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Frederick represents vulnerable claimants who have been subject to mistreatment at the hands of state and private organisations, helping them to obtain redress through a range of legal means, including civil claims, inquests, and judicial review.

Frederick specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury, inquests, actions against the police, human rights, and employment law. He regularly appears in court in civil applications, interlocutory hearings, fast-track and multi-track trials across these practice areas, and is particularly adept at cross-examining expert witnesses.  He frequently advises on liability and quantum, schedules of loss, and statements of case, including in high value catastrophic injury claims.

Before joining the Bar, Frederick worked for a number of organisations, including the Habeas Corpus Project, where he advised on asylum claims of individuals who were left with mental and physical scars following persecution.  He also represented claimants in the Social Security Tribunal for the Free Representation Unit, many of whom suffered from chronic medical conditions and disabilities.  In addition, he worked on a pro bono basis for the School Exclusion Project, acting as a legal lay representative for the parents of excluded pupils at hearings in front of school governors and independent review panels. Frederick is currently the director of Lawyers Against the Repeal of the Human Rights Act (LARHRA), a campaign group comprised of legal academics and practitioners whose objective is to protect the HRA.  In his spare time, he can be found eating hummus, ice skating, and singing folk music.

“Frederick is very empathetic. He understands that people may be experiencing one of the most stressful episodes in their lives and makes sure that they feel listened to and confident in their representation.”

Clinical Negligence

Frederick deals with clinical negligence where he is instructed exclusively on behalf of claimants. He has acted in complex and high value claims arising out of spinal brain injury, catastrophic injury, and birth injury, and is presently instructed in several claims with special damages pleaded at six or seven figures.  He has represented claimants who lack mental capacity, the terminally ill, recently bereaved, and minors.  He has amassed considerable experience in cross-examining expert witnesses from medical inquests.

He takes a pro-active approach to his work: preparing case plans and helping to tactically steer the claim through the whole litigation process wherever needed, including drafting, advising in conference, liaising with liability and medical experts and drafting the most detailed schedules of loss. 

Recent cases include:

  • Spinal injuries. He is currently acting as sole counsel in Smith v Cardiff and Vale UHB and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a case concerning alleged failures to diagnose and treat an epidural abscess, resulting in significant, sustained, and irreversible neuropathic pain, which has interfered with the patient’s ability to work and care for themselves.

  • Nerve damage.  He is sole counsel in a case about an alleged negligent injection of a steroid into a patient’s hand, causing permanent nervous damage.  The case raises an interesting legal issue about the applicable counselling standard for a patient with only one functioning hand (prior to the injection)

  • Stroke and neurological conditions. He is acting as junior counsel to Robin Oppenheim QC in a case where a patient suffered a stroke as a result of negligent advice to a patient with a haematological condition to refrain from taking her regular anticoagulation treatment. This case raised complex issues of causation because there were four competing theories about the cause of the stroke.  This required evidence from multiple disciplines (including stroke physicians, cardiologists, general practitioners, haematologists, and clinical pharmacists).  The case also raised a novel legal point regarding the scope and relevance of contributory negligence in the medical negligence context, as it was alleged that the patient had failed to take certain steps which would have reduced the risk of her stroke.

  • Gastrological and intestinal illness.  He is advising on the merits and quantum in a complex case about a prisoner who died as a result of a perforated peptic ulcer which led to intra-intestinal sepsis. At the inquest, Frederick persuaded a jury that there were significant failures by medical and nursing staff to diagnose, treat, and refer this patient to hospital which caused his death.

  • Appellate work.  Frederick is acting as junior counsel on the appeal of the decision in Bass v Ministry of Defence, a test case about whether soldiers who contracted Q-Fever whilst posted in Afghanistan should have been provided with appropriate chemoprophylaxis.  Permission is presently being sought for a “leapfrog” to the Court of Appeal due to the public importance of this case.

  • Respiratory conditions. Frederick is currently acting in a high-profile claim regarding a man who suffered a respiratory arrest following restraint by private security guards.  The case involves expert evidence from a wide range of disciplines (seven at present) in order to ascertain the cause of death.

