Barrister Leslie Keegan

Leslie Keegan

Year of call: 1989  


“His genial demeanour coupled with his attention to detail makes him a go-to counsel”

Legal 500 2019



Before coming to the Bar Leslie Keegan was a neurophysiologist. He is now a specialist in clinical negligence and personal injury cases, where his medical expertise renders him particularly suitable to act for Claimants in cases involving serious brain injury or complex medical issues. A former caseworker for AVMA, Leslie has been called to the Irish Bar.

As well as running a very busy practice dealing with all aspects of clinical negligence and personal injury law, Leslie writes on clinical negligence issues and is frequently asked to speak on these issues. He lectured on the RCOG course for newly-qualified consultants and is a former member of the editorial board of Facts and Figures. He is a current member of the CPD Sub-Committee of the Bar Standards Board.

Leslie is also a contributor to legal journals and to television & radio programmes on both sides of the Irish Sea. He acted for a number of claimants who obtained compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board in Ireland and he is supporting the survivors of the abuse in the Mother and Baby homes in Ireland and those who underwent the symphysiotomy procedure.

Clinical Negligence

Clinical Negligence

“Very approachable and able.” Legal 500 2016

Leslie’s practice encompasses all aspects of clinical negligence, including obstetric, cardiovascular, oncology, catastrophic brain injury and spinal injury claims. He also has a substantial personal injury practice, specialising in catastrophic brain and spinal injuries and those involving loss of one or more limbs. Additionally, he deals with cases involving withdrawal of medical treatment where, particularly in relation to children, families often find it very difficult to accept the course of action being put forward by the treating physicians.

His background as a neurophysiologist is of particular assistance in managing all types of serious brain injury cases. It assists him in not only managing lay and professional client’s expectations but allows him to press medical experts in all disciplines to consider issues which are not measurable such as a vulnerability following a life-changing event that can mean that although the client retains capacity they are nevertheless rendered more vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals. Due to the fact that he spent a number of years representing local authorities, children and families in High Court and County Court proceedings, often in cases involving non-accidental injuries to children, he is very alert as to how this jurisdiction can be used when he encounters children or adults who have capacity but are rendered particularly vulnerable by index events to the undue influence of others. He has utilised it very effectively to prevent exploitation of clients who have suffered life-changing injuries of all types.

For over 10 years he has organised a 6-week series of medicolegal lectures at chambers and we have been fortunate to have been able to secure judges from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and County Court to chair these sessions as well as having eminent members of chambers and eminent medical practitioners speak on current medicolegal issues. The highly successful format involves having two eminent medical experts and one eminent legal speaker each week addressing a variety of medicolegal topics and the series continues to be highly successful.


