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Work: Image

Some examples...

... beginning with the court sketcher's reflection -  In the Supreme Court, making notes on my iPad as my opponent makes submissions.

Supreme Court Cases

Theo Huckle QC - Supreme Court.jpeg
  • Baker v Quantum [2011] The first Noise-induced Hearing Loss case to reach the highest court, concerning group claims by (mainly) female sewing machine operators in the Midlands garment finishing industry in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  Led by John Hendy QC and leading Robert O'Leary.

  • Axa v Lord Advocate [2011] (Asbestos:Pleural Plaques and Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Clive Lewis QC, now Lewis LJ)  Within 2 weeks of taking up the post of Counsel General, I led the Welsh Government's intervention in this Scottish referral of devolution/human rights issues to the Supreme Court because of the implications for the Welsh devolution settlement.

  • Byelaws Bill (Wales) Reference [2012] (Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Clive Lewis QC, now Lewis LJ)  The first of the Welsh Devolution Cases; the Attorney General challenged the legislative competence of a Bill to restructure the process of creating bylaws in Wales, but the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his challenge.

  • Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill Reference [2014] Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Elisabeth Laing QC, now Laing LJ)  The Attorney General challenged the legislative competence of a Bill to regulate the oversight of agricultural wages in Wales, but the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his challenge.

  • Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill [2014] (Human Rights/Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Richard Gordon QC) I was the first Counsel General to take the decision to refer a Welsh Assembly Bill to the Supreme Court for test of its devolved competence on human rights grounds (Art 1 Protocol 1 protection of right to property).

Court of Appeal Cases

  • Chell v Tarmac Cement & Lime Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 7 (Nichola Davies, Simler, William Davies LJJ) Vicarious liability of employer for 'horseplay' or 'a practical joke' in the workplace causing serious injury to co-worker.

  • Mackenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 2110 (Bean, Baker, Dingemans LJJ) Proof of noise levels by expert evidence and proper inference from breach of duty, upholding Keefe v IOM Steam Packet.

  • Royal Opera House v Goldscheider [2019] EWCA Civ 711 (Leveson QBP, McCombe, Bean LJJ) Application of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 to the music industry; existence and proof of noise causation of acoustic shock injury.

  • Lougheed v On The Beach Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 1538 (Tomlinson LJ, Floyd LJ, Ouseley J) Evidence in Package Travel Regulations cases as to “local standards” of health and safety.

  • Smith v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2013] EWCA Civ 1585; [2014] 1 W.L.R. 2283 (Longmore, Underhill, Floyd LJJ)  I successfully mounted a second appeal (case management) to the Court of Appeal concerning technical issues as to the basis of grant of Pre Action Disclosure.

  • Ward v Allies & Morrison [2012] EWCA Civ 1287; [2013] P.I.Q.R. Q1 (Aikens LJ & Kitchin LJJ, Sir Richard Buxton) Review of the Blamire basis of damages for loss of earning capacity compared with the Ogden computational approach, and the requirements for relevant disability within Ogden.

  • Teague v Mersey Docks & Harbour Board [2008] EWCA Civ 1601 [2009] All ER (D) 249 (Wall, Kay, Moses LJJ) Limitation in industrial deafness claims. Also McNally & Dagnall v MDHC [2009-10], further test limitation cases arising from similar issues concerning dock workers in the period leading to the Dock Strike in 1994-5.

  • Field v British Coal [2008] EWCA Civ 912 (May, Moore-Bick, Lawrence Collins LJJ) Limitation in disease claims post Hoare/Catholic Care (HL). Subjective aspect of date of knowledge ss14(1) and (2) and constructive knowledge s14(3).

  • Furniss v Firth Brown Tools Limited [2008] EWCA Civ 182 (Buxton, Laws, Smith LJJ) Limitation in disease claims post Hoare (HL). Knowledge of the Claimant and trigger events for S14(3) constructive knowledge.

  • Williams v Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust [2008] EWCA Civ 81 (Smith, Thomas, Lloyd LJJ) £2m Fatal Accident (RTA) claim involving difficult issues of meaning of "dependency". Claims for adult statutory “dependants” in context of family business successfully continued after the death

  • PRP Architects v Reid [2006] EWCA Civ 1119 [2007] ICR 78 [2007] PIQR P4 (Pill LJ, Smith LJ, Neuberger LJ) 
Meaning of "work equipment", "for use at work" and "used at work" within the Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations 1998 and hence applicability of those regulations, and of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to a defective lift in the common parts of an office building and used by all the tenants and their employees.

  • Smith v Notaro v Plumbase [2006] EWCA Civ 775 CA  (Ward LJ, Rix LJ, Gage LJ)
 Competing duties of employer and site controller when employee carrying out manual handling operation using unsafe walkway. Liability of employer for failure to train employee as to manual handling risks of using unsafe walkways despite being "largely a matter of common sense".

