Romilly Cummerson

Year of call:
1998
Email:
romilly.cummerson@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Clearly hardworking and dedicated”
The Legal 500 2014

Romilly Cummerson has a busy and well-regarded practice encompassing personal injury, clinical negligence and professional indemnity claims.

She represents Claimants and Defendants in all aspects of personal injury litigation, including employers’ liability, industrial disease, H&S prosecutions, product liability, public liability, RTA claims (including those involving allegations of fraud) and travel claims.

She has a substantial clinical negligence practice covering all branches of the medical professions. She represents Claimants, the NHSLA and private healthcare providers in cases involving issues of consent, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, product liability, provisions of inadequate facilities and/or nursing care and neglect.

Romilly has extensive inquest experience, representing bereaved families and other interested parties, including employers, medical professionals and manufacturers of medical equipment.

She also has a complementary professional indemnity practice, representing all parties in claims arising out of personal injury and clinical negligence litigation, including claims for the lost opportunity to present a claim or to achieve a better outcome at trial or settlement

Romilly is recommended as a leading junior in personal injury and clinical negligence in the Legal 500.

Clinical Negligence


Romilly has wide experience of claims concerning all branches of the medical professions. She has represented claimants and defendants in cases involving allegations of negligence against GPs, general surgeons, cardio-thoracic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, district nurses, care assistants, opticians, and opthalmologists and has advised on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Surgical errors, including the selection of inappropriate surgery, negligent execution of surgery and failure to recognise and treat post-operative complications
  • Failure to diagnose hyperparathyroidism with nephrocalcinosis, resulting in the patient’s death
  • Failure to diagnose glaucoma and negligent treatment of glaucoma and agerelated macular degeneration
  • Failure adequately to assess the care needs of an elderly patient. In particular, failure to have regard to communication difficulties posed by advancing
    dementia
  • Liability for the defective design and/or manufacture of a stent graft system
  • Liability on the part of a private clinic to provide adequate facilities and/or nursing care

Recent work:

  • Romilly is currently instructed in a claim arising out of the alleged negligent performance of an endovascular procedure to repair an abdominal aortic
    aneurysm. The claim involves interesting issues of liability and causation, inparticular with regard to the training and supervision of inexperienced surgeons and the alleged defective design/manufacture of the stent graft system used in the procedure. More unusually, the claim raises interesting questions with regard to the Defendant Trust’s obligations to report to the medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”) and/or the National Patient Safety Agency (“NPSA”) and potential breaches of the Healthcare Commission Core Standards.
  • Three-day inquest into the death of a 72-year-old man from intra-abdominal complications following coronary bypass surgery.
  • Claim for injury, loss and damage caused by the alleged negligent performance of breast augmentation surgery. The Claimant was an aspiring glamour model at the time of the surgery and sought substantial damages for loss of earnings. The claim, therefore, raises interesting issues with regard to quantum and the use of expert evidence in relation to career prospects in an unconventional industry.
  • Claim for damages arising out of the negligent decision to treat idiopathic high arches by conducting a bilateral resection of the metatarsal heads and the proximal ends of the phalanges (”Fowler’s procedure”). There were substantial arguments in relation to causation. In particular, the Claimant asserted that as a direct consequence of the damage caused to her feet, she suffered from significant symptoms of pain and restricted movement in the spine, knees and hips, which adversely affected her capacity to work and to live in a multi-storey dwelling. Computerised gait analysis technology was used successfully to demonstrate that the injuries to the Claimant’s feet had caused abnormal loading of the knees and spine, which in turn resulted in pain and restriction of movement in the hips, knees and spine. The Claimant ultimately received damages in excess of £1 million net of CRU.

Personal Injury


Romilly is recognised in the Legal500 directory as a leading practitioner in injury law. She has extensive knowledge of injury-related litigation. Her expertise covers employers’ liability, public liability, occupiers’ liability, product liability, fatal accident claims, occupational disease litigation and motor-related claims. She provides substantive, procedural and tactical advice on liability issues and quantum and regularly handles multi-party actions. As well as being an experienced and highly regarded advocate, she is often instructed to conduct round table settlement conferences and to represent parties in mediation.

Recent work includes:

  • Successful defence of an employer’s liability claim arising out of an accident that occurred during an “It’s a Knockout” style competition in the course of a “summer fun event” that had been organised by the employer as a thank you to staff.
  • Advising a major off-shore insurer with regard to a multi-million pound injury claim arising out of a road traffic accident in the Caribbean. The claim raised
    difficult issues of causation and quantum, including an argument with regard to the appropriate discount factor for multipliers in a common law jurisdiction to
    which the Damages Act 1996 does not apply.
  • Acting on behalf of a Claimant who sustained brain injury as the result of a road traffic accident. A trial on liability, during which the Claimant was represented
    by alternative Counsel, resulted in a finding of 70% contributory negligence. The claim involves complex issues with regard to the role of the Court of
    Protection in personal injury cases and the particular difficulties inherent in cases where there is a finding of substantial contributory negligence.
  • Occupational disease claim brought by a site engineer who developed mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos in the course of his work as a
    furnace engineer.
  • High value claim made by the owner of a small business unable to work due to chronic pain syndrome following a relatively minor physical injury.

Professional Indemnity


In addition to her conventional injury practice, Romilly has a particular interest in professional indemnity claims arising out of the negligent handling of injury litigation.

Inquests


Romilly regularly represents bereaved families, and other interested parties, at
inquests. She has a particular interest in inquests involving potential clinical
negligence, but her expertise also covers deaths at work, fatal road traffic accidents and deaths in the care home environment.

Recent inquest work has covered the following issues:

  • Surgical negligence
  • Absence of informed consent
  • Failure to diagnose post-operative intra-abdominal complications
  • Product liability
  • Risk assessment procedures for the adoption of new instruments/techniques within an NHS trust
  • GP, nursing and practitioner negligence
  • Systemic neglect in a residential care home setting
  • Failure to provide adequate health and safety training to employees
  • Co-worker negligence

Recommendations


“Very thorough in her attention to detail”
The Legal 500 2016
“She has a very client-friendly manner.”
The Legal 500, 2015
She has excellent technical knowledge.”
The Legal 500, 2015
Very good at advising very nervous clients.”
The Legal 500, 2014
Clearly hardworking and dedicated.
The Legal 500, 2014

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

Barrister portfolio

Close

Click the + icon next to any barrister to add their profile to this portfolio.

Barrister Call CV Email

3