Neil Davy

Call 2000

Overview

Described by Chambers & Partners as “a rising star”, a “impressively tough negotiator” and a “powerful advocate”, Neil specialises in healthcare related work, particularly medical and dental negligence claims. He has particular expertise in legally or technically complex and unusual cases requiring exceptionally detailed analysis or lateral thinking.

Neil is clerked primarily by Tom O’Connor,  Joe Ralph and Josie Ryan.

Neil acted for the successful Defendant in the hugely significant Supreme Court case of Khan v Meadows in relation to the scope of a doctor’s duty. Please see here for the judgment.

“His attention to detail is excellent, he’s extremely knowledgeable and is a very good advocate.”

“Formidable in negotiations – a very good person to have fighting your corner.” 
Chambers & Partners

Experience & Expertise

Neil is recommended as a leading junior for clinical negligence by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and was shortlisted as Clinical Negligence Junior of the Year 2021 at the Chambers Bar Awards.  Chambers & Partners summarises the scope of his practice as follows: “handles the full array of clinical negligence cases, and is regularly sought out to undertake matters of the highest value, such as spinal cord injury claims or catastrophic brain injury cases.”

Neil also has particular expertise in legally or technically complex and unusual cases requiring exceptionally detailed analysis or lateral thinking, and in dealing with financially complex quantum claims involving difficult issues relating to care, loss of earnings and pension losses.

He is recommended as a “rising star of this set who has a broad range of expertise, and experience of representing both Claimants and Defendants. His comprehensive understanding of complex, high-value medical and dental cases continues to impress clients.”

Neil is also instructed in relation to medical treatment decisions including those of the utmost severity involving the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment.

Neil has represented numerous trusts, doctors and families at inquests including those raising issues of neglect and unlawful killing.  He is frequently instructed in sensitive inquests involving deaths in custody as well as inquests involving health and safety issues.  Neil also has a wealth of experience in relation to the judicial review of coroners’ decisions and in providing coroners with legal advice regarding their powers.

Cases and work of note

Neil has been and is currently instructed in a number of complex and high value clinical negligence cases.

These include representing the Claimant in a birth injury claim with damages claimed at over £6 million and acting for a Surgeon in complex contribution claim brought by a hospital which was also valued at in excess of £6 million.

He recently acted for the successful Defendant in the hugely significant Supreme Court case of Khan v Meadows [2021] UKSC Civ 152 in relation to the scope of a doctor’s duty.

He also acted for the Defendant in the important test case of Hughes v Rattan [2021] EWHC 2032 (QB) which considered the issues of vicarious liability and non-delegable duty in relation to owners of dental practices.

He has considerable experience of birth injury claims, and was instructed in the case of Wells and Smith v University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 2376 (QB), which determined whether a mother whose baby died soon after delivery should be treated as a primary victim.

He acted for the Defendant Trust in a high value quantum only claim which went to trial and for a General Practitioner in relation to an alleged failure to diagnose an acute intracranial event, resulting in a stroke. Following Neil’s detailed cross examination of the Claimant’s factual and expert witnesses the Judge dismissed the claim in its entirety.

He obtained judgment for the Defendant in Harris v Johnston [2016] EWHC 3193 (QB) in which his cross examination of the Claimant’s expert led the Judge to conclude that she could not rely on his evidence, and as a result all allegations of negligence were dismissed.

Neil appeared before the Court of Appeal in the significant cases of Re: M (Declaration of Death of Child) [2020] EWCA Civ 164, which clarified the legal definition of death, and Re: Knight (A Child) [2021] EWCA Civ 362 which involved the withdrawal of ventilation from a child in PVS.

Inquests Neil has been involved in include:

  • Representing a Mental Health Trust following the death of an individual being restrained by the police.
  • Representing a doctor who treated a woman with learning difficulties who died suffered an allergic reaction.
  • Acting for the family following the death of an elderly relative in hospital.  As a result of admissions made by the Trust at the inquest, a successful clinical negligence claim was subsequently pursued.
  • Acting for a forensic medical examiner in an inquest following the death of a prisoner being held in a magistrates court who suffered a fatal alcohol related seizure.

Recommendations

Neil is recommended as a leading junior in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, which spoke to an instructing solicitor who noted that “he is a pleasure to work with,” and also spoke to an opponent who stated that I was against him recently in a trial and thought he was conspicuously fair and decent.”

Other recent directory editorial has included the following:

  • good both on paper and on his feet;
  • he is robust in maintaining his position;
  • willing to stand firm in negotiations and at trial;
  • a well-regarded barrister in the clinical negligence market;
  • clients are always left feeling satisfied by his approach because he is so thorough with his investigations;
  • he is very articulate, bright and excels himself in round table meetings;
  • appreciated in particular for his effectiveness in trial advocacy;
  • a very good grasp of his cases;
  • amazingly quick in responding substantively to arguments raised for the first time;
  • a fearsome negotiator who has dealt with very high-value cases;
  • he is well prepared, always impressive in conference;
  • his attention to detail is excellent;
  • he’s extremely knowledgeable;
  • a very good advocate;
  • formidable in negotiations;
  • a very good person to have fighting your corner;
  • an extremely good negotiator;
  • Neil is just an extraordinary barrister with an incredible mind;
  • a safe pair of hands;
  • an excellent advocate;
  • always approachable;
  • brilliant with paperwork;
  • excellent at complex, unusual cases which require lateral thinking;
  • an impressive caseload of high-value claims;
  • singled out by interviewees as one to watch;
  • gaining a great deal of experience across the full spectrum of clinical negligence work;
  • very highly rated by clients;
  • a broad range of expertise;
  • experience of representing both claimants and defendants; 
  • comprehensive understanding of complex, high-value medical and dental cases; 
  • continues to impress clients; and
  • peers predict big things for Neil Davy.

Reflections

Being involved in litigation or legal proceedings is a journey.  It is part of my role to anticipate the potential hazards and pitfalls, and to then steer a course that avoids or minimises them. Detailed preparation and strategic thinking are just two of the essential components of that process and I have found that it is vital to never underestimate the potential difficulties of a case, regardless of how simple the issue may seem to be.

“Different clients may have very different objectives, and understanding from the outset exactly where they want to end up is another key part of my role.”

Route planning. Clients also need to have a clear understanding of the different potential routes through the litigation process depending on their intended destination. My ability to provide clear and pragmatic guidance on the options is integral to achieving that.

The destination is key. Given the commitments of time and cost involved in any case, it is essential that I do everything I can to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved. However, different clients may have very different objectives, and understanding from the outset exactly where they want to end up is another key part of my role.

No client ever wants to find themselves in Court or at a Tribunal or Hearing. I am acutely aware that being involved in legal proceedings can often be an intensely stressful and difficult time for any client. Whether it is providing answers or just reassurance, I am only too aware that supporting them through that process can sometimes be as important as reaching the destination and achieving a particular outcome.

privacy

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

further information

For further details of Neil’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: 41776
Registered Name: Neil Geoffrey Davy
VAT Registration No: 764475303