Clinical negligence: claimant in London

Fieldfisher

The team at Fieldfisher has 'unparalleled strength and depth in the claimant clinical negligence field', acting in the highest value medical malpractice claims both in the UK and internationally. The firm's practitioners are described by one client as 'titans in the field', who operate under the 'fantastic leadership' of practice head Paul McNeilSamantha Critchley specialises in claims involving children who were brain injured at birth, which is also an area of focus for 'fantastic' Jane Weakley, along with the latter's work for children born with disabilities due to ante-natal screening errors. Also recommended are Mark Bowman and Jonathan Zimmern, both of whom handle surgical negligence and delayed diagnosis claims.

Practice head(s):

Paul McNeil

Testimonials

‘Amazing team – experts in what they do, especially when handling international cases.’

‘Mark Bowman is nothing short of amazing.’

‘Fieldfisher have unparalleled strength and depth in the claimant clinical negligence field. They are titans in the field.’

‘Jane Weakley is a fantastic solicitor.’

‘Amazingly well run and committed under the fantastic leadership of Paul McNeil.’

‘Jonathan Zimmern is fantastic with experts and gets them to really understand the issues and get to the heart of the case.’

Work highlights

  • Secured £2.1m in compensation following the avoidable death of a claimant after surgery.  
  • Recovered £2.5m for a claimant following negligent shunt surgery when he was a child.
  • Secured a capitalised sum of £30m for a young boy who was brain injured at birth following a negligent delay in delivery at University College Hospital London.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell is a 'firm of choice' whose 'strength lies in the consistency of the talent'. The team makes full use of its national presence when handling a caseload of high-value and complex claims, mostly for brain damaged babies and adults left with severe neurological injuries. Practice head Alison Eddy has been leading on the landmark Supreme Court case XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, with which senior associate Anne Kavanagh is also involved. 'Top quality partnerIan Christian has a sub-specialism in sporting injuries arising from substandard treatment provided by medical staff, while Auriana Griffiths regularly handles maximum severity injuries sustained at birth, including neonatal hypoglycaemia and cerebral palsy cases. Also notable is Anita Jewitt, who focuses on representing children who have suffered serious neurological and physical injuries caused by meningococcal septicaemia.

Practice head(s):

Alison Eddy

Testimonials

They are a firm of choice and have the lion’s share of the high-value claims in the market.

Alison Eddy is a big name in clinical negligence and has been at the top of her game for decades.

The Irwin Mitchell clinical negligence team is in the premier league of all such teams and it has a national presence.

The team’s strength lies in the consistency of the talent.

Alison Eddy is superb, and she has consistently attracted the best young (and not so young) solicitors and associates to work in her team.

One of the largest and best firms of solicitors in this field in the country.

Ian Christian is a top quality partner with great experience and ability.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the claimant in XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, a Supreme Court case which revolves around the costs of US surrogacy following the claimant’s infertility, which was caused by the admitted negligence of the defendant trust.
  • Representing the claimant in a case involving delay in diagnosis and treatment of viral encephalitis at 13 months.
  • Representing a claimant who developed a very rare adverse reaction to a negligently prolonged prescription of carbamazepine by the defendant trust and was subsequently diagnosed with Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), a rare severe skin reaction.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP is a 'strong name in the field' of claimant clinical negligence, and consists of 'superb partners' with 'considerable collective experience'. The firm handles the full range of medical malpractice matters, with particular expertise in spinal and brain injuries, meningitis cases, and matters concerning cerebral palsy. A particular specialism of practice head Terrence Donovan is acting in cases concerning suicide linked to poor psychiatric care. Other key members of the team are Kate Rohde, who is described by one client as 'outstanding in dedication and expertise', and senior associate Punam Sood, who is regularly involved with both wrongful birth claims and fatal cases.

Practice head(s):

Terrence Donovan

Testimonials

Very much leading players in the claimant clinical negligence market.

Kate Rohde is outstanding in dedication and expertise and has a fantastic reputation.’

Strong name in the field with a record of success for clients, including those with very severe or catastrophic injuries.

Undoubtedly a top tier firm with superb partners in Terry Donovan, Kate Rhode and Richard Lodge.

Kingsley Napley have been big hitters in claimant clinical negligence for many years now and the team has considerable collective experience.

