MW Solicitors were proud to attend the Hazards Conference 2017, held on the 28th to 30th of July 2017 at Keele University, Stoke on Trent.  Hazards Conference is the biggest grassroots Health and Safety conference in the Northern Hemisphere attended by over 350 Union Safety Representatives and Health and Safety Campaigners.  The theme of this year's conference was "Organizing Health, Safety and Welfare in an Insecure World"

MW Solicitors strongly supports the work of the Hazards Campaign which supports individuals and groups fighting for justice over work-related injuries and diseases. This includes challenging the victimisation and blacklisting of safety activists, supporting bereaved relatives of those killed at work, workers suffering occupational injuries or diseases in pursuit of justice, highlighting the unfairness of the compensation system and pressing for improvements to policy, law and practice.

Head of Personal Injury, Helen Clifford and Head of Road Traffic Collisions Joanna Bailey, represented MW Solicitors at the conference and spoke at Saturday's Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) Seminar "Work-Related Death, Supporting Families and Fighting Back. The Seminar was Chaired by Hilda Palmer, Co-ordinator of Greater Manchester Hazards Campaign.  FACK is supported by TU donations and sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell and McMillan Williams solicitors.

Helen Clifford and Joanna Bailey

(Left to Right) MW Solicitors Helen Clifford and Joanna Bailey

FACK supports families after a work-related death and advocates for them throughout the investigation process, inquest and any prosecutions which may result.  The seminar also focused on the role played by supporting solicitors, such as MW Solictors, who provide essential legal support to ensure that those families who suffer work-related deaths have "equality of arms" in terms of legal representation at Inquests.

Helen Clifford was honoured to speak at the closing Plenary meeting on Sunday Morning entitled "Enough is Enough: End deregulation now!" 

Helen Clifford speaks at closing plenery meeting of Hazards Conference 2017

Helen Clifford speaks at closing plenery meeting of Hazards Conference 2017

Hazards Conference

(Left to Right) Hilda Palmer (Chair of FACK), Michael Lancaster (GMB Union), Tracey Seward (FACK Member) and her daughter Daisy Seward, Joanna Bailey (MW Solicitors), Helen Clifford (MW Solicitors)

On 7th March 2014, René Tkacik, then aged 44, was crushed to death by a fall of freshly applied shotcrete (sprayed concrete lining) at the Crossrail Fisher Street site.

At the time René was working for the BFK Joint Venture (BAM Nuttal Limited; Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited).  BBC London News

Timeline

  • 23 February 2015 - An Inquest into his death took place at St. Pancras Coroner’s Court. The jury made a narrative determination which raised concerns about health and safety practices on site.

  • 07 December 2016 - The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) the body responsible for enforcing Health & Safety laws in Great Britain, decided to prosecute BAM Nuttal Limited; Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited individually, rather than as a joint venture. A decision was also made to prosecute the 3 companies in relation to two further incidents which occurred in January 2015 in tunnels being constructed by BFK.

  • July 2017 - BAM, Ferrovial and Kier approached the HSE and suggested that they would enter guilty pleas in respect of all charges, but that those please would be entered by the Joint Venture. The HSE accepted those pleas.

  • 19 July 2017 - BFK pleaded guilty to all charges at a hearing.

  • 27 July 2017 - BFK sentenced at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court.  The case received coverage across News Media outlets including; BBC London News

The Charges

  • One charge under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

  • One charge under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

  • Two Charges under Regulation 22 (1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

We Can Help

MW Solicitor's Head of Personal Injury, Helen Clifford, represents the family of René Tkacik and Alex Vizitiu, one or the 2 men injured in January 2015.  She is a lifelong campaigner for Health and Safety at Work and in particular the construction industry and a supporter of the Blacklist Support Group who support workers who have been fired for raising Health & Safety concerns in the workplace.

