Eloise Power discusses ethics in medical treatment of children on Radio 4’s Today programme (4th October 2019) Click here to listen.
In May 2022, Cambridge University Press published Jha and Power: Lessons from Medicolegal Cases in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which Eloise co-edited together with Swati Jha, a leading urogynaecologist.
Experience & Expertise
Eloise’s areas of work are clinical negligence, product liability, medical treatment, Court of Protection, claims arising from allegations of sexual abuse against medical practitioners, healthcare regulatory law and related appellate work. Some examples of her cases include the following:
- Re WB  1 WLUK 89: A serious medical treatment case in which an NHS Trust was granted declarations that it was lawful and in the best interests of a critically unwell Covid-19 patient to receive intensive care treatment but not to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiac arrest in circumstances where his circumstances were assessed by the clinical team as futile. The Court held that undertaking CPR would compromise the patient’s fundamental dignity. Eloise acted for the NHS Trust.
- Re JK  12 WLUK 296: A serious medical treatment case in which an NHS Trust was granted a declaration that it was in JK’s best interests to undergo an elective caesarean section. JK herself had been diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome at birth, was a chronic user of alcohol and drugs and had cognitive ability assessed at between five and eleven years old. Eloise acted for the NHS Trust.
- Dad v General Dental Council  EWHC 1376 (QB);  5 WLUK 332,  ICR 1383,  12 CL 128: This case involved a dentist who had been erased from the Dentists’ Register after he had failed to declare a fraud investigation on a regulatory application form. The key issue before the appellate court was whether the case law on statutory interpretation should apply to regulatory documents such as application forms and guidance. Collins Rice J found that the difference between a statute and a regulatory application form was “one of kind, not degree” and observed that there was “no absolute, abstract ‘ordinary and natural meaning of any piece of language taken in isolation. Context matters…” Eloise acted for the successful respondent.
- Brint v Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 290 (QB),  2 WLUK 214, (2021) 180 BMLR 101,  1 CL 176: Eloise acted for the successful defendant in this complex clinical negligence trial on breach, causation and quantum arising out of an extravasation injury, pleaded at >£1 million.
- Re HM Senior Coroner for Gwent/ Re Inquest into the Death of Vaughn  EWHC 3670 (Admin),  12 WLUK 331,  Inquest LR 195,  10 CL 1: The Divisional Court held that it was desirable in the interests of justice for a fresh inquest to be held into a death where a conclusion of misadventure had been recorded but where fresh evidence (a suicide note) had come to light after the inquest. This evidence had been available at the time of the inquest but had not been put before the coroner. Eloise acted for the Senior Coroner.
- JJML Pelvic Organ Prolapse Products Litigation: This product liability case concerns women who suffered mesh erosion after receiving trans-vaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse. The litigation raises important issues of consent in the context of medical devices: to what extent do the principles relating to informed consent apply to manufacturers’ information provided to surgeons and to patients? Eloise has acted for the Claimants since 2015, and the matter is ongoing pending trial in 2023.
- The Combination Prosthesis Litigation: This litigation involved patients who received a combination of hip prosthesis parts made by different manufacturers (heads from one company, stems from another). The central issue was informed consent: whether the surgeons should have warned the patients that they were receiving these novel combinations. Eloise acted for the Claimants.
- Oculentis Litigation: Eloise acted for the Claimants in a group of product liability cases involving intra-ocular lenses used in cataract surgery which caused damage to patients’ vision when they became opaque. Claims were brought against clinics, private surgeons and the manufacturer of the product. The litigation raised knotty and contested issues as to whether the manufacturers or clinics should bear responsibility.
- Butt v General Dental Council  EWHC 2263 (Admin);  6 WLUK 742: on appeal to the High Court, the sanction of erasure imposed at first instance was upheld notwithstanding that the professional failings in question occurred within one setting and over a short period of time. Eloise represented the successful respondent before Lewis J.
- Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust v JP: Eloise successfully represented an NHS Trust in this widely-publicised High Court medical treatment case involving the ethics of inserting a PEG/ RIG feeding tube in a patient with advanced dementia. Please see here and here for more.
- Peckitt v General Medical Council and Another  EWCA Civ 713; Peckitt v General Dental Council  EWHC 1803 (Admin)  4 WLUK 477: Under 27 (2) (g) of the Dentists Act 1984, a Professional Conduct Committee can make a finding of impairment by reason of another regulator’s determination – the factual territory need not be revisited “other than in rare and exceptional cases.” Eloise represented the successful General Dental Council at appeal before Kerr J and before Newey LJ.
- Bains Litigation: a medical abuse matter raising important issues of vicarious liability and non-delegable duty. Eloise represented a group of 27 claimants who were sexually abused by their General Practitioner. She has acted in a wide range of similar cases involving sexual abuse committed/ allegedly committed by medical practitioners in a variety of fields.
- Metal-on-Metal Hips: Eloise was involved in individual and generic work in relation to the product liability cases arising out of the failure of various brands of metal-on-metal hip prostheses. The cases raise a variety of issues including the meaning of defect under the Consumer Protection Act. Some individual cases raise issues of clinical negligence as well as product liability. A number of the cases are ongoing.
- Manuel Nunez Martinez v General Dental Council  EWHC 1223 (Admin): On appeal to the High Court, Warby J found that an Interim Orders Committee does not undertake a definitive examination of allegations or of the fairness of the allegation; it only considers whether the allegations were credible and gave rise to a risk that could not be dismissed as fanciful. There is no threshold test. Eloise represented the successful respondent.
