Nicola Greaney

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Even if up against a number of QCs, she’s a very good advocate and really fights her corner.”
Chambers & Partners

Nicola has a wide-ranging practice that encompasses public law, medical negligence, professional regulation and discipline, Court of Protection (health and welfare and property and affairs), personal injury, local government, community care and costs.

She is ranked as a leading junior in the directories in the areas of professional discipline, administrative and public law, clinical negligence, costs, Court of Protection and community care law.

Her clients include NHS and private care bodies, individuals, a range of regulators (from the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) and those they regulate, local authorities, individuals and companies.

She has experience as an advocate in a wide-range of courts and tribunals including the Court of Appeal.

Administrative / Public / Human Rights Law (including health, mental health, local government, community care)

“She is very practical, pragmatic and sensible.” Chambers UK 2018

“Good on judicial review and Court of Protection cases.” Legal 500 2017

Recent work includes:

  • Advising on the vires of activities by a Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • Acting for health bodies and local authorities in continuing healthcare disputes involving restitution / vires issues.
  • Advising a local authority on the legality of partnership arrangements under the NHS Act 2006 and potential breach of contract claims.
  • Representing health bodies in judicial review challenges to general medical and dental service contracts.
  • Advising local authorities on leaving care obligations.
  • Advising and acting in ordinary residence and related disputes.
  • Acting in inquests involving deaths in custody and in hospital.
  • Advising on issues arising from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
  • Acting in a telecommunications dispute in Trinidad and Tobago with Nigel Pleming QC raising public law issues.

Incapacity & Best Interests

“She is very experienced in healthcare and public law cases with a medical aspect.” Chambers UK 2018

“She relates well to clients and combines an awareness of their position with the ability to read the court.” – Legal 500 2017

Recent work includes:

Representing the OS, private individuals, local authorities and health bodies in a wide range of cases involving adult health, welfare and finances in the inherent jurisdiction and before the Court of Protection including cases involving urgent medical treatment, injunctions, deprivation of liberty, physical and financial abuse and combined Court of Protection and judicial review proceedings. She has acted in medical treatment cases concerning the administration of anti-viral medical to babies when the parents object. She was recently instructed in a DNR /do not admit to intensive care case heard by Mrs Justice King. She is particularly well placed to deal with medical treatment cases given her wide-ranging clinical negligence experience.

Clinical Negligence

“Well on top of all the medicine. Very good with clinicians and experts.” – Chambers UK 2018

“An authoritative and determined advocate, who is great with clients.” – Legal 500 2017

Instructed in cases acting on behalf of Claimants, the NHSLA and private healthcare providers. Nicola has a broad practice in this area and also acts in claims with a Human Rights Act element given her public law experience.

Nicola’s recent cases include:

  • Several cases involving delay in diagnosis and treatment of spinal injury and cauda equina.
  • Complicated quantum issues arising out of causation arguments.
  • Cerebral palsy claims – liability and quantum issues.
  • Shoulder dystocia claims.
  • Negligent management of patient on warfarin and alleged warfarin overdose. Risk of stroke in any event.
  • MRSA / MSSA infections and seeding issues.
  • Delay in diagnosis of cancer.
  • Head injury at work and alleged delay in arranging transfer by A and E department to specialist neurological unit.
  • Negligent failure to diagnose septicaemia in a drug addict leading to death. Complicated issues concerning evaluation of quantum in a fatal accident claim where dependents live in separate households following death.
  • Alleged negligent advice of out of hours nurse in relation to diarrhoea associated with salmonella poisoning resulting in ileostomy – issues of contribution between out of hours nurse and GPs. Causation issues as to condition in any event, particularly premorbid psychiatric history.
  • Alleged negligent abdominal plastic surgery.
  • Alleged negligent care of woman during pregnancy with anti-phospholipid syndrome, whether would have developed severe pre-eclampsia in any event.
  • Negligent performance of hysterectomy on a trainee GP. Pre-existing psychiatric history and issues as to impact of negligence on medical career / loss of earnings.
  • Alleged negligent insertion of an arterial line in a neonate leading to necrosis of the hand.
  • Suicide following alleged wrongful discharge from hospital.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

“Very knowledgeable and approachable.” “She gives clear and easy advice which is also commercial and sensible.” Chambers UK 2018

“A well-respected junior, who has a very good manner with clients” – Legal 500 2017

Including disciplinary hearings, High Court applications and appeals, legal assessing and policy advice.

