Hextalls fails to cut Middlesbrough FC liability payout

Hextalls has failed in its bid to reduce a landmark compensation order made against its client Middlesbrough Football Club by a former Manchester United hopeful.

Beachcroft secured former footballer Ben Collett a record £4.5m in compensation from the club last August after Collett broke his leg in a reserve game against Middlesbrough six years ago. Collett was 18 when he was injured and on the cusp of a career with Manchester United in the Premier League. 

Middlesbrough player Gary Smith and his club admitted liability for the injury. However, the club, which instructed the recently appointed managing director of Hextalls Ltd Alex Padfield and Henderson Chambers’ Andrew Pryne QC, had attempted to reduce the compensation award by arguing that the original ruling had failed to calculate damages.

Jan Levinson

Jan Levinson

The Court of Appeal rejected the appeal.

Beachcroft partner Jan Levinson said the judgment is not likely to open the floodgates to similar claims. “Incidents of this nature are rare,” he said. “It was a career ending injury, a sever tackle and premiership football.”

He added: “I have acted on three of the four biggest claims in this area over a period of ten years. They don’t happen in every game.”

It is the first high profile case for Hextalls since it re-emerged as a limited company after being put into a pre-packed administration in March (13 April 2009).