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Harry Lambert

Call 2008

"Respected junior who “knows the area inside-out"...Extremely dedicated and hard-working. His astute intellect allows him to handle difficult cases and tricky legal issues with aplomb.”
(Chambers and Partners, 2017)

Harry Lambert practices in the areas of product liability, clinical negligence, personal injury and property damage. He is recognised as a leading junior in the directories and in recent years has been involved in some of the most high profile and heavyweight litigation in the field.

His aim, in short, is to combine excellence with approachability; intellectual rigour with a down-to-earth attitude and common sense.

He provides advice with meticulous detail (“a very detailed and focused counsel, who never misses a trick” Legal 500) but if matters go to trial “Harry fights his corner hard” (Chambers & Partners).

Product Liability

Harry is one of the leading Product Liability juniors at the Bar. He is ranked in Band 2 in Legal 500 (there is only one barrister in Band 1) where he is described as “a thorough, hardworking barrister” with a “superb intellect, [who] outshines his contemporaries.” He is the author of the chapter on product liability and multi-party actions in 18th edition of Bullen & Leake and was asked by the Bar Council to write its paper on Brexit and the Consumer Protection Act.

In Chambers and Partners, he is said to “fight his corner hard” and that “he is at his best when handling cases with complex and novel legal issues.”

Harry has been instructed in most of the big product liability cases of recent years including: Metal on Metal Hips, Thalidomide and the ongoing Seroxat litigation in which Harry conducted a hearing against two QCs (Charles Gibson QC and Malcolm Sheehan QC) and a junior more senior than him. It was listed as one of the Lawyer Magazine “Top 20 cases of 2019”.

He has a particular interest in claims involving drugs and medical devices. Examples of the former include advising in respect of olmesartan medoxomil as well as a vitamin supplement containing 568 times the safe level of Vitamin D. Examples of the latter include a claim concerning allegedly defective surgical cutting guides and a bathroom hoist which broke [rendering a paraplegic user tetraplegic].

He also acts in cases concerning white goods and was involved in the Shepherd’s Bush Fire litigation against Whirlpool as well as a high profile inquest against the same company arising out of two deaths in 2014. Both these cases were cited in the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee published a report entitled The Safety of Electrical Goods in the UK.

Selected Cases

As well as those cases mentioned above:

  • D: Harry acts for the Defendant manufacturer in a case involving allegations of a defectively produced takeaway coffee cup which led to burns and psychiatric injury.
  • C: A fascinating case in which Harry acts for a professional footballer whose dietary supplement was contaminated, leading him to be banned from professional football.
  • B v Apple Inc: A subrogated claim on behalf of an insurer against Apple Incorporated, in relation to an i-pad allegedly causing a house fire.
  • T: Harry acted for one of the Defendants in this multi-party action for contractual damages/indemnity arising out of the inadvertent destruction of industrial moulds due to negligence somewhere along the contractual chain.
  • I: Subrogated claim for contractual indemnity after the re-sale of contaminated silage led to multiple cattle deaths upon third party farms.

Personal Injury (including human trafficking and human rights)

Harry is recognised in the directories as a leading practitioner, with the Legal 500 describing him in the following terms:

‘His depth of PI knowledge is exceptional and he is especially helpful on quantum.’

He is on the Consulting Editorial Board of LexisNexis for Personal Injury and a chapter contributor to APIL’s personal injury law, practice and precedents.

Harry acts for both Claimants and Defendants across in cases of the utmost value and across all areas of personal injury including workplace accidents, public liability and RTAs.

Harry is also one of the leading juniors at the Bar when it comes to the crossover between personal injury and human rights and human trafficking. Arguably the two leading cases on trafficking, Galdikas [2016] EWHC 1376 (QB) and Antuzis [2019] EWHC 843 (QB), are both “his” cases; and Harry was also a part of a group of specialist trafficking lawyers which convened and provided written advice to the Lords on the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill (now Modern Slavery Act 2015).

In the field of human rights, Harry was instructed in the case of Kamoka v Security Services (see e.g. [2019] EWHC 290 (QB)). The case concerned Libyans seeking damages for their detention between pending deportation to Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya under the deportation with assurances programme (DWA) and on the basis of documents showing the UK security services were at the time involved in unlawful rendition. Harry was the sole personal injury practitioner for the Claimants in circumstances where the other side had instructed a number of counsel including a QC. He carried out a similar role, being brought in as the personal injury expert in a human rights context, in the case of alleged rendition/torture case of Ali v MOD & FCO (see e.g. [2019] EWHC 3172 (QB)). He also appeared for the Defendant, News Group Newspapers, in a team of counsel in the matter of Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers Ltd EWHC 2692 (Ch) an authority in this context dealing with the interplay between admissions and disclosure, as well as aggravated damages. Mutua v FCO (the “Mau Mau” litigation”) and Guerrero v Montericco & Another (the “Peruvian Miners” litigation) are two further cases in which he was instructed. Many of these cases also have an international element, with which Harry is familiar. In 2011 Harry successfully took a case on the interplay between personal injury and state immunity to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Nigeria v Ogbonna [2012] 1 W.L.R. 139).

