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

Browne Jacobson LLP

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 and personal injury: defendant

Browne Jacobson LLP has developed a strong health and social care practice in Exeter, acting for a variety of NHS Trusts in clinical claims across the south west. Mark Barnett heads the department; he defends clinical negligence claims on behalf of the NHS and has particular expertise in defending cases against mental health providers. The technical claims team acts for multiple local authorities in the south west, in cases involving psychiatric injury, failure to nurture, occupiers’ liability, and highways litigation. The group is led by Joanne Pruden, who takes the lead on local authority work. Pruden also has a specialism in sexual abuse cases. Director Angela Williams is another name to note, and specialises in employers’ liability claims for insurers.

South West > Public sector > Health

Full-service firm Browne Jacobson LLP specialises in clinical commissioning group (CCG) mergers, integrated care systems and fit-for-purpose-facilities matters. The practice also provides expertise in digital technology and judicial review work, particularly in relation to disputes between local authorities and the NHS. Simon Tait co-leads the team with Mark Barnett, who focuses on health and social care, as well as being an experienced litigator.