Philip M.D. Grundy – Head of Catastrophic Injury

Philip Grundy
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Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1980

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“Experienced catastrophic injury specialist who is increasingly noted for activity on high-value cases in the clinical negligence sphere. Handles delayed diagnosis of spinal injuries, cancers or other conditions. Also well know for work on amputation cases”

Strengths: “His attention to detail is absolutely second to none”. “He is focused, determined and has all of the underlying attributes you would expect, but he delivers them in a genial and affable way”. Chambers & Partners 2017 (Clinical Negligence)

“A vastly experienced junior with an impressive practice in catastrophic personal injury. He acts for claimants and defendants in a variety of cases and has particular expertise in accidents and conditions associated with the workplace. This includes everything from industrial workers suffering from hand-arm vibration syndrome through to military personnel affected by PTSD”.

Strengths: “A creative thinker who is calm, unflappable and very patient with difficult clients”. “Always accommodating, deeply committed to his clients and families interests, pursues cases with vigour”, Chambers & Partners 2017 (Personal Injury)

“A tenacious advocate, whose advice carries significant authority” Legal 500 2016

Philip read Law at Cardiff University and was called to The Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1980. He practises in all areas of Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Employment Law and sits as a Recorder in The Crown Court and County Court, being authorised to sit on serious sexual offence cases including rape.

“He undertakes work for both claimants and defendants on a variety of cases, including those stemming from catastrophic injury caused by accidents at work and RTAs. He is particularly noted for his expertise in workplace injuries, including industrial diseases and hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Strengths: “He is always accommodating, deeply committed to his clients and their families’ interests. He pursues cases with vigour.” “One of the best-known disease lawyers in the country and probably the best for vibration-induced carpal tunnel syndrome.” (Chambers & Partners 2016)

‘He instils confidence through his detailed preparation and sound advocacy skills’. ‘He’s brilliant in court and very persuasive.’ (Chambers & Partners 2015)

He is ‘noted for his attention to detail in serious and catastrophic claims. He acts for Defendant solicitors and is commended in particular for his Claimant work in cases involving brain and spinal injuries and amputations’ (Chambers & Partners 2014).

‘He’s meticulously prepared; a great source of support and very dependable in difficult circumstances’.

‘He’s an extremely capable counsel handling the highest value cases, and is perceived across both sides of the fence as sensible but very strong in his submissions’ (Chambers & Partners 2014).

Philip Grundy ‘takes a very grounded and sensitive approach to seriously injured clients’ Legal 500 (2012 Edition).

Philip Grundy: ‘an easily accessible barrister who puts clients at ease.  He is highly regarded by instructing solicitors who describe him as a real team player’ Chambers & Partners 2013.

Whilst clients and instructing solicitors can be based anywhere within the UK technology is harnessed to ensure that travelling time is never wasted. Smart phone technology, tablets and digital dictation are utilised effectively. Some court hearings are held by telephone and conferencing calls are frequently employed. Philip travels extensively and very often meets clients away from Chambers. Clients in London and The South benefit from the fact that Philip has a home/office facility in The Capital and those based North of Manchester can arrange to see him at his private conferencing facility at Junction 36/M6 in Cumbria.

Facilities there include:

  • Private Conference Suite
  • Internet Access
  • Reception facilities
  • Disabled access and facilities
  • Free Parking
  • Oxenholme Railway Station 10 mins

Instructing solicitors requiring a follow on conference can enquire about complementary overnight accommodation in a dedicated self catering Guest Mews.

Philip has been a member of SJB since 1987 and is recognised for his expertise in the handing of complex cases demonstrating both in depth legal knowledge and exceptional medical comprehension. An ability to communicate with all parties whilst maintaining focus, a personable manner which puts clients at ease and an attention to detail that ensures cases are handled with clarity and efficiency – all these factors combine within a multi faceted practice, evidenced by repeat instructions nationwide and offering Direct Public Access where appropriate.

