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Tom Semple

Called 2016

Tom joined chambers in October 2017 after the successful completion of pupillage, supervised by Corin Furness and Stuart Jamieson. He maintains a broad civil practice, but has a particular interest in health and welfare matters, covering clinical negligence, inquests, Court of Protection and general personal injury matters. In addition, Tom enjoys a broad employment, credit hire and commercial practice.

Before becoming a member of chambers, Tom had significant experience in clinical negligence and high value personal injury claims, having worked as a paralegal in healthcare litigation and catastrophic injuries (RTA and EL/PL) for over two years at two national law firms.

On the BPTC, Tom was graded ‘Outstanding’ on 8 out of 12 modules, including civil litigation, personal injury & clinical negligence, advocacy, drafting, and conference skills. He came top of his year group in the personal injury & clinical negligence module.

Tom is willing to accept instructions on a CFA-basis in appropriate cases.

Barrister with significant pre-Bar experience working at a national law firm.

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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Clinical Negligence
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Tom has a particular interest in clinical negligence, which has become a significant part of his practice since joining chambers. He acts on behalf of patients, hospital trusts, GP practices and individual practitioners. He has experience in drafting statements of case, advising on prospects and quantum, CCMCs, JSMs and inquests involving suggestions of clinical negligence. His practice benefits from his experience in a busy clinical negligence department at a leading law firm before coming to the bar. He is happy to advise in matters on an informal basis, particularly in the early stages of claims.

Tom’s practice covers all areas of clinical negligence, including orthopaedic surgery, obstetrics, diabetes management, emergency care, mental health, dental, nursing and residential care.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising on quantum where the claimant was given ten times the recommended dose of anti-epileptic medication (settled).
  • Drafting the Defence on behalf of a GP Surgery in a multi-defendant claim regarding the management of a wound infection (settled).
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim and advising on quantum following a stillbirth (settled).
  • Advising on prospects on paper and in conference with multiple experts in defending a claim concerning the management of a diabetic foot injury. Tom advised the defendant NHS Trust throughout the claim, attended the CCMC and then successfully resisted the claimant's application to amend the Particulars of Claim before trial (discontinued).
  • Representing the defendant NHS Trust in a joint settlement meeting in a matter arising out of alleged dental negligence (settled).
  • Advising in conference on prospects and quantum, and drafting the Particulars of Claim, regarding injuries arising from a failure to identify red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (settled shortly after issue).
  • Advising the defendant NHS Trust on prospects and quantum, and drafting the Counter Schedule of Loss, in a claim concerning an alleged failure to offer early revascularisation of the patient's leg, causing amputation (settled).
  • Advising in conference and drafting Particulars of Claim in a multi-expert case arising from the death of a newborn baby (ongoing).
Personal Injury
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Road Traffic Accidents

Tom regularly appears in the County Court regarding RTA claims. He acts on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He also has a busy paper practice, including advising on liability and quantum.

Public and Employers’ Liability 

Tom is experienced in EL/PL matters, both from his work before joining chambers and since becoming a tenant. He is regularly instructed to draft statements of case, advise in conference, and attend trials in the County Court. 

Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals

In pupillage and since becoming a tenant, Tom has experience in advising on and attending CICA appeals. He has particular experience in disputes over whether the assailant lacked capacity.

Inquests & Fatal Accidents
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Tom has been involved in numerous inquests during pupillage and since becoming a tenant. He is primarily instructed in relation to healthcare-related deaths, but also accepts instructions concerning deaths in the workplace, prison deaths and road traffic fatalities. He is experienced in drafting submissions, advising on strategy, pre-inquest reviews and final hearings. 

Recently concluded cases include:

  • Re RY: An eleven-day inquest with a jury concerning the death of a pedestrian struck by collapsing rubble from the facade of a building on the high street. The inquest touched upon the various roles and responsibilities of the interested parties under the CDM regulations and how the wall came to be constructed without wind restraints 14 years prior to its collapse. Tom represented a structural engineer engaged on the project. The conclusion was 'accidental death' and no adverse findings were made against Tom's client.
  • Re AA: A three-day inquest involving a death following a fall in a care home, where the Coroner concluded that the death would have been avoidable had the care home carried out risk assessments. Tom acted on behalf of the family. The inquest was followed by the first successful CQC prosecution of a local authority, where the authority admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment. See
  • Re LJW: A three-day inquest with a jury concerning a death following the development of septicaemia. The inquest involved four interested parties and questions over whether the deceased had received appropriate care in hospital and in the community after developing foot ulcers, which became infected.
  • Re PT: A two-day inquest concerning the management of the deceased's toxic epidermal necrolysis. The inquest revealed that the deceased was cared for on a ward where clinicans had no experience in dermatology and national guidance for transfer were not followed. Tom represented the family.
  • Re AE: An inquest concerning the death of a young father, killed in a road traffic accident on a country road. Tom represented the family.
  • Re RG: A two-day inquest involving a death following a head injury. The issues centred on the advice given to the deceased by the paramedics.
  • Re PH: A three-day inquest concerning the death of a patient with dementia who had been injured in a road traffic accident, after he managed to leave a hospital ward without the staff noticing. The Coroner concluded that the failures of the nursing staff amounted to neglect and this contributed to the death. Tom acted on behalf of the deceased's family.
  • Re CAJ: An inquest concerning the death of a pedestrian involved in a road traffic collision with a taxi. The conclusion was accidental death. Tom acted on behalf of the taxi driver's insurer.
  • Re KG: A two-day Article 2 inquest involving the death of a voluntary psychiatric in-patient. The issues concerned whether a different treatment plan or effective communication with the police when the deceased went missing would have prevented the death. Tom represented the family.
Court of Protection
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Tom is particularly experienced in section 21A applications, section 16 applications, final hearings and round table meetings between the parties. He also has experience of cases where there is an overlap between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983. He has a keen interest in health and welfare matters, having studied medical and mental capacity law at post-graduate level.His practice benefits from his clinical negligence work and his experience in dealing with parties that lack capacity arising out of injuries. Tom takes a collaborative approach and is willing to advise informally from the outset.

