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Nadia Whittaker

Call 2007

"Nadia is an extremely bright, tenacious advocate who brings real force to legal argument, particularly for maximising outcomes in negotiations. Adopts a thorough, robust and forensic approach to the law."
(Legal 500, 2021)

Clinical Negligence

Clinical negligence is Nadia’s primary area of expertise. She acts for the NHS Resolution, MPS, MDU, Dental Protection and MDDUS as well as Claimants. Nadia has advised and litigated cases in a variety of clinical disciplines: obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, general practice, neurology, geriatrics, cardiology, psychiatry (including under the Mental Health Act 1983), oncology, ophthalmology, ENT, anaesthetics, general and specialist surgery, including bariatric and specialist dental procedures. She has considerable experience of successfully concluding cases involving chronic pain, somatoform or functional neurological disorder or symptoms otherwise lacking in organic basis: e.g. blindness or paralysis.

Nadia represents NHS Trusts, ambulance services, private hospitals, and individual clinicians: Consultants, RMOs, sonographers, radiographers, nurses, healthcare assistants, dental practice owners, dentists and hygienists. She has experience of multiparty litigation involving both clinical and non-clinical Defendants and has acted in contribution claims as well. In 2021, on instructions from MPS, she drafted pleadings in the jurisdiction of St Helena Island, which enabled the clinician accused of negligence to lift an injunction precluding him from leaving the island.

She specialises in catastrophic injury cases such as spinal injuries, amputation and brain damages, including subtle brain damage, raising complex issues of capacity. She has experience of the Court of Protection, including an end-of-life decision case.

Nadia has considerable experience of cases involving allegations of a failure to obtain informed consent and has successfully defended at trial such cases. She is well versed in issues arising in dependency claims, including following suicide.

Nadia is regularly instructed to advise on the need for and the implications of surveillance and open-source intelligence.  In recent years, she has successfully concluded a number of cases involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty, which were compromised at a fraction of their reasonable value or with an agreement to repay the interim payments. She successfully established fundamental dishonesty at trial and secured committal for contempt of Court.

Selected Cases

Highlights among Nadia’s recent cases:

Dalchow v St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust [2022] EWHC 100 (QB)[1]

[1] Westlaw [2022] 1 WLUK 182

https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2022/100.html&query=(dalchow)+AND+(st)+AND+(george%27s)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-60075976

https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/19863515.dad-testicles-removed-due-flesh-eating-bug-loses-high-court-fight/

Nadia advised and represented the Defendant at trial in this case where the Claimant developed a rare complication in the form of Fournier gangrene following a minor operation on his scrotum. He alleged that there was a delay of a few hours in diagnosing his condition, which was responsible for the loss of his testicles. Given the complexity of the issues on breach of duty and causation, the case was listed for a split trial on liability only, which took place over four days. All aspects of liability were strongly contested at trial. Shortly before the trial the Claimant amended his pleading to allege an alternative case on causation based on the legal principle of material contribution. This entailed an analysis of a considerable number of legal authorities as the Defendant argued that the principle was incorrectly invoked by the Claimant. One of the key authorities was AB and Others v Ministry of Defence [2010] EWCA Civ 1317.  Judgment for the Defendant was handed down on 20 January 2022. The Court accepted the Defendant’s arguments on causation and material contribution.

Radia v Marks [2022] EWHC 145 (QB)[1]

[1] Westlaw [2022] 1 WLUK 287

https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2022/145.html&query=(radia)+AND+(v)+AND+(marks)

https://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/legal/news/professional-negligence-medico-legal-experts-scope-of-experts-duty-radia-v-marks

https://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2022/01/27/no-duty-of-care-owed-by-a-jointly-instructed-expert-on-the-facts-of-this-case-experts-giving-evidence-about-being-experts-much-to-read-here/

Appearing before His Honour Judge Sephton KC sitting as the Judge of the High Court, Nadia was successful in striking out a clinical negligence claim with a pleaded value in excess of £900,000 pursuant to section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 on the basis that the Claimant was fundamentally dishonest in the presentation of her claim. The Claimant alleged that as a result of admitted negligence she was severely restricted in her everyday activities and unable to engage in sports that she used to enjoy. The Defendant identified that, whilst pursuing the claim on this basis, she was participating in 10 km running races, mile long open water swims and other endurance activities. When the Claimant was confronted with that evidence, she prepared a witness statement from herself and her husband alleging that somebody else participated under her name. The Defendant was able to identify official photographs from the races that proved this evidence to be a blatant lie.

