S J Edney’s Christmas and New Year closing times

S J Edney will be closed for the Christmas and New Year break from 1.00pm on Friday 23 December 2011 until 09.00am on Tuesday 03 January 2012.



So much has happened in 2011. We at S J Edney have continued to act for a number of clients who have been injured and are entitled to compensation. Their claims vary from people who have been injured at hospital due to an error made by either a doctor or nurse and others injured at work, in a road accident or at a public place.

Mrs Janice Lawrence sought our advice about an independent report which was published in November 2011 following the death of her parents in 2007. This was a terrible case as her elderly parents were killed by their son (her brother) Mr Tim Crook in horrific circumstances. The independent inquiry acknowledged a number of failings on the part of two mental health services including Swindon which had resulted in the deterioration of Mr Crook’s medical condition which, in turn, led to these killings.

2011 has also been a dreadful year for legal aid lawyers. Swingeing cuts of £350m will be made from the existing legal aid budget and are bound to impact on the most vulnerable people in our society and their ability to have access to justice. Personal injury lawyers are also smarting due to the proposed changes in the costs awarded from unsuccessful Defendants which are likely to make personal injury cases less profitable in the future.

In the new year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority will begin to regulate Alternative Business Structures which permit non lawyers to provide legal services direct to the public. It will be interesting to see how much competition the traditional law firm will face from these new market entrants.





Britain’s workplace fatality rate increased by more than 16% in the past year, according to the latest figures. In the year to March 2011, 171 workplace deaths were recorded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This compares with 147 during the same period in the previous year and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.6 per 100 000 workers.

The figure of 171 worker deaths in 2010/11, however, is 17% lower than the average for the past five years (205). The watchdog also noted that the number of major workplace injuries has fallen, dropping from 26,268 in 2009/10 to around 24,700. Amputations, fractures and burns are among the injuries which fall into this category. Meanwhile, the number of injuries deemed severe enough to cause an absence of at least four days dropped to 90,653 – down from 96,427 the previous year.

However, Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal occupational injuries in Europe as well as one of the lowest levels of work related ill health.



Family lawyers have attributed rising divorce rates to the financial stress of coping with the economic downturn.

The number of divorces in England and Wales rose by 4.9% in 2010, to nearly 120,000 couples, according to figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Couples in their early 40s were the age group most likely to divorce. Half the couples had at least one child below the age of 16.

The rise in the divorce rate is the first since 2003, which saw a peak of 150,000 couples severing ties. The rate has declined since then as fewer couples have chosen to tie the knot.

According to the ONS, the rise could be due to the strain of the economic downturn, and some people may want to divorce while their incomes are low so they get a more favourable settlement.

On the other hand, as the ONS points out, tough economic times can make some struggling couples stick together because they can’t afford to separate.

Family lawyers say financial strains often contribute to relationship break-ups.

Two thirds of decrees to end a marriage were granted to women. The husband’s behaviour was the chief reason for marital breakdown.


Patients harmed as guidance ignored

Thousands of patients are the victims of sub-standard care every year because hospitals are still failing to follow essential guidelines, a report claimed.

Surgeons performed an operation on the wrong part of the patient’s body on at least 57 occasions last year, and a foreign object was left inside patients after surgery 125 times, according to data compiled in the annual Dr Foster hospital guide.

The report concludes that although patient safety is probably improving, there are still far too many avoidable instances of harm to patients.

In addition, there are nine hospitals that will not be compliant by December 1st 2011 with all relevant safety alerts by the National Patient Safety Agency.

Roger Taylor, co-founder of Dr Foster, said that though there had been a fall in death rates over the past decade, many issues raised ten years ago, when the guide was first published were still relevant.

This newsletter was produced by S J Edney solicitors Telephone: 01793 600721

Also read my blog – click here https://www.accidentspecialistsolicitors.co.uk/news/