Home > Our people > Barristers > Rebecca Greenstreet

Rebecca Greenstreet

Year of call: 2013

Rebecca Greenstreet
  • We take data and privacy issues very seriously. See our privacy policy.

Rebecca is an injury specialist. She is currently on sabbatical in Sydney, Australia and will not be accepting instructions until she returns. Whilst in Australia, Rebecca has written a clinical negligence text book entitled A Practical Guide to Wrongful Conception, Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life Claims.

Rebecca has experience in all aspects of clinical negligence and personal injury, including road traffic accident claims, fraud, occupiers’ liability, employers’ liability, historic sexual abuse, industrial disease and inquests. Rebecca has acted on behalf of both claimants and defendants in trials on liability and quantum, as well as in disposal hearings, applications and case management hearings. She has also appeared in costs matters, including disputes as to QOCS and fixed costs. She has experience drafting and is particularly adept at the forensic analysis of large quantities of documents.

Rebecca read Law at St Hugh’s College Oxford before undertaking a Masters Degree in Health Care Ethics and Law at Manchester. She was called to the Bar in July 2013, following completion of her BPTC at The University of Law. She joined chambers in September 2014 as a third six pupil, following pupillage at a specialist personal injury and clinical negligence set. She has also benefitted from a secondment with a leading London firm known for its personal injury and clinical negligence expertise.

Rebecca has a keen interest in medical ethics and prior to coming to the Bar she volunteered for the Patient Advisory Liaison Service, providing a complaints resolution service at a busy and struggling hospital.

Rebecca is a seasoned seminar speaker and also produces webinars for Datalaw. Rebecca is also committed to promoting access to the Bar. She regularly takes part in mock trials in chambers, organised for A-Level students from schools across London, and welcomes invitations to speak at University careers events.

Rebecca is a keen flautist and netball player. In her spare time, if she’s not exploring another country, Rebecca is most likely to be found at the theatre or lost in a food market.

Clinical Negligence

Despite her junior year of call, Rebecca is an experienced member of Hardwicke’s Clinical Negligence Team and has been asked to write a practitioner’s text book entitled “A Practical Guide to Wrongful Conception, Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life Claims”, due for publication 2018.

Recent Work:

  • Rebecca appeared in the High Court, successfully obtaining an extension to the trial window in a claim alleging a delay in diagnosis which required 7 experts for each party.
  • She successfully applied to add a defendant and amend the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim in a case where a woman had died, and it was alleged that there had been negligent diagnosis and treatment resulting in an avoidable death.
  • She assisted a QC on behalf of the defendant in a 7-day clinical negligence liability trial. The claimant was confined to a wheelchair following spinal surgery and was alleging that there had been an improper consent procedure and surgical negligence.
  • During third-six pupillage Rebecca also observed the case of Wild v Southend NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 4053 (QB), concerning the application of secondary victim principles to a death in utero.
  • She has also drafted pleadings in the following matters:
    • Drafting a Defence in a claim regarding post-partem treatment.
    • Assisting with the drafting of a Particulars of Claim following the negligent treatment of prostate cancer.
    • Assisting with the drafting of a Letter of Response in a case where the claimant was suffering from portal vein thrombosis.
    • Assisting with the preparation of an advice in a case concerning cancer and allegations of negligent diagnosis, which also raised issues of whether there had been contributory negligence in failing to attend follow-up appointments.

During her time with the Patient Advisory Liaison Service in 2010 – 2011 Rebecca gained valuable insight into the origins of litigation in a clinical setting. She worked at Tameside General Hospital at a time of intense media attention due to a large number of patient deaths, following which a report was commissioned into patient care at the hospital:

BBC News: Tameside Hospital told to improve patient care

BBC News: Tameside hospital ‘chased targets not care

Rebecca’s role was to triage patient complaints as they first arose, enabling the swift resolution of minor issues, and helping to prevent the more serious from escalating to the institution of legal proceedings. Rebecca implements the skills learned during this time into her practice, and understands the needs of clinicians and patients alike in the context of litigation.

Personal Injury

Rebecca has a particular interest in personal injury work. Her experience covers a wide range of issues and she has expertise in:

Road traffic accidents

Rebecca has a great deal of expertise in road traffic accident matters and deals with all levels of claim from appearing on behalf of clients in the multi-track to providing junior assistance on cases in the Queen’s Bench Division. Rebecca also has experience with catastrophic injury claims, supported by a secondment in the liability team of a leading law firm.

