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Juliet Stevens

Call 2016

Juliet Stevens’ practice encompasses the breadth of Chambers’ key specialisms, with particular emphasis on clinical negligence, professional liability, personal injury, industrial disease, construction and property damage.

She has extensive trial experience and appears regularly before the Queen’s Bench Masters and the County Court for applications and costs/case management hearings. Juliet is a robust advocate who prides herself on attention to factual detail and procedural rigour.

Juliet balances her court work with a busy paperwork practice, both drafting and advisory, in relation to fast-track and multi-track matters.

In her previous career, Juliet was a medical doctor, specialising in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She studied Medicine at Oxford, where she was awarded a First Class MA and graduated BM BCh with Distinction. Thereafter, she practised medicine, continuing her postgraduate training in London.

Clinical Negligence

Juliet has a broad clinical negligence practice. She is instructed by claimants, the NHSR, medical defence organisations, insurers of private medical institutions and insurers of allied health professionals. She is currently instructed as sole counsel for matters proceeding in the High Court, as well as those in the County Court. She accepts instructions on a CFA basis.

Juliet is skilled at analysing medical records, confident when discussing clinical conduct with experts and benefits from personal knowledge of the realities of working in hospitals and primary care. Further, having conducted medical research both in the UK and abroad, she is adept at critical analysis of scientific and epidemiological studies.

Selected Cases

Juliet has a particular interest in Obstetric and Gynaecological cases. Recent instructions as sole counsel have concerned:

  • Third and fourth degree perineal tears
  • Obstetric fistulae
  • Delayed diagnosis of cervical stenosis after treatment for early cervical cancer
  • Postnatal Streptococcal infections
  • Bowel injury after laparoscopic fertility surgery leading to laparotomy and a bowel stoma
  • Alleged failures to obtain adequate consent for instrumental delivery and/or Caesarean Section
  • Alleged failures to comply with birth plans regarding mode of delivery.

Other recent instructions have concerned:

  • Delayed A&E investigation of a patient with evolving cauda equina syndrome
  • A Fatal Accident Act claim regarding the delayed diagnosis of laryngeal cancer
  • Peripheral nerve dysfunction after spinal discectomy surgery
  • Delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer after missed PSA follow up in primary care
  • Somatoform disorders including functional epilepsy
  • Administration of a vaccine in primary care leading to anaphylaxis
  • Delayed diagnosis of retinal detachment leading to loss of sight in one eye
  • A Fatal Accident Act claim regarding the day release of a patient under mental health section
  • Delayed diagnosis of biliary atresia in a neonate precipitating early liver transplantation
  • Alleged delayed diagnosis of a TB in an individual serving time in prison.

Juliet also acts on behalf of allied health professionals. Recently she has acted on behalf of a physiotherapist alleged to have induced a stroke, for a hypnotherapist in relation to a claim arising from treatment for tinnitus and for a psychotherapist whose conduct was impugned during family law proceedings.

Juliet remains registered as a doctor with the General Medical Council, and is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA). She has given seminars on topics including non-delegable duties in healthcare and consent during labour.

As a pupil, Juliet assisted Alexander Antelme QC who was acting for the defendant Trust in XYZ v Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 2687 (QB), which related to the clinical management of a child who had suffered significant brain damage as a result of meningitis. After a two week trial, the claim was dismissed.

Personal Injury

Juliet has developed a broad personal injury practice, acting both for claimants and defendants.

She is frequently instructed as trial counsel, and to appear at interlocutory hearings including cost management. She is regularly instructed to advise as to prospects and tactics and to draft pleadings for fast and multi-track claims.

She has appeared as junior counsel for the Defendant in the High Court in a case pleaded at £7 million, and has recently been instructed as junior counsel in a fatal accident case with a multi-million pound dependency claim, both led by Andrew Davis.

