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Sonehal's Profile

Name: Sonehal Kooner
Position: Personal Injury Specialist

Career Highlight

Client feedback is always valued especially positive feedback such as this:

"Sonehal has been a fantastic person to deal with for the past few years. As my case got more involved and confusing, he was always patient and explained things to me in a way I could easily understand. He was always willing to be flexible with our phone meetings which was great, due to me being in a different time zone for most of the case. Both during our in-person and phone meetings, he was always very courteous and showed genuine passion for getting the best outcome possible for me. I owe a lot to him and I’m very thankful for all he did for me."

“Just a big thank you for all your help with my case… you didn’t give in, you pushed me, which again I thank you.”

"I would like to thank you in assisting me with my claim. This was a very new experience for me however, you made me feel very comfortable throughout the process and you always ensured I was thoroughly informed of the ongoings of my claim. I was very happy with the settlement you achieved for me and I believed you always had my best interest in mind. Considering the fact that I only ever had the opportunity to speak with you by telephone because I live in Norther Ireland, I found you to be an extremely good listener and very trustworthy. You always had the time to speak with me to ensure that I was well informed and updated whether it was via telephone calls, letters or emails. Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of my claim and the way you handled my case was extremely professional."

"Thank you so much for your help with my claim. I’ve never pursued a claim like this before but you made the process seem so simple and effortless from start to finish. The settlement you achieved for me was far beyond what I ever expected or even hoped for! It’s evident that you take pride in what you do and I just want to say thank you for treating me as if I was your most important client when I know you help so many other people too."

"We would like to thank you so much for your work, and achieving the outcome you have. I think you have worked so hard. Having never made any sort of personal injury claim before, we had no idea of what would happen - you made it very straightforward, explaining everything so we understood.

"You maintained contact throughout the claim, and talked to us until we did understand. You kept us up to date at all times, we really do think you were amazing. You probably thought you were just doing your job - but I think you went above and beyond that.

"After dealing with Ward & Rider, and in particular you, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to anyone needing any sort of legal help or advice."

Contact Sonehal

Email: sonehal.kooner@wardrider.co.uk
Tel: 02476555400
Contact Sonehal

Sonehal's Biography

Sonehal joined Ward & Rider in December 2013. Having completed his Law Degree at De Montfort University, he studied law at the University of Udine in Italy before embarking on his post graduate Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Birmingham and London. After spending over 3½ years working for an international Top 20 law firm, Sonehal moved to a national law firm before joining us at Ward & Rider. Sonehal was also chosen as one of the ‘faces’ for the Law Society’s nationwide brand campaign in 2017 and 2018 to help promote the solicitor profession.

Sonehal specialises in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, with a particular specialism in accidents and illnesses abroad, brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, sports injuries and high-value, complex actions. Sonehal’s expertise also lies in legal costs where his skills place him in a strong position at Detailed Assessment Hearings as well as at Cost and Case Management Hearings and Application Hearings.

Sonehal has spent the majority of his legal career helping those who have suffered from personal injury, including assisting those who have had accidents at work, road traffic accidents, claims outside of the United Kingdom and claims against private companies. His experience includes handling claims involving: acquired brain injuries, fatality, loss of limbs, complex fractures and the development of subsequent osteoarthritis, chronic regional pain syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, somatoform disorder, gastrointestinal illness, CFS/ME, colorectal illness, fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Before joining Ward & Rider, Sonehal acted on behalf and advised some of the largest insurers, their insured, along with other defence organisations and major institutions in order to broaden his understanding of Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and legal costs through experiencing both ends of the legal spectrum. Sonehal believes his cross-party experience in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence claims has benefited him by allowing him to appreciate and understand how the Defendant approaches and deals with such claims and in-turn allowing him to navigate claims with a tactical nous in order to secure the best possible outcome for his clients.

Through his diverse experience, Sonehal has worked closely with medical experts in numerous fields including: Anaesthesia, Microbiology, Ophthalmology, Orthotics, Dermatology, Neurology, Neuropsychology, Gynaecology, Podiatry, Pain Medicine, Coloproctology, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Orthopaedics, Psychiatry and Psychology, Care, and Health and Hygiene. Sonehal’s foreign jurisdictional expertise means he also benefits from close links with foreign lawyers in various countries including, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, United States of America, Canada, and Dominican Republic.

Sonehal says: “I consider myself very lucky to have spent the majority of career having helped so many genuinely incredible people. All of my clients have been through extremely difficult situations and they are a real inspiration to me. The most rewarding parts of my job are getting to know my clients, achieving the best possible results for them and playing my part in helping them get their lives back on track.”

Sonehal always offers a personal service to his clients and considers offering simple advice in a calm and sympathetic manner as important traits for any Personal Injury lawyer. Sonehal says: "I would like to think I am a formidable opponent with an eye for detail. I never stop fighting for my clients and rightly so, when so many of them suffer from life-changing injuries. Having been born and bred in Coventry, working with so many talented lawyers at a client friendly and forward-thinking firm like Ward & Rider gives me an immense feeling of pride that I have never experienced elsewhere."

