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Head of Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence & Personal injury

Fiona Follis

Fiona is dual qualified as a solicitor in both Scotland, England and Wales and also admitted as a Notary Public. Fiona is a Partner and Head of Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury department. She has specialised in claimant clinical negligence for over 25 years. Fiona seeks at all times to deploy the niche expertise and knowledge gained throughout her career to facilitate access to justice and fairness for all. She strives to demystify the law and litigation process for her clients and their families. She provides practical support and solutions and has expertise in a full range of medical negligence cases including cerebral palsy, birth injury, obstetrics, brain injury, anaesthesia, cardiac and renal cases. Fiona has also developed expertise in failure to diagnose in surgical cases.

Fiona has worked on cases including clinical trials, fertility treatment, organ transplantation and a complex virology case concerning fetal damage as a result of the chickenpox virus.

Fiona is a longstanding member of both the AvMA panel and Law Society Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel and has been acknowledged as a Band 1 leader in the field by both Chambers and Legal 500 directories for many years. She supports a variety of groups and charities including Bliss, the neonatal charity which she has supported as a parent representative. Fiona previously acted as a peer reviewer for the Legal Aid Agency and was secretary of the American Trial Lawyers Association International Section from 2000 to 2004.

Fiona Follis, Partner, Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury

Specialisms & expertise

  • Fiona has expertise in a full range of clinical negligence matters and has particular expertise in cerebral palsy and birth injury cases, and is one of the few solicitors in the country who has sufficient experience and ongoing specialism in birth injury cases to act as a franchise supervisor under our current Legal Aid Agency Contract. She has long standing experience in these cases and was a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association Birth Trauma Litigation Group from 1996 to 2004. Fiona also developed special interests in obstetrics, brain injury - both adult and child, anaesthesia, renal cases, complex orthopaedic cases, and has experience of representing families at inquest. Her medical negligence claims have involved a wide variety of issues. Some examples include:
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Limb amputation
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Negligent surgical treatment including cholecystectomy, nephrectomy, colectomy, failure to diagnose cancer
  • Substandard ophthalmic treatment
  • Failure to diagnose or adequately treat a range of life threatening conditions including Varicella syndrome from the chickenpox virus
  • Cardiac cases including failure to diagnose Long QT syndrome
  • Substandard management of care by general practitioners
  • Negligent dental facial maxillary surgery, including negligent jaw realignment
  • Failure to diagnose and treat stapedectomy and inner ear infections leading to brain abscess and injury
  • Failure to diagnose and treat subarachnoid haemorrhage leading to permanent brain damage
  • Fatal accident claims arising out of hospital negligence
  • Failure to diagnose and treat perforated bowel leading to death
  • Failure to diagnose and treat gestational diabetes leading to death
  • Fiona secured the then highest award for fatal damages for the death of a single parent following negligent bilateral sympathetic duct operation
  • Fiona has been instrumental in change to dental anaesthesia for children following a fatal dental case which involved the General Dental Council
  • Fiona has successfully pursued many secondary victim claims
  • Fiona has successfully settled a complex fatal claim involving a negligent kidney transplant
  • Fiona has also previously undertaken personal injury work spanning all aspects of employer’s’ product and occupiers’ liability claims, including cases involving: Severe burns, spinal injuries, head injuries, multiple orthopaedic injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and other severe psychological disorders.

Examples of work

In 1995 Fiona acted on behalf of a client who suffered from significant harm

In 1995 Fiona acted in a stillbirth case in which the client’s pregnancy and labour were handled in a negligent manner

In 1996 Fiona acted in a stillbirth case in which the client’s pregnancy and labour were handled in a negligent manner

In 1996 Fiona acted in a cerebral palsy claim following the negligent mismanagement of the client’s birth

In 1997 Fiona acted in a case involving a clinical trial and kidney transplantation achieving a settlement of £300,000

In 1997 Fiona acted in an ENT claim involving a negligent stapedectomy, recovering a six figure sum

In 1998 Fiona acted on behalf of a child who suffered an extravasation injury

In 1998 Fiona secured record damages, noted by the court to be the highest awarded at the time

In 1999 Fiona acted in a complex maxillofacial jaw misalignment case

In 1996 to 2000 Fiona acted in a number of cases involving negligent orthopaedic treatment

In 2001 Fiona was involved in a complex virology case concerning severe fetal damage

In 2002 Fiona contributed to a change of the law relating to the administration of dental anaesthetics to children in dental practices by general dental practitioners alone.

In 2006 Fiona recovered an undisclosed six figure sum for a teacher

In 2008 Fiona recovered the equivalent of £4.1million

In 2008 Fiona undertook a number of secondary victim PTSD claims recovering significant damages.

In 2009 Fiona recovered damages equivalent to a £6.3million lump sum on behalf of a client

In 2009 Fiona acted on behalf of a lady who suffered a bile duct injury during gallbladder surgery

In 2010 Fiona recovered an undisclosed six figure sum in a case concerning the fatal failure to diagnose diabetes in pregnancy

In 2010 Fiona acted in a fatal case where a father and his young children lost their mother

In 2011 Fiona acted on behalf of a lady who suffered a bile duct injury during gallbladder surgery

In 2013 Fiona recovered in excess of £2miilion

In 2015 Fiona acted on behalf of a lady who suffered a fourth degree tear during the birth of her first child.

In 2016 Fiona acted on behalf of a man who suffered a fracture of the tibia during the course of his employment.

In 2017 Fiona acted on behalf of a child where cystic fibrosis was undiagnosed

In 2018 Fiona acted on behalf of a lady who suffered from an undiagnosed 4th degree tear

In 2019 Fiona acted on behalf of an individual for failure to diagnose kidney failure

In 2020 Fiona acted on behalf of the representatives of the deceased

In 2021 Fiona acted on behalf of an elderly gentleman who had a fall and was then admitted to hospital where, as a result of negligent care, he suffered a further fall, fracturing his hip.

Fiona is currently acting in a number of catastrophic child brain injury cerebral palsy cases

Fiona is currently acting in a case involving a bile duct injury following routine surgery which was carried out in a negligent manner.

Achievements & other appointments

  • Fiona was secretary of the International Relations Committee of the American Trial Lawyers Association from January 2000 to January 2004
  • Chair of the Management Committee of Bedford Citizens Advice Bureau 1999 to 2001
  • Fiona is a member of the Medical Legal Society
  • Was a duty solicitor representing families at inquest pro bono for the Road Victims Trust from January 2005 to 2008
  • Has been recognised as a leader in the field of claimant clinical negligence litigation by Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession and by Legal 500 for 17 years
  • Member of the specialist AvMA panel since 1999
  • Member of the Law Society- Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel since 1997
  • Accredited member of the APIL Clinical Negligence Panel.
Fiona Follis, Top Ranked Chambers 2024 The Legal 500 2024 Hall of Fame APIL -clinical negligence APIL senior litigator PI AvMA logo 2024-25 Law Society Accredited - clinical negligence logo Law Society - Accreditation Personal Injury logo

Education

Fiona attended the University of Dundee achieving a law degree with honours. She also attended the University of Glasgow achieving a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Law. Fiona attended the University of Law, Bloomsbury, London, undertaking the studies (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test) necessary to achieve dual qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Fiona is dual qualified as a solicitor in both Scotland, England and Wales and admitted as a Notary Public.

Fiona joined Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP in 2008 as a partner having previously been a partner and head of department in both a London firm and subsequently a regional firm. She is head of the firm’s Clinical Negligence and Personal injury Department. Fiona is also married with two grown up children currently both at university. When not working she enjoys walking the family terriers, admiring their loyal and tenacious spirits.

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