Barrister Steven Ford

Steven Ford

Year of call: 1992  Silk: 2010


“He is extremely thorough and provides clear and concise thinking to complex issues.”

Chambers & Partners 2016



Steven practices exclusively in the field of personal injury and is a specialist in child abuse and other psychiatric injury claims. He represents local authorities and private social care, health and education providers, charities and religious bodies in claims concerning assault, abuse and neglect, and social care, health care and educational negligence. He appears before disciplinary tribunals and at inquests and other enquiries. He advises public sector and corporate bodies on compliance issues associated with his areas of practice.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Steven appears in all types of personal injury claims. His particular areas of expertise are the tort liability of local authorities, institutional liability for deliberate injury and the law of limitation, non-delegable duties and vicarious liability. He appeared for the defendant in the Supreme Court case of Woodland concerning the circumstances in which a common law duty of care may be non-delegable, and for the defendant in the recent Court of Appeal case of NA about the no-fault liability of local authorities for the actions of foster carers. He regularly acts in maximum severity brain and spinal injury claims and in fatal accident cases, asbestos-related and other disease claims and stress at work, bullying and harassment cases.



Steven’s “reputation in child abuse cases has risen to great heights” (Chambers & Partners 2012). He has 20 years experience advising and representing defendants in abuse and related claims. He has advised the defendants in claims concerning the activities of Bishop Peter Ball; he advised the BBC’s insurers in the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall claims. He is acting in a number of ongoing large (100+) group actions involving abuse and neglect in care homes, private schools and state schools. He acted for a number of Health Authority employees in the Kerr/Haslam public enquiry into the sexual abuse of patients by two NHS Consultant Psychiatrists and is retained by core participants for the Goddard Enquiry. He has appeared in many of the leading cases concerning the negligent “failure to remove” children from abusive parents and carers. He is seen as an expert in the law of limitation, non-delegable duties and vicarious liability and appeared for several of the defendants in the leading House of Lords case on limitation in sexual assault claims, A-v-Hoare (the “lottery rapist” case).

Personal Injury Cases

  • NA-v-Nottinghamshire County Council [2015] EWCA 1139: a local authority does not owe a non-delegable duty when placing a child in foster care nor is it vicariously liable for foster carers’ torts
  • JL-v-the Scout Association and another (Manchester CC 27.5.15; unreported): the meaning of consent in a claim for damages for sexual assault
  • Woodland-v-Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66: when a common law duty of care is non-delegable
  • Dunn-v-Durham [2012] EWCA Civ 1654: disclosure of social services records; interplay between DPA 1998, HRA 1998, PII and CPR
  • Raggett-v-Governors of Preston Catholic College [2012] EWHC 3112 (QB) Swift J: former solicitor claiming damages of £4.4m for childhood sexual abuse committed by a Catholic Priest
  • Reynolds-v-Strutt & Parker [2011] EWHC 2263 (QB): duty owed by employer when employee injured at team bonding event; meaning of Regulation 3(2)(e) of PPEW 1992
  • NXS-v-London Borough of Camden [2009] EWHC 1786 (QB) Swift J: local authority liability for failing to remove child from abusive parent
  • TCD-v-London Borough of Harrow and others [2008] EWHC 3048 (QB) Eady J: limitation in failure to remove claims
  • A v Hoare [2008] UKHL 6: limitation period in cases involving deliberate sexual assault

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email:


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