If you or a family member have suffered an accident in the workplace, our dedicated and expert team of Personal Injury Lawyers can get you the justice you need.  To talk to one of our team call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

Wheelchair Skills Training

MW Solicitors Ltd are extremely proud to have become the principal sponsors of the Back Up Trust Wheelchair Skills Programme.

Joining Forces to Help Spinal Injury Survivors Rebuild Their Lives

Every day three people sustain a spinal cord injury, through accident or illness and at MW our expert Personal Injury solicitors represent many clients with vital legal assistance throughout the personal injury claim process.  We are acutely aware of the tremendous resources provided by Back Up through wheelchair skills training, peer support and vocational rehabilitation. 

In addition to providing financial support for these vital services, we will also be providing hands on support in the form of volunteer assistants who will attend each and every wheelchair skills training session throughout the UK.

About Back Up

Back Up was founded in 1986 by the former British and European Freestyle Champion and James Bond stunt double Mike Nemesvary, whose life was devastated when he broke his neck during a training session. Despite being paralysed from the shoulders down, Mike was determined to get back to the life he enjoyed.  Back Up was initially set up to offer ski courses for those affected by spinal cord injury. Over the years, Back Up has expanded its services to challenge and empower people to get ‘back up’ to a place they were at before their accident.

Back Up exists to inspire independence in anyone affected by spinal cord injury and to encourage everyone to get the most from their lives.  They work with people of all ages, from young children to the elderly, whatever the motivation or background.    

Back Up relies on a vital family of volunteers, mentors and skilled professionals, who provide unrivalled support and enthusiasm and who help deliver services that rebuild confidence and self-belief. 

About MW Solicitors

At MW, our mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone" and we aim to support clients throughout their lives with our teams of skilled, experienced lawyers. 

If you have experienced a no fault injury MW can provide pro-bono or discounted assistance, whatever your legal needs.  Where your injury has been caused by someone else’s negligence we have a specialist serious injury and medical negligence team with decades of experience acting for the most seriously injured in the UK and abroad.  After suffering a life changing injury we believe rehabilitation in all its forms is key.  We have case managers who can assist with practical issues from the start and then we are with you and those that rely on and care for you throughout the course of your claim and beyond.

If you or a loved one have suffered a Spinal Injury and would like to know more about how we can support you through your rehabilitation and through the claims process, call our expert Personal Injury team on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk 

 

Coroners Court

In a recent case, Justina Molloy, Partner in the Personal Injury Team, assisted by Simon Brown and Heather Petrie were instructed by the family of John Atkin.

John was employed as a driver technician, delivering equipment to the elderly, disabled and those who have undergone substantial medical operations to assist independent living. In February last year, John was delivering a stool to a lady who had recently had a leg amputated. John had been advised by his employers that the property would be unlocked and that he should enter and make himself known to the lady. John did as he was instructed however unfortunately there was a dog in the property which he and his employers were not aware of and he was bitten.

Following the bite, John returned to his work depot where he received first aid for a simple cut. He was asked whether he had an up to date tetanus vaccination which he confirmed he did. 

Sadly, on 27 February 2016, four days after being bitten, John was found unresponsive, having developed staphylococcal septicaemia, and died.

Had John been advised of the risk of septicaemia and the warning signs to watch out for, he may have sought further medical assistance. If he had received antibiotics, John may not have developed septicaemia and may still be alive today.

In February 2017, we represented John’s family at the inquest into his death, throughout which we were assisted by John Schmitt of 9 Gough Square who also acted on a pro bono basis. At the inquest it transpired that his employers had not undertaken a full risk assessment of the lady’s home, believing instead that an assessment of the property would have been carried out by the NHS or Social Services who had ordered the stool on the lady’s behalf. There was also criticism of John’s employer’s staff training and health and safety procedures.

The Verdict

The jury returned a unanimous verdict of accidental death and the Coroner indicated her intention for a Prevention of Future Death Report to be sent to John’s employers requiring them to make improvements to their systems to ensure that there are no similar deaths in the future.