  • PNBA
  • AVMA

Clinical Negligence Cases

  • McGowan v Vine (2018) – dental negligence claim arising from failure to refer the deceased to have swelling in jaw examined further. The deceased was a young mother and claim was resolved with very large payment to dependants.
  • Brooks v Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2018) Claimant is a type I diabetic who had peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Whilst an inpatient prior to amputation of his right leg he developed a pressure ulcer on his left heel. This was an avoidable pressure ulcer and it was allowed to progress. The care afforded to the Claimant by the hospital fell below a reasonable standard and ultimately led to him having to have his left leg amputated by way of a below-knee amputation.
  • CT (a minor) V Basildon Thurrock University Hospital (2017) – Case involved a negligent failure to advise the Claimant’s parents to seek medical assistance in the event that the Claimant failed to pass meconium within 48 hours of birth. This caused a delay in the Claimant’s admission to hospital, which caused the perforation of his bowel, leading to septicemia, meningitis and hydrocephalus. Judgment entered for Claimant and large interim payments approved.
  • TB (a minor) (2017) – Child suffered brain damage at birth. Judgment entered for Claimant after extensive negotiations where D. was trying to argue that although there was negligence it did not cause all of the injuries. Liability established and large interim payments secured for child.
  • Jackson v Cambridgeshire Hospitals NHS Trust (2017) – Fatal accident claim. Deceased had undergone a second kidney transplant and sustained a small bowel infarction due to profound hypotension resulting from septicemia. Whilst in intensive care he sustained fatal brain damage due to insulin being wrongly administered to him. Liability established and settlement reached.
  • FP v Lewisham Healthcare NHS (2016) – late diagnosis of brain tumour. When C’s condition was diagnosed the removal of the tumour resulted in her losing her sight, sense of smell and some taste. Index injuries greatly impinged on all aspects of C’s life and ability to care for her child. Liability established and 3 interim payments of £100,000 each obtained. Case also involved applications to High Court for orders restraining others from subjecting the Claimant to pressure. C. had capacity but rendered vulnerable to undue influence.
  • Jan Wilson Smyth v Public Health Wales NHS Trust (2016) – Involved death of a mother as a result of failure to treat cervical cancer. Difficult issues involving re growth rates of tumour but claim settled at Round Table Meeting. Difficult issues because one of the adult children was a protected party and, although she was living with her boyfriend, we successfully argued for her to have £95,000 for a future buddy-type carer.
  • Northampton General Hospital Trust v M (2016) – Acted on behalf of parents where hospital sought injunctions preventing parents publicising details of treating doctors and nurses.
  • PL V Dr. de Bruyne & Kingston Hospital (2015) – C. suffered brain damage as a result of failure by GP and then by hospital to deal with a clot/stroke. Resulted in C suffering a second and more catastrophic bleed resulting in permanent brain damage. C is very severely damaged with cognitive deficits and physical restrictions. Liability established and substantial settlement agreed on behalf of C.
Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Leslie acts in a wide variety of personal injury cases. His medical science background means that he has particular expertise in dealing with brain injury cases and cases involving complex medical issues but he has also acted in work related injuries, road traffic cases and a wide variety of personal injuries involving less complex injuries.



Leslie has been instructed on behalf of Local Authorities, parent and Children’s Guardians in a wide variety of care proceedings at all levels of court up to and including the Court of Appeal. His medical sciences background and experience in dealing with care proceedings combine with his experience in personal injury law and his ability to cross-examine to provide very effective representation for survivors of abuse. As well as acting on behalf of survivors of abuse in England and Wales he has acted for a number of claimants who obtained compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board in Ireland and he is supporting the survivors of the abuse in the Mother and Baby homes in Ireland and those who underwent the symphysiotomy procedure.

Personal Injury Cases

  • Ryan v Negash: Claimant received a six- figure sum. Claimant was a pedestrian who sustained serious head injury. Case was complicated by argument about impact of the Claimant’s unrelated neurological disorder on his functioning.
  • Winterbourne: Claim involving serious brain injury to Claimant.
  • Leslie also acted for a large number of claimant’s who brought claims before the Residential Institutions Redress Board in Ireland.
Sports Law

Sports Law

Leslie has a keen interest in sports law and in representing both individuals and organisations before all levels of courts and tribunals in the UK and Ireland. Being a member of the Irish Bar as well as a member of the Bar of England and Wales he is often called upon to advise and represent individuals and organisations on both sides of the Irish Sea. Leslie is also a member of BASL.

Regulatory & Disciplinary Child Protection

Regulatory & Disciplinary

Leslie’s background as a medical scientist is particularly useful in dealing with regulatory issues involving misuse of drugs in sport. As well as providing representation at tribunals dealing with these issues, Leslie lectures and writes on this subject in particular.

Child Protection

Having acted in care proceedings dealing with child protection issues at all levels of court and having a busy clinical negligence & personal injury practice Leslie is very well placed to deal with issues of child protection that come up in this area. He has also spoken widely on these issues and has been instrumental in encouraging the relevant authorities to improve the systems in place for protecting children in sport.

How to get in touch

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

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Privacy Notice

Leslie is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Leslie needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which he is instructed.

Leslie will process personal data in accordance with his Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how Leslie will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing him, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities he may have under relevant data protection legislation.

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