Leading military solicitor says Military Covenant is essential but slams cost of Iraqi national claimsBob-Bion : December 9, 2013 3:29 pm : News
Leading military solicitor Hilary Meredith says the Military Covenant, which became law as part of the Armed Forces Act 2011, provides Armed Forces Service Personnel with an essential legal framework if their statutory rights are denied– but has hit out at the manipulation of the legal process after a ruling by the courts left British troops facing 11 separate inquiries about their conduct in Iraq.
“The Military Covenant provides armed forces personnel with an essential legal framework to seek recourse when their statutory rights are denied – but these claims are not being made by those that represent soldiers but by UK Human Rights lawyers using taxpayers’ money as a cash cow,” says Hilary, CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd. “They give the whole legal process a bad name.”
The inquiries were ordered by the Ministry of Defence after the High Court ruled that any allegation about an Iraqi citizen dying in British custody has to be investigated as a breach of the “right to life” laid out in Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights. This became part of domestic law as a result of the Human Rights Act.
In addition to this, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will also make a landmark ruling this week about another Iraqi death in custody, further expanding its reach into UK law and opening up the possibility of yet more cases to come.
“Last year claims made by Armed Forces service personnel were down and so was compensation,” added Hilary. “UK Human Rights lawyers bringing claims for Iraqi nationals should not be confused with the common law rights of our own fighting force.”
Please find link to article in which Hilary discusses personal injury claims and skiing accidents: here
Since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduced a ban on referral fees in April this year, the market has seen some drastic changes as it seeks to adapt to the new regulatory environment.
While the ban on referral fees has shaken the PI market considerably we always viewed it as a positive motivation to change our attitude and look beyond the claims management companies, going back to focusing on developing a brand based on reputation and excellent client service.
On Friday I spent the day filming our latest television advertisement. And what a day it was!
TV advertising is nothing new for the firm – fed up with the poor work fed to law firms at an extortionate price we stopped working with claims management companies in 2010 – but this campaign is undoubtedly our best yet.
A big thanks to world renowned stuntman Riky Ash – with his help and training I was able to complete 24 double roll-overs in a car in a rig!
We are thrilled with the end result which will be hitting your TV screens in the New Year.
Incredibly, 68.16% of new accepted cases are now self-generated from our brand reputation and we are hoping to improve significantly on this with our new campaign. Watch this space!
The HSE has ordered the MoD to take action to deal with risks on exercises after the deaths of three Army reservists on SAS selection tests in the Brecon Beacons.
In July L/Cpl Craig Roberts, L/Cpl Edward Maher and Cpl James Dunsby died after a hike on one of the hottest days of the year. A formal notice includes steps to deal with heat illness risk.
The MoD said it was implementing all the recommendations in the notice but as the incident is still subject to investigation by the Dyfed Powys Police will not comment further.
Commenting on this latest development, Hilary Meredith, CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors said:
“We are pleased that the HSE has taken action quickly and issued a formal notice to ensure their recommendations are implemented with immediate effect. The HSE’s action shows that the MoD failed to risk assess the health and safety of the soldiers and it is important these weaknesses have been identified so that these can be rectified for the prevention of injury in the future.”
“We hope that the MoD’s investigation also looks at the wider issues raised by the incident which is the training of our Reservist soldiers. Reservist soldiers cannot train to the same extent as our Regular soldiers and given the structure of Army 2020. The MoD needs to look at how they can ensure Reservists meet the standard required of our Regular soldiers whilst not exposing them to dangerous situations too early in their training where they will be put at significant risk of injury.”
Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd specialises in acting for Armed Forces service personnel. The team is experienced in advising on heat injuries as well as cold injuries and has a proven track record in this area of law.
For further details please contact Hilary Meredith Solicitors on 0800 124 4444.
This year Road Safety Week, starting on the 18th November, is urging people too ‘tune in’ to road safety in a bid to cut accidents caused by driver and pedestrian distraction.
Hilary Meredith Solicitors, award winning law firm based in Wilmslow, is fully supporting the campaign by working closely with The Brain Injury Group who offer support services for people affected by brain injury.
Everyday actions such as speaking on the mobile phone whilst driving can be a major driver distraction. It has been illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving since December 2003 – but the AA has calculated that at any one time, around 100,000 Brits are breaking the law which bans the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.
“There are enough distractions on the road as it is; talking on a mobile phone is just too dangerous,” says Hilary Meredith, CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors.
While it is an offence to be seen using a handheld phone, regardless of whether driving has been affected, this is not the case for hands-free phones – although Hilary says drivers should not make a habit of this either.
“If new drivers avoid using a mobile phone when behind the wheel in the same way they avoid drink driving, then their friends will soon understand they’re not going to pick up when driving. The sooner their friends accept this, the safer new drivers, and those on the roads with them, will be,” added Hilary.
“A recent study by the Transport Research Laboratory found drivers using a hands-free phone reacted nearly a third slower than those slightly over the drink-drive limit. This suggests that millions could be unwittingly risking their own and others’ lives whilst obeying the law on phone use in a vehicle.”
One second’s distraction on the road can change a life forever. 50% of all brain injuries are caused by road traffic collisions which is why Hilary Meredith Solicitors are actively supporting this Road Safety Week ‘tune in’ campaign to raise awareness of how a moments distraction can lead to a lifelong disability.
