Law Pod UK Ep. 146: 5 Key Medical Law Updates - Jun 2021
Richard is a specialist healthcare and personal injury barrister, providing timely and focused advocacy and advice to injured individuals and to clinical practitioners and organisations, amongst others. Richard’s healthcare work is focused on claims relating to medical accidents of all descriptions but also encompasses regulatory proceedings and contractual claims relating to the provision of healthcare and related services.
In addition, Richard regularly deals with personal injury claims ranging from serious road traffic injury and industrial injuries to physical and sexual abuse. Richard also advises and represents clients in relation to costs arising from litigation.
Listen to Richard discuss five key medical law updates on our podcast, Law Pod UK, here.Clinical Negligence
Richard acts for both claimants and defendants across the full range of medically-related injury, up to and including very high value birth injury cases and paraplegia. He frequently acts in claims valued in the region of £2.5m to £5m and regularly appears against silks, both during negotiations and at trial.
- Duce v Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 1307
- AB v Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 1024 (QB), Irwin J, 4 May 2016
- Hussain v King Edward VII Hospital  EWHC 3441 (QB), Eady J (30 November 2012)and  EWCA Civ 1863, Court of Appeal (12 December 2013)
- Romy Smith (by her Mother and Litigation friend Sally Smith) v East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 2234 (QB)
Richard’s work covers the full range of physical and psychiatric injury arising from e.g. work or sporting activity as well as deliberate physical and sexual abuse. He has a particular interest in Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) cases, having acted in high value matters including obtaining in excess of £3.5m for a young adult severely brain damaged as a result of shaking as a baby and more than £3m in compensation for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Richard also obtained two maximum tariff awards in relation to siblings who had suffered physical and sexual abuse whilst in foster care.
Richard has been instructed in relation to the administration of compensation schemes for victims of physical and sexual abuse, including in the context of local authority care.
He was instructed as part of a team of counsel acting on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in the Group Litigation arising out of the series of British nuclear tests carried out in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s, leading to a landmark decision of the Supreme Court on the defence of limitation in personal injury claims: Ministry of Defence v AB and others  UKSC 9.
Richard’s regulatory practice is focused primarily on medical practitioners and associated professionals. He is particularly skilled at dealing with the logistical challenges posed by cases involving multiple counts, having successfully defended an Occupational Therapist in the Health Professions Council on 94 charges relating to conduct and competence as well as an optometrist before the General Optical Council on 87 counts of misconduct and deficient professional performance. He also has experience of defending in General Medical Council and in the Nursing and Midwifery Council on multiple counts involving dishonesty. Richard has appeared on Registration Appeals before both the General Medical Council and General Dental Council, concerning issues of mutual recognition of qualifications under EU law.
Richard has substantial experience of coronial law, having acted on behalf of family members and other interested persons at a large number of inquests, including:
- Numerous inquests involving examination of clinical treatment and decisions
- Infant death following delivery at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford (one of several perinatal deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust which led to the Ockenden Report on maternity services at the Trust)
- Several inquests (both jury and non-jury) involving psychiatric detention
- Prison and custody deaths
Richard is the author of four chapters of ‘The Inquest Book’ (eds. Cross and Garnham), a leading practitioner resource in this field.
Richard frequently acts in a range of health and healthcare-related matters, such as:
- Representing a counsellor as an interested party to Crown Court proceedings involving questions of data protection and patient confidentiality.
- Appearing on behalf of a healthcare practitioner as an intervener to care proceedings under the Children Act 1989.
- Advising one of the major Medical Defence Organisations on policy issues of patient confidentiality during regulatory inspection.
- Advising and providing representation in relation to challenges to contractual terms imposed on GPs and dentists and termination of GMS/GDS contracts.
- Representing two (of fifteen) respondents in a £4.45m employment tribunal claim brought by a former hospital consultant involving allegations of aiding sex and race discrimination.
Richard regularly advises and represents clients on matters in relation to costs incurred in litigation, particularly in relation to personal injury and clinical negligence matters of which he has wide experience, as detailed above. Richard frequently appears before Queen’s Bench Masters in relation to costs budgeting, as well as advising and providing representation in relation to detailed assessments of costs.
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