Daniel has a broad civil practice, and specialises principally in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence, insurance fraud, costs, inquests and inquiries, and health and safety. He has a busy court practice in the County and High Courts alongside an active advisory and paperwork practice in his key specialisms.
He is currently instructed as junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry alongside his court practice.
In his spare time, Daniel is a contributing expert to Lexis Nexis PSL in the fields of Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Dispute Resolution, and is a trustee of Pro Bono Community, a charity that provides training and placements to law students in advice centres across London.
Daniel is frequently instructed in fast- and multi-track personal injury cases for both claimants and defendants. His multi-track practice includes several six-figure claims in which he is instructed as sole counsel. He is often instructed to draft pleadings, Schedules and Counter-Schedules in high-value cases and is familiar with issues of complex evidence and medical causation.
Daniel is available to advise on liability across a broad spectrum of cases, including road traffic accidents, Highways Act claims, occupiers’ liability and employers’ liability. He is well placed to advise on EL/PL claims due to his related specialisms of Inquest and Health and Safety law, and has extensive experience of Fatal Accident Act claims.
In respect of clinical negligence, Daniel has been exposed to a wide range of issues raised by, for example, complex expert evidence and causation. He also has experience in clinical negligence inquests, and has been involved in providing advice at an early stage in cases when both inquest and civil proceedings are contemplated. He has advised on admissions of liability in civil proceedings whilst coroners’ investigations are ongoing, and on recovery of related costs.
Daniel appears in court on a regular basis before both District and Circuit Judges on trials and interlocutory hearings. He has wide range of witness handling experience, particularly in cases involving complex expert evidence.
Prior to pupillage, Daniel worked as a paralegal to a senior junior practising solely in catastrophic personal injury. He is proficient at drafting complex Schedules and Counter-Schedules in high-value personal injury and Fatal Accident Act cases, particularly those involving dependency, care, accommodation/adaptions and loss of earnings/pension. Daniel is available to advise on complex quantum and future loss issues.
Daniel appears in court on a regular basis in cases in which fraud or fundamental dishonesty is alleged. He is frequently instructed in trials involving fraudulent elements such as low-velocity impact, phantom passenger, staged accidents and exaggerated claims. He is in particular demand from Defendant insurers in motor fraud cases and has experience of advising on indemnity concerns. Clients praise his attention to detail in case preparation and his persuasive cross-examination. He is skilled at witness handling in claims involving inconsistent or exaggerated evidence. He is also familiar with credit hire cases and related fraud concerns.
Daniel is regularly instructed at an early stage in cases where fraud is suspected or alleged and is happy to advise on tactics and the best presentation of the evidence in a case. He is in regular demand to draft robust and comprehensive defences in such cases
Daniel practices in costs law and has been instructed in cases dealing with a wide range of costs issues such as the recoverability of ATE premiums and joint / several liability. He is familiar with the law in respect of both pre- and post-LASPO costs and is available to advise on tactics and procedure in relation to Detailed Assessment Hearings and related applications. He is also available to assist in cases where he specialisms overlap, for example recovering costs of inquest proceedings in subsequent civil litigation.
As a personal injury specialist, Daniel is familiar with all aspects of costs as they relate to PI and clinical negligence cases. He is frequently instructed in Costs and Case Management Conferences as well as costs applications that arise in civil proceedings. He has a full understanding of the exceptions to Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting and has been successful in recovering costs under both CPR r44.15 and CPR r44.16 in bespoke applications. He has also been instructed in applications for wasted and indemnity costs as well as in relation to Part 36 offers.
Daniel has a significant practice in Inquests and Inquiries, both in his own right and as a junior. He has since 2017 been instructed on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry as junior counsel, led by Kate Grange QC (39 Essex Chambers) and Richard Millet QC (Essex Court Chambers). He is familiar with the specific challenges that acting in ongoing and high-profile cases can pose. Prior to his work on the Grenfell Inquiry, Daniel was involved in the second Deepcut Inquest and the inquests arising from the terror attacks on Westminster Bridge.
Daniel is also instructed as sole counsel in inquests and is familiar with the range of legal issues that can arise such as the applicability of Article 2 and whether a jury is required. He has been instructed in inquests arising in a range of contexts including clinical negligence and road traffic accidents.
Daniel is available to advise at an early stage in respect of disclosure, procedure and tactics, as well as provide representation at both Pre-Inquest Review Hearings and Final Hearings.
Daniel is instructed to defend organisations and individuals in health and safety cases arising out of HSE and Local Authority prosecutions in both the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts. He has a particular interest in sentencing practice in Health and Safety cases. He has been involved in cases in a range of circumstances including accidents in factories, warehouses and care homes.
Due to his health and safety experience, Daniel is well placed to advise on occupiers’ and employers’ liability in civil cases, as well as the overlap between related criminal and civil proceedings.
Inquest touching upon the death of Jonathan McCarthy
Barristers involved: Daniel Laking
Daniel represented the family of Jonathan McCarthy in the inquest into his death.
Mr McCarthy died whilst an inpatient at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembridge in October 2018. He was a Type 1 diabetic who had been successfully maintaining his insulin regime for the entirety of his adult life. During admission, his insulin regime was managed by clinical and nursing staff. His blood sugar was allowed to increase to such levels as to be unreadable for a period of almost twenty-four hours. He subsequently died of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, an acute condition caused by extremely high blood sugar levels.
Mr Roger Hatch, Senior Coroner for North West Kent, found that the Trust failed to correctly monitor Mr McCarthy’s blood glucose levels, failed to undertake ketone testing when it was clearly indicated, failed to administer the correct doses of insulin, failed to provide adequate nursing care and failed to escalate to the on call medical team when it was clear this should have been done.
He recorded a narrative conclusion that the death was due to the failure of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust to check frequently for high blood sugar levels or ketones and as a result of no action being taken, Mr McCarthy developed Diabetic Ketoacidosis from which he died. The Coroner also made a Preventing Future Deaths report pursuant to Schedule 5 Paragraph 7 Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
Further information can be found here.
Grenfell Tower Inquiry
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is examining the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire. Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed as the Chairman of the Inquiry by the Prime Minister on 28 June 2017. The Inquiry is investigating a List of Issues that has been separated into two phases. Phase 1 focuses on the factual narrative of the events on the night of 14 June 2017. Phase 2 of the Inquiry examines the causes of these events, including how Grenfell Tower came to be in a condition which allowed the fire to spread in the way identified by Phase 1.
Daniel is instructed as a junior to the Inquiry. He is primarily involved in work on the construction team for Phase 2 and is responsible for issues to do with testing, design and installation of the cladding system. He has also been involved in disclosure and managed a team of paralegals and junior junior barristers undertaking a document review exercise.