Adrian Hopkins KC

Call 1984 | Silk 2003

Adrian Hopkins KC | Call 1984 | Silk 2003

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Adrian has earned the respect of the leading claimant and defence clinical negligence solicitors alike. He is instructed on behalf of both claimants (with public funding, CFAs or privately) and defendants such as NHS Trusts, private hospitals and medical defence organisations (including the MDU, MPS and MDDUS).

Clinical Negligence & Healthcare

“An esteemed silk who impresses peers and clients with his prowess. He is very impressive on all fronts, his forensic analysis in really complicated, medical and factual cases is unsurpassed”
Chambers & Partners

Adrian Hopkins KC addresses AvMA Best Practice in Quantum conference
Click here for a copy of his presentation

 Experience & expertise

Adrian has a reputation for his forensic skills and his incisive analysis of evidence. He is frequently instructed in cases of the utmost severity of injury and medical complexity. Adrian often represents clients in cerebral palsy and other serious neurological injury cases involving multi-million pound claims. He also advises defendants on apportionment between co-defendants and third parties.

Adrian has been involved in a number of leading cases involving treatment decisions and declarations, including Re F (sterilisation) and Re C (adult refusal of treatment), and PVS cases involving the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.

cases & Work of note

Due to client confidentiality, case names relating to clinical negligence claims involving multi-million pound awards have been withheld.

  • ABC v Z Hospital NHS Trust: Adrian represented a young girl who was severely brain damaged at birth and developed severe cerebral palsy but with preserved intellect. Adrian successfully negotiated a multi-million pound settlement.  Accommodation issues were complex and Adrian secured damages not only for building a new family home but also for adapting two other family properties.
  • A v Dr B: Adrian acted for a GP accused of a negligent failure to investigate back and leg pain. Delayed diagnosis of thigh bone tumour. Bone fractured and disseminated cancer cells. Hindquarter amputation performed. Complex causation issues as to extent of tumour and its prognosis at time of alleged negligence. Adrian negotiated a discounted settlement of the claim.
  • ABC v X NHS Trust: Adrian acted for a young boy who had suffered a severe brain injury at birth. There had been a negligent failure by midwives to carry out continuous CTG monitoring. The lack of monitoring made it difficult to reconstruct events and to time the collapse in fetal circulation and the onset of brain damage. Adrian successfully negotiated a high value settlement of liability and then quantum.
  • X v Dr Y: This claim concerned a baby suffering from meningitis. Adrian represented the GP who was alleged to have negligently failed to assess the seriousness of her illness and failed to refer her to hospital. She suffered severe brain damage. There were significant disputes on fact. Medical causation was complex depending on the different factual scenarios. Adrian negotiated a discounted settlement.

Past cases on points of law:

  • Simmons v City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust unrep 13 October 2016 (setting aside a Final Order, Judgment by Consent)
  • Oxborrow v West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust [2012] Med LR 297 (Interim payment where PPOs might be made – accommodation costs – applicability of Roberts v Johnstone formula)
  • Roult v NWSHA unrep 3/12/12 Haddon-Cave J. (construction of ambit of settlement agreement for future care in local authority provided group home)
  • A v MOD (CoA) [2005] QB 183; [2003] Lloyds LR Med, 339; (whether MOD liable for clinical negligence in German hospital)
  • Brown v Lewisham & North Southwark H.A., and another (clinical negligence) [1998] Lloyd’s Rep. Med. 265, (CA) [1999] Lloyd’s Rep. Med. 110 (post-operative DVT, PE and rare adverse reaction to Heparin, resulting in leg amputation)
  • Ratcliffe v Plymouth & Torbay H.A., and another (application of res ipsa loquitur to medical negligence cases) [1998] Lloyd’s Rep. Med. 162 (unexplained neurological deficit following general anaesthetic and spinal anaesthetic, application of res ipsa loquitur principles)
  • Re W  (Adult PVS Patient) unrep 8/7/96 Sir Stephen Brown P. (withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a patient in PVS)
  • Re G (Adult PVS Patient: publicity) [1995] 2 FLR 528 (this case determined the circumstances in which patients, the treating doctors and hospitals may be anonymised in treatment decision cases to preserve patient confidentiality)
  • Re C (adult refusal of treatment) [1994] 1 FLR 31 (landmark case on the common law test to determine a patient’s competence to refuse treatment)
  • Re S (Adult PVS Patient): unrep 1/12/94 Ward J. (withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a patient in PVS)
  • In re F (sterilisation) [1990] 2 AC 1 (HL) (the first leading case on treatment decisions for incompetent adult patients)


Adrian has  reported on the following cases for the Medical Law Reports:

