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Serious Injury team define their approach to Swift v Carpenter

Minster Law Serious Injury team prepare for the changes Swift v Carpenter will bring to providing fair accommodation for vulnerable clients.

In a peer review session Minster Law’s Serious Injury team met to discuss the landmark decision handed down by the Court of Appeal in the case of Swift v Carpenter.

The overall view from the department is any appeal by the defendants would fail – but this would not dissuade defendants from using any appeal to their advantage.

It is hoped the judgement provided by the Court of Appeal would provide a solution to what is a contentious issue in many cases, resulting in fairer compensation for future clients.

The risk of an appeal is this having the potential to not be heard within the next twelve months and defendants using this to make lower offers to claimants.

Serious Injury team manager Richard Harwood said Minster Law would stay firm and follow the law to ensure their clients received the fair compensation they were due.

“We are on strong ground if we stick with the formula and push back against those offers,” he said.

He acknowledged there would be circumstances, such as in shorter life expectancy cases where Swift v Carpenter would not provide the best outcome.

One of the potential flaws of the judgment is the impact reversionary interest would have on the damages for clients who have a short life expectancy, for example five years.

“If something is better for the client, then we can still put that forward, but Swift v Carpenter provides us with a judgement we would only need to divert from if we had good reason,” Richard said.

To see our analysis of the Swift v Carpenter judgment click here.