Robin Oppenheim QC
Robin Oppenheim was appointed as Queen's Counsel from 16 October 2006. Robin is a specialist in the fields of clinical negligence, product liability and personal injury work. He has been involved in a significant number of liability and quantum claims of maximum severity clinical negligence and PI over the past 18 months: he has achieved approximately £54 million in damages for personal injury and clinical negligence claimants this year over 15 serious injury cases (last calendar year approximately £40 million over 11 cases). He has achieved significant liability and discounted quantum settlements in catastrophic injury personal injury and clinical negligence claims over the last year. Examples include: CD -v- Birmingham City Council - a personal injury claim by young man against local authority relating to a fall in a council flat resulting in tetraplegia under the Defective Premises Act 1972 raising novel and difficult questions of law. Discounted liability settlement, having rejected previous nuisance offer; MG -v- Dr S: Clinical negligence claim by child for failure to refer his mother to hospital with a hidden bleed leading to cerebral palsy with profound brain damage. Exceptionally complex obstetric and neonatal expert evidence issues which had defeated previous solicitors, counsel and experts, leading to a £3.5m settlement (discounted settlement figure from full value for liability risks) days before trial; CC -v- Prof C - a clinical negligence claim by a young man with a spinal tumour where internationally recognised consultant neurosurgeon rendered him tetraplegic in the course of surgery which had hitherto been vigorously defended. Liability conceded shortly prior to trial. The focus of Robin's practice in the field of clinical negligence continues to be high value catastrophic brain and spinal injury for children and adults with a particular focus on complex obstetric, neonatal, paediatric and spinal claims. He has developed an expertise in meningitis and meningococcal disease litigation. He currently has one case before the Court of Appeal on this topic and in 2009 and 2008 won two first instance liability trials in this area. He is currently instructed in a case due for hearing before the Court of Appeal in April 2011 in a ground breaking challenge to the way causation is determined in cases where referral of the claimant is delayed to a third party health care provider. In the field of personal injury his work concentrates on severe brain and spinal injury claims, with a particular focus on innovative approaches to quantification, periodical payment and community care issues. He led for a number of the claimants in the landmark Thompstone ASHE 6115 indexation litigation both on appeal and at first instance. He was previously involved in landmark quantum cases such as Heil -v- Rankin (general damages) and Warren -v- Northern General Hospital NHS Trust (discount rate). He is regularly instructed for his expertise on issues relating to periodical payments and community care issues. As identified above he has secured large settlements in the past 18 months in personal injury work. In the field of product liability and group action work he has been involved in many of the major group action product liability claims over the last decade both as a leader and junior: fetal anti-convulsant litigation (to 2009), haemophilia litigation (settled 2010), Northwick Park litigation (settled 2008), dopamine agonist litigation (settled 2008), MMRII, Alder Hey and nationwide organ retention litigation, oral contraceptive pill litigation among others. He is currently advising in claims arising out of stem cell therapy by MS sufferers. He is also instructed in food poisoning litigation claims.
Called 1988; Middle Temple; QC 2006. Publications of note: He is the main contributor to the Damages section in the APlL Personal lnjury Law, Practice and Precedents and Personal lnjury Manual, Jordans. He wrote the section on multi-party actions in Bullen, Leake and Jacob, Sweet and Maxwell, 2007 and will be doing so for the forthcoming edition. He is a contributing author to the PIBA Personal Injury Manual 2007.
Member of Justice, AvMA, PIBA, PNBA, Amnesty.
Acland Burghley, London; Manchester University (1985 BA First Class, Politics and Modern History); Westminster University (1986 DipLaw).