For 15 years Gemma has specialised in healthcare law. She has extensive experience in Coroner’s inquests as an advocate, representing a wide range of clients including hospitals, NHS Trusts, care homes, private companies including those supplying medical services in prison and police custody. She often advises in complex deaths which are heard by a jury, and cases where Article 2 is engaged. As a Coroner, she has conducted inquests into deaths involving construction companies, road traffic incidents, missing persons, deaths after police contact and medication interactions.
Gemma has a passion for the Court of Protection including capacity, consent, ‘best interests’ and deprivation of liberty. She is often instructed to obtain emergency court orders so that life-saving medical treatment can be provided; providing urgent, but practical advice. She advises in relation to healthcare regulatory hearings (having previously worked at the General Medical Council), and in cases where there is criminal investigation in relation to corporate or gross negligence manslaughter, perverting the course of justice, or a Health & Safety Executive investigation.
Gemma undertakes sensitive and serious investigations, and also trains investigators to produce robust medico-legal reports.
Acted in relation to the Lakanal House Fire inquests, the Ian Tomlinson (G20) inquest, the London Bombings inquests and the Hillsborough inquests
Acted for the London Ambulance Service in the 8 week inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who was unlawfully killed during restraint on a British Airways flight whilst being deported
Acted for a care home in the five-day jury inquest following the death of a resident from legionella pneumonitis
Represented the last professional to see YM and baby EG. The mother and her child were asylum seekers. The child was found dead at home as a result of starvation and dehydration, and the mother died shortly after arrest
Represented a mental health Trust at two conjoined inquests: a delusional patient was not sectioned in A&E, he returned home and killed his neighbour. In response, the patient was immediately killed by the victim’s son
Advised in the NHS investigations into Jimmy Savile
Lead an investigation following a homicide
Provided emergency advice in relation to with-holding life sustaining treatment including blood products, surgical procedures and cancer treatment for a child
W Primary Care trust v (1) TB (2) V (3) S Metropolitan Borough Council (4) C&W Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (5) W Metropolitan Borough Council (2009) EWCH 1737 (Fam) re: deprivation of liberty safeguards
Health Service Journal, July 2009 "How an ASBO can allay aggression in NHS organisations"
Health Service Journal, April 2010 "Unlawfully detained by the NHS" in relation to deprivation of liberty safeguards