Mary O’Rourke QC

Year of call 1981 Silk 2009

CClerk

William Meade
020 7269 0360 Email William

Mary is a highly-respected and sought-after specialist in professional discipline, clinical negligence and employment law.

She is ranked for clinical negligence and professional discipline by Chambers & Partners and for professional discipline by the Legal 500. She also won Professional Discipline Junior of the Year in the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2008.

She took silk in 2009 having been called to the bar in 1981. She was called to the bar in Northern Ireland in 2003 and is recognised as a Senior Counsel there.

Mary is widely recognised as one of the leading silks in professional discipline. She undertook first case at the GMC in 1986 and has consistently been representing doctors before the GMC since then in every type of hearing and before every type of Panel or Committee.

Mary is also active in cases involving the medical treatment of sporting injuries in an employment or disciplinary context, especially those involving complex statutory or regulatory issues or human rights issues.

Mary has vast experience of public law (particularly judicial review) work relating to the NHS and healthcare profession regulators, including judicial reviews of a number of decisions by coroners, and of the GMC in the Baby P paediatrician case (Al Zayat).

Mary has extensive experience of every type of clinical negligence claim, predominantly (but not exclusively) representing professional healthcare defendants. This includes both NHS Trusts and individual medical practitioners.

She also has a busy employment law practice centred on advisory and advocacy within the medical and related professions, and also within the education sector. This includes representing NHS Trusts, doctors, dentists and others in tribunal or in the High Court in breach of contract, discrimination and many other types of case.


Mary is widely recognised as one of the leading silks in professional discipline. She undertook her first case at the GMC in 1986 and has consistently been representing doctors before the GMC since then in every type of hearing and before every type of Panel or Committee.

Her excellence is reflected in her rankings as a leading silk in current editions of both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 directories.

Her strength is in representing healthcare professionals before regulatory bodies such as the GMC, GDC, UKCC and now NMC, HPC, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Statutory Committee, NHS Tribunal and FHSA Medical and Dental Service Committee Appeals.

This includes:
 
  • representing physiotherapists, osteopaths, dieticians before their respective professional disciplinary bodies
  • providing advice and representation at health authority or trust disciplinary proceedings, in Whitley Council procedures and at proceedings conducted under Department of Health Circulars (particularly HC(90)9) and MHPS)
  • drafting regulations for the former UKCC and advising them on disciplinary matters
  • advice and representation in judicial reviews and appellate proceedings arising out of disciplinary procedures, particularly GMC).
  • lawyer Chairman under HC(90)9 Annex B procedures and on hospital disciplinary appeals. Representation of barristers, solicitors and other professions before regulators and disciplinary bodies.
 
Between 2009 and 2011, she was involved in the longest running case (86 days) in the history of the NMC (Maggs and Johnson).
 
She has also been involved in some of the most high profile recent cases including:
 
  • the Baby P paediatrician (Dr Al Zayat) - fitness to practise proceedings, voluntary erasure applications and successful judicial review proceedings
  • the Harlequins RFC 'Bloodgate' doctor (Dr Wendy Chapman) - GMC misconduct hearing
  • Paediatrician Dr David Southall - in the Court of Appeal and as remitted to the GMC.
 
Mary is also active in cases involving the medical treatment of sporting injuries in an employment or disciplinary context, especially those involving complex statutory or regulatory issues or human rights issues.
 
Public Law

Mary has vast experience of public law (particularly judicial review) work relating to the NHS and healthcare profession regulators, dating as far back as 1987 (successfully reviewing the Health Secretary's decision (ex parte Lai).

More recently, Mary has been involved in judicial reviews of a number of decisions by coroners, particularly in Northern Ireland, and of the GMC in the Baby P paediatrician case (Al-Zayyat).

