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Catherine Foster

Call 1986

Catherine Foster

Catherine Foster’s specialist areas of practice are personal injury (with a particular interest in disease, occupational stress and catastrophic injury litigation), clinical negligence, professional negligence and sexual abuse litigation.

Clinical Negligence

Catherine is instructed on a range of matters, including catastrophic brain injuries caused at birth; the negligent provision of fertility treatment; failure to diagnose cancer and the negligent execution of cosmetic and gastric surgery.

Selected Cases

  • Philips v Haxton [2014] EWCA Civ 4 – Addressing a novel claim for damages for the loss of a cause of action arising in the context of mesothelioma claims.

Personal Injury

Catastrophic Injuries

Has considerable experience of catastrophic spinal and brain injury litigation encompassing severe cognitive conditions and amputations arising in the context of road traffic accidents and employers’ liability claims; and in the analysis of high value complex claims and is regularly instructed to attend round table settlement meetings in this context.

Occupational / Environmental Diseases

Engages in all forms of occupational and environmental disease litigation, in particular claims involving asbestos related conditions, asthma, pneumoconiosis, cancers (including bladder cancer), carbon monoxide exposure, back injuries, beat knee, upper limb disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), chemical exposure (COSHH claims), noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), dermatitis, silicosis, deep vein thrombosis, Legionnaire’s disease, food poisoning, norovirus and radiation exposure. Has been involved in emerging areas of disease litigation over the past 20 years and is regularly instructed to advise on generic issues such as diagnosis, causation, aetiology and apportionment.

Occupational Stress

Attends Court on a regular basis to pursue / defend claims for occupational stress and harassment and has 3 reported Court of Appeal authorities in this area.

Sexual Abuse Litigation

Has been instructed in claims involving the Catholic Church, other religious organisations, the Scout Movement, various schools and on behalf of Local Authorities and foreign Governments over a wide range of issues including complex vicarious liability situations, allegations of failure to intervene to prevent abuse by parents / foster carers / employees, failure to prevent damage (rape and criminal damage) caused by abused perpetrators and duty of care issues. Is experienced in the forensic analysis of documentation spanning long periods of time and also in the quantification of damages both in the context of civil claims and applications to the CICA. Is regularly instructed to advise pre litigation and to advise upon and participate in the resolution of child abuse claims by ADR. Has been instructed since 2010 by the States of Jersey in respect of child abuse issues and advised upon and participated in the drafting of a compensation scheme to compensate the victims of the ‘Haute de la Garenne’ care home abuse case.

Litigation arising from allegations of failure to protect: is regularly instructed by Local Authorities and Health Trusts to advise where damage has been caused by the alleged failure to identify and protect an employee / child / service user / patient from injury caused by mentally ill and/or dangerous perpetrators: litigated cases include a hospital employee raping a patient; psychiatric patients committing assaults and sexual crimes; a ‘looked after’ child raping a random stranger. Is regularly instructed to attend Coroners’ Inquests involving mental health issues where the deceased have been subject to supervision by Social Services and/or Health Trusts and have committed suicide or have died due to medication overdoses or in other untoward circumstances.

Selected Cases

  • Nicholls v Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited [2013] – EWCA addressing issues of breach of duty and causation in a claim for psychiatric injury following a robbery.
  • AB & Others v Ministry of Defence [2012] UKSC 9 & ECHR application no. 61332/12 & [2010] EWCA Civ 1317 – Test cases on limitation issues in which the Court considered the correct approach to ‘knowledge’ for the purpose of section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980 and the exercise of discretion under section 33: 1011 Claimants alleging adverse consequences to health resulting from exposure to ionising radiation from nuclear tests carried out by the British Government.
  • Peakstone Ltd v Joddrell [2012] EWCA Civ 1035 – On the interpretation of section 1032(1) of the Companies Act 2006 in the context of issuing claims for personal injury.

Professional Liability

Catherine has been instructed since 2011 in the ‘BCC HAVS Professional Negligence Litigation’, representing a number of firms of Solicitors who are being sued for professional negligence arising from their handling of the BCC HAVS compensation scheme.

He has extensive experience of group actions and multi-party litigation.

Selected Cases

  • Barnaby v Raleys Solicitors [2014] EWCA Civ 686 – Solicitors’ negligence ‘VWF Professional Negligence Litigation’.
  • AB & Others v Ministry of Defence [2012] UKSC 9 & ECHR application no. 61332/12 & [2010] EWCA Civ 1317 – Test cases on limitation issues in which the Court considered the correct approach to ‘knowledge’ for the purpose of section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980 and the exercise of discretion under section 33: 1011 Claimants alleging adverse consequences to health resulting from exposure to ionising radiation from nuclear tests carried out by the British Government.
  • Peakstone Ltd v Joddrell [2012] EWCA Civ 1035 – On the interpretation of section 1032(1) of the Companies Act 2006 in the context of issuing claims for personal injury.
  • Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd [2011] UKSC 17; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1003; [2011] 4 All E.R. 223) & [2009] EWCA Civ 499 – Represented Courtaulds PLC in this test case litigation; the SC found that employers were not liable at common law or under the Factories Act 1961 for noise induced hearing loss sustained by employees before the coming into force of the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.

Recommendations


“An erudite advocate who cross-examines with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Very good on cases where there are credibility issues.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“A mature and sophisticated performer who has an incredibly high success rate on difficult cases.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“Particularly impressive.”

Legal 500 2017

Nominated ‘Personal Injury Junior of the Year’

(Chambers & Partners 2012 and 2013)

She has an established reputation across both disease and accident litigation and is “a reliably strong and insistent advocate” and “experienced in disease and occupational stress cases.” and “an excellent trial advocate with great expertise in disease cases”

"Leader at the Bar" in Personal Injury: Industrial Disease (Chambers & Partners 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016)

“a tough advocate and a tough opponent”, “a very direct and incisive operator, who is very strong at negotiating and good on her feet. When it needs to be a bit of a fight she’s someone you welcome in your corner”, “tough, thorough and skilled cross-examiner”, “a fearsome opponent who knows how to stealthily deliver the killer punch” and as “one of the finest senior juniors in the country.”

"Leader at the Bar" in Personal Injury (Chambers & Partners 2013, 2014 and 2015)

“her advocacy is first-rate and she is one of the best cross-examiners” and “a consummate performer in court’. Solicitors have “no hesitation” in using Catherine Foster “in cases which might otherwise be taken by silks.”

"Leading Junior" in Personal Injury (Legal 500 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012)


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