experience & expertise
Since switching from medicine to the law, Ranald has amassed more than 20 years of experience in the field of clinical negligence as a barrister at Serjeants’ Inn. During this time he has built up a practice which successfully combines work for claimant and defendant solicitors from all over England and Wales. He regularly appears in High Court and County Court trials across the jurisdiction on subject matters as diverse as oral surgery, foetal ultrasound imaging, paramedic and ambulance care, aesthetic surgery, orthopaedic and trauma care and immunology therapies. The majority of his casework now involves complex and/ or high value claims and he has recently settled a claim for just under £6 million for a brain injured child.
Ranald’s involvement in clinical negligence cases extends from pre-action conferences and drafting of the letters before action through to trial and, if needs be, appeal. He strives to provide clear and practical advice and places a premium of working within the timeframes required by his instructing solicitors.
Within the general scope of his clinical negligence work Ranald has been instructed in a number of cases involving elite sportsmen and women. These cases have included the medical and physiotherapy care provided by professional football and rugby league clubs as well as the surgical care of Premiership and Championship footballers. Ranald has provided advice to the Premier League as to its duty of care to individual players.
Ranald’s regulatory and disciplinary law practice includes proceedings before the various tribunals at the General Medical Council (GMC), the General Dental Council (GDC) and the General Optical Council (GOC). In addition he has considerable experience representing healthcare professionals in NHS Performer’s List proceedings and doctors facing hospital disciplinary proceedings. Ranald has recently successfully defended a consultant psychiatrist charged by the GMC with allegations relating to the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View Hospital in Gloucestershire between 2007 and 2010. After a 6 week hearing the Fitness to Practise Committee concluded the registrant had not been guilty of misconduct.
Over the course of his career at the Bar Ranald has represented families, healthcare professionals and NHS bodies at a number of high profile Coroner’s Inquests including several relating to prison deaths and deaths of inpatients at secure psychiatric units. These have been inquiries to which Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights has applied and at which a jury has been empanelled.
Cases & work of note
Recent examples of Ranald’s caseload have included:
- Zahir v Vadodaria  EWHC 1215 (QB) (Click here for news coverage).
- Executors of Estate of John Raggett (Deceased) v Kings College Hospital NHS Trust and ors  EWHC 1604 (QB)
Ranald has appeared in appeal and judicial review hearings before the Administrative Court see – Professional Standard Authority v General Dental Council and anor  EWHC 2280 (Admin) Goldsmith v General Medical Council  EWHC 3991 (Admin).
Ranald has recently been instructed to represent the interests of one of the doctors who will give evidence at the inquest into the death of Rosida Etwaree (Click here for news coverage).
Other notable cases include:
Clinical negligence & Healthcare
- Zahir v Vadodaria – High Court trial May 2016 – successful defence of plastic surgeon accused of negligent nose surgery.
- Palmer v Derby Hospitals – Trial at Nottingham County Court May 2016 – successful defence of trust in claim relating to oral cancer surgery.
- Lawson-Smith v Oxford University Hospitals – Successful defence of a high value clinical negligence case relating to a claimant who had very complex heart surgery and developed a post-operative infection.
- Raggett v King’s College Hospital + 5 others – A High Court clinical negligence case involving amputation of a leg of a patient who has since died.
- Spindler v Surrey and Sussex HA – Case successfully settled on behalf of client who suffered undiagnosed perineal injury after childbirth.
- Mughal v Barts Healthcare NHS Trust – Complex and high value cerebral palsy claim.
