Barrister

Vilma Vodanovic

Year of call 2002

Personal Injury

Vilma’s personal injury practice is extensive, including both fast track and multi track work, for both claimants and defendants and she undertakes CFA work.

She regularly appears in Court in trials on liability and/or quantum and regularly advises on liability issues, general and special damages including significant loss of earnings claims. She is regularly instructed to settle Schedules of Loss where the claims range from at least £250,000 and upwards.

Vilma’s areas of personal injury work encompass the following:

  • Industrial Disease
  • Employer’s liability
  • Public liability
  • Occupier’s liability
  • Road Traffic Accidents
  • Credit Hire
  • Holiday claims
  • Fatal accidents
  • CICA Appeals
  • Defective Premises Act 1972 and housing disrepair related claims
  • CRU Certificate Appeals     

Industrial Disease

Vilma has built up a significant practice in industrial disease and in particular:

  • noise induced hearing loss
  • work-related upper limb disorders
  • asbestos related diseases.  

She is involved in all aspects of litigation from initial advice to drafting, court hearings and trials. She regularly advises on complex issues of medical causation, breach of duty and limitation. Vilma regularly writes articles and provides seminars in this field of work.  

Housing Disrepair Related PI Claims

Alongside her PI practice, Vilma also has an extensive housing law practice and is able to put that to good use when advising and representing clients who have suffered personal injury as a result of housing related disrepair or the Defective Premises Act 1972.  

CICA Appeals

This area of work is a part of Vilma’s practice which she particularly enjoys and she regularly appears in such hearings before the Tribunal. She is also often asked to settle Schedules of Loss for use at such hearings. See further below section on Notable Cases.

Credit Hire

Since the very beginning of her practice Vilma has dealt with credit hire claims through the small claims courts, working her way up to fast track and multi track trials. She has for a number of years now been regularly appearing in Court, representing both claimants and defendants, in fast track and multi-track trials where technical issues as to enforceability of agreements are argued, as well as the more common and obvious points such as need, duration, period and mitigation of loss, etc. Vilma is regularly called upon by both claimants and defendants to advise on the likelihood of recoverability of credit hire and credit repair charges, and by defendants to settle Counter-Schedules of Loss where a robust approach to a credit hire claim is required and all technical points are pleaded.  

She regularly lectures on the topic and writes articles, the most recent being Credit Hire and Credit Repair: Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013.  


Notable Cases        

  • H v K – Advised on medical causation and quantum in a case where a heamatoma sustained as a result of a seatbelt injury from a road traffic accident caused fat necrosis over the breast and masked the manifestation of breast cancer, resulting in delay in diagnosis and the cancer progressing to the next stage/grade of cancer. Complex issues of causation had to be raised with the medico-legal expert.              
  • N v S – advised in a case where experts (in different but related fields of specialism) disagreed as to the diagnosis of chronic pain syndrome; after carefully drafted written questions were put to them by Vilma, an agreement was reached between them which brought about a resolution of the case based on only a slightly reduced value of the claim than that originally pleaded.               
  • G v J – Advising client on liability and quantum in respect of a brain injury arising out of an accident at work where the pleaded value of the claim is £750,000. Due to loss of memory, a favourable settlement had to be reached on breach of duty arguments. There are more complex medical causation and factual causation issues relating to the future loss of earnings claim and future services claim.               
  • C v D – advising client in an employer’s liability case where the argument is that he was an employee of the defendant and not a sub-contractor as claimed by the defendant.              
  • November 2014: a claim by a young man who as a child suffered emotional abuse, food deprivation and false imprisonment at the hands of his parents; the argument raised by CICA was that the ‘abuse’ complained of was not physical abuse and the crimes the parents committed were not ‘crimes of violence’, which meant that they fell outside the Compensation Scheme.           
  • E v CICA – a very significant claim by a man who suffered a brain injury, resulting in permanent symptoms, a changed personality and lack of cognitive functioning; Vilma was able to persuade the Tribunal that despite the medical evidence suggesting that the man would be capable of some limited work, a different reading of the medical report meant that he would never be able to work again, hence a very significant future loss of earnings award; the amount awarded was close to the maximum limit afforded by the Compensation Scheme of £500,000.   


Seminars            

  • CPR update: rule changes and what’s new with Denton (October 2016)            
  • Common procedural pitfalls (June 2016)             
  • Limitation Update (September 2014)             
  • Noise induced hearing loss Quantum (June 2014)             
  • Introduction to Asbestosis Claims (March 2014)             
  • Noise induced hearing loss - Breach of Duty (December 2013)             
  • Accidents at Work post-Enteprise and Regulatory Reforms Act 2013 (December 2013) 
  • Vehicle Damage - Hire charges and Repairs (October 2013)             
  • Procedural Default Update (September 2012)             
  • Keeping the Show on the road: how to negotiate/exploit some common procedural litigation pitfalls (September 2012)             
  • Fraud in RTA cases (March 2012)  


Articles           

  • Breach of duty under section 2 of the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 (May 2016) 
  • Abuse of Process (March 2016)             
  • ‘After settlement of a claim for asbestos-related disease against two employers, is it an abuse of process to bring a claim for mesothelioma against a third employers two and a half years later?’ (March 2015)            
  • Conditional Fee agreements: is there a cancellation notice attached? (March 2015)             
  • ‘Section 33 Limitation Act: what periods count when looking at delay?’  (July 2014)             
  • ‘A car, a bus and a motorcycle are all waiting at traffic lights: what happens next? A review of a Court of Appeal case on road traffic liability’ (August 2014)
  • Credit Hire and Credit Repair: Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013  (October 2014)
Vilma Vodanovic

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Testimonials

‘She has formidable advocacy skills and comprehensive legal knowledge.’

Legal 500 (2017)

'A robust barrister who relishes a challenge’

Legal 500 (2019)