Kate Rohde has a very gentle, supportive and sensitive manner which is extremely popular with clients, who trust her absolutely to fight their corner.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a claim concerning lumbar spine surgery for which the claimant did not give informed consent, and during which  they sustained an injury resulting in lower limb weakness and neuropathic pain.
  • Representing the claimant in case alleging that delay in diagnosis and treatment of a bowel obstruction led to total loss of kidney function, as well as cholestatic hepatitis, scarring and psychiatric injury.
  • Representing the widow of Sir Ian Brownlie QC, who died in a car accident in Egypt, in a long-running case in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Leigh Day

The 'premier team of clinical negligence lawyers' at Leigh Day bring their 'unrivalled breadth and depth of experience' to an 'exceptional caseload', which spans birth, brain and spinal injuries, as well as fatal claims. In recent highlights, the firm was successful in obtaining the largest known settlement for a child suffering from cerebral palsy. Suzanne White is the 'brilliant ' head of the practice, and is also the firm’s inquest partner, and has extensive experience representing families at inquests. Olive Lewin's dual qualification sees her taking on the most complex medical cases, including cardiac surgery cases where patients have become brain damaged. Also notable is 'excellent tactical thinker' Sanja Strkljevic, whose work covers obstetric and surgical care, as well as delayed diagnoses and amputations.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne White

Testimonials

The firm deserves its leading position in London. It has an exceptional caseload, has leading practitioners in the field, together with a large and very strong team.

Suzanne White is a brilliant head of the clinical negligence team.

Probably unrivalled breadth and depth of experience and expertise in the sector.

Sanja Strkljevic is a standout partner at the firm – she is exceptionally bright and an excellent tactical thinker.

They have experts at every level, from juniors to partners, and in-depth knowledge of the nuances of each practice area.

Leigh Day is the premier team of clinical negligence lawyers in the UK with unparalleled expertise in the field.

Sally-Jean Nicholes is dogged in pursuit of justice for her clients.

Work highlights

  • Successfully secured one of the largest settlements of its kind for a claimant whose oxygen starvation at birth caused hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.
  • Acted for a claimant whose eight month delay in diagnosing antral undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma led to extensive facial disfigurement, and secured a six-figure settlement sum.
  • Successfully secured a six-figure settlement for the widower of a woman who suffered unobserved cardio-respiratory arrest following hip surgery after a fall at home.

Stewarts Law LLP

The clinical negligence team at Stewarts Law LLP acts solely in the highest value cases, where the likely damages will be in excess of £1m, resulting in a workload comprising catastrophic or maximum severity injury and fatal claims. The practice is headed by Muiris Lyons, who recently took the lead in establishing the firm's sports specific injury department. Spinal injury claims remain a key area of focus for the team, along with cases involving failures in mental health care, such as absconding and attempted suicides, leading to catastrophic injury. Alexandra Bennett is a contact to note for paediatric cases, and also handles matters involving failures to diagnose and treat military tuberculosis.

Practice head(s):

Muiris Lyons

Work highlights

  • Acted for a claimant who had undergone a neurosurgical spinal procedure and subsequently suffered injury, establishing that there was a breach of duty both at first instance, and on appeal by the defendant.
  • Representing a claimant who was negligently given a lumbar puncture as an infant, causing both brain and spinal injuries, in addition to a delay in surgery.
  • Secured a commercial settlement worth £3.5m on behalf of a claimant who sustained incomplete tetraplegia as a result of mismanaged cervical spine surgeries performed at a London teaching hospital.

Anthony Gold

The 'dedicated and highly intelligent' medical malpractice team at Anthony Gold is a favourite for international clients who have received negligent treatment in private hospitals, and is also known for handling cases which involve rarely-seen conditions. With birth and child brain injury expert Jon Nicholson at the helm, the firm fields 'a number of talented individuals'. Dual-qualified practitioner Jock Mackenzie has a particular interest in medically complex neurological, brain and spinal cord injury cases, including those sustained at birth. Former psychiatric nurse Jenny Kennedy is especially 'vociferous in her efforts to get the right compensation and care package' for injured clients, and succeeded in securing one of the highest interim payments ever awarded.

Practice head(s):

Jon Nicholson

Testimonials

A very dedicated and highly intelligent team.

Jon Nicholson is supremely cerebral and works very effectively to push cases on.

They are a strong team with a number of talented individuals.

Jenny Kennedy really goes the extra mile for her clients. She is vociferous in her efforts to get the right compensation and care package for them.

Highly experienced and amongst the best firms with an expertise in complex high-value claims.

Dr Jock Mackenzie is one of the most intelligent solicitors in the market.

