Lionel has a multi-track practice specialising in personal injury, clinical negligence and costs with complementary expertise in product liability (particularly in the context of aviation), inquests, health and safety, insurance contracts and civil fraud. He combines robust advocacy where required with a focused ‘team’ approach to litigation, tactical insight for JSMs and mediations and the ability to manage clients in challenging cases or where difficult messages need to be delivered.
Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
Lionel acts for claimants and defendants in all areas of personal injury and clinical negligence.
He is regularly instructed in high value fatal and catastrophic injury cases, as well as those involving serious head injuries, limb amputations, fusion surgery, hip replacement surgery and/or resulting in significant disability. He is well versed in claims for serious bodily injury arising out of domestic and international aviation accidents and other claims with a foreign element, including complex dependency claims arising out of the Germanwings disaster in which there were significant disputes as to the applicable law, jurisdiction and quantification. Lionel’s regular practice also extends to cases involving complex issues of causation arising from brain injuries, the aggravation or acceleration of pre-existing rheumatological conditions and non-organic pain (including complex regional pain syndrome, chronic pain, post-traumatic fibromyalgia and somataform disorders).
Lionel’s clinical negligence practice incorporates factually complicated claims arising out of obstetric and gynaecological injuries, including those resulting in maximum disability, diagnostic failures (such as compartment syndrome, as well as cancer and MCL cases), negligent treatment of post-surgical infections leading to kidney failure, negligent eye and laser surgery, failure to convey to hospital and surgical negligence (with particular expertise in cases that have resulted in permanent colorectal injury).
Costs and Professional Liability
Lionel undertakes costs work in all areas of commercial and common law litigation. He has extensive expertise in costs management conferences, detailed assessments, appeals, enforceability challenges to CFAS, solicitor-own client assessments and drafting general points of dispute. He can also advise on costs budgeting, compliance and the application of, and exceptions to, QOCS (including where there are pre- and post- April 2013 funding arrangements in place). This work has in turn led to instructions in professional negligence claims against solicitors and barristers, including those arising out of negligent advice and omissions that have led to significant under-settlement of claims (for example failing to investigate or consider the effect of chronic conditions).
Insurance, Civil Fraud and Credit Hire
In addition to his main practice areas, Lionel specialises in insurance advisory work (contracts, coverage and indemnity, incorporating discrete issues such as material non-disclosure, fraudulent misrepresentation, wrongful repudiation, declarations, waivers and the meaning and effect of warranties and conditions) and receives regular instructions in claims involving suspected insurance fraud. Acting predominantly for insurers, his experience covers the full spectrum of insurance fraud from exaggerated personal injury claims of significant value to staged/contrived accidents and phantom passenger claims. He has successfully defended numerous fraudulent claims through to awards of exemplary damages and costs sanctions against individuals and/or firms of solicitors. This ties in well with his expertise in the field of credit hire, dealing with six figure hire claims and those involving more difficult issues of enforceability, illegality and ex turpi causa defences.