Robert Lazarus

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“An absolute pleasure to work with; he’s analytical, precise, extremely knowledgeable and fantastic with clients.”

Chambers & Partners

Robert Lazarus practises in the areas of professional discipline, clinical negligence, serious medical treatment and personal injury.  He is also instructed in relation to inquests, professional negligence, 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, multi-million 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.  He has appeared before the majority of statutory healthcare regulators.  He also has experience of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the Architects Registration Board, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Robert sits in a number of jurisdictions, including as a Recorder (Crime and Civil) and as a Chair of the Police Appeals Tribunals.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Robert practised medicine up to the level of an NHS Consultant.  He also worked for the Medical Protection Society.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

Robert has appeared before the majority of the statutory healthcare regulators and has experience of the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service, the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Dental Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Chiropractic Council.

Robert has appeared before other regulators and has experience of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the Architects Registration Board, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.  He has also appeared before the disciplinary tribunals of many of the PSA Accredited Registers and has experience of the Association of Child Psychotherapists, the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, the British Psychoanalytic Council and the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Solicitors Regulation Authority v Ahluwalia:  Solicitor alleged to have made serious errors in the handling of a claim and acting dishonestly when reporting to the client and supervising partner.

Re F (a child) and related matters:  Psychologist accused of fabricating evidence in an expert report for the Family Court.

DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd v Gangmasters Licensing Authority:  Successfully resisted a licensing appeal by a gangmaster who had been found to have breached multiple standards including extensive findings of worker abuse.

Ireland & anr v Health & Care Professions Council [2015] EWHC 846 (Admin); [2015] 1 WLR 4643:  The Court reviewed the powers of the HCPC to refer a case back to the Investigating Committee to consider amending the allegations in the absence of any express statutory powers of amendment.

Health & Care Professions Council v Ahmed:  Psychologist accused of sexually motivated misconduct towards two vulnerable patients.

Smith v North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust [2006] EWCA Civ 1291; [2006] 1 WLR 3315; (2006) 9 CCL Rep 663; [2007] 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 [2006] EWHC 1338 (Admin); [2006] 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.

Other cases include:

  • Osteopath accused of inappropriately using mechanical treatment for spinal disorders in the absence of sufficient academic research.
  • Vet who had a large number of underfed dogs in unsanitary conditions in the cellar under his practice.
  • Clinical psychologist facing multiple allegations including false claims for fees, refusal to disclose clinical records, false representations about patients’ mental health, misrepresenting qualifications and inadequate treatment. This is probably the longest and most complex case heard before the HCPC to date.
  • A university professor facing allegations regarding consent, confidentiality, lack of peer review, study methodology and involvement of the national media in a research project.
  • Architect accused of making a false claim for fees and alleged dishonesty in a subsequent arbitration.
  • Consultant psychologist who had used his NHS Trust computer to view pornographic images and websites in which prostitutes advertised their services.
  • Doctor who had allegedly sexually assaulted a patient.
  • GP convicted of benefit fraud.
  • GP accused of inappropriate prescribing of opioids to a drug addict.

Clinical Negligence

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.

Murphy v (1) The Priory Group; (2) Blockley:  Complex claim in which the claimant patient spent several years living with one of the treating clinicians, along with further allegations of clinical negligence.

Dewar v Day:  Clinical negligence claim against a psychologist alleging failure to diagnose multiple personality disorder.

Canning-Kishver v Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust:  Claim for damages of £7.1m for a serious brain injury following negligent neonatal care.

Other cases include:

  • Allegedly negligently performed ‘labiaplasty’ with allegations that the surgery was unlawful contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
  • Incorrect diagnosis of malignant melanoma resulting in unnecessary extensive head and neck surgery.
  • Neonatal brain injury allegedly as a result of infected intravenous feeding line.
  • Fatal accident claim arising from a missed diagnosis of septicaemia following an appendicectomy.
  • Rupture of the oesophagus and upper airway as a result of negligently performed intubation during general anaesthesia.
  • Cerebral palsy claims arising from negligent management of labour and delivery.

Serious Medical Treatment

Robert appears in the Court of Protection and in the Family Division in relation to cases involving serious medical treatment decisions, including the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment.  He has been instructed by family members, NHS Trusts and the Official Solicitor.  Robert’s experience from acute medicine, adult and paediatric intensive care and anaesthesia is invaluable in such cases.

Cases include:

  • Acting for the NHS Trust in relation to withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment in a patient in a minimally-conscious state.
  • Acting for the mother of an unborn child with congenital cardiac abnormalities in relation to the decision whether or not to resuscitate the child once born.
  • Acting for the NHS Trust in a case considering the best interests of a child with serious brain injury following a choking incident at home.
  • Acting for the NHS Trust in relation to a patient with impaired mental capacity who was a Jehovah’s Witness and refusing a blood transfusion following trauma.
  • Acting for the Official Solicitor in a case involving a patient with a learning difficulty who was refusing curative treatment for cancer.

Personal Injury

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.

