Terrence Donovan

Partner and Head of Department

Medical Negligence & Personal Injury

a "superb" lawyer who "not only has enormous experience and is able to think outside of the box, but is also absolutely brilliant with clients."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2017

"The full package; he has an in-depth knowledge of the field and can make it easy for others to understand."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Terry is the Head of the Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Department, and he specialises in both areas of the law.

His medical work has always focused upon brain injury cases, particularly children with cerebral palsy as a result of birth injury, but over the years he has dealt with claims involving virtually every type of medicine.  He has a special interest in male urology cases. 

Terry's personal injury work centres on serious and catastrophic injuries.  He has recently acted in two high profile cases, both of which concerned fatal accidents abroad.  In the first, he acted in an Inquest for the family of Horatio Chapple, a young man who was killed by a polar bear whilst on a schools expedition to Svalbard in Norway. In the second, he acted for the widow of Sir Ian Brownlie QC, who was killed in an accident in Egypt. The case went to the Court of Appeal (Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc. 2015) where it was established that High Court does have jurisdiction to deal with the case.  It has since been referred to the Supreme Court, which will hear the case in the early summer of 2017.  This is now the leading case on the question of whether the English courts have jurisdiction to rule on fatal accidents that occur in other countries.  It will also look at the relationship between English law, and European conventions – a particularly topical issue, given Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Terry’s personal injury work also includes road traffic cases, workplace injuries and sexual abuse claims.

Fatal cases, whether arising from a medical setting or personal injury form a large part of Terry’s work, as do Inquests. 

Terry has huge experience in dealing with high value claims, and over the years has taken a lead in improving the way in which they are quantified. He has built upon his high value work by developing a professional deputyship practice, and so has wide experience of Court of Protection work. He is able to offer expert support and guidance on things like purchasing and adapting a home for a disabled person, and has a very real understanding of the long term costs of looking after seriously injured clients. He also works closely with our Private Client and Real Estate departments.

As Head of Department he has a keen interest in the way in which legal services are delivered, and is a firm believer in innovation and development. 

What Clients and directories say

"highly experienced litigator'"

Legal 500 2019

"experienced practitioner who impresses market sources with his work on brain damage, cerebral palsy and fatal injury claims" - 

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2019

"Terry Donovan is very experienced; he's been in the market for a very long time and knows as much as anyone"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2019

"Terry Donovan is very experienced; he's been in the market for a very long time and knows as much as anyone."

"the full package; he has in depth knowledge of the field and can make it easy for others to understand"

Chambers UK

"great at keeping the client on board - a really reassuring lawyer"

Chambers UK

"incredibly good with clients"

Legal 500

"personable and utterly professional"

Legal 500

 

Recent cases

Fatal injury claims:

  • Failure to diagnose pneumonia in 46 year old man resulting in his death. Liability admitted, and dependency case on behalf of his wife and two young children settled for £465,000.
  • Catastrophic brain injury claim for a woman in her mid-forties.  Failure to diagnose and treat infection following minor surgery.   Infection travelled to brain and caused major injury.  Liability admitted, and settled for a lump sum of £6m.
  • Cerebral palsy claim.  Seven year old child suffered major brain injury as a result of obstetric negligence at the time of birth.  Settled on the basis of a £1 million lump sum and annual Periodical Payments rising to £223,000 per annum.
  • Cerebral palsy claim.  Seven year old child suffered major brain injury as a result of obstetric negligence at the time of birth.  Settled on the basis of a £1.75 million lump sum and annual Periodical Payments rising to £189,000 per annum.
  • Cerebral palsy claim.  Seven year old child suffered major brain injury as a result of obstetric negligence at the time of birth.  Settled on the basis of a £2.6 million lump sum and annual Periodical Payments rising to £220,000 per annum.
  • Brain injury.  Failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis.  Caused serious brain injury in a two year old child.  £2 million lump sum settlement.
  • Urology.  Young man.  Failure to diagnose testicular torsion resulting in loss of testicle.  £35,000 settlement.
  • Urology.  Man in his 40s.  Failure to diagnose and treat prostate cancer.  Liability admitted.  Confidential settlement.
  • Gynaecological claim.  Unnecessary hysterectomy for a mother of two children. Liability admitted and confidential settlement.
  • Brain injury.  Failure to diagnose brain tumour in a young college student.  The delay in diagnosis caused additional neurological problems which would have been avoided with prompt treatment.  Settlement for £275,000.
  • Diabetes.  Negligent nursing care in an elderly man who developed pressure sores whilst in hospital following a fall.  Pressure sores resulted in an above knee amputation of his leg.  Settlement for £62,000.

