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Alexander Macpherson

Call 2000

"He is a skilful and thorough cross-examiner. A phenomenally talented individual."
(Chambers & Partners, 2021)

Industrial Disease

Alex is recommended by both Chambers & Partners (Band 1) and The Legal 500 (Tier 1) as a leading junior for industrial disease.

Alex’s practice encompasses the full range of conditions caused by work. He has a busy workload including advising in conference, attending settlement meetings and trial work. He enjoys the technical issues which disease cases frequently involve, both as to liability and causation of injury, and he frequently litigates cases involving contentious expert evidence.

He has experience of the strategic issues arising from litigating group actions and test cases.

Alex has a particular interest in claims involving asbestos-related disease and regularly appears against silks defending such claims at JSMs or in the High Court. He has extensive experience of the High Court show cause procedure and taking evidence on commission.

Alex’s disease practice also includes:

  • Occupational stress and vicarious trauma
  • Spread of infectious diseases at work
  • Work-related upper limb disorders
  • COSHH & poisoning claims
  • Dermatitis
  • Occupational asthma
  • Cumulative back injuries
  • Toxic mould claims
  • HAVS & vibration-related CTS
  • Noise-induced hearing loss and ‘acoustic shock’ claims

Selected Cases

  • Alex is currently instructed on the defence of a number of claims for occupational stress involving secondary school teachers.
  • Alex is also currently instructed to defend a ground-breaking claim arising out of the Grenfell Tower tragedy involving vicarious trauma.
  • Goldscheider v Royal Opera House [2019] EWCA Civ 711 – Alex was instructed by the Royal Opera House (led by David Platt QC) in a ground-breaking claim brought by a viola player alleging acoustic shock caused during a Wagner rehearsal. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2019. The Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s finding that hearing protection was mandatory at all times in the orchestra pit.
  • Smallwood v Shenton (HHJ Rawlings, Stoke on Trent CC, October 2018) – Alex successfully defended a claim for asbestos-related lung cancer involving highly complex issues of diagnosis and medical causation.
  • Hawkes v Warmex [2018] EWHC 205 (QB) – Alex successfully defended a historic mesothelioma claim at trial against leading counsel. Involved detailed analysis of the statutory and regulatory duties on an employer
  • SB v V (QBD, 2017) – Alex represented the Defendant in a high value mesothelioma claim against leading counsel. Complex quantum issues arose as to the lost opportunity to advise the government as to Brexit-related issues.
  • Ellis v Haworth Castings (Southampton CC, 2014) – Alex successfully defended a claim for an upper limb disorder involving repetitive movements. Case dismissed, with the judge commenting in his judgment on Alex as follows: “if he will allow me to say so I have found his submissions illuminating and refreshing”.
  • Gray v Dolling (QBD, 2012) – Alex was instructed (led by David Platt QC) on a £5.5m claim for asbestos-related mesothelioma by owner of a construction company. Settled following service of skeletons on the day before the High Court trial.
  • Price v Isotemp (HHJ Curran QC, Cardiff County Court, 2011) – Alex successfully defended a claim for NIHL at a three-day trial on medical causation. Case involved complex audiological evidence and the interpretation of the Coles-Lutman-Buffin Guidelines.
  • Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills v Stuntbrand (2010 – 2011) – Alex was instructed (led by Simon Rainey QC) in relation to the asbestos liabilities of the National Dock Labour Board. The litigation involved interesting insurance and contribution issues and was settled shortly before trial in autumn 2011.
  • Horsley v Cascade [2009] EWHC 2845 (LTL 18/11/09) – Alex appeared against leading counsel in the High Court successfully defending a substantial ‘lost years’ claim in an asbestosis claim.
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“He is a skilful and thorough cross-examiner.”; “A phenomenally talented individual.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Able to navigate through difficult issues in an effective and pragmatic way.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He’s really good – the quality of his drafting is excellent.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“He’s a very, very good advocate.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“He has an impressively deep understanding of areas stretching beyond asbestos diseases, offering enviable expertise in cases involving noise-induced hearing loss and hand-arm vibration syndrome.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“He excels in cases involving challenging quantum issues and contested expert evidence.“

Legal 500, 2020

“His practice encompasses the full range of conditions caused by work.”

Legal 500, 2018

“His advice is very thorough and practical.”

Legal 500, 2017

“Particularly experienced in defending fraudulent PI claims.”

Legal 500, 2017

“He provides very good response times, and is clear and to-the-point.”

Legal 500, 2017

“He is thorough, calm, professional and has a great attention to detail. He’s a very good courtroom advocate.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“He has a detailed, yet pragmatic approach.”

Legal 500, 2016

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