Outside of work, Sonehal enjoys going to the gym and following his beloved Manchester United.

  • In excess of £1,000,000 between over 250 clients who suffered food poisoning whilst staying at a hotel in Turkey.
  • £650,000 for a client who suffered a multitude of injuries, including soft-tissue injuries to her neck and back regions as well as an exacerbation of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and ME, arising from a road traffic accident. The accident led to a pronounced physical deterioration in the client’s pre-existing conditions due to the permanent worsening of her pain, both from a quantitative and qualitative aspect, which in turn led to psychological and depressive symptoms. Expert medical evidence was obtained from a number of medical experts, including: a Consultant Rheumatologist, a Consultant in Pain Medicine, a Consultant Psychiatrist, a Consultant Neuropsychologist, a Care Consultant, a Consultant Neurologist and, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. The claim was managed alongside one of the United Kingdom’s leading Queen’s Counsel and the settlement was achieved via a mediation meeting approximately 3 months before the matter was listed for trial.
  • £235,000 for a client who contracted Legionnaires disease whilst on holiday in Egypt, with the effects leading to permanent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • £185,000 for a client who fractured 4 of the metatarsal bones in his right foot. The client was diagnosed with Neuropathic pain secondary to injury to the superficial peroneal nerve by a Pain Expert. The client suffered discomfort, scarring, loss of sensation and restricted range of movement in his foot and the symptoms were expected to be permanent. A Clinical Psychologist also confirmed that the client suffered psychological symptoms stemming from his physical injuries and was diagnosed with an Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood. Damages comprised of pain, suffering and loss of amenity, past and future loss of earnings, past and future pension loss, past care and assistance, an award being deemed disadvantaged on the open labour market and an award for the cost of purchasing future orthotics as recommend by a Consultant Orthotist.
  • £130,000 for a client who suffered a Type 1 sprain of the acromio-clavicular joint in her shoulder during the course of her employment. The settlement figure most notably incorporated an award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, loss of congenial employment, past and future loss of earnings, past and future care and assistance, pension loss and an award being deemed disadvantaged on the open labour market. The claim required expert evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Clinical Psychologist and a Nursing and Care Consultant.
  • £76,500 for a client who suffered severe bone fractures whilst on holiday in Alicante.
  • A figure of circa £70,000 for a client who suffered a triangle fibrocartilage complex tear to his left wrist and a soft tissue injury to his left elbow; the latter of which resolved after a number of steroid and local anaesthetic injections were administered. The client underwent two wrist arthroscopies in order to reduce his symptoms but both of these operations were unsuccessful and the pain continued. There was a conflict of opinion regarding the long-term prognosis between the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon’s instructed by both sides. The client also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and an impairment in his family and social life for some 4 years after the accident and continued to suffer from mood disturbance. The matter was settled at a Joint Settlement Meeting.
  • A combined total of £62,250 for a family of four who suffered injuries following a road traffic accident whilst on holiday in Spain. Expert evidence was required from a Spanish lawyer who assisted in valuing the claims in accordance with the Spanish assessment of damages due to the applicability of Spanish jurisdiction in relation to damages.
  • £60,000 for a client who suffered a fractured left elbow with permanent on-going symptoms and psychological symptoms after slipping on a pool of water within the Defendant’s restaurant. The claim settled two days before trial after both parties produced various reports from their respective Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons and Consultant Psychiatrists. The claim was unusual in two aspects: (i) at the time of the accident, the client had not long graduated from University where he obtained a degree in Film Production and Technology and was hoping to find employment as a Videographer within an in-house production company however, the accident led to him abandoning such a career and led to him moving to Japan where he found employment as an Assistant Language Teacher at a higher initial salary than he would have obtained as a Videographer; and (ii) as the client had emigrated to Japan, he would have needed to give evidence at trial via video conferencing. The Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons accepted that the client suffered a fracture of the capitellum in his left elbow. The experts agree that the capitellum “is a critical part of the functioning of the elbow joint” and that the minor malposition of the fracture has led to the “development of early arthritis with limited movement and limited functioning.” Both experts also agreed that the client’s decision to alter his career was “wise” and that he was unlikely to ever be in a position to perform heavy work again, which a Videographer would typically be required to do. Both experts also agreed that the early onset of arthritis was likely to develop and necessitate a need for further surgical intervention in approximately 15-20 years’ time. Both experts also agreed that future surgical intervention would, in the first instance, be conservative and if that proved unsuccessful, for which they said there was a 50% chance, the client would require further surgery; in the form of an excision of the radial head of the elbow. Both experts also agreed that even with further surgical intervention, the client would never regain “perfect comfort and function” in his left elbow. The Psychiatric experts agreed that the client suffered a recognisable psychiatric disorder as a result of the accident, with the only material difference in opinion between the experts relating to the client’s need for treatment. The client argued that the loss of his career as a Videographer