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Christopher’s practice encompasses medical/healthcare disputes and complex personal injury disputes.

Christopher has considerable oral advocacy experience, including Multi Track trials, Fast Track trials, interlocutory hearings in the High Court, appeals in the High court and applications in the Court of Protection.

Christopher is experienced in managing high value claims. For example, he is presently instructed as sole counsel in an RTA with special damages pleaded at more than £1.1 million.

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. His particular expertise is in the areas set out below.

Industrial disease

Christopher is very regularly instructed in industrial disease claims, most often noise-induced hearing loss and mesothelioma, but also HAVS, rhinitis, etc.

Noise-induced hearing loss (“NIHL”)

Christopher deals with a large volume of NIHL claims and is familiar with (probably) all of the issues which arise.

Christopher was sole counsel for the claimant (against a QC and a junior for the defendant) in the successful High Court appeal in Mackenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Limited [2019] EWHC 149 (QB), an important authority on the proper interpretation of the Court of Appeal decision in Keefe v Isle of Man Steam Packet Co [2010] EWCA Civ 683 (judgment in Mackenzie available here).

Christopher was also counsel for the claimant in the widely read, and widely cited cases of:

  1. Evans v Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change & Anor, Unreported, Cardiff County Court, 12 December 2017 (available here);
  2. Dudhill v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Unreported, Sheffield County Court, 21 December 2018 (available here).

Finally, Christopher has experience of claims for hyperacusis caused by exposure to a single loud noise.

Mesothelioma

Christopher was instructed as junior counsel to Theo Huckle QC in in the case of 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. The claim settled for a substantial sum shortly after. Christopher and Theo discuss the case in more detail here.

Christopher has experience appearing as sole counsel in interlocutory matters in mesothelioma claims, most recently a CMC where he was able to obtain an order for disclosure by the defendant of its insurance history during the period of the claimant’s employment.

Christopher recently co-authored an article on low-exposure mesothelioma claims (see here) and obtaining damages in respect of immunotherapy (see here).

Abuse claims

Christopher was instructed on behalf of the victims in the Nottinghamshire Councils strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Christopher’s role was to review victim’s social service files and medical records, before meeting with and interviewing victims in order to draft robust and powerful witness statements. Extracts from statements drafted by Christopher are quoted in press coverage of the Inquiry (see here).

Christopher has provided advice in writing and in conference in relation to numerous abuse claims. These have included:

  • Advising on quantum and drafting the (significant) Schedule of Damages in a claim for serious psychiatric injury resulting from childhood sexual abuse.

  • Advising on s33 of the Limitation Act 1980 in relation to a claim for historic sexual abuse made against a local authority and the MOJ.

  • Advising on the viability of a failure to remove claim against a local authority.

  • Advising on the admissibility and potential impact of medical evidence concerning the ability of an alleged abuser to engage in sexual intercourse.

Complex quantum

Christopher has a particularly strong grasp of figures (he undertook an economics course at Harvard Summer School and completed a research LLM involving analysis of trends in the banking sector). He is able to apply this mathematical literacy to analysis of quantum and is regularly instructed to draft Schedules of Loss and to provide advice on complex quantum/settlement.

For example:

  1. 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.
  2. And, as noted above, Christopher is presently instructed as sole counsel in an RTA with special damages pleaded at more than £1.1million, and has drafted an advice on quantum/settlement.
Clinical Negligence

Christopher is regularly instructed in clinical negligence disputes. Typically he is instructed as sole counsel in small and medium sized claims (up to c. £150,000) and as junior counsel or counsel in interlocutory hearings in larger disputes.

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.

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 a claim based on lack of informed consent to a dental operation.

  • Sole counsel in a claim concerning facial scarring suffered by a prison inmate following the delayed treatment of his fractured jaw.

  • Sole counsel in a claim based on the improper management of a wrist fracture.

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

Inquests

Christopher is experienced in representing bereaved families in coronial proceedings.

Because of his other areas of expertise, Christopher is particularly suited to inquests into deaths at work, deaths following medical treatment, or deaths related to mental illness.

For example, Christopher represented the bereaved family in an inquest into the death of a three month old child from sepsis with complex causation. The hearing took place over three days and involved (inter alia):

  • Questioning nine doctors on issues of fact and complex causation.

  • Making submissions in relation to the content of a report for preventing future deaths.

  • Preparing written closing submissions in support of the chain of causation suggested by the family.

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.

Christopher is currently instructed on behalf of the family in two inquests into deaths following falls in hospital.

Court of Protection and Mental Health

Court of Protection

Christopher is very 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.

Christopher recently presented a talk to local authorities on the issues surrounding capacity to consent to sexual relations (the handout from that talk can be found here) and a talk to the Official Solicitor on the role of the Care Act in COP welfare cases.

Christopher also has experience of litigation concerning the appointment of deputies.

Mental Health Review Tribunal

Christopher has experience of appearing before the Mental Health Review Tribunal in appeals against section (s2, s3, s37/41).

Christopher also has experience of appearing in the County Court in applications relating to the displacement of a nearest relative.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Christopher is co-author with Jamie Burton of the chapter in Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service covering claims against public authorities (available on Lexis). The chapter includes discussion of the Supreme Court decisions in Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v DSD and another [2018] UKSC 11, Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4 and Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales [2015] UKSC 2.

Christopher is currently instructed various police matters, including a civil claim for wrongful arrest, to be tried by a jury over five days in the Autumn.

Christopher is also instructed on behalf of a former prison guard who suffered psychiatric injury after witnessing a horrific assault by one prisoner on another.