Oliver Thorold


Year of Call

Oliver Thorold

Oliver Thorold specialises in medico-legal and mental health law. This includes personal injury claims arising from all kinds of medical treatment, and from the marketing of pharmaceutical products.

The mental health component of his practice has involved numerous judicial reviews, applications to the European Commission and Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, civil litigation, and public inquiries. He represented the patients of Ashworth Hospital at a statutory public inquiry chaired by Louis Blom-Cooper QC 1991/2. In 1994 he was counsel to a Public Inquiry into the death of Georgina Robinson in Torbay and in 1995 he was counsel to a Public Inquiry into the case of Jason Mitchell. In recent years he has acted more for the Special Hospitals Service Authority, individual special hospitals, and other health authorities. He was instructed on behalf of the hospital authorities at the Ashworth Inquiry which was chaired by His Honour Judge Fallon.

He worked as an in-house lawyer for MIND between 1978 and 1981, and has subsequently lectured extensively to mental health professionals and voluntary organisations including SANE.

Oliver Thorold has an extensive specialised clinical negligence practice with many cases involving injuries of maximum severity, such as cerebral palsy cases, as well as the broad range of medical claims. Issues of law which have arisen have included cases dealing with the application of the 'date of knowledge' provisions in the Limitation Act to medical claims, informed consent, discovery, the required standard of medical care in prisons.

In the area of pharmaceutical product liability Oliver Thorold was instructed as one of the two 'generic' juniors in the Opren litigation (1984-90) and one of the three 'generic' juniors in the benzodiazepine litigation (1989-1994). In addition he has been instructed in many other medical product liability cases involving barbiturates, anti-depressives, and steroids. He is currently senior junior in the Norplant generic litigation, acting for claimants who have sustained injury as a consequence of the implantation of long-term contraceptive devices.

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