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Deborah Bannister



Deborah qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and has worked in healthcare litigation for nearly 18 years — six years as a claimant lawyer and the last 12 years as a defendant lawyer. She became a partner in 2009 and is a nominated partner for both clinical and non-clinical claims. She advises and trains organisations in respect of all aspects of healthcare and related areas of law and practice including governance and risk management. She is the deputy client relationship partner for a number of our key public sector clients.

Deborah has managed all types of clinical negligence claims in the last 18 years covering the majority of medical specialisms: including cerebral palsy and other birth injuries, neurological damage, fatal claims, surgical error, misdiagnoses and delayed diagnosis. These claims have ranged from those that are relatively straight forward to those of maximum severity, complexity and value. In the last 12 or so years, the focus has been on the high-end claims but she has responsibility for the day to day training and supervision of the junior members of the team who focus on the work of more limited complexity and value.

Deborah manages group actions on behalf of clients to include all aspects of strategy, regulatory implication, risk management, organisational improvement and co-ordination with external agencies such as CQC and media. She is currently involved in a maxillofacial group action involving 138 claimants which requires a tailored approach in order to save time and costs. A claims handling agreement has been agreed with the claimant’s various representatives. The claims are handled in a very specific way to ensure knowledge sharing between all those working on the claims and to ensure that the approach is perfectly consistent on each matter.

Deborah is trusted by the NHS Resolution to provide sensible opinion and a pragmatic approach to novel situations. She has worked with the NHS Resolution Chair and Director of Claims on a historical complaint arising out of alleged clinical negligence that occurred 11 years ago. The litigation was resolved some years ago but the family have continued to be persistent in their desire for what they see to be justice. Their complaints involve multi agencies and involved previous panel solicitors. Deborah has conducted a case review and advised the Chair and Director of Claims upon a strategy for resolution and has worked with the Director of Claims to deliver the strategy.

Deborah has wide experience of working in house in NHS Foundation Trusts, working closely with Chairs, Chief Executives, Chief Finance Officers and wider boards. Specific responsibilities have included:- Re drafting core constitutions to ensure legal and statutory compliance following the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and to ensure suitability to take the organisation forward in light of significant pipeline projects, advising governors and board in respect of significant transactions, redrafting and implementing new Board Assurance Framework, liaising with and submitting returns to CQC and Monitor, co-ordinating the production of the Quality Report and preparation of the Annual Report, commissioning / liaising with external consultants to undertake reviews in respect of compliance, co-ordinating complex internal enquiries involving the instruction of external experts and overseeing unannounced regulatory inspections. She also has experience of working in house in respect of complaints and claims.

Deborah has been the Business Centre Manager for the Birmingham Healthcare team since 2006 responsible for all aspects of the day to day running and supervision of the team, ensuring consistent high performance and adherence to client service level agreements. From 1 May 2017, she is responsible for service delivery across all our healthcare litigation offering.

Deborah is ranked in Chambers and the Legal 500.

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