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Dolmans' Keynote Seminar 2019

Senior Partner, Adrian Oliver, welcomed delegates to this year’s seminar.


Adrian took the opportunity to advise delegates of the passing of John Wilkins, former partner of Dolmans and paid tribute to John’s breadth of legal knowledge as well as recognising his qualities as an individual and his importance to the practice.


Adrian also referenced the continuity of the practice and its insurance base over many years. After providing an indication of the topics to be discussed during the course of the seminar, Adrian introduced the speakers throughout the day.

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Civil Liability Act 2018 - The Emerging Landscape


Following a significant delay in much needed civil liability reforms, the Civil Liability Act 2018 finally received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018.


Simon Evans discussed the likely impact of this new legislation, including a more codified approach to low value whiplash claims and changes to small claims jurisdiction together with the anticipated effects on claimants, defendants and the organisations driving claim numbers.


Simon highlighted the likely relief from the punitive -0.75% discount rate and the effect this might have on claim values and procedural strategies. Simon also commented on  discrete issues that will be directly affected such as accommodation claims, PPOs, litigation behaviours and the situation in the market generally. Simon also considered what issues remain to be resolved and when the effects of these changes are likely to be seen.

The Definitive Guideline and Sentencing 3 Years On: A Regulatory Update

Three years have passed since the revised Definitive Guideline to Sentencing in Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety Offences came into force.


Peter Bennett discussed recent sentencing decisions, in both the public and private sectors, in order to update delegates as to the effect of this “game changing” guidance in regulatory matters and provided analysis towards any general trends or outcomes.


Peter also highlighted how the new guidance is impacting other areas (e.g. fire safety prosecutions), touched on the recent Impact Assessment of the new Guideline published by the Sentencing Council and discussed sentencing trends, both pre and post the imposition of the Guideline.


Defending Child Abuse Cases


We were delighted to welcome Steven Ford QC to this year’s seminar.


In conversation with Amanda Evans, Steven considered the issues in the long awaited decision of the Supreme Court in Poole Borough Council v GN and Another [2019] and the implications of the decision for local authorities in defending claims against social services departments.


Steven also gave practical guidance upon the issues defendants can expect to encounter in defending child abuse claims moving forwards and how to deal with existing claims affected by the decision.

Case Updates


Jamie Mitchell and Claire Thomas provided our usual whistle-stop tour of cases that have been reported in the last 12 months to keep our delegates up-to-date on the latest developments.

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