Harriet Jerram has specialised in clinical negligence and personal injury for over 20 years.

Her clinical negligence practice covers all areas of medical specialism and she receives instructions from Claimants and Defendants.

Harriet has significant expertise in inquests, representing families, healthcare Trusts and insurers. She has particular experience of inquests concerning deaths during psychiatric and other hospital treatment.

Harriet has extensive experience of public inquiry work, including the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry and the Neale Inquiry. Between 2014 and 2016 she was Co-Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

In all areas, Harriet’s focus is on achieving the best results for her clients whilst remaining approachable and compassionate. She is known for her client care, and for making the complexities of litigation readily understandable to her lay clients. Harriet is a tenacious negotiator and particularly enjoys representing clients at settlement meetings.

She has been ranked for a number of years by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 in clinical negligence and/or Inquiries and Inquests.

Expertise

Harriet has specialised in clinical negligence for over 20 years.

Harriet undertakes a full range of clinical negligence work for both Claimants and Defendants. She acts as a junior in high-value brain and spinal injury cases, but mainly represents clients as sole Counsel in a range of mid to high value cases, instructed by leading firms.

Harriet’s work encompasses a whole range of medical issues, from surgical negligence and delayed diagnoses to birth and spinal injuries. Her recent experience includes Erb’s palsy cases, claims arising from negligent psychiatric care, Fatal Accident Act cases and negligence in the fields of neurosurgery, ophthalmology, general, orthopaedic and vascular surgery and obstetrics.

Notable Clinical Negligence cases

Neurosurgery

EB v A University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2020]: representing a Claimant in an extraordinary case where 3 iatrogenic injuries were sustained during brain surgery, without disclosure by the surgeon of any complications. A claim for aggravated damages is advanced. GMC proceedings are also likely.

Spinal injuries

TD v An NHS Trust [2020]: ongoing case regarding a delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome resulting in significant injury. Claim complicated by the fact that C’s condition was compromised by non-negligent complications of eventual surgery, making causation particularly complex. Arguments arising under Pomphrey v Secretary of State for Health. One of a series of cauda equina cases dealt with during the last few years.

MM v A Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2017]: represented a Defendant as sole Counsel until the JSM in a claim pleaded at £26m arising out of admitted negligence resulting in tetraplegia and psychiatric injury. An extraordinarily complex quantum-only case involving 24 experts. The claim was complicated by the Claimant’s pre-existing personality disorder, which compromised her ability to engage with treatment and carers. Led by Christopher Gibson QC at JSM, where the claim settled for £6.15m.

Obstetric negligence

JP v Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: £330,000 settlement achieved at mediation on behalf of a woman sustaining a bowel injury during an emergency cesarean section.

Fatal Accidents Act claims

TB and others v Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust [2020]: acting for a range of dependants in a fatal accident case regarding a failure to manage depression, resulting in the deceased’s suicide. Negotiated six figure settlements for the various dependants, including for the partner where it was contested that she had lived with the deceased for 2 years prior to his death. Novel contributory fault arguments were also raised.

RM v Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust [2019]: negotiated a £400,000 settlement for dependency for the Claimants in a FAA claim where the deceased was an alcoholic with severe mental health issues, who had committed suicide as a result of D’s negligence. Interesting issues around a claim for accommodation where the dependants had been provided with free accommodation with the deceased’s (now estranged) extended family.

KO’K v Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board [2018]: £575,000 settlement achieved at JSM for the disabled wife of a man following his suicide. Issues included the ability of the deceased to care for his wife had he survived given his own mental health problems.

Erb’s Palsy

A range of six figure settlements achieved in the past 5 years for Claimants in Erb’s Palsy cases.

Surgical negligence

DP v George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust [2019]: one of a series of cases involving bowel injuries as a result of surgical negligence. Settlement of £650,000 achieved for the Claimant at mediation, including a six figure sum for loss of earnings, despite the fact that the Claimant had continued in her pre-injury employment.

MA v (1) Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and others [2019]: an example of one of many vascular injury case involvements over the last few years. Settlement of £0.5m achieved for a retired Claimant who suffered an above knee amputation as a result of the separate negligence of two Defendants. Complex causation arguments and interesting arguments about the scope of the duty of care in offering treatment options to those continuing to smoke in the face of repeated advice to stop.

Since starting in practice, Harriet has had a niche personal injury practice, specialising in Animals Act claims. She has particular experience of representing Defendants in equine cases, successfully defending dozens of cases at trial.

Notable Personal Injury cases


VPS v RH [2019]

Representing the Defendant in an Animals Act case arising out of a fall from a horse at a racing stables, resulting in spinal injury. Allegations of fraud were mounted against the Claimant, resulting in acceptance of an old Part 36 offer of £150,000, against a pleaded claim of £4.2m. Indemnity costs were secured for the Defendant.

Related updates

Harriet Jerram 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.

"Harriet has a talent for putting vulnerable witnesses at ease. She always provides clear advice, is able to take a step back to see the bigger picture, and is approachable but firm when necessary."

Inquests & Inquiries, Legal 500 2022

"Harriet is extremely bright and provides intelligent, balanced and pragmatic advice."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2022

"Fantastic at putting vulnerable witnesses at ease and bringing a sense of calm to a potentially intimidating environment for witnesses."

Inquests & Inquiries, Legal 500 2021

"Shows brilliant technical ability combined with common sense. She is a very safe pair of hands for the most complex medical negligence case and is also brilliant with clients."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2021

"She is excellent at teasing out the subtle issues which can make or break a case."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2020

"A fantastic asset to any case with a fine eye for detail."

Inquests and Inquiries, Legal 500 2020

"Extremely thorough and reliable."

Inquests & Inquiries, Legal 500 2017

"She is excellent with clients, approachable and sympathetic."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2017

"Thorough, effective and realistic as to what can be achieved."

Legal 500 2016

"She is fantastic with clients her sympathetic demeanour means they feel shes completely on their side. She takes great interest and pride in the outcome of a case. You know shes got your back and its very reassuring to have her involved."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2015

"She has excellent technical ability and a very practical approach, focusing on what the client wants to achieve."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2015

"She is able to think outside the box in order to achieve the best result for clients."

Inquests & Inquiries, Legal 500 2015

"She is exceptionally good with clients, and very comprehensive in her preparation."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2014

"She is not afraid of a challenge, and will take educated risks."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2014

"Quick to identify the key issues and make them comprehensible to her clients."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2013

"She is extremely thorough and is a reassuring presence on any case."

Legal 500 2019

To find out more, contact Paul Barton on +44 (0)20 7427 4907 or Mark Gardner on +44 (0)20 7427 4909 for a confidential discussion.

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