Mary's notable professional discipline cases include:
 
  • Al-Zayyat v. GMC [2010] EWHC (Admin) (Baby P paediatrician) - judicial review of GMC's FTP Panel on grounds of perversity in rejecting Voluntary Erasure application of medical practitioner where agreed psychiatric evidence was that she was unable to participate in proceedings for misconduct.
  • GMC v. Wendy Chapman (2010) (Bloodgate) - GMC Fitness to Practise proceedings consequent upon Matchday doctor cutting player's lip intentionally after blood substitution in Harlequins v Leinster Heineken Cup match and then lying about it. Succeeded in obtaining a finding her fitness to practise was not impaired.
  • Southall v. GMC [2009] EWHC 1156 (Admin) and [2010] EWCA 407 - appeals (successful in CA) against finding of serious professional misconduct and consequent erasure in respect of internationally renowned Consultant Paediatrician. Important principle as to the need to give reasons for factual findings.
  • R v. HM Senior Coroner for Northern Ireland ex parte Donaldson [2010] NIQB 47 and 144 - judicial review of Coroner on the grounds of apparent bias where Coroner determined to use as a medical expert a Consultant who had been involved in previous defamation proceedings in respect of the same death and was unable to disclose material he had seen in those proceedings because of an asserted claim of legal professional privilege.
  • ERC v. Chapman (2009) - ERC Disciplinary Committee and ERC Appellate Committee - represented (successfully) Harlequins Matchday doctor in Disciplinary proceedings relating to the "Bloodgate" scandal in the Heineken Cup Quater Final match. Also successful representation on appeal before the Appellate Committee.
  • Udom v. GMC [2009] EWHC 3242 (Admin) - successful appeal from GMC Fitness to Practise Panel determination to impose conditions on medical practitioner's registration which in effect removed all meaning from his registration and denied him the right to practise his profession.
  • Inquest into O'Neill Deaths (2009-2010) (Northern Ireland) - complex and difficult Inquest into death of mother and child where mother suffocated her 9 year old daughter and then hng herself - having told medical practitioners she would commit suicide and take her daughter with her.
  • AVMA v. GMC [2009] EWHC (Admin) - attempted judicial review by AVMA of decision by GMC not to pursue misconduct proceedings against a group of GPs involved in the care of a 10 year old who died of a rare endocrine condition. AVMA (a charity) unsuccessfully sought an order restricting any costs it (a charity) might be exposed to if it pursued the judicial review and lost.
  • NMC v. Maggs and Johnson (2009-2011) - longest ever professional conduct case in the history of the NMC (or UKCC). Complaint made in 2002 concerning events in 1998-2002 at a south west London Nursing Home and hearing commenced in February 2009 and concluded in December 2011 after 86 hearing days.
  • GMC v. Southall [2008] - successfully represented Dr Southall at the GMC in relation to clinical trials (CNEP) in the 1990s and in other proceedings relating to the Sally Clark case review.
  • GMC v. Holton [2006] EWHC 2960 (Admin) - high profile GMC case in relation to the alleged misdiagnosis of epilepsy. Despite GMC performance assessment finding that the doctor's performance was not seriously deficient the case, uniquely, went to a full GMC hearing (and statutory appeal in the Admin Court) because of a campaign by the parents.
  • GMC v. O'Brien [2007] - professional conduct case arising out of Sunday Times "sting" in relation to the provision of "sick notes" by GPs to attractive young female reporters posing as patients.
  • Chai Patel v. GMC [2005] EWHC (Admin) - successful judicial review of the GMC decision to allow unparticularised charges against Chief Executive of a large Nursing Home Group in respect of alleged deficiencies at one Home in the Group.
  • Henshall v. GMC [2005] EWCA Civ 1520 - represented two paediatric consultants in the CA in this judicial review brought by parents of two children relating to the GMC's decision not to bring professional conduct allegations against the doctors concerned (2008 FTP hearing failed at half-time).
  • GMC v. Biswas [2006] EWHC 464 (Admin) and [2007] EWHC 1644 (Admin) representing Dr Biswas in various proceedings in the GMC, CHRP and Admin Court.
  • Phillips v. GMC [2004] EWHC 1858 (Admin) - judicial review on "double jeopardy" issue of same charges being brought before GMC Fitness to Practise Panel after successful defence before jury in criminal proceedings.
  • Mahfouz v. GMC [2004] EWCA Civ 233 - case which establishes right to a short adjournment in regulatory proceedings to seek judicial review of an interlocutory decision in the proceedings.
  • R v. GMC ex parte Toth (No 2) [2003] EWHC 1675 (Admin) - judicial review of PCC of GMC referring case to Health Committee.
  • Saeed v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2001] Lloyd's Rep Med 111 (CA) - interpretation of consultant contract on issue of professional or personal misconduct.
  • R v. Sussex Police Authority ex parte Stewart [2000] EWCA Civ 101 - issue as to entitlement to police pension and ill health retirement of female officer fit after an accident to undertake many but not all of the duties of a police officer.
 
