Gemma specialises in serious personal injury cases, industrial disease claims, and in large group actions.
She regularly appears against silks and senior juniors in High Court cases. She is also frequently instructed as junior counsel in multi-million pound claims, often working alongside silks from other chambers.
She is ranked in the fields of Personal Injury and Industrial Disease in the Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners.
Gemma is a contributor to Sweet and Maxwell’s Asbestos: Law and Litigation.
Gemma is particularly experienced in cases involving catastrophic brain injuries, amputations, serious spinal injuries, and fatal claims. She is routinely instructed in her own right, but also acts regularly as junior counsel in high-value claims.
AK (by her Litigation Friend, LK) v SK
Instructed with John Kimbell K.C. for the Claimant.
The Claimant was 15 years old when she was involved in a road traffic accident in France. She suffered a very severe brain injury, profound neurological disabilities, and spinal injuries. Her intellect remained in the superior range, but she was unable to produce effective speech and was wheelchair-dependant.
BE (by his Litigation Friend) v MM
Acting as junior Counsel for the Claimant (led by Paul Russell K.C.).
The Claimant sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and significant orthopaedic injuries at the age of 36. Permission has been given for the instruction of 26 experts. The Claimant’s rehabilitation has been compromised by Covid19 restrictions and there are issues relating to his immigration status.
TF (by his professional delegate) v MP
Acted as junior counsel for the Claimant alongside William Audland K.C.
The Claimant suffered a severe traumatic brain injury at the age of 12. The case was brought in Jersey and was therefore subject to a different discount rate to that applicable in England and Wales. Indexation of the PPO was fixed by reference to average earnings in Jersey rather than ASHE.
DI v JS
Instructed by the Claimant. He suffered multiple lower limb fractures and a degloving injury which ultimately led to a below-knee amputation.
G v G
Acted for the Claimant who sustained a serious injury to her retroperitoneal organs in a road traffic accident. Most of her small intestine had to be removed, leaving her dependent on IV nutritional feeing. She developed polyradiculopathy, secondary to nutritional deficiency.
NC (by her Litigation Friend, DC) v DC
Instructed for the Claimant with Robert Weir K.C.
The Claimant suffered an extremely severe brain injury when she was just 6 years old and was left with devastating injuries. She sustained a significant degree of cognitive impairment and was unlikely to ever achieve functional speech or mobility.
C v F
The Claimant was knocked down by a van while studying at Drama School. She suffered spinal and psychological injuries, and a large forehead laceration. She was left with a disfiguring facial scar that was likely to affect her future employment prospects as an actress.
TB v GM
Acted on behalf of the Claimant as junior counsel to Gerard Martin K.C.
The Claimant, a high-earning and extremely fit man, suffered a profound brain injury and significant injuries to his lower limbs when he was knocked off his motorcycle.
CIT (by her Litigation friend, DIT) v RSA PLC
Instructed with Frank Burton K.C. for the Claimant, who sustained a catastrophic brain injury in a road traffic accident.
Wojdon v Tomaszewski
Instructed by the Claimant, who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury when he was knocked off his motorcycle.
Salmons v Foster
Acted on behalf of the Claimant, who suffered serious physical and psychological injuries in a road traffic accident when aged 88. Her life expectancy was limited and was adversely affected by inadequate care provision and unsuitable accommodation.
Pritlove v Parfitt
Instructed by the Defendant. The Claimant suffered serious physical and psychological injuries in a motorcycle accident when aged 28. There were complex medical issues and significant debate as to the Claimant’s prospects for future employment. He had a sporadic work history but had always engaged in physical jobs of which he was now incapable because of his chronic pain condition.
The case was settled at a JSM. Thereafter, the Claimant applied to Court to withdraw from that settlement and seek a higher award. But the judge upheld the settlement.
Palmer v Barber
Acted on behalf of the Claimant, who suffered a serious injury to the brachial plexus of her dominant arm in a motorcycle accident.Download section
Gemma has particular expertise in asbestos litigation. She acts for Claimants in mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural thickening, and asbestosis cases.
Bussey v Anglia Heating Ltd  EWCA Civ 243
Instructed by the Claimant. Gemma appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel to Michael Rawlinson K.C. The Court unanimously ruled in favour of the Claimant in this significant case, which clarified the test for judges dealing with low-level exposure claims.
