Cycle Legal: UK's first 'cycling law firm', dealing with seriously injured riders, to open in Essex Road
PUBLISHED: 15:30 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 18:10 14 April 2016
The UK's first ever law firm dealing solely with cyclists injured on London's roads opens in Islington at the end of the week.
Kevin O’Sullivan has been a personal injury lawyer for 20 years, and will tomorrow officially launch Cycle Legal.
The Essex Road practice specialises in representing seriously injured cyclists – in particular those with brain injuries, multiple orthopaedic injuries and significant scarring cases.
He has specialised in cycle injuries at previous firms for 15 years, dealing with thousands of horror crashes a year. But he strongly believes London is becoming a lot safer for cyclists.
“You get some serious injuries, but the amount of people cycling has gone up enormously,” said Kevin, 46. “Motorists give more space and you have advanced boxes now that they used to ignore. Now the vast majority keep out of them.”
"Obviously litigation is all about the money, but that is the last thing [families] are thinking about. They want an answer and explanation."
Kevin acknowledges the dangers, though, and would obviously be out of a job if there were no collisions.
“There is a lot more to be done,” he said. “But I’ve always had the view that cyclists should try and avoid junctions over all.
“I’ve always avoided the Stamford Hill junction like the plague, and I live around there.
“Some people say they shouldn’t have to and I respect that, the roads are for everyone. But to be honest, for me the joy of cycling is being away from the trucks and buses, and being relaxed on a lovely side street.”
Kevin set up a then “innovative” cycle department at his old firm before going it alone, and says cyclists are great to represent.
“I love what I do,” he explained. “Cyclists buy into their health and fitness and their man focus is getting back on the bike.
“They enjoy being represented by a firm which only looks out for them, fighting for their rights, and campaigning for safer roads and increased cycle usage across the country.”
But Kevin has had many cases that made him question his chosen mode of transport.
“People say that no matter how safe they are they cannot legislate for motorists,” he said.
“The other thing that always affects me is the fatals, when you have the families coming to you.
“There is no sense of victory at all, it’s horrible. Obviously litigation is all about the money, but that is the last thing they are thinking about. They want an answer and explanation.”
A launch event takes place tomorrow evening at cycling cafe Look Mum No Hands in Old Street from 6.30pm.