Simon is very much a clinical negligence specialist. He has a nationwide reputation for using his medical background and expertise to fight difficult and complex cases on breach and causation. He is “superb with clients” and  “able to see points other barristers couldn’t and offer a new perspective. ”

Practice

Simon is a medically qualified specialist clinical negligence silk with 25 years’ experience.

Simon trained, qualified and worked firstly as a doctor in the UK, New Zealand and Central Africa. His experience covered most areas of medicine and surgery and included accident and emergency medicine, neurosurgery and treating casualties from the Mozambique civil war.

As a barrister Simon has specialised in clinical negligence and, in particular, in cases with difficult or complicated issues on breach and causation. He is one of the few barristers to have succeeded on a disputed material contribution causation argument at trial.

His practice is nationwide and he spends much of his time travelling the country to meet clients in solicitors’ offices and clients’ own homes.

Simon sits two days per month as Assistant Coroner in Avon.

Qualifications, Appointments and Publications

MB, BS – Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School – 1990
Graduate Diploma in Law – City University – 1993
Called – Inner Temple – 1994
Assistant Coroner – Avon – 2010
Silk – 2016
Certified Mediator – London School of Mediation – 2019

Seminars/Lectures/Articles

Simon has a particular academic interest in the change in the test for breach of duty in clinical negligence, on which he has written and lectured extensively. Simon also has a particular interest in expert evidence. He has written a number of articles, in particular on changes to the law on expert’s agendas.  He also trains experts. The BMA invited Simon to lecture on both Bolam and experts’ agendas at their Annual Legal Conference in London in March 2019.

Cases and work of note

Reported

Bayley Porter (by her mother and litigation friend Kelly Porter) v Barts Health NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 3205 (QB) – Simon obtained an interim payment of £1.9m (total interim payments of £2.4m) at a contested application in order to purchase a property costing £1.65m. This was despite a negative discount rate and the difficulties in recovering accommodation capital costs due to the then recent decision of JR (a protected party) v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 1245 (QB). This is believed to be the highest interim payment ever ordered in a clinical negligence claim.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Edward Ronayne [2015] EWCA Civ 588 – provided clarification of the criteria for qualification as a secondary victim in a clinical negligence context and is now the main Court of Appeal authority on this point.

Suzanne Lane v (1) Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (2) University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWHC 1900 (QB) – claim for delay in surgery on ischaemic limb.

Unreported (in the last year)

OM v ST NHS Trust – 2018 – Cerebral palsy claim settlement for £25m lump sum equivalent.

J v R NHS Trust – 2018 – Delay in diagnosis of neonatal encephalitis settled for £19m lump sum equivalent.

LI v Secretary of State for Health – 2018 – Delay in diagnosis of kernicterus in newborn resulting in brain injury – settled for £9m lump sum equivalent.

C v W NHS Trust – 2018 – Wrongful birth claim settled for £4m.

X v Y NHS Trust (Defendant) and Z Council (Interested Party), HHJ Cotter QC, Bristol District Registry, 26th September 2018 and 23rd October 2018 – successful conclusion to a protected party’s claim for equivalent of £15m despite intervention and ongoing dispute between local authority and defendant hospital trust.

Directory recommendations

Simon has been ranked in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners legal directories for over 10 years.  Recent editorial includes:

  • very forensic – none of the detail ever passes him by;
  • the medicine is really complex and he’s just completely on it, bashing forward questions with the experts and has never not understood where we are;
  • his medical qualification is a huge advantage;
  • he has a wealth of experience in high-value cases;
  • able to get the very best from medical experts;
  • cuts to the key issues in complex cases;
  • commands a nationwide reputation for the depth of his specialisation;
  •  very good with complex serious injury, particularly high-value cases;
  • a fabulous barrister who gives sound, pragmatic advice;
  • communicates with experts with ease;
  • he is an extremely talented barrister who provides practical support and advice;
  • willingness to advise on the most complex matters even at short notice;
  • stands out as technically skilful;
  • one of the most delightful barristers you’ll ever meet.
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