Clinical negligence in London Bar
1 Crown Office Row remains 'an excellent set of chambers' which fields 'leaders in the field of clinical negligence' and shows 'remarkable strength in depth'. 'Packed with brilliant, intelligent people', this set offers 'dedicated practitioners who are at the top of their game'. Both silks and juniors frequently act in high profile multi-party claims and public enquiries, as exemplified by Matthew Hill, who is currently a lead junior on the Infected Blood Inquiry. Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC and Philip Havers QC acted for the claimant and defendant respectively in the ground-breaking duty of care case ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The 'fantastic' Henry Witcomb QC and 'ferocious advocate' David Evans QC are noted for high value cerebral palsy claims, while the 'simply brilliant' Jeremy Hyam QC is highlighted for wrongful conception claims. At the junior end, the newly ranked Suzanne Lambert, Matthew Hill, and Paul Reynolds are all worthy of note.
Hailsham Chambers offers clients 'a strong advocate for a wide range of cases' alongside clerks who 'go out of their way to be as accommodating and as helpful as possible', making it a 'leading set for clinical negligence litigation, both for claimants and defendants'. Dominic Nolan QC acted for the defendant in a highly complex and emotive case arising from alleged failure in the genetic screening of embryos by an assisted reproduction clinic. Andrew Post QC defended Barts Healthcare NHS Trust in a paediatric neurosurgery case which was settled for £2.5m, after an initial pleading of £11.5m. Julian Picton QC is 'not afraid to provide advice which may be unpalatable to clients' and is also 'a formidable opponent and definitely not a pushover'. Being dual-qualified, Dr Tejina Mangat 'possesses an encyclopaedic knowledge of both law and medicine'. The newly ranked Henry Banke-Jones ('a confident and unflappable advocate') and Clementine Coram James ('versatile and attentive') are also worthy of note at the junior end.
Fielding a 'vast array of gifted advocates with a wealth of experience', 'pre-eminent' set Serjeants' Inn Chambers is known for the 'wide range of experience on offer', as well as 'frequent involvement in seminal cases'. Christopher Johnston QC and Claire Watson appeared for the claimant in the Supreme Court in the ground-breaking case of XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, which changed the law on recovery of damages for surrogacy claims. Angus Moon QC continues to be instructed in a series of ground-breaking cases involving claims by killers against health trusts, following his success in the test case of Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust. Also of note, 'go-to' silk Michael Mylonas QC is praised for his 'excellent teamwork with solicitors' and top junior Heidi Knight is described as a 'unique combination of exceptional brains combined with exceptional interpersonal skills'.
2 Temple Gardens continues to be 'a recognised leader in the area of clinical negligence', offering clients 'an excellent calibre of barristers' who 'are organised, proactive, understand the commercial realities, and really look after their clients'. Benjamin Browne QC is instructed in the international medical malpractice case Aeden Balwah v Surgi-Med Clinic Ltd, which arises out of alleged negligent treatment at and around the time of birth, leading to severe neurological damage. Michael de Navarro QC acted for the defendant trust in the matter of AG v University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, which centred around negligent management of a rare congenital condition, and in which the claimant failed to establish that any breach of duty made a material contribution to the outcome. A 'tenacious and effective advocate', Anna Hughes is the leading junior in chambers.
Its 'wide range of excellent practitioners at all levels' makes 7BR 'one of the top sets in the industry'. The set enjoys an 'excellent reputation in claimant clinical negligence with a very good selection of specialist barristers'. Following on from the recent successes of the 'legendary' Simeon Maskrey QC and Jeremy Pendlebury for the claimant in the landmark Supreme Court case Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, and the former's representation of the doctor in MNX v Khan, Derek Sweeting QC is representing the claimant in Roberts v SSAFA, a claim arising out of the alleged clinical negligence of a British midwife acting in a German hospital. 'Excellent advocate' Sarah Edwards and the 'passionate and empathetic' James Robottom are two newly ranked junior counsel of note.
Outer Temple Chambers is 'an excellent set of chambers, with a great collection of barristers' who are 'technically brilliant'. The set offers 'not merely the numbers to provide strength in depth, but also a range of sub-specialisms, which gives them a real edge'. Eliot Woolf QC acts for the claimant in the wrongful birth case Khan v Meadows, listed to appear before the Supreme Court. Jonathan Hand QC successfully resisted an appeal against an order refusing to extend time for service of the trust’s defence on behalf of the claimant in Kember (Dcd) v Croydon Health Services NHST. In other highlights, Robert Dickason successfully represented the defendant in Bass v Ministry of Defence, the first of the contested Q Fever liability trials. 'Polished advocate' Katarina Sydow is definitely a junior to watch in the years to come.
