Hamish Dunlop > Chambers of David Berkley QC > Bournemouth, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Berkley QC

Work Department

Family; Clinical Negligence. Barrister and mediator.


Hamish Dunlop is an experienced family law advocate and is head of the 3PB’s Family Finance group.

Hamish’s family law practice is concerned with the financial claims of: spouses on divorce; co-habitees upon separation and dependants from the estate of a deceased. In the context of financial provision on divorce, he has particular expertise in cases involving family businesses; professional clients and the military.

He advises and represents co-habitees, co owners and other family members on property issues including legal and beneficial ownerships and promissory and proprietary estoppel.

Hamish was shortlisted for Junior Barrister of the Year at the 2019 Family Law Awards. He was also, until 2012, the Chair of the Hampshire Family Justice Money and Property Committee. He is regularly invited to lecture at external conferences and offers bespoke in-house training seminars for clients.

Hamish is also a clinical negligence specialist. His practice includes high value claims and he advises on personal and medical short term and long term care and life time housing requirements where appropriate.

Hamish’s recent important cases have involved failures in GP referrals leading to cauda equina lesions and subarachnoid haemorrhage. His claims against Hospital specialists have included: A&E Departments; obstetrics; orthopaedic and general surgery.

He also undertakes product liability claims.

Hamish is experienced in claims involving: housing requirements; lifetime care and complex dependency claims.


Hamish’s family law practice is concerned with the financial claims of: spouses on divorce; co-habitees upon separation and dependants from the estate of a deceased. In the context of financial provision on divorce, he has particular expertise in: cases involving family businesses; professional clients and the military.

He advises and represents co-habitees, co-owners and other family members on property issues including: legal and beneficial ownerships (and the Court’s powers under TOLATA); promisory and proprietary estoppel. He advises on Inheritance Act claims.

Hamish provides pragmatic advice to clients in a sympathetic manner; her is robust and dogged in their representation.  He is described in the 2016 edition of the Legal 500 as having: ‘an excellent rapport with clients and is truly knowledgeable in the complex field of financial remedy.’

Hamish has been Head of the Family group at 3PB since 2015.

Private Remote FDR Hearings

Hamish is available for private remote FDR hearings. For more information on private remote FDR hearings please click here.

Recent cases

Owens v Owens ([2017] EWCA Civ 182) {2018} UKSC 41
Acting for a Husband who has successfully contested his Wife’s petition for divorce based on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.  The Court of Appeal and supreme Court both rejected the Wife’s appeal.

C v C (2016)
Acting for a Wife in her claim for financial provision from Husband.  Although the parties themselves had modest assets, Wife was defending Husband’s attack on a family trust in which she had an interest: both in relation to income (until her father’s death) and thereafter capital.  The Trust was valued at £3.5M.

B v B  Roberts J. High Court (2015)
Financial Provision on Divorce.  Parties own and Husband operated a successful general trading business from a site in Oxfordshire.  The parties thereby acquired and retained a portfolio of UK investment properties.  Value of assets = c.£14M.  Husband disposed of a number of the properties into offshore trusts which Wife is attacking.  The Oxfordshire business site is currently under development for residential housing and there are complicated tax issues.

A v V ((2015) CFC)
Applications for: a declaration of paternity and relief under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  Representing a UK resident mother in her applications against a Dubai- based businessman father.  Father was extremely wealthy and chose not to disclose his assets, running a ‘millionaires defence’.  The case involved issues of: jurisdiction and the extent to which a previous agreement reached by the parties should be binding on them.

MB v The Executors of EB (Deceased) ((2016) Bristol CC)
Representing a widow on her application for financial provision from her deceased husband’s estate.  Her husband’s estate left nothing to the widow save an entitlement to remain at her family home for life.

D-C and ors v The Personal Representatives of N-C (2013)
Inheritance Act claim.  The claim was bought by a number of dependants against the estate of the deceased who was a property developer on the South Coast.  The estate included a number of properties and the shares in the deceased’s company.

S v D (2013)
Financial claims between a Cohabiting Couple.  Competing claims to various interests in the parties’ family home; farming business and associated farmland.

C v R (2013)
Financial claims over Dynastic Wealth within a Family.  Competing TOLATA claims concerning 2 existing properties but involving tracing financial interests through a 3 further houses.


Hamish is an experienced personal injury and clinical negligence barrister who enjoys a formidable reputation for his expertise and client friendly manner.  He advises and represents clients on a range of personal injury and clinical negligence claims, involving both serious injury and death.  His practice includes high value and sometimes high profile claims and he advises on personal and medical short term and long term care and life time housing requirements where appropriate.

He also undertakes product liability claims.  Hamish is experienced in claims involving: housing requirements; lifetime care and complex dependency claims.  As an ancillary relief practitioner, he has a particular specialism for dependency claims by wives; partners and children.

Regarding his clinical negligence, advice has included failures in GP referrals leading to: cauda equina lesions; subarachnoid haemorrhage; and limb amputations.  His claims against hospital specialists have included A&E Departments; obstetrics; orthopaedic and general surgery.  Until 26, Hamish sat as a legal assessor for the Nursing and Midwifery Council Disciplinary Committees.