Publications
 
  • Chapter 2 (Regulation of Healthcare Professionals) in Principles of Medical Law by Grubb - 2nd (2004) and 3rd (2010) editions.
  • Contributor to Lloyds Medical Law Reports (case notes and commentaries) 1999-2010.
  • Author/ editor of Atkin's Sports Law Volume (Lexis Nexis/Butterworths - due for publication 2012).
 
Mary regularly speaks on professional regulation and sports medicine issues. She also contributed to the Law Commission's "brainstorming" session on the future regulation of healthcare professions.

Mary has extensive experience over more than 25 years of every type of clinical negligence claim, predominantly (but not exclusively) representing professional healthcare defendants. This includes both NHS Trusts and individual medical practitioners.
 
She has significant trial experience in medical and dental negligence cases involving complex issues of negligence, causation and assessment of damages. The values of claims on which she is instructed regularly exceed £ 5million.
 
She also has considerable appellate court experience in medical law cases, including representing the NHS before a 5-judge Court of Appeal in a test case on PSLA general damages awards (Heil v Rankin), another on discount rate (Warren v. Northern General Hospital) and (twice) in the test case on duty of care for ambulance services (Kent v. London Ambulance Service).
 
Sports medicine
Mary has a niche specialism in sports medicine law. She is currently writing and editing Atkin's first ever Sports Law volume (to be published in 2012 by LexisNexis/Butterworths), reflecting her involvement in a number of high-profile cases, including:
 
  • West Brom v. El Safty - a successful action to strike out the football club's claim against the knee specialist whose negligent surgery ended a footballer's career
  • Appleton v. El Safty - the footballer's claim against his knee specialist for career loss damages following negligent cruciate ligament surgery
  • ERC v. Chapman (2009) Successfully representing the Harlequins matchday doctor in cases before European Rugby Council Disciplinary and Appellate Committees and the GMC for her role in the "Bloodgate" scandal; also successfully representing her on appeal before the Appellate Committee.
 
Mary's notable clinical negligence cases include:
 
  • Appleton v. El Safty [2007] EWHC 631 (QB) - quantum claim by former professional footballer in respect of loss of career damages following negligent cruciate ligament surgery.
  • West Bromwich Albion v. El Safty [2005] EWHC 2866 (QB) and [2006] EWCA Civ - successful action to strike out claim by football club employer against surgeon whose negligent surgery ended the career of the club's player employee.
  • C v. Dr Cairns [2003] Lloyd’s Rep Med 90 – limitation issue being decided at trial of negligence issues 25 years after events; doctor’s duty of medical confidentiality.

Mary's employment law practice is centred on advisory and advocacy within the medical and related professions, and also within the education sector. This includes representing NHS Trusts, doctors, dentists and others in tribunal or in the High Court in breach of contract, discrimination and many other types of case.
 
Mary's work also includes:
 
  • appearances in the EAT and Court of Appeal.
  • High Court injunction claims
  • drafting and advising on medical contracts and disciplinary procedures
 
Most recently, Mary represented Mr Edwards in the Supreme Court in the high profile case about whether damages for reputational loss could be recovered for dismissal in breach of an express contractual disciplinary procedure.
 