- Inquest into the death of Madhumita Mandal: a case which brought the practice of hospital receptionists triaging or “streaming” Accident and Emergency patients to the attention of the public at large. The deceased, a previously healthy 30-year-old woman, developed sepsis and died as a result of a ruptured ovarian cyst. She attended Croydon University Hospital, where she was “streamed” by an untrained receptionist. The receptionist concluded that she was “not that sick”. She was kept waiting. When she was eventually seen by a doctor, the doctor did not recognise that she had sepsis. Click here for press coverage. Eloise acted for Mrs Mandal’s widower.
Eloise is recommended by both leading legal directories for clinical negligence and product liability. Recent editorial has included:
- she is erudite and good at communicating with clients;
- Eloise inspires confidence;
- overall excellent judgement in the most complex of matters including group actions;
- she is excellent with clients and experts and an extremely effective advocate;
- very clever and astute, with excellent attention to detail;
- a formidable junior;
- demonstrates a high level of technical ability in medical matters ;
- enviable catalogue of high-profile, high-value cases;
- a high level of technical ability in medical matters;
- stands out as a visible and strong practitioner;
- very tenacious, very well prepared and a personable advocate;
- a thorough understanding of product liability law;
- she is a strong negotiator and always well on top of her brief;
- assured and thorough;
- treads in where angels fear to tread;
- provides sensible and robust advice;
- amazing with clients and experts;
- very well prepared with a sensible and pragmatic approach;
- quick to respond and reliable;
- excellent experience of medical devices and healthcare-related product disputes;
- takes an extremely intelligent approach to cases and has great attention to detail;
- she is exceptionally bright;
- very eloquent advocate;
- not afraid of a challenge;
- she has a very effective negotiating style;
- really good with scientific work;
- very clever, astute, with excellent attention to detail and a good practical grasp of the most technical and complex issues;
- she really gets up to speed on the science, she’s a star at that;
- very bright, she’s got a super brain;
- a great advocate;
- she’s a very firm but extremely pleasant person to deal with;
- an efficient, calm and effective negotiator;
- she is always extremely well prepared;
- good with clients who really warm to her and very bright – a real star;
- is very good at taking on complex detail and expert evidence to get the core points;
- excellent with sensitive clients in cases involving complex and sensitive legal issues;
- she holds her own against often more senior people;
- she is very determined and clients have great confidence in her- she does her utmost for them;
- technically really good;
- easy to work with;
- simply excellent in conference;
- she’s sharp, kind and responsive;
- very impressive when grappling with complex issues of evidence;
- certainly someone you want in your corner;
- she’s always calm and reassuring;
- keen to fight the most difficult of cases;
- her advocacy skills are excellent;
- comes across as having great control over the material;
- first choice for technical medical issues in hip claims;
- very good with clients;
- a thorough understanding of product liability law;
- will spend time working around problems pragmatically; and
- multiple solicitors draw attention to Power’s intellect, concluding she is indeed a rising star.
To my mind, Bleak House is the best novel ever written about the legal profession. It serves as a reminder that over-long litigation can result in wasted lives and human tragedy. In my work, I am always conscious of the passage of time, and I always end my conferences with a clear plan of action.
Our work as medical barristers does not and cannot exist in a vacuum. I believe that we should never lose sight of the wider political, economic, ethical and human issues which underpin our cases.
“I believe that it is possible to do our work with compassion and kindness regardless of which side we’re on.”
Higher court advocacy is a great privilege. It provides us with the opportunity to shape the law and to have an influence upon wider society.
I believe that the best advocates make complicated ideas seem simple, not the other way round. I strive for clarity in everything I do.
Above all, I believe that it is possible to do our work with compassion and kindness regardless of which side we’re on – and that this can only strengthen the client’s position.
Eloise has a starred double first in Classics from Clare College, Cambridge, graduating in 1999. After her CPE year she read for the Bar Vocational Course at the ICSL in London and won a Prince of Wales scholarship from Gray’s Inn.
Eloise is a member of the Gray’s Inn advocacy faculty
Eloise is an experienced speaker who particularly enjoys presenting upon issues which raise policy considerations or are of wider social importance. She is due to give a keynote lecture on “Labour and Litigation: current medico-legal issues relating to childbirth” at the British Maternal Fetal Medicine Society in November 2022.
Some examples of her work in this area include the following:
- Serjeants’ Inn & Oxford Neurosurgery Medical Law Conference: Consent and Product Liability
APIL Abuse Conference: Abuse Claims and the Medical Profession
Royal College of Nursing: Law at the End of Life (with Sir Mark Hedley and Alex Ruck Keene)
- Lessons from Medico-Legal Cases in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: published by Cambridge University Press in May 2022
Springer, Medicolegal Issues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: author of chapter “Why Doctors Get Sued”, co-author of chapter “Report Writing”, publ. 2018
- Professional Discipline and Healthcare Regulators, a Legal Handbook (LAG): author of General Dental Council chapter, 1st and 2nd editions. 2nd edition publ. 2018
- “Living wills protect the most vulnerable”, The Times, 5 October 2017
- Munkman on Employer’s Liability: contributing editor of “The Liability of Third Parties” chapter
- Jordan’s PI Portal: article, The Cosmetics Regulation
- Clinical Risk: article, Gamete Donor Secrecy and Human Rights
Eloise adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.
For further details of Eloise’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.
Bar Council Membership No: 43797
Registered Name: Ms Eloise Jane Power
VAT Registration No: 948 4577 68