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Julia Appleton



Julia is a Partner in the Healthcare team specialising in health and social care.

Julia has acted for the majority of the teaching hospitals in London and many large state and private sector providers around the country.

Julia is ranked as a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 legal directory. She has been described as ‘faultless’ and ‘compassionate, thoughtful and sensitive’.

Julia regularly speaks at events and receives feedback includes: ‘Great speaker,’ ‘Julia Appleton was particularly good at getting the point across and the ability to talk around the points’ and ‘Very inspiring and knowledgeable.’

Julia has advised on a wide range of medico-legal matters, including consent, confidentiality, on urgent admissions and treatment issues, including force-feeding of anorexics, treatment of minor Jehovah’s Witnesses with blood transfusions, and deaths in hospital, including suicides and attempted murders.

She is regularly instructed to attend inquests on behalf of healthcare bodies and care home providers and undertakes advocacy at inquests.

Julia has a particular interest in mental health law, the operation of the Mental Health Act and on all aspects relating to the treatment and detention of mentally ill people. She regularly undertakes complex Court of Protection work.

Julia also has experience of regulatory matters involving the CQC. She advises on local authority/PCT funding disputes, various issues in respect of care homes law, public law and judicial review.

Julia is regularly involved in clinical negligence litigation and has experience of high value catastrophic cases, particularly spinal and brain injuries, as well as an established profile for class action work.


Julia’s caseload has involved:

  • Acting for a health authority in an action brought by a 22 year old claimant concerning retrolental fibroplasia. A case involving complex causation issues as to the claimant’s condition. Experts for the defendant included those experts involved in the case of Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority 1986 3ALLER 801 (a leading case in causation in clinical negligence litigation and also involving retrolental fibroplasia)
  • Representation of a health authority in the RAGE litigation
  • Acting for health authorities and trusts in emergency applications involving consent issues and obstetric intervention. In particular, obtaining injunctive relief to enable the hospital to carry out caesarean section procedures on pregnant patients
  • Representation of healthcare providers at inquests in the Coroner’s Court
  • Class actions – advising one of four steering committee group firms coordinating the class action for victims (over 5,000 claimants) of sofa dermatitis caused by the chemical Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF). This is the largest consumer group litigation in UK legal history. In a settlement package approved by the Court, more than 2,000 claimants received a £20m compensation payment from the retailer’s insurers. Publicity surrounding the litigation has resulted in research being undertaken by the European Commission via the Department of EU Consumer Affairs and this has subsequently led to the ban in the use of DMF in many European countries

Julia’s specialist knowledge and expertise means that her opinion is often required by the media and she has made regular appearances on national radio and TV.

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