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Chambers of Richard Lynagh QC

Work 020 7797 8100
Fax 020 7797 8101

Catherine Foster

Work 020 7797 8100
Crown Office Chambers (Chambers of Richard Lynagh QC)


Specialist areas of practice are personal injury (with a particular interest in disease, occupational stress and catastrophic injury litigation), clinical negligence, professional negligence and sexual abuse litigation. Occupational diseases: engages in all forms of industrial and occupational disease litigation, in particular claims involving asbestos related conditions, asthma, pneumoconiosis, cancers (including bladder cancer), carbon monoxide exposure, back injuries, beat knee, upper limb disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), chemical exposure (COSHH claims), noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), dermatitis, silicosis, deep vein thrombosis, Legionnaire’s disease, food poisoning, norovirus and radiation exposure. Has been involved in emerging areas of disease litigation over the past 20 years and is regularly instructed to advise on generic issues such as diagnosis, causation, aetiology and apportionment. Occupational stress: attends Court on a regular basis to pursue/defend claims for occupational stress and harassment and has three reported Court of Appeal authorities in this area. Catastrophic injuries: has considerable experience of catastrophic spinal and brain injury litigation encompassing severe cognitive conditions and amputations arising in the context of road traffic accidents and employers’ liability claims; and in the analysis of high value complex claims and is regularly instructed to attend round table settlement meetings in this context. Sexual abuse litigation: has been instructed in claims involving the Catholic Church, other religious organisations, the Scout Movement, various schools and on behalf of Local Authorities and foreign Governments over a wide range of issues including complex vicarious liability situations, allegations of failure to intervene to prevent abuse by parents/foster carers/employees, failure to prevent damage (rape and criminal damage) caused by abused perpetrators and duty of care issues. Is experienced in the forensic analysis of documentation spanning long periods of time and also in the quantification of damages both in the context of civil claims and applications to the CICA. Is regularly instructed to advise pre-litigation and to advise upon and participate in the resolution of child abuse claims by ADR. Clinical negligence: including catastrophic brain injuries caused at birth; the negligent provision of fertility treatment; failure to diagnose cancer and the negligent execution of cosmetic and gastric surgery. Professional negligence litigation: has been instructed since 2011 in the ‘BCC HAVS Professional Negligence Litigation’, representing a number of firms of Solicitors who are being sued for professional negligence arising from their handling of the BCC HAVS compensation scheme. Has extensive experience of group actions and multi-party litigation including the following recent/ongoing matters: (i) since up to 2008: as first junior Counsel representing 1011 claimants (the Atomic Veterans) from first instance through to the Supreme Court and European Court; seeking damages for exposure to radiation during the British atomic bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s. (ii) since 2011 in the ‘BCC HAVS Professional Negligence Litigation’ (six reported cases in this cohort so far); (iii) since 2011: representing the States of Jersey in addressing issues raised by the ‘Haute de Garrene’ child abuse litigation; (iv) on an ongoing basis representing various cruise ship operators in their defence of food poisoning/norovirus claims. Recent reported cases in the higher Courts include: (i) Philips v Haxton [2014] EWCA Civ 4, addressing a novel claim for damages for the loss of a cause of action arising in the context of mesothelioma claims; (ii) Barnaby v Raleys Solicitors [2013] EW Misc 9 (CC): solicitors’ negligence ‘VWF Professional Negligence Litigation’; Court of Appeal judgment pending; (iii) Nicholls v Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited [2013] EWCA addressing issues of breach of duty and causation in a claim for psychiatric injury following a robbery; (iv) AB and others v Ministry of Defence [2012] UKSC 9 and Application No. 61332/12 ; test cases on limitation issues in which the Court considered the correct approach to ‘knowledge’ for the purpose of section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980 and the exercise of discretion under section 33; (v) Peakstone Ltd v Joddrell [2012] EWCA Civ 1035; on the interpretation of the section 1032(1) of the Companies Act 2006 in the context of issuing claims for personal injury; (vi) Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd [2011] UKSC 17; 2011: representing Courtaulds Plc, at first instance through to the Supreme Court in its noise induced hearing loss test case litigation.


Called 1986; Inner Temple.


Personal Injury Bar Association; Professional Negligence Bar Association.


Nottingham University (1985 LLB).

London Bar

Personal injury, industrial disease and insurance fraud

Within: Personal injury – Leading juniors

Catherine Foster - Crown Office ChambersArguably the best cross-examiner at trial, tenacious and able to get to the heart of the issues.

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