Alison Brooks
Alison Brooks lawyer at Barratts Solicitors

Alison is a Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel member and Honorary AvMA Panel Member. With over 30 years experience handling medical claims, she is a recognised leader in her field.

I am privileged to have acted for clients as their clinical negligence solicitor for over 30 years and am proud to be one of the 1st solicitors who specialised in medical claims.  My expertise was recognised by the charity, Action Against Medical Accidents (“AvMA”) in December 2016.  I was proud to be awarded honorary membership of their specialist clinical negligence panel.  The award was given for my “work on behalf of injured patients and their families” and “longstanding contribution in the fields of clinical negligence and patient safety”.

Chambers and Legal 500, independent legal guides, regard me as a notable practitioner.  The latest edition notes that I have vast experience in a range of clinical negligence cases and I attract particular praise for my “personal approach.” I have “noteworthy expertise in cerebral palsy matters.” Previous quotes include “excellent client care skills” and “high standards”.  Sources also described me as a “hardworking and tenacious advocate” who is celebrated for her “good judgment and thorough approach to a case”.

I am also recommended by Legal 500 which describes the firm as “one of the best in the country”.

I was one of the first members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel.  I was one of the first to agree guaranteed annual payments by the NHS to a client with cerebral palsy.  My work has given me a unique insight into the lives of families living with disability and loss as a result of negligent medical care.  I am always amazed at their strength and determination to find answers.  My involvement at Inquests is another opportunity to highlight failings in patient safety and seek improvements.

Compensation sadly is not able to change clients’ disabilities or loss but my work can help prevent accidents happening to other patients.  I juggle the skills of a lawyer, social worker, counsellor and negotiator with a lay person’s forensic analysis of medical records.  Most importantly I am a listening ear for my clients who put their trust and faith in me. I cannot think of any other area of the law that is so rewarding.

Last but not least, for many years I have been involved with pro bono work for charities in London and Nottingham.  Most recently, I was invited to become Chair of Trustees of School for Parents, a Nottingham charity helping children with neurological conditions and Downs Syndrome. I am past Secretary of Headway Northwest London and the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) and was Governor of a Scope school. I have been interviewed by the media and spoken at conferences both in the UK and Australia.

The challenge of securing compensation for clinical negligence clients means that every day is different. I am fortunate to also be a partner in a firm which prides itself on being run as a family style business, only employing a small specialist team of experienced senior lawyers.  I could not ask for a better team of lawyers and assistants who help to ensure that I achieve the very best for my clients.

Accreditations

Legal 500 Leading individual APIL fellow aVma specialist clinical negligence panel member Law society clinical-negligence accredited
Emma Zukowska
Emma Zukowska lawyer at Barratts solicitors

Emma specialises in Clinical Negligence claims. She is a Member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and is recognised by Apil as a Specialist Clinical Negligence Practitioner.

I joined Barratts Solicitors in 2001 and qualified as a solicitor in 2005; I became a Partner in 2013. I chose to specialise in Clinical Negligence which I find both challenging and rewarding. I am recognised in the Chambers Legal Directory for my expertise in Clinical Negligence and I am accredited by APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as a Specialist Clinical Negligence Practitioner.

I represent Claimants who have suffered severe injuries and relatives who have lost a loved one as a result of negligent medical treatment. My work also involves helping those who have suffered an injury at birth for example a brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy, erb’s palsy (shoulder injury) or hip dysplasia.

I help clients who have suffered severe spinal injury due to a delay in diagnosis of spinal infection or cauda equina. I also represent families who have lost a loved one due to negligence. My experience covers all aspects of medical care and I have succeeded at trial in claims against the NHS and GPs, including 2 successful trials in 2016.

Clients often come to me, not because they want compensation but because they want answers and most importantly an apology. It is all too often the case that clients have pursued the complaints process only to find they still have not been given an open and honest explanation. They want to understand what has happened, either to them or a loved one. They feel that they have no other way of getting the answers they need without pursuing litigation I am very mindful of the fact that clients often feel ‘let down’ at the point that they come to me and need expert advice they can trust.

Suffering an injury due to negligent treatment can be devastating and life changing, not only for the person who has suffered the injury but also for their families. I aim to provide clients with the best service and to reduce the burden and stress of pursuing a claim wherever possible. I am there not only to advise but also to support them.

Sadly, many Claimants instruct me following the loss of a loved one. In these circumstances an Inquest may be required and clients often instruct me to assist them with the Inquest process as well as to pursue a compensation claim.

Some Claimants are unable to manage their own affairs as a result of the injuries sustained (usually because of brain injury). In those circumstances the Court of Protection require a Deputy to be appointed to represent those vulnerable client.. I have been appointed as Deputy for clients in these circumstances.

