Professional information

  • 2022: Inquiry Counsel, COVID Inquiry
  • 2018 to 2021: Standing Junior Counsel to the UK Government
  • Lord Reid Scholar 2008 – 200o
  • Devilmasters: Alastair Duncan QC and Ronnie Renucci QC
Professional experience

Helen specialises in professional negligence with a particular emphasis on claims against medical professionals. She is extensively instructed in the defence of such claims by most of the defence unions and health boards in Scotland. She also has experience of Fatal Accident Inquiries where there is a medically related issue. As Standing Junior Counsel to the UK Government she acted behalf of various government departments including the Department of Health, the Air Accident Investigation Branch, and HMRC. In January 2022 she was appointed as Inquiry Counsel to Lady Poole’s Scottish COVID Inquiry.

Notable cases

Clinical Liability

Helen is instructed in numerous high value and complex clinical negligence claims. The vast majority of these cases are the subject of confidential negotiated settlements. Examples of recent work include:

  • Widdowson’s Executrix v Liberty Insurance, Grampian Health Board and Highland Health Board 2021 SLT 539
  • Almond Roots v Eljamel and NHS Tayside [2021] CSOH 130
  • Acting for a health board in a multimillion-pound claim about catastrophic hypoxic brain injury caused by in-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Acting on behalf of a GP practice in a multimillion-pound claim about delayed diagnosis of brain tumour leading to brain injury
  • Acting on behalf of a health board in an obstetric claim arising from maternal death as a result of aortic dissection
  • Acting on behalf of a health board in a fatal obstetric claim arising from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

Inquiries

  • Scottish COVID Inquiry.  Counsel to the Inquiry)
  • Sumburgh Helicopter Crash Fatal Accident Inquiry. Representing the Air Accident Investigation Branch of the UK Government
  • Clutha Bar Helicopter Crash Fatal Accident Inquiry. Representing the Air Accident Investigation Branch of the UK Government
  • Glasgow George Square Bin Lorry crash Fatal Accident Inquiry. Representing Dr Kenneth Lyons
  • Rosepark Nursing Home Fire Fatal Accident Inquiry. Representing the Crown

Professional Liability and Regulation

Examples of recent work include:

  • David Grier v Chief Constable of Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate [2022] CSOH 2
  • David Whitehouse v Chief Constable of Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate 2020 SC 133

Product Liability

  •  Retained by a manufacturer in the Mesh litigation.

Commercial

  • Ury Estate v BP Exploration Operating Co Ltd [2019] CSOH 36
Directories
  • Chambers UK Bar – Recommended as leading junior in Professional Negligence (Band 2) and Clinical Negligence (Band 3)