Walsh v Henry Crossley Packings Ltd & others
Acting as junior Counsel for the Claimant (led by Harry Steinberg K.C.). The Deceased contracted mesothelioma. She was exposed to asbestos while working at the First Defendant’s offices and when washing her husband’s overalls. The first stage of proceedings against the First Defendant settled two days before trial for 75% of the value to be assessed. The Claimant sought to recover the rest from the other Defendants, who also compromised liability shortly before trial. The quantification of damages was hotly contested. The Deceased had been the driving force behind a successful care home business and was also her husband’s carer following a stroke.
Collinson v Harlow & Milner Ltd
Instructed by the Claimant in this fatal mesothelioma claim. Breach of duty was ultimately conceded, but the case involved complicated medical issues in respect of the Deceased’s life expectancy but for the mesothelioma, and the extent of his adult son’s dependency.
LB v ARS Ltd
Acted as junior Counsel with Harry Steinberg K.C. in this high value mesothelioma claim. The Claimant contracted the disease at the age of 30. The case raised issues in respect of liability (including the obligations on an employer taking instructions from a main contractor), causation (latency periods and whether the exposure was sufficient to materially increase risk of mesothelioma), and quantum.
Goldring v Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd
Instructed by the Claimants (led by Harry Steinberg K.C.) in this fatal mesothelioma claim. The Deceased contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos on her father’s work clothes. The company that employed her father had been dissolved and therefore the only viable claim was against the active parent company.
Crooks v 00648121 Ltd
Acted for the Claimant, who died from mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos during his year in industry while studying for his degree. Liability and limitation were initially in issue; the Deceased survived for an unusually long time after diagnosis as a result of immunotherapy and did not approach solicitors until primary limitation had expired. Quantum was also hotly contested. The Deceased was a high-earner, but there was a considerable dispute over his future earnings given his intention to retire and thereafter work as a consultant.
Footman v Kent County Council
Instructed by the Claimant with Harry Steinberg K.C. The Claimant developed mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos. He was the primary carer for his wife and sought to challenge the restrictions on lifetime claims for services.
P v WMS Ltd
Acted for the Claimant with Harry Steinberg K.C. The Deceased was exposed to asbestos when handling asbestos insulation boards on site in 1966. The case would have tested the limits of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Bussey in respect of foreseeability. It settled less than one week before trial.
Back v Bicknell Construction Ltd
Acted on behalf of the Claimant, who developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos.
The Claimant was employed as a quantity surveyor. He was exposed to asbestos whilst visiting the Defendant’s sites. Liability was strongly disputed, with the Defendant arguing that the level of exposure was insufficient to amount to breach of duty in the light of prevailing knowledge.
Dalton v The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Instructed by the Executors of the Claimant’s Estate.
Mr Dalton died of mesothelioma. He was a chef on board passenger ships owned by P&O. He was exposed to asbestos while the ships were in port for maintenance work. The case centred on difficult issues of liability. The Defendant alleged that any exposure was low level and argued for a later date of knowledge for P&O than land-based employers.Download section
(1) PE (2) IC v MW & 6 others
Acted as junior Counsel alongside John Kimbell K.C. in a claim arising from a helicopter crash. Liability and quantum were hotly contested. The case also raised complicated issues in respect of tax liabilities. Both Claimants were resident in Sweden and would be required to pay tax on damages paid in respect of loss of earnings, pension, and/or financial dependency.
HT v Cavaciuti & 7 others
A husband and wife were killed when an aeroplane, piloted by the husband, crashed. The couple had three children who made claims for financial and services’ dependencies in the region of £4.5m. The claim was presented on the basis of a global family dependency.
Gemma was led by John Kimbell K.C. They were instructed by the Defendant insurers of the personal representatives of the husband. The case settled on a global basis (costs and damages) for less than £1m.Download section
Concept 70 Ltd v Cape Intermediate Holdings plc
Instructed alongside Charles Béar K.C. and Michael Rawlinson K.C. in a major product liability test case for insurers seeking a contribution to settled claims from manufacturers.
The Bomu-Bonny Oil Pipeline Litigation
Instructed on behalf of 15,600 Claimants in a class action against Shell arising from 2 substantial oil spills in the Niger Delta.
Gemma assisted with the quantification of the lead claims. This involved consideration of the likely effect of potential clean-up operations and the assessment of losses for people who did not keep records and were generally illiterate.
The terms of settlement are confidential, but it is believed to be the UK’s largest ever environmental action.Download section
Gemma is a member of the 12KBW Product Liability Group.
