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Friday, February 08, 2019

Digby Brown Kirkcaldy office proud to present £7,000 donation to Frontline Fife

Our Kirkcaldy office were delighted to present a cheque for over £7,000 to support Frontline Fife, a homeless charity, who campaign to prevent rough sleeping and help those affected by it.

These funds were raised through year-long fundraising activities such as bake sales and pub quiz nights attended by members of the public.

This is double the amount raised the previous year by the office.

Innes Laing, Partner at Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office, handed over the £7,255.26 earlier this week.

He said: “The work Frontline Fife does is really incredible so it makes us proud to be able to contribute to their efforts for the second year.

“I’d also like to thank those who have contributed to our fundraising efforts by attending our events - without your support we wouldn’t have smashed our total raised last year.

“This is the second year in a row we’ve supported Frontline Fife and we’re immensely proud to contribute to the lives they literally help improve for hundreds across the Kingdom."

Ruth Young from Frontline Fife said: "We were delighted to be chosen as Digby Brown Kirkcaldy's chosen charity for a second year.

"Their support and commitment to raising funds for our organisation has been greatly appreciated and we were overwhelmed with their cheque presentation this week. 

"Without the support of the community and local businesses, we wouldn't be able to provide the additional assistance to people threatened with, or facing homelessness in Fife."

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Monday, January 21, 2019

New legal promotions at Digby Brown

Digby Brown Solicitors is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Associates.

Rona Hayworth and Rachel Walker were recognised this month following a successful 2018 for the firm.

Rachel Walker and Rona Hayworth new Associates.

Both Associates joined the firm as trainees in 2011 – Rona now works with the Foreign & Travel Law team in Edinburgh while Rachel is with the Network department in Glasgow.

The pair earned their promotion through proven technical ability and consistent delivery of results for clients.

Rona said: “I am delighted to have been selected for promotion to Associate.

“I find the work challenging and rewarding and hope to build on my Foreign & Travel law experience whilst continuing to help client's in their time of need."

And Rachel added: “I am delighted to have been promoted to Associate at Digby Brown and look forward to helping more clients in the future."

The promotions followed the latest ranking figures from Chambers & Partners which saw Digby Brown graded as ‘Band 1’ in both the personal injury and clinical negligence fields.

Fraser Oliver, Chief Executive of Digby Brown, welcomed the new Associates into their new roles.

He said: “Both Rona and Rachel have consistently proven their technical expertise, commitment to the firm and passion for helping clients since they first joined seven years ago.

“We aim to surpass the expectations of our staff, legal peers and our clients and we believe that investing in our staff is just one aspect of unlocking this potential as we aim to lead in the field of Scottish personal injury litigation.”

A further five legal staff members were also promoted to Senior Solicitor at Digby Brown.

Digby Brown 2018 promoted Senior Solicitors.

From left to right: Fiona Fowle - Serious Injury Team, Amy Ferguson - Serious Injury Team, Vicki Alexander - GPIL, Maite Gurpegui - Foreign & Travel Team, Caroline Fraser - GPIL

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Challenges to liability in motorcycle accidents

Any specialist motorcycle lawyer will likely, at one point or another, have faced a challenge to liability in a personal injury case where their gut will tell them that if the client had been driving a car, the issue simply wouldn’t have been raised.

We know that the injuries suffered by motorcyclists tend to be more serious than those of other road users, and so in an effort to keep the amount of any settlement down, insurers regularly try to shift the blame.

Other drivers often forget that motorcyclists are vulnerable road users. Despite making up only 1% of the traffic on the road, bikers account for between 20-25% of serious or fatal road accidents.

We know that two wheels are less stable than four, and an emergency braking situation for a motorcyclist can be catastrophic on a bend or an overtake.

Helmet cameras and on bike cameras are becoming increasingly popular, and can be very useful in showing ‘what happened’. Sometimes, witnesses volunteer their own dash-cam footage. These are very helpful in persuading the courts and insurers that the rider is not at fault.

Because only a small percentage of the population ride motorcycles, they are not on the look out for bikes on the road. We can all play our part here – the “think bike” campaign is helping to raise awareness. In winter when there are fewer bikes in the road, drivers do not always expect to see their two-wheeled friends.

It is not unusual to have witnesses talk of bikes “coming out of nowhere” – because the witness hasn’t been aware of the bike.  Bikes have greater manoeuvrability than cars, and can come through stationary or slow moving traffic.

Drivers and passengers in cars with radios on, engrossed in conversation, sometimes won’t even be aware of a bike passing them until it’s ahead and passing the next car, if they notice at all.  Some riders choose to modify their exhausts (or ‘cans’) to make others aware of their presence. That can come with their own problem though, as some are illegal modifications and can exceed noise restrictions.

Some witnesses regularly talk about the motorcycle ‘flying by’, whereas there is little or no evidence of the motorcycle travelling at speed. Recent research on the perceived speed of large moving objects, compared to smaller moving objects, has revealed the presence of a size-speed illusion. This illusion, where a large object seems to be moving more slowly than a small object travelling at the same speed may account for some of the discrepancies in reports of speed.

