Head of Travel Litigation
Paul is a highly-experienced and respected travel litigation solicitor who qualified in 2001. He was recruited to head Hudgell Solicitors’ work in representing people who suffer serious injuries abroad in August 2017.
An expert in complex international, cross border laws, Paul specialises in leading representation on complex and high-value cases across Europe and the world, representing people who have sustained spinal and brain injuries, and families who have lost relatives as a result of incidents abroad.
Many of his cases involve issues concerning jurisdiction and applicable law, and he also acts on behalf of people inn group action claims.
Paul has held roles as partner and head of national travel litigation departments at his previous firms and is Vice Chair of the International Practice Section of the American Association of Justice (AAJ), an Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Senior Litigation and an active member of the Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).
He is often invited to speak at legal conferences around the world and, in the last few years, has spoken at APIL’s annual travel litigation training day. PEOPIL’s annual conference and the World Congress of the international Brain Association.
In addition, Paul regularly writes articles for PEOPIL, the AAJ, APIL, the legal press and provides expert comment in the national press.
Until somebody experiences a serious injury abroad, it is hard to fully appreciate the difficulty, worry and long term impact it can have. Families find themselves dealing with situations where loved ones are injured, trying to overcome language barriers as they deal with health professionals and bodies such as the police. Each country has its own rules and regulations in relation to personal injury cases, adding further complexities.
Gathering vital evidence at an early stage is often far from straight forward when injuries are suffered abroad. However, in my view, a good travel litigation lawyer with experience of handling serious injury cases will be prepared to provide clear advice even where there are many obstacles and legal challenges that will have to be overcome.
This is why we often take on cases other firms won’t as part of our commitment to seeing the person, not just the claim. It is our role to help clients through their recovery process and ultimately work to secure them the best rehabilitation package and compensation.
I acted for a child who was three-years old when involved in a road traffic accident in Spain, suffering significant spinal and urological injuries. The case involved complex issues concerning the applicable law but we successfully persuaded the English court that English Law should apply to determine the amount of compensation that should be awarded. This made a very significant difference to the increased amount of rehabilitation, care and case management that could be provided to the child. The case ultimately settled, to the great satisfaction of the child and the family, for a multi-million pound figure.
I was involved in a case where a woman was seriously injured by an explosion at a Spanish hotel where she was staying. She was left in a coma after suffering a serious head injury and needed brain surgery. The case could only be brought directly against the Spanish hotel’s insurer and, although the seriousness of her injuries put the value of her claim in excess of £1 million, further complications were faced as the maximum level of cover against the hotel’s insurer under the insurance policy was €300,000. It was only after representation and a series of negotiations with the Spanish insurer’s lawyers that the maximum amount of damages coverage was agreed, and subsequently approved by a Court. Subsequently, a 7 figure settlement was also secured against the Spanish hotel chain.
I was also involved in representing a woman who suffered a significant head injury and was placed into an induced coma after falling over a low balcony and onto a flight of stairs below in a nightclub in Portugal. The claim against the Portuguese nightclub was complex as the owners were insolvent such that the case had to be pursued against the nightclub’s insurer. The jurisdiction of the English courts, liability, indemnity and the value of the damages were all heavily contested. Through careful negotiations, and having received expert advice from Portuguese lawyers, a settlement was successfully negotiated with the Portuguese insurer who paid the maximum amount under its public liability insurance policy.
In another case, a woman suffered multiple fractures to her lower limbs in a ski accident in the French Alps when another skier collided into her. Liability in the matter was heavily disputed, but key witnesses were traced who provided evidence leading to the case being concluded 100 per cent in favour of the woman, leaving her entirely blameless and in a position to claim full compensation.
Career, qualifications and memberships
- Member of the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL)
- Member of the American Association of Justice (AAJ)
- Vice Chair of the International Practice Section for the American Association of Justice
- Senior litigator of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)