Barrister Adam Weitzman

Adam Weitzman

Year of call: 1993  Silk: 2016

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“A very effective advocate, a very good cross-examiner, and a very good judge of the merits of a case.”

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Overview


Adam is a very experienced barrister in all fields of personal injury litigation. He works with the leading solicitors firms and has cases in all parts of the country. Professional clients find him responsive, commercially minded and willing to work as part of a team. They praise him because he is decisive, able to make tough decisions and happy to take cases to trial. Lay clients find him approachable and sympathetic. Most of all he is valued for his advocacy and ability to win in court. Adam is ranked in the directories as a leading barrister in both personal injury and clinical negligence. He is described by clients as, “incredible and brilliant with clients. If there is a way through a case he will find it. His advocacy is second to none“.

Starting as a mixed practitioner Adam had both a civil and criminal practice until 2009 when he chose to specialise in all types of personal injury work. His criminal background (Attorney General’s B panel prosecuting fraud, tax evasion and drug importation) has given him a wealth of advocacy and courtroom experience. His practice now includes personal injury claims, involving injuries of the maximum severity and fatal cases, clinical negligence, inquests and historic abuse cases. He also has a specialist knowledge and wide experience of claims involving local authorities.

Clinical Negligence Personal Injury

Clinical Negligence


“He is a fearless advocate and innovative in his approach.” Legal 500 2016

Instructed predominately for the claimant Adam’s practice includes claims resulting from wrongful birth, failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome, contraceptive failures, failure to diagnose cancer, failures of colo-rectal, gastric, gynecological and vascular surgery. He is also regularly instructed to assist in the quantification of maximum severity claims against the NHSLA, in particular claims involving children with cerebral palsy arising from failures at or immediately after birth. Adam is ranked as a leading junior in clinical negligence in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.

Recent notable hearings include the 2 week inquest into the death of Hayley Fullerton, a baby who had undergone heart surgery, at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, after which the coroner’s criticism of the Trust was nationally reported. He was junior counsel for the defendant in Woodand v Essex CC in the Supreme Court.

Memberships


  • AvMA

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • Woodland v Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66: A case in which the Supreme Court changed the law on non-delegable duties to extend their scope to all cases in which the claimant was a vulnerable person and the duty delegated was core to the functions which the defendant had to discharge.
  • SXK v West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust 2014 WL 1097092: Judgment of Master Roberts granting relief from sanctions to a cerebral palsy child who was out of time in an action to assess damages in serving her lay and expert witness evidence and Schedule. The Master found that there was good reason for the delay and that a claim against her solicitors was not a satisfactory remedy for the loss of the action against the Trust as the claimant would not be able to recover a PPO in a professional negligence claim.

Personal Injury


“His client care skills are unsurpassable.” Legal 500 2016

Adam is experienced in dealing with the full scope of personal injury work but now concentrates on maximum severity claims, fatal accidents, claims involving historic abuse and actions against local authorities or other statutory bodies. His clients say that “he regularly comes up against silks and doesn’t look out of his depth“.

In general PI he is familiar with liability issues and regularly acts in serious RTA, EL and PL claims. He has a particular specialty in local authority duties, appearing for the local authority in two of the more recent Court of Appeal cases on the duties of highway authorities.

The majority of Adam’s clients are those who have acquired brain or spinal injury with claims valued in excess of £1,000,000. He has a clear understanding of the medical and care issues affecting these claimants and how these play out legally. He has a particular interest and expertise in pediatric brain injury having acted for a number of applicants to the CICB who suffered catastrophic injuries after they were assaulted as babies. Adam regularly negotiates settlements that include a PPO for future care and case management and has recently achieved in excess of £12,000,000 for a spinally injured client.

Memberships


  •  PIBA

Actions Involving The Police Abuse Inquests Court Of Protection

Actions Involving The Police


Adam regularly acts in cases involving claims against the police. He is frequently instructed by the Metropolitan and Essex police in claims involving allegations of assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. He is currently acting for Essex Police in claims arising out of the evictions from Dale Farm. Recent actions for claimants include litigation against South Yorkshire police for remanding in custody a prisoner with a subdural hematoma who subsequently developed a catastrophic brain injury.

Abuse


Adam has been acting for defendants in historic abuse claims for the past 15 years. He is one of the most experienced and recognised juniors in this field; instructed by all the major firms who do the work and by local authorities direct. Clients include religious organisations, charities, voluntary groups, local authority social services and education departments and other statutory bodies. He is in trial, acting for the defendant 2 or 3 times a year, almost invariably with success.

Adam’s breadth of experience means he is familiar with the legal issues (limitation, no fault liability and duty of care), damages social work practice and psychiatry. He was junior counsel in Raggett v Governors of Preston Catholic College [2012] EWHC 3132 and Woodland v Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66 and successfully acted for the Defendant in TF v Lewisham LBC [2009] Lawtel, EL v Children’s Society [2012] EWHC 365, X v Oldham MBC [2013] Lawtel and FC v CAFCASS [2014] EWHC 1619.

In addition to dealing with claims involving a breach of a common law duty of care Adam is regularly instructed by local authorities to deal with claims arising from the exercise of their statutory functions under the Human Rights Act, the Data Protection Act and the Equalities Act.

Inquests


Adam has appeared in inquests for both the family and institutions throughout his career. Typically, he is instructed by the family in cases where there are concerns about clinical negligence. He has also acted in inquests involving the death of children on school trips, defective products, workplace fatal accidents and RTA. Recent notable hearings include the 2 week inquest into the death of Hayley Fullerton, a baby who had undergone heart surgery, at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, after which the coroner’s criticism of the Trust was nationally reported.

Court Of Protection


Dealing with large quantum cases Adam regularly litigates to recover Court of Protection fees and has called a deputy on a number of occasions to give evidence. He has also litigated the issue of capacity and sought damages for the costs of a welfare as well as a financial deputy. On behalf of applicants he negotiated and then drafted a form of Peters’ indemnity which was acceptable to Master Lush for use by the CICB where large awards were made to brain damaged children who lacked capacity. In his work for local authorities he has also negotiated and drafted agreements for social services departments to act as financial deputies to those without capacity awarded damages as a result of historic abuse.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Valentine v TFL [2010] EWCA Civ 1358: Claim identifying the limitations of highway authorities duties under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.
  • Yetkin v Mahmood [2010] EWCA Civ 776: Judgment identifying the scope of a highway authority’s common law duty of care to pedestrians.
  • EL v Children’s Society [2012] EWHC 365: Historic child abuse claim defeated on limitation and the existence of a duty of care.
  • Raggett v Governors of Preston Catholic College [2012] EWHC 3132: Damages claimed by a victim of child sexual abuse for £5 million with a final award of circa £60,000.
  • Woodland v Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66: Judgment extending the scope of non-delegable duties of care in common law.
  • X v Oldham BC [2013] Lawtell: Claim in damages by a mother against social services for failures which lead to the later removal and adoption of her child.
  • FC v CAFCASS [2014] EWHC 1619: Claim by father in damages against CAFCASS for failing to facilitate/preventing contact with his son. Judge ruled that no common law duty of care owed to a parent where such would conflict with the duty owed to the child.
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