Solicitor, mediator, consultant and trainer
NEWS AND UPDATES
Nicholas has been advising RoadPeace since 2013 on its campaign to reform the compensatory
safeguards for motor accident victims.
He is advising on European law and motor insurance issues in the ongoing
judicial review R (on the application of RoadPeace) v Secretary of State for
Transport and the MIB, Claim no. CO/4681/2015 which is currently listed for a
three-day hearing in early 2017.
In July 2016 the government published its consultation paper, Pathway
to Driverless Cars. Nicholas' New Law
Journal article, The Road Ahead, welcomes the initiative but exposes factual
inaccuracies within the report. He has prepared a consultation response, working
in collaboration with Professor Robert Merkin QC, Lloyds Professor of
commercial law at the University of Exeter. They argue for strict liability being
imposed on producers, suppliers etc of automated technologies, so they cannot
rely on the ‘state the art’ defence under section 4 of the Consumer Protection
Act 1987 or otherwise evade liability for a mechanical or technical defect that
is responsible for causing or contributing to an accident. They also explain why motor insurers should also
have a statutory duty to compensate third party victims, even where the
accident is party or wholly caused by an automated system, but that the insurer
should have a subrogated right to recover their outlay from a producer or
supplier. Nicholas has been consulted by APIL
and RoadPeace on their consultation response.
Nicholas' case commentaries and published
articles anticipated the Court of Justice’s landmark ruling in Damijan Vnuk and the Court of Appeal’s
decision in Delaney v Secretary of State
for Transport. My criticism of the Court of Appeal’s unanimous ruling in EUI v Bristol Alliance was vindicated by
the Vnuk ruling. His next next prediction is that the government
will be forced to revise or repeal extensive parts of the Road Traffic Act
1988, the Rights Against Insurance Regulations 2002 and both MIB Agreements in
2017, in response to the ongoing judicial review and law reform campaign.