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Michael
Accolades
Chambers and PartnersLegal 500
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Michael Ditchfield

Called 1993

Michael practises exclusively in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence and has now done so for more than twenty five years. He began life at the Bar as general circuiteer cutting his teeth in crime, family and of course personal injury. 

He is now one of the few juniors ranked on the North Eastern Circuit for his expertise in occupational disease cases but travels widely across the UK on behalf of his clients. 

Michael has a particular interest in dust based disease and has appeared in a number of the significant headline cases regarding low-level asbestos exposure. He has also conducted litigation in more uncommon and esoteric respiratory and neurological disease following upon toxic exposures: notable examples being Aspergillosis and MS, the latter said to have resulted from aerosol exposures. 

He has an acknowledged skill in the more technical aspects of NIHL claims, regularly appearing in litigated cases and providing seminars on topics such as de minimis loss, Note 11 CLB (2000) and the relevance of the 6kHz notch. 

WRULD is a developing facet of his work with particular focus on complex issues of foreseeability and causation viewed from an epidemiological perspective. 

In all of these areas Michael has developed good relations with many of the UK’s leading medical experts. 

He regards interlocutory procedural applications of a more technical nature an interesting dimension to his work and has a busy papers practice, aiming to return high quality advices and pleadings within 24-48 hours where possible. 

Michael was a member of the Attorney-General’s provincial panel of Counsel for more than 15 years, in which time he conducted long-running inquests concerning prison deaths, as well as specialised investigations into the failure of military equipment and clinical fault.

Appointed as a Deputy District Judge on the North Eastern Circuit in March 2019.

"Extremely responsive, and his pleadings are always very detailed and comprehensive." "Tenacious advocate who is very robust."

Chambers & Partners 2019
Areas of Expertise
Industrial Disease
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Michael acts mainly for defendants and historically the NCB via the Secretary of State for industry. His experience covers all aspects of the work from procedure to limitation to litigation. He has been involved in low-level exposure cases, cases concerning fibre count evidence and where de minimis has been the issue. He is a regular before the High Court Masters on show cause applications. 

His practice covers NIHL to significant extent as well as HAVS & WRULD cases. He has experience of more exotic conditions such as Aspergillosis.

 

Significant Cases

Harrington v DECCHigh Court. Successful defence of low level exposure claim.

Strand v Darchem: County Court. Appropriate standard for measure of AAHL

Reynolds v DECC: High Court. Test for breach and causation in low level cases

Andrews v DECC:low-level exposure to colliery surface workers

Gallagher v Vinters: Use of JSB Guidelines in short-duration mesothelioma cases

Bell v DECC: Core values in JSC Guidelines and relevant factors in making award.

Mather –v MOD: MS resulting from exposure to toxic aerosol vapour

Bevan –v- Metro Diamond: Correct interpretation of “high frequency loss and N11”

Hackman –v- Havwood:Did keyboard work predispose to CTS?

Personal Injury
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Michael also undertakes general personal injury work where the opportunity arises. He has extensive experience of both County & High Court litigation. He worked recently with Michael Rawlinson QC on a complex occupier’s case concerning a child trespasser who had suffered brain injury & acted also with Michael Rawlinson QC for Durham County Council where a significant dispute arose as to the existence of a duty of care vis a vis worker, subject to a knife attack by a relative of a child in care.

Inquests & Fatal Accidents
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Michael has appeared at numerous inquests. These have included:

An 8-week investigation into the death of a prisoner where issues arose as to the coroner’s entitlement to call and detain as witnesses released prisoners outwith her area of jurisdiction & to compel detained prisoners to give evidence:

An engineering modification to a tank where that modification was implicated in the death of a serving soldier;

Investigation into the death of several residents at a private nursing home.

Recommendations
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"Extremely responsive, and his pleadings are always very detailed and comprehensive." 

"Tenacious advocate who is very robust."

Chambers UK 2019

"Noted for his expertise in asbestos claims."

Legal 500 2019

"A top-court player." "East to get on with."

Chambers UK 2016

"He has a superb, second-to-none customer service ethic and he is extremely quick at turning papers around. From him we get a detailed and tightly argued document."

 

 

 

Memberships
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Personal Injuries Bar Association (PIBA)

Articles & Publications
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The implications of s69 ERRA

The 6kHz notch in NIHL cases

Diseases in the Retail Sector

Mesothelioma after McGregor

Appointments
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Appointed as a Deputy District Judge on the North Eastern Circuit in March 2019.

Personal Details
Education

BA (Hons) & LLM

Professional Associations

Personal Injuries Bar Association (PIBA)

Michael's Latest News
Awards &
Accreditations

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