Michael Horne KC

Joint Head of Chambers

Call 1992 | Silk 2016

Michael Horne KC | Call 1992 | Silk 2016

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Michael specialises in healthcare law; primarily in clinical negligence, but also in treatment decision cases in the Court of Protection and Family Division, and in professional regulatory proceedings.  He is known for his thorough, measured and focused approach with particular expertise in cases where the facts or medicine are complex.

Michael is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido, Jennifer Pooler and Emma Bell.

“He is extremely detailed, thorough and on point. Clients really warm to him. He is brilliant to work with and goes through everything with a fine-tooth comb.”
Chambers & Partners 

Mike Horne KC and Katie Gollop KC appear in King’s College Hospital v C and V re capacity to refuse lifesaving treatment.
Please click here for the full news story.

 experience & expertise

Michael has practised in healthcare law throughout his career.  For over twenty years he has had a busy and high-level clinical negligence practice in which he has acted for Claimants and Defendants in a wide range of claims.  His long experience of representing healthcare professionals before their regulatory bodies and in coroner’s inquests brings added depth to his understanding of the choices and outcomes his clients face.  Michael’s practise has an increasing focus on issues surrounding mental capacity, in which he regularly appears in treatment decision cases for both the Official Solicitor and NHS bodies.

judgements include:

  • Raggett v (1) King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & Others [2016] EWHC 1604 (QB) (acting for the lead defendant in a claim involving delayed recognition of vascular injury);
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v (1) C (2) V [2016] COPLR 50 (acting for NHS Trust in a notorious case where a patient was held to have capacity to refuse life-sustaining treatment);
  • Welch v Waterworth [2015] EWCA Civ 11; [2015] Med LR 41 (acting for the defendant at trial and on appeal in a vascular surgery case leading to loss of all renal function);
  • (1) NHS Trust (2) NHS Trust v FG [2015] 1 WLR 1984 (acting for the Official Solicitor, case giving detailed guidance for managing pregnancy in pregnant women with mental illness);
  • An NHS Trust & Others v DD [2014] EWCOP 8, [2014] EWCOP 11, [2015] EWCOP 4, [2014] EWCOP 13, [2014] EWCOP 44, and [2015] EWCOP 5 (acting for the Official Solicitor in a series of applications involving management of ante-natal care, forcible capacity assessment, per-natal care, contraception and culminating in forcible sterilisation);
  • NHS Gloucestershire CCG v AB [2014] EWCOP 49 (authorising withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration in patient in a permanent vegetative state ‘PVS’)
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust v JB [2014] EWHC 342 (COP) (acting for Official Solicitor in application involving amputation);
  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AA [2014] EWHC 1666 (Fam) and [2014] EWHC 132 (Fam) (acting for NHS Trust seeking declarations);
  • Wright v Cambridge Medical Group [2013] QB 312; (acting for claimant at trial and on appeal in the now leading case on the legal approach in cases of delayed referral to third parties); and
  • Re SB [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP) (acting for patient resisting declarations that she lacked capacity to terminate pregnancy).


Michael is consistently recommended by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading silk in clinical negligence and Court of Protection.

Recent editorial includes:

  • he is very calming and reassuring;
  • very good tactically, particularly in cases where there are multiple defendants; 
  • I’ve been incredibly impressed with his attention to detail;
  • one of the top silks around and a calming influence in the room;
  • he’s a really conscientious barrister;
  • his attention to detail is first rate and can be the difference between winning and losing cases;
  • meticulous attention to detail, there is nothing he would miss in a set of medical records;
  • an outstanding advocate;
  • a skilled negotiator in the most difficult of clinical negligence cases;
  • has a manner that clients just appreciate;
  • very thorough in analysing all issues raised in a case;
  • extremely methodical, conscientious and patient;
  • he’s very clever, his attention to detail is second to none and you always feel hugely supported when working with him;
  • has an incredible grip on the issues;
  • he has a real sensitivity with clients;
  • oral advocacy is persuasive and calm;
  • he has the confidence of his clients and is completely reassuring;
  • he is excellent tactically and he has a very balanced approach to issues;
  • a knowledgeable silk with lovely style in court;
  • he is extremely talented and has a strong breadth of experience;
  • is genuinely helpful – nothing’s too much trouble;
  • he’s a very hard-working man;
  • an excellent advocate, calm and unflappable – a real authority in the courtroom;
  • very bright;
  • a pleasure to work with;
  • he’s very approachable, highly experienced and has excellent judgement;
  • knowledge and experience in Court of Protection is great;
  • working as part of a team with instructing solicitor is very much appreciated;
  • you’ll always get his full attention;
  • a very experienced and respected silk;
  • he’s utterly professional, very sympathetic to clients and well known by the experts;
  • good on his feet, he has a very sure grasp of the case;
  • he is experienced, incredibly detailed and very client-friendly;
  • he is good at scrutinising the records and the evidence;
  • often acts as sole counsel against silks on medically complex cases involving catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, and delayed diagnoses of cancer;
  • he’s well respected and client-friendly;
  • he has a huge intellect;
  • especially good at quantum;
  • he is particularly good at liaising with health and social care professionals to understand the nuances of the evidence;
  • he has stacks of confidence and experience, and grasps the issues in a case very quickly;
  • his cross-examination of witnesses and understanding of medicine are second-to-none;
  • he is persuasive and so knowledgeable about all medical law;
  • he has a strong civil background but also criminal advocacy skills;
  • a senior junior well versed in matters before the GMC and GDC;
  • an attractive advocate;
  • sensible, personable and really knows what he is doing;
  • his attention to detail is outstanding;
  • extremely personable and reasonable; 
  • his approach and manner with the lay client and witnesses is fantastic;
  • he excels due to his extremely thorough case preparation; and
  • I am staggered at how good he is.


