William Chapman is an experienced barrister with a broad common law practice, principally in personal injury, clinical negligence and historic sex abuse claims, but also in employment and commercial cases where his broad experience counts.
He is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for personal injury. His early years in practice provided extensive experience in the Crown Court providing him with the advocacy skills to match the demands of complex litigation.
William is acting for a number of high-profile claimants arising out of the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham.
He is acting for core participant complainants in the Roman Catholic module of the Independent inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (The Jay Inquiry).
William 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.
William is instructed predominately for the claimant. His practice includes claims resulting from missed diagnoses of cancer, poor dentistry, failed corneal graphs, unnecessary laparotomies, inappropriate treatment of diabetes, and failure to treat a mesenteric infarction. He has a particular interest in cases involving dermatology as he is married to a consultant dermatologist.
Complicated claim on limitation and causation for damages for an admittedly negligent operation that damaged C’s ureter in 2003. C was well aware that the surgeon had made an error because he told her at the time but, given assurances that all would be well, let it pass. All was not well with seemingly endless complications leading to laparotomy and herniation 10 years later. Case settled successfully after pleadings served.
Claim by the dependants of the deceased for missed diagnosis of breast cancer during routine screening. The mammogram had been double-read: one of the screeners had held that the mammogram was indeed suspicious, the other not. On review, by a third screener, the deceased was not recalled. Held at trial, dismissing the claim, that without knowing why the screeners made their decisions the court could only rely on the expert evidence presented at court; the court preferred D’s expert evidence.
William makes full use of his background in economics and computers to judge the commercial realities of complex and big-paper cases including claims in negligence against professionals. He is particularly strong in those areas that straddle other areas of his practice.
Claim by IFA for unpaid commissions due in breach of an oral agreement on transfer of the business. Documentation running to tens of thousands pages.
Claims by money transfer companies against the banks for refusing to provide banking facilities on arbitrary and discriminatory grounds. Interim injunction obtained pending resolution of the question of whether such refusal amounted to a breach of the Equality Act 2010.
Acting for private detective defending a claim for damages for invasion of privacy after an animal rights activist discovered a tracking device on her car planted by him at the behest of his client, Bernard Matthews. Claim pleaded novel causes of action under the Human Rights Act, the Harassment Act and under the Data Protection Act.
Successfully argued against recovery of vehicle recovery operators’ costs in defence of the owner of a stricken lorry. Precedent established.
William acts principally for claimants in multi-track personal injury and historic abuse cases. He has extensive experience in RTA, EL and PL claims and those involving highway authorities. William’s background in economics and computers means he makes short work of even large and complicated Schedules of Loss. He also straddles the Employment Tribunal jurisdiction in stress-at-work claims. He recently successfully argued that a claimant was not estopped from pursuing a parallel claim in the ET after the civil claim had been compromised.
He has appeared successfully in the Court of Appeal both on his own and with a leader. He has been instructed as junior counsel in the high-profile case concerning Mark Kennedy, the undercover policeman.
William Chapman cited as expert witness in support of Charles Geekie QC’s conclusion that ‘there should not have been a confidentiality clause” in the settlement of a claim in 2015 against Chelsea Football Club for damages for sexual abuse by the football-scout, Eddie Heath.View case >
William Chapman makes final submissions at the Inquiry into the Anglican Church.
Claim against the Metropolitan Police for psychology injury resulting from a mismanaged placement of the claimant as an undercover police officer.
Duty of disclosure in a civil action for damages arises under the Civil Procedure Rules. Where a public authority seeks to withhold sensitive confidential information on public interest grounds, the issue of public interest immunity in the strict sense does not necessarily arise, rather, provided the test of relevance is satisfied, the issue falls to be determined by balancing the competing common law and article 6 right to a fair trial against rights to privacy or confidentiality under article 8 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Leading case cited in the forward to the JC Guidelines on the correct approach to the assessment of general damages where there have been multiple injuries.
William has acted for claimants in historic abuse claims for over six years and is instructed by some of the leading firms in the field. He has a particular interest in the disclosure requirements for litigation of these claims and was junior counsel in the important case of Durham CC v Dunn  EWCA Civ 1654,  1 WLR 2305 that determined that the DPA had no bearing on the requirements of standard disclosure under the CPR. As a result social services records and the like are no longer routinely provided for inspection in heavily redacted form.
William has acted in a number of claims on behalf of and against the police. He is currently being led in the claim by Mark Kennedy, the undercover policeman, against the Metropolitan Police for damages for psychological injury following a mismanaged undercover placement.
William is instructed on a large number of claims against the Ministry of Defence. He is currently acting for the dependents of a soldier killed in Iraq following a successful attempt to order the re-opening of the Inquest into his death.
William has acted in the Employment Tribunal for over six years including claims for discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal. He acts for a number of local authorities in London. He has a particular interest in those cases straddling the civil and employment tribunal jurisdictions, especially in stress-at-work claims.
William is experienced in the competing jurisdictions of the Employment Tribunal and Civil Courts. He recently successfully argued that, having settled the civil claim, the Claimant was not estopped from pursuing overlapping damages in the Employment Tribunal.
A stress-at-work claim leading to unfair dismissal with parallel proceedings in the civil courts. The interesting aspect of this claim is that once the civil proceedings were settled William successfully argued in the ET that proceedings in the ET on the same facts were not estopped. This means C may well recover overlapping damages twice.
William acted for the Respondent successfully resisting a claim for victimisation & harassment leading to constructive dismissal. The curious facts were that C was suspended from her work as a successful Youth Training Officer after police complained she had refused to provide a witness statement against a youth in her care. C said she was frightened of the repercussions and felt undue pressure from her employer to assist the police. The true reason emerged in cross examination.
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