Abigail Telford

Called 2011

A fearless and highly intellectual barrister.

The Legal 500 (2024) - Inquests and Inquiries

About

Abigail has a busy personal injury, clinical negligence and inquests practice and is regularly instructed both to advise and attend hearings. She also regularly attends mediations and settlement meetings.

Abigail is a confident advocate, appearing regularly in both the civil courts and coroners court, and this is an aspect of her practice that she takes particular pleasure in.

Abigail has a particular interest in complex cases, particularly those involving extensive therapy and accommodation needs. She has recently worked with a senior colleague on a complex clinical negligence case involving life-changing injuries to a child in which the capitalised value of the settlement exceeded £13 million.

Abigail enjoys a difficult and technical argument. As a result, she enjoys working on appeals and has appeared in the Supreme Court twice:

  • Edwards (on behalf of the estate of the late Arthur Watkins) v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2019] UKSC 132, a case concerning the correct date for assessment of damages in professional negligence claims.
  • Barton v Wright Hassall [2018] UKSC 12 a case involving issues regarding compliance with civil procedure rules, service and litigants in person.

 

Recommendations

A fearless junior, unusually diligent and has excellent judgement. Her advocacy is very persuasive.’  The Legal 500 (2024), Clinical Negligence

A fearless and highly intellectual barrister.’ The Legal 500 (2024), Inquests and Inquiries

Abigail is an industrious junior, who is very good in conference with clients and experts. Her advice is always clear.’ The Legal 500 (2024), Personal Injury

‘Abigail is excellent, thorough, and has a great ability to engage with clients. She can also dilute complicated cases.‘ Chambers & Partners (2024)

‘Abigail is an up-and-coming star: very impressive quality of work and dedication as well as being knowledgeable and very personable’. Chambers & Partners (2024)

‘She is very bright and well informed, and great at cross examination’. Chambers & Partners (2024)

 

Teams

Abigail is an active member of the serious injury, clinical negligence and inquest teams in chambers. She regularly gives seminars and talks regarding topics touching on all areas of her practice. Abigail also attends and organises events relating to pupillage with Parklane Plowden.

Abigail is a committee member of the Leeds & District Medico-Legal Society.

Abigail is also Head of Civil Pupillage and is therefore involved in the organisation and recruitment of civil pupils.

Areas of Expertise

Accolades

Abigail has a busy clinical negligence practice.  She has experience drafting pleadings, attending costs and case management hearings and drafting schedules of loss.

Abigail recently worked alongside a senior colleague on a case where capitalised settlement was reached in excess of £13 million. Abigail particularly enjoys the complex and intricate arguments relating to extensive therapy and accommodation needs.

Abigail enjoys conducting conferences with experts, clients and witnesses, recognising the importance of such conferences when conducting litigation.

Abigail regularly advises on liability, causation and quantum and negotiating at joint settlement meetings and mediations in all matters arising out of clinical negligence. She accepts instructions for accidents arising out of both public and private healthcare.

 

Appeals

Abigail has a particular interest in procedural and technical arguments. Having appeared twice in the Supreme Court, Abigail has a good understanding of the process of appeals and enjoys this aspect of litigation.

 

Recent Cases

Recent cases have involved:

  • Delay in diagnosis resulting in a claimant suffering life changing injuries including total incontinence and constant pain.
  • A failure to diagnose illness resulting in total loss of fertility in a young woman.
  • Delays in delivery of a baby, resulting in hypoxic brain injury.

Abigail has experience in dealing with matters relating to costs and regularly attends costs management hearings and application hearings concerning costs issues that arise during the course of litigation. Abigail regularly advises clients regarding costs issues that arise during proceedings.

Abigail has a busy multi-track personal injury practice and is regularly instructed in a wide range of claims including road traffic accidents, employer’s liability claims and public liability claims.

Appearing in court regularly, Abigail attends hearings at all stages of litigation, including pre-action applications, allocation hearings, costs and case management hearings, application hearings, pre-trial reviews, trials and costs hearings.

Abigail is confident with the costs arguments that arise in personal injury cases and has experience dealing with costs both within and outside portal regimes.

Understanding the importance of client care and the need to communicate clearly, Abigail regularly has conferences with both lay and expert witnesses involved in a wide variety of personal injury cases.

 

Appeals

Abigail has a particular interest in procedural and technical arguments. Having appeared twice in the Supreme Court, Abigail has a good understanding of the process of appeals and enjoys this aspect of litigation.

 

Serious Injuries

Abigail has been involved in cases where there have been life-changing injuries, including spinal injuries, amputation of limbs and traumatic brain injuries.

Abigail recently worked alongside a senior colleague on a case where capitalised settlement was reached in excess of £13 million.

Abigail was also seconded to the personal injury team at Stewart’s Law for 2 months in 2016. She was primarily involved with catastrophic injury cases involving brain injuries and spinal injuries. This gave Abigail valuable insight into the work that such cases require and enabled her to develop all aspects of her practice, including drafting and client care.

 

Road Traffic Accidents

Abigail is experienced in providing advice on both liability and quantum, and also regularly appears in all stages of proceedings including allocation hearings, costs and case management hearings, application hearings and trials.

With experience at all stages of litigation, Abigail is familiar and confident with cases that fall both within and outside of the Pre-action Protocol for Personal Injuries arising from Road Traffic Accidents.

 

Employer’s Liability/Public Liability

Abigail has a busy practice and is experienced in advising on all aspects of cases involving employer’s liability and/or public liability issues.

