Paula Sparks

p.sparks@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

1994
Paula Sparks
Profile

Paula specialises in clinical negligence and personal injury litigation with particular expertise in inquests and human rights issues. She joined Doughty Street Chambers having spent six years employed in the legal department of Action against Medical Accidents (the leading U.K charity for victims of medical accidents).

 

Paula has a commitment to human and animal rights. She is a regular lecturer on human rights related aspects of medical law and inquests and has provided human rights training for coroners on the Human Rights Act 1998 on behalf of the Home Office. She has advised on human rights issues including rationing of fertility treatment and damages for human rights violations.
Paula was junior counsel in the case of Reynolds v United Kingdom 2012 (damages awarded by the European Court of Justice for state’s violation or Art 13 in failure to provide a remedy to a non-detained psychiatric patient).


Paula is chair and founding member of the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW) and a regular contributor to the group's Journal of Animal Welfare Law. She often provides free advice on matters of animal welfare law.

 

Publications
  • Re-visiting the case for uplifting damages for non-pecuniary loss - JPIL (2011)
  • APIL Personal Injury: Law, Practice and Precedents – Chapters on inquests, fatal accidents, remedies under the Human Rights Act, CRU, CICA and non-compensatory (aggravated and exemplary damages) damages.
  • The Liberty Guide to Human Rights – Chapter on the Rights of the Bereaved
  • The impact of the Human Rights Act for Patient and Accident Victims - JPIL (2008)
  • The Medical Accidents Handbook: A Practical Guide for Patients and their Advisers 'Wileys’ – contributor to chapter on the legal system.

 

What the Directories say

Paula is cited in Chambers & Partners 2011  where it is said that ‘Clients love Paula Sparks, who is known for her exceptional drafting and for her ability to handle difficult disputes sensitively.’

 

Cases
  • Reynolds v United Kingdom 2694/08 [2012] ECHR 437
  • Carter v Ministry of Justice [2010] EWCA Civ 694 (CA)
  • R (On the application of Christine Davies) v HM Deputy Coroner for Birmingham [2004] 1 WLR 2739 (CA);
  • Baptiste v Guy’s Hospital NHS Trust [2002], Unreported clinical negligence trial.

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

Paula has broad ranging experience in clinical negligence with a practice spanning over fifteen years. She is instructed in cases including brain and spinal injury, amputation, blindness, obstetric injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, surgical negligence cases, psychiatric injuries and fatal accidents.

Paula’s personal injury practice comprises largely of cases where there are complex issues of quantum, fatal accidents and cases against public authorities for intentional and non-intentional injuries and human rights abuses.

Inquests and Inquiries

Paula frequently represents families at inquests and has substantial advocacy experience in this field. She is most frequently instructed in inquests relating to healthcare, including deaths in custody, criminal injuries and failures in medical and nursing care. Paula also advises families in judicial review proceedings following inquests.

Paula is a panel member of AVMA’s Inquest Advisory Panel and regularly writes on inquest related topics.

Chambers and Partners 2010 cite that she 'impresses sources with her advocacy. She offers "exceptional advice" in obstetric litigation, inquests and human rights-related issues.'

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Paula has substantial advisory experience of litigation arising from the conduct of public authorities and liability for institutional abuse, assaults and other human rights violations including unlawful detention. She acts for mentally ill patients, children and vulnerable adults who have suffered abuse or injury whilst in the care system including at care homes.

She also has experience of group litigation, including:

  • Al Rawi and others v Security Services - Claims brought against the security services for complicity in torture by UK citizens and residents detained in Guantanamo.
  • AB and others v Nugent Care society, a multi party action arising physical and sexual abuse of boys in children’s homes during the 1970s and 80s.
  • Multiple Claimants v Sanifo-Synthelabo Ltd & Anr [2007] EWHC 1860 (QB), a group action against a pharmaceutical company in respect of alleged brain injury in utero.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Paula has a commitment to human and animal rights. She is a regular lecturer on human rights related aspects of medical law and inquests and has provided human rights training for coroners on the Human Rights Act 1998 on behalf of the Home Office. She has advised on human rights issues including rationing of fertility treatment and damages for human rights violations.

Paula was junior counsel in the case of Reynolds v United Kingdom 2012 (damages awarded by the European Court of Justice for state’s violation or Art 13 in failure to provide a remedy to a non-detained psychiatric patient).

Paula is chair and founding member of the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW) and a regular contributor to the group's Journal of Animal Welfare Law. She often provides free advice on matters of animal welfare law.

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