Photo of Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan

Visiting Lecturer

07968 427134

Nicholas joined the University of Exeter in 2016 as a visiting lecturer in law.  

He is an award-winning solicitor with extensive experience in legal practice.  Over the years he has represented several general liability and motor insurers as well as numerous private clients.  He was senior counsel at Bond Peace LLP (now Bond Dickinson LLP).  He left to become a founding director of Enable Law Ltd which he incepted with two colleagues: to develop an integrated multi-disciplinary / multi-platformer professional services provider to exploit the opportunities presented by the Legal Service Act reforms.  He now splits his time between his Nota Bene legal services consultancy and lecturing.

Nicholas has a reputation for legal activism and for ground-breaking research on motor insurance.  He is consulted by several large law firms and is closely involved in several public law actions against the Secretary of State for Transport, including a major judicial review of the United Kingdom’s flawed transposition of the European motor insurance directives, which action he helped bring about.  

He has recently joined the editorial team of the Encyclopaedia of Insurance Law, having previously edited the Journal of Personal Injury Law and Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service.  His current research interests are in the liability and insurance implications of automated vehicle technology, the implications of Brexit on motor insurance, the European law implications for the motor insurance industry of defects in the United Kingdom’s statutory and extra-statutory provision for compulsory third party motor insurance and in asbestos disease claims.

He graduated from University of Exeter with a degree in Ancient History.  His PhD thesis by publication was on ‘On the infringements associated with the United Kingdom’s transposition of European Council Directive 2009/103/EC of 1 September 2009 on motor insurance’, University of Exeter, 2016.

Research interests

Publications

Textbooks

  • Future Loss in Practice: periodical payments and lump sumsLexis Nexis, 2007, General editor and main contributing author, with Theodore Huckle QC and Sheralee Ellis (AWD Chase de Vere), with a forward by the Hon. Mr. Justice Langstaff, Chairman of the Master of the Rolls Working Party Report on Structured Settlements in 2002. 
  • Encyclopaedia of Insurance Law, Sweet & Maxwell, Nicholas was invited to join the editorial team to revise the sections on motor insurance, with effect from 15 May 2017.

Practice manual

  • From 1999 to 2015, editor and contributing author to Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service(BPILS), practice manual, Lexis Nexis, responsible for BPILS Division VII: Precedent, forms and letters, as its originator and sole contributing author between 2001 to 2013, in print, online and CD format
  • From 2004 to 2005 Nicholas stepped in as an interim editor and sole author of BPILS Division VIII: Pleadings,
  • In 2012-2013 Nicholas was the interim general editor tasked with project managing a rewrite of BPILS Division I on quantification of damages.

Quarterly insurance and tort law bulletins

  • Between 2002 to 2010 co-editing The Insurance Bulletin a monthly client newsletter published by the firm in printed and online format.
  • From 2005 to December 2015, sole editor and contributing author to The PI Update Bulletin, which was republished separately and branded as part of the Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service (BPILS), Lexis Nexis.  This quarterly 5,000 word review was published in printed and online, covering all the key decisions and developments relevant to personal injury.

 

Recent journal articles

British Insurance Law Association Journal,

  • Mind the gap, January 2016 (republished by the Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances and winner of the BILAJ best article prize for 2016)
  • Bridging the gap, March 2015

Journal of Personal Injury Law, Sweet & Maxwell, editor and author [from 2009 to 2015]

Contributing numerous detailed case commentaries, typically between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length.

Also contributing various features, such as:

  • A Return to Common Sense, issue 4 of 2012,
  • Marking the Boundary, issue 3 of 2013
  • A World Turned Upside Down, issue 3 of 2014
  • Tinkering at the edges, issue 3 , 2015

New Law Journal, Lexis Nexis, contributing author since 2006, recent articles include:

  • Trial and Error , 20 April 2012
  • On The Right Road? 8 -21 February 2013, a four part feature
  • Asleep at the Wheel? 18 April 2013
  • Beyond the Pale, 20 June 2013
  • Good Law? 18 July 2013
  • An Untidy Arrangement?   13 March 2014
  • Where to sue? 09 May 2014
  • Second Sight, 2 October 2014
  • Opinion piece on insurer influence, 2 October 2014
  • No through road, 17 April 2015
  • A call for more reform , July 2015
  • Still driving dangerously , 8 April 2016
  • Putting wrongs to rights, Part 1, 27 May 2016
  • Putting wrongs to rights, Part 2, 3 June 2016
  • Opinion piece Third Time Lucky?, 13 January 2016
  • Car crash consultation?   27 January 2017
  • Catching the tide , 2 June 2017

For previous NLJ articles dating back to 2006,   

PI Brief Update Law Journal

  • Vnuk: the end of the road ?, November 2014

 

PI Focus, APIL

  • Minor Collision , May 2014
  • Changing Gear , February 2015

Modern Law Journal

  • Why Delaney is a game changer, August 2014

British Influence

  • Setting the record straight, February 2015

Personal Blog

  • Nota Bene, a campaign blog launched in April 2013 to post various monologues and updates on diverse tort law topics but principally on the theme of third party motor insurance

