Stephen is particularly known for his sensitivity and understanding when instructed on complex and challenging cases involving brain and catastrophic injuries including birth and fatal accidents arising out of clinical negligence as well as RTAs and accidents at work. He is currently instructed on 2 lower limb and 3 upper limb amputation cases.
In clinical negligence he is particularly experienced in birth accidents, cauda equina and delayed cancer diagnosis cases. He is the series editor of Clinical Negligence, law, practice and procedure, now in its third edition published by chambers.
He is frequently invited to lecture. He is usually against very senior juniors or silks. He is ranked in band/tier 1 as a leading PI junior in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.
Notable Brain/catastrophic injury cases
R v. Admiral Insurance (2021)
Significant brain injury and personality change in 24 yr old PhD student injured in RTA. Very specific career path as a tribologist (specialist in friction) ruined – multiple experts required – Stephen is instructed alone. QC instructed by defendant. Claim worth in excess of £2M.
O v. O’Connell (2020)
Subtle brain injury leading to personality change to a 38 yr old family man – difficult issue as to extent to which symptoms (fatigue, irritability, memory loss, anger) mediated by organic injury or psychological effect or malingering. Claim pleaded in excess of £4M. Stephen instructed alone. Opposed by a QC.
H v Naqvi (2019)
Serious brain injury to serving senior police officer – personality change – substantial accommodation claim – £3M plus. Several experts – causation of organic brain injury disputed. Stephen instructed without a leader.
J v Canterbury University (2018)
claimant professor fell downstairs during building work – severe brain injury personality change – suicidal and reclusive – capacity issues – very challenging client – claim worth £1.75M plus. Stephen instructed without a leader by Slater & Gordon. Defendant instructed a QC.
BC v Lamerton (2017)
Stephen acted for C who was cut in half almost by a reversing lorry as he stood facing the tail lift of another lorry whilst loading his camera equipment. World-leading surgery to reconstruct abdomen and internal organs. The claim involved arguing that Roberts v Johnstone dealing with (a) the recoverability of damages for adapted accommodation was wrong or did /should not apply and (b) significantly increased cost of UK living (including private and university education fees) after move from SA were recoverable . Settled at a JSM recently for £4.2M. Instructed by Leigh Day.
A v Middlesex University (2016)
Stephen acted for C a senior law lecturer who fell over a corridor obstruction onto her recently implanted prosthetic knee leading to the need for amputation. Argued again that Roberts v Johnstone inappropriate. Settled at JSM for £700K. Instructed by Slater & Gordon. Defendant instructed a leader.
O v Ipswich Hospitals (2016)
Stephen acted for a diabetic man who suddenly fell ill with back pain. The hospital failed to identify in time that he had developed a spinal abscess so that he is now a tetraplegic. Very substantial claim settled in excess of £4.5M at JSM. Led by Andrew Ritchie QC. Instructed by Stewarts LLP.
M v Medway Hospitals
Stephen acted for a 63 year old retired IT consultant who suffered a spinal compression which was not diagnosed so that he is now a paraplegic. He was led by Andrew Ritchie QC. Multiple medical experts required. Very substantial claim in excess of £3M. Breach and causation in issue. Substantial accommodation claim – Roberts v Johnstone to be challenged in a test case. Instructed by Stewarts LLP.