Dr Michael Powers QC
I have had 40 years’ experience at the Bar in all areas of medico-legal practice focusing on medical, scientific and legal causation. I have published, lectured and broadcast widely on medical negligence. Although I believe strongly in our NHS, there has to be constant attention to standards of practice and an open system of accountability when things go wrong.
Too many lives are lost through clinical negligence and lessons still need to be learned. For many years before the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Hospital scandal, I campaigned for “Robbie’s Law” – a legal duty of candour in the NHS. Until healthcare workers learn that cover-up is worse than owning-up we will have to continue to employ the legal machinery to unearth the truth. This process is in the interests of patients and the general public and I am presently writing on a book on this subject with Prof Phil Steer and Captain Omar Malik.
My other main interests as a medical negligence QC relate to the investigation of deaths (coroners and other inquiries). I have represented the Fire & Rescue service at inquests into fire deaths, the pharmaceutical industry with regard to product liability and licensing and all types of cases (civil and criminal) where scientific principles are involved. I hope to live up to my Chambers & Partners recognised reputation as being “first-rate on technical evidence.”
As a former helicopter pilot, I am instructed in civil and criminal aviation cases. My instructors used to tell me that helicopters are the safest means of air transport – maybe – but it depends on who flies and maintains them.
I am a trained and accredited Mediator with the Notre Dame School of Law (2000) and mediate principally in professional negligence matters, though I also have experience mediating in marine and aviation cases and, through the LCIA, arbitrating international commercial disputes.
Education in medicine and the law is vitally important to me. I remain a Registered Medical Practitioner and I am a lead examiner for the Primary Membership of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians. On the legal side, for many years I have been Grade A advocacy trainer seeking to improve the skills of advocacy of young barristers in England, Wales and abroad.
Practising at the Bar as a medical negligence QC is a great privilege and I strive to help all those who seek justice.