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Tom Gibson

Tom Gibson

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Tom specialises in clinical negligence and personal injury.

He does a good balance of claimant and defendant work.

Tom joined Outer Temple Chambers as a pupil in September 2011 and as a tenant in September 2012.  He was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in February 2016.  He is a former solicitor, having qualified at Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May in 2010 before transferring to the Bar.

Before starting pupillage Tom was a Judicial Assistant to Arden LJ at the Court of Appeal.

Tom has undertaken pro bono work for AvMA, the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the Law Society’s LawWorks Mediation Scheme, and the FRU.  He appeared pro bono in the Court of Appeal, as sole counsel, for the successful appellant in Duffy v George [2013] EWCA Civ 908.

Tom has a First Class Maths degree from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.  He completed his GDL and LPC at BPP Law School in London.

Away from the law Tom enjoys spending time with his young family, playing hockey, and watching the mighty Carlisle United FC.

Clinical Negligence

Tom acts on a wide range of clinical negligence cases, up to and including trial.  Topics covered in recent cases have included, amongst others:

  • General surgery
  • Delayed diagnoses of cancer
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Injuries at birth and neonatal deaths
  • Psychiatric injuries
  • Neurosurgery
  • GP treatment
  • Physiotherapy treatment (see also Sports Law, below)

Tom does a good balance of claimant and defendant work.  His clients include patients, their families, NHS hospital trusts, individual doctors, and other clinicians.

Tom has a particular interest in appeals (as a former judicial assistant to Arden LJ).

He also appears at medical inquests, representing both families and NHS trusts.

Cases

  • Purchase v Dr Ahmed (Birmingham County Court, 6 May 2020): acting for the defendant GP in striking out the claimant’s secondary victim psychiatric injury claim.  The claimant witnessed the aftermath of her daughter’s death 3 days after an out of hours GP consultation.
  • Woolhouse v Spire Healthcare (Blackpool County Court, 25 February 2020, HHJ Beech): successful defence at trial of a claim about arthroscopic hip surgery.  The defendant’s surgical witness was found to be “credible, understated and compelling” while the claimant’s orthopaedic expert was found to be “blinkered” and “unimpressive”.  On costs, the judge also ruled (under CPR 44.15(1)(a)) that QOCS still applies even where part (but not all) of a case is struck out.
  • Muller v King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ([2017] EWHC 128 (QB)): unusual ‘non-Bolam’ trial on liability and quantum involving a delayed diagnosis of cancer.
  • Jacobs v King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ([2016] EWHC 121 (QB)): High Court trial on liability and quantum involving hernia surgery.  (Acting for the defendant)
  • Gardner v Northampton General Hospital ([2014] EWHC 4217 (QB)): High Court liability trial involving expert A&E and surgical evidence.  (Acting for the defendant).
  • Settlement, 2020: claim featuring a wrong diagnosis of cancer which led to the claimant having major surgery, suffering fatigue and having to retire early.  Settled at a ‘virtual JSM’ (during the COVID-19 pandemic) with significant disputes on causation, life expectancy, and loss of earnings and pension.  (Acting for the claimant).
  • Settlement, 2019: acting for the successful claimant in an unusual ‘misinformation’ psychiatric injury claim, who was told wrongly by his local hospital that he had “incurable” lung cancer and was likely to die within a year.
  • Settlements, 2017-2018: two secondary victim psychiatric injury claims, acting for the bereaved parents of two patients – a newborn baby and an adult daughter – who died in hospital following negligent treatment.
  • Settlement, 2018: orthopaedic surgery and GP treatment claim, where a lady needed an above-knee amputation after a fracture operation and subsequent GP treatment.  Settled for a total of over £1 million against both defendants, concluded at a JSM shortly before the trial.  (Acting for the claimant).
  • Settlement, 2018: cerebral palsy claim, settled for a capitalised value of approximately £15million, featuring significant issues regarding accommodation and lost years claims in light of JR v Sheffield.  (Led by Gerard McDermott QC, acting for the claimant).
  • Green (Deceased) v Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (case management appeal, County Court at Central London, HHJ Baucher, 28 April 2016): acting for the defendant in successfully resisting a case management appeal about single joint experts, in a low-value Fatal Accidents Act claim.
  • Settlement, 2015: unusual psychiatric injury ‘misinformation’ claim, where a lady claimed she had suffered psychiatric injury after being shown the wrong body to grieve over, 4 days after the death of her father, in a hospital mortuary.  The claim involved consideration of whether the ‘miscellaneous’ victim cases of Allin v City & Hackney and Farrell v Avon could be extended.  (Acting for the defendant).