Experience includes:

  • Nicola is being led by Alison Foster QC in a claim brought by police officers for breach of their Convention rights and misfeasance in public office arising from an IPCC investigation
  • Representing registrants before the BACP and HCPC and UKCP.
  • Representing registrants before the General Osteopathic Council.
  • Prosecuting on behalf of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and defending judicial review claims brought against the RCVS.
  • Acting as legal advisor to CCG panels.
  • Representing the NMC in High Court Appeals.
  • Prosecuting for the GDC.
  • Representing a solicitor in a judicial review claim against the SRA.
  • Representing the GCC in registration appeals.
  • Sitting as legal assessor for the GSCC.
  • Working on disciplinary cases against pharmacists arising from the Harold Shipman inquiry.

Personal Injury

Nicola acts for claimants and defendants in personal injury cases. Her experience includes employer’s liability and public liability claims for claimants and defendants . She has experience in high value catastrophic injury, chronic pain and complex psychological/psychiatric injury. She has been instructed as a junior to Susan Rodway QC in complex and high value cases.

Recent work includes:

  • Personal injuries involving accidents abroad/foreign law
  • Claims of abuse/HRA claims brought against care homes/health care providers
  • Historic abuse claims. Nicola has been instructed in cases involving the sexual abuse of children and sexual assault of adults and acts for victims and perpetrators. She is experienced in dealing with limitation and vicarious liability issues and is instructed by public bodies, including the MOD, in a number of historic abuse claims.
  • Industrial disease. Nicola is currently instructed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as junior counsel in the Coke Workers Group Litigation Action, led by Ronald Walker QC.
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Stress at work and bullying claims including under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Fatal accident claims with difficult financial or service dependency claims Suicide and self-harm in detention. Instructed in a high value brain injury claim arising from a suicide attempt in prison. Liability has been compromised and the case now proceeds to a quantum trial.
  • Group action litigation including defence of damages claims brought by Afghan nationals arising from the conflict in Afghanistan including allegations of abuse.
  • Psychiatric injury/human rights claim arising from alleged wrongful delay in handing over a body for burial.
  • Injury/human rights claims arising from wrongful prosecution/arrest/detention.


As part of her defendant personal injury practice, Nicola acts for defendants in fraudulent claims including:

  • Fraudulent exaggeration claims
  • Costs arguments arising from fraudulent claims.

Her experience includes a high value claim for the MoD where a successful application was made to rely on surveillance shortly before trial and the claim was settled at a much lower sum.

Costs & Litigation Funding

“Shows great intellect when it comes to legal and factual analysis, and is a calm and assured advocate.” – Chambers UK 2018

“She specialises in matters arising from clinical negligence and personal injury”. – Legal 500 2017

Nicola advises on and appears at detailed assessment hearings and other costs cases in the Senior Court Costs Office and the County and High Courts on behalf of paying and receiving parties, claimants and defendants. She has advised on the impact of LASPO in a variety of contexts including potential challenges to the new LASPO regime and the new fixed recoverable costs applicable to EL and PL cases and ex-Protocol cases including the impact of section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 on fixed cost regimes. She has been advising on the recovery of costs against the Legal Aid Agency and against publicly funded parties who are in receipt of damages awards. She has acted in cases raising costs issues in professional negligence claims. She has been instructed to advise on issues arising out of the decision in JG v Legal Services Commission and was instructed by the Government in the Ali Zaki Mousa case that considered those principles in the context of a set-off of costs.

She is currently instructed in a challenge to the application of Re Eastwood and inter partes billing of in house lawyers. She is available to give advice and representation in a variety of costs cases and lectures regularly on costs issues including latterly at a costs symposium for the Treasury Solicitor’s Department.


