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Suzanne Chalmers

Call 1995

"Proficient in handling property-related and business interruption claims."
(Legal 500 2016)

Personal Injury

Suzanne is frequently instructed in cases involving severe and permanent disablement, such as brain damage or severe spinal injury. As a result, she is accustomed to dealing with topical issues that arise in catastrophic injury claims, including capacity, periodical payments and the availability of local authority funding for care, as well as settling complex Schedules and Counter Schedules. She has developed particular expertise in claims involving difficult issues of causation such as the occurrence of epilepsy, stroke, chronic pain syndrome and psychiatric injury. She regularly deals with contentious liability issues (such as those arising out of complex or unusual road traffic accidents, third party assault or workplace stress). She is able to use her broad experience of handling high value cases for both Claimants and Defendants to her clients’ advantage in conducting settlement negotiations and mediations.

Selected Cases

  • Acted in connection with the personal injury and fatal accident claims arising out of the tower crane collapse at Canary Wharf and represented the operators of the tower crane at the inquest.
  • Acting for the Claimant who developed severe chronic pain syndrome and psychiatric illness following a minor accident at work.
  • Acting for a Claimant, who sustained severe brain injuries arising out of a fall from an aircraft at work.
  • Acting for the Claimant, who suffered serious physical and psychological injuries following prolonged exposure to heavy lifting at work. Claim for £400,000. The case involved difficult issues of medical causation in view of long history of back problems and subsequent development of a pain disorder.
  • Counsel for the Claimant in a substantial Fatal Accidents Act claim and claim for nervous shock arising out of the death of the Claimant’s husband, a business development manager for an American internet start-up company.
  • Defending a claim by a Claimant who developed severe reflex sympathetic dystrophy and walks on crutches following a minor soft tissue injury to his foot sustained on a construction site.
  • Junior Counsel defending a claim for £4.8 million by a Claimant rendered paraplegic following an accident at work. Key issues included the need for buddy support to enable the wheelchair-bound Claimant to access activities.
  • Junior Counsel for the Claimant who suffered serious brain injury whilst at university. A complex case involving multiple experts.
  • Junior Counsel for the Claimant, who developed Fibromyalgia following an r.t.a. resulting in whiplash.
  • Junior Counsel for the Defendant in a £5 million claim settled partway through the trial. The Claimant, a former estate agent, suffered a spinal fracture causing paraplegia. Issues included the Claimant’s residual earning capacity and requirements for future support, aids and equipment and accommodation.
  • Joyce v O’Brien [2012] EWHC 1234 (Cooke J) – With Richard Lynagh QC defending a claim for damages for a severe brain injury sustained by the Claimant who fell off the back of a van. The claim was successfully defeated relying upon the doctrine of ex turpi causa on the grounds that the Claimant and the driver were engaged in a common criminal enterprise.
  • Parfitt v Al Kouraishi (2010) – Junior Counsel for the Defendant. The Claimant suffered a serious head injury sustained when he jumped / fell from a moving taxi. Liability was hotly contested. With Richard Lynagh QC, successfully represented the Defendant in criminal proceedings in Bristol Crown Court.
  • Lindesay v Lamb & Tatner [2007] EWHC 2948 (Wilkie J), [2008] EWCA Civ 1143 (liability) – Junior Counsel for the Defendant – Claimant suffered very severe burn injuries following a road traffic accident. Liability issues included the scope of the duty of care owed by drivers involved in a multiple vehicle pile-up.
  • Ure v Ure (2007) – Junior Counsel for the Defendant. The Claimant suffered serious brain damage at the age of 12. Her claim for £7-8 million on a lump sum basis settled part-way through trial. The case involved consideration of many issues currently topical in catastrophic injury claims, including capacity, indexation of periodical payments and the Claimant’s need for future care and case management.
  • Lloyd v Norton Crane (Holland J) (2001) – Junior Counsel defending a claim by a former milkman. The issue was whether the Claimant’s epilepsy was related to a head injury sustained in RTA or due to underlying causes.
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Qualifications


  • Recorder (2009)
  • Awarded Lord Justice Holker Scholarship (1994)
  • MA (Hons), Magdalen College, Oxford (1994)

Memberships


  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association

Recommendations


“Very forensic and thorough in her approach, she is easy to deal with and extremely responsive.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“Proficient in handling property-related and business interruption claims.”

Legal 500 2016

“She provides pragmatic and commercial advice.”

Legal 500 2016

“She is no-nonsense and easy to deal with. She tells you what she thinks and gives good practical advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2015

“Strong for property-related insurance issues.”

Legal 500 2015

“Experienced in insurance, professional negligence and personal injury.”

Legal 500 2014

“Efficient, concise and user friendly.”

Legal 500 2011

“One of the most approachable and practically minded counsel imaginable.”

Legal 500 2010


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