"She is a focused and meticulous worker and her demeanour with clients is empathetic, patient and kind."

Chambers & Partners 2019
Abigail Abigail

Barrister: Abigail Stamp

Call:
2004

Education:
University of Exeter LLB Law (Hons) First Class King’s College London MA Medical Law and Ethics

Abigail specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury and inquests. She represents both Claimants and Defendants. Her work is exclusively Multi-Track or issued in the High Court. She is widely acknowledged as a Leading Junior in her field, evidenced by consistent recommendations in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK since 2013. Solicitors comment favourably on her pragmatic and client friendly approach together with her attention to detail and ability to understand complex medical issues.

What the directories say

Chambers UK 2019 - Clinical Negligence - Leading Junior - Band 2

'Recognised for her capabilities in fatal accident cases and inquests stemming from psychiatric care and failure to diagnose. She primarily acts for claimants. She offers expertise in a wide range of clinical negligence matters, including birth injuries and substandard cosmetic procedures, as well as dental and nursing negligence. "She is warm, compassionate, and thorough in all of the work that she does. She is very approachable and easily accessible, and produces work of a very high standard." "She is a focused and meticulous worker and her demeanour with clients is empathetic, patient and kind."

Chambers UK 2018 - Clinical Negligence - Leading Junior - Band 2

'Recognised for her capabilities in fatal accident cases and inquests stemming from negligent surgery, psychiatric care and failure to diagnose. She primarily acts for Claimants. "She is very good with schedules and at managing client's expectations". "She is very quick, to the point and thorough in all aspects of her work". "She was very good with the client in terms of appreciating the sensitive nature of the matter."'

Legal 500 2017 - Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

"She gets to the crux of cases".

Chambers UK 2017 - Clinical Negligence - Leading Junior - Band 2

"Receives great acclaim for her ability to handle complicated matters. She acts on a wide range of high-value cases, often concerning surgical negligence, delayed diagnosis as well as inquests arising from psychiatric injuries and negligent care. "'She's able to grasp the intricacies of medical negligence cases quickly and hold her own in detailed expert discussions." "A very stable and secure pair of hands.'"

Chambers UK 2017 - Personal Injury - Leading Junior - Band 3

"Wide-ranging expertise covering public liability, employers' liability, industrial disease, RTAs and fatal accident claims. She assists both claimants and defendants. 'Very good with clients.'"

Legal 500 2016

'Knowledgeable and easy to work with'

Chambers UK 2016 - Clinical Negligence - Leading Junior - Band 2

Maintains a practice encompassing clinical negligence, inquest and personal injury matters. She is experienced in dealing with high-value claims addressing issues including surgical negligence, cosmetic procedures and psychiatric problems. Her inquest experience particularly focuses on proceedings investigating fatal events that may have breached the right to life under Article 2 ECHR.

Strengths: "She is able to grasp the intricacies of medical negligence cases quickly and hold her own in detailed expert discussions. Recommended for inquest work and subsequent civil proceedings." "She is very good in conference and is very good at managing experts."

Chambers UK 2016 - Personal Injury - Leading Junior - Band 3

Acts for claimants and defendants on a wide range of personal injury matters, including employers' liability, RTA's and industrial disease cases. Sources highlight her client-friendly approach and her attention to detail.

Strengths: "You often find barristers are either very good at paperwork, or very good on their feet in court, but she's usually good at both." "She's a barrister you can pick up the phone and speak to; she's always very quick to respond."

Legal 500 2015 - Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

'Vastly experienced in all aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence'.

Chambers UK 2015 - Clinical Negligence - Leading Junior - Band 2

Handles a range of clinical negligence work, including cases of a surgical and psychiatric nature. Solicitors praise her pragmatic and client-friendly approach to complex and high-value cases.

Expertise: "She is excellent; a competitive advocate whose attention to detail is second to none, she is personable and flexible, able to ease her client through the trial process."

Clinical Negligence

Abigail is vastly experienced in this field. She is tactically aware and very familiar with the procedural regime having dealt with numerous cases involving issues such as non disclosure of records, non service of a claim form, limitation arguments, applications to resile from admissions and mediation. Cases include those arising out of:

  • Poor management of labour resulting in brain injury, Erb's palsy, still birth and psychiatric injury to the mother. She has also acted in a case involving the misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy resulting in the termination of a healthy embryo.
  • Surgical negligence including claims relating to substandard orthopaedic, obstetric, general  and neuro surgery.
  • Anaesthetic negligence including mishaps resulting in death and blindness. 
  • Delays in diagnosis including those relating to appendicitis, peritonitis, cancer, glaucoma, cauda equina and stroke.  Also cases in which an organic condition has been misdiagnosed as a psychiatric presentation. 
  • Nursing negligence including falls, pressure sores and a self-inflicted bowel perforation as a result of inadequate training in the use of an anal irrigation system.
  • G.P. negligence including the delayed diagnosis of cancer, substandard performance of minor surgery, and failures to refer patients, such as those with severe infections or recurrent colitis, into secondary care.
  • Poor performance of cosmetic surgery including facial peels, breast implants, rhinoplasty and labiaplasty.
  • Systemic failings such as mixed up biometry results prior to cataract surgery, failure to recall following adverse x-ray  or ECG findings, protracted delays in the provision of treatment or the making of tertiary referrals. 
  • Fatal accident cases or claims under Article 2 ECHR which arise out of suicide in circumstances where the deceased was a voluntary or compulsory in patient at the time of death.
  • Secondary victim cases arising out of the witnesses of traumatic events in hospital or a care home.  Also a claim for nervous shock as a result of a Father witnessing the traumatic delivery of his child.

Recent Cases

  • Re: BG - 2019: A claim arising out of the non administration of thrombolysis. As a result the Claimant suffered brain damage resulting in epilepsy and hemianopia. The Trust initially admitted liability but sought to resile from their admission some 6 years later resulting in a contested application which was resolved in the Claimant’s favour. The matter settled shortly thereafter at a JSM for the sum of £512,000.
  • Re: GJ - 2018: Representing the Claimant in a claim arising out of a delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome resulting in ankle weakness and minor incontinence which adversely affected the Claimant's ability to work as a heating engineer. The matter settled at a mediation.
  • Re: ZM v AB University Health Board - May 2018: Birth injury resulting in shoulder dystocia and Erbs palsy. Complex issues relating to employment evidence, disability and disadvantage on the labour market. Settled at JSM in the sum of £430,000.
  • Re: NK v Dr J - March 2018 Failure to diagnose choroidal neovascularisation resulting in loss of vision in circumstances where the opposite eye was also at risk of damage. Settlement on a provisional damages basis was secured.
  • RO v ABM UHB- March 2017 It was alleged that the patient had been given inadequate information as to the treatment options available prior to undergoing the insertion of an intracranial pressure bolt, and that the neurosurgical access point used was negligent. The result was a post-operative haematoma and hemiparesis. Led by Richard Booth QC. The case settled 2 days before a liability only trial in the sum of £650,000.
  • VP v RCH NHS TrustAugust 2017: A tragic claim relating to a delayed diagnosis of cancer resulting in the death of a single Mum. The elder child took responsibility for caring for her younger sibling, who had not had contact with her Father since birth. The question of apportionment required careful consideration. Settlement approved in the sum of £365,000.
  • Various Claimants v Nuffield Health/ Western Area Health NHS: Advising in a number of cases arising out of suboptimal orthopaedic surgery performed at an NHS referral centre. The poor surgical outcomes at one of the referral centers in question was identified in a Panorama investigation. The majority of these cases arose out of hip and knee replacements and poorly performed cruciate ligament repairs (e.g. due to the introduction of infection, poor placing of prosthesis, poor cement technique, inadequate consent etc). In the most serious a retired Claimant required 10 remedial procedures, one of which was complicated by infection and a stroke. He experienced pain and disability and there was a risk of amputation. The claim settled for £385,000.

Personal Injury

Abigail's cases range from those injuries arising out of road traffic accidents and accidents at work to fatal accidents and accidents abroad.

She also co-editor of the Occupier's Liability and Defective Premises Chapter of APIL Personal Injury, Law Practice and Precedents. She has dealt with a number of CICA cases including those arising out of assaults resulting in brain injury and maximum or near maximum CICA awards. Her cases include those resulting in serious orthopaedic injuries or moderate brain injury.

Abigail is also frequently instructed on cases in which medical causation has been complex such as where the Claimant has developed additional complications or life threatening conditions during the course of the litigation and cases in which pre and post-accident drug use or behavioural difficulties have compounded the disabilities suffered. She has acted in cases involving injuries resulting in fibromyalgia, CRPS, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and somatoform disorder together with those involving allegations of fraud or exaggeration including those in which damaging surveillance evidence has been obtained.

