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By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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General Private Client UpdatesGeneral Commercial UpdatesConstruction UpdatesCourt of Protection UpdatesAgriculture & Rural Affairs UpdatesCommercial Property UpdatesEmployment UpdatesDispute Resolution UpdatesCorporate & Commercial UpdatesCharities & Not for Profit UpdatesFood & Drink UpdatesEducation UpdatesTransport & Logistics UpdatesFamily Business & Owner Managed Businesses Updates

I agree to be ‘opted in’ to receive Thomson Snell & Passmore newsletters, event invitations and other publications that are related to the subject matter of this event or my industry sector. I understand that this means they will send me these communications by email

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Specialisms & expertise

Oliver has specialised in clinical negligence and personal injury litigation since qualifying as a solicitor in 2009.

He is a member of the Law Society personal injury accreditation scheme and acknowledged by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as a “senior litigator”.

Oliver is also recognised, in the prestigious independent guide to the profession, The Legal 500, as both a “recommended lawyer” and a “next generation lawyer” (recognition usually reserved for new partners). Described by the directory as an ‘impressive and tenacious’ litigator (2018) who is a ‘key member’ of the ‘professional, supportive and empathic’ personal injury team (2019), Oliver is also noted, in clinical negligence cases, for being 'responsive and sensitive to [his] clients’ distress’ (2019).

His clinical negligence experience involves a wide range of areas including accident and emergency, care of the elderly, dentistry, general practice, general surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedic and spinal surgery, nephrology, nursing and urology. 

Oliver’s personal injury work includes all aspects of occupiers' and employers' liability, road traffic accidents, highway, sports injury and Animals Act cases and harassment in the workplace. The majority of his clients have suffered brain and/or serious orthopaedic and/or psychiatric injuries.

Oliver is part of the firm’s asbestos team and specialises in mesothelioma claims.

Achievements & other appointments

APIL accredited senior litigator

Law Society accredited personal injury solicitor

Recognised in The Legal 500

Profile

Oliver obtained an honours degree in history from the University of Sheffield (2004) before completing the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2005 and the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, London, a year later.

He joined Thomson Snell & Passmore in 2007 and qualified as a solicitor in the clinical negligence and personal injury department in September 2009.

Before joining Thomson Snell & Passmore, Oliver spent several years working as a carer for both children and adults with special needs. Having spent a year as a live-in carer for a young man with cerebral palsy, he gained valuable insight into the care, equipment and accommodation elements of high value cases.

Notable cases

Mr M (a protected party by EF, his litigation friend) -v- British Telecommunications plc [2015] EWHC 532 (QB) 

Oliver succeeded in a personal injury claim against BT plc following a High Court trial before Mr Justice William Davis in February 2015. The case was brought on behalf of Mr M who, during the course of his employment with BT, suffered an electric shock and sustained severe multiple injuries when the back of his head came into contact with an overhead high voltage power line. Mr M accepted that he made an error of judgment which contributed to the accident. However, we argued that the principal cause of the accident were the errors made by his employer and a fellow employee. After a three day trial, the judge found that BT was liable for the accident subject to a reduction of one third to allow for Mr M’s contribution.  

In the quantum proceedings, Oliver argued that Mr M had sustained a hypoxic brain injury and that he lacked capacity to conduct the litigation or manage his financial affairs. The defendant contended that he did not sustain a brain injury and that any ongoing effects were a psychiatric response to the accident. Accordingly, they were amenable to treatment.  

In June 2017, three weeks before a quantum trial, the case settled for £1.1m, which took into account the deduction for contributory negligence, and therefore represented a gross valuation of £1.65m.  

HM -v- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2018]

Mrs M suffered permanent total blindness at the age of 79 as a result of the defendant’s negligent failure to diagnose and treat temporal arteritis (giant cell arteritis) following her attendance at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, with a classic presentation of that condition. The defendant subsequently admitted that with appropriate treatment the claimant’s eyesight would have been saved. Oliver negotiated a settlement of £760,000.  

IC -v- PM [2017]

Oliver acted for Mr C who sustained injury when the defendant driver negligently pulled into the path of his motorcycle. It was the claimant’s case that as a result of the accident he suffered a diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury of at least moderate severity, together with PTSD and major depressive disorder. He also sustained soft tissue spinal injuries and soft tissue injury to his right shoulder.

During the course of the case, amongst other aggressive acts, the defendant unilaterally withdrew funding for case management and rehabilitation, served surveillance evidence and alleged that the claimant was fundamentally dishonest. He was invited to discontinue his case and threatened with committal proceedings.

