Bernadette has a varied caseload of wholly clinical negligence cases but her main area of expertise is in brain injuries including CP cases, meningitis and encephalitis as well as injury caused by medication in pregnancy. Bernadette's nursing background greatly informs her legal practice and helps her to see both sides of any dispute.
As part of Bernadette's everyday practice she is used to dealing with both lay clients and professionals such as clinicians and lawyers at all levels. Bernadette takes a collaborative approach to her work when dealing with opponents which leads to a more constructive working relationship and mutual respect.
Before joining Russell-Cooke in October 2020 Bernadette previously was an Executive Director in the clinical negligence team of Enable Law (part of the Foot Anstey group) which she joined in May 2017 following transfer of the clinical negligence team from Michelmores where she had been a partner since 2010.
- Over £12 million (approx. capitalised sum) settlement for a young boy with significant brain injury caused by Fetal Valproate Syndrome after negligently high doses of sodium valproate were prescribed to his mother in pregnancy. The compensation provided for specially adapted accommodation and a 24 hour care regime.
- £18 million (approx. capitalised sum) awarded to a young girl with asymmetric spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, speech and language problems and associated issues as a consequence of birth asphyxia. A separate claim was made for her mother who sustained obstetric anal sphincter injury and PTSD.
- £8 million (approx. capitalised sum) settlement for a young man with brain damage and profound deafness due to a delay in diagnosing and treating pneumococcal meningitis following a head injury.
- £6 million for young woman who suffered brain injury as a result of a failure to diagnose and treat pneumonia.
- Obstetric maternal injuries include:-
- £800,000 for a woman who suffered damage to her ureter during a caesarean section resulting in kidney failure
- £800,000 for a a woman who suffered PTSD and a femoral nerve injury due to failures in the management of a major obstetric haemorrhage.
- AvMA clinical negligence specialist panel member
- member of Baby Lifeline's multi-professional advisory panel, MPAP
- governor of Mary Hare school for the deaf and former trustee of the Meningitis Trust (Meningitis Now)
- Ranked as a Band 1 clinical negligence lawyer in Chambers (2019) for Exeter and surrounding areas
- Recommended in The Legal 500 as a key practitioner (2022).
- BA Hons History & Anthropology – Oxford Brookes University
- PG Diploma in Law – Oxford Brookes University
- PG Diploma in Legal Practice – Oxford Institute of Legal Practice
- CEDR accredited mediator 2020
- Qualified general and paediatric nurse