Recent Cases

  • AF v An Employer July 2019: A claim in which the Claimant suffered an ankle fracture and thereafter a somatoform disorder as a result of an accident at work. Orthopaedic, pain and psychiatric evidence was required.  The Claimant settled at JSM for just over £230,000.
  • PP v MB December 2018:  Representing a Claimant in a claim arising out of a catastrophic RTA in which the Claimant, a farmer, suffered life changing orthopaedic injuries and his fiancé, a student, died.  Employment evidence was required to assess the deceased’s chance of securing work following graduation in her chosen field of behavioural analysis.  The matter settled at JSM for 1.15 million. 
  • FD v JP December 2017: Representing a Claimant who sustained orthopaedic injuries during a high impact RTA. Some years later she developed widespread chronic pain. The Claimant's experts attributed the deterioration the sequelae of the accident and the Defendant's experts attributed it to an exacerbation of a pre existing somatoform disorder. The matter settled at a Pre trial settlement hearing for £160,000.
  • Re: LH March 2017: The Claimant suffered from a wedge compression fracture and chronic pain following an accident at work. He underwent a residential pain management course during the course of the litigation. The claim settled for £500,000 at a JSM a few days after the change in discount rate.
  • Tina Blandford v The Forestry Commission and Others 2017: Successfully defended an Occupiers' Liability case at trial. The Claimant sustained injury as a result of her horse becoming spooked by a log transporter whilst riding through the Forest of Dean and alleged that the signage within the forest was inadequate.
  • Re: PL 2016: C sustained an ankle injury and DVT following an accident at work. During the cause of the litigation he suffered a stroke and venous ulceration. He was then diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and had a substantially reduced life expectancy. Medical causation was extremely complex and multiple causation experts were required.
  • Re: CJ 2015: Representing the Claimant who had been run over whilst lying drunk in the road. As a result he sustained serious orthopaedic and pelvic injuries resulting in disability and erectile dysfunction. It was also alleged (but disputed) that he sustained a frontal lobe injury resulting in psychological injuries and cocaine addiction. The case was complicated by pre accident recreational drug use. The case settled for £185,000 less 35% contributory negligence.
  • Re: CC 2014: Representing an applicant in a CICA claim who sustained a brain injury following an unprovoked assault in a pub. Following extensive rehabilitation he was able to return to work in a semi sheltered environment. The modest sum of compensation initially offered by the CICB was increased to in excess of £412,000 by the first-tier tribunal.

Inquests

Abigail regularly represents bereaved families and employers at inquests arising out of accidents at work and road traffic accidents. She has also acted in a number of cases involving deaths in custody, hospitals or care homes including those where the deceased was either under Section, subject to deprivation of liberty safeguards, or where there was evidence of systemic failings. She has experience of a number of cases involving the suicide of patients who were or should have been under the care of the mental health team together with cases resulting in a verdict of neglect.

She is very familiar with inquest procedure, including those engaging Article 2 ECHR or requiring a jury, and is praised for her ability to deal with issues raised in a sensitive manner. Chambers UK [2016] commented, 'Her inquest experience particularly focuses on proceedings investigating fatal events that may have breached the Right of Life under Article 2 ECHR... Recommended for inquest work and subsequent civil proceedings.'

Recent Cases

  • Re: JS 2019 – Article 2 inquest investigating a system of operation whereby ambulance technicians were not trained to interpret ECGs but instead expected to obtain clinical support from out of hours G.Ps who were unable to visualise the ECGs taken.  >
  • Re Katy Lowry 2018 – Representing the family at an inquest in which a 30 year old with severe disabilities attended A & E with vomiting and dehydration.  No observations were undertaken.  She collapsed, was unable to protect her airway and aspirated.  The coroner considered that there had been a gross failure to provide basic medical attention on the part of the hospital and recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes contributed to by neglect. Media coverage here
  • Re: WS February 2018: Representing the family at an inquest in which concerns were expressed about a failure on the part of nursing staff to take and react to adequate basic observations. The coroner reached a narrative conclusion with a neglect rider.
  • Re: JS March 2017: Article 2 inquest following the suicide of a patient who was allowed to leave a mental health ward contrary to her care plan.
  • Re: SP 2015: Representing the family at a jury inquest and in subsequent civil proceedings following a crush injury at work.
  • Re: MC: Representing the family in a case where the deceased consumed a fatal cocktail of medication and alcohol. She was under the care of the crisis team at the time of death. The coroner concluded that there had been a failure to recognize the serious nature of the recent deterioration in her mental health and that this lead to a lost opportunity to render care which would have prevented death.
  • Re: DJ: Representing the parents of an adult child. The deceased had hanged himself with the strap of an overnight bag whilst an inpatient at a mental health unit. The case raised issues under Article 2 and the inquest was heard by a jury who concluded that there were a number of failings on the part of the hospital trust which caused or contributed to the death. A claim was subsequently brought (and successfully compromised) under Article 2 ECHR.

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