“An absolute pleasure to work with; he’s analytical, precise, extremely knowledgeable and fantastic with clients.”
Chambers & Partners 2017
Robert Lazarus practices in the areas of professional discipline, personal injury, clinical negligence, professional negligence, inquests, property damage, product liability and insurance law. He is instructed by both claimants and defendants and has experience of a wide range of cases including high value, multimillion pound disputes in respect of both liability and quantum.
In respect of his professional disciplinary practice, Robert is regularly instructed by a range of healthcare and other professionals including psychologists, therapists, doctors and architects. He has appeared before a number of regulatory bodies including the Health and Care Professions Council, the General Medical Council, The UK Council for Psychotherapy, the British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy, Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and The Architects Registration Board.
He has recently been appointed as a Chairman of the Police Appeals Tribunal.
Prior to being called to the Bar, Robert practiced medicine up to the level of an NHS Consultant. He also worked for the Medical Protection Society.
Robert is regularly instructed to appear before a number of disciplinary tribunals, including the SDT, HCPC, GMC, GCC, UKCP, BACP and ARB.
Robert is regularly instructed in multi-track personal injury trials and frequently advises on both liability and quantum, including in high value catastrophic loss claims. He has been instructed in a number of workplace claims, including work-related stress, industrial deafness, VWF/HAVS, asbestos related disease and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Robert is instructed in a number of claims with a cross-border element.
Robert is regularly instructed in inquests by families of the deceased and other interested persons. Often these cases have complex issues or a high public profile. Robert has experience of Article 2 inquests and appearing before juries.
Robert is regularly instructed by both claimants and defendants in clinical negligence claims involving a variety of healthcare professionals including general practitioners, hospital doctors, dentists, psychologists and therapists.
Robert’s property damage practice involves the full range of claims including fire, flood and impact damage, subsidence, fraud, and subrogated recoveries on both first and third party claims. He is instructed on behalf of homeowners, contractors and sub-contractors, energy firms and construction professionals.
Robert’s product liability practice involves both property damage and personal injury claims as well as advisory work, such as product recalls. Robert’s cases have involved a range of issues including recall of defective toys, fire damage claims from defective electrical equipment and claims involving medicines and medical devices. He is instructed on behalf of end users such as owners of damaged domestic and commercial premises; distributors; and, in respect of medical devices, healthcare professionals.
Robert is instructed by both policyholders and insurers in respect of actions to enforce (or avoid) contracts of insurance and to advise generally on the construction of policies. Cases have involved permanent health, motor, life, personal accident and contractors’ all-risks policies.
Robert has acted for both claimants and defendants in a number of high value professional negligence claims against solicitors.
Robert is recommended by the Legal 500 for Personal Injury and by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for Professional Discipline.
“An absolute pleasure to work with; he’s analytical, precise, extremely knowledgeable and fantastic with clients.” “He has a significant background knowledge of the healthcare world which is extremely helpful.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Highly thought-of advocate”…Chambers & Partners 2017
“His medical background allows him to deliver helpful knowledge” The Legal 500 2016
“He has an excellent knowledge of cases involving psychologists and counsellors.” Legal 500 2015
“Engaging and confident.’ Legal 500 2014
“He understands both the law and the industry that the clients work in. He is exceptionally talented when it comes to advocacy and attention to detail.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“style of advocacy strikes the right tone with the regulators” Legal 500 2012
“excellent medical knowledge and a sound legal brain” Legal 500 2010
Wilson v (1) The Official Receiver; (2) The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills; Goudie v same (2014)
Successfully acted for the Defendants in this long running claim alleging, amongst other things, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office.
Ward v Allies and Morrison Architects  EWCA Civ 1287;  PIQR Q1;  All ER (D) 95 (Oct)
A judge was entitled to find that there were too many imponderables as to the appellant’s likely pattern of future earnings and that in the circumstances a lump sum award for future loss of earnings (on the basis set out in Blamire v South Cumbria HA  PIQR Q1) was appropriate rather than the conventional multiplier/multiplicand approach. The issue of whether the appellant was to be regarded as disabled was not the determining factor on whether or not the Ogden tables were to be used to calculate loss of future earnings.