Client care is of key importance to Abigail, who is confident and comfortable dealing with both clients and experts in conference.

Abigail regularly attends hearings in relation to such matters, including allocation hearings, costs and case management hearings, application hearings and trials.

 

Fatal Accidents

Abigail is regularly instructed to advise in cases relating to fatal accidents.

Abigail is confident advising on all aspects of such claims, particularly noting the issues that arise from dependency claims.

Abigail recognises the importance of client care and clear advice in such cases, and is comfortable advising in writing or conferences depending upon the needs of the client.

 

Recent Cases

Recent cases have involved issues such as:

  • Death after a person was struck by a caravan that had become detached from a car.
  • Spinal injuries, resulting in chronic widespread pain disorder.
  • Spinal injuries, resulting in life changing injuries those which prevented a mother to provide basic care for her young infant.

Abigail regularly provides advice and representation regarding inquests, inquiries and pre-inquest reviews.

Abigail has a particular interest in inquests relating to the provision of healthcare services.

Abigail regularly represents interested persons at inquests where there have been issues arising from medical care, and prison and probation-related deaths.

 

Recent Cases

  • Represented the family of a man who had died following the misplacement of a naso-gastric tube, with a finding of neglect made.
  • Represented the family of an elderly man who suffered a fall in hospital, with the coroner finding that failings on the part of the treating practitioners hastened his death.
  • Represented the family of a baby who suffered surgical complications, but those complications were not recognised by the treating practitioners until intervention was no longer a viable option.
  • Represented the family of a baby who died shortly after birth as a result of delays in delivery.
  • Represented a probation officer in a case where the offender he was managing unlawfully killed an ex-partner.

Abigail regularly provides advice and representation regarding inquests, inquiries and pre-inquest reviews.

Abigail has a particular interest in inquests relating to the provision of healthcare services.

Abigail regularly represents interested persons at inquests where there have been issues arising from medical care, and prison and probation-related deaths.

 

Recent Cases

  • Represented the family of a man who had died following the misplacement of a naso-gastric tube, with a finding of neglect made.
  • Represented the family of an elderly man who suffered a fall in hospital, with the coroner finding that failings on the part of the treating practitioners hastened his death.
  • Represented the family of a baby who suffered surgical complications, but those complications were not recognised by the treating practitioners until intervention was no longer a viable option.
  • Represented the family of a baby who died shortly after birth as a result of delays in delivery.
  • Represented a probation officer in a case where the offender he was managing unlawfully killed an ex-partner.

Abigail is a member of Parklane Plowden’s Serious Injury group.

She has experience working on complex and serious personal injury and clinical negligence claims involving brain, spinal or complex injuries.

Abigail recently worked alongside a senior colleague on a case where capitalised settlement was reached in excess of £13 million. Abigail particularly enjoys the complex and intricate arguments relating to extensive therapy and accommodation needs.

Abigail is confident working as part of a team alongside multiple experts, her instructing solicitors and her clients.

Chambers and Partners (2024) - Personal Injury (Band 3) - "Abigail is a very able and approachable barrister who is very good with clients, and demonstrates excellent technical knowledge."

Chambers and Partners (2024) - Inquests and Inquiries (Band 3) - "She is very bright and well informed, and great at cross-examination."

Chambers and Partners (2024) - Clinical Negligence (Band 2) - "Abigail is excellent, thorough, and has great ability to engage with clients. She can also dilute complicated cases."

The Legal 500 (2024) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 2) - "A junior who quickly builds a rapport with clients due to his professional yet caring and compassionate approach."

The Legal 500 (2024) - Inquests and Inquiries (Tier 2) - "A fearless and highly intellectual barrister."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Personal Injury - "Abigail Telford is a well-regarded junior barrister who is noted for her handling of complex personal injury matters. She regularly acts for both claimants and defendants."

The Legal 500 (2023) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 2) - "She combines an eye for detail with a very straightforward yet sensitive approach to difficult cases."

The Legal 500 (2023) - Personal Injury (Tier 3) - "Abigail is a fantastic barrister. She is very quick and very professional with her advice, which is reliable and thorough."

Chambers and Partners (2022) - Personal Injury (Band 1) - "Very knowledgeable."

The Legal 500 (2022) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 2) - "Abigail is formidable. She is incredibly intelligent, and an excellent advocate."

The Legal 500 (2022) - Personal Injury (Tier 3) - "Abigail is intellectually rigorous, very reliable, robust and persuasive. An excellent cross-examiner who always maintains a calm composure."

Chambers and Partners (2021) - Personal Injury (Up and Coming) - "A rising star at the set. She's able to analyse complex issues and quickly cut through to the heart of the matter."

The Legal 500 (2021) - Personal Injury (Band 3) - "Abigail is a very good barrister. She is very good in conferences with a client. She is very good with her written advices. She is very approachable easy to understand. She is always available if you need to discuss a case."

Personal Injuries Bar Association; 

Association for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA); 

Leeds & District Medico-Legal Society (committee member);

Lord Denning Society (Lincoln's Inn).

Edwards (on behalf of the estate of the late Arthur Watkins) v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2019] UKSC 132

Barton v Wright Hassall [2018] UKSC 12

Bar Professional Training Course, Very Competent, Manchester Metropolitan University (2011);

Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn (2010);

LLM, Leiden University (2009);

LLB (Hons), University of Sheffield (2008)

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