Alice Dobbie

Alice Dobbie - Barrister at St John's Buildings

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0151 243 6000

Year of call: 2007

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Alice is a specialist in civil fraud, costs, negligence and contract law.

Her practice encompasses fast and multi-track work, including clinical negligence, personal injury, road traffic accidents, insurance disputes, credit hire, costs litigation and CICA claims.

Education

  • Wycombe Abbey School
  • Oxford University (BA and MA, Classics)
  • City University (CPE)
  • BPP School of Law (BVC)

Scholarships

  • Oxford University Scholar
  • Inner Temple Scholar and Allan Levy Scholar

Expertise

  • Fraud - Civil

    Alice tends to act for the party alleging the fraud. She is particularly experienced in this field and her usual caseload has claims involving alleged holiday illness, staged accidents, phantom passengers, exaggeration, low velocity impact and fundamental dishonesty. She provides CPD training to national insurers and solicitors’ firms on how to manage suspected fraud from inception, through to pleadings, applications, litigation tactics and trial. Where grounds for fraud allegations emerge late, she is often instructed to re-draft pleadings and defences or to advise on the appropriate applications to make in response. Her extensive case experience includes instances where fraud allegations attached to solicitors and experts as well as claimants. She is also able to advise on the making of applications for committal arising out of fraud and recognises the wider economic and policy arguments for such applications.

    Recent Cases

    S v B (2018) Watford County Court: acting for Defendant. Allegation of fraud attaching to consultant orthopaedic spinal surgeon, which only crystallised following extensive and successful disclosure application; successful application to require surgeon’s attendance at trial for cross-examination. Case ongoing.

    M v NW (2018) Birkenhead County Court: acting for Claimant, in unusual case where Claimant alleged fraud by Defendant. Experts instructed for Claimant included a handwriting expert. Case ongoing.

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  • Costs

    Alice is instructed in cases where complex costs issues arise, particularly where there are multiple Defendants and disputes over costs because of subsidiary liabilities, QOCS is being disapplied, there is a dispute over the applicability of fixed costs, and there are arguments over the impact of fraud on costs assessments. She regularly conducts Costs and Case Management Hearings for Multi-Track cases and advises on Part 36 offers and consequences.

    Recent Cases

    J v F (2018) Preston County Court: novel costs issue arising out of the confusion within fixed costs when liability was allocated to the fast track but quantum to the multi-track (a circumstance not fully anticipated in the CPR).

    P v P, P and C (2018) Manchester County Court: acting for Second Defendant. D2’s strike out application for Claimant’s claim as against D2 to be dismissed and QOCS disapplied. C succeeded against D1, D3 indemnified D1, and D2 was successful in recovering all costs from C under disapplication of QOCS.

    B v C (2017) Birkenhead County Court, Regional Costs Judge: acting for Defendant where Defendant mistakenly offered £0 for PSLA within the Portal, but Claimant unconscionably refused the Defendant Portal access to amend it within the negotiation period. Judge found for the Defendant, agreeing that the Portal negotiation rules did not bar negotiation by email and the Defendant’s subsequent offer outside the Portal was validly made.

    W v P (2017) Birkenhead County Court: acting for Defendant. Claim dismissed and Judge accepted that it was proper to invoke judicial discretion under CPR 44.2 to make a costs award that reflected the fact that Claimant failed to beat Defendant’s offer, even though the offer had not been compliant with Part 36.

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  • Personal Injury

    Alice has substantial experience in claims arising out of road traffic accidents, employer’s liability and occupier’s liability. She is regularly instructed by Defendants and Claimants in cases involving substantial future loss, disability on the labour market, future loss of earnings and future treatment (including where the Claimant is still an infant). She is also instructed in high value cases involving permanent cosmetic defect, complex regional pain syndrome and chronic pain. She is regularly instructed by national insurers, the larger supermarket chains and wholesale businesses.

    Recent Cases

    M v Y (2018) Manchester County Court: acting for Claimant in high value infant case arising out of an accident that severely damaged several teeth. There was expert dispute around whether removal of the non-vital teeth was appropriate. There was additional argument around the cost of periodic orthodontic treatment, including future implant replacement.

    J v F (2018) Preston County Court: acting for Claimant in multi-track case arising out of a motorbike accident that left Claimant with permanent injuries. Defendant alleged that Claimant’s motorbike was not showing lights and in a dangerous condition, and separately alleged fraud in relation to a particular head of loss. Following a liability trial win (with no contributory negligence deduction), quantum settled.

    K v B (2018) Liverpool County Court: acting for Claimant in high value case, where young male Claimant had been left with a disfiguring scar across his face following an accident at work. Damages negotiated on basis of 100% liability.

    K v L (2018) Liverpool County Court: multi-track case because of the high value of Claimant’s past and future loss of earnings. Case ongoing.

    W v A Supermarket (2018) Crewe County Court: acting for Defendant in employer’s liability case. Judgment for Claimant, but with a finding of 40% contributory negligence, even though Defendant’s working practices were found to have been unsafe and even though a risk assessment would probably have prevented the accident.

    B v B (2017) Walsall County Court: acting for Defendant landlord in Defective Premises Act claim arising out of serious injuries sustained when a glass shower door fell and shattered. Legal arguments included whether the Occupiers Liability Act could be invoked to provide a co-extensive cause of action. All issues resolved in favour of Defendant. Claim dismissed.

    Saunderson and Ors v Sonae (2015) EWHC 2264: acting for 16,626 Claimants in largest group litigation ever to have taken place in the North West (arising out of a factory fire). 12 experts from 6 separate disciplines gave evidence, covering medical and scientific issues. Case lasted 3 weeks.

    Credit Hire

    She is familiar with all aspects of credit hire enforceability, impecuniosity evidence and failure to mitigate allegations. She is instructed in high value cases that cannot be managed within the Portal. She familiar with all the arguments arising out of case law, particularly the outlying decisions such as Irving v Sindall [2018], McBride v UK Insurance [2017], Zaker Ali v Spirit Motor [2014]. She regularly deals with allocation disputes about high value credit hire. The scene on Matilda where ms

    Recent Cases

    R v T (2018) Manchester County Court: acting for Defendant in case where Claimant brought significant credit storage and loss of use claim, piggybacking on minor personal injury. Issues included enforceability, the construction of Consumer Credit Regulations and the Consumer Credit Act, and the interface between domestic legislation and human rights. In particular, the Defendant argued that the Claimant could not purport to affirm the contract in dispute in order to render it enforceable, thus circumventing the enforceability issues. Judge agreed with Defendant. Entirety of credit storage and loss of use of claim dismissed.

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