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Leila
Accolades
Legal 500Legal Accolade
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Leila Benyounes

Called 2005

Leila is a specialist in Clinical Negligence and Inquests.

Ranked as a leading junior in Legal 500 for Clinical Negligence and Inquests and Inquiries, she represents both Claimants and Defendants which include private clients, public authorities and government departments.

Leila has a special interest in coronial law and is appointed as Assistant Coroner for Gateshead and South Tyneside and is head of the Inquests Team at Parklane Plowden. 

Leila regularly acts for interested persons in high profile, media sensitive Article 2 jury inquests.

Leila is a skilled advocate. She is meticulous and strategic in her approach to obtain the best results for her clients:

"She does not back down in the face of adversity. She is extremely approachable and makes those that she is working with, whether it be those instructing, the expert or the client, feel at ease" [Legal 500, 2021]

Leila has been appointed to the Attorney General's Treasury Counsel Panel A since 2010 and was re-appointed for a further 5 year term in 2021.

Leila was President of the Leeds and District Medico-Legal Society from 2015-16 and 2018-20 and remains an active member of the Society's committee.

Leila is a freelance tutor on the Bar Course at BPP Law School in Leeds. She is also a tutor to medical students on the Medical Ethics module at the University of Leeds.

Leila is a keen runner and has participated in the Great North Run a number of times. She is looking forward to taking part in the Great North Run in September 2021 and the London Marathon in October 2021.

@Leila_Benyounes

 

‘Her attention to detail is excellent and I am always confident the advice she gives is thorough and accurate. Her advice is easy to understand and provides useful guidance on next steps.’

Legal 500 (2021)
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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury
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Road Traffic 

Leila represents Claimants and Defendants at all stages of claims arising out of road traffic accidents and has specific experience in the following: 

  • Low Velocity Impact
  • Fraud, including staged accidents and phantom passengers;
  • Patient Settlements following severe and catastrophic injuries;
  • Credit Hire, in particular claims involving issues of enforceability of contracts; 

Holiday Claims 

Leila is instructed to advise on claims involving The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations and breach of contract. 

Public, Product and Occupiers’ Liability 

Leila represents Claimants and Defendants in cases brought pursuant to the Occupiers’ Liability Acts, the Consumer Protection Act, the Highways Act, the Defective Premises Act and the Animals Act. 

Noise Induced Hearing Loss 

Leila is instructed by Claimants and Defendants at all stages of litigation. She has experience conducting Costs and Case Management Conferences dealing with issues of limitation and medical evidence on breach of duty and causation. 

Catastrophic Injury 

Leila advises and drafts Schedules of Loss in cases with severe orthopaedic and psychological injuries and fatal injuries. 

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 

Leila is regularly instructed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority as presenting officer in their appeals. 

Case Examples 

-Led in the High Court case of Lovell v. Leeds City Council [2009] EWHC 1145 QB which involved a subrogated claim for a contribution following a settlement of £1,672,500 in which the Claimant was rendered paraplegic in a road traffic accident. 

-Led in an appeal to the Court of Appeal following a finding that the Claimant did not suffer pre-existing Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder but suffered a Chronic Pain Disorder attributable to injuries sustained to his back in a road traffic accident. 

-Successfully obtained permission to resile from a pre-action admission of liability in a high value personal injury claim where no new evidence had been obtained. 

-Advising on liability and quantum on behalf of the estate of a young father who committed suicide as a voluntary patient.

Clinical Negligence
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Leila is ranked as a leading barrister in Legal 500 for Clinical Negligence.

Representing Claimants and Defendants, Leila is regularly instructed to:

  • Advise on prospects
  • Advise on quantum
  • Conduct conferences with medical experts and clinicians
  • Draft pleadings
  • Attend JSMs and mediations
  • Attend trials

Case Examples 

-Advised in conference with medical experts and clinicians in a claim arising out of local anaesthetic toxicity following elective circumcision surgery resulting in cardiac arrest and an induced coma.

-Attended PTR in a serious injury claim following a fatal RTA. D1 brought contribution proceedings against the NHS Trust for clinical negligence in relation to C's injuries sustained in the RTA. Advised on liability, drafted agenda for experts' joint meeting and attended remote settlement meeting. 

-Drafted proceedings and the Schedule of Loss in a claim arising out of negligent breast augmentation surgery in which liability was denied until proceedings were issued and served. 

-Advised on quantum and drafted the Schedule of Loss in a dependency claim arising out of a failure to make an urgent referral for treatment. 

-Advised on prospects and quantum after representing a family at an inquest in a claim arising out of the development of deep vein thrombosis following routine knee replacement surgery (60 year old man). Narrative conclusion at the inquest which found that there was a failure to provide anti-coagulant therapy which was causative. 

-Drafted proceedings in a claim involving negligent dental treatment when a dental instrument broke and a piece was left within the Claimant’s root canal which caused a chronic infection and required surgical extraction of the tooth.

-Advised on liability and quantum and drafted the Schedule of Loss in respect of claims arising out of baby's death shortly after birth due hypoxia in labour caused by  meconium aspiration syndrome. Claims on behalf of the estate and the mother and father as  primary and secondary victims.  Represented the family at inquest where the coroner concluded that there were failures in foetal monitoring and had national guidance been followed, an earlier delivery would have taken place. The Trust made an early breach of duty admission and settlement of all 3 claims was eventually achieved.

-Advised in conference with medical expert, drafted Particulars of Claim and Schedule of Loss in a claim arising out of a negligent surgical treatment where a colostomy was formed incorrectly requiring emergency surgery, additional procedures and causing the development of a hernia and fistula. Case settled following service of proceedings. 

