Irwin Mitchell, RJW, Thompsons on standby for breast cancer clin neg case

Irwin Mitchell, Russell, Jones & Walker and Thompsons are among a group of nine firms pursuing claims against a doctor who has been suspended by the General Medical Council after he allegedly performed “unnecessary or inappropriate” breast cancer operations on more than 1,000 women.

General Medical Council
General Medical Council

Doctor Ian Paterson is being pursued by more than 400 claimants, who allege he should be held liable for clinical negligence after it emerged that the technique he used to perform surgery breached guidelines.

The technique involved leaving tissue around the cleavage area for cosmetic reasons when carrying out mastectomies despite this going against national guidelines, which state that no excess tissue should be left behind as this could lead to a return of the cancer.

Paterson is represented by Ryan Solicitors, which has been instructed by the Medical Defence Union (MDU). He is also under criminal investigation after an allegation emerged that he carried out operations for a fee at a private hospital when there was nothing wrong with the women.

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital at which the doctor practised, is represented by DAC Beachcroft partner Nigel Montgomery.

Currently each of the claimant firms are working in silo on their own caseload but in partnership with the other firms. At a meeting tomorrow (15 November) it will be decided whether the firms will join together to launch a group litigation order case against the doctor, although a trial is not expected until after the criminal investigation is finalised.

Thompsons partner Kasmir Uppal and RJW solicitor Nisha Sharma have instructed No 5 Chambers’ Simon Michael to lead the claims. One Crown Office Row’s Lizanne Gumbel QC is leading Henry Witcomb and Peter Skelton, both of the same set, having been instructed by a group of seven firms.

The seven lawyers leading the cases are: Alsters Kelly solcitor Ally Taft; Blakemores solicitor Jo Warren; Fentons solicitor Kate Barge; QS Evans Derry Richard Holt; Excalibur Solicitors Ian Hass; Irwin Mitchell associate Victoria Blankstone; and Waldrons clinical negligence head Nicola Lewis.