Steve Cornforth

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“Basil: Can’t we get you on Mastermind, Sybil? Next contestant Sybil Fawlty from Torquay, special subject the bleeding obvious.” According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica – “The theory of an award of damages in a personal-injury or other tort case is that the injured party should be placed in the position he would have been in if the injury had not occurred, so far as this can be done with a monetary award.” This look like…
It is a sign of aging when legal developments that you remember are now a part of legal history. Equally lessons from history are helpful, especially in the light of ill-informed statements from politicians. Which brings us to the famous cases of Fairchild and Barker in the 2000s. I can still remember the day I read the judgment in Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services [2002] UKHL 22. It was a case that was all about causation…
It seems unusual to be writing about a Cabinet Reshuffle without talking about a new Justice Secretary. We seem to have had a new one every few months, but Robert Buckland QC has survived so far. But we do have a new Attorney General following the sacking of Geoffrey Cox. It is Suella Braverman, a relatively unknown barrister who has been an MP since 2015. We learn a lot about her from a blog that…
Anyone who had read this blog over the last few years will know that I have ranted more about Access to Justice than anything else. And the broken record will show no sign of stopping soon. But there is something else that is almost of equal importance. This is the increasing issue of well being for lawyers. I presented a training course in London in January which was all about Risk Management in Personal Injury…
This is the year that I celebrate (?) 40 years as a Solicitor. It was on 1st April 1980 that the Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning put his autograph on my admission certificate and declared that I was a fit and proper person. I’m sure that many of my friends would disagree with that view! The Jam were at Number 1 in the Charts with Going Underground which you must admit is quite cool.…
The Government has promised a review of the UK constitution in order to – “restore trust in our institutions and our democracy.” According to the BBC this will include steps reduce the power of the Supreme Court. This would, if it wasn’t legal nonsense, be an act of revenge for the decision in September 2019 that Boris Johnson’s unlawful prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. The BBC report quotes a Whitehall ‘source’ as saying that the…
So, the General Election frenzy is over – probably for another 5 years. There will be many questions asked about why those who opposed the government failed so miserably. No doubt we will see many changes over the next few months. But there is one thing we can be certain about; there is not going to be any miraculous return to the halcyon days of legal aid for all. I mentioned in my last blog…
I have often talked about the catastrophic consequences when a solcitor makes a mistake and then tries to cover it up. In a very sad case, a solicitor of over 20 years’ experience, and an apparently unblemished career has been struck off for dishonesty. This was despite the fact that nobody had been misled. Geoffrey Hart acted for a friend of his wife in connection with a Personal Injury Claim. The claim succeeded and she…
We are well and truly into the General Election Campaign season. The major parties traditionally compete for our votes on the basis of – anything you can do; we can do better. That has certainly been the case this time around until we get to the crucial matter of our justice system and in particular, access to justice. The Labour Party’s proposals have been modest, compared with of the rest of their manifesto, but positive.…
There are many areas of our legal system which are crying out for reform. For starters, there is the almost total collapse of Criminal Justice with hundreds of courts sitting empty due to a shortage of funding. Defendants, witnesses and victims are waiting years for cases to be concluded. The Government’s answer is to pile on even more cases with no additional resources – Then there is the increasing scandal of Access to Justice being…