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Supreme Court turns down appeals from Jet2 and Thomson, opening up billions in flight compensation

The Supreme Court has turned down appeal applications from Jet2 and Thomson in two landmark flight delay cases worth billions of pounds to consumers.

The Court of Appeal judgments in Huzar V Jet2 and Dawson V Thomson, both handed down in July 2014, now stand as good law.

The Huzar ruling says airlines must pay flight compensation for qualifying delays caused by technical problems as these are not considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ under flight compensation regulation EU261.

The Dawson judgment confirms consumers in England and Wales have six years to bring a claim for flight delay compensation.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 October 2014 13:45


Experts from Afentis Forensics review James Foley murder

Audio experts at Afentis Forensics have reviewed the evidence regarding the James Wright Foley murder – with particular emphasis on the suspect’s voice. The individual possesses a clear British accent. The pronunciation and intonation suggest an individual that has been raised or spent substantial time in or around London. The speaker uses a variety of English terms which would further suggest a Southern England connection; perhaps through family or relationship ties. There are phonetic indications that the individual comes from a multi-ethnic area of inner London, England, but intonations that possibly denote Afro-Caribbean links.

The militant dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ presents a detailed and lengthy audio sequence as a ‘piece to camera’. This dialogue describes the cause and objectives of the miltants, but this lengthy discourse provides an extremely valuable piece of evidence for investigators. The harmonics, patterns, rhythm, intonations, fundamental frequencies, vowel formants and their transmission characteristics – all combine to make a relatively unique voice.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:26


Wonga case highlights loophole, says Law Society

Picture of Groucho Marx mask for Your Expert Witness storyThe Law Society has described reports that payday lender Wonga issued letters from fake law firms to threaten customers who were behind on repayments as alarming both to the public and to Law Society members. It says the case has highlighted a loophole where organisations and individuals can pass themselves off as legal professionals by calling themselves legal firms.

Responding to the news that consumer groups and an MP are demanding a police inquiry into Wonga, a Law Society spokesperson said: “We are writing to the Financial Conduct Authority, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the police about this. We are establishing the facts. The case has highlighted a number of important issues around organisations and individuals presenting themselves in a misleading way so that the public believe them to be regulated legal professionals, such as solicitors.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 17:18


Glasgow gears up for another big Commonwealth event

Picture of Alistair Morris for Your Expert Witness storyNext year will see the return of the biennial Commonwealth Law Conference to Scotland for the first time in almost four decades. Glasgow will be playing host to around 1,000 lawyers from Commonwealth countries across the globe at the four-day event which opens on 12 April 2015, in the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, a potent symbol of the rule of law across the Commonwealth.

Alistair Morris, vice president of the Law Society of Scotland, (pictured) said: “The conference is one of the most prestigious in the international legal calendar and was last hosted in Scotland in Edinburgh in 1977. There has been huge change since then – not least the creation of the Scottish Parliament – and of course we are in the midst of debate in the run up to the independence referendum just five months from now. We are therefore delighted to have this terrific opportunity to showcase the quality of the legal profession in Scotland to our Commonwealth colleagues and demonstrate how our modern and flexible devolved legislature seeks to address the social, economic and legal challenges of our time.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 17:54


National Audit Office: PIP backlogs cause delays and uncertainty

Backlogs in the assessment process for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) have led to delays and uncertainty for claimants in the areas where it was introduced in April last year, according to a report from the National Audit Office, published on 27 February.

PIP is a non-means-tested benefit to support disabled people with their daily living and mobility costs. It replaces Disability Living Allowance for working age people and aims to match support more closely to claimants’ needs. By 25 October 166,000 people had started new claims for PIP.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:52