She was junior counsel to two silks in a major product liability group action against the manufacturer and supplier of Asbestolux and Marinite, Concept 70 Ltd & Others v Cape Intermediate Holdings plc.Download section
Gemma has a growing clinical negligence practice.
MB v X NHS Trust
Instructed on behalf of the Claimant, whose wife suffered extensive intracranial bleeding as a result of negligent treatment.Download section
Qualifications & Awards
The Queen’s College, Oxford University, MA (Hons) Modern History
Post Graduate Diploma in Law (Nottingham Law School)
Bar Vocational Course (Nottingham Law School)
The Blake Prize in History, The Queen’s College, Oxford
Gemma manages to take a broad overview of cases but is also very thorough and attentive to the details of the evidence. The standard of the documents she drafts is excellent. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
Her particular strengths are attention to detail, grappling with very difficult issues quickly and providing good, pragmatic advice to clients. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
She is an absolute star. She is very, very thorough and very good with clients. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma has provided some first-class advices in some very difficult cases, dealing with complex issues and expert witnesses. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma is pragmatic in her approach and able to advise with ease on complex matters. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma considers everything in fine detail in order to give the best advice. – Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma has huge experience in the field of asbestos-related illness claims and her technical knowledge in this field is superb. – Legal 500, 2024
She has the ability to explain complex issues in terms clients can understand. – Chambers & Partners, 2023
Gemma is very experienced in complex asbestos cases. – Chambers & Partners, 2023
She offers fantastic, practical advice. – Chambers & Partners, 2023
Gemma is an outstanding junior at the heart of the engine room at 12KBW, able to to master the most complex legal and factual issues in catastrophic injury claims with consummate ease. –Legal 500, 2023
Has been at the forefront of a lot of high-profile asbestos cases, and the quality of her work is exceptional. – Chambers & Partners, 2022
She is an expert in asbestos litigation and has been involved in some of the recent test cases. – Legal 500, 2022
A brilliant, experienced junior who is very efficient, gives detailed advice and is able to deal with complicated cases. She has a clear-minded approach to issues and is very responsive. – Chambers & Partners, 2021
Has been involved in some of the most high profile cases in the area of asbestos litigation. Always super prepared and brings complex issues down to an understandable level due to her in-depth knowledge. – Legal 500, 2021
A very thorough junior. – Chambers & Partners, 2020
Her knowledge of the development of the understanding of asbestos risks is peerless. – Legal 500, 2019
Her knowledge on the history of asbestos is encyclopaedic. – Chambers & Partners, 2019
She is potentially a rising star in industrial disease matters. – Legal 500, 2018
Incredibly calm and intelligent lawyer who relates well to clients and produces work of the highest quality. – Legal 500, 2018
She has an excellent grasp of the law. – Legal 500, 2017
She’s very bright and her in-depth knowledge of asbestos work is particularly remarkable given her call. – Chambers & Partners, 2017
She has a depth of knowledge of someone twice her call. – Legal 500, 2016
She has a fantastic depth of knowledge of asbestos cases – far beyond her year of call. – Legal 500, 2015
Contributor Asbestos: Law & Litigation, Sweet & Maxwell, 2019 (Chapter; Knowledge)Download section
Gemma is an outstanding junior at the heart of the engine room at 12KBW, able to to master the most complex legal and factual issues in catastrophic injury claims with consummate ease.Legal 500, 2023
She has the ability to explain complex issues in terms clients can understand.Chambers & Partners, 2023
Gemma is very experienced in complex asbestos cases.Chambers & Partners, 2023
She offers fantastic, practical adviceChambers & Partners, 2023
Gemma has huge experience in the field of asbestos-related illness claims and her technical knowledge in this field is superb.Legal 500, 2024
Gemma considers everything in fine detail in order to give the best advice.Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma is pragmatic in her approach and able to advise with ease on complex matters.Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma has provided some first-class advices in some very difficult cases, dealing with complex issues and expert witnesses.Chambers & Partners, 2024
She is an absolute star. She is very, very thorough and very good with clients.Chambers & Partners, 2024
Her particular strengths are attention to detail, grappling with very difficult issues quickly and providing good, pragmatic advice to clients.Chambers & Partners, 2024
Gemma manages to take a broad overview of cases but is also very thorough and attentive to the details of the evidence. The standard of the documents she drafts is excellent.Chambers & Partners, 2024