Barrister Hugh Preston

Hugh Preston

Year of call: 1994  Silk: 2012

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“An excellent, absolutely outstanding silk”

Chambers & Partners 2014

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Overview


Hugh is ranked as a leading silk by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, in the specialist field of product liability, which he combines with a specialist clinical negligence and commercial practice. He was awarded the title “Barrister of the Year” at the PI Awards 2013.

He is currently instructed in several major group actions for the Claimants including the PIP breast implant GLO, the DePuy ASR hip implant international group litigation and other orthopaedic device group actions.

His clinical negligence practice involves complex and maximum severity claims. He is regularly instructed on behalf of Claimants in birth injury claims of very high value (£4m+).

He practices in general commercial litigation including complex partnership disputes and high value construction disputes in the TCC.

Hugh also undertakes complex personal injury litigation, with a niche specialism acting for private security companies operating in international conflict zones defending complex claims by employees injured overseas.

Since taking silk in 2012 at 18 years’ call, the directories have referred to him as “insightful, adventurous and daring” (Legal 500 2013), “an outstanding advocate” (Legal 500 2012), “a massive presence in the product liability field” (C&P 2013), and “an excellent, absolutely outstanding silk” (C&P 2014).

Clinical Negligence Commercial Offshore & International Personal Injury Product Liability

Clinical Negligence


Ranked as a leading silk by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, Hugh is regularly instructed on behalf of Claimants in highly complex and very high value birth injury claims, and was frequently instructed without a leader against Queen’s Counsel prior to taking silk. He was awarded the title “Barrister of the Year” at the PI Awards 2013.

He has numerous very high value birth injury claims ongoing, ranging in value from around £4m to £10m+. He also has wide experience of the full range of clinical negligence claims including abdominal surgery, cauda equina syndrome cases, dental negligence, cancer cases, consent issues, general orthopaedic surgery etc. He has a reputation for taking on difficult cases.

In conjunction with his product liability practice Hugh has particular expertise in clinical negligence claims involving medical devices generally, and is well placed to advise as to the overlap between this and potential product liability claims.

He also has an international reputation, advising in overseas common law jurisdictions on clinical negligence cases proceeding abroad.

Memberships


  • AvMA

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • AM v City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (2013): Cerebral Palsy birth injury claim. Settled for £7.1m lump sum equivalent.
  • F, S & D v United Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (on-going): Failure to screen pregnant mother for HIV, resulting in vertical transmission to child D during birth. Claims also made by husband and son (both HIV positive).
  • Aldaco v Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (2014): Birth injury claim arising from excessive and prolonged use of Syntocinon. Settled for £5m lump sum equivalent.
  • Heginbotham v The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (on-going): Very high value birth injury caused when cCaimant aspirated maternal blood clot whilst passing through birth canal.
  • Bowley v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (2013): Complex CP birth injury case. Short life expectancy, settled for £3.8m lump sum equivalent.
  • Shearsby v Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust (on-going): Cauda Equina Syndrome as a result of negligent orthopaedic surgery. Top end bladder & bowel incontinence case.
  • Nash v Heatherwood & Wexham Parrk Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (on-going): Nervous shock claim by widow witnessing horrific circumstances of her late husband’s death following clinical negligence in failing to diagnose and treat life threatening condition.

Commercial


Ranked as a leading silk by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for product liability claims, Hugh also has specialist expertise in commercial litigation.

He is instructed in a wide range of commercial matters including construction / TCC work, complex partnership disputes, civil fraud / misrepresentation and sale of goods.He also acts in a wide range of general chancery matters and employment disputes, having recently concluded a seven-year cross-border partnership dispute involving three preliminary issue trials and an appeal to the Court of Appeal, and is currently instructed in several very large group equal pay claims.

Commercial Cases


  • Polypearl Ltd v E.ON Energy Solutions Ltd [2014] – £9m commercial dispute.
  • Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd v RPS Services Ltd and others (2013): £2m construction dispute.
  • Polypearl Ltd v BRE Scotland (on-going): Very high value (£5m+) contract / breach of confidence dispute.
  • Muthana v Yafai [2012] EWCA Civ 289: Instructed on behalf of Yemeni client in very high value (several £million) partnership dispute involving allegations of dishonesty. Long running case, litigated for several years.
  • PC Harrington v Tyroddy Construction Limited [2011] EWHC 813 (TCC): Landmark ruling as to validity of adjudicator’s decision.
  • Baybut & 73 ors v Eccles Rigg Country Park Ltd [2006] All ER (D) 161. Group litigation, applicability of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
  • Atkinson & Ors v Redcar BC & Ors (2007): Equal pay group litigation, major group action against local authorities in the North East of England.
  • Adams v Durham County Council (on-going): Equal pay group litigation.

