Emma is an experienced and confident advocate who appears regularly in Court as well as at JSMs and ADR.
Emma is a member of the Personal Injuries Bar Association Executive Committee, an Advocacy Trainer for Inner Temple, a co-author of a chapter on product liability in the medical context for Lewis and Buchan: Clinical Negligence and is a specialist contributor to the clinical negligence chapter of Bullen, Leake and Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings.
Emma’s areas of practice include:
- Clinical negligence
- Personal injury with a specialist interest in historic abuse, fraud and fundamental dishonesty cases
- Product liability
Emma’s preference is for electronic instructions and paperless working.
Emma acts for both Claimants and Defendants in clinical negligence cases and is regularly instructed by the NHSR, private insurance companies and medical defence organisations. Emma accepts instructions in all medical malpractice claims, and regularly deals with:
- Birth injury claims;
- Claims against opticians/optometrists/ophthalmologists;
- Plastic surgery cases;
- A wide range of cases for the NHSLA and other medical defence organisations;
- Montgomery consent claims;
- Cases involving incorrect diagnosis and delay in diagnosis.
- Was junior counsel to Susan Rodway QC in a birth injury claim. The case settled at a JSM for a lump sum equivalent of around £13 million.
- Acted for the Defendant in a claim relating to a uterine rupture sustained in labour. The injury occurred at an unusual location and arguments based on scope of duty were raised.
- Succeeded at trial in defeating a claim against a cardiologist relating to whether or not a referral had been arranged over 20 years ago. The Judge delivered a favourable judgment by lunchtime on the first day of the three day listing.
- Defended a case involving transmittance of a disease from a donor organ after a transplant operation;
- Acted in a case involving a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy. The issues involved whether the Claimant had received sufficient information about the risks prior to the surgery and whether the resulting complications were due to negligence or were simply an ordinary risk of properly performed surgery.
- Defended a claim involving allegations of failing to provide sufficient information about the risks of plastic surgery and the need for further rectification surgery as well as allegations that the surgery itself had been performed negligently.
Emma accepts instructions in all areas of personal injury work and acts for both Claimants and Defendants, although she has a special interest in historic abuse, fraud and fundamental dishonesty cases. Emma regularly advises on complex future loss issues.
Emma’s busy practice includes:
- Claims involving Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Functional Neurological Disorder;
- Brain and head injury claims;
- Spinal injury claims;
- Claims brought pursuant to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976;
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims and appeals; and
- Inquests, including those involving care and nursing homes.
- Accidents in the workplace, including issues of contractual indemnity between contractors and sub-contractors;
- Occupiers’ liability cases;
- Road traffic accidents;
- Highways cases.
- Acted pro bono for the victim of an armed gang assault in his appeal against the CICA’s initial award of approximately £4,000. Injuries suffered included a fractured skull with 10cm head wound, PTSD and post-concussion syndrome. The final sum awarded was in excess of £94,000.
- Acted for a family in an inquest where the deceased had died from mesothelioma. The finding was that the mesothelioma was likely to have been caused by exposure to asbestos in the deceased’s workplace in the 1970s, rather than from (disputed) exposure in her home.
- Obtained judgment for the Claimant in a food poisoning case against a large pub chain.
- Advised in a brain injury case where issues akin to those raised in Billet v MOD were likely to be raised.
- Advised the Claimant on the necessary medical evidence and potential value in an accident at work case which caused a short-lived back injury but which resulted in the development of Functional Neurological Disorder, resulting in the Claimant being wheelchair bound and unable to work.
- Acted for numerous care homes at inquests.
Emma accepts instructions from Defendants in all areas of personal injury related fraud. Emma is frequently brought in to assess evidence and witnesses at an early stage and provide advice as to how to proceed. Her experience includes claims involving:
- Exaggeration of injuries
- Phantom passengers
- Staged accidents
- Fabrication of accidents
- Low velocity impacts
Emma is also experienced in dealing with fundamental dishonesty cases and cases resulting in the removal of QOCS protection after a case has been struck out.
- Established a finding of fundamental dishonesty and dismissal of a claim under Section 57 of the CJCA 2015. The Claimant’s failure to recall other accidents and injuries within the months surrounding the index accident was outside the realms of honest mistake. Several of the items of special damage claimed were also found to be dishonestly claimed.
- Argued successfully that a liability admitted claim should be dismissed under Section 57 of the CJCA 2015. Although some elements of the claim were established by the Claimant, the Judge found that there had been a significant exaggeration in respect of the extent of the injuries sustained. Emma successfully argued that the extent of the exaggeration was sufficient to be considered fundamentally dishonest and persuaded the Court to dismiss the entire claim under s.57.
- Successfully set aside a Claimant’s notice of discontinuance and had the case struck out on the basis of the Claimant’s conduct, thereby removing QOCS protection.
- Persuaded a Judge to strike a case out rather than make an Unless Order where there had been numerous and significant breaches of the directions order. The Defence had raised dishonesty in respect of failure to mention numerous previous accidents and injuries to the medical expert.
Product Liability and Property Damage
Emma acts in cases involving product liability and property damage cases, advising on prospects of success and potential value of claims.
- A mains water leak caused property damage to a hotel. The claim involved issues of commercial loss of revenue as well as repair costs.
- Fire damage to a commercial property caused by a faulty tumble dryer. Claims were brought against the manufacturer of the product by the landlords and also the tenant, who ran a business from the premises. The damages claimed included building damage, contents and stock damage.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
At the start of her career, Emma appeared in countless small claim trials, MOJ Stage 3 hearings and fast track trials. She has significant experience of the fixed costs regimes, credit hire claims, and cases involving QOCS and fundamental dishonesty issues. In more recent years, Emma has developed a busy multi track County Court and High Court practice, involving a significant number of trials, JSMs and mediations. Emma received training from leading Arbitrators before joining the 39 Essex Chambers ADR panel. She is an Inner Temple advocacy trainer, a specialist contributor to the clinical negligence chapter of Bullen, Leake and Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings, a member of the Executive Committee of the Personal Injuries Bar Association, and co-author of a chapter on product liability in the medical context for Lewis and Buchan: Clinical Negligence.