- Sulaivany v Warrington Hospitals – Manchester County Court March 2014 – successful defence on NHS Trust sued by one of its own consultants for negligent orthopaedic care
- Dhillon v Midland Ultrasound Medical Services – (led by William Edis QC) – successful defence of private ultrasound clinic accused of failing to diagnose Down’s Syndrome in utero – Birmingham District Reg March 2014
- Moied v South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust – (May 2012) successful defence of ambulance Trust in High Court trial in which claimant sought damages for death of wife and unborn child
- Hanoman v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals – 5 day County Court trial in Leeds – September 2015 – successful defence of orthopaedic claim
- Maytum v Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Local Health Board – Nov 2014 – trial of delayed diagnosis of cancer
Click here for press coverage
- Wagstaff v Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Clinical negligence case relating to substandard dressing of surgical wound, tissue necrosis and ultimately loss of fingertip. Drafting pleadings, advising in conference and writing and successfully representing claimant at trial on liability in Leeds.
- A child v Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and anor – High value clinical negligence claim relating to failure to diagnose spinal haematoma in young haemophiliac resulting in paraplegia.
- Emery v Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – High value Fatal Accidents Act claim involving the delay in diagnosis and treatment of cervical carcinoma.
- Al Balushi v Afshar (October 2011) – settlement of high value clinical negligence claim brought by Omani national following failed spinal surgery in United Kingdom
- Wood v Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – successful defence of NHS Trust at trial of allegations relating to knee replacement surgery (Birmingham District Registry June 2009).
- NB v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust & Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (04.02.11) – successful defence of clinical negligence claim relating to bladder injuries sustained following midwifery care at 2 separate hospitals (reported in Clinical Risk November 2011)
- Roberts v Cheyne (27.10.10) (QBD) – settlement of claim for damages in case involving arguments of plene administravit
- A v Powys Local Health Board  EWHC 2996 (QBD) – assessment of damages in high value (£10.7 million) cerebral palsy claim.
- Garcia v St. Mary’s NHS Trust  EWHC 2314 (QBD) – successful defence of cardiac surgery negligence claim incorporating arguments as to the allocation of hospital resources.
- Faithful v. Wiltshire HA  MLC 00181 (QBD) – obstetric negligence claim with high value award for cerebral palsy injury.
Professional discipline & regulatory
- GMC v Dr. H – June/August 2016 – successful defence of consultant physiatrist in in 6 week GMC case linked to abuse of patients at Winterbourne View Hospital.
- GDC v Mr. J – Feb/ March 2015 – lengthy case against general dental practitioner (GDP) facing over 700 charges. Concluded without restriction on registration
- GDC v Ms. B – March 2015 – fitness to practise hearing involving GDP who was alleged to have acted beyond her competence in attempting tooth extraction – concluded with no finding of impairment
- GDC v Mr. G – June 2015 – allegations against GDP of deficient care of a number of patients – concluded without restriction on registration
- GMC v Dr. W – 3 week GMC case (June / July 2015) involving allegations of private practice outwith funding arrangements and inappropriate patient care. Finding of no misconduct
- GDC v Mr. E – GDP alleged to have impaired fitness to practise after care of a number of patients criticised by GDC. concluded without restriction on registration (Jan 2016)
- GMC v McG (January 2012)
Representation of orthopaedic surgeon facing charges of dishonestly falsifying reference before GMC Fitness to Practise Panel. Warning imposed.
- GDC v Mr. J (September 2011)
Representation of general dental practitioner facing over 400 charges of misconduct before GDC Professional Conduct Committee. Order of conditions for 1 year.
- Dr. A v. West Midlands Deanery (July 2011)
Appeal by junior doctor against removal of training number following alleged inappropriate contact with patient.
- GMC v I (June 2011)
Representation of GP facing charges of dishonesty and inappropriate care of child with terminal pneumonia before GMC Fitness to Practise Panel. Warning imposed.
- GMC v Dr. Z (June 2011)
Representation before GMC Fitness to Practise Panel of doctor with prolonged history of substance mis-use and subsequent abstinence. Conditions revoked.
