This is the course for those who are new to the specialist field of clinical negligence. The event is particularly suitable for trainee and newly qualified solicitors, paralegals, legal executives and medico-legal advisors, and will provide the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop a career in clinical negligence. Expert speakers with a wealth of experience will cover all stages of the investigative and litigation process relating to clinical negligence claims from the claimants’ perspective.

This event is now sold out.


Tuesday 12 December 2023

09.00    Registration & Refreshments

09.30    Chair’s Introduction – Karl Hirst, Barrister, No. 5 Chambers

09.35    Pre-Litigation Essentials steps for Clinical Negligence Solicitors to consider

  • Complaint’s procedures
  • Fitness to practice procedures
  • Serious Incidents Reports & other investigations
  • The Duty of Candour
  • Early Notification Scheme
  • Health Safety Investigations Board (HSSIB)
  • Rapid Resolution & Redress
  • Patient Safety Incident Response Framework 2023

Lisa O’Dwyer, Director Medico-Legal Services, AvMA 

10.05    Common Funding Issues in Clinical Negligence Claims

  • Conditional fees
  • CFAs deductions and ‘informed consent’
  • BTE
  • ATE
  • DBA
  • LAA exceptional funding
  • Proportionality and reasonableness
  • Guideline Hourly Rates

 Dominic Woodhouse, National Training Manager, Partners in Costs

10.50 Refreshments

11.05 Breach of Duty and Causation in Clinical Negligence Cases

  • Basic legal principles and case law
  • Bolam, Bolitho
  • The importance of linking breach of duty to causation
  • Montgomery
  • Material contribution
  • Overview secondary victim claims (Paul, Polmear & Purchase)

Michael Walsh, Barrister, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers 

12:15 Clients and their perspective 

  • The emotional impact – working with distressed clients
  • Understanding the impact of bereavement
  • Stillbirth claims
  • Looking after the lawyer

Madeline Seibert, Technical Director, Slater & Gordon Lawyers

12:55 Lunch

13:35    Assessing potential new claims 

  • The “New Client” Call
  • Forming a provisional view (medical research in preparation of new client meeting)
  • The “New Client” Meeting
  • Limitation
  • Understanding what the client wants to achieve and managing expectations
  • Assessment of mental capacity
    Use of litigation friends (assessing the most suitable person)
  • Fundamental dishonesty
  • Taking a client history & valuing the claim
    • Building trust
    • Identifying relevant questions, asking difficult questions, dealing with sensitive issues.
  • Preparing the initial client witness statement
    • when the first draft should be prepared
    • who should prepare it, as part of the evidence seen by experts
    • addressing concerns about disclosure of draft statements
  • Considering other sources of evidence
  • Other areas of law to consider fighting claims on, e.g. Human Rights Act

Anna Stacey, Partner, Irwin Mitchell LPP

Navigating your way through important sources of evidence

  • Understanding Medical Records
  • Chronology and sorting of Medical Records
  • Seeking disclosure of missing documents
  • When to inspect documents
  • Applications for special disclosure and when these should be made
  • Other documents to consider (SIR, Infection control reports, guidelines. etc)
  • Medico records which are difficult to read – what to do?

Teri Gauge-Klein, Senior Associate, Shoosmiths LLP 

14.35 Selecting and instructing your experts

  • How to select the right medical experts
  • Experts previously criticised by the courts and credibility
  • Instructing the expert (common problems arising from working with experts)
  • Enclosures – documents to be sent
  • Single vs joint expert – pros and cons, and use of in quantum
  • Part 35 CPR – issues to be aware of under practice directions
  • Dealing with sensitive issues arising from reports

Punam Sood, Legal Director, Fieldfisher

15.20    Refreshments

15.35    Analysing reports

A practical session using anonymised reports from a real case and considering the necessary research upon and critique of those reports necessary to advance the claim

 Chris Bright KC, Barrister, No. 5 Chambers

17.05    Close of Day One 

17.00 – 18.00 Drinks Reception

18.00     Optional: AvMA/PIC Birmingham Curry Night (Ticketed event)

Wednesday 13 December 2023

08.45    Refreshments

09.00    Chair’s Opening Remarks – Richard Bannister, Principal Associate, Shoosmiths  

09:05    Damages – part 1

  • Investigating your client’s claim for damages
  • Working with counsel
  • Identifying heads of loss
  • Gathering evidence in support (self-employed v employed, pension loss etc)
  • The evidence provided by care reports
  • Calculating special damages, including life expectancy and effects of discount rate

Janine Collier, Executive Partner, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury, Tees Law

09.55    Damages – part 2

  • Local authority care and reverse indemnities
  • When to consider periodical payments
  • Periodical payments after Thompstone and others
  • When to ask for provisional damages
  • When to ask for interim payments

 Leanne Woods, Barrister, 1 Crown Office Row 

10.45    Refreshments

10.55    Civil Procedure – Pre-Issue

  • Pre-action protocol – its aims and requirements
  • Initiating attempts to settle
  • Drafting a letter of claim
  • Commencing proceedings
  • Pt 36 offers

Jenny Urwin, Partner, FieldFisher

11.40    Civil Procedure – Post-issue

  • Using the claim form
  • The receipt of defence
  • Typical directions in a Clinical Negligence case
  • Applications to extend time of vary orders for direction
  • Case management conferences (cost budgeting)
  • Expert agencies/expert meetings

Sara Burns, Partner, Irwin Mitchell, Birmingham 

 12.25 Lunch

13.05 Civil Procedure Rules

  • Inclusion of CN claims into FRC where there is an admission of liability. High ct only at the time I am writing although things may change by next year.
  • Discuss how the court approaches vulnerability under FRC and difficulties with making a claim for an increase in costs where the applicant has to clear 20% above what they would have recovered on fRC alone to be successful.
  • Discuss the approach to late acceptance – there are several cases on the impact of client damages and QOCS – they will need to discuss cases Supreme Ct case of Ho v Adelekun [2021] UKSC 43 and University Hospital of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust V Harrison [2022]

Thomas Mason, Barrister, Hailsham Chambers

13.45    Introduction to Costs Budgeting

  • What is Costs Budgeting
  • Pitfalls
  • Current case law

Adrian Hawley, Head of COP, Partners in Costs

14.20 Alternative remedies

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation
  • Round Table Meetings (RTM)
  • Arbitration
  • Neutral Evaluation

Andrew Hannam, Trust Mediation, & Consultant, Enable Law

14.55    Refreshments

15:05pm Fatal Claims and Inquests – An Introduction

  • Fatal Accidents claims
  • The key losses
  • Statutory bereavement
  • Dependency claims
  • An introduction to the Coroner’s Court
  • Representing families at inquests
  • Preparing for inquests
  • Conclusions
  • Funding

Richard Grimshaw, Barrister, No5 Chambers

16.05    Legal update –  David Tyack KC, Barrister, No5 Chambers

16.50 Chair’s Closing Remarks

* Conference programme subject to change
SRA competencies: A, B
APIL: 16 hours CPD

This event is now sold out.

  • December 12, 2023 - December 13, 2023
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm


103 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AG, United Kingdom