Richard is instructed in Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Inquests and Court of Protection, both alone and as a junior on very large and complex cases with a senior junior or silk.
Richard has particular expertise Safeguarding/Abuse claims, Military Injuries, and Equestrian injuries.
Much of Richard’s work involves vulnerable individuals and state agencies. Human Rights issues arise in all of his practice areas, particularly the positive and investigatory obligations under Art.2 (in inquests and in litigation), Art. 3 (in personal injury/abuse litigation) and Art.5 (in Court of Protection work).
Year of Call: 2009
Areas of expertise
Richard has a fast-growing practice in ‘abuse’ claims, both in litigation and inquests. This includes recent and historic sexual abuse claims against a perpetrator or their employer, failure to remove claims involving local authority children’s services, failure to safeguard, and wider Human Rights Act claims by vulnerable adults, children in care, etc.
Richard acts for Claimants and Defendants.
- Historic sexual abuse by serving police officer (led by Satinder Hunjan QC)
- Claim for serious injuries arising from violent assault by door staff at a casino
- Death of care-home resident who suffered from Korsakoff’s dementia and lacked capacity to make decisions as to care and treatment. He was permitted to decline all personal care, and over a period of many weeks developed a skin infection which developed into sepsis. Acting for family in a claim in tort / for breach of Art. 2 and Art.3.
- Alleged failure to adequately safeguard vulnerable adult murdered by mentally ill partner.
- Advising on aggravated and exemplary damages for Claimants unlawfully imprisoned and tortured during the Cyprus Emergency
- Historic sexual abuse by football coach.
- Grooming and sexual abuse by Catholic Priest
- HRA claim for breach of Article 2 Protocol 1 right to education.
- Alleged failure to adequately safeguard vulnerable adult in supported living who tended to bang her head and died when she suffered a TBI in her rom.
Richard acts for both Claimants and Defendants in Clinical Negligence matters of substantial complexity and severity, both alone and as a junior. This includes disabling injuries, and fatal and life-shortening conditions.
Richard is ranked in Band 2 for Clinical Negligence in the Legal 500 2020, and Band 3 in Chambers and Partners 2020.
Particular Areas of Expertise:
- Cancer diagnosis, especially issues of causation
- Negligent treatment in psychiatry, including suicide and Art.2 issues
- Secondary victim claim
- Negligent whole-brain radiation causing diffuse white matter brain injury, combined with negligent post-surgical drain removal causing necrotising pancreatitis, valued at £3,500,000.
- Negligent delay in returning to theatre to treat duodenal perforation, materially contributing to post-operative condition.
- Negligent management of labour, resulting in stillbirth. Claim on behalf of mother who suffered very severe PTSD and had not returned to work at 3 years. Settled at mediation for £300,000.
- Fetal developmental defects caused by chemotherapy in utero during first trimester (as junior to Satinder Hunjan QC).
- Delayed diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma in the knee, value £500,000
- Failure by GP to diagnose breast cancer, C required mastectomy and developed chronic post-surgical pain. Value £800,000
- Secondary victim claims by various family members of child who collapsed at home and died from undiagnosed sepsis
- Failure to diagnose nasal carcinoma leading to total rhinectomy, significant facial disfigurement, loss of smell and taste, etc. Value £300K. Settled at mediation.
- Failure by dentist to refer to suspicious lesion, leading to delay in diagnosis or oral carcinoma, jaw resection, extensive reconstructive surgery.
Richard acts for all interested parties in Court of Protection cases, often those arising from s21A applications, but also where there is cross over with his other areas of practice in clinical negligence or personal injury.
He is particularly experienced in cases where MCA issues arise outside of the court of protection, e.g. in inquests or in civil litigation.
Richard acts for families and other interested parties in all kinds of inquests, and has expertise in the application of Article 2 in both medical and non-medical inquests.
Richard has vast experience of inquests across the UK arising from a very wide range of circumstances. He has particular experience in:
- Self-inflicted deaths
- Psychiatric treatment
- Medical/hospital deaths
- Military deaths (in the UK and abroad)
- 'Safeguarding' / Mental Capacity Act issues
- Inquest touching the death of Alison Doyle, a cyclist killed when she hit a pothole and lost control of her bicycle: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7500323/Council-received-FOUR-complaints-massive-15-inch-pothole-cyclist-47-killed.html
- Death of care-home resident who suffered from Korsakoff’s dementia and lacked capacity to make decisions as to care and treatment. He was permitted to decline all personal care, and over a period of many weeks developed a skin infection which developed into sepsis. Counsel to the Inquest instructed; likely to be listed with a Jury; 15 interested parties.
