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Catherine Bell

Senior Associate

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"Catherine's service to us was invaluable, beyond the job description, she was an enormous support and kept us going through the darkest of times."


Catherine is a senior associate and solicitor-advocate specialising in clinical negligence, with particular expertise in complex neurological claims. She represents both children and adults who have suffered brain damage as a result of medical treatment, including children with cerebral palsy. Catherine also handles a broad range of clinical negligence claims including obstetric and gynaecological injuries, spinal injuries, visual impairment, amputations and fatal claims.

Catherine has a proven track record of securing good results in complex high value cases, particularly those involving life changing injuries. She is a strong negotiator who has been praised for her confidence and conviction in fighting for the best outcome. She is recognised for ability to resolve complex issues and to successfully conclude challenging cases, including those considered too difficult by other firms.

Catherine is recommended for the way she guides people through the complicated and technical legal process. She helps to secure answers and obtain the compensation to fund care and equipment that can help rebuild their lives. She is praised for her “patience and positivity” and for her supportive, empathetic approach – helping reduce the stress of litigation during what can be a difficult and emotional time.

Catherine is listed as “Recommended” and a “Next Generation Lawyer” by the Legal 500, meaning she makes a material difference to the firm’s offering. Catherine is accredited as a legal panel member by AvMA, the specialist charity dealing with medical accidents, and also as a senior litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Legal Services

Clinical Negligence

Spinal Injuries

Catherine represents clients who have suffered neurological and spinal injuries. Including as a result of delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome or infection, negligent surgical treatment, and nerve/spinal cord damage.

Vision Loss

Catherine regularly represents people who suffered vision loss either through damage to the structures of the eye and as a result of brain or optical nerve damage. She understands the added complications that can arise when your visual suffers alongside other physical or neurological injuries.

Catherine has successfully recovered compensation in cases where substandard medical treatment has resulted directly in vision loss. Similarly, where a delay in diagnosing an underlying condition has either increased the extent of the damage or impaired recovery. She helps people to access specialized equipment and techniques, which alongside support can enable them to regain their independence.

Cases

  • Securing a £1 million lump sum and annual payments of £50,000 a year for a client who suffered chronic pain after a disc became infected during spinal surgery. The gentleman was not adequately informed regarding the risks of and alternatives to surgery and had he been given sufficient information would not have consented.
  • Securing £1.5million for a woman who lost 90% of her vision, as a result of a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of bilateral steroid induced glaucoma. She required adaptation to her accommodation and assistance in caring for her young children.
  • Achieving a seven figure settlement for a young boy who suffered brain damage and vision loss due to negligent anaesthetic treatment. This comprised of a lump sum together with yearly payments for life. He required additional educational support and adapted accommodation to meet his visual needs.
  • Representing people who suffered vision loss due to other causes, including delayed diagnosis of macular degeneration and negligent or inappropriate eye surgery.

Acquired Brain Injury

Catherine specialises in complex acquired brain injury claims. She has considerable experience representing both children and adults who have suffered brain damage. This could be as a result of medical treatment including as a result of stroke, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), negligent treatment with drugs or anaesthetic and surgical negligence. Catherine regularly represents children suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of birth injuries or negligent neonatal care.

Catherine is on the ABIL (Acquired Brain Injury London Forum) executive committee and volunteers with several brain injury charities including her local branch of Headway. She is also a Trustee of Different Strokes.

Cases

  • Securing over £11.5 million, comprising of a lump sum together with yearly payments for life, for a young boy who suffered a catastrophic neurological injury due to negligent anaesthetic treatment. He suffered brain damage and visual impairment. He required 24 hour care, therapeutic support and specially adapted accommodation.
  • Achieved a settlement worth in excess of £8 million for girl who suffered severe brain damage at birth, due to negligent medical care by the hospital. She has cerebral palsy and requires 24 hour care.
  • £525,000 for a gentleman in his 60s who suffered subtle brain damage due to misplacement of the scalpel during ENT surgery. He required support and assistance to continue with his employment and to engage in day to day activities.
  • £100,000 for a gentleman who suffered further strokes after an initial ischaemic attack was misdiagnosed by his private consultant. The settlement was reached without any acceptance of liability.
  • Achieved a record settlement of over £23 million, with scope to return to the court to increase the level of the annual care payments if circumstances change, for a child with cerebral palsy who whilst physically capable had global developmental delay and significant behavioural difficulties.

