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 a silk recognised for his clinical negligence work by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. He was previously crowned the ‘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 an individual “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.
Neil undertakes work on a pro bono basis and completed the ‘25 for 25’ Challenge, which involved undertaking a significant number of hours of pro bono work through Advocate.
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  UKSC 21 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  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  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  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)  EWCA Civ 164, which clarified the legal definition of death, and Re: Knight (A Child)  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.
The quality of Neil’s advocacy is recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. In particular, the directories note:
- good both on paper and on his feet;
- Neil is very intelligent and a good tactician. He impresses both experts and clients;
- a robust negotiator – you would want him fighting in your corner;
- he is a detailed person so you can really trust his advice and be certain that he’s looked at everything – nothing will be missed if he is on the case. He’s clear, logical and robust;
- 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.
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.
Neil co-authored chapter eighteen: End of Life in the fourth edition of the book Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, edited by Christopher Johnston KC and Sophia Roper KC and written by 27 members of Serjeants’ Inn.
Neil adopts and adheres to the provisions of his privacy notice which can be accessed here.
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