doctor

Sarah Corbett of MW Solicitors Clinical Negligence team acted for a woman who has been awarded damages of £5.8 million after St George’s Hospital in Tooting failed to make a timely diagnosis of meningitis. 

Events Surrounding the Claim

Our client, who was pregnant at the time, attended St George’s hospital in Tooting in January 2011 as she was feeling unwell.  She was admitted to the maternity unit but despite clear symptoms of meningitis, including the classic rash the hospital failed to diagnose meningitis in good time.  As a result of the delay in diagnosis she developed severe sepsis causing gangrene.  Her unborn son was stillborn, her legs were amputated below the knee, she had partial amputations of 3 of her fingers, sustained partial hearing loss and had to come to terms with what had happened to her. 

Sarah Corbett, Partner and Clinical Negligence Lawyer in our Guildford office said of the settlement:

“Meningitis can affect anyone and is very serious if not treated quickly.  I am delighted to achieve this £5.8 million settlement for my client but hope that the NHS learns from this error.  It is unacceptable that the hospital failed to diagnose such a well known condition when the classic signs were exhibited.  Had she been treated in time she would not have lost her unborn son, her lower legs, parts of 3 of her fingers or suffered partial hearing loss.  No amount of money can compensate for what my client has gone through but the compensation will be used to provide her with the equipment, care and assistance she needs for the rest of her life as a result of her injuries.” 

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have been let down by the medical profession or have suffered clinical negligence.  Our team of dedicated and experienced Medical Negligence Solicitors offer a free initial assessment and can discuss your case to see if you might have a valid claim.

Our dedicated professionals can help you progress your claim and help you get the support you need.  If you think that you have a claim for Medical Negligence and need a Clinical Negligence Lawyer, don't delay, call us on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk 

Minefield

The Government Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) comes into force from 1st April 2018 and will add yet more regulation to the minefield which already affects landlords. 

What is a MEES and How Does it Affect Me?

Essentially, the MEES will require all properties rented out in the private sector (bar a few exceptions) to have a minimum energy performance rating of an ‘E’ on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It will affect new tenancy agreements and renewals of tenancies taking place after 1 April 2018, and will affect all existing tenancies after 1 April 2020.

What if My Property does not meet the E Standard?

If a property has an energy performance rating of an ‘F’ or ‘G’, the landlord must carry out energy efficiency improvements before they let the property or renew an existing tenancy arrangement.

The new regulations are additional to the existing requirement that a valid EPC must be provided to a tenant by a landlord, and form part of a wider clampdown on energy wastage as the UK works towards reaching its carbon reduction targets.

Stay Up to Date to Avoid a Fine

Penalties for non-compliance include a fine which is based on the rateable value of the property (up to a maximum of £150,000). It is therefore sensible for current and potential landlords to seek professional legal advice before they consider entering into a new tenancy or a renewal to ensure that they do not fall foul of the new requirements.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including Landlords who want to ensure that their tenancy agreements stay up to date with lettings legislation and regulations. 

If you are a Landlord and need help with your tenancy agreements, don't delay, contact us today.  Our experienced and specialist Property Disputes Solicitors are here to help.  Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

UK vs US Flags

In a recent Landmark decision, the High Court ruled that UK Citizen, Lauri Love, should not be extradited to the United States of America to face trial for hacking computer systems based in the US.

Laurie Love
Lauri Love

Love is accused, whilst working with others between the periods of October 2012 to October 2013, of hacking into private companies and several US Government agencies including The US Federal Reserve, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US Army, US Department of Defence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The US Government alledges that this resulted in millions’ of dollars’ worth of damage.  If Love is found guilty he could face more than 60 years’ imprisonment.

This appeal decision overturned District Judge Tempia’s ruling at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16th September 2016 to have Love extradited to the US to stand trial against these allegations.

This appeal was heard by Lord Burnett and Justice Ouseley. The High Court came to the conclusion that that:

  • it would be oppressive to extradite Love due to his physical and mental health condition; and

  • if extradited it would be a breach of the ‘forum bar.’

In light of these arguments it was held to be unnecessary to consider further arguments of Articles 3 and 8 ECHR due to the conclusions drawn relating to the two grounds.

Love suffers with Asperger’s Syndrome, depression, eczema and asthma. The High Court considered his high risk of suicide and serious deterioration of his health upon extradition.

What is The Forum Bar?

The ‘forum bar’ allows a court to prevent extradition of the requested person if the extradition is not in the interests of justice having considered the factors as per section 19B and 83A-E of the Extradition Act 2003. This was introduced by the Home Secretary at the time Theresa May when she intervened and prevented the extradition of Gary McKinnon who was similarly accused of hacking into US government websites, was a high suicide risk and suffered with Asperger Syndrome.

Love’s relevant activity was performed in the United Kingdom, using his computers at home. However, in considering relevant factors it was considered that most of the harm suffered was in the US and that this is a ‘very weighty factor.’

The High Court stated that significant weight should have been placed on the fact that the prosecution could proceed in the UK Courts. The High Court was persuaded by Love’s connection to the UK. He is a British national, studying in the UK, is supported by his parents and has a girlfriend. He has close connection with his family who cares for him and receives medical treatment which he may not receive if extradited. These connections outweigh factors for his extradition.

