Clinical negligence and personal injury claims are distinct, but clients in both are often vulnerable or traumatised. These sensitive cases are Sophie’s particular specialism, backed by eight years’ experience of different injuries and contexts. Her clinical negligence claims encompass the private and public sectors, inpatient and outpatient care and factors from delayed diagnosis to inadequate care, substandard technique to poor judgment. In personal injury, Sophie represents in all the traditional claims, including road traffic, occupiers’ and employers’ liability, industrial disease, defective premises, and consumer protection.
Her concern with sensitive cases has given Sophie extensive experience of sexual abuse claims in different settings, and recognised expertise in claims involving the Armed Forces. Many of her cases cross over with human rights law.
Sophie strives not only to get appropriate financial awards (and she has achieved significant settlements), but also to focus on clients who need her kind of approach. Such cases may involve complex medical evidence or social issues where clients struggle or are unable to speak for themselves (e.g. decisions on informed consent, the right to die with dignity, discharge from mental health services and childbirth).
Sophie is strong in oral advocacy and also very skilled in written advocacy. Many of her claims settle because of her persuasive pleadings, skeletons and submissions, and accessible, succinct client advice. Sophie’s financial grounding at Deloitte means she is very adept at complex quantum calculations and Ogden multiplier manipulation, as in loss of a military/civilian career and pension loss in benefit and contribution-based schemes. Skilled in creating persuasive narrative schedules and negotiation plans for joint settlements, her detailed understanding increasing her persuasiveness as she challenges and adapts calculations quickly and confidently.
Sophie enjoys the teamwork of being led, and is instructed as junior counsel to QCs in her own and other chambers, as well as the independence of representing her own clients. She enjoys winning the trust of solicitors and lay clients and recognises the leap of faith involved in instructing a new barrister. She has embraced the opportunity to demonstrate her capability by providing seminars over video platforms; topics include maximising damages in stillbirth cases, contributory negligence in preventable suicides and shades of grey in the standard of care in diagnosis claims.
Some of Sophie’s recent cases include:
- Delayed diagnosis of lung cancer leading to a mother’s death. Involved the quantification of complex financial and service dependency claims. Settled in excess of £500,000.
- Sub-standard bowel surgery leading to the requirement for a stoma, which was positioned away from the agreed site without medical justification, vitiating the claimant’s consent and causing complications including significant psychological injury and leaking.
- Avoidable injury during childbirth because of the mismanagement of a forceps delivery. Injuries included a 4th degree tear and have resulted in severe double incontinence and long term psychological injury.
- Avoidable stillbirth of the only child of a woman previously unable to fall pregnant. Significant disabling psychological injury, loss of a career, complex psychological care needs and a claim for a full programme of fertility treatments to try and enable the conception of a further child.
- Delayed diagnosis of PTSD in serving members of the Armed Forces which caused the loss of successful military careers and pensions, and subsequently impaired civilian lives. Such cases often settling for around £1m.
- The catastrophic consequences of an avoidable accident in Afghanistan which would cause a young soldier significant lifelong disability. Settled for over £4.5m.
- Multiple claims involving the historic sexual abuse of children in the Sea Cadets.
Being led in a birth injury case involving physical injuries to the mother and avoidable cerebral palsy in the child. Settled at JSM for in excess of £18m equivalent mix of lump sum and PPO.