Mary's notable employment cases include:
 
  • Edwards v. Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust [2010] EWCA Civ 571 and [2011] EWSC 58 - case involving issue of whether damages at large consequent upon summary dismissal in breach of agreed NHS contractual disciplinary procedures where reputational damage accrued.
  • Cocliff v. The Manchester College [2010] UKEAT 0035 10 1006 - first case considered in an appellate Tribunal relating to the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 - establishing that the test for less favourable treatment involved 3 distinct elements.
  • Eastwood v. Winckworth Sherwood [2005] UKEAT 0174 05 1410 - important case on whether a salaried partner at a firm of solicitors is/ was an employee for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim.
  • Matthews (t/as Anton Motors) v. Smith & others [2002] EWCA Civ 1722 - significant decision on TUPE where employees after being made redundant negotiated with ex-employer to take over the business at a new location with own tools etc and issue whether still entitled to redundancy payments or transferred to their own employment under TUPE.

Mary primarily practises in the field of Medical Law (professional disciplinary, employment and clinical negligence). Her first real professional involvement with sports medicine cases was Brady v. Sunderland AFC back in 1996/7 when she acted for the player and since then she has been involved in cases such as WBA v. El Safty (2006) and Appleton v. El Safty (2007) (for the surgeon).
 
On the disciplinary side she in the past (until 2003) prosecuted sports physios on behalf of the CSP and in 2009/2010 represented the "Bloodgate" doctor (successfully) before the ERC disciplinary and appeal Panels and ultimately the GMC.
 
She is passionate about her sports spectating and has attended (as a spectator) every Summer Olympics (other than Beijing) since Moscow 1980 and quite a few World and European Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games. She also has been to 4 football World Cups and 3 Euros and 5 Champions League finals (not to mention quite a few FA Cup Finals) over the years. She is a season ticket holder at Manchester United and identifies as a career highlight cross-examining Fergie in the Appleton case.
 
She lectures widely on sports medicine issues and has been privileged to do presentations for (amongst others) the FA, RFL, UK Sport, LMedA, Chartered Sports Physios, REMO, the British Horseracing Authority and the World Sports Trauma Congress and the ISSSMC.
 
She is currently instructed to defend an FA Cardiologist in a claim by a young former Spurs player who had a heart attack on the pitch at a tournament in Belgium. The club sports doctors are now about to be joined in to the claim.

pAwards

Legal 500 2017 Leading Individual 2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013 Best Lawyer Awards

Mary is a highly-respected and sought-after specialist in professional discipline, clinical negligence and employment law.

She is ranked for clinical negligence and professional discipline by Chambers & Partners and for professional discipline by the Legal 500. She also won Professional Discipline Junior of the Year in the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2008.

She took silk in 2009 having been called to the bar in 1981. She was called to the bar in Northern Ireland in 2003 and is recognised as a Senior Counsel there.

Mary is widely recognised as one of the leading silks in professional discipline. She undertook first case at the GMC in 1986 and has consistently been representing doctors before the GMC since then in every type of hearing and before every type of Panel or Committee.

Mary is also active in cases involving the medical treatment of sporting injuries in an employment or disciplinary context, especially those involving complex statutory or regulatory issues or human rights issues.

Mary has vast experience of public law (particularly judicial review) work relating to the NHS and healthcare profession regulators, including judicial reviews of a number of decisions by coroners, and of the GMC in the Baby P paediatrician case (Al Zayat).

Mary has extensive experience of every type of clinical negligence claim, predominantly (but not exclusively) representing professional healthcare defendants. This includes both NHS Trusts and individual medical practitioners.

She also has a busy employment law practice centred on advisory and advocacy within the medical and related professions, and also within the education sector. This includes representing NHS Trusts, doctors, dentists and others in tribunal or in the High Court in breach of contract, discrimination and many other types of case.


Mary is widely recognised as one of the leading silks in professional discipline. She undertook her first case at the GMC in 1986 and has consistently been representing doctors before the GMC since then in every type of hearing and before every type of Panel or Committee.

Her excellence is reflected in her rankings as a leading silk in current editions of both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 directories.

Her strength is in representing healthcare professionals before regulatory bodies such as the GMC, GDC, UKCC and now NMC, HPC, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Statutory Committee, NHS Tribunal and FHSA Medical and Dental Service Committee Appeals.