Offshore & International


Ranked as a leading silk by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 in product liability, Hugh has expertise in relation to cross border litigation involving complex applicable law and jurisdictional issues.

Hugh is also retained to provide advice to overseas attorneys in relation to clinical negligence and product liability matters proceeding abroad in other common law jurisdictions, in particular South Africa.

Private International Law Cross Border Product Liability Litigation Advice & Consultancy To Overseas Attorneys In Clinical Negligence

Private International Law


Hugh has expertise in private international law matters, and is currently involved in a large number of cross border product liability claims on behalf of several hundred overseas Claimants bringing personal injury claims in England against English tortfeasors, in particular relating to defective orthopaedic devices. These are ground breaking cross border claims that have given rise to disputes as to jurisdiction and applicable law, and complex issues as to the interpretation of the Rome II Regulation, the Brussels I Regulation, and the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995.

Hugh is also retained to provide advice to overseas attorneys in relation to clinical negligence and product liability matters proceeding abroad in other common law jurisdictions, in particular South Africa.

Cross Border Product Liability Litigation


Hugh has expertise in private international law matters, and is currently involved in a large number of cross border product liability claims on behalf of several hundred overseas Claimants bringing personal injury claims in England against English tortfeasors, in particular relating to defective orthopaedic devices. These are ground breaking cross border claims that have given rise to disputes as to jurisdiction and applicable law, and complex issues as to the interpretation of the Rome II Regulation, the Brussels I Regulation, and the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995.

Advice & Consultancy To Overseas Attorneys In Clinical Negligence


Hugh is regularly retained to provide advice to overseas attorneys in relation to clinical negligence matters proceeding abroad in other common law jurisdictions, in particular South Africa. In this respect he works closely with overseas attorneys and/or local junior counsel in respect of local matters of law and procedure, but is able to draw on his clinical negligence expertise in UK litigation to advise and assist in relation to complex clinical negligence matters proceeding overseas.

Offshore & International Cases


  • Allen & Others v Depuy International Ltd [2014] EWHC 753 (QB): Stewart J. Leading case on the temporal scope of the Rome II Regulation (event giving rise to damage clarified), and the applicable law in cross-border product liability claims under the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995.
  • O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur C-358/08, [2010] UKSC 23: The only case under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 ever to have reached either the ECJ or Supreme Court. Landmark ruling on interpretation of the EC Directive / CPA / product liability limitation.
  • Allen & Others v Depuy International Ltd (2013): Dismissal of Defendant’s challenge to jurisdiction for product liability claims brought in England by overseas Claimants.

Personal Injury


Ranked as a leading silk by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, Hugh is regularly instructed for both Claimants and Defendants across the whole spectrum of personal injury litigation, but he is best known for his Defendant employers liability practice. He acts for some of the leading EL insurers and is regularly briefed in complex personal injury defences of very high value. He was awarded the title “Barrister of the Year” at the PI Awards 2013.

Before taking silk he appeared without a leader in the House of Lords in 2009 in the leading PUWER case Smith v Northamptonshire County Council. In the same year he appeared in the ECJ, also without a leader, in a landmark ruling under the EC Product Liability Directive (O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur SA).

In recent years he has developed a niche specialism in acting for global private security companies defending claims arising from head injuries and other combat injuries by security operatives working in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones. He has appeared in some of the leading cases in this field.

Hugh has a growing international reputation, and advises overseas instructing attorneys throughout the common law jurisdictions.

Memberships


  • PIBA

Claims Involving The Military

Claims Involving The Military


Hugh has developed a niche specialism in acting for global private security companies defending claims arising from head injuries and other combat injuries by security operatives working in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones. He has appeared in some of the leading cases in this field including Newton-Sealey v Armorgroup in which the Court considered the extent of a UK based parent company’s duty of care in respect of the acts/omissions of subsidiary companies operating overseas.

In recent years Hugh has advised government agencies and industry associations both in the UK and overseas as to the developing international oversight mechanisms that have been developed concerning this industry.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Smith v Northamptonshire County Council [2009] UKHL 27: Leading case on PUWER 1998 and the EC Work Equipment Directive.
  • Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation (GLO) (on-going): Instructed on behalf of a cohort of Kenyan Claimants in this ongoing GLO, claiming damages for personal injury suffered in Kenya in the 1950s.
  • O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur C-358/08, [2010] UKSC 23: The only case under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 ever to have reached either the ECJ or Supreme Court. Landmark ruling on interpretation of the EC Directive / CPA / product liability limitation.
  • Ahmed v Ministry of Defence & Kellogg Brown & Root (2013): Claim against MOD and private security company involving allegation of injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
  • Cardy v Erinys (Iraq) Ltd (2012): £1.6m claim against private security company following injuries sustained on convoy protection work in Iraq.
  • Williamson v Armorgroup (2014): Claim against private security company following psychiatric injuries sustained during mortar attack in Iraq.
  • Newton-Sealey v Armorgroup [2008] EWHC 233 (QB): £2m claim against private security company following serious head injuries sustained during convoy protection work in Iraq.
  • McKenna v Drayton Construction Ltd (2013): £1m+ eye injury industrial accident.
  • Taylor v Dawson & others (on-going): Fatal industrial accident.

