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James Todd KC

“First-class technical skills and a strong insight into what a court is likely to do and not do.” Chambers and Partners 2020

James’s practice covers high value clinical negligence and personal injury claims, acting for claimants and defendants. He appeared in the widely reported case of WNA v. NDP (2023) and has particular expertise in issues of statutory funding and double recovery in very high value claims. James has expertise in proceedings for contempt of court arising out of dishonest claims. James is also an accredited mediator.

Areas of expertise

Clinical Negligence

James acts for claimants and defendants. He is approved to work on the NHS Resolution panel to handle all types of high-value/catastrophic clinical negligence claims, including claims managed through the Early Notification Scheme. He is instructed by panel firms to handle claims exceeding £1m in value. He also acts for insurer defendants who seek contribution in respect of negligent treatment following accidents and he is regularly instructed by NHS trusts to pursue contempt proceedings against dishonest claimants. He has experience of group litigation, having been standing counsel to NHS Resolution in the metal-on-metal hip claims

Cases of note

  • XM v. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust [2020] EWHC 3102 (QB) – Delayed diagnosis of hydrocephalus leading to catastrophic brain injury in early months of life. Issues included standard of care applicable to health visitors and nursery nurses caring for newborn babies.
  • A child claimant v. An NHS Trust (settled 2023) – Claim arising out of birth injury caused by alleged delay in recognising foetal distress during labour.
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust v. Dommett (Queen’s Bench Division July 2021) – Contempt proceedings against former claimant who brought a dishonest claim against an NHS trust. The court handed down an immediate 29-week prison sentence.
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust v. Sandip Singh Atwal [2018] EWHC 961 (QB); [2018] EWHC 2537 (QB) – Contempt proceedings against former claimant who brought a dishonest claim against an NHS trust. The court handed down an immediate three-month prison sentence.

Occupiers’ Liability

James acts for claimant and defendants in claims arising out of accidents that occur on land and property. 

Cases of note

  • Harris v. AM Heating Services (Cambridge CC July 2023) successful defence at trial of claim brought by householder against heating contractor for alleged exposure to carbon monoxide. Claimant alleged that exposure contributed to condition leading to blindness, hence high value of claim. 
  • Sophie Ashraf v. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst [2020] 7 WLUK 705 – Successful defence of claim brought by a guest at a Sandhurst Ball.
  • A Child v. The Operator of a Shopping Centre (Ongoing 2024) – James acts for the operator of a shopping centre where a child was injured falling from an escalator.
  • A Child v. A Local Authority (Ongoing 2024) – James acts for the local authority in a case involving a child falling from an open window in a high-rise block.

Road Traffic

James handles very high value claims arising of road traffic accidents including those involving the emergency services. He has a particular interest in claims arising out of accidents that occur on smart motorways. He also has a developing interest in the field of autonomous vehicles.

Cases of note

  • WCN v. NDP [2023] EWHC 2970 (KB) – Determination of statutory funding/double recovery issues arising out of settled tetraplegia claim.
  • Rajput v. Karamat (2023) – Full trial of contributory negligence issue and quantum in vehicle vs pedestrian catastrophic brain injury claim, judgment awaited.
  • Vakharia and others v. Bukowski [2022] EWHC 673 (QB) – Successful defence of contribution claim brought against a driver whose vehicle broke down on a smart motorway.

Employers’ Liability

James acts for claimants and defendants in claims arising out of all types of workplace accidents.

Cases of note

  • WEJ v. XWH (Settled 2023) – James acted for the defendant insurer in a claim involving a fall through the roof of an agricultural building. WEJ suffered injuries causing them to be in a minimally conscious state. Significant issues arose in relation to state funding of their long term care in a nursing home
  • X v. A Manufacturer of Construction Equipment (Settled 2021) – James acted for the defendant in a claim where the claimant suffered injuries while working on a production line. The claim involved detailed engineering analysis of the system of production.

Animal Claims

James has expertise in pleading Animals Act 1971 claims and is instructed for claimants and defendants in cases arising out of accidents involving horses, cattle and dogs. 

Cases of note

  • Koetsier v. Thomas & Nolton Stables [2023] EWHC 2483(KB) – James successfully defended at trial the owner of a terrier that was involved in an accident in which a rider fell from a horse suffering catastrophic spinal injuries.
  • Claimant v Farmer (settled 2023) - James acted for a claimant who was trampled and gored while assisting in the moving of cattle from one field to another. The claim was brought under the Animals Act 1971 and liability was admitted immediately after service of the particulars of claim.

Policy Coverage

James is instructed by claimants and defendant insurers in cases where policy coverage is in issue, including motor claims cases, employers’ liability and public liability cover.

Cases of note

  • A Claimant v A Building Company and an Insolvent Insurance Company (settled 2022) - The claimant suffered catastrophic head injuries in a fall on a building site. The claim was brought under the Third Party (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010. James acted for the insurer, which repudiated the policy relying on misrepresentation.

Insurance Fraud

James is instructed by defendant insurers to pursue contempt proceedings against a dishonest claimant.

Cases of note

  • Axa Insurance v Pirie (2019) - The former claimant, her husband and adult daughter were all given prison sentences for their part in bringing a dishonest personal injury claim arising out of a road traffic accident.