The Legal 500

London Bar

United Kingdom > London Bar > Clinical negligence and healthcare

Editorial sections

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence and healthcare - Leading Sets
  2. Clinical negligence and healthcare - Leading Silks
  3. Clinical negligence and healthcare - New Silks
  4. Clinical negligence and healthcare - Leading Juniors

Clinical negligence and healthcare - Leading Silks

Clinical negligence and healthcare - Leading Juniors

At the top of the tree for clinical negligence’, One Crown Office Row has ‘strength in depth that other chambers can only dream of’. James Badenoch QC is ‘highly experienced, personable and very astute’, and ‘top-rate counselElizabeth-Anne Gumbel QCprovides exceptional service and advice’. Philip Havers QC has ‘a phenomenal ability to grasp extremely complex issues quickly’, and Paul Rees QC is ‘definitely the right silk for test cases’. New silk Richard Booth QC is ‘a pleasure to work with’. John Gimlette is highlighted for his ‘extremely calm but authoritative style of advocacy’, and Owain Thomas has ‘excellent cross-examination skills’. Andrew Kennedy, Henry Witcomb and Sarah Lambert are also highly regarded.

For some, 7 Bedford Row’s Simeon Maskrey QC is ‘in a league of his own’ and ‘by far the best silk on his feet’. Derek Sweeting QCinspires confidence’, and Simon King has ‘a clear focus on the client’s best interests’. Richard Baker is ‘always well prepared, and picks up points that win cases’. Also recommended are Peter Ellis, who has ‘invaluable medical knowledge’; Jeremy Pendlebury, who is ‘without doubt an excellent barrister’; and Simon Wheatley, who has ‘no weakness in his armoury’. Julian Matthews is ‘more than equal to the best QCs’. The set’s clerks are also praised as ‘ready to go out of their way to assist’.

At ‘quality setHailsham Chambers, Martin Spencer QC is ‘a first-class silk; perhaps the best there is’. David Pittaway QC is ‘a superb advocate who is very good with witnesses’. Among the juniors, Jane Tracy Forster is ‘immensely adept at getting to grips with complex cases’; Tejina Mangat is ‘extremely diligent and hardworking’; and Fiona Neale is ‘a tenacious opponent’. Matthew Jacksonimpresses in all that he does’, Nicholas Peacock is ‘good at managing client expectations’, and Lucy MacKinnon is ‘very dedicated to achieving the best possible results for her clients’.

Outer Temple Chambers has ‘a wide range of high-quality counsel to choose from at all levels’, including David Westcott QC, who demonstrates ‘a masterly grasp of issues in cases of utmost severity’; and Christopher Gibson QC, who has a ‘charming courtroom manner’. Christopher Wilson-Smith QC is ‘always willing to put himself out’, and Harry Trustedcombines passion with assured judgement’. Eliot Woolf is ‘determined to get the best for his clients’. Also recommended are the ‘extremely bright and tenaciousCara Guthrie, ‘strong negotiatorChristopher Kemp, and Alison McCormick .

Despite a string of departures in early 2012, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers attracts praise for its members’ experience and commitment to clinical negligence. Standout silks include Robert Francis QC, who is ‘everything one would want in a barrister’; Adrian Hopkins QC, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and personable, and a top-rate litigator’; and James Watson QC, who is ‘a go-to silk for the most difficult cases’. Among the juniors, Katie Gollopalways goes out of her way to get the fairest result for her clients’; Michael Horne is ‘excellent on detail and tactically very astute’; and Richard Partridge ‘will often think of ways of presenting evidence that the experts have not considered’. Also recommended are Andrew Hockton, the ‘very bright Jonathan Holl-Allen, and John de Bono (‘when he takes on a case it becomes a partnership’).

1 Chancery Lane’s Lord Faulks QC has ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law’; ‘when he speaks, people listen’. Simon Readhead QC is ‘a master tactician and very impressive negotiator’. Following his appointment in 2011, Edward Bishop QC has continued to go ‘from strength to strength’. Recommended juniors include Sophie Mortimer, who is ‘a pragmatic lawyer with a very approachable style’; Angus Piper, for his ‘good command of the courtroom’; and David Thomson, for his ‘ability to understand the most complicated of medical issues’. Clients also rate highly the set’s clerking team.

At Cloisters, Simon Taylor QC is ‘invaluable in negotiating quantum’, Patricia Hitchcock QC has ‘a razor-sharp mind’, and Joel Donovan QC has ‘excellent analytical skills’. At junior level, William Latimer-Sayer is well known for his ‘supreme abilities on quantum’, and Andrew Buchan is recognised for his team work and attention to detail. Lisa Sullivan is also recommended.

Standout silks at Crown Office Chambers include Margaret Bickford-Smith QC, Christopher Purchas QC and Michael Spencer QC . At junior level, Charlotte Jones is noted for her ‘amazing ability to analyse and break down cases of great complexity’. Dennis Matthews has ‘incredible attention to detail’, and Alexander Antelmeputs 100% into getting the best outcome’. Paul Dean provides an ‘excellent overview of the bigger picture’, and Claire Toogood is ‘a very sharp advocate’.

At 2 Temple Gardens, Michael de Navarro QC is ‘an undoubted heavy-hitter in this area’; Benjamin Browne QC is ‘a terrific advocate’ who is regarded ‘very highly’; and Sarah Vaughan Jones QC has ‘incredible understanding of complex medical issues’. Bradley Martin is ‘a confident performer’ with ‘good tactical skills’. Also recommended are the ‘very articulate and intelligentRoger Harris, Martin Porter QC, and the ‘excellentCaroline Harrison QC .

Devereux’s Robert Glancy QC has ‘a wealth of knowledge and a certain charm, which puts his clients at ease and his opponents on edge’. Robert Weir QC is ‘at the top of the tree when it comes to his advocacy skills’, and Richard Cartwrightworks relentlessly to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients’.

At Doughty Street Chambers, Robin Oppenheim QC has ‘immensely deep and wide-ranging knowledge of both legal and medical issues’. Christopher Houghclearly cares about his clients and their cases’, and Gerwyn Samuelthinks outside the box’. Paula Sparks is also recommended, for her ‘considerable experience’.

Thirty Nine Essex Street’s Neil Block QC is singled out for his ‘ability to negotiate the most difficult cases’. Also recommended are Susan Rodway QC, who is ‘a tenacious and formidable litigator, who places excellent focus upon the interests of her clients’; Augustus Ullstein QC (‘a safe pair of hands for complex work’); Colin McCaul QC, for his ‘very good technical skills and attention to detail’; and Emily Formby, who demonstrates ‘a clear ability to crystallise the key issues very early on in a case’.

At 9 Gough Square, Andrew Ritchie QC has ‘a first-rate analytical mind’ and ‘always performs well in court’. The ‘hugely experiencedGrahame Aldous QC’s cross-examination skills are ‘quite awesome’, and Jacob Levy is ‘very hands-on and approachable’. The ‘down-to-earthChristopher Stephenson and ‘insightfulLaura Begley are also recommended.

Recommended silks at Old Square Chambers include Mary O’Rourke QC, who has ‘the most fantastic knowledge of the law, and gives her all to every case’; and David Wilby QC, who is noted for his ‘meticulous preparation and excellent advocacy skills’. Alan Smith and the ‘very approachableCharles Woodhouse also attract praise.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to