It’s very pleasing that Clinco has been shortlisted in the Modern Law Awards 2018, and we look forward to the awards ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel W2 on Thursday evening. It should be a great evening with champagne reception, black tie dinner and entertainment. The awards were launched five years ago to ‘celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in the modern legal services arena…’ The competition aims to provide ‘the perfect opportunity for the personal injury sector to showcase and set the benchmarks for best practice’.
As part of our entry, we were required to show how we promote expertise, professionalism and innovation – and provide evidence of improved client experience or performance as a result. At Clinco, these criteria align closely with our aims. We put them into practice every day against a background of long term investment and improvement.
We’re delighted, whatever the outcome on Thursday, to have been shortlisted from among a strong field by a heavyweight panel of judges as representing these qualities. Good luck to all those taking part, thank you to the organisers and we also take the opportunity to thank our staff, clients, supporters and investors for their contribution to our success.
Failings in case preparation in recent criminal cases
We’ve all seen reports in the national press about failings in case preparation in recent criminal cases. In the most extreme case, a trial for rape collapsed after two days in December when it emerged that key evidence favourable to his case had not been disclosed to the defendant. The consequences of the error were extreme; the defendant had been on bail for two years and had been though an appalling life-changing experience. There is no suggestion in the media that the omission was malicious or a deliberate misleading of the court by the police. The prosecution barrister, Jerry Hayes, attributed it to ‘sheer incompetence’ and many media commentators have linked it to a lack of police resources, in particular staff time, training and supervision. A number of cases are now under review and we will see the conclusion in due course.
How is this applicable to case preparation in clinical negligence?
There is a direct parallel in that both involve complex facts and evidential assessment and analysis. If an important factor is left out of consideration by mistake in a clinical negligence claim, then the outcome of the case might be the opposite of what it otherwise would have been. As it is for the claimant to prove the case, he or she is disproportionately disadvantaged. In an extreme case, someone with catastrophic injuries may go wholly uncompensated. Lower value but equally serious matters such as stillbirth are even more vulnerable due to exacerbated costs pressure.
Careful case preparation is necessary in complex cases for the correct outcome
There is a warning in these criminal cases for clinical negligence practitioners, especially those less experienced in the field, to heed if they choose to do so. Careful case preparation is necessary in complex cases for the correct outcome. Using a good collator and getting the records accurately ordered and summarised from the outset is key. We can all expect to see additional pressure on fee earner time and experts’ fees in the future. However, it is possible through efficiency and expertise to run these cases properly, which is the very least the patient is entitled to expect.
Happy New Year!
We hope all our clients, supporters, friends and suppliers had a wonderful holiday. We did – we’re now ready to get down to work again. We have taken on some large work commitments recently and are going full steam into 2018! We hope to have a busy, productive year and to welcome new clients as law firms are increasingly looking for data protection compliant services, such as Clinco, to address the requirements of GDPR. As some readers may know, we produced a sensible and practical guide booklet on GDPR for medical lawyers last Autumn. This is available free of charge to any medical solicitors in practice who would like a copy – just email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year.