Miscellaneous papers

  • In 2007 preparing a detailed response submitted on behalf of Bond Pearce LLP to the Department of Constitutional Affairs’ Consultation Paper on Case Track Limits and Claims Process Review.
  • In 2007 preparing a detailed response submitted on behalf of Bond Pearce LLP to the Department of Constitutional Affairs’ Consultation Paper on Damages.
  • In 2008 preparing a detailed response submitted on behalf of Bond Pearce LLP to the Ministry of Justice’s Consultation paper on Pleural Plaques, 2008 .
  • In 2009, drafting two detailed responses submitted on behalf of Bond Pearce LLP to Sir Rupert Jackson’s Review of Civil Litigation Costs, 2009 [offering claimant and defendant insurer perspectives].
  • In April 2013 submitting a response to the Department for Transport’s Review of the Uninsured and Untraced Drivers Agreements.
  • In December 2013 submitting a report and recommendations for reform of third party motor insurance and the MIB agreements, at the Law Commission’s request.
  • Lead contributing author in a joint paper with Professor Merkin QC on behalf of the University of Exeter Law School responding to the consultation by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles at the Department for Transport, 1 September 2016
  • Lead contributing author of a joint paper with Professor Merkin QC and Dr Kyriaki Noussia on behalf of the University of Exeter Law School responding to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, on driverless vehicles, 25 October 2016.
  • Detailed response to the Department for Transport’s technical consultation on the European Court of Justice’s ruling in Damijan Vnuk, 13 April 2017.

Other information

Achievements

Reform projects

2015 Persuading the Department for Transport (DfT) to remove numerous draconian procedural strike-out provisions and exclusions of liability from the Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement (UDA) 1999, after an eight-year campaign with the participation of several representative bodies.  These provisions were finally excised from the scheme with effect from 1 July 2015.  
2016 In June 2016, the European Commission announced its intention to commence a wide-ranging REFIT and EU-wide member state compliance review of European Council Directive 2009/013/EC on motor insurance.  This was partly in response to Nicholas’ 2013 research into the UK’s systemic failure to implement this law within the Road Traffic Act 1988, the EC Rights Against Insurers Regulations 2002 and both Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) schemes. 
2016 Securing the DfT’s admission that the geographic and mechanical scope of the compulsory third party motor insurance requirement (set out in EC Rights Against Insurers Regulations and the Road Traffic Act 1988 and both MIB schemes) fail to fully implement the wider scope required under European law.  This followed a three-year public awareness campaign that anticipated the landmark Court of Justice of the European Union judgment in (Case C-162/13) Damijan Vnuk of September 2014 when arguing the case for reform.  This is also the subject of an ongoing judicial review and several Francovich actions he is involved with. 
2016 Obtaining an open admission from the DfT that the Untraced Drivers’ Scheme managed by the MIB, and which compensates victims of hit and run accidents, provides inadequate protection for children and mentally handicapped accident victims.  The DfT has promised improved provision.
2016 Obtaining an open concession from the DfT that the EC Rights Against Insurers Regulations and the Road Traffic Act 1988 do not conform with the minimum standard of third party protection required under European law.
2016 Publishing research that identifies a new route to redress (based on the direct effect of Article 10 of Directive 2009/103/EC against the MIB) for motor accident victims affected by the (i) gaps in cover within the UK’s statutory and extra-statutory implementation of the European directives on motor insurance or (ii) non-conforming provisions within the MIB compensation schemes.  
2016 Persuading the DfT to admit that certain exclusions of liability (including the notorious terrorism exclusion) were illegal, which exclusions have since been removed from both MIB compensation schemes for victims of uninsured and untraced drivers.
2016 The European Commission has adopted, as its formal proposal, Nicholas’ suggested amendment to its own June 2016 proposal to amend the geographic scope of the Article 3 insurance requirement in Directive 2009/103/EC.  The initial Road Map proposal was to restrict mandatory coverage to ‘areas where the public has access in accordance with national law’. The current proposal would require third party cover for ‘areas where the public has access without overcoming a physical obstacle or barrier’.
2017 Securing the DfT’s agreement (in the face of an ongoing judicial review by RoadPeace) to amend the UDA 2015 and to introduce a new Untraced Drivers Agreement that removed other exclusions of liability that his research had identified to be incompatible with European law.
2017 Compelling the DfT to withdraw the 10 January 2017 version of the Untraced Drivers Agreement 2017 compensation scheme within days of it coming into force on 1 March.  In February, Nicholas exposed several unlawful exclusions of liability in the original version. One purported to deny victims any compensation if they chose to be represented by independent legal professionals.  He alerted the profession to this unwarranted intrusion into the civil rights of accident victims.  See, ‘Conflicts of interest?’, New Law Journal, 3 March 2017.  A new UtDA 2017 was introduced that removed the offending clause.  This was backdated to 28 February 2017 to give it retrospective effect.  Other aspects of this scheme are the subject of a legal challenge he is advising in.
 
Awards
 
1997 Finalist in the Society for Computers and the Law Awards for Innovation for his intranet based insurer claims management and case reporting programme: Interact.
2008 Winner of the top Eclipse Proclaim Award for outstanding achievement.
2016 Winner of the British Insurance Law Association Journal best article prize.
2016 Finalist in the Modern law awards for the top award of outstanding achievement.
2016 Winner of the UK Personal Injury Award, Finance Monthly Global. 
 
Memberships
  • Law Society
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Fellow Emeritus)

 

Modules taught