Freeth Cartwright is third firm to be sued over MMR advice

Freeth Cartwright is the third law firm facing professional negligence claims over how it handled a group action over the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Luke Patel, commercial dispute resolution head at Leeds-based Blacks Solicitors, has filed a claim of professional negligence against the firm on behalf of his client Kellie Brabham and her mother Andrea.

The letter of claim has been sent to Freeth Cartwright and Irwin Mitchell.

Patel is already instructed by former clients of Irwin Mitchell and Hodge Jones & Allen, with St John’s Buildings’ David Berkley QC acting as counsel.

The claims allege that because lawyers grouped all MMR claimants together, the claimants were not given the right levels of compensation, if any.

The former litigants of the MMR Vaccine litigation are claiming that their lawyers at the time failed to pursue action based on the Urabe strain of the vaccine and started legal proceedings too late.

Instead, the claimants argue, they were grouped together with other litigants that mistakenly believed the MMR jab could be connected to autism (6 September 2012).

Freeth Cartwright dispute resolution partner Charles Powell said: “We’ve received the claim in the last month. We’re at the very early investigation stage at the moment.

“We’ll be contesting this vigorously based on the fact that we backed out of proceedings and passed the mantle on to Irwin Mitchell long before the claim had really got any legs at all.”

A spokesman for Irwin Mitchell said: “We take any professional negligence claims very seriously; we anticipate that Kellie Brabham’s case will be defended strongly’’

Hodge Jones & Allen partner Peter Todd said: “I can confirm that HJA has received a letter of claim in only one case which we’ve replied to explaining why the claim is wholly without merit. No proceedings have been issued.”