- GMC v K (April / November 2011)
Representation of paediatrician facing charges of dishonesty having undertaken locum work whilst on sick leave. Order of 6 months suspension imposed by Fitness to Practise Panel in April 2011 revoked at review hearing in November 2011.
public & administrative
- Re. Fidler – Nottingham Coroners Court October 2016 – death of young mother from gastric perforation after hospital admission
- Re. Munns – Winchester Coroner’s Court October 2016 – death of elderly lady who jumped off bridge onto motorway after shortcomings in psychiatric management
Click here for press coverage
- Re. Parker – inquest into death of prisoner held at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court in Feb 2016. Represented prison doctor.
- Re. J. Bulloch – Preston Coroner’s Court June 2014 – 5 day inquest into death of psychiatric patient
- Re. Johnson (Lincoln Coroner’s Court February 2012)
Inquest into death of care home resident following aspiration of PEG feed
- Re. Lane (Southampton Coroner’s Court February 2012)
Inquest into death of hospital inpatient from coning following failure to diagnose raised intra-cranial pressure on CT scan;
- Re. Hawkes (Southwark Coroner’s Court November 2011)
Inquest into death of dental patient from septic complications of treatment
- Re. Talby (Peterborough Coroner’s Court August 2011)
Inquest into death of mother and 2 sons following District Nurse and medical care
Ranald is top ranked by Chambers & Partners for clinical negligence and is rated as a leading junior for clinical negligence and professional discipline and regulatory law by The Legal 500.
He is described by the directories as, “an excellent trial advocate who inspires absolute confidence,” and is further noted to be, “indefatigable in the pursuit of the client’s interest, he strains every sinew and always displays fine judgement.”
Other recent directory editorial has included the following:
- thorough, efficient, understanding with clients and very practical;
- he sees ways through cases that others don’t;
- he is sensible, pragmatic and approachable at all times;
- he’s a very good negotiator who is calm and measured;
- he’s methodical, knowledgeable and meticulous;
- an all-round junior with excellent drafting skills;
- has an in-depth knowledge of the technicalities of medicine, which defendant doctors appreciate;
- extremely good on his feet;
- he has a very nice manner in court, which is very reassuring for the clients;
- his working knowledge of the law is very, very good and his ability to grasp complex medical issues is outstanding;
- very diligent and has great attention to detail;
- he is a meticulous and highly respected barrister;
- his medical background allows him to easily tackle complex cases and provide sound and focused advice;
- he is excellent;
- he combines an empathetic approach with a razor-sharp intellect;
- very methodical and responsive;
- clients love him and he has a lovely manner;
- a brilliant barrister to work with;
- in terms of his advocacy, he’s very robust and confident;
- businesslike and efficient, while remaining personable for his clients;
- a top choice for clinical negligence cases with complex medical issues, thanks in part to his experience as a trained doctor prior to his call to the Bar;
- he is especially noted by clients for the thoroughness and accuracy of his work;
- a smooth advocate;
- a consistently safe pair of hands;
- is immediately able to grasp the issues at hand and articulate them to a client;
- he is very good on his feet;
- he has an advocacy style which is well appreciated by clients and tribunals within the health regulatory field;
- his judgement is extremely sound and I would have no hesitation in recommending him;
- he’s an approachable barrister, who is down to earth, responsive and sensible;
- he takes a commercial view of claims, and backs his cases up with good analysis of the papers;
- he’s very good at quickly cutting through difficult issues and giving pragmatic advice;
- he brings that bit extra to a case;
- is so approachable and responsive;
- the superb Ranald Davidson is said to be “very calm in the heat of battle”;
- he understands the issues in a case extremely well;
- he has provided sterling service on a number of our cases;
- has extensive medical knowledge;
- another reliable junior with experience of running high-value trials on his own;
- he has a useful talent for distilling complex information and making it understandable;
- he has an excellent grasp of medical as well as legal issues;
- excellent with clients;
- he puts his thorough medical knowledge to good use, often defending doctors against negligence claims;
- clever, thoughtful and level headed; and
- an academic barrister with excellent client skills, who is capable of providing extremely practical advice.
