Warren Collins, a personal injury and clinical negligence partner at Penningtons Manches specialising in catastrophic injury cases, has been appointed as the Chief Assessor of two of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Accreditation Schemes following more than two decades as an accredited scheme member.
The Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme covers all work undertaken by solicitors and Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (FILEX) on behalf of victims and their dependants, or compensators, as to their rights and obligations arising out of any alleged act of negligence or breach of statutory duty as a result of which the victim has sustained personal injuries or fatal injuries. There are currently around 600 accredited personal injury lawyers throughout the UK.
The practice, procedure, law and the business of personal injury litigation has changed dramatically since the Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme was launched in the early 1990s and, following a Law Society consultation process, Warren has taken the lead in a wholescale redrafting of the panel accreditation criteria, competencies, application process and marking scheme. The new Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme was launched this summer.
In recognition that those who handle catastrophic, life-changing injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries require a specialist set of skills and experience, the Law Society has announced a separate specialist accreditation in Catastrophic Injury. This scheme will be relevant to both personal injury and clinical negligence practitioners. Warren Collins has now also been appointed Chief Assessor for this scheme. He is now in the process of recruiting a panel of assessors so that this new scheme can be launched as soon as possible.
Commenting on his appointments, Warren said: “I am honoured to be taking on these roles at a time when the personal injury marketplace is undergoing such dramatic changes. The Schemes deserve a major shake up to make them relevant to the entire personal injury and clinical negligence profession – both claimant and defendant. As with the personal injury scheme, I intend to consult widely across the membership undertaking catastrophic injury work to ensure that our members represent legal excellence in our field so that anyone who has suffered a life-changing injury that merits compensation has the very best lawyers on both sides of the claim.”
Warren’s expertise is widely recognised by his peers in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia, and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and a member of, and assessor for, APIL’s Spinal Cord Injury Specialist Panel and Brain Injury Specialist Panel. In 2013, Warren was the winner of the Eclipse Proclaim Claimant Injury Lawyer of the Year and also won the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) Award for Inspiration in Brain Injury 2013. In 2015, he won the Spinal Injuries Association Rebuilding Lives Award in Legal Excellence.
He has particular expertise with US claims and is a leading member of AAJ (American Association for Justice – formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). He is the only UK solicitor member of the Melvin Belli Society (pre-eminent personal injury lawyers of America) and the National Crime Victim Bar Association of America.