  • The scope of the duty of care.  He is currently advising on an important case concerning whether and in what circumstances the children of a patient with a genetic disorder are owed a duty of care by their parent’s doctor.

  • Catastrophic birth injuries.  Frederick has assisted or acted as junior counsel to Robin Oppenheim QC on several cases where antenatal and postnatal care were sub-standard, resulting in permanent and severe brain damage to the child.  Frederick assisted by providing detailed analysis of the medical notes, drafting pleadings, formulating questions to the medical experts, and doing the interlocutory applications to resolve procedural issues.

  • Failed and delayed diagnosis. He has settled pleadings and advised on the merits in relation to a claim for failure and delay to diagnose a penile injury resulting in significant pain and loss of sensation.

  • Suitability of care and treatment for mentally unwell persons.  Frederick is currently instructed in a claim against a GP for her failure to refer a middle-aged woman with chronic depression who committed suicide to community mental health services prior to her death, or to provide her with suitable medication. This claim involves complex issues of breach (the risk of self-harm increased incrementally over a two-year period) and causation (to ascertain whether treatment and referral would have made a sufficient and timely difference to the Claimant’s mental health).

  • Cardiological-related injury or illness. Frederick is currently acting as lead counsel in a claim against a Hospital which failed to diagnose abnormalities in a patient’s heart, resulting in a myocardial infarction (heart attack).  This claim involves complex and competing expert evidence about the clinically significant warning signs of a myocardial infarction.

  • Plastic and cosmetic surgery.  Frederick advised on the quantum in relation to cosmetic alterations to a person’s face and body following a serious car accident.

  • Epileptic seizures.  Frederick is acting in one claim in which an undiagnosed head injury acted as the focal point for a partial tonic-clonic seizure, resulting in a cardiac arrest and death.   In another claim, the individual suffered an epileptic seizure after healthcare staff in custody failed to arrange for the prescription of anti-epileptic medication or management of the condition in hospital.

  • Dental injuries. He has acted in a case regarding dental injuries sustained during an operation under anaesthetic.

Inquests

Frederick represents bereaved families in coronial proceedings and has experience well beyond his call in this area, having acted in several complex and high-profile inquests (see below). Because of his other areas of expertise, he is particularly suited to inquests into deaths following medical treatment (inside and outside clinical settings), deaths of those in state detention, death at the hands of police and security guards, and deaths at work.

Law enforcement and security personnel

JB (ongoing): A month-long inquest into the death of a young man who suffered a heart attack after being restrained by security staff and died nearly two months later. The inquest is set to hear from experts from a wide range of medical and professional fields in order to ascertain whether the restraint employed was causative of the deceased’s death.  The inquest is likely to raise significant issues regarding the regulation of the private security industry.  The complexity of the legal and factual issues has prompted the Coroner to instruct Counsel to the Inquest. The case has been covered by various news outlets, including ITV and the Manchester Evening News.

KM (ongoing): a domestic homicide of a 17 year-old girl/young woman by her ex-partner.  The Metropolitan Police received multiple reports from the victim and her family before her death about the perpetrator’s escalating behaviour.  The Inquest will also deal with the role of social services in investigating referrals.  Coverage in the Times, BBC, the Sun, the Independent, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, the Mirror, ITV.

State Detention

AR (2019): A high-profile, two-week, Article 2 jury inquest into the death of a prisoner where the jury found that medical staff had caused the prisoner’s death by their neglect.  The inquest prompted multiple referrals to professional disciplinary bodies, a Prevention of Future Deaths report being sent to the head of NHS England, and admissions of fundamental systemic failings by the responsible NHS Trust. This inquest raised also raised novel legal issues regarding juror eligibility.

DA (ongoing): An Article 2 jury inquest into the death of a young prisoner who killed himself following threats made against him by other prisoners and potential failures to provide appropriate mental health care and attention.  This wide-ranging inquest is set to address the flawed interactions between the disciplinary and the healthcare side of the prison.

