Park Lane Plowden continues to grow its client base. Having two sites in the North of England, it provides strong regional and increased national coverage. Having strength in depth throughout in key practice areas, coupled with solid clerking and administration means that clients are rarely, if ever, disappointed.
The set: Having one of the largest chambers on the North Eastern Circuit its members, as well as being strong adversaries, are renowned for being approachable and client-driven. With an established reputation for their quality of work, incisive advocacy and tough negotiating skills, members provide expert representation. This modern chambers prides itself on both its commercial approach and commitment to client care and its quality of service demonstrated by the awarding of both Quality Mark for the Bar and ISO 9001. Feedback from its innovative approach to training shows that it provides meaningful seminars, both in-house to established clients and on a larger scale to a variety of audiences. It is accredited by the SRA and the BSB to provide CPD training.
The addition in 2009 of two silks as door tenants gives testimony to its national reputation, as did the award Personal Injury Barristers Chambers of the Year.
Types of work undertaken: Rightly regarded as one of the principal personal injury and clinical negligence sets based in the North of England its members regularly appear in cases at the forefront of developments in this field.
The personal injury and clinical negligence team can provide expertise across a wide spectrum of law with emphasis on catastrophic injuries, work-related injuries, industrial disease (in particular deafness, respiratory problems and stress), accidents abroad and sports injuries. Members represent claimants, health authorities, trusts and individual medical practitioners in clinical negligence matters and are recognised for their expertise in claims involving birth injuries, complex multiple injury, periodical payments, indexation and limitation. A dedicated health and safety team regularly advises and appears in prosecutions dealing with inquests, criminal prosecutions and associated litigation, including regulatory and disciplinary law issues.
The employment team acts in all aspects of employment-related disputes, including equal pay, unfair dismissal, multiple redundancy, disability discrimination, race, sex, and age discrimination, TUPE, post-termination and industrial disputes. It includes qualified mediators and those qualified to accept direct access instructions and is at the forefront of equal pay litigation acting in many leading cases for public bodies.
All aspects of family law work are catered for, including enforcements of orders and emergency remedies, child abductions, protection from violence and harassments and all aspects of financial provision, often including high-value cases. Childcare and adoption are key elements the team’s work including abuse, psychological and cultural issues, international implications and implications and major inquiries. Many connections with local authorities are strengthened given that the team has a number of its members drawing on their expertise as former solicitors. Ancillary relief work continues to demonstrate significant growth.
The chancery and commercial team has established itself as a source of value to clients within the North East by offering expertise in professional negligence (including landlord and tenant), company and partnership issues, charities, tax, wills and probate.
Major cases include:Lough v Intruder Detection and Fulton, Court of Appeal, 26/06/2008; Howard Elgot (in allowing the appeal of the employer in contribution proceedings against an occupier, the Court of Appeal held that although the employee had suffered injury after falling from an unguarded landing while working under his employer’s supervision, the occupier was not absolved of his personal duty under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and had to contribute towards the employee’s award of damages); Dr C Gopakumar v GMC  EWCA Civ 309; CA (Civ Div) 9/4/2008; All ER (D) 113 (Apr); LTL 9/4/2008 Doc. No. ACO116875, David Wilby QC and Ian Pennock, (the role of a legal assessor before a Fitness to Practise Panel in respect of a GP was not analogous to the directions that a criminal judge would give to a jury); Legal Services Commission v Rasool  All ER (D) 43 (Mar);  WLR (D) 75; The Times 21 April 2008, Stuart Brown QC and Ian Pennock (limitation case involving recovery of costs under a revoked legal aid certificate); Catholic Care and Home Office v Young  ALL ER 895, Stuart Brown QC (limitation in historic abuse claims); Mehnaz Bi v Sabre Insurance Co Ltd  All ER (D) 23 (Dec), Ian Pennock (guidance on the correct exercise of discretion in relation to the award of costs); Azam v Igbal  All ER (D) 45 (Jul); (2007) ACD 88; (2008) Bus LR 168, David Wilby QC and Ian Pennock (did money paid to a transfer agent, which was subject to a ‘freezing’ injunction, result in a trust or was the payer an unsecured creditor); Carlisle-Morgan v Cumbria County Council  IRLR 314, Seamus Sweeney (vicarious liability in whistle-blowing cases); South Tyneside Council v Anderson & Others  EWCA Civ 654, Seamus Sweeney (whether school-based employees and other local authority employees are in the same employment for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act; powers of governing bodies in setting separate terms and conditions of employment); Accent Foundation Ltd v Lee  All ER 143 (Jun), Ian Pennock (whether the benefit of an injunction can be waived by one of the persons for whom it was intended to benefit); Bailey v Warren  EWCA Civ 52, Howard Elgot (leading case on the capacity of a brain-damaged adult to compromise liability and the court’s discretion to ex post facto validate an agreement with a patient); X v NHS Trust v J  Lloyd Reports Med p151, Jeremy Freedman (payment of costs of official solicitor by NHS Trust); Dowson v Sunderland HA  Lloyd Law Reports Med 177, Stuart Brown QC and Jeremy Freedman (standard of care owed to a psychiatric patient by a trust); Dunn v South Tyneside Healthcare NHS Trust  PIQR P12 CA, David Wilby QC and Jeremy Freedman (principal judgement in clinical liability for failure of detention of Section 3 of Mental Health Act patient); Beck v Ministry of Defence  PIQR P1, Howard Elgot (changing expert evidence); Halsey v Milton Keynes NHS Trust  1 WLR 3002, Howard Elgot (leading case on mediation); 0 & N, re B,  1 UKHL 18  1 FLR 1169, Lindy Armitage and Guy Swiffen (care proceedings, risk uncertain perpetrator); Wainwright v Home Office  1 WLR 405 CA, David Wilby QC and Ashley Serr (principal authority on whether there is a tort of privacy in English law); UK Coal Mining v NUM & BACM  IRLR 492 – EAT, Seamus Sweeney, (landmark decision which changed the law on the approach to collective redundancies); Tennison v Centrica Storage, UKEAT/0336/08 & UKEAT/0337/08, 29/09/2008, Andrew Sugarman; Sheffield City Council v Gibson (UKEAT/0303/08), Dominic Bayne (concerned with the familiar story in the local government equal pay litigation, of the overwhelming majority of male manual workers, such as gardeners and street cleaners, receiving a ‘productivity bonus’ which the overwhelming majority of comparable female manual workers, such as school cleaners and carers, did not); RE T (a child) (2009) Philip Booth  EWCA Civ 121 (in the circumstances there had been no cogent reason for forcing on a local authority a care order rather than the supervision order which it had asked for and which the parties and the child’s guardian were agreed was appropriate).
Above material supplied by Parklane Plowden (Chambers of Andrew Axon).