Michael Rapp specialises in Personal Injury, Professional/Clinical Negligence, Product Liability, Insurance litigation; particularly road traffic fraud, Cable Damage claims and Utility matters. He has an even split of work for both sides and prides himself in taking a forensic and highly collaborative team approach to cases, resulting in a loyal and strong client base. He prides himself on his repeat instructions over many years from top tier PI firms.
Michael specialises in higher value cases in the Multi Track. He believes that it is essential that the personal context of any individual’s injury is brought to the fore from the outset. An injury occurs to a person within the context of their family, work and social life. Michael’s firm view is that it is the responsibility of the claimant’s legal team to set out and explain to the defendant insurer, and subsequently the court, the full context and consequences of any injury to a claimant as an individual as soon as possible.
He takes a modern approach to pleadings believing that they are integral to bringing the case to life and allowing the parties and the court to appreciate a deeper understanding of the individual claimant themselves at an early stage. Michael, and the legal teams that he works with, have seen great success in the use of early, detailed and well-reasoned schedules resulting in settlement of high value claims within limitation, avoiding the need for any court involvement at all.
In line with this Michael strongly believes in the power of rehabilitation at an early stage and the absolute necessity of a collaborative approach between claimant and defendant legal teams in cases involving serious or catastrophic injuries.
His claimant practice involves regular instruction from some of the best known claimant solicitor firms. Michael prides himself on being able to add value to claims and to explore elements of the claim whose long term financial impact that may not have been fully considered. Equally he often deals with claims involving potential Ogden handicap on the open labour market claims. He promotes an integrated approach harnessing the combined expertise of the legal team with the necessary experts; be they medical, financial or employment.
Michael is well versed in the more complex claimant personal injury work including catastrophic or life threatening injuries, chronic or complex regional pain and somatoform type cases and industrial disease (asbestos, heavy metal etc.). He also has experience of cases involving complex injuries including those of a psychiatric nature to children and the subtleties and delicacies of injuries occurring to children with pre-existing conditions.
Michael has a strong defendant personal injury practice often complimenting his insurance practice. Michael strongly believes that the legal team for the defendant cannot be passive in high value claims. Action to rehabilitate claimants both personally and back into the workplace is of benefit to both parties. Claimants who refuse to co-operate in this regard should expect that to be reflected in the final damages of their claim. Michael advises early and assertive response (when possible) by the defendant client/ insurer.
He is regularly instructed on behalf of some of the UK’s largest construction/home building companies in relation to employee and public liability claims. Michael regularly advises on the merits and tactical value of the full range of resources open to a defendant insurer defending a personal injury claim. His motor fraud practice allows him to cast a highly critical and analytical eye upon all claims.
Michael is regularly instructed to draft robust counter-schedules serving as a reality check to schedules often served at well over 7 figures. Michael strongly believes that there is room for showing genuine compassion and understanding to the claimant but at the same time tenaciously ensuring that a settlement that is reasonable, but no more, is achieved for the defendant insurer.
Michael is happy to be instructed later on in the process recognising commercial realities within the insurance industry and regularly attends JSMs on behalf of insurers where he will achieve significant reductions. Michael will also explore wider ranging settlements beyond the injuries themselves where the client wishes to see finality. For example, recent consent orders have resolved outstanding employment issues that have existed, allowing both sides complete finality of both the injury and the employment.
Michael is instructed on both sides of the fence and his practice is generally focused upon solicitor’s negligence particularly resulting from underlying personal injury claims. Recent cases have involved defending, and settling for £120,000, a case pleaded in excess of £500,000 for an ex-RAF officer whose case had originally been struck out.
Michael’s practice in this regard compliments that of his personal injury practice. It is predominantly for claimants and includes cases involving death in hospital and possible failure to identify cancer leading to amputation of the leg.
Michael is known within Motor Insurance for his fraud and LVI practice. He works exclusively for defending insurers in this regard. Earlier this year he successfully persuaded a judge to strike out a claim at trial with an ensuing enforceable cost order where the court was satisfied the accident was a deliberate slam on and in which the judge was further satisfied that the claimant had also then deliberately damaged his vehicle after the accident.
Michael is well versed in detailed and highly analytical pleadings setting out the exact position in relation to fraud. Such defences have had a high strike rate in seeing would be claimants electing to discontinue rather than running the risks of a finding of fraud/fundamental dishonesty.
Michael receives regular instructions in relation to defective products and claims under the Consumer Protection Act and the Sale of Goods Act. Recent cases have included exploding microwave ovens and fires arising from lithium-ion batteries.