Nicola was recommended in Chambers & Partners as a leading junior in Professional Discipline, Community Care and Court of Protection law and in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law, Clinical Negligence, Costs and Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law).


  • “A very capable junior and a safe pair of hands on healthcare regulatory cases.”
  • “An excellent all-rounder, calm and likeable.”
  • “A talented public law practitioner who is highly regarded for her Court of Protection work. Sources note that ‘she is very good with clients and is keen to ensure that their views are taken on board – she is a great team player’.”
  • “Very personable and efficient, she understands people and client service in a way many barristers do not.”
  • She is excellent; clients love her and she works hard for you.” “She’s not flashy or loud, but sensible and measured instead, which gains respect.”
  • “She’s very thorough, quick to respond and very bright as well.” “Able to grasp the issues quickly, she gets to the nub of the matter without needing too much input.”
  • “I was against her in a bitter dispute – she brought common sense and a practical and pragmatic approach to resolving the dispute.” Chambers & Partners 2017
  • “She is a really effective advocate and a really good negotiator.” “She is an excellent junior who is extremely bright and very good at understanding complex arguments.” Chambers & Partners 2017
  • “She is very approachable and willing to take on challenging deadlines.” Legal 500 2016
  • “An excellent all-rounder, calm and likable” Legal 500 2016
  • “She has an excellent reputation for medical treatment cases. I found her practical, very reliable, and she mastered a brief at short notice.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She is very mature and confident and plainly has the trust of the Official Solicitor and the Treasury team in big cases.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She’s accessible, knows her stuff and is good in court.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “Very personable and efficient, she understands people and client service in a way many barristers do not.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She is a committed and determined advocate who is great with clinicians and experts.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She is a good strategist with fine advocacy skills.” Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “She is extremely able and has a very good manner with clients.” Legal 500 2015
  • “She has a very good manner with clients.” Legal 500 2015
  • “A committed and determined advocate, who is great with clinicians and experts.” Legal 500 2015
  • “Flexible and thorough.” Legal 500 2015
  • “Extremely good with difficult litigants in person. She keeps her eye on the ball and has a very good knowledge of the law and the remedies we can apply for.” Chambers & Partners 2015
  • “Very thorough and knowledgeable on complex sexual relations cases.” Chambers & Partners 2015
  • “She’s extremely clear and authoritative; the court listens to her particularly attentively.” Chambers & Partners 2015
  • “She manages to be very direct and very good at focusing parties in on the issues.” Chambers & Partners 2015
  • “Succinct, astute, and a good strategist.” Legal 500 2014
  • “Very knowledgeable and approachable. Even if up against a number of QCs, she’s a very good advocate and really fights her corner.”” Chambers & Partners 2014
  • “A very capable junior and a safe pair of hands on healthcare regulatory cases.” Chambers & Partners 2014
  • “A strong advocate with a succinct, clear drafting style.”” Chambers & Partners 2014
  • “Calm, measured, sensible pragmatic advice, and her ability to take complex issues in her stride.” Chambers & Partners 2013
  • “A talented public law practitioner who is highly regarded for her Court of Protection work. Sources note that ‘she is very good with clients and is keen to ensure that their views are taken on board – she is a great team player.'” Chambers & Partners 2013
  • “Rising star.” Legal 500 2012
  • “A breath of fresh air,” she is “very much on top of everything and has a magisterial command of the legislation.” Chambers & Partners 2012
  • “Fairly laid-back style – the kind that judges like.” Chambers & Partners 2012
  • “Excellent courtroom presence”. Legal 500 2011
  • Is complimented for her solid advocacy, approachability and excellent teamwork. Her disciplinary practice is oriented towards the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and GSCC work. Chambers & Partners 2010
  • “Excellent knowledge and ability to get to the issues quite quickly.” Chambers & Partners 2009
  • “Thrives on pressure and tight deadlines.” Legal 500 2009
  • “Does a very good job in difficult circumstances.” Legal 500 2009

Related Cases

Clinical Negligence

James Robshaw v United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 923 (Foskett J).  Very high value contested quantum trial. Nicola was led by Neil Block QC.

