Laura Laura

Barrister: Laura Elfield


BA (Hons) Modern History, Oxford University; CPE (Distinction), Sussex University


Laura has over 20 years' experience as a mixed civil practitioner, specialising in personal injury, clinical negligence work.

Laura is an accredited mediator and faculty member of the London School of Mediation.

Solicitors value her attention to detail; excellent grasp of the law; and her well-honed client care skills. She combines a sympathetic approach with the ability to give clear and commercial advice. Laura is a tough negotiator and brings years of advocacy experience, including in lengthy and complex Tribunal claims, as an added dimension to all areas of her practice.

Laura has been a contributing author to various APIL publications including: the Guide to Occupational Disease (2011); the Guide to Evidence in Personal Injury Claims (2011); and the Guide to RTA Liability (2012). She also provided the chapter on settlement and compromise for the Law Society's publication on Remedies in Employment Law (2013). Laura gives regular seminars and lectures, most recently on limitation issues in asbestos claims for the 9 Gough Chambers Asbestos Claims Seminar (June 2016).  She also trains mediators for the London School of Mediation.

Laura has recently written an article for the Personal Injury Law Journal on Limitation Act 1980 - Delays in Asbestos Claims. Please find the article here: Delays in Asbestos Claims.

Laura used to enjoy good food, beautiful beaches and yoga. These days, she spends most of her free time running around after her son.

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Personal Injury:

In the personal injury field, Laura acts predominantly for claimants, instructed by the leading personal injury firms including those acting for the large trade unions. With over 20 years' experience in all aspects of personal injury work, Laura now focuses primarily on complex and serious injury cases.

A significant part of Laura's practice is made up of employer's liability and occupational disease claims, including accidents in the workplace, asbestos-related diseases; work-related upper limb disorders, and noise-induced hearing loss claims. Laura has a particular interest in the interface between personal injury and employment law, including claims involving bullying and harassment and long-term sickness and disability. She has considerable expertise in high-value psychiatric injury claims.

Due to her employment law practice, she is able to provide specialist advice in the tricky areas of compromise and abuse of process in cases involving overlapping jurisdictions.

  • Acting for a young woman suffering multiple serious injuries, including subtle brain injury and disabling agoraphobia after a catastrophic car crash in which the other passengers were killed. MIB claim.
  • Montreal Convention claim for woman injured when her own champagne bottles fell on her head in-flight. Permanent brain, balance and psychiatric injuries. Case successfully settled at JSM for a six-figure sum well in excess of the Article 21(1) limit.
  • Young RAF cadet injured in motorbike accident suffering psychiatric injuries likely to impact upon a future career in RAF and outside. Successfully settled for a six-figure sum.
  • Vaginal prolapse caused by repetitive manual handling. The injury led to needing for hysterectomy and abdominal sacrocolpopexy and permanently impacted upon employment. The case settled for a six-figure sum to include the risk of repeat procedures for life.
  • Claim on behalf of scientist for psychiatric harm and stress-related exacerbation of diabetes caused by bullying and harassment by supervisor at work. 


Laura has a burgeoning asbestos practice. She has experience of successfully running cases involving complex limitation issues and has recently written an article for the Personal Injury Law Journal, on Limitation Act 1980 - Delays in Asbestos Claims. Please find the article here: Delays in Asbestos Claims. Laura is able to deal sympathetically with terminally ill clients and the recently bereaved. She is aware of the need to act quickly and cogently. She is able to deal with show cause hearings; advise on applications to restore companies to the Register; and to conduct conferences, at short notice, with experts.

Abuse Claims:

Laura acts primarily for claimants in sex abuse claims including civil claims for historic abuse against religious institutions and local authorities, as well as claims before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

This is a fast developing area of the law and Laura is able to advise on specialist matters including non-delegable duties, vicarious liability, the need for expert liability evidence and limitation points. She is well versed in the challenges of such cases and is able to bring her extensive experience of advising claimants with psychiatric injuries to this field, combining a sensitive approach with a precise grasp of the issues.

Recent cases have included:

  • Sexual abuse of a teenage boy by scout leader.
  • Rape of a teenager by a fellow pupil in a special needs boarding school 
  • Negligent foster placement and failure to remove in time to prevent abuse.
  • Regular appearances before the Residential Institutions Redress Board, both in London and Dublin. These cases have involved rape and beatings of young boys by clerics; recovered memory of abuse; failure to protect siblings from father convicted of sexual abuse; emotional abuse and neglect. 

Clinical Negligence:

Laura brings over 20 years’ experience to her busy and varied clinical negligence practice.

Acting mainly for claimants, her practice encompasses a range of work from cases involving catastrophic injury and informed consent to negligent cosmetic treatment and surgical scarring. She is able quickly to get to grips with knotty legal issues and complex and contested medical evidence, assisted by her complementary experience in her personal injury practice.

Recent cases have involved:

  • Negligent insertion of TVT-O, including failure to consent.
  • Negligent vaginal prolapse surgery.
  • Failure by consultant to diagnose and treat ovarian cancer leading to premature death.
  • Failure to treat leg ulcers in elderly diabetic patient, leading to traumatic amputation.
  • Failure of hospital adequately to treat premature baby leading to death, with associated secondary victim claim on behalf of mother.
  • Failure of care home and GP to detect and treat renal failure in elderly patient.
  • Negligent dental treatment, including unnecessary removal of multiple teeth.
  • Negligent laser facial treatment leading to permanent facial scarring in patient who was inadequately consented.
  • Negligent trapeziotomy leading to inadvertent partial resection of the distal pole of the scaphoid and permanent symptoms of pain and restriction of movement.


Laura Elfield is head of the mediation team at 9 Gough Chambers.

She is accredited to undertake civil and commercial mediations as well as workplace and employment mediations.

Laura can provide facilitative mediation across the range of common law disputes. Her legal practice in personal injury, clinical negligence and employment law matters provides an additional dimension to her work as a mediator. She can provide evaluative mediation in these areas if so required.

Laura also trains other mediators in her position as faculty member of the London School of Mediation


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