Forbes Insurance Blog

Katie Hopkins Loses Libel Claim following Twitter Spat

Jack Monroe v Katie Hopkins [2017] EWHC 433 (QB)

Katie Hopkins is notorious for her controversial views and her outspoken comments. Two misplaced tweets on Twitter have this week cost her £24,000 in damages and over £107,000 in legal fees. Read more

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Post-Portal PADs: The End of the Debate?

You will recall our previous blogs following the development of the argument that fixed costs apply to PADs. Forbes had been running this argument since the implementation of the fixed costs regime and of course had the first known County Court Appeal which for many firms was the end of the matter. Read more

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Naming your Abusers

In a nutshell

The right of a claimant to name the people who abused her prevailed over the rights of the perpetrators and others to private and family life. Read more

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Seventeen year olds cannot decline section 20 accommodation if their welfare is seriously prejudiced says the Court of Appeal….

The recent case of Re W (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 804 concerned a 17 year old girl who was accommodated by the Local Authority in a residential care unit in accordance with Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 and who went on to appeal against the later decision made by the Court to place her in secure accommodation pursuant to Section 25 of the Children Act 1989. Read more

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Acorn Proves Tough Nut To Crack

The Court of Appeal have today handed down Judgment in the matter of Bird v Acorn Group Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 1096. The case essentially boiled down to what stage of fixed costs are applicable when a matter is listed for a disposal hearing.

The Appellant sought an Order that when a matter is listed for disposal the Claimant should be limited to post-issue, pre-allocation costs.  The Respondent argued that the appropriate stage was post-listing pre-trial costs.  Following lengthy submissions from both parties the Court of Appeal have held that the appropriate costs are post-listing, pre-trial costs, a blow for Defendants and some might say a disincentive for parties to engage in negotiations after a matter is listed for disposal.  Read more

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The New Code of Practice: A Brave New World

The long awaited new Well-managed Highway Infrastructure: A Code of Practice (the New Code) has been released today. The 256 page document is arguably a game changer for Local Authorities and their approach to claims defensibility.

The New Code supersedes the 3 previous Well-maintained Highways, Well-lit Highways, and Management of Highway Structures codes and incorporates them into 1 document. Read more

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The Child Protection Threshold Conundrum

A Community Care Survey of over 1000 Social Workers has found that over 70% of Practitioners believe that the threshold for Child Protection has risen in the last 12 months.

Recent research has shown that children deemed to sit just below the Child Protection thresholds, but at the upper ends of Children in Need thresholds may well see their cases drift due to the vast divide between the 2 categories. Read more

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Foster Carers; A New Era?

The changes to fee structures for foster carers is causing upset.

Under some schemes, fostering payments are being cut if the foster carers are not deemed to have done enough to support and develop the fostering service. Some local authorities have cut training budgets and allowances. In some areas, where a foster family goes without an allocated child for more than 6 weeks, their retainer fee is being halved, and in some cases withdrawn after 12 weeks. Press reports in recent weeks have stated that this will lead to foster families accepting any child, regardless of their level of ability and /or experience, and of foster carers working for a rate of £1.50per hour, whilst offering 24/7 care.

Additional concerns revolve around the lack of due process afforded to foster carers.

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Unaccompanied Children And PR: Who Takes Responsibility?

Baljeet Sandhu, Director of the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, Islington Law Centre, describes unaccompanied migrant children as

the most vulnerable group that I and my team have ever worked with. In most cases, by the time they have got to us they have suffered some form of psychological or physical injury or harm. Their development has often been impaired and their needs neglected. This has serious implications for professionals seeking to support and represent them.”

The House of Lords European Union Committee, in its 2nd report of the 2016/7 session has stated that;

The current refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian challenge to have faced the European Union since its foundation. … It is vital, both on moral grounds and in order to help maintain good relations with the other 27 Member States, that the UK Government should participate fully in EU action to resolve this humanitarian crisis…. It has become increasingly clear that children, many of them unaccompanied by a parent, relative or guardian, are in the forefront of the crisis. …

Authorities try to avoid taking responsibility for their care and protection (and) unsurprisingly, many children have lost trust in the institutions and measures intended to guarantee their rights, safety and well-being…. Such outcomes have in turn exposed vulnerable children to smugglers and human traffickers, and it is conservatively estimated that at least 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently missing in the EU.”

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We Need to Talk

Research has shown that children could be groomed by online predators in as little as 18 minutes. Read more

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