... beginning with the court sketcher's reflection - In the Supreme Court, making notes on my iPad as my opponent makes submissions.
Supreme Court Cases
Baker v Quantum  The first Noise-induced Hearing Loss case to reach the highest court, concerning group claims by (mainly) female sewing machine operators in the Midlands garment finishing industry in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Led by John Hendy QC and leading Robert O'Leary.
Axa v Lord Advocate  (Asbestos:Pleural Plaques and Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Clive Lewis QC, now Lewis LJ) Within 2 weeks of taking up the post of Counsel General, I led the Welsh Government's intervention in this Scottish referral of devolution/human rights issues to the Supreme Court because of the implications for the Welsh devolution settlement.
Byelaws Bill (Wales) Reference  (Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Clive Lewis QC, now Lewis LJ) The first of the Welsh Devolution Cases; the Attorney General challenged the legislative competence of a Bill to restructure the process of creating bylaws in Wales, but the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his challenge.
Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill Reference  Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Elisabeth Laing QC, now Laing LJ) The Attorney General challenged the legislative competence of a Bill to regulate the oversight of agricultural wages in Wales, but the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his challenge.
Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill  (Human Rights/Constitutional/Devolution law, leading Richard Gordon QC) I was the first Counsel General to take the decision to refer a Welsh Assembly Bill to the Supreme Court for test of its devolved competence on human rights grounds (Art 1 Protocol 1 protection of right to property).
Court of Appeal Cases
Mackenzie v Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Ltd  EWCA Civ 2110 (Bean, Baker, Dingemans LJJ) Proof of noise levels by expert evidence and proper inference from breach of duty, upholding Keefe v IOM Steam Packet.
Royal Opera House v Goldscheider  EWCA Civ 711 (Leveson QBP, McCombe, Bean LJJ) Application of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 to the music industry; existence and proof of noise causation of acoustic shock injury.
Lougheed v On The Beach Ltd  EWCA Civ 1538 (Tomlinson LJ, Floyd LJ, Ouseley J) Evidence in Package Travel Regulations cases as to “local standards” of health and safety.
Smith v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change  EWCA Civ 1585;  1 W.L.R. 2283 (Longmore, Underhill, Floyd LJJ) I successfully mounted a second appeal (case management) to the Court of Appeal concerning technical issues as to the basis of grant of Pre Action Disclosure.
Ward v Allies & Morrison  EWCA Civ 1287;  P.I.Q.R. Q1 Review of the Blamire basis of damages for loss of earning capacity compared with the Ogden computational approach, and the requirements for relevant disability within Ogden.
Teague v Mersey Docks & Harbour Board  EWCA Civ 1601  All ER (D) 249 (Wall, Kay, Moses LJJ) Limitation in industrial deafness claims. Also McNally & Dagnall v MDHC [2009-10], further test limitation cases arising from similar issues concerning dock workers in the period leading to the Dock Strike in 1994-5.
Field v British Coal  EWCA Civ 912 (May, Moore-Bick, Lawrence Collins LJJ) Limitation in disease claims post Hoare/Catholic Care (HL). Subjective aspect of date of knowledge ss14(1) and (2) and constructive knowledge s14(3).
Furniss v Firth Brown Tools Limited  EWCA Civ 182 (Buxton, Laws, Smith LJJ) Limitation in disease claims post Hoare (HL). Knowledge of the Claimant and trigger events for S14(3) constructive knowledge.
Williams v Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 81 (Smith, Thomas, Lloyd LJJ) £2m Fatal Accident (RTA) claim involving difficult issues of meaning of "dependency". Claims for adult statutory “dependants” in context of family business successfully continued after the death
PRP Architects v Reid  EWCA Civ 1119  ICR 78  PIQR P4 (Pill LJ, Smith LJ, Neuberger LJ) Meaning of "work equipment", "for use at work" and "used at work" within the Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations 1998 and hence applicability of those regulations, and of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, to a defective lift in the common parts of an office building and used by all the tenants and their employees.
Smith v Notaro v Plumbase  EWCA Civ 775 CA (Ward LJ, Rix LJ, Gage LJ) Competing duties of employer and site controller when employee carrying out manual handling operation using unsafe walkway. Liability of employer for failure to train employee as to manual handling risks of using unsafe walkways despite being "largely a matter of common sense".
Herring v MOD  EWCA Civ 528 (Potter & Tuckey LJJ, Wall J) Proper ambit of the Loss of Chance principle (Doyle v Wallace) in personal injury cases.
Interesting recent work
Acting for the psychiatrically injured police officers who attended at the Grenfell Tower disaster and aftermath, instructed by Tristan Hallam and Louise Taylor of Penningtons Manches Cooper; see the first judgment: De Costa & Ors v LFC & Ors  EWHC 2718 (QB).
Winning a test case in Leeds in Willsher v Caterpillar UK Limited  E34YJ904 20 October 2020 to establish occupational exposure to welding fume as a probable cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), instructed by Emma White of Hamers (now SJP Law).
A series of requests for advice on the legal issues arising out of Covid-19 related matters:
non-provision of PPE to clinical and other “front line” workers during the Covid-19 pandemic; see http://bit.ly/CovidForgottenVictims;
non treatment due to the stopping of “normal” healthcare services for diagnostics and treatment of existing patients in neurology, oncology, cardiology, surgery and other fields, to hold resources ready to combat the feared “overwhelming wave” of Covid-19 infections, and failures in recommencing those services including in urgent cases; see http://bit.ly/CovidNonTreatmentScandal;
return of known infected hospital patients to their care-homes without staff and other residents being warned or protected.
The groundbreaking success in Royal Opera House v Goldscheider  EWCA Civ 711, selected as one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2019, in which the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of Nichola Davies J  EWHC 687 (QB) in favour of a world class orchestral viola player who suffered career-ending noise injury during rehearsals for the ROH's 2010 Wagner Ring Cycle; instructed by Chris Fry and leading Jonathan Clarke in this novel case, the first authoritative decision on the 2005 Noise Regulations, the first major decision concerning the duties of organisers of events in the musical and entertainments sector, and the first authoritative finding of “acoustic shock” as a mechanism of serious injury or the injury itself;
Negotiating a positive settlement late on, very close to the listed trial, for a brain injured young man alleged to have been the cause of his own injury by lying down in the road in an intoxicated state (late 2019);
Forcing a settlement with indemnity costs recovered and an earlier offer by his client massively exceeded on the second day of a liability trial for a school caretaker injured when he fell over a gym bench left close to the door into the school hall; instructed by Myfanwy Buckeridge at Barcan+Kirby;
A series of Helmand Fever (Q Fever) cases brought against the MOD for servicemen infected in the Afghanistan campaigns and suffering serious debilitating chronic fatigue syndromes; in the lead case judgment was entered against the MOD for serious disclosure failures after a series of hotly contested interlocutory battles: Eaglesham v MOD  EWHC 3011 (QB) Andrews J and a multi-£m settlement was achieved in 2019. Theo led Paul Kilcoyne in all three cases, instructed by Sue Bowler of Coffin Mew (now Shoosmiths) for Mr Eaglesham and by Dianne Yates of Hilary Meredith for their clients Mr Taylor and Mr Bass;
Defeating/overturning a series of strike out applications for non service of medical reports with the claim, instructed by the disease team at Slater & Gordon in a number of separate hearings across England and Wales;
Leading on technical quantum aspects of the successful claims in the Hip Prosthesis Product Liability Group Litigation; instructed by Leigh Day.