Who? Jennifer Harris, solicitor at defendant insurance law firm Plexus Law.
Why is she in the news? Acted for Homes for Haringey in the first successful strike-out of a grossly exaggerated claim as an abuse of process, followed by the successful pursuit of the claimant and her husband for contempt of court.
Mrs Barbara Fari made a claim for personal injury after she tripped over an uneven paving slab. She claimed over £750,000 compensation for an injury to her knee.
Undercover surveillance revealed Mrs Fari had grossly exaggerated the effect of her injuries in her witness evidence and at her medical examinations.
In light of this evidence the orthopaedic experts agreed they had been misled and that the fall had caused a minor two-three month aggravation of pre-existing degenerative changes.
Judge Mitchell valued the claim at no more than £1,500, and struck out the entire claim as an abuse of process.
The couple were then pursued for contempt of court and, although they denied the allegations, Mr Justice Spencer concluded there had been ‘a serious and deliberate attempt to mislead’. Both were found guilty.
Thoughts on the case: ‘This is a landmark case achieving the first complete strike-out – and to be followed by a successful committal brings about a new era in the battle against fraudulent claims.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I love to read, write, talk and debate. It’s simply the perfect job for me.’
Career high: ‘Seeing justice done in this case. It was a brave step by Homes for Haringey and their insurer AIG to take this one all the way.’
Career low: ‘When the firm that promised me a training contract went under.’