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.

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


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


SN v Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2023]: ongoing claim on behalf of a Claimant left in a minimally conscious state following failed aneurysm coiling. Led by Nathan Tavares KC for JSM. Instructed by Catherine Bell at Freeths. 

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.

Spinal injuries

LR v Mr Akmal [2022]: 6 figure settlement in claim arising from repeated spinal surgery to world famous composer. Highly complex causation case against a backdrop of an unrelated neurological condition. Instructed by James Bell at Hodge, Jones & Allen. 

TWZ v Two NHS Trusts [2022]: £0.5m settlement reached on behalf of woman who sustained orthopaedic injuries from a suicide attempt whilst awaiting psychiatric treatment. Complex quantification given underlying psychiatric history. Instructed by James Bell at Hodge, Jones & Allen. 

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

LH v Mr El-Daief & South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust[2023]: 6 figure settlement reached on behalf of a woman who suffered a bladder injury in routine surgery. Claim complicated by involvement of 2 sets of clinicians in a private, then NHS, hospital. Significant recovery for future loss of earnings on the basis of psychiatric injuries. Instructed by Mark Cawley at Irwin Mitchell.

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 include:

Schoultz v Ball and others [2022] EWHC 2452 (KB), instructed by Clare Garnett at Clyde & Co.

Harriet successfully represented the First Defendant from 2018 to a High Court trial in June 2022, latterly being led by Nathan Tavares KC. The claim arose from an accident on the A3 in Surrey, when the Claimant sustained serious injuries whilst travelling in a taxi which struck the First Defendant’s horse, which was loose on the highway. Successful defence of the claim brought under S2(2) of the Animals Act 1971 through careful deployment of factual and expert evidence, resulting in the Claimant failing to establish that the horse was displaying dangerous characteristics at the time of the impact. Although decided on its facts, the case contains a useful summary of the law under s2(2), and is a reminder of the need for Claimants to prove all limbs for strict liability under the Act to be established.

See Harriet’s Lexis Nexis article here.

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.

GP v SH [2022]: Ongoing claim under S2(2) of the Animals Act following an alleged accident involving a horse in which the Claimant became quadriplegic. Instructed by Clyde & Co.

TH v GPH [2022]: Robust defence of a claim brought against a luxury hotel group following a riding accident at one of its hotels. Claim discontinued post Defence. Instructed by Clyde & Co on behalf of Allianz Insurance.

MC v AC: Ongoing claim representing brain injured woman who was kicked in the head by a horse as a child. Liability admitted. Led latterly by Nathan Tavares KC. Instructed by Pamela-Jane Riley at Enable Law.


Notable Personal Injury cases

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.

"She is very thorough, forward thinking and great with clients. She thinks commercially about cases and is a real team player."; "Harriet has exceptional attention to detail and is very impressive."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2024

‘Harriet is an extremely thorough and able medical negligence barrister. She has an eye for detail, is very thorough and is always on top of the evidence.'

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500, 2024

“Harriet is an extremely safe pair of hands for even the most complex medical negligence litigation.”

Clinical Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2023

“Harriet is very good at cutting through to the issues that actually matter.”

Clinical Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2023

“She is down to earth, very good with the client and helpful in progressing the case.”

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2023

"Harriet is a go-to counsel for technically or procedurally complicated work where a practical solution is needed."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2023

"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 for a confidential discussion.

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