A new president, vice-president and secretary will take over at the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) this week.
Liverpool-based barrister Matthew Stockwell will officially take the reigns as president to lead the 4,500-strong membership on Thursday at the association’s annual general meeting at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
Matthew is based at St Johns Building Chambers, Liverpool. He specialises in serious injury litigation, including employers’ liability and clinical negligence claims. He takes over from Karl Tonks, partner and head of employers’ liability at Fentons.
At his inaugural speech to delegates in Newport, Matthew will call on APIL members to continue to meet new challenges on behalf of the injured people they represent. And he will single out an ongoing consultation on the discount rate as one of the key priorities of his presidency.
“I hope the Government will consider this issue carefully and get it right because an attack on the discount rate would constitute one of the gravest injustices of all. It would not be about reducing fraud; it would not be about controlling the cost of litigation. An attack on the discount rate would simply amount to robbing seriously injured people of the damages they so desperately need,” he will say.
Supporting Matthew in his new role will be John Spencer in the position of vice-president. John is director of Spencers Solicitors in Chesterfield, specialising in road traffic accident personal injury claims, and has nearly 30 years’ experience in legal practice.
Stuart Kightley, who runs the personal injury department at Osbornes Solicitors in Camden, is stepping in as APIL’s secretary. He regularly lectures to fellow APIL members and others on costs and funding issues. Stuart specialises in head injury and employers’ liability claims.