Henderson Chambers

Product Liability Department

London (Bar)
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Henderson Chambers offers an unrivalled level of expertise spanning a wide range of product liability disputes. The set houses an impressive bench of senior and junior barristers who are frequently sought out to act for major manufacturers across the transport, pharmaceutical, food and drink, and medical devices sectors, among others. Members are regularly called upon to represent their clients in complex and high-profile litigation, and have considerable experience of handling multiparty claims.

Client service: "The clerks are excellent - they're all very responsive and efficient at getting papers back and forth." "The clerking team is supremely professional." Jason Housden is the chambers director.

Adam Heppinstall

Has broad experience in product liability cases, with a particular emphasis on large group actions. He acts for claimants, defendant companies and government interests in claims arising out of the industrial, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, among others.
Strengths: "Clients really like him; he's straightforward, easy to work with and very succinct. He has very good judgement as well." "He's utterly reliable, runs everything like a silk and is fantastic with clients."
Recent work: Acted for over 40,000 claimants in the group action against Volkswagen and other manufacturers arising out of the NOx emissions 'dieselgate' scandal.

Andrew Kinnier QC

Receives very high praise for his involvement in complex product liability cases, particularly those concerning defective medical devices and pharmaceutical products. His broader pharmaceutical experience includes unitary actions, regulatory work, product testing and labelling claims. He regularly advises on both civil and criminal liabilities, and is sought after by several leading instructing solicitors, who regard him as a pleasure to work with.
Strengths: "He's terrific to work with, very accommodating and has a great manner with clients. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of similar cases and what has gone before the particular judge involved." "He's an excellent barrister."
Recent work: Acted for GlaxoSmithKline in a group action involving the antidepressant Seroxat, which is alleged to be defective due to higher withdrawal symptom rates.

Charles Gibson QC

A standout silk whose superb practice involves a particular focus on defending corporate clients in cases stemming from faulty medical devices and pharmaceuticals. His expertise also extends to product liability and insurance cases in the food and drink and transport industries. He is readily acknowledged by market sources as a leading practitioner for group actions.
Strengths: "The combination of his advocacy, his leadership skills and his ability to work in a team is stunning. His strategic vision on matters is very impressive." "He's a great strategic thinker who sees the whole picture, where the client needs to get to and how the get them there."
Recent work: Represented GlaxoSmithKline in a group action involving the antidepressant Seroxat, which is alleged to be defective due to higher withdrawal symptom rates.

Chloe Campbell

Has a growing expertise in product liability disputes and group actions. Campbell is well regarded for her handling of matters involving medical device products.
Strengths: "A very impressive junior." "She's very easy to get along with and is a calming presence in a long-running case."

Geraint Webb QC

Boasts an impressive product liability practice with participation in several major food and drink contamination claims. His broad practice also extends into medical device and pharmaceutical cases, property damage claims resulting from faulty products and issues surrounding product recalls. He has noteworthy experience in complex cases involving multiple claimants and offers particular expertise in jurisdictional issues.
Strengths: "He has a very good manner about him and is great with clients. He's able to explain complex issues and simplify litigation and strategy." "He's a very measured, calm and effective litigator. A class act." "He's very good on the technical medical detail."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the authorised car dealerships in the diesel emissions group action, which involved thousands of claims.

James Purnell

Highly regarded junior who is frequently involved in high-profile group actions involving medical devices, including metal-on-metal hip implants and gynaecological meshes. His broad product liability practice also encompasses claims relating to electrical devices and agricultural equipment. He is particularly adept at defending manufacturers against allegations involving defective products.
Strengths: "He balances the commercial and the legal very well and takes a tailored approach. He's instinctively sensible, collaborative and very easy to work with." "A safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant hip prosthesis manufacturer in the Biomet metal-on-metal hip prosthesis group litigation.

Lucy McCormick

Regularly instructed in product liability disputes arising in the automotive sector. She is noted for her expertise in group actions.
Strengths: "An excellent junior who provides sensible, pragmatic and commercial advice."
Recent work: Acted for Volkswagen in relation to claims arising from vehicle emissions testing.

Malcolm Sheehan QC

Maintains a thriving product liability practice and impresses with his client-friendly manner. His expertise encompasses cases dealing with medical devices, as well as pharmaceutical, automotive and consumer products. Sheehan routinely acts in complex and high-profile group actions and also has an in-depth knowledge of product liability insurance and product recall.
Strengths: "He's a very good advocate who is strong on product liability law and really knows his stuff." "He is a delight to work with, always on top of the details and very considered in his approach."
Recent work: Represented GlaxoSmithKline in a group action involving the antidepressant Seroxat, which is alleged to be defective due to higher withdrawal symptom rates.

Noel Dilworth

A senior junior who has a wide-ranging product liability practice that straddles both claimant and defendant work. He advises on individual claims as well as significant group actions, with recent experience pertaining to allegedly defective automotive, pharmaceutical and household goods. He is also sought out to represent clients in inquests.
Strengths: "He is excellent on his feet, and is always detailed and insightful in his preparation and questioning. He is personable with clients, available at short notice to meet urgent procedural deadlines and provides high-quality analysis." "His paperwork is perfect."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the authorised car dealerships in the Volkswagen NOx emissions group action.

Oliver Campbell QC

Very experienced in product safety and liability, and someone with additional expertise in health and safety law. He is regularly instructed in major group actions involving medical devices, vehicle emissions and oil spills. He represents both claimants and defendants, but has particular experience in representing and advising manufacturers.
Strengths: "He's excellent - technically highly skilled, polished in court and very easy to work with." "He's smart, personable and a very good advocate."
Recent work: Acted for nearly 100,000 claimants in a major group action against the Volkswagen Group in relation to the emissions scandal.

Prashant Popat QC

Widely regarded as one of the foremost product liability specialists at the Bar, he is eminently capable of leading in major group litigation and also handles unitary claims that are resolved through both criminal and civil proceedings. He routinely acts in cases involving defective pharmaceutical products, prostheses and household devices.
Strengths: "He's polished in court and is able to get on top of a huge amount of detail. He's personable and has very good tactical acumen." "Incredibly responsive, really bright and very user-friendly."
Recent work: Acted for Volkswagen in respect of thousands of alleged claims arising out of the NOx emissions scandal.

Toby Riley-Smith QC

Highly regarded for his broad product liability expertise, which includes handling group actions in the medical and pharmaceutical spheres, as well as property damage and consumer product claims. He predominantly defends manufacturers and other companies in product liability litigation.
Strengths: "He's very detailed and thorough, with a wealth of experience in product liability work." "A formidable opponent." "He's incredibly hard-working and really gets it right."
Recent work: Continued to act for Whirlpool, whose subsidiary produced the fridge-freezer that is said to be the origin of the fire at Grenfell Tower, in the public inquiry into the fire.