Those used to seeing bikes or other riders can more readily assess speed, than those who are used to slow moving vehicles, or those who look up and have to quickly assess the speed of a small (compared to a large car) motorcycle.

Sometimes, however, speed is an issue. Bikes have much greater torque and acceleration than cars, vans or lorries, due to their weight to power ratio. That can take motorists by surprise. Inexperienced riders can have difficulty controlling the acceleration of large or powerful machines. If there is a ‘wobble’ on a bike, then the gyroscopic effect can cause the bike to become unstable, and the rider to lose control. The difficulty is in proving to a court that the resultant loss of control was cause by the rider reacting to someone else’s negligence or fault, particularly when faced with seemingly unhelpful witness evidence.

What can you do to help make sure your injury case is successful?

Make sure you are ‘doing everything right’, not only so that the insurers can’t try to blame you, but to avoid the accident in the first place.

What are you wearing? Are you visible? Are your lights clean? Is your bike well maintained? Do your brakes work? Are your tyres legal?

These sound like very basic questions, and they’re meant to be. At a very basic level, we all have a duty to take care for our own safety.

We can’t control what other road users do, and we need to be able to respond to changing situations.

Give yourself a fighting chance of being seen, and being able to ride your way out of an emergency.

If you’ve done everything right, and are dressed appropriately, and riding carefully, your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident are reduced.

Despite that, things can still go wrong and accidents happen.

Choosing a specialist motorcycle lawyer is a good start. The arguments we face regularly from insurers such as who was at fault can often be overcome. No matter how experienced your lawyer is after an accident, prevention is better than cure.

Lianda Barnes, Partner

Lianda Barnes,


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kirkcaldy office raise £1,816 for Frontline Fife

The team from our Kirkcaldy office had a night at the races on 26th October at their first Race Night in aid of Frontline Fife, their chosen charity of the year.

Throughout the evening the team managed to raise a fantastic £1,816. Guests were given the opportunity to sponsor races and horses and take part in a raffle which included a great selection of prizes such as a microlight flight experience, an overnight hotel stay, and restaurant vouchers.

Prizes from the Kirkcaldy Race Night

Frontline Fife offer support to those who already find themselves homeless as well at those who are at risk of losing their home. With their range of services, they aim to end homelessness across Fife by combatting the causes through early intervention and prevention.

Lianda Barnes, Partner in our Kirkcaldy office said: “We are delighted to have raised such an amazing amount for our chosen charity Frontline Fife. We would like to thank everyone who came along and made the night such a success.

“Frontline Fife are a wonderful charity and we are proud to be able to provide them with funds that will help them to continue providing their essential services.”

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Legal promotions across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Kirkcaldy offices

Digby Brown Solicitors is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Associates and three new Senior Solicitors in a series of promotions across the firm’s Glasgow, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy offices.

Amy Alexander, Hollie Dilasser and Richard Pitts have all been appointed as Associates.

Hollie Dilasser, Richard Pitts and Amy Alexander, promoted to associate May 2018

Amy joined Digby Brown as a trainee in 2012 and is based in the Glasgow Network department. She is renowned for her efficiency in securing excellent results for clients. She has considerable experience of public liability, employer liability and occupiers liability as well as road traffic law.

Amy said: “'I'm delighted to have been selected for promotion to Associate. I am keen to continually contribute to firm’s success, help clients in need and look forward to my journey ahead.”

Hollie joined Digby Brown from a niche property firm in September 2011 and is part of the Edinburgh Network department. She has shown great tenacity and expertise in road traffic law and cycling claims on the east coast.

She said: “I am delighted and proud to be promoted to an Associate within Digby Brown. I hope to continue to build on the work I have done since joining the firm and helping clients in their time of need."

Richard first joined the firm six years ago as a trainee and earned his promotion through his work in the specialist areas of criminal injuries and non-accidental injuries based in Edinburgh. He added: “I have enjoyed my time with the firm enormously – I find the work challenging and rewarding and look forward to this continuing.”

Caitlyn Maccabe, Ryan Smith and Lisa Gaule are promoted to Senior Solicitor

Of the three new Senior Solicitors, Caitlyn Maccabe is part of the firm’s Industrial Disease team in Glasgow, Ryan Smith sits within Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy Insurance Litigation team and Lisa Gaule is part of the firm’s Network department in Edinburgh.

Fraser Oliver, Chief Executive of Digby Brown, welcomed the new Associates and Senior Solicitors into their new roles at the firm.

He said: “These new appointments are rightfully-earned and are a clear illustration of our current activity and intended direction as a leading personal injury firm.

“Our clients expect us to be leaders in everything we do and by investing in our staff we aim to unlock their potential in the hope we can meet, and maybe even surpass, these expectations.”

"In serving clients our mission is threefold – to provide excellence in access to justice, to be recognised as the leading PI practice in Scotland and to be an employer of choice."

Photo Credit for image above: Ross Barber Photography.
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