Philip has a particular interest in sporting injuries including golf (as a 5 handicap golfer!). In the course of his employment law practice he has advised sporting organisations including football clubs and individual sportsmen and women.

In addition, Philip has spent a great deal of time at Pendlebury Childrens’ Hospital (now relocated to Manchester) in the High Dependency and Bone Marrow Units and in the Haemophiliac Unit. This has provided a great insight into the coping strategies of children and their families which has particular significance when considering and investigating rehabilitation.

Memberships

  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association

Appointments

  • Recorder Crown Court and County Court – appointed 2000
  • (Appointed Assistant Recorder January 1996)
  • Head of SJB Serious & Catastrophic Injury Unit
  • Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions for over 6 years

Follow Philip on Twitter: @pchippy

Philip and his Pupil Catherine Dent have written an article which was published in the May 2016 edition of PI Focus. Download it here: Informed Consent and Causation.

Expertise

  • Personal Injury

    Maximum Severity Claims

    All forms of maximum severity claims are regularly undertaken with a 65:35 split between Claimant and Defendant work:

    Average 30 brain injury cases per annum.

    Philip spoke at the Headway Brain Injury Conference 2016. Watch his talk here – Part 1 and Part 2.

    25 amputee cases per annum.

    Average 20 para/tetraplegic cases per annum

    Values: between £500,000 – £8,000,000

    The majority are either accidents at work or RTA claims, often motorcyclists, for solicitors throughout England and Wales including the south coast and The Channel Islands.

    Cases

    High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division: A Claimant who had pre-existing psychiatric issues plus alcohol dependency, Asperger’s and was long-term unemployed was knocked down by the Defendant driver. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, compromised with the approval of the Court in the sum of £300,000, the Judge remarking that the Claimant was fortunate to recover anything at all.

    High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division: Claimant sustained a serious leg injury requiring an Ilizarov frame in a road traffic accident. Settled £400,000.

    High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division: 31-year-old claimant, patient, sustained a head injury. Philip was instructed on behalf of the Defendant insurer, liability being agreed whereby claimant received 25%. Claimant seeking 25% of £2 million.

    High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division: As the Claimant was passing by the Defendant asked him to help check the rear lights on his motorcar. The Claimant was then asked to get in the car so that the Defendant could check them for himself even though the Claimant had said he could not drive. The first Defendant sat the Claimant in the driver’s seat, engine running and pointed at the pedal to be pressed and showed how to put the gear into reverse so that the reversing lights could be checked. As the Claimant followed the instructions the car moved backwards and he reached for the handbrake. As he did so the speed of the car increased. The claimant was frightened, tried to get out of the car and was dragged by the vehicle sustaining a fracture dislocation of the 11th and 12th thoracic vertebrae and complete spinal cord paralysis such that he will never walk again. He has loss of normal sexual function and is doubly incontinent. He is at risk of a myriad of further complications. The Claimant required single storey accommodation. Liability was found in the Claimant’s favour and settled for £1.9million

    Cases can be either on behalf of Defendant or Claimant including:

    Court of Appeal, Thorp v Sharp in December 2007: Counsel for the Home Office (as Treasury Counsel) in all claims arising from the 1990 Strangeways Prison Riots.

    Various Claimants v The Home Office, High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division.

    Physical and Sex Abuse Claims

    Philip has represented Claimants before the Criminal Injuries authority (and its predecessor, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board), instructed by Local Authorities for over 20 years. These include maximum severity injuries.

    Philip is currently instructed in claims against The Catholic Church and Local Authorities and for a Defendant (convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence for significant and multiple sexual offences against others) in a civil action brought by some of his victims.

    Philip regularly advises in cases where children have been physically and sexually abused.

    Cases

    Re: K, CICA, now reported in Kemp and Kemp: On 19th August 1991 K, when nine months old, suffered severe and life-threatening injuries when caustic soda was poured down his throat. He is only the second person in the United Kingdom to recover with these injuries. CICA award £777,845: general damages £105,000.

