKendrick QC discussed the practical application of the best interests principle under s4 Mental Capacity Act 2005.
John explained how to identify when a best interests decision needs to be made, the formal process, including when a best interests meeting is required, who should be consulted and who is the decision-maker. John explained what happens when there is a dispute regarding a person’s best interests and will provide top tips for those involved in the process.
Soundbites episode 22 – Frontal lobe paradox with Professor Ingram Wright, consultant in neuropsychology, University Hospitals Bristol
In this episode of Stewarts Soundbites, Emma Lyons spoke to Professor Ingram Wright, consultant neuropsychologist, about the frontal lobe paradox.
This is the fascinating phenomenon whereby individuals who have sustained frontal lobe damage and experience functional difficulties in their everyday lives continue to perform well in interviews and testing.
Professor Ingram Wright explored how to identify and understand the frontal lobe paradox and the impact on those affected. Professor Wright explained why executive dysfunction can hide so well in assessments and how important it is to obtain input from a person’s family and friends. He explored the risk of “mislabelling” and discussed the influence of anxiety and other external factors.
Click here to view the ‘Mental Capacity Act (2005) assessments: why everyone needs to know about the frontal lobe paradox’ paper by Melanie George and Sam Gilbert
Soundbites episode 21 – Continuing Healthcare Funding with Rachel Burley-Stower, Consultant, Martin Searle Solicitors
In this episode, Emma Lyons and Rachel Burley-Stower discussed the importance and mechanism of NHS Continuing Healthcare. Rachel dispelled some common misconceptions and explained the eligibility criteria and assessment process. She offered top tips for securing CHC funding and provided advice for appeals.
Soundbites episode 20 - Advancements in Subtle Brain Injury Testing with Pankaj Madan, Barrister, 12KBW
Subtle Brain Injuries are widely misunderstood and under-diagnosed. The term “subtle brain injury” may suggest that the injury is minor when so often the effect may be extremely serious for the individual and the family.
In this fascinating episode, Emma Lyons and Pankaj Madan discussed what subtle brain injury is, how to recognise it and the advancements of testing in this difficult area.
Soundbites episode 19 - Catastrophic injury claims: a quick-fire guide to the litigation process – part 4 - The client's perspective - With Chris Smith, Senior Associate
This is the final part of our four-part mini-series dealing with the key stages of the litigation process in a catastrophic injury claim.
In this episode, Chris Smith turns the discussion on its head speaking to a past client who sustained a catastrophic injury and has been through the litigation process. This is an extremely interesting exploration of what the litigation process looks like through the eyes of a claimant and his family.
Soundbites episode 18 - Catastrophic injury claims: a quick-fire guide to the litigation process with Emma Lyons, Associate
This is the third part of our four-part mini-series dealing with the key stages of the litigation process in a catastrophic injury claim.
Emma examined how a case is run after court proceedings are issued, witness evidence, schedules of loss, settlement meetings, the trial and key considerations in relation to form of awards.
Soundbites episode 17 - Catastrophic injury claims: A quick-fire guide to the litigation process with Ben Townsend
This is the second part of our four-part mini-series dealing with the key stages of the litigation process in a catastrophic injury claim.
Partner Ben Townsend discussed the key issues arising in a case in relation to record-keeping by case managers and the multi-disciplinary team, preparation and disclosure of documents and expert appointments/evidence.
Soundbites episode 16 – Catastrophic injury claims: A quick-fire guide to the litigation process with Daniel Herman
This is the first part of a four-part mini-series dealing with the key stages of the litigation process in a catastrophic injury claim.
Partner Daniel Herman examined the early stages in the life of a catastrophic injury case from meeting the client and their family, ascertaining immediate needs and establishing funding, choosing a case manager and single versus joint instruction.
Soundbites Episode 15 – Key Issues with Care Claims in Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases
Emma Lyons spoke to Gerard McDermott QC about the key issues arising in relation to care claims in catastrophic personal injury cases. Gerard provided invaluable insight based on his vast experience and covered a range of topics.
- Key considerations as to the appropriate type and level of care in a particular case;
- Views upon how should care be delivered;
- The pros and cons of Agency vs Direct Hire Care;
- When nursing care may be justified;
- Specific issues regarding care claims in ABI cases;
- The significance of the decision in Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake
Episode 14 - Accommodation claims in International Injury
International Injury Partner Chris Deacon, Solenn le Tutour (France) and Ana Romero (Spain) provided an insight into how accommodation claims are calculated under the laws of their respective countries.
This follows the interest in this area of personal injury damages under English law this year further to the Court of Appeal decision in Swift v Carpenter.
Episode 13 - Distinguishing treatable symptoms after Traumatic Brain Injury; an insight into alternative assessment and treatment for fatigue, cognition, sleep, dizziness and mood disturbance
In this episode, Emma Lyons and Dr Silver discussed the origins of fatigue after traumatic brain injury as well as the potential treatable causes.
Dr Silver offered invaluable insight into simple assessments of and treatment for fatigue that are commonly overlooked and explores other treatable symptoms arising from brain injury including poor cognition, sleep difficulties, dizziness and mood disturbance. He explained whether it is possible to distinguish between the pervasive and chronic symptoms compared to those which may be addressed by assessment and treatment.
