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Bertie Leigh

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Senior partner; specialises in medical negligence, other professional negligence, hospital litigation, institutions specifically concerned with obstetrics, anaesthetics and paediatrics; special interest in medical ethics, on which he writes articles and lectures.


Articled Hempsons; qualified 1976; partner Hempsons 1977. Involved in many of the leading medical cases over the last 30 years, including the leading res ipsa loquitur cases of Saunders v Leeds HA (1985 1 29 FJ 25) and Lindsay v Mid Western Health Board (1992); several of the cases concerned with failed sterilisation and contraception, including Gold v Haringey HA 1987 3 WLR 649 (CA); several of the leading quantum actions including Thomas v Brighton HA 1998 (HL); numerous actions involving claims brought by brain-damaged babies, including Barker v Nugent 1987; Stockdale v Nicholls MLR 1992, Robertson v Nottingham HA, (1994) (CA), and various actions involving spinal surgery, including De Freitas v O’Brien (1993). Several cases involving non-consensual LSCS (including MB (CA)), the mixed up IVF twins in Leeds (2002); he conducted the first two successful costs capping applications in group actions in the Nationwide Retained Organs case and the Ledward rape allegations (2003); the duty of care of paediatricians to parents JD v East Berkshire Health Authority (HL 2005). Publications of note: chapters in Dewhurst’s ‘Obstetrics and Gynaecology’ and Roberton and Rennie’s ‘Neonatology’.


President Medico-Legal Society (2006-08); chairman NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death 2008 to date); Hon FRCPCH (Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health 1997); FRCOG ad eundem (Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2003); governor City Lit (2005 to date); trustee CORE (2005 to date); trustee Save the Baby Fund (2008) to date).


St Christopher School, Letchworth; University of East Anglia.

London: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant

Within: Leading individuals: clinical negligence (general)

Bertie Leigh - Hempsons

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Clinical negligence: defendant

Within: Leading individuals: clinical negligence (general)

Bertie Leigh - Hempsons

Within: Clinical negligence: defendant

Niche healthcare practice Hempsons has advised on a number of health and social care matters, and has strong links with the NHSLA. Practice head Bertie Leigh has ‘unrivalled experience and knowledge of medical claims’; Nadya Wolferstan is ‘very good with anxious witnesses’; and John Holmes is ‘totally reliable at any inquest’. The firm acted for the NHSLA in a £6.14m claim concerning neonatal care.

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London: Public sector


Within: Leading individuals

Bertie Leigh - Hempsons

Within: Healthcare

Healthcare specialist Hempsons acts exclusively for public healthcare clients, including the NHS Trust Development Authority, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and NHS England. The firm noted an increase in instructions on estate projects, and handled University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s procurement of a joint venture partner to assist with the client’s estate management and development. Individuals singled out in Christian Dingwall’s team include Janice Barber, who divides her time between London and Newcastle, Bertie Leigh, John Holmes and Crispin Pettifer.

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