The decision to switch from medicine to law was one I took during a hectic weekend on call as a Junior House Officer. It is a decision I have never really regretted. Although I enjoyed the privilege of treating patients and the camaraderie of working in a hospital team, I have found that work at the Bar affords many of the same benefits but with the added challenges created by an adversarial legal process.
“The best part of this job is being able to achieve a successful conclusion to a case.”
I particularly enjoy the tactical approach to litigation and regulatory work. For me, the best part of this job is being able to achieve a successful conclusion to a case – be that the recovery of an award of damages for a claimant, the successful defence of a claim or the avoidance of sanction on a professional’s registration – through careful planning and preparation as well as hard work.
Consultant Editor of Medical Law Reports. Formerly Contributor to Medical Law Reports. Current role involves organising and reviewing headnotes and commentaries produced by contributing editors, liaising with publishers and producing own headnotes and commentaries on recent cases of interest. This work helps keep Ranald informed of developments in all areas of medical law.
Ranald is regularly invited as an interviewer for the medical school undergraduate programme at King’s College London. This involves committing to assisting with the interview and assessment of applicants from all over the world.
In recent years Ranald has written reports on the following cases for the Medical Law Reports:
- Leigh v London Ambulance Service NHS Trust  EWHC 286 (QB)  Med LR 134: Clinical negligence– Psychiatric injury secondary to pain and distress of physical injury – Whether period of negligent delay in treatment causative in law of post-traumatic stress disorder – Whether dissociative seizures secondary to post- traumatic stress disorder – Quantum of injuries.
- Collins v Sec of State for Bus, Innovation and Skills  EWCA Civ 717  Med LR 291: Personal injury – Limitation Act 1980 – Assessment of date of constructive knowledge – Exercise of discretionary power to dis- apply period of limitation – Factors to be considered in exercise of power – Weight to be applied to time elapsed before and after date of knowledge.
- Bloom v HM Sen. Coroner for the West District of London  EWHC 2698 (Admin)  Med LR 490: Inquest – Application to quash verdict – Availability of fresh factual and expert evidence – Whether re-hearing necessary or desirable in interests of justice.
- Rich v Hull & East Yorkshire Hos NHS Trust  EWHC 3395 (QB)  Med LR 33: Obstetric negligence – Premature delivery – Development of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and brain damage – Standard of obstetric care in 1993 – Whether failure to consider antenatal corticosteroid therapy – Whether antenatal corticosteroid therapy would have avoided RDS and brain damage – Whether RDS and brain damage materially contributed to by failure to provide antenatal corticosteroid therapy.
- Stucken v East Kent Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 1057 (QB)  Med LR 380: Clinical negligence – Breach of duty – Vitreoretinal surgery – Failed repair of retinal detachment – Whether alternative procedure should have been adopted.
- XP v Compensa Towarzystwo SA and Bejger  EWHC 1728 (QB)  Med LR 570: Quantum of damages – Personal injury – Sequential road traffic accidents in Poland and UK – Relative contribution of each accident to claimant’s psychiatric injury – Recovery of damages under Polish law – Quantification of damages.
- JX MX v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 96  Med LR 103: Quantum – Clinical negligence – Anonymity – Approval of damages settlement on behalf of a child pursuant to CPR 21.10 – Application to anonymise identity of child – Whether anonymity necessary exception to principle of open justice – Guidance as to anonymisation of claimants at approval hearings
- PSA v GMC and Uppal  EWHC 1304 (Admin  Med LR 327: General Medical Council – Fitness to Practise Panel – Finding of Dishonesty – Whether decision not to find impairment of fitness to practise unduly lenient – Whether decision not to impose warning unduly lenient.
- Wells v Uni Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2376 (QB)  Med LR 477: Clinical negligence – Neonatal death – Whether negligent delay in performing caesarean section – Whether earlier caesarean section would have avoided meconium aspiration – Whether mother primary or secondary victim – Whether father secondary victim.
Ranald adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.
For further details of Ranald’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: 36286
Registered Name: Ranald Dunbar Davidson
VAT Registration No: 706761824