This includes:
 
  • representing physiotherapists, osteopaths, dieticians before their respective professional disciplinary bodies
  • providing advice and representation at health authority or trust disciplinary proceedings, in Whitley Council procedures and at proceedings conducted under Department of Health Circulars (particularly HC(90)9) and MHPS)
  • drafting regulations for the former UKCC and advising them on disciplinary matters
  • advice and representation in judicial reviews and appellate proceedings arising out of disciplinary procedures, particularly GMC).
  • lawyer Chairman under HC(90)9 Annex B procedures and on hospital disciplinary appeals. Representation of barristers, solicitors and other professions before regulators and disciplinary bodies.
 
Between 2009 and 2011, she was involved in the longest running case (86 days) in the history of the NMC (Maggs and Johnson).
 
She has also been involved in some of the most high profile recent cases including:
 
  • the Baby P paediatrician (Dr Al Zayat) - fitness to practise proceedings, voluntary erasure applications and successful judicial review proceedings
  • the Harlequins RFC 'Bloodgate' doctor (Dr Wendy Chapman) - GMC misconduct hearing
  • Paediatrician Dr David Southall - in the Court of Appeal and as remitted to the GMC.
 
Mary is also active in cases involving the medical treatment of sporting injuries in an employment or disciplinary context, especially those involving complex statutory or regulatory issues or human rights issues.
 
Public Law

Mary has vast experience of public law (particularly judicial review) work relating to the NHS and healthcare profession regulators, dating as far back as 1987 (successfully reviewing the Health Secretary's decision (ex parte Lai).

More recently, Mary has been involved in judicial reviews of a number of decisions by coroners, particularly in Northern Ireland, and of the GMC in the Baby P paediatrician case (Al-Zayyat).

Mary's notable professional discipline cases include:
 
