Barrister Steven Ford

Steven Ford

Year of call: 1992  Silk: 2010


“Very much a preferred option”

Chambers & Partners 2014



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 religions bodies in claims concerning assault, abuse and neglect, and social care, health care and educational negligence. He undertakes other types of personal injury claims for both claimants and defendants. 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’s particular areas of expertise are the tort liability of local authorities, charities, religious orders and private social care, health and education providers, and the law of limitation and vicarious liability. He appeared for the defendant in the recent Supreme Court case of Woodland concerning the circumstances in which a common law duty of care may be non-delegable. He regularly acts in maximum severity brain and spinal injury claims and in fatal accident cases, asbestos-related and other disease cases, stress at work claims, workplace accident cases and bullying and harassment claims.



Steven’s “reputation in child abuse cases has risen to great heights” (Chambers & Partners 2012). He is currently advising the defendants in the claims concerning the activities of the late Sir Cyril Smith and 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 is acting in group actions against religious organisations and healthcare providers. 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. He increasingly acts for individuals who are facing damages claims for abuse and is currently representing a number of well know celebrities. 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 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 [2014] EWHC 4005 (QB) Males J: a local authority does not owe a non-delegable duty when placing a child in foster care.
  • Woodland-v-Essex County Council [2013] UKSC 66: Supreme Court decision on when a common law duty of care is non-delegable.
  • Dunn v Durham [2012] EWCA Civ 1654: Court of Appeal guidance on disclosure of social services and similar records in abuse claims; interplay between DPA 1998, HRA 1998, PII and CPR.
  • Raggett v The Governors of Preston Catholic College [2012] EWHC 3641 (QB): Swift J, high profile claim by solicitor claiming damages of £4.4m for 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: House of Lords decision on the limitation period in cases involving deliberate sexual assault
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Chambers UK Leading Barrister 2015

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