AG & ors v (1) DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd; (2) Judge; (3) Houghton; (4) Gangmasters Licensing Authority [2016] EWHC 1376 (QB); [2016] IRLR 859:  Acting for what is now the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority in a high-profile and complex claim involving allegations of worker abuse of multiple claimants.  Allegations against the GLAA relate to the circumstances in which licences were issued to the gangmaster in question and the inspection regime.

Wilson v (1) The Official Receiver; (2) The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills; Goudie v same:  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 [2012] EWCA Civ 1287; [2013] PIQR Q1:  Court of Appeal determined that 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 [1993] 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 anor:  Successfully struck out claim on the basis that obtaining ATE insurance did not amount to a good reason for extending the time for servicing of a claim form. The claim was subsequently re-issued and the fresh claim was successfully defended on limitation grounds.

Hall v Eman & anor:  Claim for damages of £2.9m as a result of significant brain injury following a road traffic accident.

Sadler v Filipiak [2011] EWCA Civ 1728:   Leading Court of Appeal decision on the assessment of general damages in cases of multiple injuries.

Other cases include:

  • Claim against the Police and the MIB by a police officer who was injured when a suspect he was escorting escaped and ran over his leg with a car he had stolen.
  • Claim against the owners of a secure psychiatric facility in which the Claimant nurse had been seriously injured in an assault by one of the patients.
  • Claim involving a care worker in a children’s home who contracted tuberculosis, allegedly from one of the residents of the home.
  • Employer’s liability fatal accident act claim involving a care worker who was murdered by her client’s boyfriend.
  • Public liability personal injury claim against a local authority in which it was argued that the debts the claimant owed the local authority as a result of housing benefit fraud could be set off against her damages.
  • Claim against a GP surgery by a patient who sustained a fractured femur when she fell from an examination couch.


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.

Re Rebecca Watkins:  The deceased was a 16-year-old girl who committed suicide by hanging whilst resident in a children’s home.  Robert acted for the managers of the home.

Re Maria de Jesus:  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:  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:  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:  This month-long inquest considered 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 an international 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:  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.

Product Liability

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.

XYZ v Various (‘The PIP Breast Implant Group Litigation’):  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 were pursued primarily against clinics (some of which were also insolvent) as ‘supplier’ of the implants.  Claims also pursued against surgeons, either as supplier or alleging negligence in advice/selection of implants.

Other cases include:

  • Claims for fire damage relating to defective products including the use of an indoor ‘flea bomb’; a defective motorcycle; defective air-conditioning unit and other defective commercial appliances.
  • Advising on the recall of a defective toy and the potential claim by the distributor against the producer.
  • Acting in the enforcement of judgment against a producer domiciled outside the jurisdiction.

Professional Negligence

Robert has acted for both claimants and defendants in a number of high value professional negligence claims against solicitors.

Standen v Dettlaff Limited:  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:  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’):  Professional negligence action on a grand scale, brought by insurers to The Accident Group (TAG), against TAG Panel Solicitors.

Other cases include:

  • Claim against a solicitor for missing the two-year limitation period for claims arising from injuries sustained on aircraft, pursuant to the Montreal Convention.
  • Claim against solicitors in relation to the failure to serve proceedings in a personal injury claim. The underlying claim involved allegations of sexual assault of the claimant whilst in the Army.

Insurance and Reinsurance

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 professional liability, permanent health, motor, life, personal accident and contractors’ all-risks policies.

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.

Other cases include:

  • Advising insurers on the extent of cover under a professional liability insurance when the insured performed a sexual act upon his client.
  • Successfully acting for a group of surgeons against their professional liability insurer who declined cover in group action relation to claims arising from the insertion of defective breast implants.
  • Advising in respect of the rights of insured employees under policies of permanent health insurance, where the policyholder is the employer.
  • Advising whether negligent works which failed to correct and may have aggravated subsidence were within the scope of contractors’ all-risks policy.
  • Claim voiding a policy of motor insurance on the grounds of material non-disclosure.
  • Acted in a claim relating to whether a prolapsed disc fell within the scope of a policy of personal accident insurance.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Robert has extensive experience of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and many joint settlement meetings across a range of actions including personal injury, clinical negligence and property damage. Notably, Robert has also frequently assisted healthcare professionals in the resolution of complaints and other disputes, successfully preventing many from escalating to formal clinical negligence claims or disciplinary proceedings. Robert has also adjudicated on appeals from internal hospital disciplinary action and acted as an independent legal assessor.

In 2020 Robert received training from world-leading Arbitrators in preparation for entry to the 39 Essex Chambers ADR panel for fixed-fee arbitrations and adjudications.


Robert is recommended by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for his Professional Disciplinary practice.


Precise, knowledgeable and an incredible advocate with impressive attention to detail. He is also wonderful with clients.” “His medical background means he has significant background knowledge of the healthcare world, which can be very helpful. He is excellent in cases which are document-heavy.”  Chambers & Partners (2018)
“He has an incredibly detailed knowledge of the law and is fantastic with clients too.”  Legal 500 (2017)
“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”  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)

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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