Selected Cases

Juliet’s experience includes:

  • Road traffic accident claims, including cycling accidents, accidents abroad, actions brought against highway authorities and fatal accident claims.
  • Employers’ liability claims, arising from accidents in industry, within schools for children with challenging behaviours and involving staff at psychiatric units.
  • Public liability claims, including a claim concerning anaphylactic shock at a restaurant, accidents occurring during school trips, in public playgrounds/gyms and during domestic building works.
  • Occupiers’ liability claims, including slip and trip claims, claims concerning contractors and claims for injury as a result of bed bug infestations in the hotel industry.
  • Assisting Muhammed Haque QC when a pupil in relation to an appeal against an arbitration award made under the Untraced Drivers Agreement 2003.

Juliet also has experience of ADR, including JSMs and mediation, and welcomes instructions to advise on settlement parameters and to assist client resolve disputes prior to trial. She is a member of the Personal Injury Bar Association.

Industrial Disease

Juliet is instructed by both claimants and defendants in relation to industrial disease claims.

She has experience of a range of occupational disease litigation, but in particular noise induced hearing loss matters. Her background as a doctor proves invaluable when assessing the expert medical reports in these cases, and she is well versed in the interpretation of audiograms using the 2015 Lutman, Coles and Buffin Guidelines.

In cases where the last relevant exposure is many years prior to issue, Juliet is adept at analysing the historical medical and occupational records, and cross examining on the matter of limitation.

Product Liability

Juliet is developing a practice in this area and has a particular interest in claims involving pharmaceuticals, medical products and devices. She has extensive experience analysing the methodologies and conclusions of drug trials and large scale epidemiological studies.

Juliet is currently instructed in the Seroxat Group Litigation, led by Michael Kent QC.

Selected Cases

  • As sole counsel she successfully defended a manufacturer at trial, where it was alleged that a leading pet training device was defective
  • Advised on EU regulation of car fuel tanks in relation to litigation arising from a car fire which caused catastrophic injury
  • Assisted with disclosure in relation to a multi-million pound claim arising from a fatal accident abroad allegedly caused by a defective product.
  • While a pupil, assisted Alexander Antelme QC and David Myhill with the Pinnacle Metal-on-Metal hip group litigation.

Juliet recently assisted Harry Lambert with the updating of the chapter concerning Multi-Party Actions in Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings, to be published in December 2019 (19th Edition) by Sweet & Maxwell.

Professional Liability

Juliet’s professional liability practice covers a wide range of disciplines, with a particular emphasis on claims against legal and construction professionals.

Selected Cases

  • Instructed as sole counsel in a claim valued at £1.25 million against a leading structural and civil engineering consultancy. The claim concerned a property which sustained significant structural damage during basement construction works.
  • Settled a Defence in a claim against conveyancing solicitors concerning the scope of an overage clause in the transfer of undeveloped land.
  • Advised a firm of conveyancing solicitors as to pre-action tactics and settling a Letter of Response in relation to allegations that the firm had failed to adequately advise a purchaser as to his Stamp Duty Land Tax liability, and had further failed to take steps to minimise the same.
  • Settled a Defence in claim against a law firm in which it was alleged that failures to adequately conduct personal injury litigation had led to the strike out of a meritorious claim.
  • Settled a Defence in a claim against a law firm where it was alleged that, but for a failure to negotiate a standstill agreement, a claim pleaded at c.£290k but with poor prospects of success would have settled pre-action.

Juliet is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Construction & Engineering

Juliet has experience of construction disputes, including those arising from issues of design, delay and breach of regulations, and experience of a variety of standard form contracts including NEC, ACE and CPA. She welcomes instructions on behalf of and against construction professionals.

She was recently instructed as sole counsel in a claim valued at £1.25 million against a leading structural and civil engineering consultancy and a construction firm. The claim concerning a London property which sustained significant structural damage during basement construction works.

Juliet is currently instructed in several actions against construction firms in relation to large scale works to residential properties, and in relation to inappropriate installation of cavity wall insulation.

As a pupil, Juliet assisted Crispin Winser in a claim concerning the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relating to a long-running basement construction dispute, which was complicated by allegations of fraud and collusion with the third surveyor.

Juliet is a member of the Society of Construction Law and TECBAR, and recently marshalled with Mr Justice Waksman at the TCC.

