Bertie Leigh

Bertie has conducted many of the leading cases in clinical negligence and regulatory law during the past 30 years.

Main areas of expertise

  • Clinical negligence
  • Professional regulation and training
  • NHS administration
  • Employment

Professional memberships and positions

  • Medico-Legal Society – Ex-President 2006-08
  • Chairman NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death)  2009-2015
  • Chairman Clinical Disputes Forum 2010 –
  • Hon Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health
  • Fellow ad eundem Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Governor St Christopher School 2012-
  • Save the Baby Fund Trustee
  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital – Non-Executive Director 2015 –
  • Society Ethics in Law & Medicine President – 2012 –
  • Civil Justice Council’s Clinical Negligence Committee Member 2003-2006

Recent external publications 

Writings include chapters in:

  • Dewhurst’s ‘Obstetrics and Gynaecology’
  • Roberton and Rennie’s ‘Neonatology’
  • Hardman et al Consent to Anaesthesia                                                                              

“Known as ‘the top dog’ in clinical negligence defence work. Bertie Leigh is ‘a phenomenal lawyer’…’charismatic speaker”…and ‘original thinker’.” (Chambers UK 2013)

“Clients find him ‘a joy to work with’ and are impressed by the way he ‘cuts straight to the heart of the issue.’ Commentators admire his ‘intellectual and holistic approach’ to clinical negligence.” (Chambers UK 2012)

“‘Leading light’ Bertie Leigh is the senior partner at the firm, as well as head of the clinical negligence practice. Described as ‘the doyen of defendant clinical negligence’, he brings over 35 years’ experience to bear on his work for defendants.” (Chambers UK 2011)

 

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A change to informed consent

The days when medical practitioners could assume their indemnifiers would permit them to remain in benefit and unlimited practice have long since departed. High risk practitioners may find the benefits of membership are withdrawn – and buying indemnity elsewhere is challenging. Without it, the GMC will not permit doctors to practice.

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The threat in a letter of claim

There can be few more frightening events in the professional life of a doctor than to receive a letter from a solicitor proposing to bring an action for compensation from a patient alleging negligence. The recipient should know that this probably heralds the start of an arduous form of mid-career audit. If things go badly there may be public humiliation ahead. This claim could be followed by a complaint to the General Medical Council that may end the doctor’s career. The days have long past when substandard clinical practice was assumed to be something that would be sorted out, often behind closed doors between the patient’s lawyers and those acting for the doctor’s indemnifiers.

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  • Chambers UK 2017
    “Bertie Leigh commands the respect of the market nationwide, with sources describing him as the doyen of clinical negligence, also noting that he continues to dazzle. ”
  • Legal 500 2016
    “The insightful, acute and incisive Bertie Leigh leads the clinical negligence practice. ”