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 > Public sector > Health

With offices in Exeter in addition to a presence in London, Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham, Browne Jacobson LLP’s health practice supports clients on a national level and across the sector. Mark Barnett sports extensive expertise in defending clinical negligence claims, in particular against mental health providers, and is one of the key contacts of the Exeter-based team. Gerard Hanratty leads the nationwide health sector group out of Manchester.

South West > Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant

Browne Jacobson LLP‘s personal injury practice is led by Joanne Pruden and handles a range of claims in this area, including employers’ and public liability claims. The practice particularly stands out for its work handling incidents involving the NHS, such as workplace injuries and incidents involving patients. Director Angela Williams leads on this work, while Pruden also regularly receives instructions from local authorities. The team offers additional expertise in clinical negligence, where Michael Chambers collaborates with the firm’s teams in Birmingham and Nottingham to handle complex claims. Chambers’ recent work includes handling a number of novel claims brought by secondary victims. Other names to note in the ‘consistently impressive’ practice include Mark Barnett, who specialises in claims involving mental health providers, and senior associate Becky Wyld. Wyld offers clients ‘very good tactical insight’ and acts for trusts in court proceedings as well as at inquests.