This case highlights the dangers a bite can pose and the need to quickly seek medical advice for puncture wounds – in addition to the importance of having sufficient procedures in place to ensure all risks are identified in order to safeguard employees, such as identifying the presence of dogs, and other animals, at a premises.

Families Against Corporate Killers

The McMillan Williams Injury Team are strong supporters of the work of Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) who campaign to stop workers and others being killed in preventable incidents.  FACK assist families of those killed as they go through the process of an inquest at the Coroner’s Court which is where MW comes in, acting for the families on a pro bono basis to provide them with legal representation at this difficult time.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including bereaved families who deserve to know the circumstances of their loved ones death.

If you would like to speak to a professional to discuss your case call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

MW Solicitors Head of Personal Injury Helen Clifford and Personal Injury Executive Timothy Pyant were featured on BBC London News last night (Monday 20th February).

They spoke about their efforts to support those affected by the Croydon Tram Crash which occurred on the morning of Wednesday 9th November 2016 at Sandilands Junction.

The process of getting full compensation for accidental injuries can take years to resolve.  Our solicitors are expert in helping victims of accidents get interim payments so that they can get the help they need to begin rebuilding their lives.

Timothy Pyant said:

"It's going to be stressfull if you're not able to pay your bills on time or you're not able to pay your rent on time.  There are people that are being threatened with eviction because they are not able to work and what we are trying to do is to facilitate interim payments for those people."

Helen Clifford said:

"People need to be able to pay their bills we don't want people to be ending up homeless as a result of this accident.  It's simply not their fault, they are innocent victims here and they need to be supported."

Tram Crash Support Network Event

Our firm has been established in the Croydon area for 34 years and we are committed to supporting our local community.  To further support our clients and others affected by the tragic events of 9th Nov We are holding a Support Network Event on Tuesday 28th February 2017 at our New Addington Office.

56-58 Central Parade
New Addington
Surrey
CR0 0JD

We Can Help

If you would like to attend the event and talk to one of our team and to meet other survivors and victims families please contact Timothy Pyant on 07464 541 709 or email Timothy.Pyant@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

Army Uniform

Sgt X was engaged in the repair of a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System when he was subjected to a series of unprovoked assaults by a Staff Sergeant who was his colleague and superior officer. Sgt X subsequently underwent surgery for the removal of a large intracranial haematoma. He has been left with residual symptoms which have prevented him from returning to his pre-accident role.

Sgt X’s solicitor, Helen Clifford, head of personal injury at MW Solicitors said


Helen Clifford
Helen Clifford
Partner & Head of Personal Injury

“I am delighted that we have finally achieved justice for Sgt X. Not only was he assaulted in a  series of shocking and unprovoked attacks, he was denied justice through the Army’s internal procedures. The MoD has tried to prevent Sgt X from securing justice and proper compensation. They made unsubstantiated claims against him, failed to follow their internal procedures and failed to disclose relevant documents during the course of the claim. Sgt X has remained in the Army throughout the case and is now being considered for medical discharge. He is a brave and determined man. Sgt X’s assailant was promoted rather than disciplined following the assault. I would urge the MoD to review its disciplinary procedures and their implementation”.

Sgt X said

“Before being assaulted, by a member of my chain of command that I had known for 17 years, I was  adhering to what the army thrives on and this is ‘Operational Effectiveness’. I was ultimately assaulted not once but twice by the same person. He was head of the Regiment’s boxing team and introduced the motto ‘Fighting Solves Everything’.  I also didn’t retaliate as there were junior members present. After the assaults I, (the victim), was taken away from post whilst the assailant was left in post and ultimately promoted.

