The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. Blue Badge holders are able to park closer to their destination, either as the driver or passenger, in disabled parking bays, usually for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, and on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours in certain circumstances. The eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has been extended beyond those with a physical disability to now include those who: • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person; • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress; • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking); and • scored 10 points under the 'planning and following journeys' activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by virtue of being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to them. This will lead to automatic entitlement in much the same way as scoring 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP which is already in place. The regulations also amend the current requirement that the disability be 'permanent and substantial', changing it to 'enduring and substantial'. Those who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria linked to PIP awards, can still apply and go through the standard assessment process. Under the new regulations, ‘expert assessors’ with specialist experience of non-physical impairments, can be appointed by the local authority to undertake the assessment to determine eligibility.
Richard Cropper Authorised and Regulated Consultant
Richard has spent his whole career being involved in providing financial advice to recipients of personal injury damages and takes great pride in the role PFP plays in helping clients meet their ongoing needs, aims, objectives and wishes.
An authorised and regulated independent financial adviser since 1997, he has a wealth of experience in tailoring financial plans to meet his clients' very individual requirements.
A member of the Ogden Working Party, Richard has also acted as an expert witness in many of the most notable personal injury cases over the last ten years.
Expert evidence provided by Richard and Ian has been instrumental in shaping the developing body of case law on the contentious issues surrounding the form of award including:
- Indexation of periodical payments, particularly in the context of future care costs in clinical negligence claims [the Thompstone group of cases]. This also includes the application of alternative indexation measures in Northern Ireland, Eire, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, the USA and Brazil.
- Security of continuity of periodical payments where the insurer is a Lloyds’ Syndicate [Bennett], where there is a policy limit [Kotula], where the insurer is in financial difficulties [Farrugia], where the defendant is a member of a medical defence organisation (the MDU, the MPS or the MDDUS), and the impact of Brexit [Young].
- Taxation of periodical payments in jurisdictions outside the UK (most EU countries, the Isle of Man, Poland, the Channel Islands, the USA, France, Australia and Brazil).
- The application of a PPO for rent for the first time (in an out of court settlement).
- The impact of a substantial interim payment [Eeles and Preston v City Electrical Factors].
- Involved in providing specialist Independent Financial Advice to recipients of personal injury awards since 1993. These have included road traffic accidents, clinical negligence, fatal accident cases and professional negligence claims.
- Financial expert for all of the Claimants in the Thompstone ‘indexation’ cases.
- Provided Independent Financial Advice to over 1,500 recipients of personal injury damages.
- The awards have ranged from less than £10,000 to over £30million.
- Preparation of expert reports with regard to periodical payments, indexation and investment advice to the Court and Court of Protection.
- Appointed to the expert panel to advise the Ministry of Justice on the discount rate used in personal injury awards.
- Member of the Ogden Working Party.
Finding the right person to make your investment decisions, was important for my peace of mind. For me, it was more than the performance of the funds, but trusting the person that was pulling the strings. At PFP I felt that I had a team, all working together in order to meet my expectations. From the first phone call I made, to my last meeting. I had complete confidence in their ability to advise me, on how best to manage my portfolio.
When our son age 9 was involved in an RTA in August 2001, he was awarded compensation for injuries sustained. We knew this money was required long term and had to work for him. We were introduced to PFP and Richard Cropper by our Solicitor and what a great recommendation it was. Richard has worked tirelessly for our son and his fund has grown, which has enabled him to be independent.
We are always kept up to date on the progress and changes if required and an annual review where Richard comes to us. All the staff at PFP are very knowledgeable and sensitive in all areas and we would have no reservation in recommending Richard and the rest of the company. They feel like an extension of our family.
Since my daughter was awarded a Personal Injury Payment over ten years ago, Richard Cropper and his team at PFP have helped and guided us to ensure her assets are wisely invested to ensure the money she will need to pay for the care she will require for the rest of her life is safeguarded. In spite of the vicissitudes and uncertainties of the times we live in - and a hitherto unknown instability of the financial sector, Richard has done a magnificent job.
I feel, after over a decade of sure advice, that our choice of adviser could not have been better and hope our working relationship continues for many years to come. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard (and his team) to anyone who is searching for a financial adviser with an extensive knowledge of personal injury, the future needs of that individual and whose integrity and honesty is without question. He is also - (and this is terribly important to anyone who is struggling with the complexities of the financial markets and the driving need to care for their loved one) - very approachable and friendly. He makes my life better and eases my worries with kindness and compassion - without making me feel I am asking daft questions (and I ask quite a lot ...).
Richard is ace!
I specialise in Court of Protection and Personal Injury Trust matters. I act as a Financial Deputy and Trustee in numerous matters. Most of them involve very substantial investments. I have dealt with PFP on various cases over the years, and continue to do so. My main contacts are Ian Gunn and Richard Cropper (as well as Joanne Moores for Welfare Benefits Advice).
