Philip De Berry

Philip De Berry

Year of call:

2003, Lincoln's Inn


Philip De Berry

Scholarships and Prizes:

Pupillage scholarship Lincoln's Inn


Personal Injury Bar Association
Northern Circuit


BVC, Nottingham Law School. LLB (Hons) Law, Liverpool University.

Personal Injury
Industrial Disease
Insurance Fraud
Travel and International Personal Injury Law
Clinical Negligence
Professional Negligence

Profile overview
Phil has developed a very busy practice in personal injury and industrial disease litigation. He has significant trial experience in industrial disease cases and routinely settles cases at JSM valued up to £1m. Phil has appeared before the Court of Appeal, High Court and Divisional Court in appeals and catastrophic injury cases. He is familiar and adept in dealing with the issues arising in catastrophic brain injury matters, fatal accidents and complex medical causation cases. His costs background makes him ideal for interlocutory matters involving costs management.

Phil is known for his strong trial advocacy, his tactical awareness and determination to leave no stone unturned in preparing and conducting a case. He likes to be involved at an early stage and welcomes the opportunity to have input as a case progresses. Phil appreciates the need to be accessible and offers a swift turnaround of papers, often within 7 days. As regards industrial disease work, Phil has considerable experience in the full range of work within this discipline, to include asbestos matters, respiratory diseases, HAVS, RSI and NIHL. Some of the cases the has been involved in are set out below (see notable cases).

Phil is part of the Insurance Fraud group. He has acted for Defendant public bodies and insurers on such matters and offers suitably robust advocacy. Phil’s costs background means he is ideally placed to handle issues relating to third party costs orders and QOCS.

Phil is accomplished in handling cases involving accidents abroad and travel claims. He has experience of managing cases relating to EU and non-EU countries, and accidents at sea. He is currently involved in a multi-track case issued out of the Admiralty Court. He also has experience of road transport related cases involving HGVs, PSVs, tachographs and transport administration. He recently attended the Association of Road Transport Lawyers bi-annual weekend event.

Costs litigation has formed a part of Phil’s practice for many years. He has experience of conducting costs cases valued in excess of £1m and group litigation. His costs practice has involved him appearing in a variety of courts including the Upper Lands Tribunal. Phil enjoys the knotty, technical cases which often result in appeals. He is routinely instructed to draft points of dispute and replies in high value cases.

Phil has a developing clinical negligence practice with experience of cases involving:

Failure to treat DVT leading to pulmonary embolism
• The discharge of patients with aids such as crutches before conducting a proper risk assessment
• Bed sores due to inadequate nursing care
• The failure to treat and manage wounds appropriately
• Failed plastic surgery
• The inappropriate prescription and administering of drugs

Phil has experience of a wide variety of professional negligence matters. He offers considerable expertise in the following areas in particular:

• Claims against personal injury and industrial disease solicitors, including claims relating to the Claims Handling Agreements for Respiratory Diseases and VWF
• Claims relating to costs issues and retainers, especially where it is alleged that a retainer has been wrongfully terminated or a solicitor has failed to act in accordance with the agreement

Notable cases
Smith v Jed Weld, (2013) Sheffield County Court, Lawtel. This industrial disease case was focused on breach of duty and medical causation. Cross examination of medical experts proved to be decisive.

Aldred v Courtaulds Textiles (2012) - Liverpool County Court (LTL 6/2/13) This 4 day case was exclusively concerned with medical causation in NIHL claims. The claim was novel in that it was the first time the Court had been asked to consider the concept of averaging hearing threshold levels from different audiograms.

Palfrey v Morrisons - [2012] EWCA Civ 1917 This case was an appeal and cross appeal to the CA in relation to a tripping accident at a Supermarket. The case involved an L-shaped stacking trolley often used in certain types of stores. As a result, the judgment attracted significant media attention and has been reported widely in the legal press.

Bradley Fold & Wright v VOSA - Divisional Court 2011 This case made the transport press. The issues included the extent to which private use of a passenger vehicle was exempt from the regulatory provisions and the interplay between the domestic and European codes.

Whitstance v Valgrove - Ref: Ltl 12/10/09 The Designated Civil Judge in Manchester considered the effect of the changes to Part 36 in relation to offer, acceptance and withdrawal of offers. This decision was later considered in the case of Gibbon v Manchester City Council [2010] EWCA Civ 726.

Sherred v Western Housing – Manchester County Court - HHJ Holman The Designated Civil Judge considered the appropriate test for pre-action disclosure and overturned the decision at first instance which had been adverse to the Claimant.

Connaughton v Imperial College NHS Trust - Master Howarth, SCCO 30/7/10 Ref: Ltl 9/8/10 A case concerning the recoverability of costs prior to a win under the Law Society Model CFA. The decision was in favour of the Claimant and set a precedent which has since been followed.

Publications and seminars
Phil is a regular contributor to publications such as Solicitors Journal and PIBULJ. He routinely provides training for instructing solicitors and is available for seminars upon request.

Away from work, Phil enjoys all sports and is a qualified skydiver. More recently, Phil has been participating in Triathlons, learning contemporary travis fingerpicking guitar and watching the mighty Altrincham Town play at Moss Lane.

Employment: Leading Junior Band 3
"A strong negotiator who takes a forensic approach to quantum disputes."

Legal 500 2020

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