MN: An Article 2 jury inquest into the death of a middle-aged man who was taken into custody, presumed intoxicated.  His condition deteriorated in custody and he suffered multiple episodic seizures ultimately resulting in a cardiac arrest and death.  Custody staff, including custody sergeants, detention officers and healthcare all failed to spot tell-tale signs of the deceased’s head injury, and demonstrated a conspicuous disregard for the relevant protocols for assessing the condition of detainees. Frederick is being led by Fiona Murphy, Senior Counsel.

BP (ongoing): Advising regarding coronial procedure in relation to deaths which occur foreign jurisdictions where a body has not been recovered.

Medical inquests

PW (2019): Inquest into the death of a middle-aged man from a myocardial infarction.  The deceased had undergone electrocardiograms (ECG) on and prior to the day of his death. The nursing and medical staff who reviewed the ECG had ignored indicators of the impending silent ischaemia.  The Coroner made critical findings about the assessments carried out by the nurse and the anaesthetist. The case raised complex issues of medical evidence, both in relation to the standard of treatment and whether it contributed to the deceased’s death, given that the deceased had a long and complicated medical history. 

NS (ongoing): Inquest into the death of a middle-age woman with bi-polar disorder who was sent to prison despite presenting in a highly concerning manner.  As a result of her mental instability, she refused to comply with her medication, including that which had been prescribed to address her elevated blood pressure.  She suffered a heart attack shortly afterwards. The Family contend that the mental and physical health assessments were inadequate leading to the decision to send her down the custodial pathway and in relation to the medical care and attention she received once in prison.

PM (2019): An Article 2 Inquest with a Jury about a man, known to suffer epileptic seizures, who was released from custody without his anti-epileptic medication. He suffered a seizure minutes after his release from custody and drowned in a ditch.  The main disputed issue was whether the failure to provide anti-epileptic medication had caused the partial seizure that precipitated the deceased’s collapse.

PK (ongoing): Inquest into the death of a neonate due to perinatal asphyxiation.  Complex obstetric evidence regarding the final stages of the pregnancy and whether the outcome was avoidable.

Mental health-related inquests

JE (2019): Inquest arising from the death of a middle-aged woman who jumped from a building days after a consultation with a GP regarding her worsening mood.  The Coroner recorded a narrative conclusion and summarised that the deceased was known to have chronic depression but was never referred to community mental health services even though it would have been appropriate to do so.   

VB: Article 2 inquest about a young woman with schizophrenia and a known suicide risk who committed suicide after having been refused treatment. 

RA: About a patient sectioned with an eating disorder who died from malnutrition whilst detained under the Mental Health Act. 

DH: employee killed himself following failures by mental health services and employer to provide appropriate support.

Social care

AS (ongoing): Frederick is currently instructed to represent the family of a child who was killed by his mother in relation to systemic and operational failings in the local child social care system. This inquest will hear evidence from a wide range of state organisations with input in the referral process, and consequently is likely to involve a large number of interested persons.  

JB (2019): Inquest into the sudden death of a six-month year old infant who was found lying motionless next to his intoxicated mother.  The inquest focused on the immediate circumstances of the baby’s death, including whether overlaying had occurred, as well as the broader question of whether social services should have intervened earlier to protect the child from the mother who was known to pose a risk to her children due to her mental instability, substance misuse, and neglect. 

Deaths at work/health and safety

MA: Article 2 inquest into the death of a builder who fell through a roof. Raises complex issues regarding compliance with health and safety legislation.

Personal Injury

Frederick deals with a wide range of personal injury claims, including cases with an international dimension. He specialises in high-value catastrophic injury claims arising out of employers’, occupiers’ and public authority liability, as well as road traffic accidents. He has expertise in dealing with Claimants who lack mental capacity, the terminally ill, recently bereaved, and cases involving minors.

Frederick has considerable trial experience for someone of his call, having acted as leading counsel in several high profile Inquests and associated civil claims.  

Road traffic accidents

Frederick is regularly instructed in RTA litigation, including fatal, high-value, and MIB cases.  His work covers the whole spectrum of injury ranging from tetraplegia claims to brain injuries, amputations, chronic pain and fatal accidents.