Work highlights

  • Successfully settled a £2m claim for a young boy who was born prematurely and developed hydrocephalus as a result of a genetic condition.
  • Represented a claimant who developed Impulse Control Disorder (ICD) and latterly psychosis due to the dopamine agonist Ropinirole which she was prescribed for her Parkinson’s disease.
  • Acting for a US citizen who ended up significantly brain injured following specialist hip surgery for bilateral avascular necrosis, performed in the UK.

Bolt Burdon Kemp

Bolt Burdon Kemp fields an 'excellent clinical negligence team' with 'a superb level of technical knowledge' and 'total dedication to every client'. The specialist departments at the firm include military claims, which focuses on the needs of ex-service personnel, such as the provision of mental health care within the armed forces. Practice head Caroline Klage also leads the child brain injury team, which is 'full of talented, committed and experienced individuals' and acts in a wide variety of claims, including cerebral palsy. The adult brain injury department is overseen by Suzanne Trask. Also notable is Alex Dabek, who is an associate in the spinal injury team.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Klage

Testimonials

The child brain injury team is a first-class team, full of talented, committed and experienced individuals who put 110% into every case.

An excellent clinical negligence team.

Caroline Klage is without doubt one of the very best.

What sets them apart is a superb level of technical knowledge combined with total dedication to every client.

Suzanne Trask has a very good reputation in clinical negligence – very specialist and high profile.

Work highlights

  • Advised a child claimant who was injured at birth due to failures by the hospital to properly monitor mother and baby, and has cerebral palsy, is profoundly disabled and requires lifelong care.
  • Successfully settled for an eight-figure sum on behalf of a claimant who suffered a catastrophic brain injury.
  • Represented a client who underwent a below knee amputation following a negligent delay in diagnosis of their vascular condition, and secured a seven-figure settlement sum.

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors' clinical negligence team includes many dual-qualified practitioners, who are able to apply previous medical experience to a range of complex cases, including maternal injuries, brain and spinal injury cases, and surgical negligence matters. The firm also continues to handle lower-value cases of significant social importance including stillbirths, fatalities, and psychiatric negligence claims. Practice head Agata Usewicz focuses particularly on obstetric work, and regularly represents clients at inquests. 'Hugely experienced and knowledgeable' practitioner James Bell continues his involvement with cosmetic surgery complaints and hip and knee replacement surgery claims. A key contact for psychiatric cases is Nina Ali, while  Dawn Treloar is noted by a client for her 'great analytical skills'.

Practice head(s):

Agata Usewicz

Testimonials

Dawn Treloar is exceptional. Brilliant with clients but at the same time incredibly thorough and has great analytical skills.

Excellent across the board in clinical negligence.

Agata Usewicz is outstanding.

Very good at complex claimant work.

James Bell is hugely experienced and knowledgeable.

 

Work highlights

  • Achieved a settlement sum of €18m in a cerebral palsy claim for a young man who was brain damaged at birth due to his delayed delivery.
  • Successfully settled a £5m claim against a hospital for midwifery failures resulting in brain damage to the client at birth.
  • Acted for an infant claimant who was brain injured due to GP negligence, and secured a £1m settlement sum.

Russell-Cooke LLP

The clinical negligence team at Russell-Cooke LLP brings a 'wealth of medical knowledge' to the full spectrum of medical malpractice claims, including claims concerning injuries sustained at the time of birth, head and spinal injuries, and delays in treatment. The practice is jointly headed by Janice Gardner, who is currently pursuing a claim in the Supreme Court which challenges the law on compensation arising from acts of illegality occurring following negligence; Dominic Fairclough, who frequently advocates at inquests; 'exceptional' practitioner Sarah Towler; and Lucy Wilton, who handles cases of high value and complexity. Gardner also has a particular interest in infection and sepsis, and regularly acts in matters relating to hospital acquired infections.

Testimonials

They are utterly committed and have a wealth of medical knowledge which gives them the edge on other practitioners in this field.

Janice Gardner is a leader in her field.

Dominic Fairclough has the experience to be able to manage a huge caseload with ease.

Sarah Towler is quite exceptional and deserves all the plaudits she receives.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a claimant with a long history of schizophrenia who killed her mother in a psychotic rage, to determine whether she is entitled to pursue the financial losses arising from her actions.
  • Representing a claimant who killed a member of the public following systemic failings on the part of both Birmingham City Council and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Bindmans LLP

In addition to complex child and adult head injury claims, the clinical negligence team at Bindmans LLP has a particular interest in cases where neonatal hypoglycaemia has led to a brain injury at birth and avoidable stroke cases. Practice head Jon Crocker regularly acts as a deputy for former clients who do not have capacity, overseeing the funding and implementation of complex care regimes and accommodation needs. Crocker is frequently assisted on catastrophic claims by associate Yagmur Ekici, whose 'attention to detail is nothing short of incredible'.