Four leading personal injury (PI) lawyers have joined forces to launch Pi Gateway, a new organisation aimed at helping PI firms in England and Wales make a clean and managed exit from the market. David Bott from Bott & Co, Martin Coyne from Ralli Solicitors, Hilary Meredith from Hilary Meredith Solicitors and James Maxey from Express Solicitors form the Pi Gateway consultancy team and have pledged a significant seven figure sum to help firms facilitate a structured retreat from the PI sector. Modern Claims spoke to the team to find out more – check out the attached PDF for the full article.. PI Gateway Feature – Modern Law Magazine
I am honoured to have been invited by the Royal British Legion to attend the Festival of Remembrance held on Saturday night at the Royal Albert Hall. Having attended once before in 2003, I was humbled and at the same time filled with patriotism and awe for all those who have served in all wars for their country.
Another lasting memory was the age group of families and widows – they are so very young. When paying homage to those who have fallen one usually thinks of veterans of the first and second World Wars but in recent times many more heroes have served in Gulf War 1, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am aware that the Royal British Legion are taking time to engage with and encourage the young to take an active interest in supporting the legion in particular the, “voices of the service children,” who are recording this year’s Poppy Appeal single. They have also been signed by Decca to produce a Christmas album – their angelic voices will guarantee there is not to a dry eye in the house. They are singing at the Albert Hall on Saturday in front of the Queen and I can’t wait to hear them.
The Festival of Remembrance is watched by over five million people on television which confirms the support and importance we place as a nation on our armed forces and all those who serve. Whilst it’s a sad time of reflection it’s also uplifting to come together in support. We will remember them.
Jamie Burdekin, the Paralympic tennis player sponsored by Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd has released a new “Day In The Life” video.
Available at http://youtu.be/7C3LbtPUcsw the video includes footage of Jamie meeting with Hilary Meredith and Stevie Tatton as well as training and fitness sessions.
In the video, Jamie thanks Hilary Meredith Solicitors for helping him out “big time”.
A former Royal Marine, Jamie was seriously injured in a car accident in 2000, leaving him wheelchair bound and unable to walk again. After 10 months of rehabilitation he began to attend wheelchair tennis session. He has played the sport seriously since 2005, travelling globally to compete in events including the London Paralympics, US Open and Australian Open.
Team Hilary Meredith attended the Spinal Injuries Experience at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on the 30th October 2013 to raise funds and awareness for the Spinal Injuries Association.
The team, consisting of employees Hannah Ashcroft, Samantha Burbidge, Georgia Hammond, Josh Spence and Melanie Wain along with Andy Wharton whom the firm sponsor, were one of six teams who competed on the day.
The teams took part in a variety of wheelchair sports including Power Lifting, Archery, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby and Hand Cycling in order to comprehend how individuals living with spinal injuries adapt their lives and can enjoy participating in sporting activities.
Many individuals end up competing in wheelchair sports to the highest level. The Hilary Meredith team was lucky enough to be trained by the Paralympic coaches in each sport and met Team GB’s 2012 Wheelchair Rugby Captain Steve Brown and Power Lifter Chris Rattenbury.
The Hilary Meredith team achieved victory in the Power Lifting and Wheel Chair Rugby, coming home with two trophies and came third in the competition overall.
Partner at the firm’s London office, Sinead Cartwright, was handed the task of recording the day by photograph and video footage whilst cheering on from the sidelines.
The day was a huge success for the Spinal Injuries Association and the team look forward to retaining their trophies next year whilst trying to add a few more to the collection.
by Hannah Ashcroft
Local lawyer cautions Wilmslow residents and businesses to be safe not sorry over the firework seasonBob-Bion : October 31, 2013 10:25 am : News
A Wilmslow law firm has urged local residents and organisations to make safety a priority as bonfire night draws near.
Hilary Meredith Solicitors on Water Lane, Wilmslow, specialises in personal injury law and has seen all too frequently the damage that bonfire night can have if safety isn’t taken into account.
Hilary Meredith, CEO at the firm believes that whilst commercially organised events are often considered the safer option for families making bonfire night plans, many organisations are put off by the myth of ‘compensation culture’ and more and more are choosing to steer clear of the displays.
“Many councils and businesses are citing excessive or confusing health & safety regulations as the reason for cancelling firework displays and events. There is no reason why these cannot go ahead, providing they are properly and responsibly organised. However, it should always be remembered that fireworks are lethal in the wrong hands and there is a high level of responsibility involved.”
At some events, both bonfires and fireworks could be on the agenda. Smoke from bonfires can be considered a nuisance to neighbours and local businesses and the Local Authority is within its right to take action if smoke from a bonfire is reported to them.
“A bonfire requires very careful planning. Organisers must make sure it is well away from trees, hedges, fences, sheds etc. and set way back from any firework display area. Flammable liquid is not to be used, and before lighting check for any animals that may have climbed into the unlit bonfire. At the end of the event, make absolutely certain that the fire is out, and dispose of the remains safely.
“As long as the potential danger is anticipated and prepared for, there is no reason why the local community cannot enjoy a fantastic evening under the stars. Organisers can check out the guidance available from the HSE, the government and other organisations but there is so much sometimes it is difficult to follow, so we have put together a key list of points to consider which will help any event go with a bang. Preparation is key to avoid injury or worse at events such as these. Once this is in place, organisers can relax and enjoy the evening!”