Harry has an interest in historic sex abuse cases. By way of example H v F was a contested liability trial in which Harry succeeded in both limitation and liability, achieving significant damages, whilst he acted through the Western Circuit Free Representation Unit for a Claimant bringing a secondary victim claim arising out of the abuse of her daughter, in which the central issue was the legal definition of the ‘immediate aftermath’. In 2013 he published The undesired desirable solution, an article in PILJ which examined the powers and duties of civil courts faced with an unrepresented sexual abuser who wishes to cross examine his or her victim in person.

Selected Cases

  • Catastrophic PI Example: B was a multi-million pound brain injury claim after the claimant was catastrophically injured in an RTA. The claimant was aged just 22 at the time of the accident and sustained a severe head injury with associated traumatic brain injury. Harry was led by Head of Chambers, Richard Lynagh QC.
  • Employer’s Liability Example: Harry represented industry giant Tata steel. He co-defended alongside more experienced counsel and yet took the lead in conducting the cross examination and closing speech. Harry’s client was successful on all issues following a 2 day trial.
  • Trafficking Example: As well as the reported cases listed above, Harry has recently been instructed in a further high profile trafficking matter concerning forced labour and modern day slavery.

Clinical Negligence

Harry acts for Claimants, the NHSR and the defence unions. He has a heavyweight clinical negligence practice encompassing claims in, inter alia, the fields of neurosurgery, paediatrics, obstetrics, orthopaedics and cardiology.

He prides himself on a sophisticated understanding of paediatric issues and has done a number of such cases. For example, he was junior counsel in Glassenbury v Short, a highly complex case of perinatal hypoxia materially contributing to postnatal periventricular leucomalacia (led by Robin Oppenheim QC). Similarly K was a multi-million pound cerebral palsy claim involving complex issues over care/accommodation (led by Robin Oppenheim QC).

He is frequently instructed in high value and complex clinical negligence litigation such as those listed below:

Selected Cases

  • F: Conducting a 4 day trial in an oncological case against a leading QC. The trial judge remarked that the parties were represented by “one silk, and one potential silk”.
  • M: Acted for the Claimant in this amputation case (with quantification involving 7 expert disciplines) which settled minutes before Harry’s opening speech when the Defendant accepted his Part 36 offer. Harry had conduct throughout, had attended two RTMs, and rejected two high offers before the Defendant eventually “blinked first”.
  • L: This case concerns the failure of a state-of-the-art “custom” knee replacement. Harry acts for one of the foremost knee surgeons in custom knee implants in the country. It is a good example of the interaction between his product liability practice and clinical negligence practice. After drafting a robust and technical 35 page defence, all allegations relating to surgical technique were promptly withdrawn.
  • R: Acting for the NHS without a leader, Harry settled this highly complex paediatric claim with a full pleaded value of circa £5M.

Property Damage

Harry’s current caseload features a number of property damage cases including those involving inter alia fires and floods in both the residential and commercial setting. With his background and reputation in product liability, Harry brings particular expertise in matters brought or defended under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This also makes him particularly adept at dealing with complex causation cases such as those involving concurrent, competing or cumulative causes.

Selected Cases

  • M: A high profile inquest, which has attracted national media attention, in which a residential flat was destroyed in a fire allegedly started by a faulty electronic device.
  • X: A flood caused by a faulty pressure-reducing valve. This case involved complex questions of causation and issues under the Companies Act 2006.
  • Y: A restaurant destroyed by in a fire caused by tortiously accumulated grease deposits. This case raised issues concerning the proper scope of the Berni’s Inns principle.
  • L: A fire in a block of flats allegedly caused by a defective DVD player.

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Harry has considerable experience of the coronial jurisdiction and has acted in inquests up and down the country in inter alia paediatric, psychiatric, gastrointestinal and radiological cases.

Examples of his inquest work include:

  • Appearing on behalf of two intensive care nurses whose care had been called into question.
  • A high profile inquest, which has attracted national media attention, in which a residential flat was destroyed in a fire allegedly started by a faulty electronic device.
  • Representing a major broadcasting corporation in the face of allegations of workplace bullying.

Harry also has neighbouring experience in the regulatory context, having acted in numerous cases in the Health Professions and Nursing & Midwifery Councils.

Recommendations


“Harry fights his corner hard.” “He is at his best when handling cases with complex and novel legal issues.”

Chambers and Partners, 2018

“His depth of PI knowledge is exceptional and he is especially helpful on quantum… A thorough, hard-working barrister”

Legal 500, 2018

“He is an all-rounder, who is superb at whatever he turns his hand to.”

Legal 500, 2017

“He has a razor-sharp intellect.”

Legal 500, 2017

“A rising star of the product liability Bar who has already earned himself prominent admirers among his peers.”

Chambers & Partners 2016

“He’s an extremely intelligent, hard-working and sensible barrister.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“A very detailed and focused counsel, who never misses a trick.”

Legal 500 2015

“He has a superb intellect, and outshines his contemporaries.”

Legal 500 2015


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