Property Damage

Juliet has experience of a wide variety of property damage matters, in particular tree root subsidence claims, underground cable strike claims, flooding and fire.

Selected Cases

Juliet has experience of a wide variety of property damage matters, in particular tree root subsidence claims, underground cable strike claims, flooding and fire.

  • Advised an insurer as to the prospects of a successful claim for compensation against a police authority under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 in relation to commercial property damage.
  • Successfully defended a local authority at trial in claim arising from damage to private property during Storm Imogen in 2016.
  • Settled Particulars of Claim in a claim arising from a fire at agricultural premises which caused the damage of extensive grain stock.
  • Acted on behalf of a local authority in a claim arising from the flooding of a historic church allegedly caused by a failure to maintain public drains.
  • Settled Particulars of Claim in a claim concerning damage caused subsequent to alleged misrouting of sewerage connections within a business park development.
  • Acted on behalf of a county council in relation to alleged subsidence caused by reprofiling of a drainage culvert.
  • Instructed in relation to litigation concerning sailing boats moored in a marina, in which it was alleged that metal filings generated by nearby construction works had damaged the decks.
  • Settled Particulars of Claim regarding the failure of an electrical installation within a petrol station complex which resulted in property damage and extensive economic loss.
  • Settled a Defence and advised a private sports club in relation to flooding allegedly caused by insufficient drainage provision on the club’s land.

Commercial

Juliet has experience of a wide range of commercial disputes including those relating to the sale of goods, the supply of services and credit hire. She welcomes instructions to advise and to draft pleadings across all areas of commercial law.

She was recently instructed on behalf of an agricultural contractor, in relation to a high value claim for crop yield losses after alleged defective fertiliser application.

Selected Cases

  • Acted for a chartered professional body in relation a claim for alleged outstanding cancellation charges arising from a contract for the provision of professional services. Settlement was achieved pre-action at a round table meeting.
  • Settled Particulars of Claim on behalf of an agricultural contractor in relation to a high value claim for crop yield losses after alleged defective fertiliser application.
  • Advised in relation to contribution proceedings arising from an incident in which extensive damage was caused by construction plant falling onto the roof of a commercial property. The claim turned on a dispute as to the allocation of risk under a contract on Construction Plant Hire Association (CPA) conditions, where the incident occurred prior the commencement of the stipulated hire period.
  • Settled a Defence and Counterclaim for a national provider of financial products in relation to a series of service contracts. The dispute engaged issues incorporation, misrepresentation and estoppel by representation.
  • Settled a Particulars of Claim on behalf of a commercial livestock farmer in relation to the supply of defective animal semen, in which considerable consequential loss was claimed.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Juliet has experience of insurance and reinsurance disputes, including those concerning scope of cover, aggregation clauses and excess layer insurance.

As a pupil, Juliet assisted Daniel Shapiro in a matter which was heard under the Commercial Court’s Shorter Trial pilot scheme. The dispute related to whether or not the limit of indemnity for public liability, on the correct construction of the policy, applied to each claim brought against the Insured, or the aggregate of those claims.

Awards


  • Queen Mother’s Scholarship, Middle Temple, 2015
  • Prize winner, Marion Simmons QC Essay Competition, Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers, 2015
  • Astbury Scholarship, Middle Temple, 2014
  • Highest ranked novice debating pair (team and individual speaker scores) at the Inner Temple IV Moot, 2014
  • Excellence in Leadership Award, London Medical Deanery, 2011
  • Proxime accessit, Final Medical Examinations, University of Oxford, 2010
  • Undergraduate Academic Scholarship, Hertford College, University of Oxford, 2005-07

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Qualifications


  • BPTC, City University (2016)
  • GDL (Distinction), City University (2015)
  • Part 1 Membership Examination, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2011)
  • Medicine BM BCh (Distinction), University of Oxford (2010)
  • Medical Sciences MA (First Class), University of Oxford (2007)

Memberships


  • PNBA
  • AvMA
  • PIBA
  • TECBAR
  • SCL
  • LCLCBA

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