The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a real challenge for all businesses and the legal sector is no exception. Complex litigation cases can take several years from start to finish, so any delay due to travel restrictions would not have been welcome. On one significant case our ability to keep the case progressing during the pandemic – through the use of video technology – has helped secure a £3.8m settlement for our client, subject to the approval of the Court.
About the case
The case involved a young man with severe brain injuries from a road traffic accident. This had left him with significant cognitive and behavioural impairments. The insurers of the defendant had tried to claim that even without the accident, our client would not have held down secure employment or been in a lasting relationship with a partner.
In December 2019, the defendants cancelled a meeting at short notice, which was disappointing and frustrating for the client and ourselves. They then agreed to meet in Leeds in March, at the Leeds office of barristers, David Knifton and Pankaj Madan of Exchange Chambers, who we had instructed on this case.
However, travel restrictions were then put in place by Government, ruling out the possibility of a face-to-face meeting. We arranged for Exchange Chambers to hold a Joint Settlement Meeting via video technology to ensure that this case was able to progress without any further delay for the client.
How video technology helped the case to progress
Exchange Chambers are very experienced in using such technology to keep cases progressing, as Pankaj Madan explains:
As a multi-site chambers, we have had the benefit of this technology for years and we are well practised using it.
Anybody not comfortable with using video, however, can dial into the room using a telephone and pin code. It’s easy to use, secure and professional. We are delighted to have achieved a great settlement for our client and Solicitors.
With the client having already experienced one frustrating delay, we were keen to avoid another one if at all possible. As well as their legal expertise, Exchange Chambers proved their value to ourselves and the client through their smart use of technology.
The case has received significant positive press coverage within the legal sector including the links below:
How we’re continuing to use video technology
Since this hearing took place, we have continued to make good use of video technology where it was needed to keep up the momentum on a number of our cases. This has included not only routine meetings with clients and other legal professionals, but a number of expert assessments on other cases. With no clear timescale for easing the current travel restrictions, it looks likely that working flexibly – through smart use of technology – will continue to benefit ourselves and our clients in the coming months.
If you need legal advice for a serious injury claim, even during the current pandemic, we continue to do our best to help all clients. Call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website to discuss your circumstances.