Inquests & Inquiries
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Inquests

Ranked as a Band 1 leading barrister in Inquests and Inquiries by Legal 500, Leila is Joint Head of the Inquests Team at Parklane Plowden and is appointed as Assistant Coroner for Gateshead and South Tyneside. Leila has been appointed to the Attorney General's Counsel 'Panel A' since 2010. 

Leila frequently conducts inquests arising out of medical treatment, road traffic accidents, accidents at work and industrial disease. She represents families, individuals and public bodies and frequently acts for interested persons in high proifle, media sensitive Article 2 jury inquests. Leila regularly appears on behalf of the HM Prison and Probation Service in complex lengthy inquests arising out of deaths in custody attracting significant publicity and media attention. 

Leila gave her Presidential Lecture to the Leeds and District Medico-Legal Society from her extensive experience appearing in inquests entitled ’A Practical Guide to Inquests’. She also regularly gives training on the subject of inquests and coronial law and Article 2.

Recent Inquest Examples

-Represented the family of a 15 year old girl that was killed during a joy riding journey in a vehicle driven by her 17 year old boyfriend. A conclusion of unlawful killing was secured. 

-Represented the family of a baby that died shortly after birth due to hypoxia in labour caused by meconium aspiration syndrome. The coroner found that there was a failure to provide foetal monitoring in accordance with national guidance and there should have been an earlier delivery, had the CTG been interpreted correctly.

-Represented the family of a 60 year old man who had sustained a head injury following an unwitnessed fall and a subsequent head injury after a second fall at hospital. A narrative conclusion was secured with findings that the hospital had failed to provide appropriate care.

-Represented the MOJ in an Article 2 jury inquest arising out of a death in custody in which the deceased died from a rare medical condition which had been treated whilst in prison. Conclusion that the prison and health authority had provided appropriate care to treat the condition. 

-Represented the MOJ in an Article 2 death jury inquest arising out of a death in custody in which the deceased suddenly collapsed after being searched upon returning to the prison. Found that the death was due to natural causes and the prison officers had carried out skilful attempts to resuscitate.

-Represented a care home in an Article 2 jury inquest where the deceased, who was subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding Order (DoLS), died from choking on food. Narrative conclusion was given and no Regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths. 

-Represented a Probation Officer in an Article 2 inquest arising out of a murder in the community after the Defendant had been released from custody on licence   following a conviction for murder in respect of his ex-partner. Narrative conclusion was given.

-Represented the MOJ in an Article 2 jury inquest arising out of a self-inflicted death while the deceased had been the subject of an ACCT due to idenftified risks of self-harm and suicide. Narrative conclusion was given with no criticism of the prison discipline staff in the management of the deceased under the ACCT process.

-Represented the family of a 49 year old man who died as a result of an undetected aortic dissection due to the failure to correctly interpret two aortagrams. A full admission of liability was made the day before the inquest accepting that the deceased's death would have been avoided. The inquest proceeded and the Coroner made a Regulation 28 report to prevent Future Deaths directed to the relevant NHS Trust.

Recommendations
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Legal 500 (2021) Clinical Negligence - Band 2

Her attention to detail is excellent and I am always confident the advice she gives is thorough and accurate. Her advice is easy to understand and provides useful guidance on next steps.

Legal 500 (2021) Inquest and Inquiries - Band 1

She does not back down in the face of adversity. She is extremely approachable and make those they are working with, whether it be those instructing, the expert or the client, feel at ease.

 

Appointments
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  • Assistant Coroner for Gateshead and South Tyneside
  • Head of the Inquests Team at Parklane Plowden Chambers (2020 to present)
  • Attorney General Civil Panel Counsel Band A (2010 to present) 
  • Lecturer on the Medical Ethics and Law Module at Leeds Institute of Medical Education at the University of Leeds (present)
  • President of the Leeds and District Medico-Legal Society (2015 to 2016 and 2018 to 2020)
  • Junior of the North Eastern Circuit (2010)
  • Freelance Tutor on the Bar Course (BPTC) at BPP University Leeds (2012 to 2014 and 2015 to 2016)
Publications
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Books

Editor of APIL Model Pleadings and Applications 2nd Edition (2012)

 

Articles

https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/news/standard-of-proof-for-suicide-in-inquests

Published August 2018

https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/news/standard-of-proof-for-suicide-maughan-affirmed-on-appeal

Published May 2019

https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/news/standard-of-proof-and-the-chief-coroners-law-sheet-no6-maughan-and-beyond 

Published January 2021

https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/news/scope-of-duty-of-care-khan-v-meadows

Published June 2021

 

Seminars and Webinars

  • Evidence and Trial Preparation
  • Clinical Damages Update
  • “Walking on Thin Ice”- a Case Law Update
  • Pre-Action Disclosure Applications
  • Inquests and Coronial Law
  • Clinical Negligence Case Law Update
  • ‘A Practical Guide to Inquests’
  • How to prepare for a hearing at the Coroners Court
  • A Presidential Debate: a discussion of current medico-legal issues
  • Dos and Don'ts for Doctors in Court
  • Inquests- Article 2, Judicial Review, COVID-19 and Beyond

 

Scholarships/Awards
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Lincoln’s Inn Lord Haldane and Cassel Scholarships

Personal Details
Education

English with French BA Honours (University of Leeds 2003)

Graduate Diploma in Law (Manchester Metropolitan University 2004)

Bar Vocational Course (Manchester Metropolitan University 2005)

Lincoln's Inn Lord Haldane and Cassel Scholarships.

Professional Associations

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)

Leeds and District Medico-Legal Society (LDMLS)

Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

Leila's Latest News
Scope of Duty of Care: Khan v Meadows
News  

28—06—2021

Scope of Duty of Care: Khan v Meadows

Law with Lunch
Events  

27—06—2018

Law with Lunch

Awards &
Accreditations

View All Awards 

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