Clerking team

Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw

Senior Clerk – Civil, Commercial & Employment Clerk

Martin Craggs

Assistant Senior Clerk

Jennifer Carr

Civil Clerk

Matthew Smith

Civil Clerk

Amie Finch

Junior Civil Clerk

“Recommended Expert.”

Legal 500, 2024 (Clinical Negligence)

“Recommended Expert.”

Legal 500, 2024 (Personal Injury)

“Prominent figure among members of the Claimant Bar in the North. He boasts many years of experience acting in brain injury cases, including cerebral palsy claims.

Chambers UK Bar

“An excellent advocate who ably puts the clients at ease whilst maintaining a strong tactical focus.”

Chambers UK Bar, 2021

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.

Michael was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Manchester Law Society in 2015.

Michael recently appeared on Sky News and the Shelagh Fogarty show on LBC, discussing the case of David Fuller.

Personal injury

Important Cases

KB by his son and litigation friend NB -v- RH: 26 June 2018

Claimant aged 69 riding bicycle along main road when Defendant overtook him and then turned left across his path precipitating a collision in which the Claimant suffered brain injury. Collision denied by Defendant. Claimant not wearing helmet. Contested expert evidence on contributory negligence for not wearing helmet. RTA experts as to whether or not the Defendant was negligent and that her negligence caused the Claimant’s injuries. Claimant 73 at date of settlement. Court approved resolution of the claim on the basis that the Claimant recover 87.5% of the full value of his claim and that settlement in the sum of £1 million was worthy of approval.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Clinical negligence

Important Cases and Inquiries

OTI by mother and litigation friend OI -v- Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust: 23 July 2018

8-year-old Claimant underwent repair of partial atrioventricular septal defect in 2008. Watershed infarction on post-surgery imaging in keeping with hypotension and low haemoglobin. Previously diagnosed with benign partial epilepsy of childhood. Liability strenuously denied. Defendant contended Claimant had severe congenital cardiac abnormality and was overtaken by the inherent risks of major open heart surgery which had been consented. Claimant suffered severe brain damage, resulting in impaired cognitive and academic ability leaving her with learning difficulties, behavioural and emotional problems. Lacked capacity. Defendant also contended that neurological damage was an ever present risk of cardiac surgery which in this case overtook the Claimant without negligence. Snagging during cardiopulmonary by-pass was non-negligent and a possible cause of damage. Settlement on the basis that the Claimant recover 65% of the full value of her claim to be assessed approved by the Court.

PD by her mother and litigation friend HD -v- Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: 11 June 2018

At birth the Claimant suffered focal infarct in the left middle cerebral artery. Left with right spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy, microcephaly learning difficulties, impaired gross motor skills, behavioural problems and impaired intellectual functioning. Claimant now 20 and attending university. Issue in the case was whether the Claimant should have been delivered 10 days earlier than she was in fact and earlier delivery would have avoided the damage. Case heavily contested on liability. The Court approved settlement on the basis that the Claimant recovers 50% of the full value of her claim. The Court also approved liability settlement of the claim on a lump sum basis using the -0.75% discount rate in the sum of £4,950,000.

LMS by mother and litigation friend ED-v-East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust: 16 March 2017

Claimant suffered trauma at delivery with hydrocephalus, left facial palsy, left hemiplegia and squint, global development delay, organic brain damage. Problems with attention, concentration, memory and comprehension. Her gait is unsteady and she tends to trip and fall. No perception of danger and lacks capacity. Claimant aged 11 at settlement.

First case where new Lord Chancellor’s discount rate of -0.75% applied following settlement at an earlier joint settlement meeting. New multipliers applied. Lump sum increased from £1,320,575 to £2,122,398. The new discount rate did not affect Periodical Payment Orders of £50,000 to age 19 and £73,500 p.a. from 19. Capitalising the Periodical Payments and adding it to the lump sum, the value of the award was £9,296,673 which represented 50% of the full value of the claim. Settlement on these terms was approved.

CH being a protected party by her mother and litigation friend DH -v- DR JB: 16 December 2016 

8-month-old infant developed pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia. Alleged delay in diagnosis and treatment. Experts in paediatric infectious diseases, paediatrics and clinical microbiologists on both sides. Pneumococcal meningitis has high mortality and morbidity but is extremely uncommon. Early symptoms of meningitis are often indistinguishable from those of respiratory or systemic viral infection. Prodromal symptoms may be evident for several days before symptoms of meningitis manifest themselves. Heavily contested case. Settlement in sum of £1 million approved.

Chairman – Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities.

Report – 16 November 2010 (HC571-1 and available at

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.

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.

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.

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

Report – 30 January 2001 (HC12-11)

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.

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.

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.

Catastrophic & fatal accidents

Recent cases of note

Stuart Boden -v- Shaun Gater: 13 August 2018

Claimant 62 at date of accident on 15 August 2014. Suffered severe brain injury. Lived in tiny rented accommodation with wife pre-accident. Following discharge from hospital and to date resided in care homes publically funded. Concatenation of comorbidity. Had been wife’s carer pre-accident.   Lowe-v-Guise [2001] EWCA Civ. 197 claim. Schedule of Loss with normal life expectation £6 million. Defendant’s Counterschedule £600,000. Life expectation heavily contested. Defendant contended maximum of a further 10 years. Claimant concluded life expectancy shortened by 10 years. Discount rate of -0.75% applied. Care and accommodation claims denied on basis Claimant would continue to reside in care homes. Claimant’s life imperilled by asthma, recurring pneumonia and worsening swallow difficulties. Claimant and wife desperate to live together again. Lump sum settlement in the sum of £2.25 million approved.

ASN by sister and litigation friend AK -v- PD Defendant: 18 June 2017

Road traffic accident 13 February 2015 involving Claimant (Polish national) 45 years of age intending to spend the rest of his life in England working in waste recycling, welding and as a banksman. Suffered severe brain injury and polytrauma with subdural haematoma, subarachnoid haemorrhage, brain contusions and complex skull and facial fractures. Hydrocephalus, lung contusions, rib fractures. Executive and cognitive dysfunction, rehabilitated in Poland to considerable effect. Intends to remain in Poland for rest of life where sister acts as his guardian. Settlement approved in the sum of £3 million. Money transferred to Poland. Polish Family Court appointed Claimant’s sister as guardian and now discharges similar function to Court of Protection in UK. Damages transferred to Poland in late 2017. Two computerised designed and generated prefabricated bungalows built exclusively for the needs of the Claimant and his family, built within six months of settlement on a site approved as suitable. The outcome is outstanding and caters for all the Claimant’s reasonable needs for the rest of his life in Poland.


Michael Redfern KC qualified as a mediator in 2015 and is accustomed to mediating personal injury and clinical negligence cases as well as workplace disputes. He was the keynote speaker at a leading mediation conference, Healthcare Disputes: Is Mediation the best Medicine, held at the University of Central Lancashire in 2018.


  • 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


  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit Medico-Legal Association