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Juliet Stevens

Call 2016


Juliet Stevens practises in the areas of clinical negligence and inquests, product liability, professional discipline, non-clinical professional negligence, and personal injury, acting for both claimants and defendants.

She is a robust advocate with extensive trial experience who prides herself on attention to factual detail and procedural rigour. She balances her court work with a busy paperwork practice, both drafting and advisory.

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.

Juliet is an elected member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association’s executive committee. She accepts instructions on a pro-bono basis via Advocate. In her spare time she is an Associate Trainer for Birthrights, a charity dedicated to protecting human rights during pregnancy and childbirth.

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. Juliet regularly acts on behalf of clients at RTMs and mediations, and 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 have concerned:

  • Third and fourth degree perineal tears
  • Obstetric fistulae
  • Intrauterine and intrapartum deaths
  • 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.

Other recent instructions have concerned:

  • Secondary victim and Fatal Accident Act claims
  • Delayed A&E investigation of evolving cauda equina syndrome
  • Delayed diagnosis of laryngeal cancer
  • Peripheral nerve dysfunction after spinal discectomy surgery
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis during bone marrow transplantation
  • Failed ileoanal pouch formation surgery
  • Delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer after missed PSA follow up in primary care
  • Prosthesis infections after orthopaedic surgery
  • 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
  • Fatal Accident Act claims after premature release of individuals 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. By way of example, 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. She has given seminars on topics including non-delegable duties in healthcare and consent during labour.

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Juliet is regularly instructed to represent families, healthcare providers and other interested parties at inquests and associated hearings. She has particular expertise acting for parties in inquests where significant criticism of a healthcare practitioner or provider is expected, whether paramedic, primary care practitioner, hospital staff, Trust, care home or private hospital. Juliet’s inquest practice complements her clinical negligence practice, and she accepts instructions to represent families at inquests on a CFA basis, with a view to civil proceedings.

Selected Cases

Product Liability

“She has a good grasp of scientific and statistical concepts. She gets on well with clients and witnesses.” Rising Star, Legal 500, 2022

“An up-and-coming junior in the product liability field.” Rising Star, Legal 500, 2021

Juliet 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.

Selected Cases

  • The Seroxat Group Litigation (2019-2020) – Instructed as junior counsel in the Seroxat Group Litigation in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, led by Michael Kent QC. This litigation was listed in The Lawyer magazine’s “Top 20 Cases of 2019”.
  • EG v Groupama (2018) – Instructed as junior counsel, led by Alexander Antelme QC and Andrew Davis, in a case concerning a fatal accident in France caused by the failure of a lorry tire. The Claimant advanced a claim for over 90 million euros. The claim gave rise to issues of product liability, relevant French law and quantification.
  • 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.
  • The Metal-on-Metal hip litigation (2017) – While a pupil, assisted Alexander Antelme QC and David Myhill with the Pinnacle Metal-on-Metal hip group litigation.

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

Professional Discipline

Juliet has experience of representing individuals in healthcare disciplinary proceedings before a variety of tribunals, including Social Work England (SWE), the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BAPC).

As a result of her previous career as a doctor, Juliet has an immensely useful practical understanding of the challenges and realities of working in the healthcare sector. She uses this to inform her professional discipline practice.

Selected Cases

  • BAPC v NN (2022): Currently acting for a counsellor involved in practice review proceedings.
  • BPC v MD (2022): Acted for a psychoanalyst before a health review panel. Her fitness to practise was found unimpaired, and her suspension revoked.
  • SWE v SN (2022): Acted for a social worker who admitted various allegations made against her including a charge of dishonesty. At the Fitness to Practise hearing the SWE sought suspension. The social worker received a warning for 12 months, with no restrictions placed on her practice.
  • GOsC v TM (2021): Acted for an osteopath who had previously been suspended from practice for 18 months due to having been found to have engaged in sexual activity with a patient. After a Professional Conduct Committee review hearing no further directions were made and the osteopath was permitted to return to unrestricted practice.

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.
  • Acted on behalf of a firm of solicitors in a claim in which it was alleged that earlier proceedings had been compromised contrary to the claimant’s instructions.
  • Acted on behalf of claimants in a Japanese Knotweed claim against a building surveyor.
  • 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 (SDLT) liability, and had further failed to take steps to minimise the same.
  • Advised and drafted pleadings in claims in which it was alleged that conveyancing solicitors had failed to apply for SDLT multiple dwellings relief (MDR).
  • 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 and co-author of the chapter concerning Tortious Liability in Respect of Building Operations within Emden’s Construction Law.

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 case and cost management conferences. She is regularly instructed to advise as to prospects and tactics and to draft pleadings for fast and multi-track claims.

Selected Cases

Notable cases:

  • EG v Groupama – Instructed as junior counsel, led by Alexander Antelme QC and Andrew Davis, in a case concerning a fatal accident in France caused by the failure of a lorry tire. The Claimant advanced a claim for over 90 million euros. The claim gave rise to issues of relevant French law, quantification and product liability.
  • RS v Marzetti (1) Kelly Communications Plant Ltd (2) – Instructed as junior counsel, led by Andrew Davis, in a road traffic injury claim pleaded at £7 million. The claim proceeded to a 5 day trial on the matter of quantum alone, liability having been admitted. Settlement was reached during trial.

Juliet is regularly instructed in the following types of cases:

  • 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. Juliet has also been instructed in a variety of stress at work claims.
  • Public liability claims, including a claim concerning anaphylactic shock at a restaurant, accidents occurring at school and during school trips, in holiday resorts, in public playgrounds/gyms and during domestic building works.
  • Part 20 claims against NHS Trusts and individual medical practitioners, in which it is alleged that subsequent negligent medical care compounded loss and damage suffered as a result of an index accident.
  • 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.

Juliet also has extensive experience of ADR, including JSMs and mediation, and welcomes instructions to advise on settlement parameters and to assist client resolve disputes prior to trial. Further, she has experience of appeals against arbitration awards made under the Untraced Drivers Agreement 2003.

She is a member of the Personal Injury Bar Association.

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

  • 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.
  • Settled Defences in two separate claims arising from a fire at catering premises blamed on inadequate commercial cleaning.
  • 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.

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
  • PIBA
  • LCLCBA

Recommendations


“She has a good grasp of scientific and statistical concepts. She gets on well with clients and witnesses.”

Rising Star, Legal 500, 2022

“An up-and-coming junior in the product liability field.”

Rising Star, Legal 500, 2021


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