Tedder v Nalco Limited and anr (2012)
Difficulties in obtaining ATE insurance did not amount to a good reason for extending the time for servicing of a claim form
Hall v Eman & anr (2011)
Claim for damages of £2.9m as a result of significant brain injury following a road traffic accident
Sadler v Filipiak  EWCA Civ 1728;  All ER (D) 89 (Oct)
The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the assessment of general damages in cases of multiple injuries
Dewar v Day (2011)
Clinical negligence claim against a psychologist alleging failure to diagnose multiple personality disorder
Canning-Kishver v Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (2010)
Claim for damages of £7.1m for a serious brain injury following negligent neonatal care
Standen v Dettlaff Limited (2012)
Acted for the Defendant in a multi-million pound claim against the Claimant’s former solicitors. The Claimant developed glaucoma and subsequent blindness, in her late twenties, as a result of excessive use of steroids. The Defendant was instructed to pursue clinical negligence claims against the Claimant’s doctors and optician. It was alleged that the Defendant solicitor issued claims against the wrong defendants.
AXA Insurance Limited v Various Firms of Solicitors (2010)
Professional negligence group litigation brought by insurers to the Composite Legal Expenses scheme (CLE), against various panel solicitors
Winterthur Swiss Insurance Co v AG (Manchester) Ltd & ors (‘The Accident Group Litigation’) (2007)
Professional negligence action on a grand scale, brought by insurers to The Accident Group (TAG), against TAG Panel Solicitors
Inquests & Inquiries
Re Rebecca Watkins (2014)
The deceased was a 16 year old girl who killed herself by hanging whilst resident in a children’s home. Robert acted for the managers of the home.
Re Maria de Jesus (2013)
Acted for the family of the deceased in this high profile inquest. The deceased was heavily pregnant and admitted to hospital with acute appendicitis. The surgery was delegated to trainee surgeons who erroneously removed the ovary. She later died of severe sepsis and multiple organ failure.
Re Ian Probyn (2012)
The deceased died following the insertion of a feeding tube. The tube was subsequently found to have been placed in the peritoneal cavity and not the stomach. Robert acted for the nursing home.
Re Christopher Tickle (2011)
Acted for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the local rugby club in an inquest relating to the death of a rugby player following a collapsed scrum
Re Terrence Jupp (2010)
The inquest investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Jupp, a scientist employed by an agency of the Ministry of Defence. Mr Jupp was engaged in research into explosives as part of a joint US/UK initiative. During the course of one of the research trials, a mixture of chemicals Mr Jupp was handling spontaneously combusted, causing extensive burns. Much of the inquest was conducted in closed session in the interests of national security due to the sensitive nature of the evidence being heard.
Re Carolyn Loak (2009)
Inquest into the death of a patient subject to artificial ventilation who suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of the accidental disconnection of the oxygen supply.
XYZ v Various (‘The PIP Breast Implant Group Litigation’) (2014)
Large group action regarding defective breast implants manufactured by Poly Implant Prosthèse. Implants were manufactured using non-medical grade silicone and were prone to a higher risk of rupture. The manufacturer being insolvent, claims are pursued primarily against clinics (some of which are also insolvent) as ‘supplier’ of the implants. Claims are also pursued against surgeons, either as supplier or alleging negligence in advice/selection of implants.
Insurance & Reinsurance
Bickell v Unum Ltd & ors (2010)
Claim relating to refusal of benefits under a permanent health insurance policy
Torrance-Nesbitt v UnumProvident Corporation & ors (2009)
Claim for in excess of US$5m relating to refusal of benefits under a permanent health insurance policy
Administrative & Public Law
Smith v North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust  EWCA Civ 1291;  1 WLR 3315; (2006) 9 CCL Rep 663;  LS Law Medical 188; (2006) 150 SJLB 1152
Complaint to a patients’ forum was not a suitable alternative remedy to judicial review proceedings of the PCT’s failure to comply with its statutory duty to consult patients.
Smith v North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust  EWHC 1338 (Admin);  Lloyd’s Rep Med 425; (2006) 90 BMLR 139; [2006} ACD 75
The first case to consider the duties of a health authority to consult patients and the public under section 11 of the Health & Social Care Act 2001