Ettienne v Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Trust (22.10.14, Mitting J). A doctor had not been negligent when he inserted an ulnar artery catheter into a 28 week old baby’s wrist. It was acceptable for him to have adopted the procedure that he knew best. There were real difficulties in inserting a line into the posterior tibial artery. It was a balance of risks and it was essential that her blood gases were accurately and continuously monitored and blood was available to test. Nicola was instructed by the Defendant Trust.

Downes v Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (11. 11.14, HHJ Wood QC) Nicola was instructed by the Defendant Trust. Complicated fatal accidents claim (quantum only) raising issues as to valuation of maternal services against a background of family proceedings concerning the children and the mother having supervised contact prior to death and the approach to calculation of multiplier in fatal accidents claim. Case compromised with acceptance of Defendant’s latest part 36 offer on final day of trial.

Personal Injury

Biznia (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v Razgulajevs (2014) High value personal injury claim brought by a Lithuanian national who sustained serious brain injury as a result of a road traffic accident in the United Kingdom. Difficult quantum issues arising from the question as to whether the Claimant would return to reside in Lithuania in the future. A case management decision precluded the Claimant from relying on certain expert and lay evidence from Lithuania and an appeal had been brought in respect of that decision. Case subsequently compromised at a RTM. Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Nicola Greaney were instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of the Claimant.

Ryan St George (A Patient Suing By His Father & Litigation Friend David St George) v Home Office [2008] Quantum issues arising from prisoner who fell out of a top bunk bed while suffering a withdrawal seizure, thereby sustaining a head injury that resulted in brain damage. Quantum case settled adopting a novel approach to accommodation claim to avoid difficulties created by Roberts v Johnstone.

Smith Shiprepairers North Shields v Secretary of State for Innovation, Business and Skills. Case settled before trial. Contribution claim pursuant to the 1978 Act in respect of a claim for mesothelioma brought by the estate of the deceased in circumstances where the deceased had reached an inter vivos settlement with the defendants to the contribution claim.

Costs & Litigation Funding

In the matter of AE, FW, SC and JB and ors [2017 COP]. Costs disputes in the Court of Protection about costs sanctions for failure to give full and frank disclosure

Pearce v Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Coal Products Limited, National Smokeless Fuels Limited (2016), Turner J, Master Gordon Sakar. Instructed as junior counsel to deal with costs management and other costs issues for the defendants.

Bakhtiyar v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Upper Tribunal, 9 September 2015. A challenge to the SSHD’s reliance on the Re Eastwood approach of assessing the costs of in-house lawyers failed.

R(Ali Zaki Mousa & ors) v Secretary of State for Defence [2013] EWHC 2941 (DC) Consideration of the use of set-off in the context of legally aided claimants and the decision in JG v Legal Services Commission.

JBOL v PHE August 2013, Master Rowley Consideration of conduct issues and cost estimates in the context of judicial review claims.

Regulatory and disciplinary

HA v University of Wolverhampton & General Pharmaceutical Council [2018] EWHC 144. Acted for GPhC. The university was entitled to seek disclosure of criminal convictions from a student applying for the MPharm course.

PSA v (1) GDC (2) AB [2016] EWHC 2154 (Admin), Jeremy Baker J. Unduly lenient appeal in respect of a dentist who had practised while infected with Hepatitis B.

R (on the application of John Davies) v Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2015] EWHC 3282, [2015] EWHC 3707 (costs). Judicial review challenge to the handling of complaints made against two veterinary nurses

Administrative and Public Law (includes Human Rights)

R (on the application of Juttla & ors) v Hertfordshire Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group [2018] EWHC 267 (Admin). Decision to cease commissioning a respite service for children was in breach of CCG’s duty to consult with the local authority about substantial development of the health service. Instructed by the CCG.

