Welcome to the September edition of Gatehouse Chambers' Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Newsletter.

In September we had the pleasure of hosting an event for the Child Brain Injury Trust and learning that Charles Bagot KC had been shortlisted for Personal Injury Silk of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2022 which takes place on 17 November 2022.

This newsletter brings you articles from Emma Zeb, Jasmine Murphy and Robert Whittock together with an update on what some members of the team have been working on in recent weeks and some news about upcoming events.

We hope that you have enjoyed the recent webinars provided by Helena Drage and Emma Woods on fixed costs, QOCS and Part 36. If you missed them you can find them here.

Click here to sign up to our upcoming inquest talks.

Please get in touch with any suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in future articles, seminars or our online brew sessions.

Robert Whittock – Editor


Specialist Investment Account Interest Rates Rise to 1.75%

Having been at less than 1% for over 13 years and been in a pattern of decreasing for the past 32 years, in the last six months the special investment account has risen not once, not twice, but three times! On 22 September 2022 the government announced that the special investment account interest rate would rise to 1.75% from 2 September 2022.

Click here to read Jasmine Murphy's summary.


Tightening up of the Coronial Procedure

On 13 September 2022, Chief Coroner Teague provided CCG number 44 on 'Disclosure'. The aim of the guidance is to advise and assist coroners on two matters First, obtaining disclosure. Second, providing disclosure to properly interested persons at a timely stage. It all sounds a bit basic doesn't it, but trust me..... the guidance is welcomed and has plainly become necessary in the view of the Chief Coroner.

Click here to read Emma Zeb's summary.


Street Equipment

Liability under s.41 Highways Act 1980 only arises where there has been a failure to maintain the 'fabric' of the highway. Liability for street apparatus such as a water stop tap cover falls within s.41 Highways Act 1980, whereas liability for street furniture such as a road sign or a safety barrier will fall outside s.41 Highways Act 1980 ('the Act') and be determined solely by the common law principles of negligence.

Click here to read Robert Whittock's latest article.


Activity report

Here is what some members of the team have been up to in recent weeks.

Charles Bagot KC:

  • Continues to represent the Defendants in the conjoined secondary victim appeals (Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS & others) which have been provisionally listed for a hearing in the Supreme Court in late May 2023.
  • Recently taken part in a team triathlon in memory of Richard Viney, a respected PI barrister at 12KBW who tragically died last year.

Colm Nugent:

  • New instruction for claimant on a clinical negligence claim in which patient suffers significant brain damage in hospital, on the eve of being discharged from an earlier mild stroke.
  • Instructed to defend a personal injury firm alleged to have under-settled a claim involving a protected party – claim said to be valued at more than £1m.
  • Settled three separate Highway tripping claims before trial due in September, October and November, respectively. A fourth and fifth stubbornly remain in the diary.
  • Instructed (by separate firms) on behalf of a driver involved in a multi-car fatal accident, to bring his own personal injury claim, and to defend a fatal claim brought against the same driver. So the driver is both a claimant and a defendant in the same action!
  • Gave a 90 minute live seminar on cycle head injury claims and how helmets can help to establish or disprove the existence of mild-moderate brain damage.

Emma Zeb:

  • Acted in a series of inquests concerning care home deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised on the potential merits and valuation of a multi- Claimant claim for damages pursuant to the Human Rights Act, following an inquest.
  • Dealt with a novel product liability claim examining the safety of a baby bouncer.
  • Spent some time sitting in the Crown Court as a Recorder and seeing first hand the impact of the industrial action on the criminal justice system.

Henry Slack:

  • Sitting as a DDJ at Brighton, Lewes and Worthing CCs;
  • Advising in conference in a clinical negligence case where the defendant had not only undertaken the wrong shoulder surgery procedure but in doing so had performed it negligently so that the Claimant required a full shoulder revision and has been left with life changing injury/symptoms to his dominant right shoulder and arm.
  • Overall getting through a heavy load of paperwork after the summer hols!

Vanessa McKinlay:

  • Acting for the Defendant in a £7.4m clinical negligence claim.
  • Acting for the Claimant in an obstetric negligence claim, including a settlement meeting.
  • Acting as a Mediator in a data protection breach claim.
  • Sitting as an Assistant Coroner in Birmingham.

Jasmine Murphy:

  • Jasmine has taken on more responsibility as an Editor of Kemp & Kemp: The Quantum of Damages. Consequently, she has been busy updating chapters in Kemp & Kemp about Dishonest Claimants and Fraudulent Claims, Schedules and Counter Schedules, Accidents involving Animals and Product Liability.

Robert Whittock:

  • One of my Clerks has developed a stutter so I have been doing a lot of PPI cases.
  • Acting for a brain injured personal injury victim where one of her former solicitors deducted 25% success fee from her substantial settlement monies despite liability not really being in dispute and failing to transfer the correct amount to the personal injury trust. Her other solicitor set up a trust deed with only one trustee who as one might foresee dissipated the trust fund leaving her destitute, unable to work and unable to obtain benefits due to her uncertain immigration status. Freezing injunction obtained against trustee and third party disclosure orders obtained against bank initially holding the trust monies and the banks into which the dissipated trust monies were transferred to.
  • Settled a clinical negligence case concerning a still birth. Defendant stubbornly refusing to settle the related secondary victim claim relying on the case of Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS & others albeit that the Supreme Court are due to hear the appeal in that case in 2023.

Aneurin Moloney:

  • Settled a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising out of a failure to provide appropriate community psychiatric care.
  • Settled a case on behalf of a claimant shortly before trial for £475,000, where 3 separate strokes were argued each to have been materially contributed to by different consequences of a single act of GP negligence.
  • Delivered the Legal Update 2022 talk to the Liverpool Law Society.
  • Been busy updating his blog with prominent clinical negligence cases from 2022.

Helena Drage:

  • Acted for the Defendant at a number of trials instructed by the Ministry of Justice.
  • Acting (led) for the Ministry of Defence in respect of an Inquest touching the death of an Officer Cadet at Sandhurst Military Academy.
  • Instructed by the Cabinet Office on the Covid-19 Inquiry and has been assisting in the preparations for Module 1.
  • Successfully represented a Claimant at the multi-track trial of a Boots employee who injured herself at work.

Emma Woods:

  • Drafted Defences for clinical negligence claims relating to mental health treatment
  • Received instructions regarding a cosmetic surgery claim
  • Advised on slipping accident claims where there were more than one potential Defendant
  • Successfully represented the Defendant in a Highways Act trial

Charlotte Wilk:

  • Has been busy in her secondment with Harrow Council.
  • In her own practice, she has recently been involved in RTA trials, application hearings, and is currently advising on a gynaecology case.


Seminar programme


14 Oct 2022, 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Complex Inquests: Procedure & Practice – Prevention of Future Deaths Reports

21 Nov 2022, 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Complex Inquests: Procedure & Practice – The Rule Against Self-Incrimination

29 Nov 2022, 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Complex Inquests: Procedure & Practice – Inquests for Juniors


AVMA Representing Families at Inquests conference, 14-15 December 2022, Gatehouse Chambers, London

Gatehouse on Demand

QOCS and CPR Part 36: Part 1

QOCS and CPR Part 36: Part 2

Complex Inquests: Procedure & Practice – Neglect


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.