The Regiment gave me no support or backing. They at first promised me the world in relation to getting me booked on educational courses and rehabilitation programmes. None of which materialised. They realised it would be a logistical nightmare as I had to surrender my licence for at least 6 months. Furthermore they agreed to take me to all my hospital appointments, but rarely did. My wife had to take holiday from work to take me to the majority of these appointments. During my time on sick leave I had no rehabilitation, which is mandatory for service personnel who are wounded, injured or sick. The Army failed to rehabilitate me for a further 3 and a half years until I was sent to Headley Court. In my opinion, if I was given elements of this rehabilitation soon after the haemorrhage I would be a different person today. The lack of backing and support given to me has left me with life changing differences in relation to the person I was prior to the assault. After returning to work I had to beg and borrow lifts to work from people who lived in the local area as yet again the Army’s welfare system failed to pick me up and I had no driving licence for 14 months.

I was prevented from telling my version of events to hierarchy who visited the Regiment or APC Glasgow for 4 years as this would discredit the assailant and the chain of command. SSgt ‘Y’ was then promoted to WO2 and given a Brigade Commanders Commendation for his boxing achievements. My promotion prospects ceased as I was seen to be ‘problem child’ within the Regiment, also my injuries restricted me in competing with my peers for promotion.

I started legal proceedings as a result of the lack of support from my chain of command.  The failings in their ‘duty of care’ in accordance with policies and instructions set out by the MoD was another reason for me to take independent legal advice. Even when I told my immediate hierarchy I was taking legal proceedings they didn’t believe me, also reinforcing the ‘problem child’ perception. Luckily as a result of the care and support from my wife in taking me to hospital on the night of the operation I was able to start legal proceedings.
 
Throughout the legal process the support given by Helen Clifford and her team has been outstanding. Helen is a solicitor who knows which consultants to instruct and represent your case in the best possible way. We have seen some of the country’s leading consultants who also supported and understood our case and were also surprised as to how little the Army has rehabilitated me. For the past 4 years, my wife, daughter and myself the whole legal process has been tiring and a long slog, with no support or backing from the Army. However, Helen has been there to guide, support and advise us all the way. Not only to me but she has always been concerned for the welfare of my wife and daughter too. Helen truly is an admirable lady who our respect for, has grown over the last 4 years throughout the process. Even having been involved in a separate traumatic event that occurred 16 months after the haemorrhage, Helen guided us in the right direction. Helen Clifford, as we have discovered is not your average solicitor, as we have found she is there at the end of the phone or an email 24 hours a day to listen to your concerns or queries about your case. This, in itself, we commend her for. Helen’s devotion to her clients, their family and the case is paramount.
 
In reference to the outcome, we are pleased that the MoD has settled out of court and justice has been served. However, the settlement will never recoup the injuries and illnesses over the last 4 years and the changes that I continue to live with for my family and myself. My future civilian employment will also have been impacted by what has occurred over the last 4 years. People on the outside and those that have been in charge of me don’t realise what impact the whole event has had on our family. The MoD admitted liability, this is on the basis that they are vicariously liable for the actions of SSgt ‘Y’. It was their intention to seek to recover any outlay they have in the case from SSgt ‘Y’.
 
My sincere thanks go to my family and close friends for their support over the last 4 years. Especially my wife and daughter, who took me to North Tees Hospital in December 2012 and ultimately saved my life. To Helen Clifford and her team at MW Solicitors for enabling us to now move on with our lives and future in 2017 and beyond. Thank You."

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including service personnel who have been unfairly treated by their employer through no fault of their own.

If you wish to talk to one of our Military Claims specialist Lawyers, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

Army Uniform

A Sergeant who was assaulted by his colleagues whilst stationed in Cyprus has recovered substantial damages from the Ministry of Defence following a fight for justice which has lasted almost 6 years.

Sgt X had received professional appraisals of excellence and was due for further promotion at the time he was subjected to an unprovoked assault which resulted in physical and psychological injuries which ended his career.

Sgt X’s case was that the assailants were seeking to enforce Mess Rules which prohibit the wearing of trainers in the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess bar. The assault occurred during the course of Sgt X’s employment and was carried out by employees of the MoD. A claim was brought against the MoD on the grounds that they were vicariously liable for the actions of their personnel.

