Silk: 2006  Call: 1975

Jacqueline’s areas of work span contract and tort. She handles commercial matters both in the UK and the US as well as personal injury, clinical negligence, insurance and product liability.

Jacqueline has acted for both claimants and defendants in very high-profile, public interest cases. She has acted for local authorities and insurers as well as received significant instructions from trades’ unions and Government departments, the Police and the Fire Brigade. She has acted for claimants in cases arising out of major disasters, including the original and recent Thalidomide claims and she is instructed in major multi-party matters.

She is highly thought of by her professional clients, who instruct her in the sure knowledge of her thoroughness, fearlessness and sound and sensitive approach to all aspects of her work.

As a qualified and practising Californian lawyer, Jacqueline has consolidated her field of expertise in this jurisdiction and she has successfully litigated in front of civil juries in the California Superior Court in multi-million dollar claims. She is “Of Counsel” at Rufus-Isaacs, Acland & Grantham, Beverly Hills.

In all areas of her work, Jacqueline has frequently successfully pioneered arguments and points of law or practice.

  • Commercial/International

    • Jacqueline is involved in both England and in Californiain multi-million pound claims against major international oil companies arising out of oil spillages and explosions which have had catastrophic human and environmental impact.

      She has ongoing instructions from clients in St. Lucia for a hearing in the Privy Council on the interpretation of the St. Lucia civil code as it applies to a dispute between her clients and the First Caribbean International Bank.

      Jacqueline is also instructed in an appeal from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court in a claim against the Bank of Scotland  She has a number of ongoing instructions arising out of fraudulent and/or negligent advice connected with large investment schemes as well as an instruction from a liquidator arising from negligent tax advice to the underlying corporate entity. 

      Jacqueline is now associated with the Beverly Hills firm of Rufus-Isaacs, Acland & Grantham. The firm comprises litigators (dual qualified barristers) and transactional attorneys (dual qualified solicitors).

      A part of the work is associated with the entertainment industry and commercial and insurance work and, to that end, Jacqueline has advised in matters involving world famous celebrities (Stevie Wonder) and successfully resolved issues and drafted the necessary agreements arising from an IP dispute between employees of a Tennessee Company, its Californian licensee and a subsidiary company in Bristol, England. She has advised in claims ranging between clients in New York, conducting business in Dubai with a company and director in California.

      In 2012, Jacqueline was asked to advise on both procedure and substantive issues in respect of a claim by a Californian, injured when disembarking a plane in London, who sued in Federal court in California.

      In 2008, Jacqueline succeeded in obtaining a unanimous jury award of more than £3 million on behalf of a sub-contractor against one of the world’s largest construction corporations (Manufacturing Automation Solutions Inc v Kiewit Pacific Co). The case required careful explanation and clarity in interpretation and exposition to a civil jury of contract terms, specifications and change orders in the context of a complex project involving the installations of control systems into an LA County water pumping station.

      Jacqueline has had numerous cases to advise upon, from instructing solicitors in the Isle of Man and has several substantial matters extant.

  • Product Liability

    • From the mid-90’s and still continuing today, Jacqueline has been advising the victims of the drug Thalidomide in respect of the funding that needed to be substantially increased for them. On several successful occasions over the many years, Jacqueline has “taken on” Guinness PLC, then Diageo PLC, as well as HM Government and she has been instrumental in obtaining many millions of pounds for these claimants as well as an apology (drafted by her) from the last Labour Government on behalf of the authorities who allowed this disaster to occur. For this matter Jacqueline acted pro bono throughout.

      She has been recently instructed to advise in a multi-party action against a major drug company in respect of a well-known anti-depressant.

      She is presently leading in the first of the many cases seeking compensation for damage caused by mesh implants.

      In California, Jacqueline was invited to be lead trial counsel in litigation involving carbon monoxide poisoning arising out of faulty heating equipment. The case was heard in Spring 2012 in Napa Valley, California and comprised a claim for personal injuries sustained as a consequence of a faulty product.

      In 2011, Jacqueline achieved a multi-million dollar settlement in Seattle, Washington State which was a wrongful death claim as a consequence of a defectively designed axle locking nut on a trailer. (Re- Ellis deceased v Democon and Others).

      In dealing with these above claims, Jacqueline has worked closely with the leading experts in their fields, from scientists to forensic accountants.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

    • From the beginning of her career Jacqueline has been instructed in insurance claims ranging from motor traffic cases to municipal and local government cases, mainly on behalf of the defendant insurers.

      The work she has done in recent years has tended to be of very high value and often where competing insurers may be involved. For example she has been instructed and advised in the M1 disaster when a trailer carrying military tanks overturned involving some 23 vehicles, some 6 deaths and multiple personal injury claims. The real issues revolved around which vehicle and therefore which insurer was responsible for the claims arising from the incident.

      Jacqueline has frequently advised insurers as to the application and interpretation of a policy and whether, for example, the correct policy to be applied is road traffic or employer's liability. Jacqueline is currently instructed in a difficult and sensitive insurance claim arising out of a dispute on an employment policy.

