London, South, East and Overseas LSGs


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Dear Lawyer Service Member,

An update on AvMA’s LSG webinars for 2021:

AvMA’s lawyer service members team having been working hard behind the scenes to provide you with more quality presentations and webinars.  As you can imagine, our usual pool of medical experts has been curtailed as they quite rightly focus their attention and efforts on doing what they can to fight the pandemic.  Nonetheless, we are delighted to give you advanced warning of some of the webinar presentations we have lined up for you.  Full details of the date and time the webinars will be made available over the course of the next few weeks, but for now the following will hopefully whet your appetite.

In April we look forward to Dr Bib Vhadra’s webinar: A medico legal perspective on common aesthetic procedures: Arguably, the rise in social media has brought with it increased importance on how we look and present ourselves.  There has also been an increase in the number of people offering these treatments some of which are invasive and can cause long term damage, it seems that everyone from the medically qualified to our local hairdresser is offering some form of beauty enhancement, but how risk free are these procedures?  What can and does go wrong with these treatments?  What is an acceptable standard of treatment? Who can you sue if something goes wrong?  What is a typical claim worth?

Dr Vhadra is an experienced practising dentist, he was called to the bar in 2014, and is a specialist in aesthetic procedures, his webinar will focus on treatments, complications and injuries arising from the use of some common treatments including: botox (Botulinum toxin); dermal fillers; chemical peels; microneedling; threadlifts. He will look at the various types of practitioner, training and regulation as well as the important issue of possible patient mental health issues.

In May we will bring you an insight into the case of Bell v Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust [2020] by Jeremy Hyam QC and Alasdair Henderson (both of 1 Crown Office Row).  Jeremy and Alasdair represented the claimant in this case which amongst other things considered the mental capacity of a minor to decide their own medical treatment in cases of gender dysphoria.  The case considered the mental capacity of a minor to decide to undergo puberty blocking treatment but also whether a minor could be said to have full appreciation of the long-term ramifications of receiving treatment.

We are working with our other medical experts to bring you webinars on topics such as, infection control – this will no doubt be of particular interest to anyone who is thinking about taking on coronavirus related claims; podiatry and diabetes; haematology; immunology and plastic surgery, full details will be circulated in due course.

Cost series: As we fast approach the end of the financial year, many of you will be focusing on billing your clients.  We are delighted to confirm that in association with “Partners In Costs” (PIC), Dominic Woodhouse will be rolling out a series of “bite sized” webinars on various costs issues.  Most of these webinars will be about 30 minutes long, although we are doing a special webinar on recovering inquest costs which will be longer.

The series will be commences on 12 April at 2pm with:

(i)             Guideline Hourly Rates (webinar available 12.04.21 – 26.04.21): For this series Dominic will explore why we are where we are?  He will look at the latest cases on guideline rates as well as the effect of inflation with particular emphasis on the CJC costs sub-committee report and recommendations and what you need to do to benefit from guideline rate increases.

The next session (date to be confirmed) will be on

(ii)            CPR Part 36 benefits – All or nothing? Dominic will look at the case of Telefonica UK Ltd – v – Office of Communications [2020] EWCA Civ 1374, and discuss enhanced relief under CPR 36.  Dominic will look at principles from decided cases and ask: are the provisions to be applied all together or not at all? And what considerations are relevant?

Our third session (date to be confirmed) will be an hour long session on

(iii)           Recovering Inquest costs: More details of this session will be rolled made available nearer the time.

Other costs sessions (dates to be confirmed) will cover:

(iv)           Changes in funding from legal aid to CFA:  with reference to XDE – v – North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust [2020] EWCA Civ 543

(v)            QOCS/set-off – are your costs safe?: Siu Lai Ho – v – Seyi Adelekun [2020] EWCA Civ 517

(vi)           Terminating a CFA – can you still get paid? Butler – v – Bankside Commercial Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 203.

We are also working to bring you a webinar specifically aimed at the Civil Justice Council’s proposals for Fixed Recoverable Costs in low value clinical negligence claims.  As you may recall the government had promised a public consultation on these proposals but with Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic dominating the political agenda, we have heard very little since the CJC published their proposals back in 2019.  However, it would perhaps be a mistake to think that the government’s silence on the issue of fixed costs means it has gone away.  The webinar aims to remind you of the CJC proposals and look at what they might mean in practice for firms, for client care and access to justice.

Best wishes

Lisa O’Dwyer

Director Medico-Legal Services