RSS icon Subscribe to this RSS feed

Ellisons’ growing team handles the highest personal injury damages award in the firm’s history for insurers, worth £24 million

21 June 2018

Ellisons Solicitors, has recently expanded its Insurance Litigation team with the appointment of three additional lawyers.

Deborah McClean, Solicitor joins the team with an exclusive background in defendant personal injury dealing with motor, employers and public liability litigation. Deborah has dealt with large value, fast and multi-track defendant litigation on behalf of insurance companies, the Lloyds market, claims handling companies and self-insured companies, including large multinational companies.

Catherine Brewington, Solicitor has handled and advised in cases involving catastrophic injuries throughout her career.  She joins the Insurance Litigation team as a defendant lawyer, albeit has vast experience acting for Claimants in cases involving injuries of the utmost severity.

Tancha Porter, Solicitor after successful completion of the BVC she decided to cross-qualify as a solicitor and has 9 years’ experience working in the Defendant Personal Injury industry. Tancha has experience in dealing with both Fast Track and Multi Track EL, PL and motor claims.

It has been an incredibly successful first half of the year for the team in many complex, high value claims including the Court Approval of a case involving the highest damages award in Ellisons’ history with a value of circa £24,000,000 and additional Periodical Payments. This achievement is a great testament to the team’s expertise, hard work and commitment to their insurer clients.

Robert Jones, Partner at Ellisons and Head of the firm’s Insurance Litigation team commented: “I am immensely proud of what the team has achieved already this year. The recent damages settlement that the team has secured for our client is a great result, and, with the appointment of three new leading lawyers in their field bringing extensive experience and expertise, our team will go from strength to strength.”

A period of rapid growth and success

21 June 2018

Ellisons held its AGM in May, giving the management team a chance to communicate the firm’s recent successes including growth in terms of income, and the numbers of partners, colleagues and a record amount of promotions, as well as a new location in Essex. We opened an office in Chelmsford in March this year, bringing the total number of offices in Essex and Suffolk to six.

The event was also notable for the announcement of the firm’s management restructure which has been designed to improve internal communications and efficiencies across the business.  Guy Longhurst has been appointed as Managing Partner, supported by a Board, comprising representation from four different areas of the business: Seamus Clifford will be Head of Business Services; Tim Logan, who was previously the Managing Partner, will assume the role of Senior Partner & Head of Private Client Services; Diane Leacock will continue as Director of Finance and John Turner, who was previously the firm’s Chief Information Officer, as the new Chief Operating Officer.

Guy Longhurst said: “The new management structure will improve communication and lines of management internally, allowing our partners and colleagues to focus upon delivering the highest possible levels of service to our clients.  Focusing upon our clients and colleagues, and improved communication with them, is essential, as the firm continues to grow, both in existing and new locations.”

Delegates at this year’s AGM were updated on a range of different areas including Ellisons Financial Planning which is a joint venture between Ellisons Solicitors and Suffolk-based Independent Financial Advisers, Matthew Douglas Limited.  Its objective is to lift the lid on the complexities of personal finance and offer affordable access to clients seeking to achieve personal financial goals.

The first months of the financial year have seen Ellisons making a record number of promotions, and investing more than ever before in training and development of colleagues.  The firm is also continuing with the implementation of an innovative digital transformation, which will allow the firm the agility to maximise the benefits available from new technology, in an environment of constant change.

Delegates also heard an update from partner, Seamus Clifford, about the Alliott Group, which gives the firm more than just a local, regional and national reach.  Membership of the Alliott Group has provided Ellisons with international exposure; allowing the firm to build relationships and a strong network for referrals with some of the best like-minded individuals across the world.  Some of Ellisons’ senior management team recently attended the Alliott Group’s 2018 EMEA Conference in Prague.  Themed ‘Building a Future-Proof Professional Firm’, the conference provided insights into becoming a more powerful, trusted resource for clients.

Guy Longhurst concluded: “The presentations at the AGM covered a lot of positive ground, including updates on all recent developments and plans for the year ahead. The past twelve months has been another highly successful year for the firm and we are looking ahead with a great sense of optimism as 2018/19 promises to be another very exciting year, irrespective of the many challenges all businesses will undoubtedly face”

Emergency Injunction obtained within 48 hours

20 June 2018

Our Dispute Resolution department has recently assisted an East Anglian based local authority to obtain an injunction under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 within 48 hours of instruction, which had the effect of immediately barring the Defendant from the council flat which he rented. 

The background to the case concerned ongoing possession proceedings against the Defendant, who was the tenant of a flat in a council-owned sheltered housing scheme.  Possession proceedings had been issued in December 2017, based on long-running allegations of anti-social behaviour by the tenant towards other residents within the scheme.  Unfortunately, due to a lack of court availability, proceedings had been adjourned for a period of four months between the initial hearing and the second hearing, during which time the Defendant’s behaviour had worsened significantly.

In the past, the Defendant had:

  • been served with an Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, in relation to allegations of noise nuisance;
  • breached the Abatement Notice on two occasions and had been prosecuted and convicted in relation to one of those breaches;
  • been convicted of threatening behaviour towards the resident of a flat immediately below him;
  • been served with a Notice of Seeking Possession before the possession proceedings were issued against him; and
  • been served with a Police Information Notice pursuant to the Protection from Harassment Act.

None of the above actions had served to moderate the Defendant’s behaviour.

As the second hearing of the case neared (the Defendant having admitted, in writing, most of the allegations against him), the Defendant’s behaviour worsened and culminated in a threat to kill the resident of the flat below him.  The threat was taken sufficiently seriously that the individual was provided with a temporary room in another sheltered housing scheme in which to sleep. 

Although the threat to kill happened only two weeks before the second hearing of the possession claim was due to take place, the local authority considered it sufficiently serious to merit an immediate application for an injunction to remove the Defendant from the property.  The authority was, in particular, concerned that even if it obtained a possession order against the Defendant at the subsequent hearing, the period of time which he would be allowed by the Court before having to leave the flat would result in matters dragging over into the World Cup period which, based on the Defendant’s previous behaviour, was very likely to make the Defendant’s actions even worse. 

Having received instructions to proceed with an emergency ex parte injunction application, the necessary supporting witness statement and application documents were drafted and placed before the Court within two working days.  The Court was able to hear the matter within one hour of the papers being issued and the application was granted, on the basis that the necessary tests in the 2014 Act were made out.  In particular, the Court concluded that it had a power to exclude the Defendant from his home, pursuant to Section 13 of the 2014 Act, because the anti-social behaviour in which the Defendant had engaged included the use or threatened use of violence against another tenant and there was a significant risk of harm to other tenants (many of whom were very vulnerable due to age and infirmity) from his behaviour. 

Subsequently, at the second hearing of the possession claim, the Court made an outright possession order and extended the injunction, in order to protect those residents who had given evidence against the Defendant. 

The case shows that, where circumstances demand it, the powers of a County Court to injunct troublesome tenants are very extensive and can be exercised very quickly, with the proper advice and support. 

Please feel free to contact us if you require assistance with housing related injunction applications.