Derek Sweeting QC’s practice is focused on contentious civil litigation, and advisory work in the High Court and the Court of Appeal as well as arbitration.
It includes cases relating to maximum severity personal injury and clinical negligence work, commercial contracts, product liability, insurance, construction, information technology, professional negligence and civil fraud. He is regularly instructed by the Attorney General; in recent years, in particular, in relation claims arising from the Iraq war.
Derek is listed as a leading silk in Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury and Information Technology in The Legal 500. Derek is a regular and popular lecturer on his areas of practice. He is a co-author of the chapter in Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure dealing with the overlap between civil and criminal claims. Derek has a keen interest in sports law. He has advised in relation to contractual and negligence issues in disputes relating to individuals, agents, sports organisations and venues.
Derek is described as “fantastic with clients, very effective at explaining matters. Concise in court where he can turn the evidence well”. He is also a Bencher of Middle Temple and Chairman of the Legal Services Committee of the Bar Council.
Derek is qualified to accept instructions directly from clients and is registered under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme, meaning that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme. For more information please visit our Direct Access page here.
Derek undertakes clinical negligence cases involving difficult issues of causation and consent, maximum severity injuries, injuries at birth, medical product liability (including vaccine damage) and fatal accident claims. Although he generally appears for claimants, he is instructed by the Attorney General in claims against the Ministry of Defence. He appeared in the leading causation case of Bailey v The MOD.
Bolam test; Breach of duty of care; Clinical negligence; Consent to treatment.
Proper approach to damages for mental suffering under the Administration of Justice Act 1982 s.1(1)(b).
The role of res ipsa loquitur in clinical negligence claim.View case >
Cerebral palsy, negligent failure to spot the signs of foetal distress.View case >
Negligence in transportation in presence of a prolapsed cord.
Negligence by a consultant psychiatrist and nurses at a psychiatric unit leading to patient’s escape and suicide.
Derek’s commercial work is principally focused on contractual disputes but also involve claims arising from fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, economic torts and civil fraud. He often advises in relation to breach of duty claims against company directors (and officers) and increasingly in those areas involving an overlap with regulatory and criminal obligations.
The correct test for deciding whether property was “managed as a whole” for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.View case >
Construction of joint venture partnership deed.View case >
Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.View case >
An insurer liable to the solicitors up to the policy limit to where the solicitors had discharged the insurer’s liability to the claimant insureds under the policy.View case >
An insurance company was entitled to be paid outstanding premiums where its agent, and the agent and two of its representatives had dishonestly represented the loss ratio in a prospective agreement.View case >
Construction of energy supply agreements.
Derek is well known for work involving allegations of civil fraud. He recently represented the Claimant in obtaining summary judgment (Glen Dimplex v Smith  EWHC 3392 (Comm)) in dishonest assistance and knowing receipt claims against the husband of a woman who had defrauded her employer of £2.8 million. He represented the insurer in Templeton v Motorcare  EWHC 3113 (Comm) (miss-selling and failure to account). He is a co-author of the chapter in Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure, dealing with the overlap between civil and criminal claims.
Derek has been instructed in international arbitrations in a number of areas.
Derek has wide experience of acting in fatal accident and personal injury cases involving maximum severity claims for both claimants and defendants as well cases involving allied issues of vicarious and employers’ liability, insurance policy points and statutory liability. He has been instructed in some of the largest group litigation in this area.
Foreign proceedings; Iraq; Lawfulness of detention; Limitation periods.
Torts; Conflict of laws; Human rights.
International law; Damages; Armed forces; Human rights; Conflict of laws.
Stay of civil personal injury claims arising from the deaths of Iraqi civilians.
Risk assessment liability for personal injury where a failure to assess; application of the social utility test.
Ambit of the obligation of a highway authority to maintain verge and carriageway.
He has been involved in a wide variety of claims in this area, usually (although not exclusively) for manufacturers or importers. His work has ranged from toxic paint on imported toys to automotive control systems. He represented a vehicle manufacturer in claims by the London Fire Brigade in respect of bursting vehicle door locks (London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority v Meritor Light Vehicle Systems  EWHC 2411 (TCC)). He has been instructed in litigation on behalf of the German motor manufacturer Audi/Volkswagen and in relation to the catastrophic lift failure at the Broadgate Centre. He is presently involved in vaccine damage litigation.
Derek is regularly instructed in financial services litigation. He has been instructed in recent years relation to a market abuse/manipulation claim involving the London Stock Exchange, investment fraud actions in Cayman and claims a large European insurer in relation to miss-selling and its relationship with regulators.
Derek appeared in the Tribunal against the FSA representing Wills & Co (as well as in associated Judicial Review proceedings) and most recently in Financial Conduct Authority (A Company Limited By Guarantee) v Capital Alternatives Ltd & 15 Ors  EWHC 144 (Ch) (appeal pending) – concerning the correct test for deciding whether property was “managed as a whole” for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Derek has advised in relation to contractual and negligence issues in disputes relating to individuals, agents, sports organisations and venues.
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