We welcome barristers and enjoy a good relationship with the bar, many of whom are valued members of AvMA’s Lawyers’ Service alongside our 2,500 solicitors specialising in clinical negligence. The following are helpful ways we can work together:
- Lawyers Support Group meetings (LSGs): These are free to lawyers’ service members. Although we have traditionally arranged meetings where all LSG delegates attend in person for a one hour presentation from a medical expert, followed by a further hour from a barrister on a topical and relevant medical or legal issue, the effect of Covid-19 is such that we have had to alter our format. At this time we are no longer arranging meetings in person but are delivering remote learning. During the Covid19 period, we have condensed from five regions to three. Our three regions are:- North, North East and Scotland; Midlands, South West and Ireland; London, South, East and Overseas. We continue to offer regular medical and legal updates using remote technology such as Zoom and webinars. We will endeavour to arrange question and answer sessions at the end of our presentations but this will not always be possible. We will also use the remote format to bring you updates on AvMA’s work. Our LSG remote learning continues to carry CPD points and where we can organise question and answer sessions we aim to encourage you to join in and develop a friendly, collegiate environment which still provides the opportunity to interact and share experiences with other solicitors and barristers practising in this field.
- Pro Bono Inquest Service: This service aims to find representation for people who have been affected by the death of a loved one in circumstances where the death occurred in a medical setting. Following the inquest some clients are referred to one of our panel solicitors to explore the possibility of bringing a civil claim. In those circumstances we recommend that the solicitor continue to use the services of counsel involved in the inquest; many barristers find this introduction a useful opportunity to demonstrate their skills and ability to leading practitioners in the field of clinical negligence. The barristers who assist are often quite junior and may not have much experience in clinical negligence or inquests but they do have a particular interest in these fields. The benefits of the service are that families who would otherwise be unrepresented are given a voice at the inquest. Not only are families provided with representation but counsel is able to gain valuable advocacy experience and hone their client care skills.
- Articles for the Newsletter and/or Clinical Risk: It is also intended that the outcomes of our pro bono inquests are written up by counsel so they can be reported in the AvMA Newsletter which goes out four times a year and is circulated to in excess of 2,500 lawyers. We are particularly keen for this to happen where the Coroner has made a Prevention Future Death report or where the conclusion includes a rider of neglect.
- Speaking Opportunities: For more senior members of the bar we are often looking for speakers for our LSGs or conferences, if you have a legal topic you are particularly interested in and have experience of then please contact Lisa O’Dwyer by emailing her PA: Norika Patel