  • Al-Zayyat v. GMC [2010] EWHC (Admin) (Baby P paediatrician) - judicial review of GMC's FTP Panel on grounds of perversity in rejecting Voluntary Erasure application of medical practitioner where agreed psychiatric evidence was that she was unable to participate in proceedings for misconduct.
  • GMC v. Wendy Chapman (2010) (Bloodgate) - GMC Fitness to Practise proceedings consequent upon Matchday doctor cutting player's lip intentionally after blood substitution in Harlequins v Leinster Heineken Cup match and then lying about it. Succeeded in obtaining a finding her fitness to practise was not impaired.
  • Southall v. GMC [2009] EWHC 1156 (Admin) and [2010] EWCA 407 - appeals (successful in CA) against finding of serious professional misconduct and consequent erasure in respect of internationally renowned Consultant Paediatrician. Important principle as to the need to give reasons for factual findings.
  • R v. HM Senior Coroner for Northern Ireland ex parte Donaldson [2010] NIQB 47 and 144 - judicial review of Coroner on the grounds of apparent bias where Coroner determined to use as a medical expert a Consultant who had been involved in previous defamation proceedings in respect of the same death and was unable to disclose material he had seen in those proceedings because of an asserted claim of legal professional privilege.
  • ERC v. Chapman (2009) - ERC Disciplinary Committee and ERC Appellate Committee - represented (successfully) Harlequins Matchday doctor in Disciplinary proceedings relating to the "Bloodgate" scandal in the Heineken Cup Quater Final match. Also successful representation on appeal before the Appellate Committee.
  • Udom v. GMC [2009] EWHC 3242 (Admin) - successful appeal from GMC Fitness to Practise Panel determination to impose conditions on medical practitioner's registration which in effect removed all meaning from his registration and denied him the right to practise his profession.
  • Inquest into O'Neill Deaths (2009-2010) (Northern Ireland) - complex and difficult Inquest into death of mother and child where mother suffocated her 9 year old daughter and then hng herself - having told medical practitioners she would commit suicide and take her daughter with her.
  • AVMA v. GMC [2009] EWHC (Admin) - attempted judicial review by AVMA of decision by GMC not to pursue misconduct proceedings against a group of GPs involved in the care of a 10 year old who died of a rare endocrine condition. AVMA (a charity) unsuccessfully sought an order restricting any costs it (a charity) might be exposed to if it pursued the judicial review and lost.
  • NMC v. Maggs and Johnson (2009-2011) - longest ever professional conduct case in the history of the NMC (or UKCC). Complaint made in 2002 concerning events in 1998-2002 at a south west London Nursing Home and hearing commenced in February 2009 and concluded in December 2011 after 86 hearing days.
  • GMC v. Southall [2008] - successfully represented Dr Southall at the GMC in relation to clinical trials (CNEP) in the 1990s and in other proceedings relating to the Sally Clark case review.
  • GMC v. Holton [2006] EWHC 2960 (Admin) - high profile GMC case in relation to the alleged misdiagnosis of epilepsy. Despite GMC performance assessment finding that the doctor's performance was not seriously deficient the case, uniquely, went to a full GMC hearing (and statutory appeal in the Admin Court) because of a campaign by the parents.
  • GMC v. O'Brien [2007] - professional conduct case arising out of Sunday Times "sting" in relation to the provision of "sick notes" by GPs to attractive young female reporters posing as patients.
  • Chai Patel v. GMC [2005] EWHC (Admin) - successful judicial review of the GMC decision to allow unparticularised charges against Chief Executive of a large Nursing Home Group in respect of alleged deficiencies at one Home in the Group.
  • Henshall v. GMC [2005] EWCA Civ 1520 - represented two paediatric consultants in the CA in this judicial review brought by parents of two children relating to the GMC's decision not to bring professional conduct allegations against the doctors concerned (2008 FTP hearing failed at half-time).
  • GMC v. Biswas [2006] EWHC 464 (Admin) and [2007] EWHC 1644 (Admin) representing Dr Biswas in various proceedings in the GMC, CHRP and Admin Court.
  • Phillips v. GMC [2004] EWHC 1858 (Admin) - judicial review on "double jeopardy" issue of same charges being brought before GMC Fitness to Practise Panel after successful defence before jury in criminal proceedings.
  • Mahfouz v. GMC [2004] EWCA Civ 233 - case which establishes right to a short adjournment in regulatory proceedings to seek judicial review of an interlocutory decision in the proceedings.
  • R v. GMC ex parte Toth (No 2) [2003] EWHC 1675 (Admin) - judicial review of PCC of GMC referring case to Health Committee.
  • Saeed v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2001] Lloyd's Rep Med 111 (CA) - interpretation of consultant contract on issue of professional or personal misconduct.
  • R v. Sussex Police Authority ex parte Stewart [2000] EWCA Civ 101 - issue as to entitlement to police pension and ill health retirement of female officer fit after an accident to undertake many but not all of the duties of a police officer.
 
Publications
 
  • Chapter 2 (Regulation of Healthcare Professionals) in Principles of Medical Law by Grubb - 2nd (2004) and 3rd (2010) editions.
  • Contributor to Lloyds Medical Law Reports (case notes and commentaries) 1999-2010.
  • Author/ editor of Atkin's Sports Law Volume (Lexis Nexis/Butterworths - due for publication 2012).
 
Mary regularly speaks on professional regulation and sports medicine issues. She also contributed to the Law Commission's "brainstorming" session on the future regulation of healthcare professions.

Mary has extensive experience over more than 25 years of every type of clinical negligence claim, predominantly (but not exclusively) representing professional healthcare defendants. This includes both NHS Trusts and individual medical practitioners.
 
She has significant trial experience in medical and dental negligence cases involving complex issues of negligence, causation and assessment of damages. The values of claims on which she is instructed regularly exceed £ 5million.
 
She also has considerable appellate court experience in medical law cases, including representing the NHS before a 5-judge Court of Appeal in a test case on PSLA general damages awards (Heil v Rankin), another on discount rate (Warren v. Northern General Hospital) and (twice) in the test case on duty of care for ambulance services (Kent v. London Ambulance Service).
 
