We are delighted to announce that David Lawson has joined Serjeants’ Inn Chambers this month.

David has an established practice in education law, local government, public law and human rights and the Court of Protection.  Recent work has included judicial reviews of local authorities, universities, discrimination claims, advising on school regulation and appeals concerning Education, Health and Care Plans.  He is involved in a number of cases relating to reductions in public services and has appeared in several joint Court of Protection and judicial review challenges. 

David is a valuable addition to our public law team and his practice fits well with our expertise in the Court of Protection, health care and regulatory fields.  He is the fourth established practitioner to join us this year and his arrival reflects our ongoing commitment to building the expertise and service we offer to our clients.

We are delighted to have been highly commended in the Chambers Innovation category at the Legal Innovation Awards 2015.

The awards, held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, recognised forward thinking vision in the operation and delivery of services and client care.

On 19th May 2015, at the conclusion of a sensational case at the GMC, the careers of two promising young doctors were saved . 

The doctors had obtained overseas convictions in Spain for an offence of assault, arising from events during a stag weekend in Barcelona. Under the rules of the Fitness to Practise Panel they were unable to go behind the overseas convictions. The panel, however, heard compelling evidence that threw serious doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings giving rise to the convictions and concluded that the fitness to practise of neither doctor was impaired. 

The panel further concluded that, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, a warning was neither necessary or appropriate. 

The case received widespread publicity in the national and local press. 

The doctors were represented by Andrew Hockton, instructed by Katie Costello of BLM, Manchester and Kate Williams of RadcliffesLeBrasseur, Leeds.

Christopher Johnston QC has represented an 11-year-old claimant who suffered brain damage following his birth.

The boy was born with abnormally low blood sugar levels which were not monitored or treated.

Speaking at the High Court hearing, Christopher said “He now has the mind of a six-year-old with no prospect of improvement [and] is someone who will require care and support for the rest of his life.”

The settlement comprised a £1.45m lump sum plus index-linked periodical payment orders (PPOs) for care, case management, therapies and loss of earnings. On a traditional 2.5% discount rate multiplier approach the settlement was worth about £6.6m, but if the Claimant lives as long as expected this will equate to £13m in index-linked payments over his life span.

Charles Foster represented Dr. Dhanuson Dharmasena in the first ever prosecution under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Dr. Dharmasena was a junior doctor who attended a Somali woman in labour. The woman had been infibulated as a child, and had subsequently been deinfibulated. The doctor made an incision through scar tissue in order to catheterise the urethra prior to effecting instrumental delivery. He then inserted a suture to stop bleeding from the wound. The prosecution said that this constituted FGM. The trial was contested for two and a half weeks before Sweeney J at Southwark Crown Court. The jury quickly acquitted.