Episode 12 – Rental Properties after Serious Injury; Obstacle or Opportunity?
Emma Lyons and Phill Gill talked “all things rental” in this episode of Stewarts Soundbites. Phill Gill is the Managing Director of PLG Consultants, disability property specialists. He discussed the common problems faced by people searching for a new home after catastrophic injury and explores the opportunities that arise in “trialling” a completely different living environment.
Episode 11 – Common Employment Issues (and how to deal with them) after Serious Injury
In this episode, Emma Lyons discussed the most common employment issues that arise for those affected by catastrophic injury with Will Young, a barrister specialising in personal injury and employment law. Will provided advice in relation to the important early steps to be taken by someone who has been injured (or their family or case manager) in relation to their employment following serious injury. He explained what the employer’s duties are in relation to holding jobs for people and basic salary entitlement. Will discussed a person’s right to ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace and the protection that discrimination law affords those affected by serious injury. He also provided guidance for family members who find themselves suddenly in a position where they become carers and are facing difficulties in their own employment.
Episode 10 – Brachial Plexus Injuries after Serious Trauma
In this fascinating episode, Emma Lyons discussed brachial plexus injuries after serious trauma with Mr Tom Quick, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in peripheral nerve injury. Mr Quick provided a valuable insight into brachial plexus injuries in the context of spinal cord injuries and discussed whether damage to the nerves can come about after primary trauma. He examined how injury to the brachial plexus is often overlooked, what the main symptoms are and what treating clinicians, case managers, carers and family members need to look out for. Mr Quick also covered the treatment that is currently on offer (and in development) for injuries to the brachial plexus.
Episode 9 - The surprising link between pain and nutrition
In this episode, Sheri Taylor delivers an insightful look at the surprising link between pain and diet. She will explore the impact of nutrition upon chronic pain after catastrophic injury and will advise upon how food choices affect pain.
Episode 8 - Providing Continual Care for Amputees during COVID
In this episode, Clinical Specialist Prosthetist Jamie Gillespie spoke about how Pace have remained open during COVID and supported existing patients, as well as seeing an increase in referrals when perhaps they would have gone to the NHS initially, or instead of, the private route.
Episode 7 – Warm water therapy in spinal cord injury claims; an expert’s perspective
In this episode, Partner Warren Maxwell spoke with Laura Bochkoltz, specialist physiotherapist and CPR Part 35 expert, on the benefits of warm water therapy for spinally cord injured patients.
The session covered: the different types of warm water therapies that are available; the benefits of warm water therapies; what issues experts consider when assessing a claimant’s aqua therapy needs; and what evidence can be gathered by members of rehab MDTs to achieve the best outcome for their client and to assist the expert in forming a sound opinion.
Episode 6 - A quick-fire guide to welfare benefits after serious injury; issues, appeals and the impact of coronavirus
In this session, Associate Emma Lyons and Grace Horvath-Franco, a senior paralegal in the Stewarts Pro Bono department, discussed the key welfare benefits to be considered by those affected by serious injury and the professionals working with them.
A significant number of patients and their families experience a huge range of financial, social, and health issues as a result of serious injury or illness. Most people are not aware of the benefits available to them and the circumstances in which they may apply. This webinar aimed to provide a bitesize, yet comprehensive guide to welfare benefits after serious injury which will include: An overview of the key available welfare benefits; How to claim welfare benefits in light of the complications posed by COVID19; and How to prepare for welfare benefits appeals.
Episode 5 - Health and Welfare Decisions on behalf of Incapacitated Clients: Who Calls the Shots?
In this very special Q&A, we will talk to Jemma Morland, Director and Head of the Court of Protection Team at EMG Solicitors, about how to deal with health and welfare decisions to be made on behalf of a client who lacks capacity following a serious injury.
Episode 4 - In conversation with Dr Donald Brechin
We were delighted to speak with Dr Donald Brechin, Consultant Neuropsychologist, who addressed how individuals impacted by traumatic brain injury have coped from a psychological perspective throughout the different stages of lock down and what the challenges will be as we now emerge from it and establish a “new normal”.
Episode 3 - Overcoming challenges within a rehabilitation setting during lock-down and beyond
We were delighted to have the founders of STEPS Rehabilitation as our special guest speaker for episode 3 of our Soundbites series. Associate Emma Lyons co-hosted with Senior Associate Chris Smith for a discussion with the founders of STEPS, Toria Chan and Jules Leahy, who discussed the challenges STEPS have faced during lockdown, how it has impacted their services and residents and how they have managed throughout.
Episode 2 – Gerard McDermott QC’s top tips for experts in report preparation during serious injury cases
Gerard McDermott QC provides his top tips for medical and non-medical experts in report preparation and presentation in serious injury cases.
Episode 1 - The Virtues of Virtual Physiotherapy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Speaker: Matt Booth, physiotherapist specialising in traumatic injuries – Flex Health
- How brain injured clients have coped during lock down and how they have managed their individual physiotherapy needs;
- The virtues of virtual therapy for brain injured clients and whether there is a long term place for virtual physiotherapy; and
- Whether multi-disciplinary teams can work together on an almost exclusively virtual basis.