“He’s just the kind of guy you want on your side.”
Chambers & Partners
Experience & expertise
Angus works in a wide range of fields including clinical negligence, employment, Court of Protection, inquests, police and public and regulatory law. His knowledge of the law in many specialist areas allows him to bring a wide perspective to complex cases. He has a particular reputation for sensitivity in dealing with clients involved in difficult litigation.
He has a background in commercial law, having been instructed in diverse contractual disputes ranging from construction arbitrations to large scale banking disputes. Angus was counsel in the leading House of Lords authority on “agreements to agree”, Walford v Miles. He maintains a practice in contractual and commercial disputes, acting for example in a very substantial dispute between an advertiser and a media owner.
Recent important cases include Aubrey v Northumbria Police, the widely publicised discrimination claim in which Angus acted on behalf of the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police. Ms Aubrey was a solicitor and former Director of Legal Services, who after being dismissed for gross misconduct claimed sexual harassment. The hearing involved allegations of sexual misconduct in the force which were widely reported in the national press. All Ms Aubrey’s claims were rejected by the Employment Tribunal, including her claims for sex discrimination, harassment, victimisation, disability discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal. Angus led Aaron Rathmell in this case.
Angus has practised in the field of employment law for many years. He was counsel representing the employee in the House of Lords’ decision in Skidmore v Dartford and has represented both employers and employees in cases involving injunctions in the High Court, such as Kircher v Hillingdon. He successfully represented the employer in Chan v Barts, a very large whistleblowing claim. He continues to represent parties involved in internal disciplinary hearings. In 2015 he successfully represented a police force in a very large claim alleging sexual orientation discrimination after the Tribunal accepted his analysis of the law relating to whistleblowing claims.
Angus has chaired a number of employment inquiries relating to sexual misconduct by employees, serious surgical and other medical incompetence and bullying and harassment by senior employees. He also advises as to police pensions.
In addition, Angus has been instructed by the NHS to defend claims brought by a number of killers for damages for psychiatric injuries caused as a result of the killings. Angus, leading Cecily White, successfully defended the test case (in which the claimant stabbed her mother to death and sought damages from the NHS Trust which was responsible for her mental health treatment prior to the killing) on the basis that the claim was barred by the doctrine of illegality.
Angus has been instrumental in developments in the law relating to the boundaries of the duty in care in tort owed by doctors to third parties. He acted in the seminal cases of JD v East Berkshire (House of Lords’ decision as to whether doctors are liable for negligent diagnoses of sexual abuse); Palmer v Tees Health Authority (Court of Appeal’s decision as to whether doctors owed duties to mother of child murdered by psychiatric patient) and Selwood v Durham County Council (claim by social worker against NHS as a result of being stabbed by a psychiatric patient).
Angus acts for both claimants and defendants. He represented the injured claimant in the important recent Court of Appeal decision relating to causation and quantum in Reaney v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust. In the Winterbourne View proceedings he is defending a number of multi-million pound claims in substantial litigation which has repercussions for the NHS generally.
Angus also has particular expertise in the Court of Protection. He was counsel instructed by the Official Solicitor in the seminal decision of An NHS Trust v A, the case involving an Iranian hunger striker. The case identified a new “gap” in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Angus’ submissions enabled the Court to fill that gap. He also appeared in DE, a ground-breaking case in which a court authorised an enforced vasectomy upon an adult patient with learning disabilities for the first time.
In the field of inquests, Angus frequently represents Interested Persons in substantial Article 2 ECHR inquests. He was instructed by an NHS Trust in the inquest relating to the death of Jane Antoniou (R(Antoniou) v North West London NHS Foundation Trust). This was later the subject of an application for judicial review in the Administrative Court. Angus successfully defended the claim for breach of Article 2 ECHR in the Administrative Court.
Angus is also instructed in inquries. For example, the Redfern Inquiry was an inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities established by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Angus successfully represented a doctor summoned to provide material to the Inquiry, obtaining declarations from the Court limiting disclosure of confidential medical records to and by the Inquiry.
Angus is regularly instructed in difficult cases in the General Medical Council and other regulatory tribunals. He has been instructed in some of the landmark regulatory cases in the Administrative Court including the seminal case of Cohen v GMC which has been credited as turning the regulatory tide in favour of doctors. In 2016 he represented a highly distinguished medical professor who had had his licence to practise revoked. Following an appeal, in which Angus represented the professor, the GMC reinstated the professor’s licence.
In GMC v Dr D Angus acted in the GMC on behalf of a consultant neurophysiologist who had been acquitted of assault by a criminal court. The GMC are no longer pursuing the case against the consultant.
