Regent’s Park College, Oxford University
City University, London
Council of Legal Education, London
King’s College, London
Postgraduate Diploma in Law
MA (Lond) Medical Law & Ethics
MA (Oxon) Philosophy & Theology
Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
PNBA (co-opted member of executive committee)
Member, Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (1999–2009, co-chair after 2004)
Human Genetics Commissioner (2004–2012)
Member, National Research Ethics Expert Advisory Panel
Caroline specialises in clinical negligence and medical law (especially concerning research & genetics; and including data protection and issues regarding medical records); complex personal injury litigation; related professional indemnity insurance; and health and safety claims. Her principal work involves neo-natal and adult brain damage; spinal injury; death; psychiatric injury; chronic pain and a broad range of diagnostic and treatment errors in primary and tertiary care. Her professional indemnity work usually relates to under-settlement or mismanagement of medical claims. The majority of Caroline’s work involves very complex medical or legal issues.
Caroline is adept at getting the best out of clients and experts in conference, and is known for her empathetic approach and commitment to her clients. She is an experienced and talented advocate and negotiator, who is equally at home whether leading from the front, or performing her role in a team. Caroline acts for both claimants and defendants in all areas of her work.
In addition to her brain damage, stroke and spinal injury work, Caroline’s recent cases have included the following medical issues: microbiological causation in septic arthritis; Wegener’s Granulomatosis (a rare auto-immune disease with rarer cardiac involvement resulting in premature death); autoimmune disease causing vascular insufficiency and amputation; acute liver failure leading to transplant; allergic drug reactions; drug-management of in chronic renal failure; short-term action of heparin in context of symptomatic pulmonary embolus; near-fatal bacterial lung infection; psychiatrically mediated blindness; psychiatric causation in borderline personality disorder; delayed diagnosis of various cancer types.
Caroline specialises in catastrophic injuries or cases raising particularly difficult causation or quantum issues. Her recent work has included supervening psychiatric disability; orthopaedic causation in successive traumas; severe multiple injury compensation; Blamire or multiplier-multiplicand approach to lost earnings; chronic headaches and chronic pain.
Caroline’s work in this area principally relates to mis-managed or under-settled medical claims. Her recent cases have covered the following contexts: an employer’s liability claim resulting in below-the-knee amputation; wrongful birth – multiple complex issues of scope of duty of care, effect of post-notional trial suicide of mother, whether hospital could owe duty to father; spinal injury and neuro-radiology; extreme case of chronic pain; brain damage claims for children.
Caroline has extensive experience of medical and other inquests, including with juries, and her recent cases have included the following:
Re Flanaghan [12-days, Worcester CC, Feb 2011] (fatal impact with tramcar, issues included possible homicide, possible suicide, accident, exact timing & causation of injuries, braking capacity of tramcar);
Re Pearce [3-days, Nov 2011, Essex CC] (allergic reaction to penicillin; system neglect in A&E triage & allergy warning);
Re Peacock [July 2011, Hatfield CC] (pulmonary embolus secondary to leg fracture – failure to apply standard protocol for anticoagulant management);
Re El-Shaboury [June 2011, WestLondon CC] (drug regime in chronic renal failure);
Re Douglas [10-days, Mar 2008, Plymouth CC] (death of naval officer from diabetic acidosis several days after consulting MO).
Caroline is currently instructed on a significant multi-party medical devices claim involving trans-vaginal mesh implants, which raises broad issues about the regulatory framework as well as detailed issues relating to the product.
Caroline's experience on the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee and her other positions wihin the regulatory framework for medical research have given her a practical knowledge of the regulation of research and the development of medical products and devices. She has also litgated non-medical product liability claims related to consumer products.
Chambers UK 2013
"intellgent and insightful"
"detailed knowledge of complex medical and legal issues"
Chambers UK 2012
"a user-friendly junior who provides high quality advice"
"comprehensive and high quality advice"
Legal 500 2011
"a substantial track record"
"superb intellectual and personal qualities"
Lyons v Chief Constable of Kent Police  EWHC 364 QB (causation in supervening psychiatric disability, & successive orthopaedic injuries);
Hills v Ulliott [unrep. Brighton County Court, Jan 2012] (general damages for severe multiple injuries; multiplier-multiplicand cf Blamire approach to future loss & fullOgden 6 approach to residual earning capacity);
Jackson v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals [settled, Feb 2012] (breach and causation in context of delayed diagnosis and then sub-optimal management of Wegener’s Granulomatosis causing death);
Faller v South London Healthcare [unrep., QBD Oct 2011] (approval of Fatal Accidents Act settlement where claim based on 3-hour window of opportunity for heparin to be effective in preventing fatal pulmonary embolus);
KRR v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust [QBD approval Sept 11] (cerebral palsy, c£12m);
Coupland v Dr Lal [settled, July 2011] (stroke rendering 56-y-o claimant wheelchair-dependent. Short life expectancy & lack of security for PPO gave rise to argument for full capital settlement of accommodation claim and novel arguments under Damages Act to de-apply 2.5% discount rate or for alternative securitisation);
Reid v Ministry of Defence & ors [settled Mar 2009] (novel issue of conflicting standards of care between UK-trained GPs and German hospital clinicians in near-fatal lung injury);
L v Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust [QBD approval 7/4/11; Lawtel LTLPI 11/4/12] (cerebral palsy, c£10m);
Whitehead v S & Hibbert, Pownall & Newton  All ER(D)80, EWCA Civ.285 (solicitor’s negligence case arising from failed wrongful birth claim. Novel points included relevance of events after date of notional trial & duties owed to fathers);
Williams v Williams & ors. [unrep. 2006 & 2007 Turks & Caicos Islands Supreme Court & Caribbean Court of Appeal respectively] (RTA causing paraplegia, seatbelt causation, construction of terms in motor insurance policy);
Lynham v Morecombe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 823 (QB) (directly employed care regime recovered notwithstanding increased costs over agency care);
Berry v Calderdale HA  Lloyds L.R. (Med) P179 CA (limitation & lawyer’s duties);
Magee v Taymech  PIQR P299 CA (costs in multi-party actions);
Smith v Vauxhall Motors  PIQR P19 CA (costs);
Thorn v Powergen  PIQR Q71 CA (pleading damages in asbestosis claims).
Clerks' direct contact:
+44 (0)20 7822 1200
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