RH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DLA) [2018] UKUT 48, UT Judge Rowland. Considering the role of appointees and litigation friends in the Upper Tribunal

Re D (Medical Treatment) [2017] EWCOP 15. It was in the best interests of D to travel to Serbia to receive experimental stem cell treatment for acquired brain injury. Instructed by MOD.

Re Paul Briggs [2016] EWCOP 48, Charles J, Instructed by the Legal Aid Agency. The question of whether it was in someone’s best interests to receive artificial nutrition and hydration was an issue to be determined in s.21A MCA 2005 proceedings.

National Aids Trust v NHS Commissioning Board & Local Government Association & anr [2016] EWHC 2005 (Admin), [2016] EWCA Civ 1100. Instructed by LGA. NHSE had power to fund PrEP, an anti-retroviral drug to be used on a preventative basis for those at high risk of contracting HIV.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS FT & anr v The Hospital Managers of St George’s Hospital and AU [2016] EWHC 1196, Cranston J. Acted for claimant in a judicial review of a decision by hospital managers to discharge a patient detained under the Mental Health Act. Held that a Trust had capacity to judicially review its own managers.

Re PV [2015] EWCOP 87, [2016] EWHC EWCOP  3707 (Charles J on appeal) and [2015] EWCOP 22 (Senior Judge Lush at first instance). Court of Protection case concerning trusts created for the purpose of administering awards made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. No involvement of the Court of Protection was required in the settlement of such trusts because the award was not ever P’s money. Guidance given by the Court of Protection in dealing with such cases.

Re NK (July 2015, Cobb J). Withdrawal of life saving treatment from a 3 year old with a rare metabolic disorder. Acted on behalf of the family.

A NHS Hospital v M and K [2013] EWHC 2402 (COP) Withholding of CPR  and ICU treatment save for reversible conditions

XCC v A [2012] EWHC 2183 (COP) Forced marriage and the inherent jurisdiction to make a declaration of the non-recognition of a marriage.

A Local Authority v H 27 January 2012 [2012] EWHC 49 (Fam) Case concerning capacity to consent to sexual relations. Guidance on knowledge required of health risks of sexual relations and additional requirement to that set out in DBC v AB that P understands that he has a choice and may refuse.

R (Buckinghamshire CC) v Kingston upon Thames RBC [2011] EWCA Civ 457 Consideration of the duty of consultation based on fairness or detriment.

D County Council v LS [2010] EWHC 1916 (Fam) Consideration of test of capacity to consent to sexual relations.

R (on the application of Stamford Chamber Of Trade & Commerce) (2) F H Gilman & Co v (1) Secretary Of State For Communities & Local Government (2) South Kesteven District Council 7 April 2009 [2009] EWHC 719 (Admin) No duty of public consultation was imposed on a local planning authority, in respect of its decision not to request the saving of a safeguarding policy in the local development plan.

EM (Lebanon) v Secretary Of State For The Home Department (2008) October 2008 [2008] UKHL 64 The removal of a Lebanese asylum seeker and her 12-year-old son to Lebanon would give rise to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8 given that she would be compelled to transfer custody of her son to his father, who had been violent towards her and who had not seen the son since his birth; removal would so flagrantly violate their art.8 rights as to completely deny or nullify those rights.

R (Johnson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWCA Civ 427 A prisoner serving a determinate sentence would have a right to compensation for a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art. 5 (4) if he could establish that there had been an unlawful delay in the consideration of his application for parole.

Gustavo Suarez Ocampo v Secretary of State for the Home Department (CA) 4 October 2006 [2006] EWCA Civ 1276 The guidelines in Devaseelan v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2002) UKIAT 702, (2003) Imm AR 1 were relevant to cases where the parties involved were not the same but there was a material overlap of evidence.

R v Police Complaints Commission ex parte Green [2004] 1 WLR 72 (CA) The extent of disclosure required by the Human Rights Act in police complaints cases.

R v Bedford Primary Care Trust ex parte Watts (QBD) 21 October 2003 [2003] EWHC 2401 (Admin); [2004] Lloyd’s Rep Med 113 A claim for a hip operation carried out in France on the basis of EU law.

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