Barrister Richard Baker

Richard Baker

Year of call: 2000  

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“Always well prepared, and picks up points that win cases.”

Legal 500

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Overview


Richard is described by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior specialising in personal injury and clinical negligence work and has been ranked in both areas for a number of years. He has built up a busy and successful practice and wins praise for his advocacy and problem solving skills but also his ability to relate to his clients, especially the bereaved. He has been an Assistant Coroner for South Yorkshire (East) since 2011 and has earned an excellent reputation for his ability to manage complicated and difficult inquests.

Richard is happy to accept work from Claimants or Defendant organisations.

Clinical Negligence Offshore & International Personal Injury Public Law

Clinical Negligence


Richard has specialised in complex clinical negligence work since he was called to the bar and has been described by Chambers and Partners as “building an impressive reputation, particularly for his work on high-value brain injury cases”. He undertakes work covering all clinical and surgical specialties but takes a special interest in obstetric cases, having represented claimants in a large number of birth injury cases.

Richard also has particular experience of working with the bereaved having represented many families through complicated and traumatic inquests and subsequent claims pursuant to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934.

Memberships


  • APIL
  • AvMA

Inquest & Judicial Review Disciplinary Tribunals Human Rights Act Cases

Inquest & Judicial Review


Richard has been an Assistant Coroner since 2011 and has provided representation at inquests throughout his career. He has appeared in a large number of complicated inquests, often relating to treatment provided to detained and voluntary psychiatric patients and often in cases where the coroner has summoned a jury. In many of the inquests where he has provided representation to bereaved families coroners have considered there to have been serious failures in care warranting findings of ‘neglect’.

Disciplinary Tribunals


Richard’s practice requires him to have a detailed understanding of the rules of professional conduct as they apply to medical professionals. Several of the cases that he has been involved in have culminated in references and complaints to the GMC and NMC. He is happy to advise on issues relating to professional conduct and provide representation in Disciplinary Tribunals.

Human Rights Act Cases


Richard regularly undertakes cases in the Coroner’s Court involving alleged breach of Article 2. He has also been involved in a number of claims for damages on behalf of victims and has been involved in several recent cases where family members bringing claims following a breach of a vulnerable patient’s Article 2 rights have recovered damages exceeding £100,000. He has recently advised families campaigning for an inquiry into poor standards in Welsh Hospitals, which has received national media coverage and led to questions in Parliament.

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • Thomas v Curley [2013] EWCA Civ 117 and [2011] EWHC 2013: Representing a woman who suffered biliary peritonitis following iatrogenic injury to her common bile duct during private surgery. The claimant was successful at trial and in the Court of Appeal, a significant authority on the use of res ipsa loquitur in clinical negligence claims.
  • H v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (2012): £2.5 million for a child who suffered brain injury as a consequence of uncontrolled hypertension following a kidney transplant.
  • A v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (2012): Birth injury case in which the claimant recovered a lump sum of £2.75 million with annual payments of £85,765.00 rising to £130,000.00.
  • In the matter of CD (2013): Representing family of a man who committed suicide after absconding from a low security mental health unit. The Coroner returned a verdict reflecting serious failings in the care provided to him and Richard thereafter obtained £325,000 for his family representing, in part, their victim status under Article 2 of the ECHR.
  • AS v Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust (2014): Birth injury case in which the claimant recovered lump sum of £1.25 million with annual payments of £100,000 rising to £118,000.

Offshore & International


Richard is recognised as a leading personal injury and clinical negligence specialist and is occasionally called upon to provide advice and consultancy services to lawyers and advocates conducting claims in other jurisdictions. He is happy to advise on the management of complex injury claims being brought outside of jurisdiction and manage and analyse expert evidence and his experience of conducting complicated clinical claims can be of value to legal professionals wherever they are based.

Advice & Consultancy To Overseas Attorneys In Clinical Negligence

Advice & Consultancy To Overseas Attorneys In Clinical Negligence


Richard has been instructed to advise Advocates in Guernsey in relation to complicated claims arising from clinical negligence. He has provided direct assistance with the amendment pleadings, conferences with medical experts and the assessment of quantum.