Recent cases

  • RS v Hospital NHS Trust. Negligent hospital treatment around the time of the Claimant’s birth, resulting in brain injury and disability: developmental delay; epilepsy and significant visual impairment.  Liability admitted, valued at £30M.  Extent to which the Claimant would have followed their parent’s professional career to be examined.
  • KH v Hospitals NHS Trust. Negligent L4-S1 Spinal Fusion procedure (‘the fusion surgery’) at the hospital resulting in damaged nerve root, nerve root pain and foot drop. Unwarranted delay in exploring and draining a haematoma developed during Revision Surgery, which became secondarily infected.  Significant symptoms continuously experienced by the Claimant and unnecessary treatment.
  • SN v Hospital NHS FT. Failure by the Hospital to carry out routine colonoscopy surveillance in patient diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Development of a tumour of the ileo-caecal valve went undetected and though finally removed and despite chemotherapy treatment, the patient died.
  • RB v Hospital NHS FT. Failure by the hospital to carry our careful management and regular colonoscopies in Claimant diagnosed with anal neoplasia II / III (AIN). Further failure by the hospital to refer patient for tests after clinical signs became suspicious. Claimant developed anal cancer which could have been treated earlier with proper management.
  • ND v Hospital NHS Trust. Patient admitted to hospital due to cauda equina lesion in her spine.   Failure by the hospital to immediately refer the patient to an Orthopaedic Department for further investigation and treatment, despite obvious symptoms. Wrong discharge from the hospital, after which the Claimant’s progressed and she suffered deterioration in her condition.
  • PG v Hospital NHS Trust. PG suffers from a constitutional degenerative disorder of the lumbar spine. Failure by hospital to refer patient to specialist department despite symptoms consistent with a cauda equina syndrome (‘CES’), leading to deterioration of their condition, which then required L4/5 decompression / discectomy procedure to relieve the CES.
  • KD v Hospitals NHS FT. 20 year old Claimant diagnosed with indeterminate colitis. Failure by hospital to monitor toxicity of patient’s treatment with Mesalazine. Claimant suffered interstitial nephritis as a result, leading to renal impairment.  The Claimant will suffer end-stage renal failure which will require a live-donor transplant.
  • JN v University Hospital NHS Trust. Following unavoidable complications suffered during a surgical decompression procedure at L2/3 to L4/5 (‘the surgery’) the hospital failed to closely monitor the Claimant’s neurological status after the operation. Claimant developed neurological symptoms including: loss of perineal sensation; loss of bowel function and impairment of bladder function. The Claimant thereby suffered an avoidable deterioration in her neurology; unnecessary pain and consequential losses.
  • MW v NHS FT Hospitals. Failure by hospitals to twice diagnose an identifiable rupture to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).  Damaging referral for physiotherapy.  Sustained unnecessary injury and avoidable losses.
  • CD v NHS Hospital Trust.  Sub-standard treatment provided to a young patient during spinal surgery and post-operatively.  The failures led to a significant loss of lower limb function and permanent pain.
  • AB v NHS Hospital Trust.  Failure adequately to remove all products of conception following a birth by Caesarean section.  The Claimant ultimately required a total abdominal hysterectomy, substantial urinary and bowel symptoms.
  • M v Dr C and NHS Direct. 
Failed diagnosis by NHS Call Direct GP and nurse. They both failed to diagnose a subdural haematoma which led to an aneurysm and very significantly cognitive and functional impairment. The Claimant requires long term care in a residential setting.


  • Called 1991, Middle Temple.


  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Western Circuit
  • Accredited Mediation Advocate


University of Warwick (1989 BA (Hons)); Central London Polytechnic (1990 Dip (Law) 1990).


Sailing, riding, running, theatre.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Family (including divorce and financial remedy)

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 4

Hamish Dunlop3PBHamish is a very capable advocate who maintains his composure in pressurised situations. His technical ability and analysis of complex matters is first-rate.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Clinical negligence

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 1

Hamish Dunlop3PBHe has a meticulous eye, and handles complex issues in a way clients understand.

Hamish Dunlop and Mark Lomas are the key clinical negligence barristers to note from 3PB. Both barristers have a strong track record in handling complex cases involving missed or delayed diagnoses, often resulting in serious injuries or death; surgical complications; and negligent obstetric care and birth injuries. Lomas primarily acts for claimants in claims against healthcare professionals, and is experienced in handling claims against dental practitioners. Dunlop fields particular expertise in handling claims involving cases of cerebral palsy.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Family and children law

(Leading Juniors: Divorce and Financial Remedy) Ranked: Tier 1

Hamish Dunlop3PBHamish brings a wealth of legal experience when dealing with financial matters. Clients are immediately put at ease by his knowledge but also by his warm and friendly disposition.

3PB‘s members have solid expertise across the range of family law matters. The ‘very charmingHamish Dunlop has established strength in matrimonial finance work, with a particular focus on cases involving inherited wealth and family businesses. Emma Harman is experienced in private children law matters, including cases involving child abduction and applications to permanently remove a child from the  jurisdiction. Elisabeth Hudson is sought-after for her expertise in Children Act work; Sarah O’Hara is regularly instructed in cases involving allegations of non-accidental injuries. In September 2020 Melissa Barlow was appointed to the circuit bench, and in March 2021 Lucy Hendry took silk.