Clarke Willmott pays £500,000 to paralysed biker
17 August 2012
Bristol firm Clarke Willmott has agreed to cough up £0.5m after a former client sued the firm for professional negligence. But seemingly just to rid itself of a case that was taking years and where the client was racking up huge fees.
Kenny Jordan spent seven months in hospital after a motorcycle accident in 2004, and is confined to a wheelchair. Clarke Willmott acted for him in securing a settlement of £512,000 - but he claimed the firm failed to advise him properly as to the full amount he could get, and said he "felt pressured to settle
Jordan's current lawyer maintains that Clarke Willmott should have secured twice this amount. He added that no one from Clarke Willmott visited Jordan to take a detailed statement, nor did the firm get any expert evidence or interview witnesses. He told This Is Bristol
that "for a lawyer to deal with someone who has sustained such serious injuries on a postal basis without even going to see them is shocking
Clarke Willmott's insurers have now agreed to hand over £500,000 to take Jordan's settlement to over £1m in total. And the firm's premiums will presumably rocket as a result.
||A Clarke Willmott partner yesterday
However Clarke Willmott told RollOnFriday that Jordan had been prosecuted for drink driving, and the prosecution was pending when the firm agreed his settlement. In fact he was acquitted, but if he had been convicted Jordan could have received substantially less than the £512,000. In the circumstances the firm believes it did all it could, and said that "negotiation achieved an increase in the offer
". A spokesman added that "the sum paid to Mr Jordan without any admission of liability was far less than was claimed by him and the settlement took into account many factors, not least the level of costs that were being incurred by his legal team