The principal difficulty of the case was the question of whether the claimant had suffered an organic brain injury or whether the defendant was correct in asserting that there was no evidence of brain damage or neurological dysfunction, that any psychiatric problems were the result of a pre-existing condition and ongoing problems were caused by the claimant’s abuse of alcohol.

Oliver refused to be cowed by the defendant’s aggressive tactics – believing the claimant and his experts and providing the defendant with detailed and cogent responses to the alleged inconsistencies in his case – and ultimately negotiated a settlement of £350,000.  

PH -v- Albert E Reed and Co. Limited and Reed Paper Group Limited [2016]

Mr H joined Albert E Reed and Co Limited as an apprentice in 1960. He worked for various companies within the Reed Group until he retired in 2008.  

Between 1961 and 1970 he worked at Tovil and Bridge Paper Mills in Maidstone as an apprentice and subsequently qualified instrument mechanic. He was exposed to asbestos dust on a daily basis. He was not knowingly exposed to asbestos after 1970, but was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015.  

Shortly after his diagnosis he instructed Oliver, but at first had only vague memories of encountering asbestos. Using his experience of asbestos exposure in previous cases, Oliver spoke to Mr H about every aspect of his role as an instrument mechanic and came up with a detailed account of at least 11 sources of asbestos exposure during his nine years at those mills.

Within six months of his diagnosis the case settled for the sum of £275,000. That the case settled within his lifetime brought Mr H a great deal of peace of mind as he wanted to ensure that his wife would be financially secure in the future.

AB -v- CD [2015]

The case concerned Mr B who was attacked by a relative’s golden retriever dog whilst home alone. He suffered a significant laceration to his face and further puncture wounds to his hand, wrist and the back of his head. He lost a lot of blood and thought that he was going to die. Oliver was instructed and, through careful analysis, argued that the notoriously complex Animals Act 1971 imposed strict liability despite the golden retriever not belonging to a dangerous species. The defendant admitted breach but strongly contested causation. Oliver obtained reports from consultants in plastic surgery and psychiatry and the latter confirmed that the attack had caused the claimant’s PTSD, depression and the exacerbation of alcohol misuse making him currently alcohol dependent and unable to work. However, Oliver faced numerous problems in trying to prove the injuries suffered and the losses claimed but, despite the defendant’s great scepticism, negotiated an excellent settlement of £85,000.​​​​​​​

PB, VN and RN -v- DR [2014]

The claim resulted from a head-on collision in which Mr B and his passengers, Mr and Mrs N, suffered significant multiple internal and orthopaedic injuries when an approaching car, driven by a Mr R, veered into their path.  

Oliver was initially instructed by Mr and Mrs N who informed him that Mr R had not been prosecuted having pleaded automatism after suffering a blackout at the wheel. An experienced personal injury barrister provided initial advice that the defence was likely to succeed.

Unperturbed, Oliver argued that Mr R was negligent as statements in the police report indicated that he had suffered at least three bouts of dizziness in the days before the accident. These symptoms rendered him unable to walk and clearly unfit to drive. He appeared to recognise this by refraining from driving for a couple of days.  Liability was vehemently denied. 

Both Mr B’s solicitors and the defendant’s passengers’ solicitors each abandoned their claims having received negative advice from counsel. However, Oliver believed the claim had merit and accepted Mr B’s instructions. The defendant’s representative invited Oliver to a meeting to discuss liability following which they insisted he would discontinue. Beforehand, Oliver obtained medical evidence and valued the claims in order that quantum could be considered at the meeting. 

At the JSM, Oliver successfully negotiated settlements of £100,000 for Mr B, £60,000 for Mr N and £22,500 for Mrs N plus costs which reflected the significant litigation risk but still 60% of the full value.


   

Oliver was very helpful and friendly, and settled the case within a short space of time.

Client

Mr Chapman was sympathetic and very helpful. They had a good long standing reputation.

Client

I couldn't have been happier with the service provided. Mr Oliver Chapman did a fantastic job, and did everything he could to help me with my case.

Client

We are very grateful to you for your hard work, your sensitivity in dealing with some frequently painful material, and the consistent lucidity with which you have kept us informed of the different stages of the claim

Client

 Graham Bell and senior associate Oliver Chapman, who are both 'responsive and sensitive to their clients'.

The Legal 500 2019

Kept me up to date with all stages of the claim. Fees were good, and Oliver was very helpful and friendly.

Client

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