In the last edition of this newsletter, we were excited to share with you our move to our fabulous new purpose-built premises at 1, Lady Hale Gate, in Gray's Inn and the launch of our change of name from Hardwicke to Gatehouse Chambers. This edition is also bursting with exciting developments as well as some insightful articles sure to inform.

First, we are thrilled to welcome two stellar senior practitioners to the team, further strengthening our Injury and Clinical Negligence expertise across the range of call levels.  Emma Zeb, 1998 call, whose particular specialisms are serious injury work and complex Inquests and  Vanessa McKinlay, 2000 call, a specialist clinical negligence senior junior, who both join us from chambers in Bristol.

We also have a trio of part-time judicial appointments to celebrate.  Charles Bagot QC has been appointed a Deputy High Court Judge and will sit in the Queen's Bench Division hearing cases which would otherwise be heard by a High Court Judge. We also congratulate  Vanessa McKinlay on her appointment as Assistant Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull. In addition, we are delighted to announce that  Henry Slack has been appointed a Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit. Many congratulations to Charles, Vanessa and Henry; all three remain in full-time practice at Gatehouse Chambers.

In this newsletter, you will find articles on topics as diverse as a fundamental dishonesty round-up by Jasmine Murphy, a review of the options and considerations if you want to change expert, by Emma Zeb, and Charles Bagot QC shines a spotlight on two recent Court of Appeal cases on fatal accident damages.

You will have seen that our popular programme of Gatehouse Chambers #Brews continues with the latest being an Animals Act update, on 15 September, with speakers  Henry Slack Jasmine Murphy and  Emma Woods. If you missed it, the recording is available  here. Do join us live next time, if you can, for a half hour update on a topic of interest, bring your preferred mug and any questions on the topic and log on!

Activity Report - What we have been up to

Charles Bagot QC has:

  • Travelled to the Bahamas to speak at the Commonwealth Law Conference;
  • Been appointed a Deputy High Court Judge;
  • Advised in a range of high value and sensitive clinical negligence claims for Claimants, NHSR and NHS Wales;
  • Was successful in an application for a Claimant to rely on several further experts and for permission to vary the costs budget in an upper limb amputation case;
  • Been instructed in several new maximum severity cases for insurers domestically and internationally in the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.

As we emerge from lockdown and the last days of summer,  Colm Nugent has:

  • Successfully resisted a strike-out of a brain injury claim on the basis of an application of no jurisdiction, due to (alleged) late service of the claim form.
  • Been instructed in clinical negligence fatal claim following renal surgery.
  • Been instructed in a claim for two teenage boys who sustained severe PTSD when a car mounted the pavement killing one of their friends.
  • Given an APIL conference talk in conjunction with a specialist engineer on the use of cycle helmets and the latest techniques whereby analysis of the cycle helmet with the latest technology, can assist the medical experts in determining the likely extent of brain injury.

Recently  Emma Zeb:

  • Became a member of the PI and Clin Neg team at Gatehouse Chambers! Emma comments, "I am delighted to join such an excellent and well-regarded team and the new Gatehouse Chambers at a very exciting time of progression and innovation."
  • Has been in court in three complex inquests, back-to-back between May and July. Most notably the case of Dorothea Hale, an inquest following the police investigation Operation Jasmine and the Flynn Report into care / nursing home failings in South Wales.
  • Has been dealing with three high value brain injury claims in August, one for a Claimant and two for Defendants. Multi-disciplinary expert conferences have been required involving Neurologists and Neuropsychologists. One case involves Functional Neurological Disorder.
  • Has been involved in two complex clinical negligence matters with Charles Bagot QC.
  • Has been sitting as a Recorder in both the Crown and County Courts.

Jasmine Murphy:

  • In addition to her writing for various journals and publications, Jasmine has been enjoying a return to some in-person hearings and conferences (she loves fish and chips so any instructions to attend court in seaside towns are welcomed).
  • In court, Jasmine has recently been kept busy by disputed interim payment applications and controversial applications for expert evidence such as life expectancy evidence.
  • Outside court, Jasmine is currently dealing with a few ongoing multi-million pound claims for young women who have suffered life changing injuries.
  • In addition, as Jasmine is known for her expertise in handling claims involving litigants in person, she will be providing training through MBL Seminars on that subject later this year.

Helena Drage:

  • Helena contributed to the updated chapter in Kemp & Kemp on Schedules and Counter Schedules of Loss.
  • Acting for the Claimant, was successful in an application for fixed costs when it was alleged that the Claimant had incorrectly issued proceedings under CPR Part 7 when the claim had initially proceeded within the MOJ Portal, relying upon CPR 8B PD 9.1.
  • Acted for Claimants and Defendants at numerous CCMCs in relation to serious injury claims arising from road traffic accidents and accidents at work involving machinery.
  • Drafted a defence and provided advice in a professional negligence dispute arising from the allegedly negligent conduct of a NIHL claim.
  • Prepared for a trial on limitation in relation to a NIHL claim.
  • Drafted defences in relation to serious injury cases arising from accidents at work.
  • Acting for the Defendant, succeeded in an application for the court to determine the issue of Fundamental Dishonesty after the Claimant had discontinued their claim close to trial.
  • Assisted a senior member of the team in an advice relating to a slipping accident causing paraplegia and the applicability of the principle in McGeown.
  • Continued work for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Emma Woods:

  • Advising on an application arising from selecting the wrong drop-down box when using CE filing;
  • Assisting an NHSR panel firm with drafting letters of advice and letters of response for a variety of Clinical Negligence claims;
  • Advised and successfully represented the Claimant at an RTA Small Claims hearing, where the Judge found there had been a valid compromise of the claim;
  • Assisting a QC with work on a complex and sensitive fatal accident claim.

Thinking about changing expert - still a tough call!


Thinking about changing expert - still a tough call!

I have an expert report that has been provided in one of my cases, pretty close to the wire for service which, if served in its present form will be very damaging indeed for my client's case. What are the options?

Click here to read the article by  Emma Zeb.

Fundamental dishonesty update - September 2021


Almost three quarters of the way through 2021 and there has already been a clutch of cases dealing with fundamental dishonesty.

Jasmine Murphy provides a round up.  Click here to read.

Latest word on fatal accidents


The Court of Appeal has looked at fatal accidents law twice recently, making useful observations which can assist our understanding of the proper approach in two tricky areas.

Click here to read the comprehensive summary from  Charles Bagot QC.

New team member, Emma Zeb, spins the wheel.


Each month, a member of the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Team has to spin 'the Wheel of Questions' and answer the first three questions that come up. This month  Emma Zeb tried her luck with the wheel.

What is a dream you have that you have yet to achieve?

Be a TV presenter. Not fussy about the type of show either! Failing that, learn to DJ properly and then play at a friend's party or wedding.

If you could spend a day in someone else's shoes, who would they be?

No one. Like Oscar Wilde said, 'Be yourself, everyone else is already taken'.

What is one thing a parent taught you that completely changed your life?

A strong work ethic. It can help you in almost every situation in life.

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