Her experience covers:

  • Complicated quantum issues including:
    • Causation arguments, recently drafting a defence where the claimant had a significant pre-accident history and there were allegations of expert shopping.
    • Cases involving head injury or suspected brain injury. Rebecca acted as a junior in a serious road traffic accident case which resulted in a brain injury, assisting with the drafting of a Counter Schedule and attendance at a preliminary hearing, regarding permission for further experts and the attendance of numerous lay witnesses at trial.
    • Substantial and complicated loss of earnings claims, recently drafting a Schedule of Loss in a claim where the claimant was self-employed and had changed businesses post-accident.
    • Cases involving complicated and / or multiple severe injuries.
    • Cases with significant psychological sequelae such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    • Complex contributory negligence arguments. Rebecca acted as a junior in a brain injury case, with the claimant alleging the wearing of a seatbelt would have made no difference as the injury was sustained by a spinning of the brain.
    • Most recently she provided advice to a claimant who was suffering from a suspected chronic pain syndrome following a motorcycle accident.
  • Strike out applications:
    • Where there has been non-compliance with court orders. Rebecca has been successful with a number of these applications.
    • Where an incorrect right of action is asserted. For example, she recently successfully applied on behalf of the defendant to strike out a claim, where the claimant had incorrectly asserted a direct right of action against the defendant in a matter which did not fall within the European Communities (Rights Against Insurers) Regulations 2002.
  • Costs arguments:
    • Obtaining favourable liability and quantum outcomes and then dealing with Part 36 offers, successfully arguing for indemnity costs and dealing with complex costs issues in a number of recent cases.
    • An application hearing where she was successful in arguing that where a partial agreement had been reached on a claim pre-allocation then judgment can be entered for that partial sum, plus costs, even if the balance will then be allocated to the small claims track.
    • Costs arguments where it has been necessary to raise the Claimant’s conduct to the attention of the court.
  • Infant settlement approval hearings:
    • She has particular expertise in those hearings which require attention to detail or discretion.
    • Rebecca has previously been instructed in approval hearings concerning children who have suffered serious psychological disorders, some of which were permanent, as well as having appeared on behalf of a claimant who had pre-existing autism.
    • She has also previously appeared at an approval hearing in proceedings involving the Motor Insurer’s Bureau.
  • MOJ portal cases. Rebecca has extensive experience in and knowledge about such cases and the procedural disputes which can arise therein. She has appeared in stage 3 hearings involving witness evidence provided by the claimant which contradicts the medical evidence, loss of earnings, credit hire, multiple injuries, allegations of contributory negligence and indemnity costs.

Occupiers’ Liability

Rebecca has been regularly instructed to advise and attend interim hearings and trial in such claims. Her notable work includes:

  • Kite v Phoenix Pub Group (unreported but referred to in the White Book). Rebecca first successfully applied to set aside a default judgment, pursuant to CPR 13.2, service having been to an incorrect address. The strike out application was adjourned and Rebecca later successfully applied to have a notice of discontinuance (served by the claimant shortly before the strike out hearing) set aside. She then successfully struck out the claim and obtained an enforceable costs order notwithstanding QOCS, pursuant to CPR 44.15.
  • Rebecca has had success in defending claims including:
    • A claim brought by a visitor to a garden centre who had tripped over a tree root inside.
    • A claim brought against a children’s play centre, where it was alleged that a child had cut their foot when using one of the slides: Rebecca successfully argued against the application of res ipsa loquitur.
    • A claim involving the spillage of washing up liquid at a well-known supermarket, Rebecca successfully argued for a substantially lower award of damages than contended for by the claimant and consequently a substantial reduction on costs.
  • Rebecca successfully obtained directions required in order to ascertain whether the claimant, in a case involving a trip over a step in his rented home, now lacked capacity due to a subsequent accident.
  • Rebecca has attended an infant approval hearing on behalf of the defendant in a fatal accident claim, involving the drowning of two family members whilst visiting a park, and on behalf of the defendant at an approval concerning a child who had trapped their fingers in a door at nursery where there were issues regarding funding.
  • Rebecca has advised in:
    • Cycling accident cases concerning highways issues.
    • Slip and trip accidents.
    • A claim involving a potential head injury to a toddler.
    • A claim involving a serious dog bite to a child’s hand resulting in psychological sequalae.

Employers’ Liability

Rebecca has advised and drafted pleadings in a number of employers’ liability cases, in her own right and as a junior, including:

  • Manual handling, including issues as to limitation and compromise.
  • Stress at work: Acting for the claimant mental health worker who had suffered from anxiety and depression following an excessive case load.
  • Repetitive strain: Acting for a claimant who had sustained a work related upper limb disorder.
  • Failure to provide PPE: Acting for the claimant where serious facial injuries were sustained following a spillage of hot oil.
  • Fall from height: Acting for the defendant following the fall of a trainee scaffolder.
  • Unknown accident circumstances: On behalf of the defendant employer following a claim brought by a refuse collector who had been found on the road behind his refuse truck; the claimant could not recall the accident circumstances, and there were no other witnesses to the alleged accident.
  • Assault at work: Acting for the defendant in a claim by a teacher at a special needs school who had been subject to an assault by one of the pupils.