Personal injury cases

  • Young father killed in road traffic accident.  Liability admitted.  Settlement on behalf of widow and 2 young children.  Settled for £600,000.
  • Road traffic accident.  Cyclist hit by car, and suffered fatal injuries.  We represented the family at the Inquest, and subsequently brought a civil claim.  Settlement for £400,000.
  • Pedestrian knocked over and killed by a bus – confidential settlement.
  • Motorcyclist knocked off and injured by bus – confidential settlement.
  • School Boy sustained serious arm injury in playground – confidential settlement.

Current cases

  • psychiatric healthcare negligence – failure to provide proper care to patients at risk of suicide.
  • Blindness cases – children injured in school and leisure activities and failure to diagnose Giant Cell Arthritis.
  • Poor post-surgical care leading to major urological injury and multiple organ failure.
  • Sexual abuse claims for both claimant and defendant.
  • Brain injury caused by a tractor (farming) accident.

 

Publications

  • Contribution to Inns of Court Bar Finals Training Material 'Dealing with the Professional Client'
  • Contributed chapter to 'Advising Clients with HIV and Aids', Butterworths

 

Professional societies and memberships

  • Member of the AvMA Specialist Panel for Clinical Negligence.  
  • Co-ordinator of the APIL Clinical Negligence Special Interest Group.
  • APIL Senior Litigator

Terry is also regularly invited to speak at industry events, and has lectured on Inquests and the Human Rights Act, the role of the professional deputy, and the future of clinical negligence practice, and many different aspects of clinical negligence law.

He is the APIL clinical negligence media spokesman, and regularly provides commentary and support for APIL campaigns, most recently, in relation to the Medical Innovation Bill, and the proposed introduction of fixed costs in clinical negligence claims.

 

"experienced practitioner who impresses market sources with his work on brain damage, cerebral palsy and fatal injury claims."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2019

"Terry Donovan is very experienced; he's been in the market for a very long time and knows as much as anyone"

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2019

"exceptionally good with clients."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2018

the ‘excellent’ Terrence Donovan, who heads the practice and is a ‘leading’ specialist in maximum severity cases,

Legal 500 2017

“ very professional and easy to deal with” 

A client, 2017

"He is acknowledged by sources as a "superb"lawyer who "not only has enormous experience and is able to think outside of the box, but is also absolutely brilliant with clients.""

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2017

"Terrence Donovan litigates clinical negligence claims of the utmost severity, involving such matters as cerebral palsy and fatal accidents. He is known for having “enormous experience” and described as “meticulous, imaginative and intelligent.”"

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"The one I'd go to for a personal service"

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"the full package; he has in depth knowledge of the field and can make it easy for others to understand"

Chambers UK

"great at keeping the client on board - a really reassuring lawyer" - Chambers UK
"incredibly good with clients" 

Legal 500

"personable and utterly professional"

Legal 500

Insight from Terrence

View all

Blogs

Children unlawfully killed in Corfu hotel - should Thomas Cook be compensated?

Haemophilia and hepatitis compensation

Insult and injury - how much is 'fair' compensation?

The Medical Innovation Bill

The law on psychiatric injury for secondary victims - unfair and in need of a change

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Contact Terrence

+44 (0)20 7814 1260

tdonovan@kingsleynapley.co.uk

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