Christopher Hough

Call 1981

Overview

Chris is a clinical negligence specialist. He loves to meet clients and, with the help of client, experts and solicitors, develop a strategy as to how to win the case and maximise the damages recovered. With this motivation, he only acts for Claimants. He is ranked as a leading practitioner by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

Chris is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido and Natasha Southgate.

“Ingenious. He is able to formulate novel solutions to complex problems.”
Chambers and Partners

Chris is a member of Actions Against Medical Accidents, and frequently contributes to their Lawyers Service Newsletter.
Click here to read Chris’ recent article ‘Should a Claimant deduct the costs of travelling to work?

Experience & expertise

Chris has vast experience of all types of claims: cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury in children and adults, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, blindness, amputations and Fatal Accident Act cases.

He is very often instructed by the families of refugees and other recent arrivals to this country and those from the traveller community. This work provides a natural cross-over with his charitable work in Asia, and his hosting of refugees at home.

He is also instructed regularly by the Official Solicitor (where the parents of an injured child are unable to act on behalf of their child).

Chris is a regular speaker at AVMA events and at in house seminars. He contributes articles to AVMA journals and chapters to the APIL handbook of personal injury law.

In 2019, he was asked to represent a soldier, Mark de Kretser, who complained of grinding racial abuse. After 4 days of evidence at the trial in November 2019, the MOD abandoned their Defence and settled the claim. Chris has subsequently been instructed to act for other soldiers in cases of sexual and racial harassment.

A consistent theme of his work is that he wants to help the underdog, and to give them the very best opportunity to win their case.

Cases and work of note

  • FDE v Barking and Havering NHS Trust [2020] Severe cerebral palsy caused by hypoglycaemia, in itself caused by poor breast-feeding. Multiple experts instructed on a conventional claim alleging an inadequate response to CTG abnormalities. In course of investigations, trial proceeded on a very unusual basis where the critical issue was: had there been effective communication/advice on breast-feeding with a young, non-English speaking refugee? Cross examination of Trust’s 15 witnesses determined the outcome. Claimant won at a liability trial in 2018. The Trust sought permission to appeal to CA but were refused. Claim settled for a lump sum of £14-15m, approved by the court in January 2020.
  • Khamis v Multiple Defendants [2020] This a very interesting case of TB meningitis. Client was a young woman who came to this country from Somalia on a “family reunion visa”. She spoke very little English. Somalia has one of the highest rates of TB in the world. Government guidance is that she should have been screened by the GP and Hospitals. She became pregnant, which provided multiple opportunities for screening. No opportunity taken. Weeks after her baby born she suffered first symptoms of meningitis. By then, experts made clear that no opportunity for any treatment. Letters of claim written to both Hospital and GP based on failures to screen.
  • Hassell v Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Trust [2018] A case of tetraplegia following spinal cord surgery. Trial in 2018 before Dingemans J. Mrs H argued that she had not given her informed consent to spinal surgery, as not told of the risk of paralysis until day of surgery (which was agreed not to give adequate time and space to consider). Issue was what was said at an earlier consultation. Ex-i-chief of H and cross-exam of surgeon critical. We won, beat Part 36 offer and recovered £4.5m (agreed damages). Case reported widely on issue of consent.
  • Miller v Imperial College NHS Trust [2016] 4 day quantum hearing before HHJ Curran sitting as DHCJ. Above-knee amputee. Multiple quantum issues. Cross ex of rehab expert led to recovery of very expensive prosthesis. Cited frequently in support of genium prosthesis, discount rate on past gratuitous care (the judge adjusted the discount from usual 25% to 20%) and approval of rental of suitable property (a case of great interest given current difficulties with accommodation claims). Recovered £1.02m, beating Part 36 offer.
  • Edge v Chesterfield Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] 6 day trial in Sheffield. Young man suffered total blindness in both eyes (no perception of light). Trial on causation and quantum. Client has been offered negligent care when a child aged 6, leading to some loss of vision. 10 years later suffered catastrophic deterioration in sight. Were these events connected? Considerable medical uncertainty. Extensive searches of world literature produced 9 comparable histories. Critical issue was expert evidence in area of medical uncertainty relying on concept of material contribution (Bailey v MOD). Expert evidence was pivotal. We recovered £2m (beating Part 36 offer). Multiple quantum issues.
  • Tasmin v Barts NHS Trust [2016] 3 day liability trial before Jay J. Cerebral palsy caused by hypoxia in minutes before delivery. Trial on liability and causation with quantum agreed at £2.05m plus PPOs in region of £200,000pa subject to liability (quantum agreed at an RTM). Important post-Montgomery case exploring obstetricians’ obligation to advise of option of CS where not advised by NICE and RCOG guidance.
    Tasmin is very often cited on the extent of the Montgomery duty.
  • Merrett v Multiple Defendants [2016] Tetraplegic patient who suffered catastrophic brain injury when his ventilator was switched off by nurse-carer. The nurse lacked appropriate training leading to Royal College of Nurses repudiating liability. We argued that the agencies who had set in place the care regime had vicarious liability and that the commissioning local authority had a non-delegable duty of care.
    Significant issues relating to causation of damage and unusually difficult quantum issues: allowing for pre-existing injuries (client was ventilator dependent and relied on 24 hour care), and how to provide accommodation. Innovative scheme whereby 3rd party bought property as an investment and provided life time tenancy at enhanced rent.
    Case settled after 3 RTMs. Settlement approved of £925,000 and £186,000 PPO.

Recommendations

Chris is recognised as a leading junior by both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Recent directory editorial has included the following:

  • An outstanding barrister;
  • fights hard for his clients;
  • very compassionate;
  • confident and assured in the courtroom;
  • extremely approachable;
  • very clever and very professional;
  • able to formulate novel solutions to complex problems;
  • accessible to clients while remaining very determined with his legal arguments;
  • pragmatic;
  • brilliant on the medicine side;
  • a very easy barrister to work with;
  • willing to discuss things;
  • very good bedside manner with the clients;
  • down-to-earth;
  • a really nice gentleman;
  • never seen anyone deal with paperwork so quickly, week in, week out;
  • very good at dealing with matters proactively and constructively;
  • is immensely experienced, which counts for a lot when you are doing things like a round table negotiation; and 
  • ingenious.

Privacy

Chris adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.

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