top of page
Logo white + red.png


A red electrocardiogram
A red electrocardiogram
A red electrocardiogram

Hadley v Przybylo: Setting New Precedents in Personal Injury Law

Two cars crashing with justice scales behind

In a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal on the 15 March 2024, the case of Thomas Hadley v. Mateusz Przybylo has reshaped the landscape of personal injury law in the United Kingdom, particularly concerning the ambit of recoverable costs in litigation. Stemming from a decision in the High Court presided over by Master McCloud, this appeal evaluated the inclusion of a fee earner's attendance at rehabilitation case management meetings within recoverable litigation expenses, leading to a significant judicial precedent.

The Incident and Its Aftermath

The origins of this legal journey trace back to a catastrophic road traffic accident on 8 June 2020, where Thomas Hadley's vehicle was stationary at a junction waiting to turn when he was hit from behind by Mateusz Przybylo's vehicle and shunted into another oncoming vehicle. Thomas Hadley suffered catastrophic injuries. The accident underscored not just the physical and emotional toll on Hadley, but also illuminated the complex web of medical, rehabilitative, and legal efforts required for his path to recovery.


Legal Controversy Unravelled

Initially, Przybylo's admission of negligence might have seemed like a straightforward pathway to compensation. However, the real contention arose over the recoverability of costs related to Hadley's extensive rehabilitation. Specifically, Master McCloud's decision to disallow approximately £52,000 meant for the fee earner's attendance at rehabilitation case management meetings brought to the fore a pivotal legal query: Are such costs inherently unrecoverable as they do not contribute directly to the progression of litigation?


Deliberation in the Court of Appeal

Tasked with this intricate legal question, the Court of Appeal, with Lord Justice Coulson at the helm alongside Lord Justices Dingemans and Birss, embarked on an exhaustive examination. The court endeavoured to bridge the gap between legal principles governing cost recoverability and the practical exigencies of rehabilitation following severe injuries.


The Ground breaking Judgment

Challenging the erstwhile narrow confines of recoverable litigation costs, the Court of Appeal illuminated the essential role of rehabilitation in personal injury claims and the critical participation of legal professionals in this realm. Overturning Master McCloud's ruling, the court posited that, in principle, costs related to a fee earner’s attendance at rehabilitation case management meetings are recoverable. This pivotal decision was tempered with the understanding that such costs must still be justified as reasonable and proportionate upon closer scrutiny.


Wider Legal and Societal Ramifications

This seminal ruling transcends the immediate legal context, signalling a judicial acknowledgment of the comprehensive needs of injury victims. It advocates for a broader interpretation of litigation costs, inclusive of necessary rehabilitation activities, thereby urging legal practitioners and personal injury stakeholders to thoroughly document and rationalise the extent of their engagement in the rehabilitation process.

Forward-Looking Perspectives

The Hadley v. Przybylo decision is poised to influence the trajectory of future personal injury litigation in the UK, especially concerning the perception and claims of legal costs tied to rehabilitation. This ruling embodies a progressive acknowledgment of the intertwined essence of legal advocacy and rehabilitative endeavours in the aftermath of personal injuries.


A photo of Scott Harding Lister, Director at Apex Health Assoicates




bottom of page