Andy Shaw, from Higgs LLP, reveals his expertise both professionally and personally …
MASS has consistently campaigned for the rights of road traffic accident victims. They provide a strong and well respected lobbying voice. They provide an essential role in my view and my firm benefit from strength of a depth of the wider membership.
Why the law?
I have always relished the challenge of fighting for the underdog. I get no greater pleasure than making a real difference to the lives of those who have suffered following injury.
The law gives you an opportunity for to have great variety in your day to day job.
Best win in Court/most important win to date
In a career which has spanned some 20 years, it is really difficult to identify one specific case which stands out. One of my most memorable cases was probably one of the first that I conducted. I represented a prison officer who was seriously injured after intervening in a fight between two inmates. The Home Office denied liability on the grounds that they could not possibly have known that the inmates were likely to fight and by intervening she put herself in danger. It was a highly contentious case but I was able to prove that there was a history between these two inmates which put the Home Office on notice. My client was not able to work again and I was able to secure a significant award which gave her financial security.
Thoughts on the implications of the Civil Liability Act
It’s disastrous for those who have sustained injury and only serves to benefit the insurance industry. I do not believe premiums will reduce as promised by insurers.
I truly believe that someone involved in an accident which was not their fault should not be at any form of disadvantage. The reforms put them at a complete disadvantage. Either they have to pursue their own claims without support or they have to make a contribution to legal costs from a significantly reduced financial award.
The reforms create a completely unlevel playing field in my view and I can see a significant amount of those injured not bothering to pursue damages, which as most of us know was the governments intention all along.
What 3 items would you take to a desert island?
I’m pragmatic so a knife, a hammock and a fishing net.
What’s your claim to fame?
I represented England at ten-pin bowling from the age of 17.
What’s the best and worst piece of advice you have ever received?
Save and avoid borrowing. Go without until you can afford it.
As a child I got dizzy from spinning around. Someone told me to spin the other way to cancel it out. Bad advice.
What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
Did it ever come home?
Never walk under a ladder.
Best ever holiday or place you have visited?
Woman – John Lennon
Somewhat predictable but John Grisham’s The Partner.
Best TV boxset or movie?
I’m a huge Rocky fan. It has to be Rocky 3.
Box set – Breaking Bad.
Cheese, cheese and more cheese.
What is the first thing you like to do with your free time?
If it has two wheels I’m in (motorbike or mountain bike).
What annoys you?
Not being given the time to prepare properly.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Spend more quality time with your family. Life is so short and you never know what is around the corner.