Inquests Team

Alison Brooks
Alison Brooks lawyer at Barratts Solicitors

Alison is a Law Society and AvMA Clinical Negligence Panel member. One of the 1st solicitors handling medical claims and recognised as a leader in this area.

I am privileged to have acted for clients as their clinical negligence solicitor for over 30 years.  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.  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 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 Trustee of School for Parents, a Nottingham charity helping children with neurological conditions and Downs Syndrome. I was Secretary of Headway Northwest London and the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum 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
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. This independent legal guide relies on the recommendations of clients and professionals; in 2017 I was “admired for my extensive experience” and “amazing skills in client care. ”

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
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.

Accreditations

apil accredited senior litigator apil accredited clinical negligence specialist Law society clinical-negligence accredited
David Tomlinson
David Tomlinson lawyer, Barratts Solicitors

David is one of the founding partners of Barratt Goff & Tomlinson.

I am one of the founding partners of Barratts Solicitors.

I have been handling personal injury claims for over 30 years, particularly those claims involving very serious injuries including spinal cord injury, brain injury and amputations.  I am a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

I am recognised by the Chambers guide to the legal profession and the Legal 500 as being a leading individual in personal injury work.   I am the former Secretary of the Spinal Cord Injury Special Interest Group of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

In addition to obtaining well over £50 million compensation for my clients I have also taken a very active part in the rehabilitation process and by working closely with case managers, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, architects etc I have helped maximise my clients prospects for recovery and helped to improve the quality of their lives and environment following their serious injuries.   In the early stages following an accident taking active steps to help with rehabilitation, discharge from hospital and specialist medical treatment is far more important than the pure compensation (although there is no getting away from the fact that maximising the amount of compensation obtainable is going to make a significant difference to long-term quality of life for my clients).

I am very fortunate to be assisted by my colleague, Lee Wraight, who has worked with me for over 20 years.

I live in Rutland with my wife and three children.

Accreditations

Legal 500 Leading individual APIL fellow
Ed Myers
Ed Myers lawyer at Barratts Solicitors

Ed has spent almost 30 years fighting for the rights of injured people.

I have over 30 years experience as a specialist in personal injury claims for people who have been severely injured.  Their injuries include brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fatal accidents and industrial diseases.  I am regularly involved in cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Coroners Inquests, and Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunals.

I have represented many individuals injured in high profile incidents such as the Marchioness Disaster, the Soho Pub Bombings, and the London Transport attacks.  My work has involved helping people who have been in accidents throughout the world. These claims are called “cross-border” claims and this makes them more complex. I find this particularly interesting and I have become expert in helping people who have been injured abroad.

I am a fellow of the College of Personal Injury Law, and I am one of a very few individuals nationwide who hold both brain injury and spinal cord injury specialists status with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.  For a number of years I was Deputy Editor of the Journal of Personal Injury Litigation.  I have been recommended regularly in the two main guides to the legal profession. The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners Guide, rate me and the firm, praising my “strong focus on clients, with genuine compassion and commitment, as well as legal expertise”. I also appear in the Directory of Legal Experts and the Good Lawyer .

I really enjoy the challenge of complex claims. I get great satisfaction in obtaining a level of compensation for my clients which helps them to rebuild their lives.  I usually work is part of a team, with case managers, psychologists, occupational therapists and other medical professionals. When we work together as a team we make sure our clients’ interests come first.

I am Chair of the Trustees of my local Headway group (Headway Nottingham) which means I see the impact of head injury from a different perspective to my legal work. Supporting a local charity and using my expertise in head injury claims for the charity is extremely rewarding. For the last 20 years I have sat as a part time Tribunal Judge.

0115 931 5190

Accreditations

Legal 500 Leading individual APIL fellow apil accredited brain injury specialist apil accredited spinal cord injury specialist
Debra Morris
Debra Morris lawyer, Barratts Solicitors

Debra has over 25 years experience in the field of Personal Injury specialising in claims involving head injuries.

“Debra has over 25 years experience in the field of personal injury, specialising in vestibular (your balance system) and head injury claims, particularly those of a subtle nature.”

I have worked in personal injury litigation for over 25 years now.  I am a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and accredited by the Law Society under their Personal Injury Scheme.  I am also Chair of Headway Derby (affiliated to Headway, the brain injury association) a local charity supporting people and their families after a brain injury. I manage our Derby office and have also written our website advice on subtle brain injury.

I deal with all types of injury including those of a serious and complex nature.  I specialise in cases involving head injuries of a subtle nature, or with vestibular damage, that are so often missed by lawyers and the medical profession.  These cases require a great deal of attention to detail and often the insurers will allege that a claimant is exaggerating their symptoms or even making them up.  Specialist medical experts need to be used as part of a team to put together a strong legal case in these claims and I have worked with many such experts who feel as passionately as I do about helping people in this situation, following an accident or injury, and not always being believed.

I have developed close ties with medical practitioners both on the NHS and privately as I believe early rehabilitation is so important – without recognition and treatment of these symptoms they can worsen over time.  Interim payments are usually required to pay for rehabilitation so this is something I address at any early stage.

I am passionate about client care and recognise that an accident can have devastating effects upon not only the injured person, but their family as well.

The majority of my cases come to me via recommendation, often by medicals professionals, and my clients have referred to me as approachable, knowledgeable and professional.  I think those qualities are important in a serious injury lawyer dealing with people who have had their lives turned upside down after an accident or injury.

I am always happy to take time to speak to someone or help someone where I can – either in my role as a lawyer or through my work with Headway Derby.  Please feel free to contact me for advice.

Accreditations

apil accredited senior litigator Law society personal injury 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.