He takes a pro-active approach to his work: preparing case plans and helping to tactically steer the claim through the whole litigation process wherever needed, including drafting, advising in conference, liaising with liability and medical experts and drafting the most detailed schedules of loss. 

In a recent case, he helped secure a six figure settlement for a client who sustained neuropathic pain following an accident.

Claims against public authorities

Frederick has considerable experience of claims against public authorities.  For example:

  • Abuse claims. Against the police, social services and other public authorities, where the perpetrator posed an identifiable risk to the victim.  Including potential DSD-type claims for breach of Article 3 ECHR.  Currently acting on behalf of Katerina Makunova’s mother in her claim against the Metropolitan Police for failures to protect her daughter from her killer.  Also acted in claims against public authorities for failures to prevent sexual abuse of children, securing significant settlements.

  • Care home negligence.  Fatal and non-fatal claims. Relating to nursing and non-nursing care.  Wide range of injuries, including traumatic injuries, pressure ulcers, osteomyelitis, mental health problems.  Recently helped secure a settlement of £60,000 following chronic neglect of resident leading to pain, suffering, and long-term injury.

  • Assault claims. Against individuals and employers. Representing the mother of Jack Barnes in claim regarding his death following restraint by security staff contracted to patrol a train station in Manchester. Special expertise in complex legal issues regarding non-delegable duties and vicarious liability – published article here

  • Claims against local authorities, NHS Trusts, police forces for negligence and/or breach of Article 2 ECHR, many arising out of inquests.

Occupiers’ liability

Frederick does a full gamut of occupiers’ liability cases from routine trips in supermarkets and restaurants to catastrophic injuries occurring at swimming pools, beaches, schools and leisure centres.

Frederick has experience in dealing with claims against individual householders and against all sizes of businesses, independent contractors, and large public bodies. He has also acted in numerous cases where corporate bodies have entered liquidation/administration.

Employer Liability

Frederick regularly acts for employees in relation to the work-related incidents and stress, harassment, and bullying induced injury claims.  Recent cases include construction site falls, factory machinery accidents, and assaults by fellow employees.  He has particular expertise in dealing with allegations of contributory negligence in these cases.

Industrial Disease

Frederick has experience handling the recognised occupational disease claims, ranging from asbestos to stress and chronic pain syndromes, including carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, de quervains, as well as “RSI”.  He was recently instructed in a show cause hearing in the High Court in a high-value mesothelioma claim. 

Actions Against the Police

Frederick has experience in pursuing civil actions against the police for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, unlawful detention and assault. He also has experience with pursuing claims for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.

He is instructed in a case against the police for granting bail to an individual who had a known history of deliberately transmitting HIV within the gay community, and went on to become the first person to be jailed for deliberately infecting men with HIV in the UK.

He has been instructed in several cases regarding the police’s failure to conduct an effective investigation into sexual crimes.  In one case, a £30,000 settlement has been agreed, subject to the court’s approval, for breaches of the procedural obligations under Article 3 arising from failures to investigate complaints of sexual abuse.

Recently, he was instructed in a case against the police for a failure to conduct a proper investigation into a vulnerable child who was abducted by her radicalised brother and taken to Egypt in 2014.   At this stage, the Frederick is involved with directing police to re-open the investigation into the abduction in order to determine whether the child is still alive.  This is an extremely wide-ranging case which raises complex legal issues in relation to extradition, investigations in to child abduction, terrorism and radicalisation, inquests into deaths which occur in foreign jurisdictions where a body has not been recovered, and international policing protocols.

“He has recently been instructed on a couple of cases regarding the police’s use of tasers, in both instances against unarmed men”.

Employment

Frederick has experience advising and acting for claimants across a wide range of employment law matters, including claims for discrimination, whistleblowing, blacklisting, and unfair dismissal. He has particular experience with cases combining employment and personal injury issues.

Frederick is currently on a part-time secondment at the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT), where he is advising members on a range of industrial disputes.

Recently, he was instructed in a case concerning discrimination and blacklisting of a gay employee as a result of his sexual orientation, which raised complex data protection issues.