  • S v NHS England, [2016] EWHC 1395 (Admin)
    Judicial review – Funding drug treatment for narcolepsy and cataplexy – Individual Funding Request policy – Meaning of exceptional clinical circumstances – Appropriate cohort of patients.
  • Carder v Exeter University, [2016] EWCA Civ 790
    Breach of duty and causation – Asbestosis – Divisible disease – Meaning of injury and damage – Material contribution – De minimis.
  • Daniel v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, [2016] EWHC 23 (QB)
    Human Rights Act, section 6 – Whether alleged clinical negligence amounted to breach of ECHR, articles 2 and 3 – Whether alleged delay in ambulance response time amounted to breach of ECHR, articles 2 and 3 – Legal causation test for breach of article 2 – Meaning of indirect victim under Human Rights Act, section 7.
  • Re JA, [2014] EWHC 1135 (Fam)
    Medical treatment of child – HIV infection and AIDS – Whether child was Gillick competent – Whether a declaration should be granted that it was in the child’s best interest to start anti-retroviral therapy.
  • Chinnock v Wasbrough, [2015] EWCA Civ 441
    Limitation – Alleged negligence of barrister and solicitor – Clinical negligence – Duty of doctor to advise – Limitation Act 1980, section 14A – Date of knowledge – Attributability of act or omission alleged to constitute negligence.
  • R (Squier) v GMC, [2015] EWHC 299 (Admin)
    General Medical Council – Fitness to Practise Panel – Alleged misconduct by expert witness – Whether court judgments should be admitted in to evidence to prove allegations – Whether allegations were adequately particularised.
  • Prof Standards Authority for Health and Social Care v GMC, [2014] EWHC 1903 (Admin)
    General Medical Council – Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care – Fitness to Practise Panel – Psychiatrist’s website and blog offering free online services – Whether conduct amounted to medical practice or was in the exercise of professional practice or medical calling – Whether duty to explain limitations of online service – Whether allegation of failure to do something included culpability.
  • Bedford v Bedfordshire County Council, [2013] EWHC 1717 (QB)
    Human Rights Act, section 7 – Whether it was equitable to extend time for the issue of proceedings – ECHR, article 8 – Whether the Osman test of a real and immediate risk to an identified individual applied – Whether the local authority was liable for operational errors of a children’s home.


‘Adrian is a titan in the field of medical negligence. His advice is faultless.’
The Legal 500

“He’s skillful at making the difficult simple. He’s also very good with clients.”
Chambers & Partners

“He is concise in his approach.”
Chambers & Partners

“Adrian is very effective in court.”
Chambers & Partners

“He is super, bright and a ferocious advocate.”
The Legal 500

“He is the consummate QC: personable with a formidable intellect.”
The Legal 500

“He is astute, incisive, always well prepared, gives a detailed analysis of the facts and he has real empathy for his clients” 
Chambers & Partners

“He’s experienced and is one of the top silks in the field of clinical negligence. You always feel reassured when he is in your corner” 
Chambers & Partners

“He is excellent in terms of his determination to win a case and his forensic analysis is fantastic” 
Chambers & Partners

“A very experienced barrister who is technically excellent, adept, incisive and approachable.” 
Chambers & Partners

“His advocacy skills are superb, and he gets right to the heart of a case very quickly.”
Chambers & Partners

“Always extremely well prepared and very thorough. He’s tough in negotiations but always maintains a friendly approach with clients.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Has meticulous attention to detail and is tactically astute.’
The Legal 500

“He is calm, composed, concise and an excellent trial advocate.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Exceptionally analytical and always thoroughly prepared.’
The Legal 500

“He is absolutely at the top of his game. He combines acute forensic analysis with extraordinary technical skills, and works hard to achieve the best result for the client.”
Chambers & Partners 

“Bright and incisive, but with a very personable manner.”
The Legal 500

“Adrian Hopkins is at the top of his game. He brings great forensic skills and advocacy skills to what is a very complicated area and finds a way of explaining those whether to clients, experts or the court in an easily understood form. He’s utterly brilliant.”
Chambers & Partners

“He’s absolutely focused and always able to identify the issues that matter. He works extremely well with clients, solicitors and experts, and has a brilliant manner with doctors. Very intelligent, humane and astute, he never loses his cool.”
Chambers & Partners

“He knows what he is talking about and gets to the bottom of things.”
The Legal 500

“Shows remarkable dedication.”
The Legal 500

“A highly regarded QC with 27 years of specialisation in clinical negligence, who draws extensive praise from interviewees for the thoroughness of his preparation for cases. Represents claimants and defendants in cases of extreme severity and complexity. He is outstandingly well prepared. He thinks things through carefully, and weighs and balances everything in a case. He has the ability to really drive a case through to maximise the return for a client, in a terribly quiet, understated and controlled manner.” 
Chambers & Partners 

“The excellent Adrian Hopkins QC inspires confidence with his practical and assured nature. Solicitors note an elegance in his work and further state that he is easy to work with and excellent with clients. Solicitors turn to him as he has the greatest capacity to make the difficult become straightforward.”
Chambers & Partners

“Adrian Hopkins QC is also a real class act. He has razor-sharp forensic skills and is empathetic and clear with clients.”
Chambers & Partners

“Adrian Hopkins QC is a very astute tactician and thorough analyst.”
The Legal 500 

“At the top of his field and quite simply one of the best silks in the country.”
The Legal 500

“Adrian Hopkins QC is a skilled and incisive advocate who is kept incredibly busy with complex clinical negligence work. Commentators note the clarity of his expression, and say he is very conscientious and popular with clients.”
Chambers & Partners

“Approachable, experienced, excellent analysis of expert evidence, top quality in his field.”
The Legal 500

“Adrian Hopkins QC also comes highly recommended by sources, who explain that he has an amazing ability to make the most document-heavy and complex case seem straightforward and simple.”
Chambers & Partners