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Professor publishes key article on tactics in compensation claims

26 March 2017

Personal Injury claim paperwork

In a month when accident compensation has again made front page news, Professor Richard Lewis has published a key article on the tactics used by lawyers when negotiating the settlement of claims.

His analysis is based on a series of interviews with practitioners and appears in the current issue of Legal Studies, the journal of the Society of Legal Scholars. The work has been financed by the Institute of European Tort Law based in Vienna and is part of a wider project also involving researchers in Holland and Norway. Professor Lewis is to present his research at the conference of Canadian lawyers to be held in Vancouver in May.

The article illustrates how tactics can affect the outcome of cases irrespective of their legal merits, one practitioner even claiming that ‘the majority of litigation is tactics rather than law’.

Professor Lewis said, "In line with the School's emphasis on studying law in context, I was keen to show how the law in practice was different from that in the textbooks. Focus on court-based justice is very misleading when only one per cent of compensation claims get as far as a judge. The factors affecting whether a claim succeeds and how much damages are paid are much more complex than the formal application of the legal rules alone."

Download the full paper: Tort Tactics: An Empirical Study of Personal Injury Litigation Strategies” (2017) 37(1) Legal Studies 162 - 185.

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