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Catastrophic Injury Accreditation

  • The Catastrophic Injury Accreditation is for solicitors and suitably qualified fellows and members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). It covers work undertaken on behalf of victims (and their dependants) who have suffered catastrophic or fatal injuries as a result of an alleged act of negligence or breach of statutory duty, or by those representing the defendants in these cases.

    The accreditation covers all types of catastrophic injury work, regardless of how it is funded. There is no distinction between cases funded by private means, trade unions or legal-expenses insurance. The scheme is open to those who act exclusively for claimants or defendants, as well as those with a mixed practice.

    Practitioners in this field are expected to be handling these cases on a day-to-day basis. Catastrophic injury lawyers who are not scheme members will remain free to undertake catastrophic injury work but will not be identified as specialists.

    Definition of catastrophic injury

    For the purpose of this accreditation, catastrophic injuries are defined as life changing injuries, including but not limited to: traumatic brain injury, birth trauma, spinal cord injury, amputation or severe burns, which will last the claimant's lifetime and are likely to have an impact on claims for earnings, care, equipment and accommodation. These claims are typically worth in excess of £500,000 and usually involve the consideration of an Order for periodical payments. These claims may arise out of accident or clinical negligence.

    Who is accreditation for?

    Catastrophic Injury Accreditation is for solicitors or CILEx members. CILEx applicants should have passed the institute's civil litigation and tort papers.

    Members will have shown, to the satisfaction of the Law Society, that they have and will maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of catastrophic injury. They will need to have personally been conducting catastrophic injury cases for claimants or defendants for at least three years prior to applying for the scheme.

    Why apply for Catastrophic Injury Accreditation?

    To help clients and/or their representatives confidently choose a legal practitioner with proven competency in catastrophic injury law. Specialists have experience of working closely with individuals who have received life-changing injuries, to understand and protect their best interests.

    Achieving accredited status will:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the particular sensitivities and vulnerability of catastrophically injured clients and their families
    • Evidence the skills to correctly decide the required level of care, equipment, loss of earnings and accommodation.
    • Prove your ability to choose the correct medical experts and show that you are able to understand and interpret complicated scientific diagnoses.
    • Demonstrate your ability in litigation and settlement and show you have the skills to apply knowledge, rules and procedures in a practical and sensitive manner.
    • Promote and support access to justice for vulnerable and severely injured clients.
    • Reassure clients that you will represent their interests right first time to secure the best possible outcome.
    • Win more business and increase client satisfaction.
    • Demonstrate conformity to a best practice quality mark that prospective clients can trust.

    How to apply for accreditation

    See Applying for Catastrophic Injury Accreditation.

    Applications will be accepted from solicitors and legal executives. Non-solicitor applicants must be employed by a practice regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

  • Further help or support

    If you need any further guidance or support, please contact the Accreditation Unit on:

    Telephone: 0207 320 5797 (lines are open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday)
    Email:accreditation@
    lawsociety.org.uk