Barrister Simon Wheatley

Simon Wheatley

Year of call: 1979  

spacer

“A very strong barrister, both in conference and court; he stands his ground extremely well.”

Legal 500

spacer

Overview


Recommended by the Legal 500, where he is described as “calm”, “compassionate”, “focused” and a “real pleasure to work with”, Simon’s principle area of practice is maximum severity claims, including brain damage cases.

In Clinical Negligence, Simon specialises in claims involving injury at birth, cerebral palsy, failure to diagnose, failure to inform, and a variety of procedures including laparotomy and laparoscopy. He is also instructed in product liability cases which concern medical products.

Simon undertakes a range of Personal Injury work that includes industrial accidents, chemical injuries and road traffic cases. He is experienced with working with the consequences of head injuries, including resolving the problems caused by misdiagnosis and/or misunderstanding of the significance of head injuries.

Simon is involved in a number of high profile claims involving ‘dystrophy’ type injuries (see below).

Simon also appears in the Court of Protection, dealing with the ramifications particularly of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

He is highly regarded for his expertise in military claims, such as ‘non-freezing’ injuries and the calculation of loss of career prospects.

Simon is a trained Assistant Judge Advocate, and has sat on Court Martials in the UK and Germany.

Clinical Negligence Personal Injury

Clinical Negligence


“‘At ease with high-value claims and complex issues.” Legal 500 2016

Simon specialises in all claims for Clinical Negligence. In the last year these have included birth injury claims, failed plastic surgery outcomes, failure to diagnose, failure to inform, and a variety of procedures including laparotomy and laparoscopy.

He is presently instructed in a large number of cases involving damage to male and female breasts, due to missed diagnosis of cancer and inappropriate plastic surgery.

Simon is also instructed in product liability cases which concern medical products.

Memberships


  • Action against Medical Accidents (AVMA)
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • Harrison v Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust [2013] EWHC 442 (QB), [2013] Med LR 334: Interaction of the Limitation Act in clinical negligence. Claimant pursuing claim arising from a shoulder operation undergone in 2005. HELD, she had not acquired the necessary knowledge for limitation purposes until June 2009, when a consultant discovered the true cause of her continuing symptoms, accordingly claim was not statute-barred.
  • KC v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (2009): The Claimant, a 31-year-old man, received a £340,000 lump sum payment and periodical payments of £30,000 per annum, for the duration of his life, following the failure by the hospital to perform an emergency operation to revise a ventricular peritoneal shunt, thereby causing bilateral blindness.
  • GB v Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2009): The Claimant, a 44-year-old woman, received £80,000 after a hospital failed to diagnose her breast cancer when she was examined at a breast clinic. Approximately 10 months later, her condition was diagnosed and she subsequently underwent additional treatment including a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • DB (a child) v Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (2001): £30,000.00 settlement for 13 year old boy with malformed ears who underwent failed pinnaplasty surgery.

Personal Injury


Simon undertakes a range of Personal Injury work that includes industrial accidents, chemical injuries and road traffic cases. He is experienced with working with the consequences of head injuries, including resolving the problems caused by misdiagnosis and/or misunderstanding of the significance of head injuries. He has worked with a number of families who have been left unsupported while they attempt to care for the victim suffering from head injuries.

Simon is involved in a number of high profile claims involving ‘dystrophy’ injuries, ‘complex regional pain’ injuries and the persisting perception of pain following the resolution of the organic symptoms. He has represented one ‘TV chef’ who developed a total loss of use of his arm following a low impact rear-end shunt. That resulted in a £1m settlement.

Memberships


  • Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)

Court Of Protection Claims Involving The Military

Court Of Protection


Simon acts in a number of cases concerning mental capacity and the allocation of funds.

Re Mark Reeves Court of Protection No. 99328848 (2010): Simon acted for the Deputy, in a case which decided whether or not a Deputy had to apply to the Court of Protection before seeking funding from the local authority.

The facts are that in 1967 Mark Reeves sustained a traumatic brain injury in a road traffic accident. In 2003 HHJ Oliver-Jones QC made a lump sum award of £2.5M in his favour. That award included a sum in relation to care costs at the residential Transitional Rehabilitation Unit (TRU) calculated for the anticipated life of MR, by reference to the purchase of an annuity, but not allowing for the costs of inflation. Since 1994 MR had been receiving 24 hour care at TRU.

In 2006 MR’s Deputy, Eric Morris, applied to the local authority for TRU, St Helen’s Council, for a contribution towards funding for MR’s care. In 2009 the question of ‘double recovery’ was considered by the Court of Appeal in Peters v East Midlands Strategic Health Authority & Others [2009] EWCA Civ 145, P.I.Q.R. Q1. In that case the Deputy had been prepared to give the court an undertaking that she would make an application to the Court of Protection seeking authority to act, prior to applying for funding from the relevant local authority. In 2009 St Helen’s Council replied to Mr Morris, citing Peters, and stating that it required him to make a similar application to the Court of Protection before it would consider his application.

Claims Involving The Military


Simon acts for Claimants in claims against the Ministry of Defence for personal injury, including bullying and non-freezing injuries. Example cases are as follows:

  • Henry v MOD: Claimant in phase II training when he sustained initial injury to his back. Told instructor but nevertheless required to continue physical training (‘Man up lad, and stop complaining’). Claimant required to take part in Casevac exercise, which meant picking up a man of his own weight, throwing him over his shoulder and running the length of football pitch with the man on his back. Resultant damage to lower spine. Settled. £225,000.00.
  • Draffen v MOD: Claimant was Sgt in Royal Regiment of Scotland. He was acting as commander in Warrior Armoured Personnel Carrier, which means sitting in the turret. His gunner turned turret of APC without warning, thereby trapping C’s leg in the turret mechanism and pulling leg out of its socket and causing permanent damage to the leg. Settled. £150,000.00.
  • Stevenson v MOD: Claim for ‘Non-freezing cold injury’. Claimant on training exercise at Catterick for 3 nights and 4 days. “Along with other members of his section, the Claimant…had to crawl through a series of extremely cold and partially frozen puddles with the result that, from his trousers down to his boots, he became soaked and this included his boots and socks…” Inadequate equipment provided. Settled. £127,500.00.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Dufosse v Melbry Events Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 1711: Held that an event management company was in breach of its duty to a visitor who suffered a leg injury after tripping and falling over a plastic icicle during a visit to Santa’s grotto. Although a safe system had been devised for checking the floor of the grotto, it had failed on that occasion. The Court of Appeal concluded that the district judge had taken an overly benevolent view of the performance by Santa and the elf of their duties.
  • Williams v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust (2010): The Claimant received £350,000.00 after a hospital left what was believed to be part of a latex glove inside him whilst performing a tracheotomy. He lost his job and suffered a handicap on the labour market, was susceptible to chest infections and had to undergo a further, permanent tracheotomy which caused him embarrassment.
  • N v Hertfordshire Police Authority (2009): The Claimant, a 39-year-old woman, received £550,000 for the elbow and arm injuries sustained when she fell on ice in a car park in November 2005. She developed complex regional pain syndrome and became depressed and suicidal.

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.

Legal-500-Leading-Individual

Judicial Appointments


Part-time Judge Advocate in 1995

Show footer