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 specialises in complex and high value clinical negligence and personal injury cases. She has expertise in dealing with particularly sensitive and legally complex issues such as those arising from the treatment of mental illness; the provision of public health services; the funding of health and social care in the community; management of the interface between different health services; intimate birth and brain injuries.

Selena is ranked by Legal 500 as a First Tier Silk:

Selena is a super brain. She has a great ability to organise, analyse and distil the essence from huge quantities of material. She never misses an important point in the evidence.‘ She is ‘willing to tackle the novel and the challenging, with unrivalled commitment and insight‘; ‘she brings with her such experience and such tenacity that if she’s on your case you feel confident in taking it forward‘. [2022]

And by Chambers UK as a Band 1 Silk:

“Absolutely excellent – she really stands out for her acumen and expertise in clinical negligence cases.” “She’s truly meticulous and incredibly sharp.” “Completely dedicated to her clients, approachable, personable and always goes the extra mile.” [2022]

As a junior, Selena also represented clinicians before disciplinary tribunals and for a time she sat as a Legal Assessor for the GMC. She has sat part time as a Judge on Mental Health Tribunals since 2007 and continues to do so. 

Selena is shortlisted for 'Clinical Negligence Silk of the Year' at The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022. 

Clinical Negligence

Selena’s caseload covers a wide spectrum of injuries including:

  • patients with catastrophic brain injuries following haemorrhage, stroke & anaesthetic injuries;
  • cerebral palsy and developmental amnesia following obstetric mis-management;
  • spinal injuries including paraplegia & cauda equina syndrome;
  • loss of hearing and loss of vision;
  • maternal birth trauma;
  • failure to manage mental health;
  • delayed diagnosis of cancer. 

Recent Illustrative cases:

  • Lewis – Ranwell v G4S Health Service and others [2022] EWHC 1213 – Successfully defeated strike out applications before Garnham J. Represented the Claimant who was acquitted of 3 counts of murder on grounds of insanity and brings claims against the police and 3 healthcare providers for failing to detain him under the Mental Health Act. 
  • MH v NHS 111 & GP [2021] high value damages achieved for claimant with CES, spinal cord injuries;
  • MPH v NHS Trust [2021] acted for young mother with loss of sight due to delayed treatment of sinus thrombosis;
  • XX v SSFH & NHS Commissioning [2021] achieved high value settlement for patient with brain and spinal cord injuries arising out of provision of public health screening services;  
  • XY v NBT [2021] successful settlement ofclaim involving developing points of law re damages for dying claimant following delayed diagnosis of cancer; 
  • OG v 3 Trusts [2021] and MP v AWP Trust [2021] settlement for widows in two cases against NHS Trusts for failing to prevent suicide of their husbands
  • AC v NHS Trust [2020] high value settlement for young person with cerebral palsy arising from obstetric delays
  • EXX v NHS Trust [2020] high value settlement for young person with developmental amnesia and deafness after obstetric delays
  • GW v A GP [2019] - Represented the family of a mother who died following delayed diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer
  • GC v A GP [2019] - Represented the Claimant who had complete loss of sight caused by dehydration. Negotiated substantial settlement at RTM
  • 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
  • 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.

Personal Injury

Selena continues to undertake fatal accident and personal injury work, particularly where it involves complex medical or legal issues.

Recent cases involve acquired brain injury following a road traffic accident, in an already psychiatrically compromised child; and a claim for brain injuries in a previously high earning individual with complex needs.

Inquests

Selena regularly appears at Inquests 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.

Recommendations


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'


CHAMBERS UK 2021

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.’


 

CHAMBERS UK 2020

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.'


CHAMBERS UK 2019

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.’


CHAMBERS UK 2018

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.’


CHAMBERS UK 2017

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.'


CHAMBERS UK 2016

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'.


CHAMBERS UK 2015

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'


CHAMBERS UK 2014

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".


CHAMBERS UK 2013

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.


CHAMBERS UK 2012

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.'


CHAMBERS UK 2011

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."


CHAMBERS UK 2010

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

CLERK CONTACT INFORMATION

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

 

Appointments

  • 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)

Memberships

  • AvMA
  • PNBA

education

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