He accepts instructions in all areas, including:

  • Deprivation of Liberty declarations; 
  • Welfare decisions;
  • Deputyships; and
  • Removal of the Nearest Relative.

Recent and ongoing matters include:

  • Representing the son of P in a matter where different family members and the local authority could not agree on P's care requirements and whether the LPA ought to be revoked.
  • Representing a local authority in proceedings where P's care home were threatening to terminate the placement, owing to P's increasing level of need.
  • Representing a local authority in a matter concerning the inherent jurisdiction, where P was a minor over the age of 16, and best interests declarations were needed.
  • Jointly representing a local authority and CCG in proceedings where P's capacity had been described as fluctuating and P's engagement with the public bodies varied.
  • Representing the mother of P in proceedings where the CCG sought to remove P from the family home.
  • Representing a local authority in s.21A proceedings where agreement could not be reached as to the least restrictive option for P's residence and care needs.
  • Representing P through his litgation friend in contested s.21A proceedings concerning whether P should be allowed to return to the family home on a trial basis.
  • Representing the CCG in contested s.21A proceedings where P wishes to move out of a care setting and to a different local authority.

Tom is also a member of the Court of Protection Practioners Association

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Tom has a growing employment practice and he accepts instructions on behalf of Claimants and Respondents. He has experience appearing in the employment tribunal and advising on merits in the early stages of claims. He has a particular interest in discrimination matters.

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Credit Hire

Tom is regularly instructed to appear in the County Court in credit hire matters, particularly on behalf of insurance companies. He is well versed in the arguments over need, period, enforceability, impecuniosity, mitigation, intervention and rates. He has been successful in getting credit hire claims dismissed due to misrepresentation.


Tom is experienced in indemnity disputes arising from road traffic accidents owing to his work at a national defendant insurance law firm before pupillage.

Costs & Litigation
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Tom is regularly instructed on behalf of Claimants and Defendants to attend contested costs hearings in a variety of matters, but particularly in relation to clinical negligence claims.

Recent matters include:

  • Representing the defendant in a contested costs matter following settlement of a clinical negligence claim. Tom successfully limited the claimant to pre-issue costs on the grounds that the claimant had unreasonably failed to attempt to resolve the dispute without proceedings.
  • Attending numerous CCMCs in high value personal injury and clinical negligence claims, including those with multiple defendants and applications to include or restrict expert evidence.
Business and Commercial
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Tom has experience in various commercial matters, including debt recovery, breach of contract, applications to stay the writ / warrant of control and consumer credit. 

Recent matters include:

  • Recovering outstanding fees incurred by a firm of family solicitors against their former client (recovered in full);
  • Successfully defending a claim for holiday pay upon retirement based on the contract of employment;
  • Enforcing an indemnity clause against an insurer client's insured for lack of co-operation with the claim;
  • Enforcing judgment against a debtor (creditor's proposed payment plan approved).

At university, Tom was awarded the RG Lawson prize for achieving the highest grade in Sale and Supply of Goods law.

Notable Cases
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Inquest touching the death of Audrey Allen (2018)

Tom represented the family of Miss Allen. The inquest investigated failings in the care provided to the deceased at a care home operated by the local authority. The Coroner may critical findings against the care home, holding that the deceased would have survived had appropriate risk assessments been in place. The inquest was followed by the first CQC prosecution of a local authority. The authority entered an early guilty plea and was fined £500,000 for failing to provide safe care and treatment. Tom's article for AvMA covering the inquest can be accessed here. The BBC's article covering of the CQC prosecution can be accessed here.

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Ede & Ravenscroft Legal Prize (Pupillage Scholarship), Inner Temple (2016)

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Prize, Leeds & District Medico-Legal Society (2016)

Exhibition Award (BPTC Scholarship), Inner Temple (2015)

Regional BPTC Leader's Scholarship, BPP Law School (2014)

RG Lawson Prize, The University of Manchester (2012)

Articles & Publications
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Personal Details

BPTC, BPP Law School (2016)

LLM (Distinction), Healthcare Ethics and Law, The University of Manchester (2013)

LLB (Hons), The University of Manchester (2012)


Professional Associations

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)

Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

Leeds & District Medico-Legal Society

Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)

Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA)

Inner Temple

Tom's Latest News
Awards &

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