- Inquest into the Castlemartin tank incident (led by Michael Rawlinson QC). See media coverage here (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/02/corporals-died-in-tank-blast-after-officer-given-guest-experience-wales-inquest-hears) and here (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-44682846)
- Unexplained death of a vulnerable man in circumstances where safeguarding concerns had been raised with various agencies. Acting for local authority.
- Suicide of community patient where CAMHS had not communicated to her mother that the deceased would not be visited and so she was left alone and took her life
- Inquest into death of Jamie-Lee Sawyer on a kayaking exercise in Cyprus, when local weather warnings were not heeded (https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/jamie-lee-sawyer-inquest-kayaker-13181794)
- Acting for hospital in 2-week Jury inquest into death of a detained psychiatric patient who absconded whilst on ground leave.
- Inquest into a domestic murder, where the schizophrenic offender had been referred to the duty social worker some weeks before the murder. Acting for local authority.
- Suicide by serving soldier who complained of bullying and mistreatment by chain of command.
- Jury inquest into RTA death where pedestrian was walking in inside lane of motorway at night, having recently been stopped by the police.
- Suicide of community psychiatric patient who had been referred to the emergency duty team shortly before his death, but had been 'triaged' by unqualified staff, raising issues of whether there was a 'real and immediate' risk to his life
- High profile inquest into death of Afghanistan veteran on exercise. The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned, and he was ejected: https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/12927969.soldiers-death-at-cumbria-training-base-was-accidental-inquest-told/
- Neonatal death reported as a ‘stillbirth’, but which the coroner found was not.
- Death from meningitis which went undiagnosed and which was suffered shortly after spinal surgery.
Richard acts for both claimants and defendants in serious personal injury claims, exclusively at multi track level.
Particular Areas of Expertise:
- Military Injuries, whether suffered in or out of service, including AFCS claims/ appeals.
- Secondary Victim claims
- Animals Act and Equestrian claims
- Acting for the family of a spectator killed at a downhill mountain-biking event when a competitor left the course, in litigation and in the inquest.
- Acting for Claimant injured in RTA when being carried as an unrestrained passenger in the rear of a van, suffering spinal and head injuries.
- Advising on contributory negligence where school pupil crushed by HGV outside a school
- Acting for family of a cyclist killed when she hit a pothole and lost control of her bicycle.
- Acting for 2 surviving occupants of the tank in the Castlemartin tank explosion (led by Michael Rawlinson QC).
- Member of special forces injured in cycling accident, suffering various orthopaedic injuries and brain injury, subject to discharge, valued at £1,500,000.
- Fatal Accidents Act claim on behalf of the family of a soldier killed on exercise in the UK, required consideration of the relationship between FAA damages and AFCS compensation. Settled at mediation.
- Member of special forces suffering spinal injury on an exercise, claim pleaded at £3,500,000.
- Claim on behalf riding school employee who suffered complex fractures to his ankle when he was thrown from a horse, including long term impact on earning capacity as a riding instructor.
- Claim on behalf of hunt whip injured when a car collided with her horse, causing pelvic injuries and limiting her riding ability.
Personal Injury Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
“Clinical Negligence: Causation” for Westlaw UK’s Insight
2007, University of Liverpool (Chester): BSc Hons, First Class
2008, College of Law: Graduate Diploma in Law, Commendation
2009, College of Law: Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent
2009, College of Law: LLB Hons (2:1)
Richard is recognised as a leading junior in Clinical Negligence in both the Legal 500 (Band 2) and Chambers and Partners (Band 3) 2020.
Legal 500 2020
"Always imeccable prepared, he will know every aspect of the case before starting a conference."
Chambers and Partners 2020
"A popular junior who practises across a diverse caseload including surgical negligence and delayed diagnosis. He possesses considerable experience in matters of consent and cases relating to the Mental Health Act."
"His advocacy is excellent and he is sympathetic in his dealings with clients."
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