"He is hugely personable and quickly gets to the heart of the matter."

Legal 500 2016
Christopher Christopher

Barrister: Christopher Stephenson

Call:
1994

Appointments:
Trustee of the Barrister's Benevolent Association

Education:
MA English Literature, University of Edinburgh (1992)

Overview:

Christopher is a claimant personal injury and clinical negligence specialist. Since completing his pupillage at 9 Gough Square in 1995 he has built up an impressive and well regarded practice in both fields.

The majority of his work is in the High Court, dealing with high value and complicated case on behalf of victims of accidents and clinical negligence.

Christopher's personal injury practice is now focused on the most serious and complex injuries. He has a particular expertise in employer's liability claims, having worked for many years for the leading Trade Union firms. He has a particular ability to unpick complex issues of medical causation, assisted by his flourishing clinical negligence practice.

Christopher's clinical negligence work is wide ranging. He is as comfortable dealing with claims of the utmost severity as he is with lower value claims, which can have their own particular complexity. His particular strength is unpicking complicated expert evidence to make it understandable and cogent.

Christopher also has broad experience of claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, especially representing victims of sexual abuse. He is a co-editor of the 2nd Edition of the standard textbook in the field.

Chris has recenty been appointed as a PicArbs Arbitrator.

What the directories say:

Christopher is one of the very few barristers to be ranked in both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 in both personal injury and clinical negligence. Chambers UK notes "he's a great advocate and exceptionally good with clients - professional and sympathetic." "He's got a very good understanding of the law and always phrases his advice in ways that are helpful", "that he is "very approachable and very balanced", that he "puts clients minds at ease and gets so much more out of them because they are relaxed in his company". In the Legal 500 he is described as "utterly dependable" and has a "phenomenally good bedside manner with clients".

Client comments:

"Christopher is a professional and down-to-earth barrister with the ability to put clients' minds at ease." Ben Pepper, Senior Solicitor, Bolt Burdon Kemp

Recent Cases:

  • Bennett v South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (ongoing): A claim on behalf of a young man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a road traffic accident. Christopher was instructed (along with Jacob Levy QC) at the very start of the claim to assist with orchestrating the claimant’s rehabilitation both as an inpatient and once he returned home.
  • Jones v Poole & Rodell Jones (ongoing): Another claim for a seriously brain damaged young man who was injured in a road traffic accident on the M25. The claimant continues to be treated as an inpatient in a rehabilitation unit and the claim is focusing on his transition to being cared for at home and long term accommodation and care needs. Led by Jacob Levy QC.
  • Irving v Spirit Pub Company (ongoing): The Claimant suffered a serious spinal injury resulting in cauda equina syndrome after falling down some stairs. There are complicated issues of causation surrounding the development of the syndrome. The Claimant is severely disabled and will need lifetime care and assistance.
  • Harrold v NHS England (ongoing): The claimant has developed complex regional pain syndrome after negligently performed surgery to her knee. She is unlikely to ever work again and is severely disabled as a result of her injuries.
  • Togher v University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (ongoing): The claimant has suffered very serious injuries after receiving excessive doses of radiation for the treatment of a tumour adjacent to his lumbar spine. The claim involves very complicated causation issues relating to the effects of the radiation, necessitating the instruction of a battery of medical experts.
  • Kaur v Meppen-Walter (ongoing): The claimant’s husband was killed when the car he was driving was struck by the defendant (a Manchester City footballer) racing through the streets of Manchester. The defendant’s insurer chose to raise unfounded allegations of contributory negligence, take a range of insurance related issues and join other parties, all of which was successfully resisted. The claim is awaiting approval.
  • Wooley v Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust (ongoing): This is a claim arising out of allegededly negligent bariatric surgery. The Claimant has been left with significant abdominal complications, scarring and a psychological injury following a failed belt lipectomy and abdominoplasty. The proceedings have been issued in the High Court and are ongoing.
  • De Cruz v Kesavan (ongoing): An ongoing claim for a woman who suffered a serious injury when she was knocked off her bicycle, that led to the end of her career as a nurse. The claim is listed for trial in June 2013 and is pleaded at over £400,000.
  • Bose v Dakri (ongoing): A road traffic accident in which the Claimant's husband was killed and she suffered a serious back injury. The Claimant's children came upon the scene of the accident soon after it had happened and have claims in their own right as secondary victims. There are significant personal injuries claims on behalf of each Claimant, as well as dependency claims.
  • AMF v Whitehouse (2013): A claim for a young woman who was brain injured following a road traffic accident, where she was dragged beside a car. The case was complicated by the extreme volatility of the Claimant, who was hell bent on sacking all the professionals who were lining up to help her. The Court approved and award of £1.2m in 2013. Led by Andrew Ritchie QC.
  • Relph v Gradridge (2012): A claim for a motorcyclist who suffered a catastrophic lower limb injury, just short of amputation. The Claimant will never work again as a train driver and there was a significant issue as to his residual earning capacity. The Defendant contended that the Claimant was capable of paid work, which was disputed by the Claimant. The claim settled within a week of trial on the basis that the Claimant did not have a realistic residual earning capacity, for £825,000.
  • Worsley v Rule (2012): Mrs Worsley died soon after visiting her GP, who failed to diagnose late onset Type I diabetes. She left a husband and a 3 month old baby. The claim involved issues of breach of duty and causation, which were eventually conceded and a settlement was approved in 2012.
  • Smith v St Regis Paper Co (2011): An employer's liability claim for a grievously injured 30 year old man who was crushed between two rolls of paper. The Claimant suffered what were described as the worst injuries imaginable short of death. He underwent a hindquarter amputation of his right leg and lost the use of his left leg. He also lost the use of one arm and suffered massive internal injuries. The claim settled for a lump sum and periodical payments amounting to an award in excess of £4m. led by Nigel Godsmark QC.

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