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In the first of our series of interviews with our Lexis authors we caught up with David Green who is a barrister at 12 King’s Bench Walk and lead author for the Accidents Abroad division of Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service.
What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a barrister, specialising in personal injury and employment law. I spend approximately three days each week in court or in the Tribunal: the rest of my time is spent advising clients, either in writing or in person; drafting legal documents for them; and preparing my cases.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I was called to the bar in 2015 and started pupillage at 12 King’s Bench Walk that year: I became a “tenant” (ie a full member of chambers) the following year. Prior to being a barrister I had a varied career, first working for a Member of Parliament, and then as a management consultant. Ultimately, I wanted a career with more variety and intellectual stimulation than I was experiencing in consulting: I also wanted to do practical advocacy. I was fortunate to be able to get a scholarship from the Inner Temple to fund my legal and bar studies to make my career change work.
Any memorable stories from your career so far?
Every day – particularly days in court – brings a fresh story. But from very early in my career, when I used to go to court to do hopeless low-value car accident cases, I remember defending a woman who was alleged to have driven into a garden wall: her case was that she had driven near he wall, and that it had spontaneously fallen on her car like a Jenga tower. I was surprised to find that she was utterly, honestly convinced of this. My submissions to the judge consisted of observing that ruined ancient buildings were evidence of the fact that, given enough time and in the absence of proper maintenance, every built structure will eventually just fall down – “the defendant was just in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Sadly, this inspired piece of advocacy was not enough to prevent her from losing the case!
What are the key legal developments which are covered in the latest edition / division of your book?
We are eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision in X v Kuoni Travel Ltd  UKSC 37,  All ER (D) 140 (Jul): after hearing argument the court decided in July that it would make a preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the proper construction of the Package Travel Directive 90/314/EEC. If the Court of Justice of the European Union hears the case – and that is not certain, if the date set down for the hearing is after a no-deal Brexit – the case could have a profound effect on the way that package tour operators’ liability for the acts and omissions of their suppliers works.
What are the main pain points for practitioners undertaking this type of work? How can Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service help?
It is easy to get confused, particularly for a practitioner who doesn’t specialise in cross-border personal injury, between the relatively similar (but completely legally distinct) regimes for first establishing the jurisdiction of the court over a dispute, and then secondly for determining the applicable law. I can commend the members of the 12KBW International and Travel team who drafted and edited that section of the division – it is a model of clarity and is an invaluable tool to all practitioners.
If you didn’t have a career in the law what would your alternative career be?
I am a chorister (of distinctly middling quality) in the Bar Choral Society and I enjoy all aspects of classical music (which my roommates in chambers are quite polite about). Although realistically my own talent is too meagre ever to have been the foundation of a professional music career, I would certainly enjoy doing something that allows me to listen to the best performers making high-quality music every day. This obviously points to a retirement job (in 30 years time) as an usher at the Albert Hall!
The Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service can be found here.
Interviewed by Jake Whitaker.
The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.
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