Tragic circumstances highlight the need for European wide legal knowledge

People at airport waiting to board flight

The recent death on holiday in Corfu of jockey Campbell Gillies highlights the need for claimant personal injury lawyers to be familiar with the law relating to foreign jurisdictions.

Such accidents, if they do not prove fatal, frequently result in the most serious of brain or spinal injuries and mean that anyone seeking legal assistance needs to take advice from lawyers with sufficient expertise in the law and who have available to them in-house, a range of language skills.

The world – certainly within the European Union - has become a small place but the complexities of cross border litigation have not diminished.

The position of the United Kingdom as a single member state within the EU is made more complex by the fact that within that one member state there is more than one legal system with consequences when selecting jurisdiction.

In a recent case, a person living in Scotland was injured in an accident in another member state whose law allowed a direct right of action against the insurer of the negligent party.

The family had instructed English solicitors to deal with the case who realised after a period of time that the country with jurisdiction where the action could be raised was the country where the injured person lived – Scotland. The family therefore were able to instruct Digby Brown to deal with the matter in Scotland.