Love was discharged however, the High Court stated:

“125. We emphasise however that it would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him. Far from it. If the forum bar is to operate as intended, where it prevents extradition, the other side of the coin is that prosecution in this country rather than impunity should then follow, as Mr Fitzgerald fully accepted. Much of Mr Love’s argument was based on the contention that this is indeed where he should be prosecuted

126. The CPS must now bend its endeavours to his prosecution, with the assistance to be expected from the authorities in the United States, recognising the gravity of the allegations in this case, and the harm done to the victims. As we have pointed out, the CPS did not intervene to say that prosecution in England was inappropriate. If proven, these are serious offences indeed.”

This is a landmark Judgment as it is the first time that the ‘Forum bar’ has been successfully argued. It is very rare for the UK to refuse an extradition request and this will no doubt have a profound impact on similar extradition requests to the US and elsewhere.

We Can Help

At MW, Our Mission, is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are being threatened with Extradition.  Our experienced and specialist Extradition Lawyers can help you identify grounds for a challenge and mount a defence against an Extradition request.

If you need a criminal defence lawyer or need an extradition lawyer, our talented and specialist Crime and Extradition Solicitors are here to help you.  Don't delay call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

MW Solicitors are delighted to announce that its Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence teams have been named UK Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Law Firm of the Year at the 2017 Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards.

Experts in Personal Injury Law


Joanna Bailey
Joanna Bailey
Partner - Head of Personal Injury

Lauren Phillips
Lauren Phillips
Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence

Head of MW’s Personal Injury Department, Joanna Bailey said:

“We are extremely proud to have received this award which recognises the hard work and achievements of every member of the department. Our focus is on providing the best possible service to our clients whilst obtaining the highest possible level of damages. ”

Experts in Clinical Negligence Law

The Awards recognise the achievements of the most knowledgeable and solution-orientated lawyers in the profession today, with a primary focus on their achievements over the past 12 months.  Over several months, the Lawyer Monthly research team collect and collate nominations through an online voting system. Each nominee was compared against a strict set of measurable criteria which were combined with additional industry research to help produce the list of winners.

To read more about the Awards, please click here.

About MW Solicitors

Over the last 35 years and through our network of more than 25 High Street offices we have helped hundreds of clients recover compensation for catastrophic or life changing accidents.  We have particular expertise in dealing with claims of maximum severity, be they as a result of medical accidents, incidents in the workplace, industrial disease, accidents in a public place or road traffic accidents.

Our priority is to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for clients whilst ensuring that they are provided with appropriate rehabilitation, accommodation, care and equipment to meet their needs.

In the last 12 months we have recovered damages in excess of £26m for our clients.  We are currently acting for more than 20 survivors of the Croydon Tram Crash.  We regularly deal with complex high profile cases and have recently settled a claim arising from vaginal mesh surgery.

We are members of Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and are recognised as experts in our field.

We strongly support the work of organisations such as the BackUp Trust, the Spinal Injuries Association, Headway and the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum who do so much vital work in helping rehabilitate those who suffer serious and life changing personal injuries.

Our Solicitors are professional and highly regarded.  We feel honoured to have been recognised by Chambers, the Legal 500, Super Lawyers, the Black Solicitors Network, Modern Claims, Lawyer Monthly and The Law Society for the work we do for our clients.

We believe that Justice is a Birthright and we are proud of our commitment to Diversity.  We have one of the most diverse workforces in the legal world, taking people directly from the communities in which we operate.  At all levels and in all areas we are recognised as an equal opportunity employer and invest in our people and their community.

We are proud to be supported by the Business Growth Fund (BGF), an investments firm who back fast growing British businesses.  We are the largest provider of legally aided services to attract such a backer, and are excited by the opportunities to service more clients in more areas that BGF's backing provides.

Employee

April is fast approaching and with it come changes to the taxation of termination payments. 

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The tax treatment of termination payments has been the same for quite some time.  Rather than taking note of the old saying “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” the Government decided to review and “simplify” the process.  This has resulted in things becoming a bit more complex!

Some of the suggestions have (thankfully!) fallen by the wayside but a few are going ahead and they take effect in April 2018.  A key change is the tax treatment of Payments In Lieu Of Notice (PILONs).

Under tax legislation, it has been the rule for some time that certain payments made to employees on termination of employment can be made free from tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) up to £30,000.

As things stand, the tax treatment of PILONs is different depending upon whether the employer has the contractual right to make the payment. In simple terms, if the employee’s contract terms set out the right to make a PILON that means there is no breach of contract and it has to be taxed in the normal way like salary. If the terms are silent it can be paid tax free as damages, therby compensating the employee for the breach of contract in not allowing them to work their notice.

This has meant that employees can end up receiving a bit more cash and employers pay out a bit less too (no employer’s NIC’s).  From April 2018 all PILONs will be treated the same.  They will be subject to tax and NI contributions whether or not there is a clause allowing the employer to make a PILON.  This means that there will be no downside to including a clause in contracts of employment permitting payments in lieu of notice.

Other key areas of change include:

  • Requiring employers to pay employer NICs on payments made to employees over £30,000.  Currently, payments over the £30,000 are subject to tax on the excess but not NICs.

  • Additional tax free allowances relating to foreign service and injury to feelings will no longer apply.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including Employers and Employees.

Our experienced and specialist team of Employment Lawyers can help across a full spectrum of Employment Law issues including termination payments and drafting of employment contracts.  If you need and Emploment Lawyer call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

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