Sports medicine
Mary has a niche specialism in sports medicine law. She is currently writing and editing Atkin's first ever Sports Law volume (to be published in 2012 by LexisNexis/Butterworths), reflecting her involvement in a number of high-profile cases, including:
 
  • West Brom v. El Safty - a successful action to strike out the football club's claim against the knee specialist whose negligent surgery ended a footballer's career
  • Appleton v. El Safty - the footballer's claim against his knee specialist for career loss damages following negligent cruciate ligament surgery
  • ERC v. Chapman (2009) Successfully representing the Harlequins matchday doctor in cases before European Rugby Council Disciplinary and Appellate Committees and the GMC for her role in the "Bloodgate" scandal; also successfully representing her on appeal before the Appellate Committee.
 
Mary's notable clinical negligence cases include:
 
  • Appleton v. El Safty [2007] EWHC 631 (QB) - quantum claim by former professional footballer in respect of loss of career damages following negligent cruciate ligament surgery.
  • West Bromwich Albion v. El Safty [2005] EWHC 2866 (QB) and [2006] EWCA Civ - successful action to strike out claim by football club employer against surgeon whose negligent surgery ended the career of the club's player employee.
  • C v. Dr Cairns [2003] Lloyd’s Rep Med 90 – limitation issue being decided at trial of negligence issues 25 years after events; doctor’s duty of medical confidentiality.

Mary's employment law practice is centred on advisory and advocacy within the medical and related professions, and also within the education sector. This includes representing NHS Trusts, doctors, dentists and others in tribunal or in the High Court in breach of contract, discrimination and many other types of case.
 
Mary's work also includes:
 
  • appearances in the EAT and Court of Appeal.
  • High Court injunction claims
  • drafting and advising on medical contracts and disciplinary procedures
 
Most recently, Mary represented Mr Edwards in the Supreme Court in the high profile case about whether damages for reputational loss could be recovered for dismissal in breach of an express contractual disciplinary procedure.
 
Mary's notable employment cases include:
 
  • Edwards v. Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust [2010] EWCA Civ 571 and [2011] EWSC 58 - case involving issue of whether damages at large consequent upon summary dismissal in breach of agreed NHS contractual disciplinary procedures where reputational damage accrued.
  • Cocliff v. The Manchester College [2010] UKEAT 0035 10 1006 - first case considered in an appellate Tribunal relating to the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 - establishing that the test for less favourable treatment involved 3 distinct elements.
  • Eastwood v. Winckworth Sherwood [2005] UKEAT 0174 05 1410 - important case on whether a salaried partner at a firm of solicitors is/ was an employee for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim.
  • Matthews (t/as Anton Motors) v. Smith & others [2002] EWCA Civ 1722 - significant decision on TUPE where employees after being made redundant negotiated with ex-employer to take over the business at a new location with own tools etc and issue whether still entitled to redundancy payments or transferred to their own employment under TUPE.

Mary primarily practises in the field of Medical Law (professional disciplinary, employment and clinical negligence). Her first real professional involvement with sports medicine cases was Brady v. Sunderland AFC back in 1996/7 when she acted for the player and since then she has been involved in cases such as WBA v. El Safty (2006) and Appleton v. El Safty (2007) (for the surgeon).
 
On the disciplinary side she in the past (until 2003) prosecuted sports physios on behalf of the CSP and in 2009/2010 represented the "Bloodgate" doctor (successfully) before the ERC disciplinary and appeal Panels and ultimately the GMC.
 
She is passionate about her sports spectating and has attended (as a spectator) every Summer Olympics (other than Beijing) since Moscow 1980 and quite a few World and European Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games. She also has been to 4 football World Cups and 3 Euros and 5 Champions League finals (not to mention quite a few FA Cup Finals) over the years. She is a season ticket holder at Manchester United and identifies as a career highlight cross-examining Fergie in the Appleton case.
 
She lectures widely on sports medicine issues and has been privileged to do presentations for (amongst others) the FA, RFL, UK Sport, LMedA, Chartered Sports Physios, REMO, the British Horseracing Authority and the World Sports Trauma Congress and the ISSSMC.
 
She is currently instructed to defend an FA Cardiologist in a claim by a young former Spurs player who had a heart attack on the pitch at a tournament in Belgium. The club sports doctors are now about to be joined in to the claim.

pAwards

Legal 500 2017 Leading Individual 2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013 Best Lawyer Awards
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