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Christopher’s practice encompasses medical/healthcare disputes, complex personal injury disputes and actions against the police.

Christopher is an accomplished trial lawyer. He is regularly instructed in Multi Track trials (including civil jury trials, and trials over three, four and five days).

Christopher is instructed in high-profile cases (including, currently, on behalf of a Team GB Olympian and a well-known author) and high value/catastrophic injury cases (he is presently instructed in multiple claims with special damages pleaded at six or seven figures).  

Outside of law, Christopher is a supporter of Manchester United football club and an avid cyclist, racing regularly on the road and in the velodrome for Islington Cycling Club.

Personal Injury

Christopher accepts all types of personal injury work. He has particular expertise in the following areas:

Claims against public authorities

Christopher is co-author of the “Liability of Public Authorities” chapter in Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service (available on Lexis). Because of this expertise, Christopher is often instructed in difficult claims against public authorities. For example:

  • Miles v Caerphilly County Borough Council Cardiff County Court, 26 and 27 November 2019. Christopher was instructed by Ms Miles who sustained psychiatric injury after witnessing the horrific murder of Cerys Yemm. Ms Miles sought to claim against the council. This raised novel and difficult issues of law, including the scope of the Dorset Yacht principle.

  • Multiple instructions on behalf of victims of domestic violence by perpetrators known to the police/public authorities (including potential DSD-type claims for breach of Article 3 ECHR).

  • Multiple instructions in claims against local authorities, police forces, NHS Trusts etc. for breach of Article 2 ECHR, many arising out of inquests (see below).

Industrial disease

Christopher is very regularly instructed in industrial disease claims, including as sole counsel in mesothelioma claims.

Reported disease cases in which Christopher was instructed include:

  • Mackenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 2110, an important authority on the proper interpretation of the decision in Keefe v Isle of Man Steam Packet Co [2010] EWCA Civ 683.

  • Myall v Ministry of Defence & Anor [2017] EWHC 1752 (QB), a successful High Court appeal against the decision of a Master on various interlocutory points in a mesothelioma claim, including the claimant’s application to amend the particulars of claim to include damages for immunotherapy.

Road traffic accidents

Christopher has considerable experience of RTA litigation, including fatal and high-value cases.

For example, in September 2019 Christopher secured a settlement of £400,000 for a claimant who had sustained multiple injuries, including spinal injuries, in an RTA. Christopher had previously represented the claimant at a two-day preliminary issue trial re: (1) the identity of the driver; and (2) the applicability of the MIB uninsured drivers’ agreements. Both issues were decided in favour of the Claimant. Christopher subsequently advised on quantum and settlement and represented the Claimant at the joint settlement meeting.

As a keen cyclist (perhaps an understatement, see his Strava), Christopher is particularly suited to representing people injured whilst riding their bikes.

Complex quantum

Christopher’s LLM involved statistical analysis of trends in the banking sector. His mathematical literacy ensures he is regularly instructed to draft Schedules of Loss (including Schedules of Loss in cases that fall outside of his core areas of practice) and to provide advice on complex quantum/settlement.

For example, Christopher was instructed to draft the Schedule of Loss in the case of SW v the United Kingdom (App. No. 87/18), to be heard before the European Court of Human Rights.

Fundamental dishonesty

Christopher is experienced in the management of claims in which allegations of fundamental dishonesty have been made. For example:

  • In October 2019, Christopher was brought in in-lieu of previously instructed counsel to defend an application to strike out a claim for abuse of process. The defendant relied on the claimant’s social media posts and on surveillance footage which appeared to show that the claimant retained considerably more function than she had previously alleged. Christopher was able to resist the application, with an order for costs in his client’s favour.

  • On multiple occasions, successfully resisting defendant applications to disapply QOCS as a result of alleged fundamental dishonesty.

Clinical Negligence

Christopher is regularly instructed in clinical negligence disputes. Ongoing cases (some of many) include:

  • Junior counsel to Theo Huckle QC in a claim based on lack of informed consent to spinal surgery.

  • Sole counsel in multiple cases concerning delayed diagnosis of cancer, including cases arising out of the 2018 breast cancer screening scandal.

  • Sole counsel in a multiple cases concerning improper performance of surgery (from the relatively minor, such as a vasectomy, to the major, such as surgery for rectal cancer).

  • Sole counsel in a claim for self-inflicted burns suffered by a psychiatric inpatient.

  • Sole counsel in multiple cases concerning health care in prisons.

Christopher’s industrial disease and inquest work has allowed him to amass considerable experience of cross-examining medical professionals which is unusual for a barrister of his call and is transferable to his clinical negligence work.

Inquests

Christopher is experienced in representing bereaved families in coronial proceedings and subsequent civil claims.

For example, Christopher represented the bereaved family in an inquest into the death of a three-month-old child from sepsis with complex causation. As a result of damning findings by the Coroner, the family’s civil case was settled for its full value in the weeks following the inquest.

Other inquests in which Christopher has been/is instructed include:

  • Inquests into deaths following medical treatment.

  • Inquests into deaths following falls in care homes and hospitals.

  • Inquests into deaths in prison/police custody.

  • Inquests into self-inflicted deaths, including Article 2 inquests.

  • Inquests into deaths on the railway.

  • An inquest into a fatal road traffic collision.

Court of Protection and Mental Health

Christopher is regularly instructed to appear in s21A MCA proceedings. He has experience of instructions by local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, the Official Solicitor and professional litigation friends.

In January and February 2019, Christopher acted on behalf of P, by his litigation friend, in a 3 day final hearing of a s21A application. P lacked capacity as a result of Korsakoffs, and wished to return to his family home from a specialist placement. The case raised MM [2007] EWHC 2003 (Fam) and Re M [2013] EWHC 3456 (COP) type issues.

Other recent issues in Christopher’s cases have included: sanctions for non-compliance with a court order by a local authority, the effect of fluctuating cognitive ability on capacity to make decisions regarding care and residence; and the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to order that a placement is in P’s best interests when the legality of P’s care plan is disputed.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Christopher regularly acts in actions against the police (as well as against private security and bailiffs). Recent cases include:

  • Sole counsel in multiple wrongful arrest jury trials.

  • Sole counsel in a five-day wrongful arrest trial.

  • Multiple instructions on behalf of victims of domestic violence by perpetrators known to the police/public authorities (including potential DSD-type claims for breach of Article 3 ECHR).

  • Multiple claims for breach of Article 2 ECHR.

Christopher is co-author of the chapter in Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service covering claims against public authorities (available on Lexis). The chapter addresses various AAP issues including the Supreme Court decisions in DSD, Robinson and Michael.