Tom Rochford Clinical Negligence

Call: 1984

Introduction

Tom studied law at Cambridge University, and has been a member of St Philips Chambers since its foundation.  He practises mainly in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence.  Most of his cases are high value (£100,000 +) or complex.  He is instructed both by claimants and defendants (more claimant than defendant).  He is also instructed in employment cases (ET), and in commercial cases which are linked to his main fields of expertise (for example, professional negligence claims which arise from negligent handling of a personal injury case).  He is head of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Groups within Chambers.  He is a School Governor of a primary school near his home in Warwickshire.

What the Directories Say:

He has an impressive ability to instil calm into very stressful situations.” – Legal 500

He has a very quick grasp on matters and has a good nature with the clients.“, “He’s very impressive; very methodical with a good eye for detail.“, “He’s very good with clients that are distressed; he has got a sure touch with clients who are troubled.” – Chambers and Partners

Mainly represents claimants in high-value personal injury cases involving issues such as RTAs and employers’ liability. Instructing solicitors value his experience, thorough approach and client rapport. “He is courteous, persuasive and authoritative, and he knows the law inside and out. I would rather have him on my side than as an opponent.” – Chambers and Partners

“Very thorough, with excellent attention to detail in advice, pleadings and schedules.” – Legal 500

Qualifications and Appointments:

  • MA (Cantab)
  • Recorder (Crown Court and County Court)

Memberships:

  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Birmingham Medico-Legal Society
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association

Clinical Negligence

Tom has been a member of St Philips Chambers since its foundation. He studied law at Cambridge University. Toms practice extends clinical negligence into the field of more general personal injury work (generally high value) and employment law.

He has particular skills at drafting complex and time-consuming schedules of loss, and an interest in pension loss calculations. His clinical negligence work is all for claimants.

Recent Cases:

  • Cerebral Palsy Cases involving brain damage suffered by babies (birth and neonatal). Recent case (led) resulted in a settlement (approved) with a capital value of 5.375m.
  • For Claimant, an elderly lady who had suffered from childhood polio, who broke her hip in fall at D1s premises. D2, hospital, failed to diagnose fracture. Issues as to breach (hospital alleged fracture had occurred later), causation and quantum. Settled at tri-partite JSM for 210,000.
  • Acting for estate of woman whose cancer was not diagnosed, due in part to administrative failure during the course of her being referred from hospital A to hospital B. Consideration of administrative practices and records of hospitals. Causation (Gregg v Scott) issues.
  • Acting for Claimant when was injured when his mother underwent a pre-birth procedure. The Claimant suffered a range of injuries, notably to his legs and hips, that will result in his needing major surgery at intervals throughout his life. Substantial care and employment losses. Listed for four-day trial (quantum only).
  • Acting for a woman who was transfused with blood that had not been matched for Kell-antigens, causing complications in later pregnancy. Issues as to transfusion practice at the time (was transfusion required, what matching should have been carried out).
  • Acting for health service worker who contracted Hepatitis C (and consequent cancer). Issue as to how disease was contracted, date of knowledge as to risks from contact with bodily fluids, and what protection health workers she should at the time have been supplied with.
  • Acting for Claimant who suffered post-operative wound infection. Issues as to when GP should have referred back to hospital, and as to treatment received when it was referred back.
  • Acting for Claimant who suffered a wound infection after operation on private hospital. Allegation that microbiology reports were not acted upon when her surgeon was on holiday. Substantial issues as to breach and causation. Defendants (surgeon and private hospital) attended JSM where their best offer was drop hands, only to make a realistic Part 36 offer a few weeks later, four weeks before start of eight-day trial.
  • Misdiagnosis - Acting for Claimant in case where treatment of a seriously ill bone marrow transplant patient had been varied following false diagnosis of infection.
  • For family of a patient who had undergone exenteration. Hospital misdiagnosed failure of the anastamosis, assuming deceased was suffering from diarrhoea. Accepted that her death was not caused by this failure, but distressing and persistent infections as a result.
  • For Claimant who suffered lasting effects from extravasation injury sustained during routine investigative injection.
  • Negligent hip replacement leading to very poor outcome from procedure for Claimant, and substantial care needs.
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