It is important to me that my clients feel they are fully supported and can trust me to do the best I can when acting on their behalf. This is possible because our specialist firm only employs lawyers with experience who have time to listen to their clients. Although no amount of compensation can repair the loss or injury it can help to provide a better quality of life for clients and security for their future. I am often amazed and humbled by the determination and drive of my clients to continue to live their lives as independently as possible, even in the toughest of situations.

I am recommended in Chambers, a legal guide which only names the top UK firms. This says Emma “has good feedback and an impressive caseload, which includes fatalities.” Sources observe that I have “both a clear idea of where she is going in the cases and a very good grasp of the detail.”  I have a broad practice as well as recent court experience. I am also recommended by Legal 500, another independent legal guide. My latest case has achieved a settlement in excess of £12 million.

Accreditations

apil accredited senior litigator apil accredited clinical negligence specialist Law society clinical-negligence accredited
Julie Hardy
Julie Hardy lawyer at Barratts Solicitors

Julie specialises in clinical negligence claims and is a member of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

I have dealt with clinical negligence cases on behalf of Claimants since qualifying as a solicitor in 1995. Prior to joining Barratts Solicitors I worked for over 20 years at Freeth Cartwright Solicitors where I headed the Nottingham Clinical Negligence Team. I was delighted to join Barratts in April 2014. I have long admired the ethos of Barratts and the commitment shown to clinical negligence and personal injury work.

I enjoy working for a niche firm where everyone devotes their time working to obtain settlements for people who have been injured. I work closely with Julie Greenwood in our Court of Protection department which means I also get to see the long term benefits of having compensation to buy housing, care and therapy for clients.

I specialise in claims concerning brain injuries suffered by babies at birth. I also deal with many claims concerning surgical errors. I enjoy the interesting and challenging work that I do and the opportunity to help people rebuild their lives after what are often devastating injuries. My work has also included supporting families at Inquests.

Litigation is stressful so I am delighted that clients tell me that I helped them by giving “absolutely perfect” advice. This meant they could “take the right decision at the right time, without the expected stress and trauma of going to court.” Other clients say that I do “an absolutely fantastic job” and “we’ve loved having your support through this”. Making this type of difference is so important to me.

I am a Member of the Law Society’s Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel, a Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (“APIL”) and  am a specialist solicitor on the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Clinical Negligence panel. I am accredited as a clinical negligence expert by APIL.

I am recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Chambers & Partners, with an “excellent reputation” and “long track record in the clinical negligence arena”. This independent legal guide relies on the recommendations of clients and professionals; in 2017 I was  commended for my “amazing empathy”, as well as a “very good grasp of cases”, achieving “very good results”.  Chambers  places me in Band 1 as a leading individual and has previously noted “my extensive experience” and “amazing skills in client care”.

I am also recognised by Legal 500, another legal guide which only recommends the top UK firms. This described Julie Hardy as  ‘intelligent, tactically astute and hardworking’ and praised me as a ‘model solicitor’,

I am supported by my assistant Angela, who has worked for Barratts for over 25 years,  so she has a real depth of experience to support and assist my clients.

Accreditations

Legal 500 Leading individual apil accredited senior litigator apil accredited clinical negligence specialist Law society clinical-negligence accredited
Chris Kowalewski
Chris

Chris is an experienced solicitor specialising in clinical negligence claims

I am delighted to have joined Barratts in 2017, having spent the previous 9 years working within the clinical negligence team at Freeths in Nottingham. I chose Barratts because of their longstanding reputation for quality litigation work in a small, niche firm.

I have dealt with clinical negligence cases on behalf of Claimants since 2008. My cases have involved both individual and group-action claims against private and public sector Defendants. Some of my clients suffered injuries at birth, others were injured during general, orthopaedic or cosmetic surgery; as well as surgical mistakes, I have acted for clients whose cancer care was negligent. My experience also includes claims against general practitioners (GP’s)

One aspect of clinical negligence which I have found both interesting and rewarding is attending inquests. This can be for clients who might not have a large compensation claim but need help to get answers to their questions after a family member has died. Inquest hearings can also provide useful information for a potential negligence claim.

Whatever trauma has been suffered as a result of clinical negligence, I take great pride in assisting and guiding clients through the legal process. I make sure they have the confidence to make decisions and to ensure they feel well-supported. Each case brings its own challenges and each client can seek different resolutions.

At Barratts we often see clients in their most distraught and vulnerable state. I believe I have an important part to play in listening to clients, ensuring that their needs are met and their questions answered with sound, honest and easy-to-understand advice. It is vital to know from the start what clients want and to give the right information about their legal options.

I have received great feedback from clients; I am proud to have helped them during some of their most difficult times. I take an active role, working with clients to secure rehabilitation so they can achieve their best possible recovery.