ILEX member at centre of media

28 September 2011

ILEX member at centre of media whirlwind

James SherwinA Graduate member of ILEX has found himself at the centre of a media whirlwind after a case in which he was his firm’s lead lawyer made worldwide headlines.

James Sherwin, a clinical negligence specialist at Attwaters Solicitors in Harlow, Essex, had worked for three years on a sensitive case.

Working with the barrister retained by Attwaters, Robert Weir QC of Devereux Chambers, Mr Sherwin then helped his client obtain substantial damages and treatment for her injuries. Speaking to the Legal Executive Journal he said: “Most of the damages were for loss of earnings, because my client lost her job due to needing psychiatric treatment.”

The case made national and international headlines in broadsheets and tabloid newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, as well as BBC radio and Internet channels.

Mr Shwerwin went above the normal field of duty to also field media enquiries in order to provide a “buffer” between journalists and his client.

Mr Sherwin, who is on course to become a Legal Executive Fellow next June, started at the firm in November 2006 and was handed the case for investigation a year or so later.

The case had several twists and turns. Ms Tivey, of Canvey Island, had given birth to a stillborn child when she gave birth to his healthy twin at Southend Hospital, Essex. She then had to battle for eight months to force the hospital to release the remains when officials lost the forms indicating her wish to bury him.

Eventually, a hospital employee handed Ms Tivey a brown envelope containing skin and tissue samples encased in wax blocks. She subsequently complained of experiencing nightmares and psychiatric problems as a result and that her relationship with her partner had suffered.

Three years on, the case became one of the biggest the firm has had in publicity terms. “The success has helped raise the profile of the medical negligence department and brought complimentary remarks from partners” said Mr Sherwin.