Nadia was then instructed by the Defendant to prepare an application for permission make a contempt application and was successful in securing that permission at an oral hearing before His Honour Judge Bird sitting as a Judge of the High Court on 13 July 2021. The Claimant subsequently admitted contempt of Court. Nadia represented the Defendant at the sentencing hearing on 29 November 2021 when Mr Justice Cotter sentenced the Claimant to immediate custodial sentence of 7 months and her husband to a 3-month suspended sentence. At that time, the Claimant’s sentence was the longest custodial sentence for contempt of Court given to a litigant in a personal injury case.

Waterfield & 25 others v Dentality Ltd and others [2020] 8 WLUK 90 and Waterfield & 25 others v Dentality Ltd and others [2020] 11 WLUK 223[1]

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-48339679

https://news.sky.com/story/patients-at-hertfordshire-dental-practice-told-they-need-hiv-tests-due-to-unclean-equipment-11724645

https://mandatorycompliance.co.uk/2019/05/22/patients-at-hertfordshire-dental-practice-need-hiv-tests-due-to-unclean-equipment/

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2020/09/group-litigation-orders-and-the-pitfalls-of-making-applications-prematurely

Nadia successfully resisted an application for a group litigation order on behalf of a dental practice. This application was made to attract to the prospective litigation up to 500 patients who have been exposed to a risk of blood borne viruses consequent upon admitted breach of duty by a hygienist at the practice.  Her Honour Judge Clarke dismissed the application, describing it as “both inadequate and premature”.  Nadia also raised a novel argument (with no previous authority on the point) that the qualified one-way costs shifting does not apply to pre-action applications, which was also accepted by the Judge at a separate costs hearing.

Ollosson v Dr Lee [2019] EWHC 784 (QB)[1]

[1] [2019] 3 WLUK 562[2019] Med. L.R. 287; [2019] 7 C.L. 204

https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/20/dad-50-left-constant-pain-vasectomy-sues-200000-8955428/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6829741/Father-50-sues-doctor-vasectomy-left-constant-pain.html

https://theworldnews.net/uk-news/father-50-sues-doctor-after-a-vasectomy-left-him-in-constant-pain

https://simplenews.co.uk/uk/dad-50-left-in-constant-pain-after-vasectomy-sues-for-200000/

The Claimant developed severe chronic scrotal pain as a result of a vasectomy and alleged that the Defendant had negligently failed to advise him of this risk associated with the procedure. Nadia represented the Defendant specialist GP who succeeded in establishing that the Claimant provided his informed consent in accordance with the requirements set out in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11. Stewart J found that the Claimant’s genuine belief of how he would have prospectively regarded the risk of the outcome he unfortunately suffered was coloured by the severity of his condition. Had more information been supplied to the Claimant, he still would have gone ahead with the procedure. The judgment includes an important summary of the principles relevant to an assessment of witness evidence in respect of hypothetical situations.

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Awards


Qualifications, Appointments and Awards

  •  Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding) at the College of Law, 2006-7
  • LLB (First Class Honours) awarded by the College of Law, 2007
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction) at the College of Law, 2004-6
  • MA in Medical Law and Ethics (Merit) at King’s College London, 2002-4
  • BSc in Psychology (First Class Honours) at Westminster University, 1999-2002
  • Princess Royal Scholar and Exhibitioner, Inner Temple, 2006

Articles


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News


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Memberships


  • PIBA

Recommendations


“Nadia is an excellent barrister. She gets to grips with the issues quickly and gives clear advice, but she is also brilliant with lay clients and witnesses.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Nadia is an impressive advocate both in writing and on her feet. She is able to articulate the risks of a case with sensitivity and clarity leaving lay clients confident of her recommendations.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Nadia is straightforward and relentless, she has an excellent eye for detail and relishes rolling up her sleeves and taking on difficult cases.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Nadia is the perfect counsel: analytical, pragmatic and conscientious.”

Legal 500, 2022

“Nadia is an extremely bright, tenacious advocate who brings real force to legal argument, particularly for maximising outcomes in negotiations. Adopts a thorough, robust and forensic approach to the law.”

Legal 500, 2021


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