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Alexander Antelme QC

Call 1993 • QC 2014

"A superb advocate...calm,unflappable, terribly charismatic"
(Chambers UK 2019)

Product Liability

Alex is listed as a first-tier silk in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. He is listed in the International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence lawyers.

Alex led the successful defence in the DePuy Pinnacle Group Litigation (Gee v DePuy International Limited) with a team of five counsel from Crown Office Chambers. This was most comprehensive and detailed analysis of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in the last decade and was reported to be the largest contested product liability action in the UK.

Alex’s current clients include major pharmaceutical and medical product companies, including Glaxo and Johnson & Johnson. He acts for insurers or medical bodies, including the NHS, in cases where issues of product liability arise. The nature of his cases inevitably includes international issues and Alex enjoys working in close partnership with attorneys in Europe and in the USA.

Example of products in current and recent cases include metal-on-metal prosthetic hips, PEEK prosthetic shoulders, surgical mesh, radiological dyes, domestic appliances, motor products and various industrial machines. Cases involve product recalls, property damage, catastrophic personal injuries and death, and significant loss of profit / business interruption.

Selected Cases

  • The Metal-on-Metal hip litigation (2018) – Alex leads the counsel team for DePuy International Limited and other manufacturers in the ongoing Metal-on-Metal Litigation. DePuy succeeded at first instance on a trial of a preliminary issue relating to ‘defect’ under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The Claimants did not seek permission to appeal. Alex remains involved in ongoing cases related to these prostheses. These cases also gave rise to two rulings regarding applicable law.
  • Lewin v Glaxo (2018) – Alex acts for Glaxo in relation to a radiological contrast medium, Myodil, which the Claimant alleges caused significant injuries decades after its use. Alex leads a team from Crown Office Chambers.
  • The Thalidomide Litigation (2017) – Alex acted, in a team of counsel, for victims of the drug thalidomide in recent claims against the manufacturers and distributors. The claims were compromised.
  • Howmet Limited v Economy Devices Limited & Others (2016) – A catastrophic fire destroyed factory premises. Alex acted for the manufacturer of a liquid level-sensing device in successfully defeating the claim at trial and then in the Court of Appeal.
  • Argos Limited v Leather Trade House Limited (2012) – Alex acted for the Defendant in this action in which the Claimant sought an indemnity in respect of payments made in the toxic sofa litigation. The Defendant had provided advice in respect of the toxicity of the chemicals involved in treating the leather sofas. The Claimant was successful at trial.
  • The Haemophiliac/Blood Litigation – Alex acted for a US Pharmaceutical company in respect of the second generation haemophiliac / infected blood litigation.
  • The Northwick Park Hospital / Paraxel Clinical Trials – Alex acted for five of the Claimants in respect of severe injuries arising from a drug trial. The catastrophic outcome of the trial was widely publicised.
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“He’s really a superb advocate; he’s calm, unflappable and terribly charismatic…great intellect…charming, civilised and fair…first-rate operator”

Chambers and Partners 2019

“A great advocate who knows his stuff…first-class advocate, one of the leading silks in the product liability field”

Legal 500 2019

“A barrister of great intellect who has a large caseload of complex high-value matters…very experienced, approachable and good with clients…provides clear, realistic advice…meticulous preparation…a formidable advocate…very robust…excellent technical skills…dominant force at the negotiating table”

Chambers and Partners 2018

“A passionate advocate who communicates persuasively”

Legal 500 2018

Alex was nominated for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence ‘Silk of the Year’

Legal 500 2017

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