  • Herring v MOD [2003] EWCA Civ 528 (Potter & Tuckey LJJ, Wall J)
 Proper ambit of the Loss of Chance principle (Doyle v Wallace) in personal injury cases.

Interesting current and recent work

  • Acting for the psychiatrically injured police officers who attended at the Grenfell Tower disaster and aftermath, instructed by Tristan Hallam and Louise Taylor of Penningtons Manches Cooper; see and the first judgment: De Costa & Ors v LFC & Ors [2020] EWHC 2718 (QB);

  • Mathieu v Martin-Hinds & Aviva [2022] EWHC   Acting for a world-renowned North American abstract artist who suffered disabling brain injury when run down on a pedestrian crossing in London. Highly complex assessment of future loss of earning capacity; appropriateness of provisional awards in respect of epilepsy and dementia risks post TBI; proper approach to BTC v Gourlay tax netting by the court in respect of taxpayer outside UK;

  • Providing strategic advice on preparation to defeat the defence of fundamental dishonesty in a clinical negligence case brought by a woman suffering serious physical and psychiatric injury in the wake of insertion of a vaginal mesh device (TVT-O).

  • Acting for a sufferer of severe ADHD to resist a fundamental dishonesty defence raised despite the agreed severe injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.

  • Advising on the legal issues arising out of Covid-19 related matters:

    • non-provision of PPE to clinical and other “front line” workers during the Covid-19 pandemic; see;

    • non treatment due to the stopping of “normal” healthcare services for diagnostics and treatment of existing patients in neurology, oncology, cardiology, surgery and other fields, to hold resources ready to combat the feared “overwhelming wave” of Covid-19 infections, and failures in recommencing those services including in urgent cases; see;

    • return of known infected hospital patients to their care-homes without staff and other residents being warned or protected; 

  • Advising a contestant in a reality talent competition as to claims arising from her breakdown;

  • Acting for bereaved parents in the inquest arising from early neonatal death when C section was unsuccessful because of impaction of the baby's head. Article 2 issues of systemic failure of maternity services;

  • Advising a bereaved husband/father whose wife died in labour;

  • Acting for patient twice sent home after being conveyed to hospital with severe headache and who subsequently suffered catastrophic collapse with recurrence of the previously undiagnosed sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.

  • Advising the bereaved family of a father killed when a tree adjoining the highway, and previously identified as rotten by the Highway Authority, collapsed onto his car;

  • Acting for a senior army officer who suffered brain injury when he was struck by a helicopter during exercises abroad;

  • Acting for a young student who suffered a severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome following a PE lesson at school;

  • Winning a test case in Leeds in Willsher v Caterpillar UK Limited [2020] E34YJ904 20 October 2020 to establish occupational exposure to welding fume as a probable cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), instructed by Emma White of Hamers (now SJP Law);​;;

  • The groundbreaking success in Royal Opera House v Goldscheider [2019] EWCA Civ 711, selected as one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2019, in which the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of Nichola Davies J [2018] EWHC 687 (QB)  in favour of a world class orchestral viola player who suffered career-ending noise injury during rehearsals for the ROH's 2010 Wagner Ring Cycle; instructed by Chris Fry and leading Jonathan Clarke in this novel case, the first authoritative decision on the 2005 Noise Regulations, the first major decision concerning the duties of organisers of events in the musical and entertainments sector, and the  first authoritative finding of “acoustic shock” as a mechanism of serious injury or the injury itself;

  • Negotiating a positive settlement late on, very close to the listed trial, for a brain injured young man alleged to have been the cause of his own injury by lying down in the road in an intoxicated state (late 2019);

  • Forcing a settlement with indemnity costs recovered and an earlier offer by his client massively exceeded on the second day of a liability trial for a school caretaker injured when he fell over a gym bench left close to the door into the school hall; instructed by Myfanwy Buckeridge at Barcan+Kirby;

  • A series of Helmand Fever (Q Fever) cases brought against the MOD for servicemen infected in the Afghanistan campaigns and suffering serious debilitating chronic fatigue syndromes; in the lead case judgment was entered against the MOD for serious disclosure failures after a series of hotly contested interlocutory battles: Eaglesham v MOD [2016] EWHC 3011 (QB) Andrews J and a multi-£m settlement was achieved in 2019. Theo led Paul Kilcoyne in all three cases, instructed by Sue Bowler of Coffin Mew (now Shoosmiths) for Mr Eaglesham and by Dianne Yates of Hilary Meredith for their clients Mr Taylor and Mr Bass;

  • Defeating/overturning a series of strike out applications for non service of medical reports with the claim, instructed by the disease team at Slater & Gordon in a number of separate hearings across England and Wales;

  • Leading on technical quantum aspects of the successful claims in the Hip Prosthesis Product Liability Group Litigation; instructed by Leigh Day.

Work: Projects
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