Michael Ditchfield


Inquests

Manchester

36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082

Leeds

5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123

Birmingham

Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
Stephen Loxton
Paul Clarke


Inquests

Michael has appeared at numerous inquests. These have included:

  • An 8 week investigation into the death of a prisoner where issues arose as to the coroner’s entitlement to call and detain as witnesses released prisoners outwith her area of jurisdiction & to compel detained prisoners to give evidence:
  • A engineering modification to a tank where that modification was implicated in the death of a serving soldier;
  • Investigation into the death of several residents at a private nursing home.

 

"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."

Chambers UK

Profile


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
 
Areas of Expertise

Inquests

Inquests

Michael has appeared at numerous inquests. These have included:

  • An 8 week investigation into the death of a prisoner where issues arose as to the coroner’s entitlement to call and detain as witnesses released prisoners outwith her area of jurisdiction & to compel detained prisoners to give evidence:
  • A engineering modification to a tank where that modification was implicated in the death of a serving soldier;
  • Investigation into the death of several residents at a private nursing home.

Occupational Disease

Occupational Disease

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.

Significant Cases

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.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Michael also undertakes general serious injury work where the opportunity arises. He has extensive experience of both County & High Court litigation. He worked recently with Michael Rawlinson QC on a complex occupier’s case concerning a child trespasser who had suffered brain injury & acted also with Michael Rawlinson for Durham County Council where a significant dispute arose as to the existence of a duty of care vis a vis worker, subject to a knife attack by a relative of a child in care.

 
Memberships

Personal Injuries Bar Association (PIBA)

NE Medico-Legal Society
 

Publications

Recent articles concerning:

The implications of s69 ERRA

The 6kHz notch in NIHL cases

Diseases in the Retail Sector

Mesothelioma after McGregor
 

Qualifications

BA(Hons) & LLM

 

Recommendations

Chambers UK 2019

"Extremely responsive, and his pleadings are always very detailed and comprehensive." "Tenacious advocate who is very robust."

Legal 500 2019

"Noted for his expertise in asbestos cases."

Chambers UK 2018

"A top-court player." "Easy to get on with."

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."

Chambers UK Logo 2016

 

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