A Preston law firm has hit back strongly at suggestions by leading holiday company TUI that it may have acted unethically and even illegally in acting on a holiday sickness case that was found to be ‘fundamentally dishonest’.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, Chelsea Devine and Jamie Melling were ordered to pay £15,000 in costs for bringing a bogus claim over a holiday in Benidorm.
TUI issued a statement warning holidaymakers that it would take all similar cases to a court hearing.
It continued: “We believe the fact that medical evidence is being produced by the husband of a partner of AMS, the firm of solicitors representing Ms Devine and Mr Melling, raises serious and obvious ethical and legal questions.
“This is probably just the tip of the iceberg and there’s little doubt that there will be many more cases where he has done this. We’ve made the General Medical Council and the Solicitors Regulation Authority aware of this and also highlighted our concern to the court.”
The paper named AMS partner Sahana Bux and Dr Zuber Bux.
The two-partner firm issued a statement yesterday, saying that Mrs Bux did not deal with the case.
“Further, the firm has taken specific regulatory advice regarding the instruction of Dr Bux, given that his wife works here, and has complied fully with its professional obligations.
“This case is only one of thousands handled by this firm every year, involving numerous different medical experts and a high rate of success for our clients.”
The statement added: “In this case, the court ultimately did not accept the claimants’ evidence at trial. However, the court forming a view on the oral testimony given by a witness is a natural part of the litigation process, which is often influenced by the cross-examination conducted by specialist counsel at trial.
“It is very important to note that there was no criticism by the court of solicitors or counsel conducting this case for the claimants.”
AMS emphasised that “although TUI may have referred the matter to professional legal and medical regulators, that does not mean anything at all.
“This firm has not been notified of any action, nor does it anticipate any detailed investigation given the advice received prior to instructing Dr Bux.
“We have retained specialist solicitors to ensure any inaccurate press statements are corrected.”