Michael Redfern QC

Michael Redfern QC - Barrister at St John's Buildings

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of Silk: 1993

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    Top_tier_firms    Winners Lifetime Achievement   TopRanked UKBar_16_barrister

“Has a strong focus on brain injury cases including cerebral palsy claims resulting from obstetric negligence.”

Strengths: “Has a commanding presence and an innate ability to home in on crucial and complex issues. He’s someone you would want on your side.” Chambers & Partners 2018

“He has expertise in cases involving subtle brain injuries.” Legal 500 2017

Personal Profile

Michael specialises in clinical negligence (cerebral palsy in particular), personal injury (catastrophic and brain injury in particular), employers’ liability and road traffic cases.

He has had considerable success in subtle brain injury cases where, at first glance, the claimant appears normal but on detailed neuropsychological assessment is in fact seriously damaged.

Michael undertakes a regular amount of pro-bono work.


  • Chairman – Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry (Alder Hey) 2000
  • Chairman – Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities 2007 – 2010
  • Leader of the Northern Circuit – 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007
  • Recorder

Areas of Expertise

  • Clinical Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Inquiries


  • Personal Injury

    Legal Directory recommendations

    “Maintains a strong reputation as a specialist in catastrophic injury. He is known for his experience acting in cases concerning severe brain injury, which is bolstered by his additional expertise in clinical negligence matters” Chambers & Partners 2017

    “A vastly experienced barrister acclaimed for his work on cases involving catastrophic brain injury, including claims involving RTAs and employers’ liability issues. Commentators value his negotiation skills and tactical nous.”
    Strengths: “He is sharp as the sharpest of knives; incredibly experienced and thoughtful.” Chambers & Partners 2016

    “He has particular expertise in brain injury cases where neuropsychological defects are not immediately obvious.” Legal 500 2015

    “Highly experienced advocate with wide ranging knowledge of a variety of catastrophic injury claims, including brain injury, employer’s liability and group actions.”

    “He has an exceptional legal mind; his advice is always thoroughly thought out.” “He is dogged, but imaginative in terms of spotting an angle on a case and pursuing it successfully.” Chambers & Partners 2015

    Important Cases

    1. Stark v Post Office (2000) PIQR 105CA

    Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 impose strict duty to ensure work equipment is suitable for purpose for which used and maintained in efficient state and good repair.

    2. Pickford v ICI plc (1998) 3AII ER 462 HL

    Employer’s liability – duty to take care. Employee developed symptoms of RSI allegedly caused by excessive typing. Judge failed to find condition organic in origin. Judge found employers not under duty to instruct employee to take rest breaks. Whether Court of Appeal entitled to reverse judge on burden of proof and findings of fact.

    3. Johnson c Coventry Churchill International Ltd (1992) 3AllER 14.

    Conflict of laws – tort – actionability in England of wrong committed in West Germany. Whether English company employer at material time was in breach of duty to provide safe systems of work. Whether English law should be applied to issues between parties because of significant relationship with England.

    4. Robertson v Ridley (1989) I. WLR 872 CA

    Whether members of the committee of a private members’ club owe duty of care to members of the club.

    Professional Association Memberships

    • Personal Injury Bar Association
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  • Clinical Negligence

    Legal directory recommendations

    “Has a strong focus on brain injury cases including cerebral palsy claims resulting from obstetric negligence”.

    Strengths: “He provides reassurance to clients where it is obviously technically very complicated and a stressful time for them”. “He brings a lot of experience to the table”. Chambers & Partners 2017 

    “Possesses a broad knowledge of clinical negligence matters, personal injury litigation and professional negligence, and is admired for his wealth of expertise, not least in complex cerebral palsy cases, where he is regarded as a specialist.
    Strengths: “He is a master tactician and is excellent with clients.” Chambers & Partners 2016

    “Has focussed his practice on cerebral palsy cases. He has a mixed practice that includes personal injury cases, and often takes on pro-bono work.

    “He was fantastic – he is vastly experienced, thinks fast on his feet, and is exactly what you’re looking for in an advocate.”

    Chambers & Partners 2015

    Important Cases and Inquiries

    1. 2007-2010
    Chairman – Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities.

    Report – 16 November 2010 (HC571-1 and available at www.official-documents.gov.uk)

    2. Lewis v Secretary of State for Health and Another (2008) LS Law Med. 559

    Confidential patient information. Case concerned the issue of whether a doctor’s duty of confidentiality survives a patient’s death and the Court’s jurisdiction to authorise disclosure of confidential patient information in the public interest.

    3. Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust v Angelique Sutcliffe (2008) LS Law Medical 230 CA

    Spinal anaesthetic contaminated with cleaning agent (chlorhexidine) leading to spinal arachnoiditis with severe neurological and physical consequences.

    4. Chelsea Kennedy v Liverpool Womens Hospitals NHS Trust (2004)

    Cerebral palsy trial where Defendant’s expert gynaecological evidence failed to satisfy requirements of Bolam or Bolitho defences.

    5. 2000 – 2001
    Chairman – Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry (Alder Hey)

    Report – 30 January 2001 (HC12-11)

    6. Brown v Lewisham and North Southwark Health Authority (1999) Lloyds Reports Medical 110 CA

    Medical negligence, including causation, forseeability, remoteness. Whether causation of injury should be analysed by reference to a breach of the duty owed.

    7. Wiszniewski v Central Manchester Health Authority (1998) Lloyds Law Reports Medical 223 CA

    Whether doctor was negligent in failing to attend and examine patient, consider CTG trace before deciding what to do, or relying upon a midwife. Doctor’s failure to attend trial – whether this leads to an inference that if he had attended and examined the patient he would have ruptured membranes and proceeded to caesarean section and would have avoided cerebral palsy.

    8. Stephens v Doncaster Health Authority (1996) Med. LR 357

    Cerebral Palsy – Plaintiff suffering from quadriplegia and athetosis and in need of adult care for all his needs throughout life – issues as to appropriate multiplier damages and future care needs.

    Professional Association Memberships

    • Northern Circuit Medico-Legal Association
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  • Catastrophic Injury 

    Legal Directory recommendations

    “Highly experienced in catastrophic injury cases.” Legal 500 2016

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  • ADR and Mediation

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