Product Liability


Hugh is ranked as a leading silk in Product Liability by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. He has an international reputation. He was awarded the title “Barrister of the Year” at the PI Awards 2013, and is regarded as “a massive presence in the product liability field” (Legal 500 2012).

He is instructed for the claimants in several major group actions including the PIP breast implant GLO, the Depuy ASR hip implant group litigation, several other metal on metal hip implant claims including Pinnacle, Finsbury Adept, Mitch THR, Zimmer Durom and the Birmingham Hip Replacement, Cervarix vaccine damage claims and several other group actions.

Before taking silk Hugh appeared in the ECJ in O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur, acting alone against two QCs in a major product liability ruling, subsequently returning to the Supreme Court in 2010. This was the first product liability claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 ever to have reached this level.

Hugh also has expertise in the complex jurisdictional and private international law issues arising in cross border and international product liability claims. He is currently acting for several hundred overseas Claimants in cross border group litigation in respect of the ASR hip implants.

Group Litigation Medical Device Failures Cross Border Product Liability Sale Of Goods

Group Litigation


Hugh is instructed for the claimants in several major product liability group actions and has extensive experience of group litigation in this field.

He is currently retained in the PIP breast implant GLO, the Depuy ASR hip implant group litigation, and several other metal on metal hip implant claims including Pinnacle, Finsbury Adept, Mitch THR, Zimmer Durom and the Birmingham Hip Replacement. He is also instructed in Cervarix vaccine damage claims and several other emerging group actions including Biomet AES ankle replacements.

Medical Device Failures


Hugh is instructed for the claimants in several major product liability group actions involving medical device failures, as well as complex singleton medical device failure claims. Many of these claims involve metal on metal hip implant failures, but also include one-off manufacturing defect claims leading to sudden catastrophic device failure. These claims typically involve complex bioengineering and/or metallurgy expert evidence.

He is currently retained in the Depuy ASR hip implant group litigation, and several other metal on metal hip implant claims including Pinnacle, Finsbury Adept, Mitch THR, Zimmer Durom and the Birmingham Hip Replacement.

Cross Border Product Liability


Hugh has expertise in private international law matters, and is currently involved in a large number of cross border product liability claims on behalf of several hundred overseas Claimants bringing personal injury claims in England against English tortfeasors, in particular relating to defective orthopaedic devices. These are ground breaking cross border claims that have given rise to disputes as to jurisdiction and applicable law, and complex issues as to the interpretation of the Rome II Regulation, the Brussels I Regulation, and the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995.

Hugh is also retained to provide advice to overseas attorneys in relation to clinical negligence and product liability matters proceeding abroad in other common law jurisdictions, in particular South Africa.

Sale Of Goods


Hugh is regularly involved in product liability claims in cases involving the provision of products to the Claimant pursuant to a contract. In such cases claims are typically brought in breach of contract under the Sale of Goods legislation, and Hugh is well placed to advised as to the overlap between these contractual claims and more traditional product liability claims under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Hugh is retained in the PIP Breast Implant Ligation, in which 1000+ Claimants are bringing claims against private clinics in breach of contract under this legislation.

Product Liability Cases


  • PIP Breast Implant GLO (instructed by the GLO steering committee) (on-going).
  • DePuy ASR hip implant group litigation (on-going).
  • Allen and others v Depuy International Ltd (2013):  Dismissal of Defendant’s application to contest jurisdiction for ASR hip claims brought in England by overseas claimants..
  • Allen and others v Depuy International Ltd [2014] EWHC 753 (QB): Landmark ruling as to territorial scope of Consumer Protection Act 1987, and as to applicable law in cross border product liability claims.
  • Biomet AES ankle litigation (on-going).
  • O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur C-358/08, [2010] UKSC 23:  Landmark ruling as to interpretation of EC Directive & Consumer Protection Act 1987 / limitation.
  • Cervarix vaccine damage claims (on-going).
  • Pinnacle, Mitch THR, Zimmer Durom, Birmingham Hip Replacement, Finsbury Adept, and several other hip implant claims.
  • ABG1 prosthetic hips litigation (2008).
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How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email: clerks@7br.co.uk.

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