Mark Barnett > Browne Jacobson LLP > Exeter, England > Lawyer Profile

Browne Jacobson LLP
Ground Floor
Keble House, Southernhay Gardens

Work Department

Health, advisory and litigation


Mark is a partner specialising in health and social care based in our Exeter office. He is an experienced litigator with a background in defending clinical negligence claims on behalf of the NHS, with a particular expertise in dealing with cases against mental health providers. This has included dealing with high profile and sensitive cases and advising on Human Rights Act allegations.

Mark represents NHS trusts at inquests and has appeared before numerous coroners. He regularly provides training on coronial law and has represented health and social care providers in court, undertaking his own advocacy including on Article 2 and Jury inquests. Acutely conscious of how much anxiety inquests can cause, Mark is committed to supporting clinicians through the process, at the same time as ensuring the client is able to demonstrate wider learning from an organisational perspective. In doing so, Mark recognises the role the Trust’s legal advisers can have in improving patient safety and regularly supports Trusts in wider learning and training which can arise from patient safety incidents.

Mark advises health and social care providers and commissioners on the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, including taking medical treatment and welfare cases to the Court of Protection. Notable cases include advising a CCG where significant safeguarding issues arose in a package of care for a service user, advising an NHS Trust in a case where a patient was refusing an amputation for an infected foot ulcer and withdrawal / withholding treatment from a patient with a prolonged neurological condition.

Mark also advises on a wide range of other health law related issues, such as delayed transfers of care, duty of candour, confidentiality, safeguarding and consent to treatment. He is a regular first point of contact for many clients in the south west. Mark supports the health sector in diverse ways, having helped set up the MCA/DoLS forum, hosted in our Exeter office, as well as the MHA Forum, also run in our Exeter office. He presents at numerous seminars, networks and events on MCA / DoLS in the south west, as well as speaking at regional and national events. He also worked closely with an NHS Foundation Trust in the south west to set up and deliver a patient / family experience video to facilitate and widen learning and understanding of issues around the Mental Capacity Act.


Trained Mills & Reeve, qualified 2000, partner 2014. Lewington Partnership, Mills & Reeve 1998-2001; Browne Jacobson LLP 2001-date.


  • Devon and Exeter Medico-Legal Society – member
  • Devon and Somerset Law Society – member


Gresham’s School; University of Birmingham (1996 BA (Hons) English and Philosophy 2(:1)); De Montford University (1997 CPE (Commendation), 1998 LPC (Distinction)).


Running, swimming, hockey.

Lawyer Rankings

South West > Insurance > Clinical negligence: defendant

Browne Jacobson LLP‘s clinical negligence practice is a popular choice for independent healthcare providers and medical malpractice insurers in matters spanning occupational disease claims, cases arising from abuse, and mental health issues. Taking a cross-practice approach, the group works closely with firm’s insurance, financial services, health, and education teams to defend clients against complex claims. Social care and sex abuse matters are a particular area of focus for Joanne Pruden, while Mark Barnett is well versed in mental health law. Becky Wyld left the firm for DWF in May 2022.

South West > Insurance > Personal injury: defendant

Browne Jacobson LLP has a strong insurance and public risk practice in the South West and combines longstanding experience in healthcare with wide-ranging knowledge of the social care sector. Mark Barnett is well versed in cases relating to mental health capacity and mental health law; he leads the team together with head of technical claims and social care Joanne Pruden. Director Angela Williams is noted for her focus on claims pertaining to bullying and harassment.

South West > Public sector > Health

Led by Mark Barnett in Exeter and Gerard Hanratty in Manchester, Browne Jacobson LLP advises on health and social care matters, working with a number of NHS foundation trusts and integrated care boards across the South West. Barnett has longstanding experience of litigating clinical negligence claims, while his Exeter colleague Bridget Prosser‘s employment-centred practice sees her advising ICSs on new methods of collaborative working.

West Midlands > Public sector > Health

Handling matters for a broad array of clients, Browne Jacobson LLP‘s ‘well-networked, highly knowledgeable, and respected’ healthcare team is experienced in numerous areas, including clinical negligence, NHS policy and health-tech matters. The team is jointly spearheaded by the ‘strong but approachable’ Clare Auty, who has notable strength in relation to the disposal and acquisition of health and social care businesses, advising health-tech start-ups and a number of other clients, and Jacqui Atkinson, who is particularly experienced in regulatory issues pertaining to the NHS. Further bolstering the team is Jonathan Hayden, who advises clients on commercial contracts and projects, and Mark Barnett, who brings considerable litigation experience to the team and often handles cases against mental health providers. Sarah White is also recommended.