Rebecca has also regularly attended court in such claims. Most recently she was successful in defending a claim involving a head injury sustained by the claimant whilst undertaking a food delivery from a HGV vehicle at work and in successfully applying to strike out a claim, regarding an alleged fall from scaffolding, for failure to comply with a court order. She has also provided junior assistance in advising a claimant who sustained a head injury at work, which resulted in chronic migraine and mental health issues.

Rebecca was instructed to assist in the Mark Kennedy case, in an action against the Metropolitan Police by one of their undercover officers: BBC News: Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy ‘defied’ bosses

She also observed a hearing in Wembridge and 14 others v (1) Winter (2) East Sussex Fire Service and another [2013] EWHC 2331 (QB) involving an explosion at a fireworks factory which resulted in the death of two firemen: BBC News: Firework factory explosion death pair jailed and BBC News: Firework factory blast families win compensation case

Rebecca contributed to the production of a research paper into the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and the impact this was likely to have on litigating employers’ liability claims.

Historic sexual abuse

Rebecca has been involved with a number of historic sexual abuse matters. For example, she assisted with a Joint Settlement Meeting on behalf of a defendant school teacher, who had already been convicted for a number of offences against the claimant. She was also involved in the conference and preparation for a Joint Settlement Meeting on behalf of a defendant school in another matter, where the defendant teacher was thought to have absconded.

Fraud

Rebecca is experienced in road traffic accident fraud cases, ranging from contrived accidents, low velocity impact claims and cases where it is suspected that the claimant has substantially or wholly recovered. Rebecca has regularly attended interim applications and final trials in such cases, and she is particularly adept at drafting robust Defences and Counter Schedules, many of which raise interesting questions such as contribution and most recently an issue as to whether the claim was res judicata.

Her experience covers:

  • Success in obtaining findings of fundamental dishonesty:
    • She successfully struck out one claimant’s claim in a three-party road traffic accident and obtained a finding of fundamental dishonesty against another claimant in the same action. She also successfully obtained enforceable costs, notwithstanding QOCS, in these matters.
    • Rebecca is adept at dealing with litigants in person, recently having successful involvement in a claim where it was suspected that the claimant was grossly exaggerating alleged injuries she sustained in a very minor bus collision, which resulted in a finding of fundamental dishonesty and enforceable costs.
  • Rebecca also successfully defended a claim involving a three-car shunt where it was suspected two of the three cars were involved in staging the accident.
  • Rebecca has provided junior assistance in conference and has assisted a QC in a Contempt of Court hearing, following settlement of a fibromyalgia case where the claimant was thought to be a malingerer.
  • Rebecca has attended a CMC in a multi-party case where a fraud ring was suspected
  • Rebecca was instructed on behalf of the defendant to provide an analysis of surveillance evidence in a case in which the claimant was alleging that she was blind but fraud was suspected. Rebecca also assisted in drafting the Counter Schedule and attended the JSM with a QC.

Rebecca also has experience in insurance fraud. She assisted in the research for and preparation of an advice in a case which involved issues of limitation; it was suspected that the claimant had enlarged a number of buildings when he had replaced those which had previously been damaged in a fire.

Inquests & Inquiries

Rebecca was instructed in the M5 Inquest into the multiple pile-up which occurred in Taunton in November 2011. The crash involved 34 vehicles and resulted in 7 fatalities, with many more injured. It occurred during a period of reduced visibility on the motorway and shortly after a nearby firework display:

BBC News: Seven confirmed dead in M5 accident in Somerset
BBC News: Fireworks ‘not to blame’ for Taunton motorway crash

Rebecca has also observed an inquest where the family of an autistic boy, who had died when he stepped in front of a HGV on a major road, wished to have a conciliatory meeting with the driver prior to the Inquest commencing.

During her Masters Rebecca researched and wrote about the role of the Coroner; she has a particular interest in the interplay between inquests and litigation.

Insurance Funded Disputes

Rebecca regularly acts in cases involving insurers, details of which can be found in the Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Fraud sections of her profile.

Professional associations

  • PIBA
  • Inner Temple

Qualifications

  • BA (Law) – St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford
  • MA (Health Care Ethics and Law), University of Manchester
  • BPTC – The University of Law
Menu