Henry Pitchers QC

Viewing: Serious Injury for Henry Pitchers QC

Henry took silk on 21st March 2020.
Henry’s practice is predominantly comprised of high value and/or complex personal injury and clinical negligence work. He is routinely instructed in cases in which multi-million pound claims are advanced for future care and case management. Several of his claims have resulted in orders for periodical payments well in excess of 200k per annum. Claimants in Henry’s practice commonly lack capacity, with the Court of Protection being involved for adults. Henry also takes a particular interest in accommodation and complex future loss of earnings claims, especially projecting career paths for young claimants, including potentially highly paid professionals.
Henry is a regular speaker on matters concerning catastrophic and serious injuries. He is also a contributing editor to Butterworth’s Personal Injury Litigation Service.
Brain injuries
Henry’s current caseload includes a wide range of brain injuries, ranging from those 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:
- Several cases of brain injuries acquired around the time of birth or shortly thereafter (cerebral palsy, but also severe cases of infection);
- Road traffic accidents involving toddlers and children;
- Several young adults with subtle, but significant cognitive or behavioural difficulties as a result of head injuries (some lacking capacity, but others not);
- A middle-aged man with some capacity to return to work, but only with extensive support, missed promotions and substantial lost earnings;
- A number of claims involving important head injuries for the elderly, often with a complex interrelationship with dementia.
Spinal injuries
As well as spinal injuries arising from trauma (most commonly road traffic accidents, but also severe falls), Henry works in cases in which spinal cord injury has been sustained or exacerbated by medical management. Recent or ongoing cases include:
- Tetraplegia and paraplegia;
- Fractures to the cervical spine causing incomplete spinal cord injury;
- Cauda equina syndrome; and,
- Mismanagement of patient with a spinal cord injury, who developed horrific bed sores and related complications, leading to many years of avoidable hospitalisation.
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 or mismanagement of diabetes;
- Forequarter amputation (i.e. complete removal of the arm and shoulder joint);
- 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. Henry was also instructed in a complex causation case in which a pre-existing amputee suffered a severe injury to his foot, giving rise to substantial claims for care, accommodation and prosthetics.
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, industrial disease (particularly mesothelioma) and the mismanagement of cancer.
In recent years, Henry has acted for a significant number of families where young children are left without a parent.
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.
In recent years, Henry acted for a claimant who negotiated c. 1.2M in relation to a hip injury and recently concluded at a round table meeting a settlement of c. 1.3M for a claimant with nasty bilateral lower limb injuries.
Psychiatric
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;
- ’Nervous shock’ cases in which claimants have witnessed the death or severe injury of loved-ones; and,
- Somatic pain disorders.
Recommendations
“A dream when dealing with clients and a great technician and advocate.”
Chambers UK 2022 - Personal Injury
“Henry is dependable, conscientious, a dream with the clients, and a tough negotiator. He goes the extra mile.”
Legal 500 - Personal Injury (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 - Personal Injury (London)
“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
“Commercial, tactically superior and always one step ahead of the game.” “He comes across very well to the court and is very good in negotiations with the other side as well. He’s a very good advocate.”
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 and Partners 2018
“A very personable lawyer, who goes the extra mile for clients.”
Legal 500 2017
“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
Notable Cases
Polmear v Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 196 (QB)
Decision of Master Cook on the test of proximity for secondary victims in clinical negligence claims; permission to appeal has been granted and the appeal transferred directly to the Court of Appeal.
Memberships
Personal Injuries Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association
AvMA
Qualifications
BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Worcester College, Oxford University

Latest News & Publications

The former Chief Coroner, and Recorder of London, HHJ Lucraft QC has released a ‘Prevention of Future Deaths’ report following the inquest into deaths during terror attacks at the Fishmongers’ Hall in 2019...

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2021
Henry Pitchers QC, Philip Rule and Ramya Nagesh, instructed by Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors, have presented to the Coroner the family of Saskia Jones’s submissions aimed at exposing the dangers for the future from the failings seen in this case....

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2021
The jury has delivered its conclusions following the 7-week inquest investigating the death of Saskia Jones, and Jack Merritt, who were killed by a terrorist attacker in November 2019 when attending an event at the Fishmongers’ Hall at London Bridge. The jury have recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, and concluded that failings by a number of agencies probably contributed to the deaths of Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt....

Date: Fri, 28 May 2021