Personal Injury


Richard has been a personal injury specialist throughout his career and is listed as a leading junior by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. He undertakes cases involving catastrophic injuries or complicated legal issues in the fields of employer’s liability, road traffic collisions, and sexual abuse. He is instructed by claimants and by defendant organisations.

He has been praised within the directories for his ability to provide “digestible and succinct advice” and for being “approachable and friendly” but also for his “thoroughness” and his “impressive reputation, particularly for his work on high-value brain injury cases” (Chambers and Partners).

Memberships


  • APIL
  • PIBA

Abuse Inquests Fraudulent Claims

Abuse


Richard accepts instructions on behalf of claimants who have been the victims of sexual abuse. His largest case to date was a claim brought on behalf of four claimants who had been the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of family members and who had consequently sustained severe psychiatric injuries. They recovered in excess of £800,000.

Inquests


Richard has been an Assistant Coroner since 2011 and regularly provides representation at inquests. He is able to advise on all issues relating to Coronial Law.

Fraudulent Claims


Richard has been instructed by defendant organisations to defend claims involving allegations of fraud or exaggeration. He recently provided extensive written submissions on the costs consequences of exaggerated injury claims to the Court of Appeal (the other party did not proceed with the appeal in light of those submissions).

Personal Injury Cases


  • Joyce v O’Brien and Tradex [2012] EWHC 1324 (QB), [2013] All ER (D) 225: Representing a man who sustained catastrophic injuries in a road traffic incident following the alleged theft of ladders at first instance and before the Court of Appeal. The case is now the leading authority on ex turpi causa in cases of joint enterprise.
  • Acting for four Claimants who recovered in excess of £800,000 for injuries sustained following a local authority’s failure to protect them from sexual abuse at the hands of family members.
  • S v Royal Mail: Below knee amputation following road traffic accident. The claimant, in her 80’s at the time of the accident, recovered in excess of £300,000.00.

Public Law


Richard is a specialist inquest lawyer and Assistant Coroner and is regularly instructed in complicated cases, involving breaches of Human Rights and the interpretation of the jurisprudence of the European Court. He understands the unique issues that providing representation through the inquest process brings and has been praised for “his sensitivity and ability to deal with bereaved clients” (Legal 500).

He is also familiar with the Inquiries Act 2005 and with Judicial Review and has recently provided advice to family members seeking and public inquiry into patient care at Welsh Hospitals.

Memberships


  • Coroner’s Society of England & Wales

Judicial Review Public Inquiries Article 2 Inquests

Judicial Review


Richard undertakes judicial reviews in relation to decisions by coroners and general medical matters. He has recently advised families seeking to encourage the Welsh Government to establish a public inquiry into the care provided to their relatives at Welsh Hospitals.

Public Inquiries


Richard has been instructed to advise families seeking a public inquiry into the neglect of patients in Welsh Hospitals and is leading a team within 7BR who are preparing submissions on that issue. The case has been described within the media as the “Welsh Mid-Staffordshire”. Richard is happy to accept instructions from any party seeking advice in respect of a public inquiry.

Article 2 Inquests


Richard regularly represents parties at inquests held pursuant to Article 2 of the ECHR, often involving complicated issues and often heard before juries. He has advised in relation to inquests and claims brought following the decision of the Supreme Court in Rabone and has extensive experience of cases involving the care provided to vulnerable and detained patients in the NHS and vulnerable patients who have been subject to deprivation of liberty in residential homes.

Public Law Cases


  • Re FK (2011): Representing the family of a detained person who escaped from the Manchester Royal Infirmary and committed suicide. After a 12 day inquest before a jury a verdict of suicide contributed to by neglect was returned. A claim was subsequently brought by the deceased’s family for damages pursuant to Article 2 of the ECHR, which was settled for a six figure sum.
  • Re CD (2013): Representing family of a man who committed suicide after absconding from a low security mental health unit. The Coroner returned a verdict reflecting serious failings in the care provided to him and Richard thereafter obtained £325,000 for his family representing, in part, their victim status under Article 2 of the ECHR.
  • Re CHB (2014): Representing the family of a woman who suffered from catatonic schizophrenia and who developed a deep vein thrombosis and fatal pulmonary embolism as a consequence of failures to provide proper care. Article 2 inquest before a jury culminating in a verdict of ‘neglect’ and breach of Article 2.
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