I have always been very pleased with the services provided by PFP. Based upon my experience of dealing with them, I have always found PFP to be very professional and helpful in their approach and service
Many of our clients with significant compensation awards have used Personal Financial Planning to advise about and manage their investments. We have found Richard Cropper and his staff to be totally professional and extremely knowledgeable. Richard always deals with clients and their families in a kind, supportive and accessible way. Richard is our “go to” financial adviser for clients with large awards.
Ian Rowe and PFP are our go to trusted experts for financial advice for our clients. The client care is excellent, Ian and Richard make the complicated seem simple.
I have instructed Richard Cropper and PFP for many years on behalf of my Court of Protection clients. I have to say the service provided is second to none. Their dedication and expertise in investment of personal injury awards sets them apart from other IFAs they truly are unique.
The investment process is explained in detail to each and every client/parent in a simple and understandable way which is personal to them. The benefits advice service is outstanding. I would have no hesitation in recommending PFP.
Whilst acting as professional deputy and trustee to many brain injured clients, I having dealings with PFP on an almost daily basis. I cannot praise Richard Cropper and James Rooney highly enough for the advice they provide in their detailed yet easy to understand reports. The manner in which they interact with my clients is second to none, always speaking in plain English and putting the clients at ease in sometimes difficult circumstances. The support staff I deal with are very efficient and always happy to help.
Over many years, Ian Rowe has provided prompt and timely advice to many of my Clients, often in cases where it has been appropriate to set up a Personal Injury Trust. He has frequently taken the time to visit my Clients at their homes, at whatever time has been convenient to the Client, with a view to providing detailed but clear independent advice to enable the Clients to make a decision as to how best to proceed.
In the past, some of my Clients have commented upon Ian’s pleasant and pragmatic manner and others have commented upon his willingness to go the extra mile, as and when any issues have arisen that required his early intervention.
For many of our catastrophically injured Clients, Richard Cropper of PFP provides us with extremely comprehensive Viability Reports, which are of enormous assistance when Clients are seeking advice in relation to the most appropriate form of award e.g. whether a lump sum basis and/or periodical payments. His professional input is often invaluable, particularly in the run up to Joint Settlement Meetings or Trials.
I have been with PFP for 10 years and their advice and knowledge has been invaluable.
They regularly provide updates and have always been available to answer any queries or to explain options within my portfolio. As I find it difficult to travel Mr Cropper comes to visit me at home on a yearly basis. I would recommend PFP to anyone in need of help with their financial planning.
Richard Cropper is the personal injury equivalent of a rocket scientist. He has been able to grapple with complex issues providing sound analysis and practical advice. As a specialist in catastrophic injury claims Richard remains a valuable tool in our armoury.
Claims for damages for future loss in catastrophic injury cases regularly throw up a variety of difficult questions relating to lump sum assessment, discount rates and periodical payments etc. Solicitors who have taken the opportunity to engage PFP know that they will be receiving the very best advice on these topics. Richard Cropper and Ian Gunn can be relied upon to provide careful reports, combining accurate analysis with insight which always adds value and not uncommonly serves to identify, and then solve, potential problems before they cause real difficulty.
Potter Rees Dolan has for very many years instructed Richard Cropper of PFP in relation to its most difficult catastrophic cases in which settlements have invariably been in the £millions. Over the years, Richard Cropper has been my “go-to” IFA and I have found that the written and verbal advice which he provides in the most difficult of cases, to be both crystal clear and authoritative. He has a natural ability to understand difficult legal principles in a case and balance those with a Claimants’ needs, taking into consideration the procedural requirements. His advices on mode of award are invaluable, especially at settlement meetings. Quick on his feet and similarly quick in producing written reports, he is always a very welcome addition to the expert team in these most complex of cases and is also able to provide comprehensive advice on what is often a very difficult statutory landscape. Richard consults at the highest level but always has the Claimants’ interests at the heart of what he does.
I have worked with Richard for more years that I care to remember. His advice during the course of complex personal injury litigation and on forms of award is cutting edge and invaluable as a result. For post settlement work Richard has the perfect understanding of the disabled client’s needs. I have always been impressed by both his sound advice and by the quality of all the administration associated with managing a client’s portfolio. I couldn’t speak more highly of him and his team.
I have worked with Richard Cropper and Ian Gunn ever since they set up PFP, many years ago.
I have always found them extraordinarily easy to work alongside, because they combine great expertise and knowledge with a deep commitment to helping us achieve the right result, and sort out any problems which may arise.
I have worked with Richard Cropper for many years. He was one of the first financial advisers to teach me how essential it was for those involved in catastrophic injury work to involve a good financial adviser in settlement negotiations and the decisions as to how to structure awards. As we worked our way through the early days of the new regime of periodical payments he was always ready with sage advice about the various courses of action that might be followed – particularly as to which elements of a claim to take by way of lump sum and which by periodical payments and how to ensure awards were financially secure. Often advising at short notice he has always been a ready and reliable source of financial advice in some of the most complex and significant claims I have handled over recent years. I have no hesitation in recommending him as one of the very best in his field.