allowed him to claim an award for ‘Loss of Congenial Employment’. The Defendant argued that such awards were more appropriate for “vocational employment situations”, which the client argued was an outdated approach that was not supported by case law. Furthermore, the client argued that the Defendant’s argument that such an award should be withheld purely because the client had not established a career in his chosen profession was both limited and flawed. The client emphasised his young age and the fact that much of his young adult life was geared towards working as a Videographer, including his degree, which the Orthopaedic experts agreed was not a career that he would ever be in a position to pursue as a result of the accident. With respect to the client’s claim for future loss of earnings, the Defendant put forward five key points of contention, namely: (i) the client had never worked as a videographer and found it difficult to secure such employment post-graduation; (ii) the client had no evidence to confirm that he would have secured a career as a videographer; (iii) the client’s witness was not an accredited expert in the field of videography or creative design; (iv) a Blamire award or a Smith v Manchester award was the most appropriate way of remunerating this aspect of the claim; and (v) the client was in a stable and secure career in Japan. The client advanced a claim to be compensated for the difference between his probable career earnings but for the accident and his probable actual earnings on a multiplier/multiplicand claim, which he argued was now a well-established method for calculating such losses. In addressing the five points of contention from the Defendant, the client countered with the following: (i) the client accepted that he did indeed find it difficult to secure employment as a Videographer post-graduation, however the Defendant was choosing to ignore the fact that the client was not put off by this. His desire to obtain a career as a Videographer led him to focus on freelance work, which he received little to no remuneration for. The fact that he found the prospect of obtaining employment post-graduation difficult was by no means a reasonable way for the Defendant to argue that he would never have managed to obtain employment as a Videographer in the absence of the accident. The client sought to accentuate the likelihood that the court would be sympathetic to the fact that the accident robbed the client of his desired career at the very early stages of his career arc and it should not be ignored that his degree, his freelance work, and his continued attempts to establish some ongoing link with Videography even at the approach to trial added solid weight to supporting his claim for loss of earnings; (ii) the Defendant’s argument that the client had not provided any evidence to confirm that he would have secured a career as a Videographer was plainly confusing as the client was 22 years old at the time of the accident and would have no means of providing any evidence to support his intended career aside from demonstrating a desire to pursue such a career, which his degree would establish; (iii) the client’s witness was indeed not an accredited expert; however, the client argued that this itself would not lead the court to place no weight to his evidence. The client argued that the evidence from his witness, who was an individual who worked as an in-house Videographer, was perfectly sensible and relevant to supporting his claim for future loss of earnings; (iv) a Blamire award was evidently not necessary considering an achievable calculation of loss was possible. A Smith v Manchester claim was possible; however, it would grossly under compensate the client for what was a claim that needed to reflect the almost 41 year period remaining of the client’s working life. The client emphasised that he had mitigated his loss of earnings claim by seeking alternative employment at a very early opportunity post-accident and that as seeking alternative employment meant pursuing an alternative career, it was likely that the court would commend the client for his maturity and strength in doing so, and thus be sympathetic towards his claim for loss of earnings; and (v) where the Defendant chose to dispute his claim for loss of earnings, the client chose to support his claim by arguing that his current career was unlikely to reflect in any way towards reducing his entitlement to a claim for loss of earnings, rather that it would work in his favour. The client argued that the court would likely commend him for doing his utmost to find work that he was capable of performing to at least some level; as well as concentrating his efforts to securing higher earnings within his current career as an Assistant Language Teacher to bridge the financial gap between his probable career earnings but for the accident and his probable actual earnings.
  • £50,000 for a client who slipped in an un-gritted section of the Defendant’s premises where expert evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon confirmed that the client had suffered a traumatic full thickness tear of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which aggravated a pre-existing injury and accelerated the symptoms by approximately five years. The award most notably comprised a 5 year period of loss of earnings and care and assistance.
  • £45,000 for a client who suffered a patella dislocation of the left knee and a fracture of lateral tibial plateau of the left knee following a road traffic accident, where the award also accounted for the cost of the client likely requiring a total knee replacement around 10 years post-accident.
  • £40,000 for a client who slipped over a pool of water at his place of work, which required internal fixation of the right tibia and right fibula. Expert evidence was obtained from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Consultant Podiatrist and Clinical Psychologist that assisted in supporting claims for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, loss of congenial employment, past and future loss of earnings, past and future care and assistance, and future medical treatment and custom orthotics.
  • £37,030 for a client who slipped in a supermarket and suffered multiple soft-tissue injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • £33,000 for a client who was involved in a road traffic accident involving permanent soft-tissue injuries that incorporated an award for future care and future loss of earnings.
  • Sonehal's Case Studies