      In 2012 she provided multiple advices in advance of an arbitration hearing in a $60 million dispute with re-insurers on a CAR policy arising out of a $250 million hydraulic power plant project in the Philippines which was devastated by a typhoon in 2009.

  • Personal Injury

    • Throughout her career, Jacqueline has been an advocate in this area, working for both claimants and defendants. She worked on behalf of the local authorities over many years when they were under the banner of the Municipal Mutual Insurance Company, and latterly she has handled most of the difficult claims on behalf of Amlin Insurance, Lloyd’s Underwriters, both as a Junior and in Silk. As a consequence of the quality of Jacqueline’s arguments on paper, most of her cases are settled, frequently at a fraction of the pleaded claim.

      Jacqueline has been involved in some very high-profile matters, acting for claimants and obtaining, for example, the highest award paid to a victim of the BBC cooling towers contamination, one of the highest awards paid to a victim of the Clapham Rail disaster, acting for victims of the Paddington Rail disaster, the Cannon Street tube crash and for the defendants (British Midland) in the Kegworth Air crash. She also represented the widow and children of the murdered headmaster, Philip Lawrence, in the hearing before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

  • Clinical Negligence

    • Jacqueline’s experience of personal injury work and her many years of reading, advising upon and working with or having to cross-examine medical experts made the transition to actually working in the field of clinical negligence an obvious cross-over. Jacqueline has made a particular speciality of causation issues, as seen in cases such as Chester v Afshar in the House of Lords. Jacqueline now has vast experience of this area of work both in bringing claims on behalf of claimants or bringing third party claims against health providers on behalf of her primary insurance clients.

  • Costs

    • Jacqueline has considerable experience in advising and appearing for solicitors in respect of bills rendered or following litigation when bills are contested. She has handled such cases before the Master, in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.

  • Publications, Seminars & Teaching

      • Continuous involvement in advocacy training at Gray’s Inn.
      • Invited lecturer on corporate litigation by Pepperdine University Law school, London programme - July 2013.
      • Co-authored paper on proposals for the future of the Inns of Court and re-organisation of the legal professions in England & Wales – published by ‘Graya’ - June 2013.
      • Selected by the South Eastern Circuit to participate as a faculty member in the civil advocacy course run at Florida University - May 2013.
      • Panel speaker for Gray’s event “Call to the International Bar” – April 2011.
      • Bar Conference: invited panel participant for Association of Women Barristers – 2010.
      • Speaker on Corporate Manslaughter at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford - May 2010.
      • Co-authored with Peter Carter QC paper on ethics as part of presentation package for Gray’s Inn students and trainee barristers – 2009.
      • Co-presented discussion for Californian lawyers forum on comparative disclosure rules with Associate Justice William Rylaarsdam, Judge of the Appeal Court of Orange County – 2006.
      • Women’s Lawyer Conference, invited speaker – 1999.
      • Developed and pioneered teaching course for restraining orders pursuant to Drug Trafficking Act 1986 and Criminal Justice Act and provided training to Metropolitan Police both at New Scotland Yard and Hendon Detective Training School 1986-1993.
      • Under nom-de-plume (Nicola Charles): provided legal advice for popular Women’s magazines and appeared regularly on Granada’s “This Morning” programme as well as GMTV 1989- 1998. For some 7 years featured as one of Jimmy Young’s team broadcasting legal advice on Radio 2.
      • Co-wrote with writer and journalist, Janice James, two books (i) The Rights of Woman (Arrow 1990) and (ii) Know Your Law (Pavilion 1995) – this was republished in Japan with Japanese notations for teaching English in 2001.
      • Paper written 1988 at request of head of Policy Studies Unit of IOD on English and European Jurisprudence.
  • Significant Cases

    • Many of Jacqueline’s cases have been reported over the years, in the law reports, in the Personal Injury Quantum Reports and written up in Kemp & Kemp as well as other publications. Some of the significant reported cases are listed below.

      Chewings v Williams [2010]
      Serious leg injuries. Risk of deterioration. Possibility of amputation. Whether provisional damages suitable and if so, for what period.

      Armsden v Kent Police [2009] EWCA Civ 631
      Duty of care of emergency vehicles when answering urgent response calls.

      Sahakian v McDonnell [2007] EWHC 3242 (QB)
      Causation; contributory negligence; speed contributing to severity of injury and whether this should be a factor in the negligence of driver.

      Daniels v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2006] EWCA 1622
      Costs dispute arising out of very late service of evidence.

      Chester v Afshar [2005] 1AC 134
      Autonomy of patient when doctor seeking consent for surgery.

      Bacon v White 1997
      Fatal diving accident and issue of contributory negligence of novice diver.

      Lewis v Osborne 1995
      Value of a mother’s services following her death in RTA when vehicle driven by claimant’s father.

      Birch v Hales Containers 1992 (CA)
      Early decision on admissibility of surveillance evidence – when appropriate.

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