The MoD denied liability throughout and the case was due to be heard at the High Court in London in April 2017. The MoD agreed terms at a settlement meeting on 8 December 2016.

Sgt X’s solicitor, Helen Clifford, head of personal injury at MW Solicitors said

“I am delighted that we have finally achieved justice for Sgt X. Not only was he assaulted in a shocking and unprovoked attack, he was denied justice through the Army’s internal procedures. The MoD has fought this case and denied liability throughout. Despite being turned away by 2 previous firms of solicitors Sgt X was determined to fight for justice. His determination is a testament to what a fine soldier he was. I would urge the MoD to review its policies in relation to the consumption of alcohol by personnel on military basis. Sgt X is not alone in having been subject to such an assault”.

Sgt X said

“This savage unprovoked assault was carried out because I was wearing white trainers in the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ mess bar. I was assaulted by work colleagues while posted overseas. The attack was likened to the actions of a ‘pack of wolves’. During the prolonged attack I suffered severe head injuries leading to memory loss, physical and psychological injuries which ended my military career.

Me and my family have been totally appalled by the whole Military legal system throughout the 6 years. The MoD, Service Prosecuting Authority, and the Service Police, all have failed under its own produces and guidelines to protect its employees. The legal process was a long drawn out process from start to finish misleading, inaccurate and unpleasant. A lot of buck passing was obvious and self-preservation. Subsequently as a victim of a very severe assault I feel there was a serious failings throughout the organisation which was unsupportive and grossly negligent.

We have been with 2 previous solicitors and we were not happy with the way our case was been dealt with so we changed to Helen Clifford, who achieved us the right result. This was overwhelming to say the last. Receiving a positive outcome on my case has been the best news for a long time. The services provided by Helen and her team at MW were outstanding, exceptional in her field, Helen is efficient and very friendly. She conducted our case with great care and professionalism. After 2 previous solicitors we needed someone that we could trust, not only did we trust Helen but we could see she believed in us. I would highly recommend McMillan Williams Solicitors, in particular Helen Clifford and her legal family. I found myself in a situation with the MoD I was nervous and apprehensive about how to deal with the MoD. Helen and her team took me through the legal process with ease patience and diligence. She just took the weight off my shoulders whilst keeping me in the loop at every stage. Her negotiation skills were unwavering and confident which ensured me the best possible result for my case. Can’t thank you enough nothing short than first class."

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including service personnel who have been unfairly treated by their employer through no fault of their own.

If you wish to talk to one of our Military Claims specialist Lawyers, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

 

 

Death at Work

Equality of Arms for Families at Inquest

In a recent interview with the Guardian, Chief Coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC said: 

“There are cases where legal aid should, if possible, be made available for families, particularly where one or more organs of the state are represented.”

Helen Clifford
Helen Clifford
Partner & Head of Personal Injury

At McMillan Williams we strongly support the work of Health and Safety Campaign Groups such as The Hazards Campaign and Families against Corporate Killers (FACK) who have long called for the 'equality of arms' for all families of those killed by work.

We welcome what the Chief Coroner says, but we want the right to legal aid for representation at inquests to be extended to all families of those killed by work whether the state is directly involved or not. 

Unequal Representation

Families who face up to companies (large or small) who killed their family members frequently have no legal representation at Inquests, whereas companies, particularly large multinationals, often have access to a slew of expensive barristers and corporate lawyers.  

This means that there is often inadequate examination of the issues or the failings of the companies themselves, and of the failures of state regulatory or enforcement frameworks.  It is these frameworks that are designed to keep work safe and to hold employers to account which contributes to the prevention of future deaths.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including the families of those who have been killed by work. 

If you need representation or legal advice on attending an inquest call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk  

We are proud to announce that Helen Clifford has been named as Lawyer Monthly's Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in their Women in Law Awards 2016.

