Steve Cornforth

Steve Cornforth Blogs

Latest from Steve Cornforth

I have written before about the discount rate. It is an extremely important part of our system of compensation for injured people, despite its rather understated name. In short it is a principle that tries to ensure that victims are not over or under compensated. The rate is what an award of damages is assumed to earn over a long period of time. The idea of compensation is to put the victim in the position…
Outside the Evertton Boardroom at the Liver Building It is truth, universally acknowledged, that I am an Everton FC fan and proudly bitter. This was of course the background to my recent ‘walk of shame’ for charity where I raised £1000 for wearing a shirt of a certain other local team. No, I am not posting a photograph. There is no shortage of them around! – I recently visited Everton’s new HQ in the iconic…
The first time I secured a settlement in a brain injury case was in the late 1990s.  It was a claim for a child who suffered from cerebral palsy following medical negligence in the first few days of his life. He was left with catastrophic injuries. He has no speech and no independent movement but is otherwise as intelligent as anybody. We secured a settlement of just over £2m. As is often the case, I…
Why does this keep happening? We read today about yet another fee earner whose career in in tatters because they have tried to cover up mistakes – In this case there were three cases where deadlines had been missed by a few days. Rather than admit the mistake the non-qualified case handler dishonestly back dated documents to mislead the court and the other side. In each of these cases the problem was probably capable of…
Back in 1999, I wrote the Letter of the Week in the New Statesman magazine. This was what you did in the days before Twitter! I was responding to the Labour Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine’s proposed cuts to Legal Aid. The attacks on legal aid lawyers were relentless. That was the start of the falling dominos that has led us to the legal aid waste land that we have today. Who would have thought back…
There has been a lot of poorly informed comment from politicians and the media in relation to the decision to issue a summons against Boris Johnson following his famous £350m statements during the EU Referendum Campaign. The most popular criticism is that the court is not the right place for discussion of political issues. Some of the comments have bordered on the hysterical. Bob Seely MP tweeted ‘This stupid, muddle-headed judge has made a fool…
Let’s get one thing clear. People who have the benefit of legal aid are not given a hand-out. They are not ‘given’ anything. The purpose of legal aid is, or was, to ensure that each party to a dispute have equal access to legal representation. Legal Aid, as we know it, was introduced in 1949 by the post war Labour government. Its stated purpose at the time was – “to provide legal advice for those…
Did anyone else watch the jaw dropping documentary on BBC about the millionaire landlord Fergus Wilson who is carrying out mass evictions of his tenants so that he can retire? He has previously hit the headlines for refusing to accept tenants on benefits, single parents and anyone on zero hours contracts. He became unstuck in 2017 when a court granted an injunction against his refusal to let to Asian tenants – because of the curry…
I cannot remember when I last posted twice in one day. But the decision of the Legal Agency to refuse Legal Aid to the family of Molly Russell for representation at the inquest into her death is crying out for comment. Molly died in November 2017. She took her own life. Her family discovered Instagram posts about depression and suicide. Her father has said that he has no doubt that Instagram helped kill his daughter…
According to a report posted in today’s Legal Futures, Solicitors in smaller firms are more concerned about the imminent, new SRA Code of Practice than they are about Brexit.  Mind you, boredom might have a role to play there! It seems that a major concern is staff retention in a relaxed legal services market – This brings me to an issue that, for me, has a major concern since the changes were first proposed.  Under…