    Sports Accidents/Injuries

    Including football, rugby, cricket and golf.

    Examples include:

    (i)                 Manchester County Court – Golfer hit in face by a golf ball.

    (ii)               Bury County Court – misdiagnosis of a footballer’s fractured leg.

    (iii)             MUFC youth footballer – foot run over by a bus, settled Manchester County Court.

    (iv)              Advised rugby player injured in scrum.

    (v)                Advised parents of child injured in a school cricket match.

    Accidents at Work

    First trial under the ‘New Regulations’ in June 1993 and regularly thereafter.  Many cases per annum.

    Cases

    Significant Court of Appeal case on this topic at the end of 2007.

    Ellis v William Cook, Court of Appeal

    Presentations, Conferences & Chairs

    • Recent presentation to the Manchester Law Society Personal Injury Conference and an update on damages
    • Addressed the MASS Conference 2006 and 2007
    • Chaired several TICCS conferences in Liverpool, Bury and Watford 2006 – 2007
    • Chaired Frenkels Conference 2007
    • Invitee of the BAPO (British Association Prosthetics and Orthotics) Conference in 2007 and participated in a seminar on Prosthetic Provision
    • Addressed APIL conference 2013 on Prosthetic Provision
    • Frequently delivers seminars and talks to the Manchester Law Society and the Bar Vocational Course.
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  • Disease

    Philip has a substantial disease practice including asbestos, bladder cancer, VWF/HAVS, deafness, fibromyalgia/chronic pain and others.

    Philip is recognised as having the greatest experience, of perhaps all Counsel at the Bar in England and Wales in the field of vibration white finger. He has been involved in many of the leading cases. In a recent vibration-induced injury case, Philip persuaded the Judge to adopt the appropriate multiplier/multiplicand approach pursuant to the Ogden Table 7th Edition for a man who was ‘disabled’ as a result of his HAVS. In addition, he was the Chairman of the Vibration Reference Panel, the Appellate Panel under the British Coal Vibration Compensation Scheme.

    Vibration-induced carpal tunnel syndrome is a particular topic where Philip has unparalleled experience. He has been involved with all of the country’s leading experts in this sort of work.

    An experienced Senior Judge, who specialised in determining industrial disease claims, describes Philip as having “a very extensive knowledge of both the science and the law relating to industrial disease cases”.

    Philip has acted in and presented trials of Claimants for noise-induced hearing loss. This area now requires a detailed understanding of the scientific as well as medical issues. A Senior Judge has said that he “has an excellent grasp of the medicine and science involved in such claims”.

    Philip has regularly appeared before Judges in claims involving exposure to asbestos. A Judge before whom he has regularly appeared says that he “always exhibited complete mastery of the subject matter and a sensible attitude to his opponent and the Court”.

    Philip has acted for Claimants in many bladder cancer cases and is presently undertaking several claims against a major employer in this area.

    Philip has also been involved in advising a Local Authority on the complex medical issue of foetal alcohol syndrome and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

    Philip has also sat as a Recorder in several disease claims; it being thought by the designated Civil Judge that his experience would result in less legal time being required to determine the issues fairly.

    Philip has also been able to share his experiences by delivering various presentations/seminars to solicitors on different diseases including VWF, deafness, asbestos, baker’s asthma, COSHH Regulations and also stress at work claims.

    Cases

    (i) Covill v MOD, Blackpool County Court, 12th March 2012: Recovered over £200,000 re HAVS Claimant.

    (ii) Bennett v F T Finley & Co Limited, 22nd June 2012, Manchester County Court: Following a four-day trial in Manchester, His Honour Judge Bird found in favour of the Claimant and he considered in-depth medical evidence analysing all the medical literature on this particular point.

    (iii) Greely v St Gobain 2014, Liverpool County Court: CTS/HAVS claim. Contested diagnosis and causation. Court found in favour of Claimant.