Helen Clifford

Women in Law Awards 2016

Helen is a Partner and Head of McMillan William's Personal Injury department. After qualifying in 1996, at niche practice Clifford and Co, Helen went on to become senior partner in 2002.  In 2012 she joined Leigh Day and set up and ran their Construction Injury department before joining MW in 2015 as Head of Personal Injury. 

Helen's practise covers the full range of personal injury claims and a large proportion of her work is catastrophic injury cases with a concentration on brain and spinal injuries.

She is a recognised expert and speaker in the field of accidents at work, with a particular interest in the construction industry. She conducts complex and high value claims, including fatal accidents, which have occurred on large infrastructure projects in London.  

Helen has a reputation for maximising her clients’ claims, is adept in dealing with issues of quantum and liability, for being a skilled and tenacious negotiator and is tactically very able.  She is committed to her clients and achieves excellent results whilst providing the support they require throughout the course of their claims, ensuring they have access to appropriate rehabilitation and early interim payments.

In the last 12 months Helen has settled three claims for in excess of £1.5m and one in excess of £2m. Her current caseload includes 6 fatal accident claims, a young paraplegic and several teenagers with brain injuries.

In addition to her fee earning role, Helen She is also a tireless campaigner for improved Health and Safety in the workplace and is a driving force behind McMillan William's social media campaigns and support of FACK and Hazards Campaign.

Helen’s role includes marketing and business development as well as managing the department. She is an effective manager and mentor. She is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Health and Safety
Lawyers’ Association.

MW Can Help

At MW our mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have been injured or killed in workplace accidents. If you or your family have suffered an accident at work and would like to speak to one of our expert injury solicitors, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

McMillan Williams are proud to support the work of Families Against Corporate Killers and the Hazards Campaign on International Workers' Memorial Day. 


Helen Clifford
Helen Clifford
Partner & Head of Personal Injury

Our Head of Personal Injury Helen Clifford is a specialist Catastrophic Injury Solicitor and a tireless campaigner for better health and safety in the workplace.

Helen is acting on behalf of the family of Marian Nemit and will be attending the memorial at the Bakers Arms, Leyton.  Marian tragically died aged just 21, from injuries he received whilst working on a shop re-fit in Leyton in April 2015. 

UPDATE - A Photo Gallery from the above events is now available.

Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK)

FACK is a non-profit organisation based in the UK which campaigns on behalf of families bereaved by workplace deaths. It was founded in July 2006 by members of the Bereaved by Work North West support group and the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre.  The organisation campaigns for increased funding for the enforcement of health and safety law and changes to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 to make directors criminally responsible for health and safety offences with the possibility of imprisonment.

FACK also provide guidance for bereaved families to obtain legal help and emotional support.

Hazards Campaign

The Hazards Campaign (Website) is a UK national network established in 1988 to campaign for improved workplace health, safety and welfare, and a reduction in the incidence of work-related injury, ill-health and death. It brings together Hazards Centres, Occupational Health Projects, trade unions, health and safety groups, specific campaigns and individual health and safety activists. Specific campaign groups include the Construction Safety Campaign, the Centre for Corporate Accountability (CCA), the UK WorkStress Network, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), asbestos victims' support groups, and RSI Action.

The campaign works by; sharing information and skills; campaigning on specific issues; acting as a national voice; issuing press releases; holding conferences; establishing national initiatives, including Workers Memorial Day; lobbying MPs, MEPs and statutory bodies like the Health & Safety Commission and the Health & Safety Executive, and organising demonstrations and protests.

International Workers' Memorial Day

28th April is the internationally recognised day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.  It is recognised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

This year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day theme centres on “strong laws, strong enforcement and strong unions”. 

In support of that theme, we ask that you acknowledge the mums, dads, wives, partners, siblings, sons and daughters, whose strength is displayed in so many ways because their loved ones left for work one day, never to return.

You can find out more about International Workers' Memorial Day events taking place around the world via the website 28april.org.  

 

 

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