Susan Jones analyses the High Court case of King v Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 1576 in which practitioners are reminded that the threshold for a shocking event is strictly objective in secondary victim claims. The judgment also provides a helpful insight into how damages would have been assessed for an actor who it was claimed was on the verge of a “big break".
Susan accepts instructions in a wide range of personal injury matters and acts for Claimants and Defendants.
Susan regularly attends:
- Costs and Case Management Hearings (CCMCs)
- Interim applications, including relief from sanctions
- Trials involving liability, causation and quantum disputes
- Infant and protected party approval hearings for a wide range of injuries including fatal injuries
- Conciliation hearings
Susan has experience of personal injury claims concerning occupier’s liability, the Highway Act, food poisoning, accidents at work, road traffic accidents, sporting accidents and fatal injuries arising in a wide range of circumstances.
Susan has acted or is currently acting for Defendants in cases in which:
- Fundamental dishonesty is alleged, made out and qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) has been disapplied.
- Breach of duty is admitted but causation disputed based on Late Notification, in which following cross examination the Claimant did not make out their case.
- Following discontinuance Defendant costs are pursued based on fundamental dishonesty.
- Arguments have been raised regarding purported discontinuance and strike out has been sought in addition or as an alternative to fundamental dishonesty.
- After trial liability has been made out against one Defendant but not the Defendant Susan represented in which case Susan secured an enforceable Defendant costs order up to the extent of damages awarded.
- Only quantum is disputed but the Claimant has failed to better a Defendant Part 36 offer, with costs consequences.
- A quantum only dispute was allocated to the Fast Track, but Susan successfully argued the claim unreasonably left the Portal resulting in the Claimant being limited to Portal costs with significant cost savings for the Defendant.
- The Claimant’s claim has been struck out for not having a direct cause of action against the Defendant with an enforceable costs order granted.
Susan successfully represented a Claimant in a 5 witness public liability and quantum trial following which the Defendant appealed to the High Court on grounds of procedure and findings of fact. Susan advised on the appeal, drafted a skeleton argument and made oral submission before Mrs Justice Lambert. The Defendant’s appeal was dismissed in its entirety.
Susan represented a Claimant at trial where the Claimant alleged, he burnt his hand while working for the Defendant when required to set fire to sawdust on the Defendants premises. The matter was defended on the basis that the Defendant never employed the Claimant (there was no contract of employment, no evidence of payments and the Claimant did not have a UK work permit) and in any event that the incident did not occur on his premises (there being no accident book entry, or any other record and the incident described was not something tolerated by the Defendant). Following a full day trial, the judge found for the Claimant and heard submissions on quantum for burn injuries.
Susan recently advised a local authority in respect of life long dental treatment required by a child following a liability admitted accident. On behalf of the Defendant Susan attended the approval and informed the Court that the settlement was fair, excluded double counting suggested in the Claimant’s schedule of loss and applied the correct discount rate.
Susan represented a child at an assessment of damages hearing, who sustaining deep facial laceration requiring surgery under general anaesthetic, leaving permanent scarring with a likelihood of further future treatment. The Claimant also suffered post traumatic anxiety that resolved.
Susan provides advice on quantum and attends infant and protected party approval hearings, including for dependents following fatal accidents. She has considered issue relating to hostile litigation friends and matters arising when Defendant's potentially lack capacity in areas of law outside the remit of personal injury.
Susan is happy to draft pleadings and advise on prospects and quantum.
Susan is a member of PIBA and attends their annual March conference.
Event witnessed by father was not objectively shocking and horrifying23rd Jun 2021
Susan Jones is a talented inquests barrister who is highly skilled in sensitive matters examining deaths occurring in various circumstances, including where there are allegations of medical negligence. Her practice touches on complex issues such as mental health.
Strengths: “She is insanely hard-working and dedicated, and she has meticulous attention to detail.”
“Susan prepares clients well, and her oral submission was incredibly impressive.”
Chambers UK 2024/Inquests and Public Inquiries/The Regions Bar
Strengths: “Susan is an experienced inquests advocate who produces well-planned advocacy and submissions.”
Chambers UK 2023/Inquests and Public Inquiries/The Regions Bar
Strengths: "She is very reassuring, lays out exactly how matters will play out and gives the client certainty." "Her advice is timely and comprehensive and she makes herself readily available."
Recent work: Acted for Isle of Wight Adult Social Services at the inquest into the death of Frederick Joe Sheath, a care home resident who was transferred from a failing care home.
Chambers UK 2022/Inquests and Public Inquiries/The Regions Bar
Strengths: "She is phenomenal: the technicality and the expertise that she shows in inquests is incredible. She has superb attention to detail and she would be my first choice for any inquest."
Recent work: Instructed to represent family members at the inquest into the death of Elena Mondal. This matter examined the suicide of the teenager in her school and the adequacy of communication between the mental health services, school and NHS trust.
Chambers UK 2021/Inquests and Public Inquiries/The Regions Bar
‘Susan is fearless when representing clients in complex and sensitive matters against counsel more senior than herself.'
Legal 500 2024/Inquests and Inquiries/Leading Juniors/London Bar
‘Susan is an excellent advocate. During inquests she argues powerfully for the families she represents.’
Legal 500 2023/Inquests and Inquiries/Leading Juniors/London Bar
‘Susan is thorough and understands a case in minute detail. She leaves no stone unturned in acting for clients to get the answers that they want and need. Her attitude to clients is professional but kind, and she really gives a case her all.’
Legal 500 2022/Inquests and Inquiries/Leading Juniors/London Bar
‘Hardworking, focused and displays a maturity of approach beyond her year of call. Her personable approach puts clients at ease while reassuring them they are in safe hands. She also secures impressive results.’
Legal 500 2021/Inquests and Inquiries/Leading Juniors/London
“May I personally record my admiration of Susan Jones performance before Mrs Justice Lambert. I sat behind her as a solicitor with 25 years post qualification experience and witnessed a rising star. She stood her ground against Mrs Justice Lambert’s initially strident view that the judge below had reached a wrong decision on the facts and gently set out in a highly effective, forensic way how the judge’s opinion below should not be interfered with…...High Court Judges don’t mess around, neither did Susan" (Instructing solicitor in Susan Jones successfully opposition of High Court Appeal challenging both Procedural Matters and Findings of Fact)
“Speed and uptake was impressive to say the least, as was her energy and the commitment she made. Since this first encounter, we have sought to use her whenever possible. Having sat next to her I can say that she is an accomplished advocate with a compelling style of advocacy” (Partner, instructing and attending a 3 day hearing)
“Our client is very happy with the outcome and I would certainly not hesitate to use Miss Susan Jones in the future or recommend her to my colleagues”. (Solicitor)
“Thank you for your advice which is both thorough and lucid of its analysis of the case” (Associate Solicitor)
“Miss Jones was extremely helpful and professional. I do not see how we could have done any more to better present my case” (Lay Client)