Court rejects MoDs attempt to cut wounded soldiers comp.

Appeal Court rejects MoD's attempt to cut wounded soldiers' compensati

13 October 2009 | By Katy Dowell

Attempts made by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to cut the amount of compensation awarded to two wounded soldiers have been thwarted in the Court of Appeal.

The Treasury Solicitor instructed Landmark Chambers’ Nathalie Lieven QC to fight an earlier ruling that would have seen compensation payments made to Light Dragoon Corporal Anthony Duncan and Marine Matthew McWilliams raised significantly.

Duncan was shot in 2005 while on patrol in Iraq and was initially awarded £9,250. This was increased to £46,000 by the compensation tribunal.

McWilliams fractured his thigh in a military exercise the same year. He was initially awarded £8,250. This was increased to £28,750.

The MoD sought to reduce the payments arguing that the pair should be compensated for their injuries and not for any consequences of treatment they received.

The three presiding judges, Lord Justice Keene, Lord Justice Carnwrath and Lord Justice Ellias, rejected attempts to appeal the ruling, paving the way for injured armed forces personnel to challenge decisions made by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

The Royal British Legion instructed Lovells senior associate Natasha Gunney and partner Hugh Lyons to act for the defendants. The firm has a long-standing relationship with the Legion and regularly acts on a pro bono basis for servicemen and women.

When the case reached the Court of Appeal the firm instructed Derek Sweeting QC and Jeffrey Jupp of 7 Bedford Row, who both also acted on a pro bono basis.

The cases will now return to the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber of the Lower Tribunal for determination in light of the Appeal Court’s guidance.

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