Personal Injury

Tom acts on a range of personal injury cases, for claimants and defendants.

He has a particular interest in quantum on catastrophic injury claims (Tom admits to liking quantum and spreadsheets – he did do a Maths degree).

Cases

  • O’Neill v West Midlands Travel Ltd (County Court at Birmingham, 22 August 2018, HHJ Rawlings): quantum trial, acting for the claimant bus driver who suffered from psychological symptoms and ongoing shoulder symptoms after a crushing accident at work.
  • Ongoing, 2020: acting for the claimant who sustained severe brain injuries after being knocked off his bicycle by the defendant car driver.  (Led by Matthew Phillips QC).
  • Ongoing, 2020: international injury claim, featuring a young man who sustained a severe brain injury after falling several stories on a construction site while on a work assignment abroad.  (Led by Sarah Crowther QC, acting for the claimant).
  • Settlement, 2019: Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 claim, featuring a young man who suffered catastrophic injuries after a fall through a ground-level skylight.  (Led by Christopher Wilson-Smith QC, acting for the claimant).
  • Settlement, 2018: employer’s liability claim, featuring a career loss of earnings claim after a healthcare assistant developed an alleged chronic pain condition after falling off a chair. (Acting for the defendant).
  • Appeal, 2016 (County Court at Liverpool, HHJ Wood QC): acting for the claimant, in a noise-induced hearing loss claim, in successfully appealing a district judge’s strike out of the claim (following Joddrell v Peaktone Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1035).  The claim was originally struck out after the claimant’s company restoration application had been listed, but not determined, by the date of the defendant’s strike out hearing.
  • Settlement, 2016: an unusual employer’s liability claim, featuring two separate manual handling/work equipment accidents at work in successive years, sustained by a pet cemetery worker while lifting very heavy frozen dead dogs.  (Acting for the claimant).
  • Settlement, 2014: employer’s liability claim, featuring a claim for psychiatric injury and career-long loss of earnings and pension (of over £650k) by a nurse an after assault by a patient.  Settled for £200k shortly before the quantum trial.  (Acting for the defendant).

Sports Law

Tom has developed a niche practice in ‘cross-over’ clinical negligence claims involving sportspeople, both professionals and amateurs.  Several cases have involved allegedly negligent orthopaedic or physiotherapy treatment.

Cases

  • Ongoing, 2020: acting for the claimant, a professional footballer, whose career was effectively ended in his mid-20s after a delay in diagnosing an infection following knee surgery.  The case involves substantial claims for lost football earnings and loss of congenial employment (following the principles discussed in Appleton v El Safty [2007] EWHC 631 (QB) and Collett v Smith [2009] EWCA Civ 583).
  • Ongoing, 2020: acting for the claimant, an american football player with a UK university team, who suffered a serious knee infection following cruciate ligament surgery.
  • Settlement, 2017: acting for the claimant semi-professional (and former professional and youth international) rugby union player whose career was ended by a nerve injury sustained during arm fracture surgery.  The claim involved consent issues following Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11.
  • Settlement, 2016: acting for the defendant physiotherapist (and former physiotherapist to the Great Britain Olympic Team) in an unusual negligence case.  A keen amateur runner and cyclist alleged that he had sustained a chronic groin injury following an apparently uneventful physiotherapy consultation.  The claim involved complex causation evidence from orthopaedic surgeons, pain management consultants, and psychiatrists.  The claimant had the benefit of leading counsel and QOCS protection.  The claim settled for a global sum shortly before the High Court trial.
  • Settlement, 2016: acting for the defendant physiotherapist who worked with a professional rugby league team.  A youth team player alleged that she had failed to suspect a wrist fracture and to refer him onwards for further treatment.  In addition to a significant factual dispute, the claim featured expert physiotherapy, orthopaedic, and psychiatric evidence.
  • Settlement, 2015: a semi-professional (and former professional youth team) footballer alleged that the defendant hospital had failed to diagnose and treat a knee fracture appropriately.  Breach of duty was admitted but causation was denied.  Acting for the defendant hospital trust.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (2016-2021)
  • Judicial Assistant to Arden LJ (2010-2011)
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Personal Injuries Bar Association

Tom Gibson 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


Testimonials


“He’s bright, intelligent, user-friendly and responsive. He’s always really well prepared and has a good knowledge of the law – he’s just impressive all round.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2021

“Has an encyclopaedic understanding of the rules and how to apply them in practice to achieve the best strategic effect.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2021

“Particularly good with claims relating to neonatal death or stillbirth.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2020

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