Practice head(s):

Jon Crocker

Testimonials

The practitioners are outstanding in the level of support and care that they provide to their clients.

Yagmur Ekici was exceptional. Her attention to detail is nothing short of incredible.

A responsive team with very good competencies.

Jon Crocker is an excellent solicitor and is totally committed to his clients.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a cerebral palsy case arising from negligence during the management of a birth.
  • Representing a claimant who sustained brain damage following a delay in diagnosing hypoglycaemia in the days following his birth.
  • Acting for an elderly client in a claim against a hospital concerning events leading to amputation of her dominant arm.

Moore Barlow

Following a recent merger with Barlow Robbins, Moore Blatch is now trading as Moore Barlow, with key locations in both London and Southampton. The 'specialist team' takes on a range of unusual cases, including avoidable harm caused by infectious and autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system, neurosurgical complications, and rare endocrinological conditions, alongside more traditional obstetric brain injury work. Dual-qualified practitioner Anne Cassidy, who took over as practice head from Tim Spring in September 2019, has experience of both claimant and defendant work, which is described by a client as 'a huge advantage'.

Practice head(s):

Anne Cassidy

Other key lawyers:

Tim Spring; Sarah Stanton

Testimonials

The London team are highly experienced, very well established, and provide an excellent service.

‘They have some exceptional practitioners in Anne Cassidy and Sarah Stanton.’

Both Tim Spring and Sarah Stanton excel in clinical negligence and give clear legal advice as well as showing considerable empathy to the claimants.

An excellent, small specialist team which is hugely experienced, particularly having done a lot of defendant work before doing claimant work, which is a huge advantage.

Work highlights

  • Representing a claimant who was paralysed by spinal cord compression during an admission necessitated by a psychotic episode brought on by treatment she had been given for spinal TB.
  • Acting in a claim relating to an alleged delay in recognition and treatment of Herpes Simplex viral encephalitis.
  • Acting in a wrongful birth case involving a failure of antenatal diagnosis, defended on the grounds that the mother had conceded that she would not have terminated the pregnancy.

Osbornes

Under the leadership of dual-qualified practitioner Stephanie Prior, the 'high-powered' clinical negligence team at Osbornes handles cases of 'significant value and complexity', including child and adult brain damage claims, obstetric matters, and ophthalmic injuries. 'Realistic but tough litigator' Prior is especially skilled at working with clients who are particularly vulnerable, or for whom English is not their first language. For spinal cord injuries, particularly cauda equina, Ben Posford is a key contact. Nicholas Leahy is the name to note for successfully settling misdiagnosis and A&E cases.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Prior

Testimonials

An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients.

Stephanie Prior is hugely dedicated, adored by her clients, tenacious, efficient and extremely knowledgeable.

A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity.

Stephanie Prior takes on complex cases and gets excellent results. She has a background in medicine which serves her clients well and is a realistic but tough litigator.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a fatal claim following a caesarean section.
  • Representing the claimant in a fatal claim following routine surgery which led to an overdose of off-label medication and induced cardiac arrest.
  • Successfully settled a brain injury claim which involved underlying medical conditions.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP fields a team of 'clinical negligence specialists' who 'are not afraid to take on the most complex and challenging cases', including cerebral palsy, spinal injury, complications arising from cardiac surgery, and delayed diagnoses of strokes. According to one client, practice head John Kyriacou is 'very brave with cases and gets results'. He is supported by associates Sarah Hibberd, who has a particular interest in claims involving an element of psychological injury, and Rosie Nelson, who has a key focus on orthopaedic injuries.

Practice head(s):

John Kyriacou

Testimonials

John Kyriacou runs an excellent small team of clinical negligence specialists who do a great job for clients and have an interesting mix of cases.

They are a very strong team with real in-depth knowledge and are not afraid to take on the most complex and challenging cases.

John Kyriacou is very brave with cases and gets results.

Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon's team is 'capable of dealing with all types and sizes of clinical negligence claim', including birth, brain and spinal injuries, amputation cases, delayed diagnoses, and surgical claims. The firm was strengthened by the recent arrival of technical director Madeline Seibert, who brings with her 'a wealth of experience', particularly in high-value cases of brain damage and matters involving severe injuries in children. 'Outstanding solicitorEmma Doughty, who heads the practice jointly with Madelene Holdsworth, has a specialist interest in cancer and obstetric claims.

