Corby pollution victims win High Court battle

A second major case to be funded by the private sector has been successful in the High Court, with victims of toxic pollution in Northamptonshire winning a case against Corby Borough Council.

The families of those exposed to toxic waste in Corby used litigation funding group TheJudge to arrange a conditional fee arrangement (CFA) and after-the-event (ATE) insurance, which meant they would not be liable for huge legal costs.

Just last month the ‘Atomic Veterans’ case in the High Court was the largest ever to be funded with an ATE insurance policy.

The system effectively removes risk for clients but leaves law firms exposed if they lose a judgment.

James Delaney, a director at TheJudge, said: “The role of law firms, such as Collins Solicitors in the Corby case and Rosenblatt Solicitors in the Atomic Veterans case, and their willingness to expose their firms to substantial cost risk through the use of CFAs when coupled with ATE insurance is a key factor in allowing these cases to proceed.”

Collins Solicitors and Old Square silk David Wilby QC acted for the 18 claimants in the Corby case, which centred around birth defects in children whose mothers were exposed to toxic material from a defunct steel works.

The court found that Corby Borough Council, represented by Berrymans Lace Mawer and Deans Court Chambers silk Stephen Grime QC, had been negligent in its ­handling of the material between 1985 and 1999.

A Berrymans spokesman confirmed that the council may appeal.