Accidents Abroad

Why I’m so proud of the work we do supporting people seriously injured abroad


Paul McClorry

Head of Travel Litigation & Serious Injury

6 min read time
04 Aug 2020

Paul McClorry is a highly-experienced and respected travel litigation solicitor.

He qualified in 2001 and headed up a large travel department at a national law firm before joining Hudgell Solicitors as Head of Travel Litigation to launch our work in supporting people seriously injured abroad in August 2017.
Approaching almost three years into the role, he has helped establish our reputation as one of the leaders in this specialist area of work in the UK.

His work and expertise is recognised in both the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 guides, in which he is featured as a ‘leading individual’ and praised his ‘flair and expertise’.
Here, Mr McClorry discusses the team’s growth, the kind of work it is now involved in and how its expertise is making a positive difference for clients.

Paul, it is three years since you joined Hudgell Solicitors to launch the firm’s travel litigation department. How has it progressed since that start?

We’re delighted with the excellent reputation we have established and the types of cases we are now involved in, a significant amount of which involve us supporting people making holiday accident claims, whether that be on holiday or when working.

The demand has seen our team continually grow, which has been pleasing.
We are of course now managing our work between home and office, but we recently moved into larger offices in Manchester, where all of our team are based and are representing people across England and Wales.
Our team has been chosen to represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury and in cases which have led to fatalities. We also represent a large number of clients in group action claims.

Can you give some examples of cases led by your team?

There’s a wide mix. Injuries suffered on the roads is a large area of work and this is an area where our experience and expertise can make a huge difference to those who turn to us for support.
It can be a very worrying time when a loved one is involved in an accident abroad, from the difficulties presented through language barriers to the differing processes used from country to country when investigating accidents.
We are also instructed in lots of cases where holiday providers and hotels have failed to ensure people are safe, leading to injuries in and around areas such as swimming pools and communal areas.
We’ve supported a lot of people who are injured on their way to and from holiday, on aeroplanes, and people injured during holiday activities such as skiing.

The most difficult of cases of course involve fatalities. In situations like this it can be quite overwhelming for families as they have to deal not only with the sudden devastating loss of a family member, but also find themselves faced with dealing with foreign lawyers, laws and lots of questions.
It can be hard to get answers but we try and make the process easier for them, with a clear focus on also obtaining the best possible settlement.

Are there any cases which stand out for you in terms of the support provided?

We recently secured a seven figure damages settlement for the family of a father-of-six who was killed when knocked off his motorbike in Italy. This was a very sad case and one in which we were having to explain what was a complicated process to a lot of family members.
They soon realised that our expertise, knowledge of Italian law, and legal contacts, was crucial in getting them the best possible result given the terrible circumstances.

Under Italian law, damages awards for bereavement are significantly higher than in the UK. They also allow more relatives to be compensated, whereas in the UK they are restricted to the spouse or civil partner of the deceased or, in cases involving the death of a child, their parents.
This meant we were able to secure damages on behalf of a large number of family members and they were very happy with our support though such a traumatic experience and loss.

We also acted for a man who was diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease after returning home from holiday in Majorca. We investigated the cause of the outbreak and liaised with Public Health England and The European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network. We also instructed Spanish lawyers to liaise with the Balearic Health Authorities. It was established that the likely cause of the outbreak was a Jacuzzi at another hotel along the road from the hotel where our client was staying. A claim was brought against the Spanish hotel and their insurer and we ultimately managed to negotiate holiday illness compensation for our client.

Why would you say Hudgells are the choice for legal representation for such cases?

I think it is our reputation for always doing the best for those who suffer serious injury or illness when abroad sets us apart, and this extends to our excellent rehabilitation support services, including medical treatment, care and case management.

We are also recognised for our industry-leading ability to handle the most complex of claims and secure settlements for clients in cases involving complicated foreign laws and organisations, often instructing foreign legal teams to support cases or investigate circumstances relating to accidents, or securing independent evidence and opinion from foreign experts. We have the legal contacts across the world to get the answers many others can’t.

What is the key to ensuring you are able to represent people in cases from a wide range of countries?

As much of our work involves issues around jurisdiction and applicable law, having a strong network of international legal contacts who you can call upon for advice and guidance is essential.
Each country has its own rules and regulations in relation to personal injury cases, which adds further complexities to these cases, and you have to be aware how they could impact on each individual case.

In a recent case which involved supporting a client who suffered a serious head injury in France, our team had to act quickly to ensure compensation wasn’t dealt with by the French criminal courts, but was managed by us, as it would have likely resulted in a much lower settlement for our client. It is that extra knowledge and expertise, and urgency that we work with, which ensures better results for our clients.

In that case we also had to overcome issues concerning he moped rider who injured our client being uninsured. We work hard to maintain and build relationships which will bring benefits to our clients, including me personally being Vice Chair of the International Practice Section of the American Association of Justice (AAJ), an Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Senior Litigator and an active member of the Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).

Our expertise and contacts means we are able to take on serious and complicated cases other firms won’t, and that ensures we meet our commitment to seeing the person, not just the claim.

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