Chris Barnes KC

Call 2000
Silk 2022

"Christopher is a leader in his field. He is extremely knowledgeable, tactically astute and a fantastic negotiator."

Chambers and Partners 2024
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Clinical Negligence

Chris specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. He represented the claimant in the recent case of EXN v Alder Hey Children’s Hospital [2021] EWHC 2989 (QB) (recovery of damages with a capitalised value of £27,300,000 for a child following the Defendant’s failure to identify, and treat, the herpes simplex virus). He recently recovered damages of £2,750,000 including the costs of commercial surrogacy for a claimant rendered infertile following inappropriate bowel surgery. He has significant experience of clinical negligence claims in a range of settings, including:


Hypoxic injuries at birth and the failure to adequately monitor foetal distress and ECG tracing;

Shoulder dystocia and resulting hypoxia;

The failure to offer, and carry out, C-section where it was appropriate and/or mandated by the claimant’s condition (e.g. in the case of a morbidly obese claimant where chronic and longlasting infection arose from the resulting emergency, botched, C-section);

Failure to adequately advise a claimant on the likely effects on foetal health of her anti-epileptic medication;

Wrongful birth following failed sterilisation;

Wrongful birth following the negligent failure to advise on or carry out Down’s syndrome testing.


Failure to recognise, and diagnose, spinal cord compression resulting in incomplete tetraplegia (settlement £3,800,000).

Pressure sores, some with very serious consequences (including death);

Failure to identify, adequately investigate and treat an aggressive encephalitis (with fatal consequences);

Negligent anaesthetic provision during surgery resulting in patient awareness (with very serious psychological consequences);

Failure to provide for, and treat, a claimant’s diabetic condition whilst on the orthopaedic ward resulting in hypoglycaemic attack, significant brain damage and, ultimately, death;
Nursing failures including the failure to complete management plans and assessments relating to falls, pressure sores and other risks;

Failure to adequately plan a claimant’s discharge from hospital, with inadequate OT assessment resulting in the provision of inappropriate mobility aids, a fall, catastrophic injury, and death;

Negligent anaesthetic provision resulting in stroke and death;

Negligent management of a claimant’s vascular condition resulting in multiple amputations of both legs (initially below-knee and subsequently above-knee);

Surgical negligence with the perforation of the bowel and failure to identify, and treat, the resulting problems;

Surgical negligence resulting in excessive removal of the bowel and, subsequently, Short Bowel Syndrome;

Surgical negligence in which forceps were left within the surgical cavity;
Failure (by an ENT team) to identify and appropriately treat a developing cancer of the larynx.


Failure to identify a developing sarcoma and to refer the Claimant on for further treatment;
Failure to identify other cancers (with a corresponding failure to refer on for further investigation);

Negligent prescription of inappropriate medication;

Negligent reporting of hospital testing (confusion as to the date of testing and, in one case, as to the identity of the claimant being tested).


Failure to adequately treat a fractured scaphoid resulting, eventually, in wrist fusion;

Negligent knee replacement surgery with the misplacement of the prosthesis and the failure, thereafter, to recognise and correct the defect;

K-wiring of bilateral fractures of the humerus where internal fixation was required, resulting in an almost complete loss of use of the upper limbs;

Failure to identify interspinous widening following a soft tissue injury to the neck resulting, eventually, in cervical surgery.


Claims relating to inappropriate or negligent management of rehabilitation regimes;
Claims relating to the inappropriate treatment of post-tour PTSD;

Claims arising from and relating to treatment abroad, both in MOD facilities and civilian ones;

Failure to identify an emerging Cauda Equina syndrome (concurrently, by both military and civilian medical personnel).