Selena Plowden QC

Year of call: 1991 | Silk: 2020

‘Selena is a super brain. She has a great ability to organise, analyse and distill the essence from huge quantities of material.  She never misses an important point in the evidence'

Legal 500 2022

Selena Selena QC

Selena has been shortlisted at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2019 for Clinical Negligence 'Junior of the Year'.

Chambers and Partners have consistently ranked Selena as a leading junior and "Star Individual" since 2014 for her Clinical Negligence work. She is recognised as "one of the standout Clinical Negligence barristers at the Western Bar for cases concerning birth injury, catastrophic neurological injury and fatalities”. Instructing solicitors describe her as "very thorough, careful and experienced" with a "voracious attention to detail". She is said to be "superb with her clients" and to have a "very practical approach to case strategy".

Clinical Negligence

Selena is regularly instructed in high value, medically complex clinical negligence cases.

Her caseload covers a wide spectrum of injuries including:

  • patients with catastrophic brain injuries following sub arachnoid haemorrhage, anaesthetic injury & basilar artery stroke;
  • cerebral palsy and developmental amnesia following obstetric mismanagement;
  • spinal injuries including paraplegia & cauda equina syndrome;
  • loss of vision;
  • maternal birth trauma;
  • cardiothoracic surgery;
  • delayed diagnosis of cancer. 

Recent Illustrative cases:

  • AB v An NHS Trust [2017] - Represented the Claimant who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following delayed treatment of viral encephalitis. With Edward Bishop QC. Confidential settlement at joint meeting for high value lump sum and periodical payments.  
  • AM v An NHS Trust: [2017] - Represented the Claimant who lost his leg after negligent vascular treatment following a stabbing injury. Complex vascular issues. 
  • Tranckle v North Devon NHS Trust [2017] - successfully represented Claimant at 5 day liability and quantum trial for injuries following orthopaedic surgery.
  • AB v 2 NHS FTs [2018] - Represented Claimant who suffered paraplegia caused by a spinal TB abscess. 
  • SJ v 2 Hospital Trusts [2018] - Represented Claimant where delayed surgery for an evolving Cauda Equina Syndrome caused bowel, bladder and mobility issues. Negotiated settlement at RTM.  
  • S & H v Cardiff Vale University HB [2018] - Transplant surgery: Successfully represented the families of two men who died as a result of inadequate vetting of organs from the same donor.
  • B v An NHST [2019] - Represented mother at Inquest and in successful civil proceedings for the loss of her child and maternal injuries following labour at a midwifery led unit. Involved issues of consent and complex obstetric & neonatology evidence.
  • GC v A GP [2019] - Represented the Claimant who had complete loss of sight caused by dehydration. Negotiated substantial settlement at RTM.
  • GW v A GP [2019] -  Represented the family of a mother who died following delayed diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer. Negotiated substantial settlement at RTM despite ongoing denials of liability.
  • LC, ERH & AC v 3 NHS Trusts - ongoing cases involving brain injury/ cerebral palsy arising from obstetric delays.

Personal Injury

Selena continues to undertake fatal accident and personal injury work in addition to her clinical negligence practice, particularly where it involves complex medical issues. Recent cases involved acquired brain injury following a road traffic accident in an already psychiatrically compromised child and a fatal fall in a DIY setting.


Selena regularly appears on behalf of families; NHS and commercial healthcare providers; individual clinicians and other commercial organisations. Recent cases involve fatalities arising out of the management of a haematological condition; cardiac surgery; placement of a gastrostomy tube; electrocution and drug abuse. 


LEGAL 500 2022

Clinical Negligence

‘Selena is a super brain. She has a great ability to organise, analyse and distill the essence from huge quantities of material.  She never misses an important point in the evidence'


Clinical Negligence

A highly regarded new silk noted for her expert representation of both claimants and defendants.

She has experience handling cases concerning challenging birth injury, catastrophic neurological injury, fatality and surgical negligence. Further expertise lies in maternal injuries, delayed diagnoses and loss of sight cases.

Strengths: "She brings an exceptional level of attention to detail and understanding to medically difficult cases." "Incredibly thorough and takes an intellectual approach to cases. She has a calm and thoughtful approach to strategy, and a very compassionate approach to her dealings with clients." "Thoroughly explores every avenue to ensure the case is robust."

LEGAL 500 2021

Clinical Negligence

‘Tactically brilliant, great with clients, and tough but fair with opposition.’



Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

Consistently identified as a standout junior on the Western Circuit. She is highly coveted by both claimants and defendants for cases concerning challenging birth injury, catastrophic neurological injury, fatality and surgical negligence. Further expertise lies in maternal injuries, delayed diagnoses and loss of sight cases.

Strengths: "Just phenomenal: she has the attention to detail and the client care skills, and is very supportive of solicitors." "She's amazing with clients and is very sensitive, and incredibly passionate about the work that she does, about getting the best outcome, and about justice."

