By Tom Watson The lawyer who ‘dubled’ the claim of £160,000 to cover cyclist’s ‘pain and suffering’ has been fined by the High Court.
Lawyer Adam Taylor has now paid £110,000 ($150,000) to a cycling club for the costs of defending him in a trial over his claim.
Taylor, of Haverfordwest, south-east London, had previously told the court he had not been in contact with the club since April, when he claimed his client had suffered a head injury.
His lawyers had argued the injury had been sustained during a training ride and Taylor had been riding his bicycle on the path to a race, which would have required him to take off his helmet.
Mr Justice Lord Judge said Taylor was “not alone in the case” in having made the claim and added that he would not be surprised if the club agreed to pay.
The court heard that Taylor’s case was heard on a Tuesday at 10:30am and adjourned until the end of the week, although it is unclear when the hearing will be.
Mr Taylor said the claim was made to support his claim that the cyclist had been “brought to the point of injury” by the impact of a helmet.
He said: “I am sure the cyclist was not injured for much longer than that.”
I don’t think anyone would argue that I’m just a cheap and incompetent barrister.
“I have been injured in the past by cycling, so I am a little bit of an expert in my own right.”
The case was taken up by a cycling court in 2012 and Taylor said he did not have any further claims against cyclists and did not expect to.
He added that cycling is not a “vital hobby” and that he had always been a “frugal cyclist”.
He said he hoped his case would inspire other cyclists to “make sure they take responsibility for themselves”.
The court also heard that the court was “deeply concerned” about the use of force by police in the pursuit of cycling riders.
Mr Chief Justice Sir Nicholas Waller said: ‘The court has serious concerns about the way in which the police acted in their pursuit of cyclists on the road and it is not surprising that the police had acted in a way that is so contrary to the public interest.’
It is important that cyclists do not suffer the consequences of the excessive force used by the police on them and they need to be free to defend themselves.’
We are particularly concerned by the evidence of a number of witnesses who have described police using excessive force in their pursuits of cyclists and we also have serious concerns that the public are not being adequately protected.’
The use of excessive force on cyclists is particularly worrying given the increased frequency of serious injuries to cyclists.’
This case highlights the need for all law enforcement agencies to take a careful approach in policing cyclists and to make sure that police officers behave responsibly and ethically.’
Taylor was not at the hearing in person.
He will be sentenced next month.