“He’s sharp and clear in his advice, especially in complex matters.”
Chambers & Partners
“Liam is very impressive and good in court.”
Chambers & Partners
Experience and expertise
Liam is ranked as a leading junior for clinical negligence by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. He is described as “A good advocate in court; able to handle clients and witnesses well in conference, he gets to key points quickly. Very bright and personable”.
In clinical negligence and healthcare he acts for patients, clinicians and hospitals in all areas of medicine and dentistry. He has significant trial experience and often appears against more senior opponents including leading counsel. He is particularly skilled in pleading and evaluating quantum and is frequently instructed to advise on and negotiate settlements with valuations in excess of £1 million.
Liam regularly appears for families, clinicians and healthcare providers in inquests including jury inquests and those where Article 2 is engaged. He has significant experience of healthcare provision in prisons, police custody and other secure facilities. His particular expertise lies in cases of homicide committed by patients known to mental health teams.
Liam is also instructed in the Court of Protection on medical treatment decisions including those involving the refusal of life sustaining treatment, advance decisions and anticipatory declarations.
Cases & Work of note
Recent clinical negligence cases include:
- An ongoing claim concerning allegations of negligent GP care resulting in an embolism, cardiac arrest and brain injury. Valued in excess of £10 million. Led by Angus Moon KC.
- An ongoing claim concerning negligent management of labour resulting in cerebral palsy. Valued in excess of £10 million. Led by John de Bono KC.
- O’Brien v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust  EWHC 2735 (KB). Secured dismissal of a claim alleging an excessive administration of the antibiotic gentamicin on an intensive care unit to a patient in end stage renal failure.
- A case of negligent GP care resulting in a delay in diagnosis of membranous glomerulonephritis, a condition affecting the kidney. The claimant will now require multiple kidney transplants over his lifetime with a foreshortened life expectancy. Settled for £1.5 million.
- Negligent bowel perforation in the course of a lumbar microdiscectomy resulting in disability including permanent double incontinence. Settled for £2 million.
Liam’s recent inquest cases include:
- RM inquest (2022). An Article 2 jury inquest into a suicide at HMP Chelmsford, representing prison healthcare.
- PK inquest (2022). A case concerning the delayed recognition of a stroke following a minor ophthalmic procedure, representing the family.
- JR inquest (2022). A case of sepsis following appendicectomy where the patient had been discharged from hospital, representing a GP.
- GS inquest (2022). A case considering whether complications in a procedure to replace a feeding tube were contributory to the death of a man with cerebral palsy, representing the family.
- GF inquest (2022). An Article 2 inquest following the homicide of a woman by her partner where she had reported concerns about his mental health, representing a GP.
- LC inquest (2022). An Article 2 jury inquest into a suicide at HMP High Down, representing prison healthcare.
In the Court of Protection Liam’s recent cases include:
- Re JJ  EWCOP7. An application by a hospital trust concerning P’s capacity to refuse treatment for his diabetes.
- Re RH (2022). An application for anticipatory declarations in relation to delivery by caesarean section should P lose capacity in the course of the labour.
- Re JJ (2022). An application for by a hospital trust for admission to hospital for treatment where P had been self-neglecting at home.
Liam is ranked as a leading junior for clinical negligence by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 in 2023. He was a “rising star” in the inquests and public inquiries section of Chambers & Partners in 2022. Directory editorial includes:
- A good advocate in court; able to handle clients and witnesses well in conference, he gets to key points quickly. Very bright and personable.
- Liam is very impressive and good in court.
- He offers good practical advice and support.
- He doesn’t miss anything.
It is the human interest that makes this job worthwhile. I am lucky that the range of people I meet and issues I face are fantastically diverse. It is an absolute privilege to be able to get to the bottom of a thorny medical issue with the assistance of client, solicitor and a team of experts. My aim for all clients is the same: to be relatable, approachable and provide advice in clear, simple terms.
I have a strong background in negotiation and mediation. Before coming to the Bar I worked for the Financial Ombudsman and ran a consultancy. An understanding of what both sides want or would risk in a dispute allows me to obtain the best possible outcome for my client, whether at trial or in settlement negotiations. Working with large institutions and regulators (where financial, reputational and public interest concerns are often present) has been a real benefit in practice.
“My aim for all clients is the same: to be relatable, approachable and provide advice in clear, simple terms.”
Technology is efficiency. A Nokia 3210 and an impractically large laptop saw me through university. Fortunately I was inspired by a number of forward thinking individuals in Chambers using technology to enhance their practices (long before it was popularised in the wake of Covid).
University and Higher Level Qualifications
BPTC (Outstanding, BPP), Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn); Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction, BPP); BA (Hons) Ancient History and History (Trinity College Dublin)
Related and Professional Activities
Bar Pro Bono Unit
Professional Negligence Bar Association
Court of Protection Bar Association
Liam adopts and adheres to the provisions of his privacy notice which can be accessed here.
For further details of Liam’s practice please contact a member of the clerking or client service team.
Bar Council Membership No: 60149
Registered Name: Liam John Gerald Duffy
VAT Registration No: 230010392