Alison McCormick

Call date: 1988
Email: Alison McCormick Clerk: Graham Woods
Areas of Law: Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury
Practice summary

Alison McCormick is an "extremely experienced" junior counsel with a devoted solicitor following. Leading claimant lawyers opine that she is "extremely thorough and unusually good with clients." Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners, 2013

Alison has a broad based, Claimant focussed personal injury practice encompassing occupational disease claims, employers’ and public liability, occupiers’ liability and road traffic accidents.

Her nationwide personal injury caseload includes many fatal accident claims, and she frequently represents Claimants who have suffered catastrophic brain and spinal injury and limb amputation.

Alison undertakes a wide range of clinical negligence cases arising out of general practitioner, surgical and anaesthetic negligence across many fields, including orthopaedics, neurology, oncology, gynaecology and obstetrics.

Alison has a sensitive and common sense approach to litigation. An emphasis on client care and good working relationships with solicitors are key features of Alison’s practice. She is particularly experienced in dealing with Claimants who lack mental capacity, the terminally ill, recently bereaved and cases involving minors. She aims to maximise the damages awards which her clients receive and assist them to cope with what is, for many, very traumatic litigation. To this end Alison is always willing to travel to see clients wherever is most comfortable for them.

A significant part of Alison’s practice is in asbestos related litigation. She was junior counsel for the Claimant in Lead Case 1 (Durham v BAI) in the “Employers’ Liability Trigger Litigation” [2012] UKSC 14, high profile multi party test litigation in which the Supreme Court held that in mesothelioma claims the liability of an insurer to indemnify the insured employer is “triggered” by inhalation of the asbestos which initiates the disease.

McCormick, AlisonThe Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Publications

Butterworths Personal Injury Newsletter: July 2012, Vol 4 Issue 7
All’s well that ends well for EL but what about PL?
Alison McCormick explores the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the employers’ liability El Trigger Litigation.
 

A selection of recent cases
  • C R (a child) v K N
  • Lump sum settlement for a 15 year old Claimant who suffered serious pelvic and hip injuries and a minor brain injury in a road traffic accident. The injuries interfered with the Claimant’s education in the short term. Both the Claimant and her mother needed considerable support throughout the litigation process.

 

  • Connor v Bradman Coaches
  • 3 claims arising out of a road traffic accident in which a mother and her 6 year old son were knocked down by a school bus in front of a primary school. The son died from his injuries, the mother sustained severe orthopaedic injuries and psychological injury, and the father came upon the immediate aftermath of the accident scene and is pursuing a claim for psychiatric injury as a secondary victim. This is a very sensitive case in which quantum remains in issue.

 

  • Jacqueline Goodridge v JME Transport
  • Claim arising out of a fatal road traffic accident in which the Claimant’s husband was killed. The Claimant was told about the accident on the telephone as she was away from home and she was subsequently taken to the mortuary to view and identify her husband’s body. The Claimant suffered psychiatric injury as a consequence of her involvement in the immediate aftermath of the accident and brings a claim as a secondary victim. Both liability and quantum are in dispute.

 

  • Haydn Pierce v Nicola Fenton
  • Claim for a significant head injury to a 7 year old child who was knocked down when he ran across the road in 2001. Liability was agreed and approved by the court in 2004 on an 80:20 split in the Claimant’s favour. The Claimant has a difficult background and comes from a dysfunctional family. It was necessary to stay determination of quantum pending the Claimant reaching maturity in order better to determine the effects of the accident. There are difficult issues of attributability and causation to be resolved.

 

  • Durham v BAI (Lead Case 1 in the Employers’ Liability Trigger Litigation)
  • This case is the longest and largest to be heard by the Supreme Court since its inception. The issue for determination is whether payment should be made on policies of employers’ liability insurance in force during periods of negligent exposure to asbestos in respect of mesothelioma manifesting many years later. The case was heard at first instance by Burton J over 9 weeks in 2008. The Claimant was successful, but the case was appealed to the Court of Appeal in 2009. All 3 judges dismissed the appeal; however, the case then went on appeal to the Supreme Court.

 

  • Leonard Lake v Granville Tin Plate Company
  • This case was originally a claim for asbestosis; however it was defended on the basis that the Claimant’s asbestos exposure was not heavy enough to reach the threshold for asbestosis and that he suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. After commencement of proceedings the Claimant was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Once liability has been determined he has elected to stay assessment of damages until after his death. There are issues as to the Claimant’s life expectancy outwith his mesothelioma

 

  • Royston Edward Woodburn v Silverfield Limited
  • Claim for occupational asthma and risk of lung cancer consequent upon hexavalent chromate exposure during a cadmium plating process. This claim involved complex expert liability evidence.

 

  • Many claims against Joseph Lucas Limited – Claimants’ names include Kinsgscott, Mander, Parker and Davies
  • I have dealt with a number of mesothelioma claims arising out of different types of asbestos exposure at various Lucas factory premises. All claims except those pertaining to victims who were directly exposed to asbestos used in the manufacturing process have been defended. Kingscott was a fatal mesothelioma claim involving low and unusual asbestos exposure when the deceased worked as a photographer for the Lucas in-house magazine and went onto the factory floor to organise and take photographs of employees.

 

  • Michael John Smith v Ford Motor Company and HLC Engineering Limited
  • This claim is for pleural thickening caused by occupational asbestos exposure. Limitation, specifically date of knowledge is in issue. There are also issues pertaining to negligent exposure and apportionment.
Alison McCormick

"Very, very good with clients, very bright, incredibly thorough and good to work with. My go-to barrister for high-value cases." "A highly experienced and versatile counsel whose involvement in the landmark employers' liability policy litigation was invaluable." Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners, 2015

‘A pleasure to work with as she is always so well prepared.’ Personal injury, Legal 500, 2014

‘A formidable opponent, who has meticulous attention to detail.’ Clinical negligence, Legal 500, 2014

"She's brilliant at special damages and very, very user-friendly with the clients."  "She's superb; sensitive and always on the ball." Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2014

Alison McCormick is an "extremely experienced" junior counsel with a devoted solicitor following. Leading claimant lawyers opine that she is "extremely thorough and unusually good with clients." Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners, 2013

The "wonderfully approachable" Alison McCormick, "whose excellent demeanour and use of plain English quickly put clients at ease." A popular port of call for complex issues of law and quantum, McCormick divides her time between disease and catastrophic brain and spine injury cases. Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2012

Alison McCormick, is ‘extremely helpful and approachable’ and has ‘great empathy for clients’. Clinical negligence and healthcare, Legal 500, 2011

‘personable’, ‘practical’ and ‘clever’ Clinical negligence and healthcare Legal 500 2010

Alison McCormick, a highly regarded personal injury practitioner whose analytical and technical capabilities make her a popular choice for high-value RTAs, employers' liability and industrial disease matters. Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2011

Appointments & memberships:

  • APIL 
  • PIBA
  • AVMA