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Seven Bedford Row

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"An excellent, absolutely outstanding silk" (Chambers & Partners 2014)

Hugh is ranked as a leading silk by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, in the specialist field of Product Liability.   Hugh combines this with a specialist clinical negligence and commercial practice.  He has an international reputation.

He is currently instructed in several major group actions for the Claimants  (both in the UK and overseas) including the PIP breast implant GLO, the DePuy ASR hip implant group litigation, and several other medical device and pharmaceutical 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+) and has an international practice, advising on clinical negligence cases both in the UK and other common law jurisdictions.

He also practices in general commercial litigation including complex partnership disputes and high value construction disputes in the TCC.   This includes high value or group employment disputes, and he is currently retained in several group equal pay disputes.

Hugh also undertakes complex personal injury litigation.   He has developed a niche specialism acting for private security companies operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and other international conflict zones defending complex and high value claims by employees injured overseas. 

Hugh is instructed in cases at every level of the civil court system, and has recently appeared in the House of Lords (Smith v Northamptonshire CC, 2009) and in the European Court of Justice (O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur, 2009), on both occasions (prior to taking silk) acting without a leader against Queens Counsel in cases of significant wider interest.  

For detailed profiles by subject area, select one of the following:


What the directories say:

“insightful, adventurous and daring” (Legal 500 UK 2013)

“An excellent, absolutely outstanding silk … He’s very supportive to work with and down to earth as well… A firm and capable negotiator with the other side, he can also deal with the judge and witnesses very smoothly too” (Chambers and Partners 2014) 

"an outstanding advocate" (Legal 500 UK 2012)

“a massive presence in the product liability field” (Chambers and Partners 2013)

“one of the foremost juniors in the field” (Legal 500 UK 2011)

“a serious player in this field with a growing reputation .... he has a very subtle and tactful approach that’s well thought through, and he also proves very good with clients”(Chambers and Partners 2012)

 “charming and unshowy"(Chambers and Partners 2011)

"hard working, bright and without a whiff of pretence” (Chambers and Partners 2010)

“sound, sensible and knows what he’s doing” (Legal 500 UK 2009)


Recent cases

  • Numerous instructions in very high value CP birth injury claims (ongoing).
  • DePuy ASR hip group litigation (ongoing).
  • PIP breast implant GLO (instructed by GLO steering committee) (ongoing).
  • Allen and others v Depuy International Ltd. (dismissal of Defendant’s application to contest jurisdiction for ASR hip claims brought in England by overseas claimants) (May 2013) 
  • House of Lords ruling on PUWER (Smith v Northamptonshire County Council, 2009). Click here for case summary.
  • ECJ ruling on House of Lords reference re. time limits in product liability claims (O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur).  Hearing in Luxembourg in June 2009, Supreme Court 2010. Click here for case summary.
  • Iraq/Afghanistan litigation:   A number of high value (£1m+) personal injury claims against private security companies operating in Iraq & Afghanistan [ongoing].
  • Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd v RPS Services Ltd (2013) (£2m+ heavy TCC dispute).
  • Muthana v Yafai (2012).   Partnership dispute – 7 year dispute.   £10m+.
  • Polypearl Ltd v E.ON Energy Solutions Ltd. £9m commercial dispute (ongoing)
  • Cervarix vaccine damage claims (ongoing).
  • ABG1 prosthetic hips litigation (2008).



  • AVMA
  • Personal Injury Bar Association


Contact Hugh Preston QC

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7242 3555
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7242 2511