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Lyons Davidson’s Head Injury team attended the first day of the APIL annual conference, held at Celtic Manor in Newport last week. The first day of the conference opened with a welcome from the outgoing President of APIL, David Bott.

His introduction was followed by an interactive debate on the topic of ‘what’s my insurance really worth?’ The discussion was chaired by Chief Executive of APIL Deborah Evans, with panel members including Don Clarke (President of FOIL – Forum of Insurance Lawyers), Stephen Lawson (APIL Secretary), Nick Starling (Director of General Insurance at the Association of British Insurers) and Tony Whitson, Chair of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK.

Deborah Evans then went on to present a review of 2011 and the organisation’s vision for the coming three years. This was followed by the APIL AGM.

Conditional Fee Agreement

The Keynote address of the day was given by Robert Wright, Head of Civil Litigation Funding and Costs at the Ministry of Justice. Part of his presentation covered implementation of the reforms to Conditional Fee Agreements. The ability to recover a success fee from the losing party will be abolished and, in future, any success fee would have to be paid by the CFA-funded party up to a cap of 25% of general damages and past losses only. The government also says they will introduce a package of other measures set out by Lord Justice Jackson, one of which includes a 10% increase in general damages in personal injury claims. The plans are intended to be implemented from April 2013 and the reforms are likely to have an impact on how claims are risk assessed.

Incoming APIL President Karl Tonks gave a strong presidential address to take APIL forwards over the next year and to continue to support personal injury victims. The afternoon’s proceedings focused on a general litigation update and practice issues, covering topics that varied from clinical negligence matters in Wales to expert evidence in claims.

The Journal of Personal Injury Law Digest Editor Nigel Tomkins and JPIL Editor, Muiris Lyons and others gave short case comments to conclude the first day of the conference.