    Cases

    (i) Asbestos – over 500 cases, now an average of 45 per annum, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, both as advocate and judge. Recorder PHILIP GRUNDY: McCarthy v A Cameron Ltd. QBD 21/11/13 Reported. In circumstances where C’s histology had been considered separately by three multidisciplinary teams who had each, individually, concluded C’s diagnosis was mesothelioma. How could or should a D challenge such a diagnosis? Was a further histopathological investigation at the behest of D justifiable in the case of a critically ill claimant?

    (ii) Deafness – over 1000 cases but fewer now, perhaps on average, 50 per annum.

    (iii) Vibration White Finger – over 1,000 cases, average 100 per annum, including the test cases of British Gas VWF litigation and Burrows & Billington v British Rail. Chairman of the Vibration Reference Panel under The British Coal Vibration Scheme (approached and appointed by panel representing the Claimants and Defendants) and asked by the Designated Civil Judge in Manchester to sit on some VWF cases given experience in the area.

    (iv) Asthma – for Trade Unions and then for Defendant Insurers.

    (v) RSI – many cases over the years but few presently.

    (vi) Bladder Cancer – many cases over the past few years.

    (vii) Stress at work – advised senior employee recently in a claim against a health authority ultimately recovering a substantial sum shortly before a five-day trial.

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  • Clinical Negligence

    All areas of clinical negligence have been covered over the past 30 years including hypoxic brain injury to babies resulting in an extensive involvement with neonatologists, paediatric neurologists, neuro-radiologists and obstetric experts.

    Due to volume of other catastrophic injuries instruction numbers have to be limited due to their complexity.

    Philip presents seminars to solicitors and other organisations including the British Orthopaedic Association in February 2012 for clinical negligence.

    Cases

    All High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division
    (i) Brachial plexus injury exacerbated/aggravated by negligence.

    (ii) 5 year old fractured left humerus falling off climbing frame. Clinical negligence resulted in loss of use of left arm which would have fully recovered otherwise.

    (iii) Diagnosis of obstruction and probable carcinoma of the colon should have been made by the medic resulting in significant operative intervention and disability.

    (iv) 68-year-old man with worsening peripheral vascular disease: misdiagnosis and non-intervention – inappropriate treatment resulting in loss of limb.

    (v) Cerebal palsy claim – basal ganlia injury superimposed upon a baby that had already suffered chronic ischemic injuries.

    (vi) Spinal decompression/fusion: Cauda Equina Syndrome – 3.

    (vii) Late/misdiagnosis cancer patients.

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  • Catastrophic Injury 

    Philip specialises in catastrophic injuries, in particular brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputees. His experience in this field has been described by a partner in one of the country’s leading solicitors as ‘second to none’. He has been instructed by large specialist firms of solicitors in multiple numbers of cases including those involving acquired brain injury, spinal injuries and amputations together with complex orthopaedic and polytrauma injuries. Philip is recommended in Legal 500 for Catastrophic Personal Injury and one experienced litigating partner in this field commented ‘his advocacy skills either at trial or interlocutory stages have in some cases been the determining factor in securing an exceptional outcome for our client’.

    It has been said that his preparation for cases of this nature ‘always inspires confidence’.

    Philip has a reassuring and comforting manner with clients.

    Philip travels throughout England and Wales in the course of his work.

     

    Cases

    (i) A pedal cyclist suffering a severe traumatic brain injury. This was successfully concluded with the approval of the Court in the capital sum of £650,000 plus an annual payment of £65,000 linked to ASHE 6115 and £10,000 per annum linked to RPI.

    (ii) 26-year-old Claimant suffered a catastrophic spinal cord C2/3 injury while pole-dancing at her health club Christmas party. Settled £4 million.

    (iii) Claimant injured in a road traffic accident sustaining orthopaedic injuries as well as significant psychiatric/psychological injuries. The application of the Ogden Table 6th Edition was relevant and the Trial Judge was persuaded to adopt the approach advocated on behalf of the Claimant awarding £650,451.08.

