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Paul Higgins

Call 1996

‘An extremely sharp intellect... his cross-examination is phenomenal... what distinguishes him more than anything is his photographic memory... brilliant on his feet’
(Chambers UK & Legal 500 2017-19)

Personal Injury

Paul has developed a formidable reputation for his work in relation to personal injuries, dealing with a wide range: road traffic, public liability and industrial accidents. His practice encompasses the whole spectrum, up to and including catastrophic injuries valued in excess of £15 million.

Paul has considerable experience of severe head and spinal injury cases, and those involving allegations of chronic pain and conversion disorders. He provides a ‘cradle to grave’ service – advising on paper and in conference pre-and post-litigation, preparing innovative and comprehensive defences and counter schedules with meticulous attention to detail. He has a tactile but firm negotiating manner at JSMs and regularly exceeds expectations in terms of settlement. His cross-examination skills at trial are exceptional. He is regularly instructed where complicated issues of liability or causation arise, or where quantum in a catastrophic injury claim requires detailed forensic analysis.

Paul has experience of successfully handling foreign jurisdiction claims, including multi-party claims, and is often instructed in relation to limitation issues in complex cases. He maintains an interest in technological solutions to injury, and the quantitative effect of innovation upon settlement values.

Selected Cases

  • Cameron V Hussain & the MIB [2019] UKSC 6 – Instructed by the MIB on an important appeal concerning the operation of the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement (‘UTDA’) and whether it was possible to sue an unidentifiable tortfeasor. The appeal was successful following the intervention of the MIB on grounds that had been conceded by insurers in the Court of Appeal.
  • B v EUI Limited October 2018 – Instructed alone against a prominent QC in multi-million pound damages claim based upon a so-called conversion disorder. The Claimant had no underlying organic pathology but claimed to be confined to a wheelchair. The Schedule of Loss spanned 75 pages and the Counter Schedule 60 pages with expert evidence in nine disciplines. Claim settled at JSM for £1 million inclusive of costs, a small fraction of the pleaded value.
  • F v Ageas Insurance February 2017 – Instructed alone in seven-figure damages claim relating to alleged chronic pain with no organic cause involving contested psychiatric expert evidence. The claim was dismissed in its entirety at trial.
  • A, B & Khan vs QBE Insurance – Advising and acting in respect of three separate seven-figure claims arising out of a single road traffic accident: two severe head injury cases and one spinal case. Combined value of settlement in excess of £10 million.
  • D v Choudhry Bristol District Registry – Complicated case involving a claimant who had had suffered a head injury and lost the use of one eye before a serious collision involving a tram. The extensive expert evidence was highly divergent as to pre-accident condition, causation and prognosis. Case settled for seven-figure sum at JSM.
  • ‘Alvechurch’ coach crash case – High-profile and particularly sensitive case, involving a coach that overturned in France carrying teachers and schoolchildren. There were a number of fatalities and very significant injuries. Advising and acting on behalf of the insurers of the coach in relation to a number of the most serious claims.
  • DW v RSA, December 2014 – £2 million claim for damages relating to complete loss of use of an arm. Surveillance footage subsequently demonstrating that claimant had use of arm. Contested psychiatric evidence savouring of a conversion disorder basis for claim. Claim subsequently abandoned. Claimant successfully prosecuted for contempt of Court and sentence to 6M in prison.
  • Topham v Ageas Insurance Limited Liverpool CC, HHJ Graham Wood QC, December 2016 – Analysis of the reporting practices of Dr. Grace Kerali over hundreds of cases, whose opinion was challenged on the grounds that her prognoses for recovery from soft tissue injuries were outside the reasonable range. An application for non-party costs was pursued against Dr. Kerali who subsequently consented to an order under which she paid Ageas’ costs of the litigation.
  • Casey v Cartwright [2008] EWCA Civ 1280 – Court of Appeal – application of Kearsley v Klarfeld.
  • Kearsley v Klarfeld [2006] EWCA Civ 1510 – Court of Appeal – Low velocity impact claims. Seminal case on the need for additional expert evidence in such cases so as to level the playing field and enable insurers to cross-examine appropriately in such cases.

 

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Recommendations


‘Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. He has appreciable experience of handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. Higgins is often instructed in high-value and complex claims. “Very robust in his advocacy.” “An excellent barrister.” Recent work: Acted for Liverpool Victoria in committal proceedings against two solicitors and a doctor relating to an amendment to a medical report’.

Chambers and Partners, 2019

‘Astonishing on his feet.’

Legal 500, 2018

‘Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. He has appreciable experience of handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. Higgins is often instructed in high-value and complex claims. “A big player in this market,” who is “excellent at all aspects of counter-fraud litigation, and in particular trial advocacy and appeal hearings.” “He fights valiantly.”

Chambers and Partners, 2018

‘He has an extremely sharp intellect.’

Legal 500, 2017

Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. Has appreciable experience in handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. “He has a national reputation for this type of work and his cross-examination is phenomenal.”

Chambers UK, 2017

‘An expert in fraud claims, who is brilliant on his feet.’

Legal 500, 2016

‘Enjoys a national reputation for his work in the motor insurance fraud area. He has particular experience in committal proceedings where, sources say, “he has helped to stiffen up the law.” “He’s excellent. What distinguishes him more than anything is his photographic memory.” “He goes beyond what’s expected. He’s already got an amazing reputation but he’s incredibly modest given how intelligent he is and how good he is at the job.”

Chambers UK, 2015


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