LIFE BITE: Bereaved NI families lose out in compensation ‘lottery’

apple-150579_1280Compensation for families whose loved ones have been needlessly killed in Northern Ireland is ‘wretchedly inadequate’, say lawyers as they urge for the level of payment to bereaved families to be increased.


On Monday 5th October 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a consultation about whether the level of bereavement damages, which currently stands at £11,800, should be increased.

Martin Hanna, NI representative of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and partner in Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors says:-

“Bereft families deserve better from the justice system when their loved ones’ deaths could and should have been avoided. As it stands, the payment is wretchedly inaccurate, so we welcome any progress on rectifying this”.

“Bereavement damages in the UK are a lottery based on where the death happens. The level of payment is at its lowest in Northern Ireland at £11,800, and is nearly £1,200 more in England and Wales. In Scotland, the system is much fairer, with each case judged and evaluated on its own merits.” 

The DOJ consultation paper says that any increase in the payment should either bring Northern Ireland in line with England and Wales at £12,980, or with the level of inflation, estimated at £14,339.

Mr Hanna added:

“No amount of money can ever replace a loved one, but bereavement damages do at least acknowledge that a death has been caused needlessly. This issue with the level of payment is not about replacing what is lost, but about looking after those left behind,”

The DOJ consultation closes on 30 November 2015

If you would like to learn more about the consultation paper, it can be found at

For any further information on you and your family’s legal right to bereavement damages,  please feel free to contact us below or alternatively , email us at

Belfast Chamber puts Employment Law in the Spotlight

MGGD employment talkBelfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce is to host an Employment Law Workshop in partnership with Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors.

The Workshop is aimed at giving businesses the opportunity to receive expert advice on how to protect their business as well as guiding them through the latest Employment Law updates.

President of Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Hugh Black explains:

“This seminar is a must for all employers who want to remain educated on their current obligations towards their employees’ rights.  It is an informative, up-to-date guide which will be delivered by experts on employment law.”

Gerry Daly, partner at Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors adds:-

“Businesses will be given a briefing on a range of employee rights.  We will be dealing with disciplinary matters and grievances as well as equality in the workplace.  We will also be examining ways of minimising the risk of litigation. Attendees will also get a chance to talk to us on a one-to-one basis about their own particular situations.”

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 22nd September 2015 in Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce Offices at 2nd floor Sinclair House, 95-101 Royal Avenue Belfast.

Places are limited so if you are a BCTC member and are interested in attending this Workshop, emailing the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce Officer Martina Connolly, on or call 028 90 331399 by Friday 19th September 2015 to reserve your place.