Recent work: Represented the claimant in proceedings against an NHS trust, alleging negligent delay in their surgery for bowel cancer.

LEGAL 500 2020

Personal Injury & Clin Neg

Leading Juniors

'She has a tremendous grasp of complex clinical negligence cases.'


Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

"Her level of detail, particularly on liability, is second to none. She knows which points to fight and which ones to leave." "She is so attentive to detail, very organised with paperwork and deadlines, easy to pick up the phone to, passionate about what she does, and handles the clients and their families very well."

LEGAL 500 2019

Personal Injury & Clin Neg

‘Very experienced in cases involving birth injuries.’


Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

Strengths: "She has excellent analytical skills in complex clinical negligence claims, is great with clients and an intimidating negotiator." "She is very good at finding a way through a difficult case, and is almost terrier-like in how she approaches and manages them."

Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a case arising from two fatalities after patients were given kidneys infected with parasites during a transplant.

LEGAL 500 2017

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Leading Juniors

‘An excellent barrister.’


Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

Has built up an impressive reputation representing both claimants and defendants in an array of complex claims in her clinical negligence and personal injury practice. Acts in a wide range of maximum severity cases including those relating to catastrophic neurological injuries, birth injuries, and missed diagnoses of cancer.

Strengths: "She has an excellent client manner and a very thorough understanding of the details." "She is absolutely fantastic; no stone is left unturned, she's very organised, competent on her feet and is brilliant with medical experts."

Recent work: Acted for a claimant who suffered an above-knee amputation following knee replacement surgery by a private surgeon.

LEGAL 500 2016

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Leading juniors

'Meticulous, patient and emphatetic.'


Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

Draws effusive praise from sources for her work representing claimaints across a range of personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest work. The majority of her practice consists of clinical negligence cases, with particular experience in matters concerning serious issues such as birth injuries, catastrophic adult neurological injuries and missed cancers.

Strengths: "If there was a fantasy football team of lawyers and barristers, she would definitely be there." "She has an amazing eye for the detailed issues in the case and has a calm and thoughtful approach to strategy. She has a compassionate approach to her dealings with clients." "She really gets a grip on all medical evidence - she will not leave the issues alone until she completely understands where it fits on the legal plane."

LEGAL 500 2015

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Leading juniors

'Extremely forensic, thorough and very good tactically'.


Clinical Negligence

Leading Junior - Star Individual

Works on the most complex and high-value cases, including catastrophic, birth and surgical injuries. She also handles cases relating to missed cancer diagnoses, and claims concerning the management of chronic illnesses.

Expertise: "She knows her onions when it comes to the medical issues, and is equally good at the quantum side of things." "She is very precise and hugely thorough."

Recent work: She acted on an inquest into a child fatality, which was linked to the changing of a peg feeding tube. She represented the company to which the NHS outsourced enteral feeding services.

LEGAL 500 2014

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Leading juniors

'Extremely well prepared and excellent with clients'


Ranked as a Star Individual for Clinical Negligence at the Western Bar.

One of the standout clinical negligence barristers at the Western Bar. Her exceptional expertise includes significant knowledge of birth injury and catastrophic brain injury cases. "She stands head and shoulders above the others and has a voracious attention to detail". "She is very thorough, careful and experienced".


Selena Plowden's practice is almost exclusively focused on clinical negligence. She is "superb with her clients, and has a very practical approach to case strategy." "Easily on a par with the juniors at the big London sets," she handles a broad range of clinical negligence claims with great skill. Matters dealing with medical accidents, birth injuries, delayed diagnoses of cancer and surgical injuries all come within her remit.

LEGAL 500 2012

Selena Plowden's practice predominantly focuses on complex clinical negligence matters.


Selena Plowden is well respected for her work in clinical negligence and ancillary healthcare issues. Selena Plowden represents both claimants and defendants in catastrophic injury matters, and is considered to be "a star who offers very insightful advice."

LEGAL 500 2011

Selena Plowden 'emanates an aura of intellect and confidence', and 'always adopts a sensible and pragmatic approach.'


Selena Plowden is "an impressive senior junior". According to interviewees, "she approaches the evidence in a forensic fashion and her manner with clients is invariably empathetic." She elicits further praise for her performance in settlement, as "she presents arguments forcefully and convincingly."


Selena Plowden has a "great grasp of complex medical issues," which "inspires absolute confidence in clients."


For further information and enquiries please contact:

Personal Injury: Caroline Evans or Olive Kavanagh or Emily Webb

Clinical Negligence: Caroline Evans or Olive Kavanagh or Emily Webb

Regulatory & Discipline: Olive Kavanagh or Stephen Arnold



  • Tribunal Judge (Mental Health) 2007 – current
  • Legal Assessor MPTS/ GMC 2010 – 2015
  • WCWF (steering committee Western Circuit Womens’ Forum) 
  • Senior Lecturer Inns of Court School of Law (1998 - 2002)


  • AvMA
  • PNBA


  • City University Diploma in Law
  • BA Hons, English, London