Chris Richards

Call 2016

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Personal Injury: Defence

Chris frequently assists with defending claims brought against insurers and local authorities.

Chris has an excellent understanding of the areas of personal injury law which are most important for insurers and local authorities, including (but not limited to) the areas mentioned below.

Chris regularly acts in cases involving accidents on the public highway. Chris has extensive experience of defending Highways Act claims for several local authorities with a large number of successful defences at trial. Chris has written a well-received article about the identification of highways maintainable at public expense (‘Highways maintainable at public expense: what are they, and how do you identify them?’).

Chris regularly acts in cases involving employer’s liability. Chris has experience of defending employer’s liability trials again with considerable success. Chris most recently represented a hotel who were being pursued by one of their chefs after an accident in the kitchen and secured the full dismissal of the claim.

Chris regularly acts in cases involving claims against landlords. Chris has an excellent understanding of the Defective Premises Act 1972 and the case law which has developed from it. Chris recently dealt with a complex trial which turned on the interpretation of authorities including Dodd v Raebarn Estates Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 439, Sternbaum v Dhesi [2016] EWCA Civ 155, and others.

Chris regularly acts in cases involving industrial disease. Chris has an excellent understanding of the law concerning noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), and other repetitive strain conditions. Chris is currently instructed in a multi-track claim which involves the highly unusual Whole-Body Vibration Syndrome (which may be the first case of its kind). Chris has a thorough understanding of the scientific concepts which underpin industrial disease, including (for NIHL) the identification of notches and bulges, the calculation of average noise levels (Leq), the dose-response relationship between noise and hearing loss, and so on. Chris has a comprehensive understanding of the law concerning limitation (including applications under Section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980). Chris is happy to advise on paper and to represent clients at trial (with Chris having an early success in a repetitive strain trial in 2018).

Recent instructions include the following (updated in May 2022):

  • The successful representation of a Defendant in a two-day employer’s liability trial concerning an accident in a kitchen (October 2021);
  • The successful defence at trial of an occupier’s liability claim involving a fall in a cinema (August 2021);
  • The successful defence of a Highways Act claim brought by a litigant-in-person (July 2021).

Chris understands the need to defend claims effectively from the start to the very end. Chris is more than happy to advise by email throughout the lifetime of a claim.