Ranked as a Leading Junior in The Legal 500 (2023) for Personal Injury.
“Fiona is a very thorough advocate and a tough cross-examiner. She combines a down-to-earth manner with pragmatic advice.” The Legal 500 (2023)
“She gets to the crux of the issue without drama, and argues her cases in a no-nonsense style.” – The Legal 500 (2022)
“Approachable and thorough, with a great depth of knowledge.” – The Legal 500 (2021)
Fiona has worked at the forefront of fraudulent personal injury claims since the early 2000’s. She has been ranked as a leading junior in The Legal 500 since 2015. She has substantial experience of the numerous forms of suspicious/fraudulent claims in employer’s liability, public liability and travel insurance fraud cases. For many years Fiona worked exclusively on behalf of insurers in motor fraud cases involving fabricated, staged and induced (‘slam-on’) accidents, bogus passengers and phantom witnesses, low-velocity impacts (LVIs), exaggerated personal injury and damage claims and rehabilitation fraud. She is also often asked to advise in cases involving organised fraud rings and has acted in many credit hire claims ranging from low value to complex high value claims. Fiona continues to deal with cases of this nature on a weekly basis and is instructed on a repeat basis by most of the country’s leading firms specialising in civil insurance fraud and many of the UK’s insurance companies.
She is well known for her strong trial advocacy, particularly her forensic cross-examination style and down to earth approach when communicating the issues to clients and solicitors.
She is involved at each stage of the claims process from advisory work, drafting pleadings, schedules of loss and Part 35 questions, attending conferences with clients and experts, through to attending CCMCs and trials. Fiona is also regularly instructed to advise on and/or represent parties at contentious and substantive applications.
“Approachable and thorough, with a great depth of knowledge.” – The Legal 500 (2020)
“Highly recommended for personal injury matters.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“Very experienced in personal injury claims.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“She is personable, approachable and excellent with clients.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
Fiona is currently a contributor to Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service. Fiona regularly throughout the year provides lectures, and occasionally mock trials, to her instructing solicitors, insurers and others within the industry on case law updates and procedural developments. Alongside a full time practice, she taught for many years (from 2005) on the part time BPTC course at BPP Leeds and is a fully qualified advocacy trainer for the North Eastern Circuit.
Recent examples from the last 12 months:
- The Claimant had an extensive, complex history of back, neck and knee pain, chronic pain and fibromyalgia. The Claimant sustained minor whiplash injuries in a low-speed road traffic accident however claimed to have suffered a severe life-limiting exacerbation of pre-existing injuries. Successfully settled the pleadings and represented the Defendant at trial disputing causation against this complex background of medical and psychiatric issues. The claim which was pleaded at over £300,000 was dismissed.
- The Claimant claimed for injuries he sustained whilst travelling in a vehicle that was stolen and driven by someone who was disqualified and therefore driving without insurance. The impact was a head-on collision with the oncoming vehicle. Successfully defended the claim on behalf of the MIB achieving a finding of Fundamental Dishonesty and a costs order against the Claimant.
- Acted for the Defendant insurer in one of the first cases to be successful in using Strava to successfully defend a claim on the basis that there had been gross exaggeration of a genuine injury. Despite fault for the road traffic accident not being contested the Claimant claimed impaired ability to walk due to the chronic regional pain syndrome exacerbated following a low velocity impact. Successfully used Strava entries to seek a finding of fundamental dishonesty.
- Successfully acted on behalf of the Defendant insurance company in exposing a fraud ring involving non-existent Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/physiotherapy treatment providers and therapists. Exposed the Claimant solicitors for issuing false invoices for treatment not undertaken and/or providing inflated invoices. The Claimant admitted to not having undertaken any CBT/physiotherapy treatment and denied authorising any Statement of Truth. A costs order against the treatment provider was sought.
- Acting on behalf of numerous Defendant insurers in claims which formed part of a concerted approach taken by multiple insurers to reveal that a particular credit hire company fraudulently misrepresents during telephone calls that it is the Claimant’s insurer, the Defendant and/or their agents and/or falsely represents that it provides cars free of charge.
Fiona may accept Public Access work, where she can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.