    (iv) 61-year-old man sat on the rear seat of a coach when it went over a hump-back bridge suffering C4 incomplete tetraplegia. Liability agreed at 90%. Settled £950,000 lump sum plus £180,000 per annum linked to ASHE 6115.

    (v) 11-year-old Claimant on a skateboard travelled under the Defendant’s Hackney carriage. Philip instructed by the insurer, liability agreed 45% for the Claimant who sustained a brain injury. Settled £900,000 with the approval of the Court.

    (vi) The Claimant suffered a severe head injury sustaining a left paraventricular contusion together with right frontal lobe and left occipital lobe contusions. There was an 8% increase risk of epilepsy. He suffered from fatigue, poor concentration and memory, anger and low moods. He suffered personality change and behaved in a childlike and inappropriate fashion. He was highly sexualised in his comments and displayed inappropriate sexual behaviour. The Defendants experts disagreed with the level of support and wouldn’t concede that the Claimant lacked capacity (Counter Schedule £660,000). This case settled for £1.72million with Court Approval.

    (vii) The Claimant was a rear seat passenger and suffered a severe head injury, with a right parietal depressed skull fracture, in a RTA. The brain injury caused him to become forgetful and temperamental. He developed grand Mal Epilepsy controlled by medication. He lacked capacity (financial) to manage his affairs. Liability was apportioned due to a seat belt issue. The case settled and was approved at £1.375million (76.5%) – the Defendant’s counter schedule was at a figure of £229,944.88.

    (viii) 33-year-old Claimant with left below knee amputation and right leg in an Ilizarov frame. Settled at JSM £1.316 million.

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  • Costs

    Damages and Payments

    Periodical Payments

    Very few barristers in England and Wales have the same extensive knowledge and expertise with regard to periodical payments (recognised by Frenkels). This area of expertise was developed prior to the case of Thomstone and thereafter whilst preparing a high value case for the insurance industry. (Eventually paid out conventionally at over £8m). Recently addressed The Law Society on this topic (as part and parcel of ‘update on damages’), and a firm of solicitors in Edinburgh.

    Multipliers

    Recently Philip has been asked to consider the 2.5% return rate for multipliers in the light of The Supreme Court case of Helmot v Simon (a Guernsey Case) and used his expertise when instructed in a Jersey Personal Injury Case of an amputee, whereby he had been retained due to his level of experience with prosthetics.

    Local Authority Payments/Benefits

    Philip addressed the insurance industry in The Insurance Hall in London, on the topic pre Snowdon v Lodge. He created the approach later adopted by many others, having developed the idea with Keith Popperwell, an experienced Defendant’s Personal Injury Solicitor.

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  • Employment

    As the son of a former full time Employment Tribunal Judge PG practised extensively in this field especially in the early years of his practice when the law was evolving.

    He was formerly the Bar’s representative on the Manchester/ Liverpool Employment Tribunal Court Users committee and a past head of the SJB Employment Team.

    Represents large multinational companies. Several years ago PG, together with two senior HR managers, developed the disciplinary procedure for a blue chip company which reduced absenteeism to less than 3% and was described in the ET as impeccable and flawless, if followed by the managers.

    Many restrictive covenant disputes (over 100) including professional clients such as solicitors, accountants, and doctors.

    Represented many Trades Unions in group disputes and individual cases.

    As a result of Direct Access, Philip has advised several senior Employees and Directors directly on differing employment contract issues.

    A Member of Parliament has commented that Philip is a “formidable legal power” following the conclusion of a “fantastic job”. Also his “trusted Chief of Staff could not sing” Philip’s “praises more highly”.

    PG is particularly interested in all areas of discrimination and recently represented a Respondent in an Age Discrimination case.

    Philip has been invited to speak on BBC Radio on topics including Disability Discrimination; Human Rights; Discrimination generally.