In GMC v Monro, a very well known case in medical circles, Angus successfully defended a well known practitioner against an allegation of impairment of fitness to practise in diagnosing lead toxicity. Following his cross examination of experts called on behalf of the prosecution, the GMC found that the doctor’s fitness to practise was not impaired.
The cases cited here are illustrative examples only. Full details of Angus’s cases and work of note are set out in his specialist profiles.
Other areas of practice
Angus has a specialism in water treatment and pollution law. He represented a large water authority in a long running mediation involving the cost of treatment of industrial effluent. He has particular expertise in the issues involved in pollution prosecutions and water treatment. He has also represented a water authority in repercussive litigation involving multi-party claims for the recovery of water charges.
Qualifications, appointments and publications
Angus has an MA from Cambridge University and is also called to the Northern Irish Bar. A regular speaker and writer on legal issues, he is the General Editor of the Medical Law Reports. His recent seminar topics have ranged from the revalidation of medical practitioners to seeking anonymity in hearings in the Employment Tribunal. He has co-written the chapter on the law relating to abortions in Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law (2016).
Angus is consistently recommended by the legal directories as a leading silk in clinical negligence, Court of Protection and professional discipline and regulatory law.
He has been described by Chambers & Partners as “a fiercely intelligent thinker” and “a suave and articulate silk who is able to advise pragmatically whilst maintaining the confidence of his clients.”
Other recent directory editorial has included the following:
- one of the leading silks in the country for disciplinary and regulatory proceedings;
- he has real gravitas and is very good with clients;
- he’s very bright, a very shrewd tactician and a solid negotiator;
- he is very capable and has a reassuring authority in his advice;
- he is very professional and deals with tricky cases impressively;
- provides clear advice;
- his intellectual approach is very impressive;
- deals with unexpected difficult situations from witnesses superbly;
- you know you’ll get a good deal if he’s on your side;
- one of the top-rated silks at this set;
- renowned across the market for his extensive clinical negligence experience;
- an impressive ability to absorb the complexities of a case and cut through them to the main issues;
- he has handled many multiparty claims and cases involving abuse by health workers;
- very commanding in court and has the attention of the judge;
- careful and considered in everything he does;
- an eloquent, articulate advocate who really can find the telling phrase to bring home a point;
- has a very good grasp of the real make-or-break issues in quantum;
- is admired for the assured way he always has both the facts of the case and the law at his fingertips;
- gains a great deal of praise for his diligent approach to clinical negligence claims;
- his expertise, knowledge and the way he conducts his advocacy are all very impressive;
- he is held in high regard by solicitors and the Bar alike;
- commended for his effective client-handling skills; and
- he provided clear, realistic advice and produced some magnificent advocacy.
The focus of my professional life is getting the judge or tribunal to empathise with my clients. In fact the challenge of persuading a tribunal to side with my client is the biggest joy of this job for me. When I first get instructed I like to digest the detail, but to emerge from that process with a strategy for persuading the decision-maker to see things our way.
I don’t underestimate the value of warmth and sensitivity in the law. These qualities are sometimes overlooked in an advocate. But they are important. First and foremost, they help in establishing a relationship with both the lay and the professional client. Second, they help to work together as a team. Last, but definitely not least, they help to persuade the judge or tribunal.
My second goal is learning. I have never had a day of boredom as a barrister. There is something new to learn from every case, sometimes the law, more often the medical or other professional practice. Learning and communicating new ideas is another privilege of the job.
“I have never had a day of boredom as a barrister.”
Working in so many different fields of the law allows me to bring a wide perspective to bear. Each of the fields in which I work bring skills which can be applied in other fields. Acting in clinical negligence claims has enabled me to develop skills in cross-examination of experts. Acting for police forces in large discrimination claims has enabled me to marshal complex law and cross-examine on the facts. Working in inquests has taught me the value of sensitivity. Complex Court of Protection cases have required an ability to persuade by being robust (with some judges). Working in public law has meant I have developed legal knowledge in a wide range of differing spheres.
But what I like best is persuading.
Angus has recently reported in conjunction with James Berry on the following case for the Medical Law Reports.
- Michael v CC of South Wales Police  UKSC 2  Med LR 171 Negligence – Duty of care owed by police to victims of crime – Human rights – ECHR, article 2 – Right to life – Threats to kill – Strike out – Summary judgment
For further details of Angus’ practice please see his specialist profiles or contact a member of the clerking or client service team here.
Bar Council Membership No: 21453
Registered Name: Philip Charles Angus Moon
VAT Registration No: 494690792