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Mary Ruck

Call 1993

"Very meticulous and very skilled at putting the experts through their paces."
(Chambers UK 2020)

Clinical Negligence

Mary has a long – held interest in medical law, stemming from post graduate academic study in Medical Law and Ethics with Professor Ian Kennedy at King’s College, London.

She practised at the London Bar for 6 years in general common law, personal injury and clinical negligence before moving to Manchester where she specialises in clinical negligence claims and cases involving medical issues and serious injury.

Mary is particularly interested in claims arising out of brain injury.

She acts for both Claimant and Defendant.

Selected Cases

  • PJ v Northwest Strategic Health Authority – Brain in jury resulting in frontal lobe damage and spastic quadriparesis, settlement on basis of periodical payments order (gross settlement close to £6m).
  • JC v Northwest Strategic Health Authority – Interesting case due to fact that severely birth – injured claimant had already exceeded life expectation indicated by Strauss data; Settlement of lump sum £2.65 million with periodical payments order of £160,000 per year.
  • JB v Wrightington Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust – Birth injury; lump sum of £2.1 million with periodical payments order variable over C’s lifetime.
  • AL v North & East Yorkshire & Northern Lincolnshire Strategic Health Authority – Settlement of lump sum £1.6 million with periodical payments order of £161, 614.49 per year.
  • AP v Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority – Settlement of £500,000 for failure to close ventricular septal defect before Claimant’s 2nd birthday, resulting in Eisenmenger’s syndrome.
  • CD v Sefton Health Authority – Birth injury with preserved intellect; £5 million settlement lump sum.
  • Anderson v Blackpool Wyre & Fylde Community Health Services NHS Trust – Split trials on liability and quantum; eventual award of over £2 million for Claimant needing constant care due to severe PTSD; one of the largest known awards at the time for injury.
  • Wardlaw v Farrar – Represented on appeal to the Court of Appeal. Concerning negligent failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolism and contribution to death.

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Mary has undertaken Article 2 inquests with and without a jury in cases involving deaths in custody, care homes and psychiatric hospitals and numerous cases under the Fatal Accidents legislation.

She edits the Fatal Accidents section of Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service.

Personal Injury

As a keen equestrian and Committee Member of the Spinal Injuries Association Cornflower Ball, Mary has a particular interest in personal injury cases involving brain injury and spinal injury.

Her interest in industrial disease arises from working as Legal Adviser to the Republic of South Africa in 1998, when she was the author of a position paper presented to the first – ever National Summit on Asbestos in Johannesburg.

Selected Cases

  • Gray v Thames Trains – Traumatic brain injury resulting in personality change and offending behaviour.
  • Ziemniak v EPTM Ltd CA – Claimant suffered maxillofacial and brain injury when a suspension chain holding a lifeboat failed; right of civil action under the Merchant Shipping (Life Saving Appliances) Regulations 1980, SI 1980/538.

Professional Liability

Mary is regularly instructed to represent the General Medical Council in front of the Fitness to Practise Panel and in Registration appeals. She has represented the GMC in cases of significant length involving the cross – examination of medical experts and the handling of medical and lay witnesses.

Mary also has experience of representing in front of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and advises on judicial review.


  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit Medical Law Association
  • Northern Administrative Law Association


“A formidable opponent who is tenacious, robust and dynamic.”

Chambers UK 2012

Clients appreciate “the clarity of her advice and her straight-talking, no-nonsense approach.”

Chambers UK 2012

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