  • Chouza v Martins [2021] EWHC 1669 (QB) [2021] Med LR 546 Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 – Fatal Accidents Act 1976 – Quantification of Loss – Loss of earnings – Harris ratio of Financial Dependency – Disclosure.
  • R v Broughton [2020] EWCA Crim 1093 Med LR 65 Gross negligence manslaughter – Drug overdose – Failure to secure medical assistance – Causation – Substantial cause of death – Substantial chance of survival – Criminal standard of proof.
  • XM v Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust [2020] EWHC 3102 (QB) MLR 2021 07 [2021] Med LR 79 Health Visitors – Nursery Nurses – Standard of Care – Head Circumference – Brain injury – Rejection of expert evidence.
  • Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants [2020] UKSC 13 [2020] Med LR 155 Vicarious liability – Independent contractor – Relationships akin to employment – Pre-employment medical examinations – Sexual assault.
  • JK v A Local Health Board [2019] EWHC 67 (Fam) [2020] Med LR 31 Autism Spectrum Disorder – Psychiatric hospital – Refusal to eat – Mental capacity – Force feeding – Manifestation of mental disorder – Treatment to alleviate or prevent a worsening of mental disorder – Mental Health Act 1983, section 63 – Inherent jurisdiction – Declaratory relief.
  • Williams v The Bermuda Hospitals Board [2016] UKPC 4 [2016] Med LR 65Clinical negligence – Causation – Material contribution – Cumulative causes – Successive causes – Single causative agent.
  • DS v Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWHC 1246 (QB) [2016] Med LR 339 Clinical negligence – Placental abruption – Delay in delivery – Brain damage – Causation.
  • Richards v Worcs CC 2016] EWHC 1954 (Ch) [2016] Med LR 534 Mental Health Act 1983, section 117 – Failure of statutory bodies to provide aftercare services – Private funding – Restitution – Unjust enrichment – Public law – Private law – Procedural exclusivity – Strike out.
  • Totham v Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 97 (QB) [2015] Med LR 55 Clinical negligence – Quantum – Brain damage – Damages – General damages – Gratuitous care – Case management – Lost years – Future childcare – Future transport.
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust v Mr B [2015] EWCOP 60 [2015] Med LR 552 Court of Protection – Mental illness – Capacity – Best interests – Life-sustaining treatment – Amputation – Wishes and feelings – Religious beliefs and values.
  • Hibbert v GMC [2013] EWHC 3596 (Admin) [2014] Med LR 84 General Medical Council – Waiver of the five-year rule – Judicial review – Quashing decision – Retrospective effect – Jurisdiction of Registrar to reconsider decision.
  • Sandwell & W Brim Hospitals NHS Trust v CD [2014] EWCOP 23 [2014] Med LR 424 Withholding life sustaining treatment – Persons lacking capacity – Practice guidance – Urgent applications – Timing of applications – Preparation for urgent applications
  • Re (DK) v Sec of State for the Home Dept [2014] EWHC 3257 (Admin) [2014] Med LR 51 Judicial review – Mental illness – Immigration – Persons unsuitable for detention – Unlawful detention – Damages – Duty of enquiry – Human rights – ECHR, articles 3, 5 and 8 – Causation – Nominal damages.


Most of our lay clients have not met a barrister before.  I try to dispel any preconceptions by being approachable and completely on top of their case.  Whenever we meet, I always take time to understand their concerns and ensure that the client remains at the centre of the decision-making.

All barristers have slightly different ways of working.  The facts in our cases are often involved, and the medicine complex.  For me, attention to detail has always been really important.  What at first seems like a small point of detail can lead to a chain of enquiry, a productive line in cross-examination, or ultimately a decisive factor in a judgment.

“I always take time to understand their concerns and ensure that the client remains at the centre of the decision-making.”

It is one of the strengths of the split legal profession that the client has the benefit of at least two lawyers thinking about the case.  My instructing solicitors are all experienced professionals with their own perspectives of a case.  I welcome and value their full involvement in the advice we give and decisions we make.

I have been a tenant here for the whole of my career.  One of the real strengths of our Chambers is the fact that there are so many colleagues who specialise in the same areas as I do.  If any of us have a difficult or new legal issue, or a difficult judgment call to make, there are always senior colleagues only too happy to help.  That support is enormously reassuring, but also means that the client receives the best service we can give.


  • Contributor to Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law (4th edn), co-edited by Christopher Johnston KC and Sophia Roper KC
  • Contributing Editor to LS Law Reports, Medical
  • Contributor to Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law (3rd edn)

related professional activities

  • Director of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund 2013-2022
  • Member of the Bar Council Remuneration Committee
  • Member of the Bar Council Civil (Public) Panel
  • Member of PNBA and LCLCBA
  • Mentor Bar Council’s Silk and Judicial Appointments Scheme

university or higher level qualifications

Cambridge University, Trinity Hall [MA (Law) 2:1]


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


For further details of Michael’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: 28966
Registered Name: Michael Andrew Horne
VAT Registration No: 629193518