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Helena Drage
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Helena accepts instructions in all areas of our work and has a particular interest in personal injury and clinical negligence. Helena frequently appears in the County Court for Claimants and Defendants in trials, applications and case management hearings. She has also appeared in the High Court on multiple occasions in her own right.

She is developing a reputation as a persuasive and effective advocate who is always thoroughly prepared. Her instructing solicitors are always impressed with her precise and organised approach.

Recent Work:

  • Junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing a Mayfair casino in a jurisdiction challenge in the High Court.
  • Advising on a personal injury and clinical negligence claim arising out of an accident in Italy.
  • Representing Network Rail in a slip and trip accident at London Bridge Station.

Before coming to the Bar, Helena was a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for the Humanities and Health at King’s College London. Her research and teaching centred on bioethics and global health justice. She has spoken on these topics at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, New York.

Clinical Negligence

During pupillage, and in her own right, Helena has gained experience of advising and drafting pleadings for clinical negligence claims arising out of numerous areas of medical specialism including: orthopaedic surgical errors, A&E care, bariatric surgical errors, as well as delays in diagnosis of cancer. Helena is instructed on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants.

During pupillage Helena also assisted on a two-week Article 2 inquest arising out of negligent medical treatment giving rise to a fatal postpartum haemorrhage. Helena was assisting counsel to the healthcare trust.

Recent Work:

 

  • Advising a Claimant in respect of negligent orthopaedic surgery conducted in Italy after a slip and trip accident at an Italian Hotel.
  • Drafting pleadings and representing a beautician’s salon in respect of allegedly negligent administration of laser hair removal therapy.

Disease

During pupillage Helena gained experience across the breadth of industrial disease claims, including asbestos-related disease, NIHL and HAVS claims. She also gained experience of the show cause procedure.

Recent Work:

  • Advising on enforcement of a judgment where a Liverpool and London Protection & Indemnity Club policy sought to limit liability.

Fraud

Helena has experience of personal injury claims involving issues of fraud and fundamental dishonesty, particularly with a LVI element.

Recent Work:

  •  Representing a Claimant in a fast track personal injury trial where an allegation of fundamental dishonesty was successfully defended.

Inquests & Inquiries

Helena is instructed as junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, assisting Kate Grange QC, Rose Grogan and Emma Hynes on issues most relevant to the construction of the Tower and fire spread.

During pupillage Helena assisted lead counsel for the healthcare trust on a two-week Article 2 inquest arising out of negligent medical treatment giving rise to a fatal postpartum haemorrhage.

Personal Injury

Helena accepts instructions in all aspects of personal injury work and has a particular interest in claims with jurisdictional issues, including road traffic accidents and tripping claims in other EU territories.

Helena has considerable trial experience and appears regularly in small claims and fast track matters in the County Court. Helena also appears at case and cost management conferences, directions hearing and final disposal hearings.

Helena has particular experience at trial and in drafting pleadings with respect to road traffic accident, occupiers’ liability and EL/PL claims.

Recent Work:

  • Representing Network Rail in a slip and trip accident at London Bridge Station.
  • Advising on the merits of Highways Act claim against the local authority and utilities provider.
  • Advising on quantum of an orthopaedic injury in circumstances where the Claimant suffered a reasonable phobia of surgical intervention.
  • Drafting infant settlement approval advices and attending hearings.
  • Attending quantum disputes under the Pre-Action Portal, MOJ Stage 3.
  • Experience of JMSs and advising on settlement parameters.
  • Representing Claimants and Defendants in interim applications and at CCMCs.

During her third six pupillage and under the supervision of Charles Bagot QC, Helena gained extensive experience in Fatal Accident Acts claims, particularly those involving a secondary victims claims.

Helena also assisted on several subtle and traumatic brain injury cases, and in particular as to the analysis of expert evidence and quantification of claims.

Helena gained experience in pleading high value schedules and counter schedules of loss and has particular experience in applications for interim payments in serious injury cases.

Insurance Funded Disputes

Helena regularly handles disputes involving insurers, details of which can be found in the Clinical Negligence/Personal Injury, CDR and Health & Safety sections of her profile.

Product Liability

During her pupillage, Helena assisted in the metal on metal hip implant trial of Wilkes v DePuy International Limited [2016] EWHC 3096 (QB).

Commercial Litigation

During pupillage, and in her own right, Helena has gained experience drafting pleadings in a variety of claims including contractual and tortious disputes, commercial contract, breach of contract and misrepresentation claims, and claims involving the Sale of Goods Act 1974 and the Supply of Services Act 1982. Helena has trial experience in claims for faulty workmanship.

Helena also accepts instructions in insurance and reinsurance matters. During pupillage Helena was involved in advising on a variety of coverage disputes. She also gained considerable experience in the construction of JCT contracts and the NHBC Building Regulations.

Recent Work:

  • Significant experience in credit hire matters where she regularly appears in the County Court in both small claims and fast track matters.
  • Advised and represented Claimants in jurisdictional challenges brought by Defendants. Most recently, Helena represented a Mayfair casino in the High Court against a jurisdictional challenge brought by a consumer Defendant domiciled in Italy.
  • Representing defendants in claims brought by estate agents for payment of commission fees on the basis sole selling rights clauses.
  • Advising Claimants and Defendants in respect claims under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, in particular with respect to faulty workmanship and defective products.
  • Attending a CMC in the High Court with respect to a claim for copyright infringement and dissemination of confidential information in relation to a company supplying plaster products.
  • Acting as a junior in a five day High Court trial in respect of breach of fiduciary duties as de facto company director and misappropriation of company funds.

Health & Safety Law

During pupillage Helena gained considerable experience in Health and Safety Law, in particular representing companies facing Health and Safety Prosecutions under sections 3 and 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and against directors under section 37.

During pupillage Helena:

  • Assisted in drafting a defence statement on behalf of a “very large company” under the 2016 Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines.
  • Assisted in the 5 day trial of a company and an individual charged under the Act for the death of an employee caused by rubble thrown from the bucket of an excavator.
  • Assisted in the drafting of a basis of plea on behalf of an individual following a fall from height on the basis of Level A harm and low culpability.
  • Assisted in the preparation of the ORR prosecution of a company and its independent contractors following the fatal electrocution of one of the contractor’s employees.

Qualifications

  • BA(Hons). First Class. Philosophy. King’s College London. 2009
  • MPhil Philosophy. King’s College London. 2012.
  • GDL. University of Law. Commendation. 2014.
  • BPTC. University of Law. Very Competent. 2015.

Scholarships

  • Levitt Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Award for Academic Excellence (University of Law)
  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Lord Bowen Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award (King’s College London)
  • Research Preparation Masters Award (Arts and Humanities Research Council)
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