For a team of lawyers to carve out a favourable settlement in a group action is no mean feat. But Catherine Hopkins, a mere assistant, managed to do exactly that singlehandedly.
This extraordinary success raises Hopkins to the top league of group action lawyers in the UK, which, with the Government’s cutbacks in legal aid funding for such cases, are increasingly a dying breed. Her cases involved acting for scores of women claiming breach of contract and loss of chance against NHS North Hampshire Fertility Centre and the private Hampshire Clinic and arising out of the disappearance of their embryos which were earmarked for possible future fertility treatment.
As well as handling the deeply sensitive case from a public relations viewpoint, she also took the decision to avoid litigation in favour of the lower-risk option of a settlement. The victims each received between £1,500 and £10,000.