Other key lawyers:

Laura Preston; Madeline Seibert

Testimonials

Emma Doughty is an outstanding solicitor and team leader and manages a very good team.

The team has very good strength in depth and is capable of dealing with all types and sizes of clinical negligence claim.

Emma Doughty is singled out for mention both as team leader and as an excellent solicitor with hands-on management of a number of complex cases.

Madeline Seibert is a new arrival to the team and brings with her a wealth of experience at the highest level.

Work highlights

  • Representing a claimant who had to undergo bilateral below the knee and partial hand amputations as a result of misdiagnosis.  
  • Acting for a claimant who was born in poor condition following a delay in the diagnosis of fetal distress during delivery.
  • Representing a young mother who has been left paralysed from the waist down after she gave birth to her first child.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Along with its 'depth of knowledge in all areas', the 'pragmatic' clinical negligence team at Devonshires Solicitors LLP is known particularly for its expertise with claims in the ophthalmic industry. Practice head Nick Grant also leads the specialist eye department, which regularly handles consent-based cases. The firm's team also includes 'fantastic solicitor' Karen Cathcart, who has experience in claims involving surgical errors, incorrect prescriptions of medication, and delay diagnoses.

Practice head(s):

Nick Grant

Testimonials

The team has a depth of knowledge in all areas of clinical negligence, however has a particular speciality in laser eye claims.

Katie Hughes has a sharp mind and is always well prepared.

This is a very strong, pragmatic team.

Karen Cathcart is a fantastic solicitor who combines real compassion for her clients with an effective and pragmatic edge.

 

Hudgell Solicitors

The 'experienced' clinical negligence team at Hudgell Solicitors is under the new leadership of James Sherwin, formerly of Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors. Sherwin brings expertise in negligent treatment of spinal and orthopaedic injuries, birth injuries and delayed cancer diagnosis to the role. The firm was further strengthened by the arrival of Sharon Lam, who is described by a client as 'a force to be reckoned with'.  

Practice head(s):

James Sherwin

Testimonials

Real strength in depth with a large experienced team capable of handling all types of enquiries.

Sharon Lam is a force to be reckoned with.

Amanda Stevens is incredibly experienced in clinical negligence work. She has an exhaustive knowledge of the legal principles, works very well with experts, and is affable in her manner.

Work highlights

  • Representing a claimant with cerebral palsy following an alleged failure to treat the pregnancy as high risk.
  • Acting in a number of claims for injuries suffered as a result of negligent placement of vaginal mesh during surgery.
  • Representing a child claimant with a brain tumour which was left undiagnosed for a number of years.

Hugh James

With Mari Rosser and Ruth Powell at the helm, the team at Hugh James continues to handle complex clinical negligence claims, including obstetric negligence and stillbirth, fatalities, and missed diagnoses. In addition, 'the tenacity of Lynda Reynolds on inquests is a key strength in the practice'. Helen Neville is a key contact for claims relating to delays in diagnoses of cancer. Grainne Barton left the firm in July 2019.

Practice head(s):

Mari Rosser; Ruth Powell

Testimonials

In particular the tenacity of Lynda Reynolds on inquests is a key strength in the practice.

Hugh James are particularly strong in clinical negligence and inquest work.

Ruth Powell is highly experienced in this work and has a long and distinguished track record.

Lynda Reynolds is a ferociously intelligent and energetic litigator.

Simpson Millar LLP

The clinical negligence team at Simpson Millar LLP continues to handle 'weighty, complex matters' under the 'simply superb' leadership of Geoffrey Simpson-Scott. The practice also fields 'gifted and committed lawyer' David Thomas, who runs a caseload of high-value catastrophic birth injury cases, and is regularly instructed by clients from the Polish community due to his qualification in Polish clinical negligence law.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott

Other key lawyers:

David Thomas

Testimonials

They handle weighty, complex matters and are experienced at delivering for their clients.

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott is simply superb.

David Thomas is a gifted and committed lawyer who achieves excellent results for his clients.

This is a well established and very highly regarded claimant clinical negligence firm.

Work highlights

  • Secured an award of £12m in damages for a client who suffered a severe brain injury around the time of his birth, resulting in cerebral palsy.
  • Successfully settled for a sum of £600,000 on behalf of a client who was prescribed the wrong medication for Crohn’s disease, resulting in irreversible kidney damage.
  • Recovered £180,000 in damages on behalf of a claimant for loss of eyesight due to a negligent failure to follow up and monitor the early signs of glaucoma.