Henry Pitchers KC

Viewing: Personal Injury for Henry Pitchers KC

Henry is Head of the Personal Injury Group at No5 Barristers' Chambers.
Henry took silk in 2020, after two decades as an extremely busy junior. He has for many years been recognised as a leading barrister specialising in complex and high value claims. Having led the team for one of the claimants in the Paul, Polmear and Purchase secondary victim appeals in the Court of Appeal, he will appear before the Supreme Court in 2023. He also acted for the family of one of the two victims of the terrorist attack at Fishmongers Hall at a seven-week inquest.
His practice has a focus upon acquired brain and spinal injuries, amputation, complex polytrauma and psychiatric harm. Henry has real depth of experience on liability issues in road traffic collisions (including MIB matters), construction and workplace accidents and public liability.
As would be expected, many of these cases have a capitalised value in eight figures, albeit issues as to periodical payments frequently arise
Often instructed in the early stages, Henry supports rehabilitation as enthusiastically as he prepares for negotiated settlements or trials. He prides himself on his ability to work compassionately and collaboratively with lay and professional clients, as well as expert witnesses and the opposing legal team.
He is also a contributing editor to Butterworth’s Personal Injury Litigation Service.
Liability for the personal injury claims may arise from the expected diverse range of situations, but the following feature commonly:
Road traffic accidents: for his entire career, Henry has been instructed to advise and argue over liability in motor accidents and he has huge trial experience of the same. These now give rise to some of the highest value claims, involving complex brain and spinal injuries, as well as polytrauma and death. Henry often works closely with reconstruction, CCTV and other experts as to liability.
Workplace claims: Henry has very extensive trial experience relating to claims arising from the workplace, be that from construction sites or industrial settings. Issues frequently arise as to work equipment, PPE, work at height, manual handling and even assaults by third parties.
Public liability: acting for both sides, Henry has been instructed in large numbers of cases in which the liability of occupiers (to visitors and trespassers), highways authorities and other local authorities (such as education) is in issue.
Accidents abroad and claims with a foreign element: these may include serious road traffic accidents or injuries sustained whilst on holiday or by those engaging in sport (professional or otherwise).
Group litigation: Henry has worked in cases where multiple, related claims are brought. Most notably, he was part of the claimant team in the “sofa dermatitis” litigation, in which several thousand claimants successfully brought claims for compensation.
Brain injury:
Henry’s current caseload includes a wide range of brain injuries, from those involving skull fractures and significant structural brain damage to more subtle brain injuries and post-concussional syndrome. Recent or ongoing claims in which Henry is instructed include:
- Very severe brain injuries, involving not just life-changing neurocognitive impairment, but also physical disability with loss of mobility and the ability to feed normally;
- Traumatic brain injuries for infants and younger children;
- Younger adults, some with subtle but profound cognitive or behavioural (e.g. frontal lobe damage) disorders;
- Cases in which mental capacity is lost for litigation and finances;
A number of claims involving important head injuries for the elderly, often with a complex interrelationship with dementia.
Spinal injuries
Many of these cases arise from road traffic accidents or significant falls. Recent or ongoing cases include:
- Tetraplegia and paraplegia;
- Fractures to the cervical spine causing incomplete spinal cord injury;
- Fractures of the spine giving rise to permanent symptoms, without frank spinal cord injury.
Henry is very familiar with the particular accommodation and occupational therapy needs of claimants with significant spinal cord injuries.
Amputation cases
Henry has a wide experience of cases involving amputation. The following are recent examples:
- Bilateral above-knee amputations as a result of a deliberate attack with a car;-
- Many below-knee amputations, often required as a result of road traffic accidents;
- Forequarter (i.e. complete removal of the arm and shoulder joint) amputation;
- Amputation of hands, feet and toes, commonly as a result of industrial accidents.
The role of prosthetics and technology is central to the preparation of these claims.
Fatal accidents
The particular challenges of representing parties associated with fatal accidents are well known to Henry. He is regularly instructed to prepare complex schedules of loss or counter-schedules in such matters.
Whilst many fatal accidents involve motor vehicle, Henry has also worked on several cases arising out of industrial accidents and industrial disease (particularly mesothelioma)
In recent years, Henry has acted for a significant number of families where young children are left without a parent. Henry has appeared in many inquests.
In recent years, Henry has acted for a significant number of families where young children are left without a parent. Henry has appeared in many inquests.
Complex orthopaedic
High velocity road traffic accidents or those involving pedestrians, can give rise to very severe polytrauma. Henry has much experience of this, helping to co-ordinate the necessary range of specialist medical and other experts.
Whilst there is regularly an important psychiatric or neuropsychiatric element to cases involving major physical injury, Henry has also acted in a number of cases where the predominant injury is psychiatric.
These have included:
- A case of extremely severe PTSD following a road traffic accident, which manifested as debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder;
- Secondary victim cases in which claimants have witnessed the death or severe injury of loved-ones (he will appear in the Supreme Court in this regard in 2023); and,
- Somatic pain disorders.
"Henry is the complete package in terms of expertise, advocacy and preparation." "Henry is great with clients. He is a superb advocate who is great technically and tactically." "Henry provides pragmatic and tactical advice to clients."
Chambers UK 2023
"Henry is a very impressive silk. He is brilliant with clients with the ability to listen and empathise with all. He has an excellent manner that allows him to deliver difficult advice with calmness. He is a tough negotiator who fights for the best outcome for his clients."
Legal 500 2023
“A dream when dealing with clients and a great technician and advocate.”
Chambers UK 2022
“Henry is dependable, conscientious, a dream with the clients, and a tough negotiator. He goes the extra mile.”
Legal 500 2022 (Midlands)
“He has a naturally calm and quietly confident manner about him, which makes him a natural leader who is reassuring to all others in the room.”
Legal 500 2022 (London)
“A very likeable barrister - clients adore him.” “He is consistently excellent and I have 100% confidence in his abilities and his drive to get the best possible result for his clients.”
Chambers UK 2021
“A straight-forward negotiator who is well liked by the court and advises with clarity and confidence.”
Legal 500 2021
“He is very adaptable, very personable and puts clients at ease. He thinks quickly on his feet in court and is a very good team player.” “Excellent with clients, a great strategist and excellent on paper. He’s also extremely reliable and down to earth.”
Chambers UK 2020
“Adept at putting clients at ease and managing their expectations.”
Legal 500 2020
Notable Cases
The Fishmongers Hall Terror Attack (2021); inquest and related claims
Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and others [2022] EWCA Civ 12 (Court of Appeal, being appealed to the Supreme Court); secondary victims appeals
King v Belfor (UK) Ltd [2022] 2 WLUK 565; occupational disease and causation of Guillain-Barré syndrome
Personal Injuries Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Worcester College, Oxford University

Latest News & Publications

On 16th, 17th and 18th May 2023, No5 barristers Henry Pitchers KC, David Tyack KC, Esther Gamble and Oliver May are appearing in the Supreme Court in the conjoined appeals of Purchase v Ahmed and Polmear v Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust...

Date: Tue, 16 May 2023
Originally broadcast on the 21st January, David, Henry, Esther and Oliver discussed last months judgement handed down by the Court of Appeal in the conjoined cases of Purchase v Ahmed, Polmear v Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust and Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust...

Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2022
David Tyack QC, Henry Pitchers QC, Esther Gamble and Oliver May will present a webinar on Friday 21 January 2022 at 12:30 to discuss the implications of this decision....

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022