Alice Nash

Call: 2006

Alice’s practice is primarily focused on professional liability, medical law, costs and insurance disputes.

Her professional negligence practice encompasses disputes in relation to most sorts of professionals, and she has particular experience in claims involving allegations of negligence against solicitors, valuers and financial services professionals. Alice also advises and acts for both institutional and individual claimants and defendants in a range of other commercial matters, including disputes relating to insurance coverage.

Her clinical negligence practice includes acting for claimants and defendants, both as sole counsel and as a junior, in high value cases arising from spinal injury, brain injury and obstetric negligence. She is comfortable with medical expert evidence and enjoys grappling with the difficult issues of causation that often arise in these cases. Understanding that litigation in this field can be particularly upsetting and stressful for both claimants and defendants, she aims to provide a thorough and rigorous analysis of the merits as early as possible so that the client receives an assessment of their prospects that is clear and realistic whilst being sensitive to the emotional nature of the case.

At the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2019, Alice received a special commendation for taking on the most cases for Advocate (formally the Bar Pro Bono Unit) in 2018.

Alice is instructed by both individual and institutional clients in a range of disputes and is happy to accept instructions from both claimants and defendants in relation to all kinds of professionals.

Lawyers

Alice is regularly instructed in both purchasers’ and lenders’ claims in relation to most aspects of residential and commercial conveyancing, as well as in claims arising from allegations of negligence in both contentious and non-contentious business, including matrimonial proceedings, drafting of contractual documents and wills, administration of estates, and other property and trust disputes.

She has experience as a junior in very high-value, document-heavy claims, including claims involving allegations of fraud, fraudulent breaches of trust, and deliberate breach of fiduciary duty. Alice is frequently instructed in claims arising out of the conduct of earlier litigation in a range of fields, and in view of her broad practice, is particularly well placed to advise on the merits of the underlying claim where it involves allegations professional negligence, clinical negligence, or personal injury.

Recent cases have included defending a solicitor’s firm in an action brought by Earl Spencer alleging negligence in the handling of a libel claim; recovering compensation from a solicitor in relation to negligent advice and conduct of the defence of a Companies Act petition; advising in relation to an alleged failure in the drafting of a conditional contract to purchase development land; and acting as junior in a high-value claim for breach of trust arising from a solicitor’s undertaking.

Financial services

Alice is instructed by claimants and defendants in disputes concerning a range of financial services professionals including IFAs, accountants, tax advisors, auditors and mortgage and insurance brokers. Her experience includes: claims against accountants and auditors brought by clients, shareholders and other third parties and arising from allegedly negligent preparation and certification of accounts, claims against financial advisers and accountants concerning allegedly negligent advice in relation to investments, pensions and tax planning and advising and acting in disputes concerning the application of the FSA regulations in relation to financial promotions (including the promotion of unregulated collective investment schemes and promotions to high net worth individuals).

Construction professionals

Alice’s experience in construction-related disputes includes advising surveyors, building contractors and architects in relation to allegedly negligent advice, design, construction and contract administration.

Surveyors & valuers

Alice has experience of claims arising from the work of surveyors and valuers in a range of contexts, from alleged failures by surveyors to detect specific defects in property to an unusual case in which she succeeded in having struck out allegations of negligence against a surveyor in carrying out functions under the Party Wall Act.

She is regularly instructed in both purchasers’ and lenders’ claims in which questions of alleged negligence by a surveyor or valuer arise, and is familiar with the particular issues that arise in relation to contribution between solicitors and surveyors in such cases.

Alice advises both claimants and defendants in litigation arising out of the alleged negligence of medical practitioners in a range of specialisms. Her practice encompasses claims ranging from the relatively low value to complex fatal injury claims running to hundreds of thousands of pounds, and she has experience as a junior in very high value cases. Recent cases include obtaining a six-figure settlement for a claimant in a case involving a novel legal point in relation to consent for surgery, and acting as junior in a multi-million pound brain injury claim which was also settled successfully.

