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Helen Bell

Call 2002

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

Practice Overview

Helen joined chambers in 2002 with an outstanding academic background. She is an extremely able and experienced litigator who specialises in all areas of employment, personal injury and clinical negligence law.

Helen’s clients particularly appreciate her effective advocacy and commercial approach to litigation.

She acts for both Claimants and Defendants/Respondents in an advisory capacity and as an advocate at internal and external hearings. She has extensive experience of litigation involving public sector bodies and is therefore particularly familiar with the unique issues such cases can involve. She is registered with the Bar Council as a Public Access practitioner.


Helen appears regularly in the Employment Tribunals, County Courts, Employment Appeal Tribunal and in the High Court acting for both Claimants and Respondents in a range of final and interim hearings. Clients include central government departments, local authorities, NHS trusts, city institutions, large multinationals, small and medium sized businesses as well as individual professionals.

Helen is an experienced and impressive advocate. Clients particularly value her meticulous preparation, attention to detail, forensic approach to cross examination and persuasive submissions.

She practices in all areas of employment law but has particular expertise and interest in claims arising out of workplace stress, harassment and disability discrimination, given her complementary experience of personal injury litigation (as to which: see personal injury).

Helen has been instructed in a number of groundbreaking cases. For example she was instructed on behalf of the successful respondent to a claim for sex and pregnancy discrimination and harassment at first instance, and on appeal in one of the first English cases to consider the impact of the ECJ’s decision in Mayr v Backerei und Konditorei Gerhard Flockner OHG [2008] IRLR 387 on domestic law.

Helen regularly gives seminars on all aspects of employment law, most recently presenting a practical guide to sickness absence, disability and dismissal on behalf of Chambers’ Employment Group. Helen is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Court of Appeal Pro Bono Scheme through which she provides assistance to litigants in person in relation to employment law cases. She is also a member of Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Committee.

Personal Injury

Helen has a very successful personal injury practice.

She regularly appears before Circuit and District Judges in the County Courts. She has also appeared in the Queen’s Bench and Admiralty Division of the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Helen acts for Claimants and Defendants through major EL and PL insurer clients in all areas of personal injury law. She specialises in employer’s liability claims, occupiers’ liability /defective premises claims, claims concerning road traffic accidents including claims involving the MIB and LVI/fraudulent claims, claims concerning accidents on the highway, Fatal Accidents Act claims, Animals Act claims and holiday claims. She also has experience of Compensation Recovery Unit appeals and inquests.

Helen has particular expertise and interest in occupational stress claims and claims for bullying and harassment including those brought pursuant to the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 given her extensive experience of employment law (including experience of harassment and disability discrimination). Her membership of the Treasury C panel over a number of years has also given her experience of all types of occupational disease claims including those relating to mesothelioma, NIHL, WRULD and VWF.

Helen also specialises in all aspects of civil procedure including summary disposal, strike out, disclosure, experts and costs, including costs budgeting.

Clinical Negligence

Helen has experience of dealing with complex issues of breach of duty and causation in a broad range of healthcare and clinical negligence cases. Claimants and Defendants particularly value her personable approach and extensive experience of working with public sector clients.


Recent cases include:


  • YG v BCH – relating to the failure to refer for skin biopsy and/or to refer for secondary care leading to delay in diagnosing mycosis fungoides
  • JW v UL – relating to the failure to refer to a specialist vascular unit prior to surgery and the failure to remove an entire rib in a case of Thoracic Outlet Compression Syndrome
  • JB v UH – relating to the failure to monitor cortisol levels post operatively and/or make an endocrine referral leading to a delay in providing hydrocortisone replacement therapy
  • JC v ST & others – relating to the failure to x-ray post reduction and delay in referring to fracture clinic leading to alleged flexion deformity of the right little finger