Richard Norton – Joint Head of Chambers

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1992

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“Handles a huge range of clinical negligence cases including wrongful birth, delay in diagnosis and surgical negligence claims. He adroitly handles claims concerning injuries leading to long-term disability, including spinal injury and amputation. He is most often instructed to represent claimants.”

Strengths: “He is a very calm and thorough legal mind, who has a great command of the detail.” “He is very good with experts and clients: he’s not at all pompous but is clear in his advice and very sympathetic.” Chambers UK Bar 2020 (Clinical Negligence)

His personal injury practice focuses on severe injury claims arising from RTAs. He principally acts for claimants, with a focus on advisory work. He is well known for his expertise in cases involving complex expert evidence.

Strengths: “Really helpful and accessible.” “He is extremely succinct with his advice and advises not only from a legal perspective but from a commercial perspective too.” Chambers UK Bar 2020 (Personal Injury)

“Really puts claimants at ease in difficult and sensitive cases.” Legal 500 2020 (Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury)

Richard is an expert in clinical negligence and complex personal injury. His day-to-day practice usually involves conferences with or cross-examination of experts. Initially he chooses to meet the client at the earliest possible point (at home if necessary) to establish good rapport, and then to advise on the appropriate experts to call, as well as assisting in advising on the evidence that is obtained. He remains regularly involved throughout the case, drafting paperwork including schedules and counter-schedules, appearing at CCMCs, advising on disclosure, witness statements and drafting agendas for joint meetings. Most cases conclude successfully at JSMs, but some proceed to trial. In addition, Richard lectures regularly to solicitors on diverse subjects such as interim payments, industrial diseases, and procedural points. He acts as a point of contact in the recommendation of appropriate experts on a daily basis.

Richard has prepared a briefing note on the 8th edition of the Ogden Tables. Download it here.

Memberships

  • PNBA
  • PIBA
  • AVMA
  • Northern Circuit Medical Law Association

Legal Directory Recommendations

“He deals well with experts in conference and is extremely competent – you feel safe when he is dealing with the claim.” “His advice is clear and precise, as are his pleadings. He is very good at managing client expectations whilst being supportive and getting the most out of a case.” Chambers & Partners 2019 (Clinical Negligence)

“He is efficient, good with clients, performs well with experts in conference and is extremely competent. One feels safe when he is dealing with the claim.” Chambers & Partners 2019 (Personal Injury)

“He compliments his innate calmness with a very sharp intellect.” Legal 500 2017

Strengths: “His advice is clear and precise, as are his pleadings. Richard is very good at managing client expectations whilst being supportive and getting the most out of a case.” “He gives good clear advice, is user-friendly and he gets back to you about stuff.”

Recent work: Represented the claimant in a ‘wrongful birth’ case in which there was a failure to diagnose fetal abnormality, securing £1.2 million. Chambers & Partners 2018

“His personal injury practice focuses on severe injury claims arising from RTAs. He principally acts for claimants, with a focus on advisory work.”

Strengths: “Technically able and excellent with clients. A very impressive character.” “He has an excellent feel for a case. He is incisive and thinks tactically. Consistently outstanding.”

Recent work: “Acted for two families following the deaths of two children and catastrophic injury to the father in an RTA caused by a drunk driver.” Chambers & Partners 2018

“A charismatic barrister, who puts clients at ease in sensitive cases.” Legal 500 2017

Handles a huge range of clinical negligence cases including wrongful birth, delay in diagnosis and surgical negligence claims. Interviewees note his suitability for cases that require a strict approach to the management of client expectations“.

Strengths: “He identifies all the issues to the extent that the client fully appreciates what the main points are in their case and the difficulties we may encounter” “He’s very down-to-earth with the client and has a sensible and practical approach“. – Chambers & Partners 2017

Recommended for claimant personal injury and clinical negligence matters” – Legal 500 2016

Noted for his adept grasp of medical knowledge in matters including fatal claims, misdiagnosis and surgical negligence. He is also appreciated for his exceptional client care in sensitive issues.”
Strengths: “He has a good grasp on the medicine in complex cases and is able to put the experts through their paces.” – Chambers & Partners 2016

Approachable and accessible.” – Legal 500 2015

Has a mixed practice covering clinical negligence, personal injury and industrial disease. He is noted for his adroit handling of complex and high-value clinical negligence cases.”

He is a pragmatic and personable advocate, not frightened to pursue novel points at the same time as understanding the cost issues that surround doing so.” – Chambers & Partners 2015

“Excellent on paper and in Court. Balanced, incisive and intelligent” – Chambers UK 2014, Clinical Negligence

In the Legal 500 every year since 2007 – “Strong in evaluating complex expert evidence”.

Expertise

  • Clinical Negligence

    Richard receives instructions in cases of birth damage, delayed diagnosis, surgical negligence, and GP negligence.

    Cases

    H-v-MB NHS Trust [2014]: Wrongful birth.

