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Samantha Presland specialises in the fields of Court of Protection, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. She has a particular interest and expertise in aspects of mental capacity law and in psychiatric injury cases.
She also has an extensive Inquests practice, spanning each of the Court of Protection, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury practice areas.
Sam acts for claimants, insured defendants and NHS Resolve alike in all of her fields of specialism. Within her Court of Protection practice she also acts for families, the Official Solicitor, the Office of the Public Guardian, Health Trusts and Local Authorities.
She brings to each and every case the same analytical approach, attention to detail, practical solutions and client focused, open and sensitive manner.
Sam is a qualified mediator and a member of the Civil Mediation Council, acting as a mediator in various civil and community matters. She finds her mediation experience and skills of particular value when acting in Court of Protection/mental capacity/medical treatment matters, where compromise and problem-solving are preferable to combative litigation, in order that best interests are met in a constructive way. This means that she has a genuine ability to relate compassionately but constructively with distressed families, as well as to work to achieve practical solutions with professional parties.
She is extremely approachable in her communications with both professional and lay clients. At the pre-instruction stage, Sam is always happy to discuss cases informally. As to urgent applications within the Court of Protection and in inherent jurisdiction cases, she is likewise ready to be contacted directly to expedite matters.
Sam accepts instructions from solicitors, as well as from members of the public, the latter under the Bar Council’s Public Access (i.e. Direct Access) scheme.
Sam sits in the Crown Court as a Criminal Recorder and chairs Youth Offender Panels in Brixton, London under the government’s restorative justice programme.
She is happy to undertake, or assist with training across any of her areas of practice, for solicitors who may wish to meet her to see how she approaches legal issues.
Court of Protection/Mental Capacity & Best Interests
Sam is particularly skilled in healthcare and public law cases with a medical aspect, due to her background of almost 20 years in Clinical Negligence which provides her with unique insight into these often challenging cases. She also has extensive experience in working to obtain the best outcomes possible in cases with extremely complex psychological/psychiatric/behavioural difficulties.
She is able to relate well to clients, both lay and professional, and is tactful in dealing with cultural, religious and individual sensitivities. She combines an awareness of these with her ability to read the court, in order to best influence outcomes for those involved.
Sam has been instructed in a wide range of cases involving adult health, welfare and finances in the inherent jurisdiction and before the Court of Protection, including cases involving urgent medical treatment, injunctions, deprivation of liberty, physical and financial abuse, as well as in combined Court of Protection and judicial review proceedings.
Recently, Sam’s work has included:
- Several successful applications for families of young autistic adults deprived of their liberty by Local Authorities after having been taken into residential homes initially only for brief periods of respite, but then not allowed back to the family home.
- An application by an Afro-Caribbean family wanting to care for a P at home following a severe stroke, in which they were successful after a five day contested hearing with significant argument about the cultural importance of caring for elderly and ill relatives within the Afro-Caribbean community. The decision as first instance was appealed, in which the family was again successful in front of Mr. Justice Baker.
- An urgent application for the Official Solicitor for a P diagnosed with terminal cancer who wished to be cared for in her last few weeks at her own home rather than at the care home she was in.
- A serious medical treatment matter also for the Official Solicitor concerning the administration of anti-epileptic medication to an adult lacking in capacity when the parents objected.
Sam has a broad practice in this area, and has a firm grasp of medical issues, given almost 20 years’ experience in the field. This allows her to manage expert witnesses both in conference and in court. She is also able to act in claims with a Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) element, given her mental capacity law experience.
Sam often appears in inquests involving aspects of medical treatment and care. In particular, she has been instructed in several Article 2 Inquests where psychiatric patients have committed suicide whilst sectioned under the mental health act. As well as acting in Article 2 Inquests involving prison deaths.
Her recent work includes the following cases, often involving complex causation and quantum arguments:
- Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries, leading to extensive brain damage. Complications have arisen in one such case due to a liability dispute between hospitals and the ambulance service over responsibility for care of the Claimant.
- Psychiatric injury cases where the patients have committed suicide. One case, in which the deceased was wrongfully discharged from psychiatric hospital and sadly killed himself, quantum was complicated due to his high earnings capacity before his mental health difficulties, although it ultimately settled in excess of £1 million.
- Cerebral palsy claims, most recently dealing with a settlement following the compromised appeal in JR v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 1245 (QB);  1 WLR 4847.
- Bacterial infections, including MRSA, in surgical/hospital settings, where catastrophic injuries are caused by a delay in the diagnosis, and/or a failure to properly treat/prevent the infection. In one case, the ultimate result was a leg amputation.
- A claim related to an abdominal plastic surgery, leading to significant scarring and psychiatric injury.
- Several cases against the Ministry of Defence (“MoD”) for failure to properly diagnose and treat soldiers with symptoms of PTSD, leading to long-term chronic mental health difficulties and ultimate discharge from the Army.
- Cases also involving failure by the MoD to properly ensure soldiers received appropriate medical treatment whilst serving.
- Several cases based on the negligent insertion of intravenous-ocular lenses to correct vision in elderly patients with glaucoma, causing loss of sight in the patient’s better eye, resulting in effective blindness.
- Failure by GP’s over several weeks to diagnose and treat pneumonia, leading to the death of a young woman, who was her learning disabled husband’s carer. As such, the dependency claim is of significant value and extremely complex.
- Failure to properly prevent post-surgical coagulation leading to Deep Vein Thrombosis with significant permanent physical and psychiatric implications.
- A case related to the failure to properly manage a Parkinson’s patient’s medical regime.
- Shoulder dystocia claims.
- Delay in the diagnosis of cancer cases.
Sam has experience in high value catastrophic injury, chronic pain and complex psychological/psychiatric injury, which often involve difficult causation and quantum issues. Her work includes employer’s liability and public liability claims for claimants and defendants. She has a particular specialism in cases brought by military personnel against the MoD.
Sam also has extensive knowledge in industrial disease claims, including deafness, including a series of over 60 litigations against the same defendant by individual claimants. In this area of her practice, she now concentrates on asbestos-related cases and complex repetitive strain injury or hazardous exposure cases.
She acts authoritatively in abuse/HRA claims against care homes/healthcare providers and claims against local authorities in cases involving a failure to protect, using the experience gained in her Court of Protection/mental capacity practice. She acts in historic sexual abuse claims as well.
Sam’s personal injury work includes Inquests for families and all other interested parties.
Her recent cases include:
- Stress at work and bullying claims, including under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, several particularly sensitive ones against the MoD, including one involving sexual harassment of a WREN.
- Fatal accident claims with difficult financial or service dependency elements.
- Suicide and self-harm in detention.
- Psychiatric injury/human rights claim by the parents of a stillborn child, who were given incorrect information about the sex of the baby before burial.
- Spinal and head injury catastrophic cases.
Appointments & Memberships
- Criminal Recorder
Samantha Presland is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
Areas of Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Clinical Negligence
- Court of Protection
- Disciplinary & Regulatory
- Personal Injury
- Professional Negligence
- Public Law
- Mental Health
“She finds a way to win and provides excellent analysis of the evidence.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2015
“Fights hard for her clients.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2014