Dr Peter Ellis

Call: 1997

Dr Peter Ellis joined Hailsham Chambers in January 2018. He is ranked by the Legal 500 (Tier 1) and Chambers & Partners (Band 1) as a leading junior in clinical negligence at the London Bar. Legal 500, 2021 say: ‘He gives thorough, well considered advice born of many years’ experience.’

Dr Peter Ellis is instructed by many of the UK’s leading firms on complex clinical negligence cases, including obstetric and other brain and spinal cord injury claims. His practice benefits from his experience as a former hospital doctor specialising in internal medicine, and as a former solicitor at DAC Beachcroft. Dr Ellis is also a CEDR trained mediator, and is experienced at representing parties at round table settlement conferences and other forms of ADR.

Dr Ellis is in great demand for his expertise in relation to coroners’ inquests, where he uses his experience as a former Assistant Coroner in London for 20 years’. He is regularly instructed in complex healthcare cases, including cases involving medicinal products and devices, and deaths in nursing homes. He also undertakes cases involving workplace accidents and road traffic accidents, where issues of sub-standard medical treatment arise. He has represented bereaved families, healthcare providers, employers, insurers, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and company officers. He undertakes a significant amount of related fatal accident litigation.

Dr Ellis regularly undertakes enhanced Article 2 inquests including cases involving the deaths of voluntary and detained psychiatric patients and subsequent litigation.

"He has the unique ability to use his medical training to bring extra value to a case." Chambers UK, 2023

"He has a level of understanding of medicine that only first-hand experience brings." Chambers UK, 2023

"Peter has a great eye for detail." Chambers UK, 2023

"Peter is very bright and hard-working." Chambers UK, 2023

"Peter is very knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience. He has a kind and personable manner with clients and takes the time to make them feel heard. He is great at breaking down complex concepts and explaining them in a manageable way." Legal 500, 2023

“An excellent barrister who is incredibly thoughtful and compassionate with clients. He is always calm and measured and gives sound advice.” “He’s a former medic so he is very sharp on difficult medical issues.” “He has a great eye for the finer details.” Chambers UK, 2022

“Peter is the ultimate professional. He is completely unflappable and always manages to get the right result for his client.” Legal 500, 2022

“He gives thorough, well considered advice born of many years’ experience.” Legal 500, 2021

“He’s methodical and extremely good at dissecting complex issues. He’s also extremely knowledgeable and very good with experts.” Chambers UK 2021

“He’s very knowledgeable and good with clients.” Chambers UK, 2020

“He has an excellent understanding of complex medical issues” Legal 500, 2020

“Medically qualified and highly able. He has a speedy grasp of complex facts” Chambers UK, 2019 

“Always well prepared in conferences and for court” “Very intelligent and very approachable” Chambers UK 2019 

“His work as a deputy coroner, and previous role as a doctor, means he is outstanding when it comes to inquest cases and understanding complex medical issues” Legal 500, 2019 

“Medically qualified, highly able and has a speedy grasp of complex facts …He has a very analytical mind and a nice manner with clients” Chambers UK, 2018

“Experienced in handling complex and high value claims” Legal 500, 2017

“He has a very large breadth of knowledge” Chambers UK, 2017

“He excels when a case has complex medical causation at its heart” Legal 500, 2016

“He is very poised and polished. His level of understanding is way beyond the average barrister because he is a qualified doctor… When you have a complicated medical scenario he is wonderful and is one of the top medical legal barristers on causation…He is very business-like and straight-forward” Chambers UK, 2016

  • Snow v Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust [2023] EWHC 42 (KB) A wide-ranging judgment dealing with the standard of care when introducing a new surgical technique to a hospital. It covers clinical governance, NICE and other guidelines, training, mentoring, supervision, documentation of patient selection and multi-disciplinary team decisions, Montgomery consent, and the documentation and conduct of the operation itself. The judgment can be found here. Peter's article on the case can be accessed here.
  • Williams (deceased) inquest, death of a professional rugby player following a failure to follow up previously diagnosed aortic valve disease. BBC News artcile can be found here.
  • Popple v Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust [2012] EWCA Civ 1628 (CA): Hypoxic ischaemic birth brain injury, appeal on causation of injury. Case can be found here.
  • Carrigan v Barts & The London NHS Trust: Delay in diagnosis of epidural haematoma complicating spinal cord electrode, paraplegia
  • Defoe v Luton & Dunstable Hospitals NHS Trust: Failure to diagnose congenital cardiac arrhythmia, brain damage
  • Hayhurst v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust: Brain injury complicating radiological vascular procedure
  • R v Epsom & St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust: Delay in diagnosis of brain tumour, blindness
  • Turner v Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust: Absconding psychiatric patient sustaining severe head injuries in RTA
  • Walmsley (deceased): Inquest, investigation of potential role of insulin pump in diabetic’s death
  • Rhodes (deceased): Inquest, death of child with complex congenital heart defects whilst awaiting heart surgery
  • Cowler (deceased): Inquest, fatal complications of stem cell transplant in clinical trial for Crohn’s disease
  • Hubley (deceased): Inquest, fatal haemorrhage complicating laparoscopic cholecystectomy absence of blood products on site, neglect verdict. A widely reported case which featured in a BBC Panorama documentary on fatalities at independent surgical treatment centres. An article on the case can be found here.
  • Former author and editor of the clinical negligence division in Butterworths’ Personal Injury Litigation Service
  • Former editor of the personal injury chapter in Tottel’s Limitation
  • Co-author of the Work Related Injury & Illness Litigation Handbook, winner of the Royal Society of Medicine/Society of Authors Minty Prize for best medico-legal book
  • Professional Negligence & Personal Injuries Bar Associations
  • Inquest Lawyers Group
  • Medico-Legal Society
  • Society of Doctors in Law
  • Royal Navy Medical Club

Dr Ellis is a regular chairman and speaker at medico-legal conferences and seminars, for lawyers and healthcare professionals. He has also undertaken medical expert witness training for Bond Solon, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency.

  • Royal Hospital School, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London University, Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery (MB.BS, Waller & Morris Prizes)
  • Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, Diploma in Medical History (DHMSA)
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of London (MRCP(UK))
  • Westminster University, Diploma in Law
  • College of Law, Solicitors’ Final Examination (2nd class honours)
  • Centre for Dispute Resolution, accredited mediator

Peter served in the Royal Navy as a medical officer before training as a lawyer. His interests include naval & military history, astronomy, medical history, poetry and rugby. He is a member of the Travellers Club in London

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