Christopher Barnes

Call 2000

“An outstanding operator”

Legal 500 2022
Photo of Christopher Barnes

Clinical Negligence

Chris is a specialist personal injury and clinical negligence practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in handling clinical negligence claims. He is happy to consider and advise on all and every type of claim involving whatever discipline.

In December 2021 Chris was recommended for appointment to silk by the Lord Chancellor. The appointment is due to be made in March 2022.

Significant cases include:


Chris has a particular interest in claims involving military personnel. In the clinical negligence sphere that has included:

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;

Claims relating to the inappropriate management and treatment of genetic vulnerabilities (e.g. numerous claims for those of Black African ethnicity relating to their genetic vulnerability to Non Freezing Cold Injury);

Claims where treatment is being provided simultaneously by the MOD and by civilian NHS Trusts (e.g. a claim in which a claimant’s emerging Cauda Equina syndrome was negligently missed both by her MOD GP and physiotherapist but also by her NHS Spinal Surgeon – recently settled for £1,000,000).


The 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;

Negligent hip replacement surgery, including cases relating to the inappropriate choice of [metal on metal] implant;

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;

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


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);

The 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.


In the case of EXN v Alder Hey Children’s Hospital [2021] EWHC 2989 (QB) Chris recovered 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;

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

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

The failure to adequately investigate, by X-ray, CT scanning or otherwise, orthopaedic injuries and injuries to the internal organs [following a serious car accident];

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

The 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, his death;

The failure to provide bed rails resulting in a fall from bed and further fractures;

The failure of nurses to accompany and support a claimant when visiting the toilet resulting in further falls and injury;

Nursing failures including the failure to complete management plans and assessments relating to falls, pressure sores and other risks;

The failure to adequately plan a claimant’s discharge from hospital, with inadequate OT assessment of her home resulting in the provision of inappropriate mobility aids as a result of which she fell, suffered catastrophic injury, and died;

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;

The failure (by an ENT team) to identify and appropriately treat a developing cancer of the larynx.


The 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;

The failure to warn of, and to identify the consequences of, the potential side effects of various Medications;

The 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).


The inappropriate recommendation, and application, of veneers to a 16 year old with a subsequent failure to adequately address the resulting problems;

Tooth whitening [by a hygienist] resulting in a very poor cosmetic outcome by virtue of the excessive application of the relevant product;

Inappropriate and excessive cosmetic dentistry;

The failure of a general dental practitioner to refer a claimant on to specialist treatment at the appropriate time.


Negligent breast surgery, including cases where surgery was inappropriate, cases where the wrong implant was used and cases where the implant was placed in the wrong surgical plane.

Excessive and inappropriate use of Botox fillers;

Excessive and inappropriate use of liposuction;

Negligent plastic surgery to the face (including cheekbones, nose and ears).

A list of recent reported cases and experience more generally in the personal injury sphere can be found on Chris’ Personal Injury CV.