Perineal Tears & Gynaecological Claims

Catherine has considerable experience acting for people with obstetric and gynaecological injuries, including delayed diagnosis claims, birth injuries, and group actions. She has successfully obtained compensation for women with perineal and labial tears. As well as those who have suffered psychological injuries as a result of negligent care during child birth. She also represents women who have undergone unnecessary or inappropriate gynaecological surgery or procedures.

Cases

  • Successfully represented a group of women pursuing gynaecological claims, arising from treatment by the same surgeon including negotiating a protocol to resolve these cases.
  • Securing £350,000 for a woman who sustained internal injuries during a routine gynaecological procedure. She suffers from ongoing abdominal pain and discomfort. She also required funding for fertility treatment.
  • Achieving a payout of £90,000 for a woman whose abnormal smear test was incorrectly reported – resulting in a delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer that increased the risk of recurrence.
  • Achieving a settlement of £50,000 for a lady in her 60s who underwent 2 unnecessary laparoscopic procedures and an unnecessary hysterectomy.
  • Representing a woman who suffered a stroke due to negligent treatment of her post-partum haemorrhage.

Diabetes

Cases

  • Achieving a pay out of £725,000 for a gentleman who required a below-the-knee amputation following repeated failures to appropriately treat his diabetic foot ulcer.

General Surgery

Cases

  • Obtaining a settlement of £1.375 million and the ability to return to court for further compensation in the event of developing sepsis. This was for a client who suffered significant internal injuries during gall bladder surgery. She was left with chronic pain and recurrent infections and required assistance in her day to day life.

Cerebral Palsy

Catherine represents children with cerebral palsy, or who suffered brain damaged as a result of negligent care at birth or in the first few weeks of life. She has secured many settlements in birth injury and cerebral palsy cases helping to put in place care, support, aids and equipment and accommodation to improve quality of life for her clients and their families.

Cases

  • Achieved a record settlement of over £23 million, with scope to return to the court to increase the level of the annual care payments if circumstances change, for a child with cerebral palsy who whilst physically capable had global developmental delay and significant behavioural difficulties.
  • Secured compensation of over £8 million for girl who suffered severe brain damage at birth, due to negligent medical care by the hospital. She has cerebral palsy which severely restricts her mobility and requires 24 hour care.

 

To contact Catherine or for more information…

Call: 0186 578 1140
Or email: Send an email

 

Awards & Recognitions

Image result for APIL senior litigatorImage result for AVMA specialist legal panel

 

 

 

 

  • Higher Rights of Audience (Civil Proceedings)
Memberships
  • Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA)
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
  • Acquired Brain Injury London Forum (ABIL)
Testimonials

“I can’t thank you enough for the way you have dealt with this matter on my mum’s behalf, not once has she been stressed or concerned about the process.”


“I am very happy how Catherine dealt with the case…Catherine kept focus on the details of the case and advised throughout, she ensured that the case progressed and I was kept informed. Also she negotiated a very good final settlement.”


“Catherine has exceeded our expectations enormously in every way. We genuinely cannot think of one way that improvements could be made. Catherine’s service to us was invaluable, beyond the job description, she was an enormous support and kept us going through the darkest of times.”


“I want to thank you so much for everything, I am so glad we found you, because of you, our lives will hopefully be a lot less stressful. Even though it cannot fix my health problems, it at least gives us peace of mind that whatever may happen in the future, we have choices we may never had had before, so thank you again, we appreciate every single thing you have done for us.”

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 12 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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