Her experience includes claims involving:

  • orthopaedic negligence, including diagnostic failures and surgical negligence leading to nerve damage, paralysis and chronic pain
  • obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery, including missed ante-natal diagnosis of foetal abnormality, mismanaged birth, failed repairs of obstetric tears, delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer, negligently performed contraceptive/sterilisation procedures and mismanaged termination of pregnancy leading to infertility
  • gastrointestinal and general surgery, including cases of surgical negligence leading to paralysis and delayed diagnosis of infection leading to permanent colostomy
  • ophthalmology and other eye treatment, including delayed diagnosis of infection and mismanaged laser eye surgery
  • hospital acquired infection
  • mental health services
  • oncology
  • general practice
  • dentistry

Having studied human biology at A level, Alice is quickly able to familiarise herself with complex medical issues and is comfortable dealing with scientific materials and medical expert witnesses. She also recognises that both patients and practitioners usually find the process of litigation emotionally draining, and strives in that context to give advice that is both sensible and sensitive.

Alice is a member of Chambers’ Costs Group and accepts instructions to appear at detailed assessment hearings and to advise on contentious and non-contentious costs issues, including the application of fixed costs rules, the operation of Part 36, the principle and the likely quantum of costs awards as between multiple defendants, and challenges to solicitors’ bills or provisional assessments.

Alice advises both claimants and insurers in relation to a range of coverage issues relating to a wide range of insurance policies including the solicitors’ minimum terms, professional liability policies, other public liability policies and loss and damage policies. She has advised on topics including aggregation, construction of exclusion clauses and warranties, waiver and election. Recent experience includes acting as junior in an arbitration where coverage was disputed on several bases and the insurer’s potential liability ran to several million pounds.

She also deals, in her professional negligence practice, with cases involving allegations of negligence against insurance brokers, and cases arising out of allegedly mishandled insurance disputes.

Castello v Gonschior [2021] EWHC 2742 (QB): Successful defence of a plastic surgeon against a claim arising from cosmetic rhinoplasty: the court rejected the allegations of breach of duty.

Herridge v Sanger (2018; High Court, Cardiff): claim against surveyors in negligence and fraud successfully struck out.

J (a protected party) v an NHS Trust (2017): acted as junior to Andrew Post QC in a multi-million pound brain injury claim.

D (a protected party) v an NHS Trust (2016): settlement for over £100,000 in damages for failure to perform the procedure consented to.

Edward James Terry v Bircham Dyson Bell LLP (Costs) (TCC, Birmingham): Successfully restricted a claimant to 10% of his costs for the majority of the period of the litigation in circumstances where the defendant said the claim was grossly overstated, and it had settled shortly before trial for a fraction of the sum originally claimed.

C&N Homes Ltd v Thorpe & Co: Acted for the defendant solicitors in a claim arising from allegedly negligent advice to a property development company in relation to the acquisition and development of land. The claim was successfully defended on breach of duty, and the claimant’s case on causation was also rejected.

“She is very responsive and good at getting to the crux of a case. Her advice is clear and concise.” Legal 500, 2022

“An extremely competent member of the Bar” Legal 500, 2020

  • Flenley & Leech, The Law of Solicitors’ Liabilities: research (3rd edition, Bloomsbury 2013) and updating Chapter 11 (Wills) and Chapter 13 (Costs orders against solicitors) (4th edition, Bloomsbury 2018)
  • Simpson, Professional Negligence and Liability: editor of chapter 15 (Barristers)
  • Loss of Chance in Professional Negligence Claims: Considering the Supreme Court Cases of Perry v Raleys and Edwards v Hugh James Ford Simey: 2020 JPIL 1
  • Use of particulate steroids in neuraxial injections: a common but negligent practice?”
  • Pain News, Spring 2012 pp.26-28“ Forms of abuse” with Dan Stacey, New Law Journal, 18 Apr 2008
  • Contributor to Lexis-Nexis PSL, predominantly on costs law.

Education

  • BA (Hons) Modern History (Balliol College, Oxford): 2:1
  • GDL (BPP Law School): Commendation;
  • BVC (BPP Law School): Very Competent

Memberships

PNBA, LCLCBA, PIBA

ICO Data protection registration number: Z1059578.

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