    T-v-PAH NHS Trust [2014]: Delayed diagnosis of CDH.

    E (Deceased)-v-E H & R NHS Trust: Vascular surgical negligence.

    O-v-H [2012]: Failure to diagnose psychosis leading to suicide.

    O-v-ABM LHB [2012]: Negligent withdrawal of Aspirin leading to MI.

    M-v-ABM [2012]: Double amputation as a result of delayed diagnosis of blocked fem-fem bypass graft.

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  • Catastrophic Injury 

    Cases are multitrack, high value with heavy expert involvement, often with brain and spinal injuries as well as serious orthopaedic and vascular cases.

    Cases

    H-v-R [2014]: £1.75m provisional damages.

    P-v-M [2014]: £1.3m.

    C-v-MIB [2014]: £5m.

    Murphy-v-D [2013]: PPO

    Wright-v-MIB [2012]: PPO

    Ibrahim-v-MIB [2011]: PPO

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  • Disease

    Richard undertakes mesothelioma and other asbestos-related conditions, VWF/CTS and NIHL cases as well as cases of occupational stress.

    Cases

    T-v-BRB [2014]: Date of knowledge pre-1963 and causation

    Thompson-v-Renwick [2014] EWCA Civ. 635: Liability of a parent company for the acts and/or omissions of a subsidiary.

    S-v-NYT [2014]: CTS and vibration exposure

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  • Personal Injury

    Richard is a highly experienced personal injury barrister. The majority of his cases are high value, catastrophic injury cases or cases with a complicating feature.

    His day-to-day practice usually involves conferences with or cross-examination of experts. Initially he chooses to meet the client at the earliest possible point (at home if necessary) to establish good rapport, and then to advise on the appropriate experts to call, as well as assisting in advising on the evidence that is obtained. He remains regularly involved throughout the case, drafting paperwork including schedules and counter-schedules, appearing at CCMCs, advising on disclosure, witness statements and drafting agendas for joint meetings. Most cases conclude successfully at JSMs, but some proceed to trial.

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  • ADR and Mediation

    Richard is a CEDR-accredited mediator, an expert in clinical negligence and complex personal injury claims and is recognised as calm, very competent and having a very sharp intellect. He has participated in numerous mediations as well as joint settlement meetings. Most of these have settled on or shortly after the meeting. His cases range from lower value difficult cases (often fatal accident claims) to high value claims involving periodical payments as well as pathfinder meetings in catastrophic injury cases.

    Richard also has experience of mediating and negotiating in cases of personal injury involving multiple parties arising out of construction accidents, serious RTA claims and EL and PL claims including traumatic brain injury, chest diseases, chronic pain syndromes and in cases involving allegations of FD.

    Expertise

    • Clinical negligence
    • Personal injury
    • Industrial disease
    • Stress at work
    • Professional negligence
    • NHS and Healthcare

    Dispute Experience

    Richard has spent many years as a litigator in clinical negligence and serious personal injury and now gained extensive experience participating in mediations involving surgical negligence, GP neg-ligence, lack of consent and failure to diagnose as well as in personal injury including multi-party construction accidents and intractable and complex personal injury cases with heavily contested expert evidence. Recent examples include:

    • Claim against NHS Trust for inadequate advice allegedly given by NHS111 leading to death from ex-sanguination;
    • Claim against NHS Trust for obstetric negligence leading to loss of fertility and bowel problems;
    • Claim against NHS Trust for alleged failure to refer urgently to a vascular surgeon leading to toe amputations;
    • Claim by employee against employer and subcontractors on site for injuries caused by a fall due to a working platform being left unsafe;
    • Claim against road traffic insurer for serious injuries complicated by psychiatric negligence lead-ing to lithium toxicity and consequent catastrophic brain injury;
    • Claim against NHS Trust for ‘wrongful birth’ as a result of failure to note foetal abnormality on scanning;
    • Claim against NHS Trust in respect of failure to refer to a haematologist resulting in delayed di-agnosis of gene mutation causing serious liver damage.

     

    Richard has undertaken numerous cases of occupational stress, usually in an NHS context which have proceeded to and concluded at joint settlement meetings. Examples include:

    • Claim against NHS Trust for alleged delay and inadequacy in dealing with disciplinary proceed-ings leading to psychiatric injury;
    • Claim against NHS Trust for alleged failure to manage staff adequately leading to ostracisation, bullying and harassment and causing psychiatric injury;
    • Claim by group of individuals for mismanagement of staff restructuring process leading to multiple psychiatric injury;
    • Claim by teacher for lack of support in class when managing unruly pupils leading to stress and depression.

     

    Richard has also undertaken many personal injury cases which have concluded at settlement meetings. Examples include:

    • Claim for complex regional pain syndrome arising from dropping heavy item onto unprotected foot;
    • Claim for periodical payments in cases of catastrophic brain injury – resulting in agreement for PPOs;
    • Provisional damage claims in cases of risk of epilepsy and also for complications arising from serious bowel injury.
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