Henry Pitchers - Clinical Negligence
Ranked in Band 1 for Clinical Negligence in the latest Chambers and Partners Guide Henry is described as, "a leading junior who offers expert advice on clinical negligence claims of the utmost severity and complexity. He possesses notable expertise in delayed diagnosis and treatment, and operates a caseload demonstrating significant knowledge of neurological conditions.
Henry is thorough and approachable. He has an excellent grasp of complex medical and legal issues." "Very good in sensitive situations and excellent with clients." "He produces excellent pleadings and is very good in conference and great at questioning experts."”
Much of Henry's clinical negligence caseload is of substantial value, in which he acts from the earliest stages, through to round table meetings and trial. His practice comprises many cases involving catastrophic injuries, in which substantial care and case management packages are required, often together with accommodation claims.
As well as having significant trial experience, Henry regularly appears in Coroner’s Courts across the country, frequently in relation to deaths said to arise wholly or in part from medical treatment or a lack of treatment.
Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy
Henry has extensive experience of cases involving acquired brain injury to both adults and children. As is to be expected, many of these claims arise out of pregnancy and childbirth. Henry is currently working on several cases related to alleged delayed delivery, but also others regarding the management of infection.
In addition to assessing complex liability issues, Henry has a particular speciality in working on the quantification of extremely high value brain injury and cerebral palsy claims, which often result in an order for periodical payments.
For adult claimants, Henry has recently worked on claims relating to strokes, subarachnoid haemorrhage, brain tumours and intracranial infections.
Cases involving delayed diagnosis of cancer feature regularly in Henry’s workload. Recent and ongoing claims in which Henry is instructed include cancers of the bowel, brain, lungs, prostate, head and neck, skin, liver, cervix, pancreas and kidney. One claim which recently settled for a substantial sum related to a delayed diagnosis of a sarcoma which led to a forequarter amputation.
Sadly, many of these claims involve claims under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, and Henry has acted for many families of the bereaved.
Spinal and Catastrophic Injury
Henry is regularly instructed in cases involving spinal injuries alleged to result from clinical negligence. He has acted in a significant number of cauda equina cases, but also those involving tetraplegia/tetraparesis and paraplegia/paraparesis.
He is very familiar with the particular issues relating to quantum for those claimants who have suffered a significant spinal injury.
Henry’s experience in catastrophic injury claims more generally, spreads across a number of medical specialisms (from brain injury, to spinal injury and from amputations to very serious poly-trauma).
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
In addition to those most severe cases of cerebral palsy, Henry works on wide range of other obstetric and gynaecological cases.
With regard to obstetrics, Henry has been instructed in many shoulder dystocia and traction injury cases. He has great experience, sadly, of those cases in which the baby is lost, often in the later stages of pregnancy, frequently giving rise to psychiatric injuries
Other related claims include, for example, a delayed diagnosis of spina bifida and several cases of missed or delayed diagnosis of hip dysplasia (one of which recently settled for over £1.2M).
Henry’s work in relation to gynaecology has been broad, including cancer cases, but also surgical negligence cases, such as one involving a severe ureteric injury
Henry has substantial experience of the full range of alleged surgical negligence cases, including ophthalmic surgery leading to blindness; hysterectomy causing ureteric injury; inguinal hernia surgery giving rise to permanent debilitating pain; vasectomy leading to excruciating and permanent scrotal pain (settled for seven figures); circumcision leading to buried penis syndrome; abdominal surgery causing bowel perforation, loss of spleen, sepsis and/or death; orthopaedics (particularly hips and knees).
Several cases have involved allegations of negligence ancillary to surgery, especially alleged failures to manage the risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism, but also issues of infection and post-surgical bleeding and deterioration.
Many cases in Henry’s practice, across all injury groups, arise from the management of patients by general practitioners, and also by clinicians in the emergency department.
Claims relating to diabetes are seen regularly, often resulting in amputation or other important diabetic complications (such as blindness and kidney problems). He further has experience of acute medical management of an overdose patient (6-day trial in October 2018). Henry has worked on many cases with an important vascular element, including those involving the medical management of compartment syndromes and steal syndromes.
Henry further is instructed in matters of solicitor's negligence, frequently arising out of personal injury and clinical negligence.
BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Worcester College, Oxford University
Personal Injuries Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
"Henry is thorough and approachable. He has an excellent grasp of complex medical and legal issues." "Very good in sensitive situations and excellent with clients." "He produces excellent pleadings and is very good in conference and great at questioning experts."
Chambers UK 2019
‘Enthusiastic, passionate and excellent on his feet.’
Legal 500 2019
"Wonderful at empathising with clients - he is the ideal barrister for a very vulnerable client."
"Extremely good on his feet."
Chambers UK 2018
"Excellent attention to detail and an easy but confident manner with clients." "Client-friendly manner."
"He has great empathy and understanding for clients. If you have someone who is very vulnerable he's just the sort of person to have." "Written work is excellent, he doesn't skip any details."
Chambers UK 2017
‘He has wonderful client-care skills.’
Legal 500 2016
“He has a real talent for clinical negligence. He's knowledgeable and clients find him empathetic and approachable.” “He's very helpful, very bright, and very good at focusing in on what's important.” "He is very good with clients. I want a counsel who I know will be friendly and approachable. He is thorough but caring, and helps to achieve the result I want to achieve." "He has an excellent attention to detail and an easy but confident manner with clients."
Chambers & Partners 2016
Wiselaw Kownacki v Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; HHJ Wood QC; (24 April 2015); Lawtel AC0146913
The trial of a clinical negligence case in which the claimant alleged that his spleen was negligently damaged during abdominal surgery.
Dennison v (1) Dennison (2) Saga Insurance (CC) 24.07.08 Lawtel AC0118457 (future cost of paid care)
Mitson v Inglis 19 October 2005 (QB)
Silber J (costs orders on appeals)
Chase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1101 (QB)
(use of medical records)