Compromising with protected parties: Dunhill v Burgin in the Supreme Court
This article examines the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Dunhill v Burgin (Nos 1 and 2)  UKSC 18 (noted at  Eld LJ 144). That case examined the issues that needed to be understood by a person in order to have capacity to compromise legal proceedings on their own behalf. It also restated the need for any compromise of litigation entered into on behalf of a person who lacks capacity to conduct legal proceedings to be approved by the court under Part 21 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. The article looks at the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision for parties intending to enter into a compromise of litigation and identifies some of the problems that might arise.
It was mid-summer 1999. An agreement had just been reached to bring NATO’s bombing of Kosovo to an end. In
Doubtless unconcerned by the CPR, on 25 June 1999 Joanne Dunhill stepped out from between two parked cars to cross the A635 dual carriageway in the village of Goldthorpe which is between Doncaster and Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She never made it across. Crossing the first part of the carriageway she was struck and knocked down by a motorbike ridden by Shaun Bergin.
At the time of the accident Ms Dunhill was 38 years old and was suffering from an anxiety disorder. In the accident Ms Dunhill sustained a traumatic brain injury which left her without a sense of taste or smell, some hearing loss, forgetfulness, headaches, personality change, low moods and tearfulness, anxiety, mood swings, occasional suicidal ideation and self-mutilation. It was said that her injuries had exacerbated her underlying anxiety.
The initial proceedings
Ms Dunhill consulted solicitors and on
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The case was listed for a trial on the issue of liability in Sheffield County Court on
|The full version of this article appears in issue 3 of 2014 of Elder Law Journal. If you subscribe to the journal please click here to read the full article.|