    He has also been quoted in newspapers and magazines with comments on specific employment law points.

    In the course of employment law practice he has advised sporting organisations including football clubs and sportsmen.

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  • Accidents Abroad

    Philip has represented many clients in the field of Travel Law including:
    1. Employment/negligence advice provided to a Company based in Monaco – in writing, via video conferencing, and at their head office abroad.

    2. Presently instructed in an action v BA for eight claimants under the Montreal Convention arising from a crash landing at Heathrow Airport on 17th January 2008.

    3. Represented a Claimant in a Solicitors Professional Negligence action involving building a house in Spain on a religious site.

    4. Represented four Claimants in a vehicle that slipped of a mountain road in Tenerife – one fatality, and spinal/head injuries.

    5. Acted for a client who fell off a balcony in a Greek Hotel sustaining a serious brain injury from which he subsequently deteriorated to a vegetative state as a result of clinical negligence.

    6. Advised a Claimant who injured herself seriously in a fall in Greece.

    7. Amputee in Jersey, Philip instructed to provide expertise and conduct a Joint Settlement Meeting: settled £1.316 million.

    8. Accident in Majorca – ongoing contested issue of jurisdiction.

    9. Advise solicitors in Scotland particularly on periodical payments orders.

     

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  • Public Access

    Philip is accredited by the Bar Council to undertake direct public access work and has advised and represented a significant number of SME’s on this basis. He has advised and represented senior Directors and Managers in receipt of substantial six-figure salaries and packages, working for multinational companies worldwide. This has also included senior Civil Servants and those working in the Public Sector and Banking. Via HR Consultants he has represented a range of organisations including firms of Solicitors in relation to exit strategies, potential discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

    A Member of Parliament has commented that Philip is a “formidable legal power” following the conclusion of a “fantastic job”. Also his “trusted Chief of Staff could not sing” Philip’s “praises more highly”.

    Philip has advised insurers directly in relation to arrangements/ agreements with firms of solicitors as well as maximum severity/catastrophic injury claims.

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  • ADR and Mediation

    Philip is a qualified mediator and actively encourages all types of alternative dispute resolution. Having sat as a Recorder in the Crown Court for 21 years and the County Court for over 18 years, Philip not only has a wealth of experience in commanding a room and resolving disputes, but it is also his firm belief that whilst there are disputes that can only be settled in Court, there are disputes that can be settled out of it. Thus, saving both the Courts, and more importantly the parties involved time, and money.

    Philip has experience both acting as mediator, and representing Clients at mediations and is particularly noted for his attention to detail, and appreciation for the difficulties faced by parties. His empathetic, impartial, and adaptable approach, along with his communication and questioning skills, gives all involved in the Mediation the greatest chance of settling their dispute at the first attempt.

    Philip mediates general civil disputes, including all types of personal injury, commercial and employment law matters. He wastes no time in getting everything out on the table, and taking a proactive approach in facilitating communication, and negotiation between the parties involved.

    Philip is happy to undertake a pre-mediation meeting where required, either face-to-face or over the telephone, to introduce himself and answer any questions parties may have.

    As well as his Barristers’ Chambers, Philip has offices at Junction 36 off the M6 (Kendal), should this be geographically more suitable for the parties. There will be no extra charge for the use of the facilities in chambers or in Kendal.

    Areas of expertise

    As a barrister Philip has considerable experience of all types of serious and catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence claims. He has dealt with most types of claims and would be able to mediate claims involving those with a commercial or contractual flavour, and those with employment law issues. He would naturally add benefit to the ADR process where there are claims that involve multiple areas of law. If required, his barrister practice CV can be viewed here.

    Quotes from clients:

    “His attention to detail is absolutely second to none.”

    “A creative thinker who is calm, unflappable and very patient.”

    “Philip’s knowledge and clear depth preparation instills great confidence and reassurance.” 

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