Serjeants’ Inn is at the forefront of healthcare law. We are ranked as a top tier set for clinical negligence by The Legal 500 which describes us as “a very professional set with a modern outlook, providing many skilled counsel with a wealth of knowledge on clinical negligence law.” Christopher Johnston KC leads the clinical negligence and healthcare team.
We won Clinical Negligence Set of the Year in both 2021 and 2019 at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards, The Legal 500 Clinical Negligence Set of the Year Award 2018 and the Chambers & Partners Professional Discipline Set of the Year Award in both 2014 and 2015. We have 160 recommendations in Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for expertise in relevant fields including clinical negligence, professional discipline and regulatory law, Court of Protection and inquests and inquiries.
Our barristers combine:
- technical legal expertise – our barristers edit and write the Medical Law Reports, the Inquest Law Reports and the leading text, Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law fourth edition;
- practical advocacy and witness handling skills – our technique has been honed over years of experience in complex clinical negligence proceedings, medical disciplinary proceedings, criminal trials of doctors and other healthcare workers and high profile inquests;
- medical knowledge – our approach is informed by every-day experience in healthcare cases encompassing inquiries, product liability, public law and Court of Protection cases as well as extensive experience of every type of clinical negligence claim and regulatory case.
Our cases often involve important legal, ethical and social issues. They are always of the utmost human significance: we work in partnership with our instructing solicitors to secure the best outcome and to support the lay client throughout.
Barristers from Serjeants’ Inn have represented properly interested persons in high-profile inquests including the inquests following the 7th July 2005 London bombings, the In Amenas and Tunisian terrorist attacks, the deaths at Deepcut Army Barracks, the Hillsborough inquests and the Stirland inquest, the Mark Duggan inquest and the inquest into the death of Raoul Moat.
The Inquest Law Reports are edited by our members and the Medical Law Reports are also written and edited by a team from Serjeants’ Inn. Members of Chambers often provide training for lawyers and staff from public bodies (such as the police and health & social care professionals) and others on all aspects of coronial law.
Our barristers have a wealth of experience of appearing in and chairing public and other inquiries into alleged failings by corporate and statutory bodies. This includes the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Leveson inquiry, the public inquiry into the deaths at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, the Baha Mousa inquiry into the death of detainees in Iraq, numerous Health and Social Services inquiries into homicides by psychiatric patients (such as that following the Russell killings by Michael Stone), the inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove and Southall Rail Disasters and the Marchioness ferry disaster inquiry. Members of Chambers have also provided representation and expert legal advice to the Northern Irish Statutory Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-related deaths.
Court of Protection medical ethics
For over 20 years barristers from Serjeants’ Inn have been at the forefront of the law relating to medical treatment decisions for those lacking capacity. The team’s work encompasses all areas of human rights and civil liberties in health and social care with members advising and representing statutory bodies, incapable people and their families in cases covering a very wide range of legal and factual issues.
Members of Chambers have appeared in the landmark cases in this field including the Supreme Court case of Re MN (jurisdictional limits of the Court of Protection and the extent of parties’ rights under Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) as well as many of the seminal cases under the inherent jurisdiction, from re F and Bland through re MB, Burke and Re A (conjoined twins). In the Court of Protection tenants have appeared in leading ‘right to die’ cases, including cases involving withdrawal of treatment for those in PVS (Re M & Re H) or a minimally conscious state (W v M). Tenants have also acted in several important Human Rights cases heard under the Mental Capacity Act. In the welfare and social care arena, barristers from Serjeants’ Inn have appeared in many of the headline cases in the CoP and Court of Appeal involving deprivation of liberty under the MCA (eg G v E and Cheshire West) and the interface of the MCA with the Mental Health Act (eg GJ, TB).
The strength and depth of the team means that Serjeants’ Inn is regularly instructed by NHS Trusts and the Official Solicitor’s office when complex and emergency medical cases arise. The team’s collective knowledge has culminated in the publication of the only comprehensive legal text book on this area “Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law” which is now in its third edition.
Serjeants’ Inn has particular product liability expertise in cases involving injury caused by medical or pharmaceutical products and devices. Our members of Chambers have been involved in a number of high profile and important product liability group actions and we are acknowledged by the independent legal directories as a leading set for product liability.
High value personal injury
Members of Serjeants Inn are regularly instructed in high value personal injury claims by both claimants and defendants. The skills acquired in the presentation of the highest value clinical negligence claims are readily applied to personal injury actions, particularly those with complex expert evidence. Silks and senior juniors, often leading junior members of the team, are able to act in the most complex catastrophic injury claims including those involving head injuries, PVS and spinal cord injury. Members of the team are used to advising in cases arising out of road accidents (including claims against the MIB) as well as cases of employers’ and public liability.
24 Hour Urgent Advice
Our Clinical Negligence & Healthcare team provides a 24 hour service, 365 days a year to arrange for urgent advice and representation on applications including injunctions. For more details about our emergency service please click here.
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