36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Clerked by:Stephen Loxton
Michael has extensive experience in all aspects of disease work, acting for claimants and defendants alike. He has worked closely with and on behalf of most major trades union as well as for large organisations such as the NCB & DECC. Michael’s practice covers the entire panoply of litigation from advice to limitation to trial. He has been frequently involved in low-level exposure cases, cases concerning fibre count evidence and where de minimis has been the issue. He is a regular before the High Court Masters on show cause applications. His practice covers NIHL to significant extent as well as HAVS cases. He has experience of more exotic conditions such as Aspergillosis. Recently he has assisted various major firms with their case screening exercises, determining litigation strategies and advising on protocols to identify trends, those areas of risk as well as those of potential reward.
Harrington v DECC High Court. Successful defence of low level exposure claim.
Strand v Darchem: County Court. Appropriate standard for measure of AAHL
Reynolds v DECC: High Court. Test for breach and causation in low level cases
Andrews v DECC: low-level exposure to colliery surface workers
Gallagher v Vinters: Use of JSB Guidelines in short-duration mesothelioma cases
Bell v DECC: Core values in JSC Guidelines and relevant factors in making award.
Michael practices exclusively in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence and has now done so for more than twenty years. He began life at the Bar as general circuiteer cutting his teeth in crime, family and of course personal injury.
He moved to Kings Chambers in 2011 in order to better exploit an opportunity to concentrate and focus on disease litigation.
Michael has a particular interest in dust based disease cases and has appeared in a number of the recent significant cases regarding low-level asbestos exposure.
He has developed, of late, a certain skill in the more technical aspects of NIHL claims and has regularly provided seminars on discrete topics such as de minimis loss and the relevance of the 6kHz notch.
He regards interlocutory procedural applications of a more technical nature an interesting dimension to his work and has a busy papers practice, aiming to return instructions within 24-48 hours where possible.
Michael has been a member of the Attorney-General’s provincial panel of Counsel for more than 10 years, in which time he has conducted long-running inquests concerning prison deaths, as well as specialised investigations into the failure of military equipment and clinical fault.
Year of Call: 1993
Chambers UK 2016
"He has a superb, second-to-none customer service ethic and he is extremely quick at turning papers around. From him we get a detailed and tightly argued document."
The Legal 500 2012 - 'great technical expertise'.
The Legal 500 2011 - Michael Ditchfield whose ‘communication skills are second to none’.
The Legal 500 2010 - Michael Ditchfield ‘is the standout barrister, we use him in preference to many QCs’, states one instructing solicitor.
Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession 2013- Michael Ditchfield is a "highly conscientious, very personable and extremely knowledgeable lawyer." His personal injury practice is broad, but sources are especially keen to highlight his expertise on industrial disease cases, especially when it comes to dust cases leading to mesothelioma.
Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession 2010 - a popular choices amongst the region's solicitors and is praised for offering clients "meticulous advice."
Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession - 2009 - Michael Ditchfield is a leader in industrial disease work who has a particular emphasis on asbestos-related injuries. He is said to display "a remarkable awareness to every aspect of the case"
The Legal 500 2009 - Michael Ditchfield is an "expert in occupational disease."
Personal Injuries Bar Association (PIBA)
NE Medico-Legal Society
Recent articles concerning:
The implications of s69 ERRA
The 6kHz notch in NIHL cases
Diseases in the Retail Sector
Mesothelioma after McGregor
BA(Hons) & LLM