Practitioners at 1 Chancery Lane 'have a deep range of experience' which extends from large, multi-party actions to cases concerning catastrophic birth injuries and claims arising from mental illness. This 'excellent set' frequently handles cases which explore issues at the forefront of medical malpractice, among them vicarious liability and secondary victim claims. Edward Faulks QC and rising star Katie Ayres are instructed in the notable case Barclays Bank v Various Claimants, which examines whether a bank should be vicariously liable for sexual assaults committed by a doctor during medical examinations of the bank’s current and prospective employees. Laura Johnson is acting for the claimants in the complex secondary victim case Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
39 Essex Chambers is a 'supremely professional set' which offers 'high-quality counsel at all levels specialising in all areas of clinical negligence'. As well as its 'formidable strength in depth', the set is also valued for its 'excellent response times and extremely helpful clerks'. Practitioners have particular expertise in the assessment of quantum in very high-value cases, including cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims. Neil Block QC leads a team, which also includes James Todd QC and Romilly Cummerson, which is defending the NHS against multiple claims being brought by patients following hip replacement surgery. With her 'tactical nous', Judith Ayling is 'an outstanding junior for defendant clinical negligence work', while 'superb advocate' Emma Corkill is described as 'confident, tenacious, knowledgeable, and user-friendly'.
9 Gough Chambers is 'simply a fantastic set' with a 'national reputation for clinical negligence work', which 'offers an excellent service' and practitioners who 'always deal with matters effectively and efficiently'. The range of matters handled spans cases involving genetic issues, delayed diagnosis of cancer and other conditions, and negligent dental treatment or failed cosmetic surgery. Andrew Ritchie QC successfully acted for the claimant in Ashmore v S Yorkshire Ambulance, which revolved around the detail of the appropriate procedure for ambulance staff when assessing and handling a patient at home, and also represents the claimant in Pinole v Ashford & St Peters Hospital, a high-value cerebral palsy case. The 'really focused' Shahram Sharghy and 'pragmatic tactician' Holly Tibbitts are two up-and-coming juniors of note.
Cloisters is 'a formidable set' with a 'large pool of very able barristers', all of whom 'have a deep understanding of not just the law surrounding clinical negligence but the ethical issues and the challenges facing clients'. The 'highly skilled and specialist' set has a particular focus on acting for claimants in complex neurological birth injuries, as illustrated by William Latimer-Sayer QC's successful settlement of a cerebral palsy claim for just under £23m, in which liability was admitted at an early stage, but there were significant quantum issues concerning the claimant’s condition and prognosis. Also of note, the 'technically very sound' Joel Donovan QC is praised for being 'supportive of his instructing solicitors', while 'excellent trial advocate' Simon Dyer QC has an 'excellent manner with client's and able to explain complex matters and instils trust'. At the junior end, Anna Beale is highlighted for her 'star quality' and 'not being afraid to "take it" to counsel many years her senior – and win'.
At Crown Office Chambers, 'very experienced barristers' offer clients 'exceptional clinical negligence expertise'. As well as acting for claimants and defendants on complex and high-value claims arising out of birth injury, failure to diagnose medical conditions, and negligent surgery, the set also frequently acts in cross-complimentary cases concerning product liability and pharmaceutical litigation. Alexander Antelme QC is acting for the appellant in Dr Mario Schembri v Ian Marshall, a fatal claim following on from a pulmonary embolism, in a case which potentially impacts on the use of statistics in medical cases, especially in assessing causation. 'One of the more impressive senior-juniors at the clinical negligence Bar', Erica Power has 'a very sound understanding of the mechanics and dynamics of mediation'. The newly ranked Nadia Whittaker is 'fearless and highly recommended for particularly contentious cases'.
Devereux is an 'excellent set' with 'responsive and efficient clerks' and practitioners who are 'very strong at all levels'. The set handles all aspects of clinical negligence work, with a particular focus on high-value claims, including birth trauma, brain injury, and cerebral palsy. As well as representing claimants, barristers from this set also act for a wide range of defendants, including NHS trusts and health authorities, along with insurers and individual healthcare professionals. The 'phenomenal' Robert Glancy QC and 'superstar silk' Robert Weir QC are the senior counsel to note, while at the junior end, 'fantastic advocate' Richard Cartwright, 'extremely knowledgeable' Colin Mendoza, and 'tireless worker' and newly ranked Robert Hunter are the names to highlight.
At Old Square Chambers, the 'knowledge and experience of their barristers in clinical negligence is formidable', making this a 'very well-organised set with strength at all levels'. This set offers clients 'heavyweight silks, busy juniors and superlative clerks', and, alongside the long-standing claimant work undertaken by practitioners, 'defendant work has seen a surge'. Ben Collins QC successfully represented the claimant in Douse v Western Sussex NHS Trust, a £10m claim arising from delayed delivery by caesarean section. Collins QC is also acting for multiple claimants in Stewart and others v Secretary of State for Health, which deals with claims arising from the infected blood scandal, along with Victoria Webb.