Deborah specialises in complex and high value claims and has particular expertise and interest in cases relating to birth related brain injury in babies, the treatment and diagnosis of many types of cancer particularly breast cancer, and dental claims.
A recognised 'leader' in the field of clinical negligence for several years, Deborah has built up extensive experience in handling claims of all sizes, covering a wide range of injurious conditions including brain injury, spinal injury, back and general orthopaedic injuries, bowel, bladder and psychological injuries.
Many of her cases have been reported both in the legal and public press, and she has acted in a number of cases which have established some important legal principles including Wilson v Best Travel (AER), which established the principles of duty of care owed by Tour Operators, and a number of cases involving issues in relation to Limitation - one of which was successfully taken to the Court of Appeal. Reported cases include: Darnley-Croydon hospitals NHS Trust, Peters v University of Wales NHS Trust, Rawlinson v North Essex Health Authority, Garth v Grant and the MIB, Bowden v BMI hospitals, Chapman v Estate of Dr Moss deceased.
Deborah has been committed to public funding. She has been responsible over the years for obtaining and renewing the legal services civil contract in clinical negligence. Given her extensive experience in dealing with birth injury cases and her longstanding membership on the Law Society Clinical Negligence panel she is able to obtain public funding for babies who have suffered neurological injury.
In Chambers UK (2019) Deborah is described by one source as "incredibly conscientious and devoted to her cases", while another says: "She is very thorough, very caring and really understands the issues".
Deborah is described in The Legal 500 (2019) as "incredibly intelligent and diligent" and "shows great competence and compassion".
- £1.7 million settlement - achieving a settlement for a 15 year old boy who suffered cerebral palsy due to the negligent way hospital trust managed the events leading up to his birth. The settlement amounted to a lump sum of £1.7 million and periodical payments starting at £100,253 per annum, increasing to £158,800 for the rest of the claimant's life, to cover care and case management, therapies and Court of Protection. The overall value of the claim being in excess of £5 million
- Benign brain tumour - obtaining £548,000 for the death of a mother arising out of delay in treating a benign brain tumour
- Blood test nerve damage - £85,000 for a lady who suffered nerve damage in her arm from a needle during a blood test
- Delay in diagnosing lung cancer - obtaining £65,000 for the estate of a 84 year old widow who died as a result of a Trust’s delay in diagnosing lung cancer
- Pregnancy management - £550,000 for a child born with HIV due to the negligent way in which the mother's pregnancy was managed
- Duty of A&E reception staff - acted in a High Court case exploring the duty owed by a receptionist in an A&E setting in respect of the provision of information given to patients
- Sources in Chambers UK (2018) say "she is very experienced and does the work to a very high standard"
- Described in The Legal 500 (2017) as "hugely experienced and completely unflappable" ,"works tirelessly for her clients’"and "utterly professional"
- Chambers UK (2017) said the "excellent" Deborah Blythe is a leading practitioner with an outstanding reputation for handling cases involving severe brain, spinal and other injuries. Commentators are quick to praise Blythe for her impressive legal instincts.
- "one impressed client asserts: 'the claims are very emotional and she has the right level of sympathy. She was aware of the fact that I had appointed her for her legal knowledge'", Chambers UK (2015)
- "knowledgeable, considerate and compassionate and empathetic towards the sensitivity of a situation", Chambers UK (2014)
- "excellent lawyer with a good approach to cases. She is praised by practitioners in this area as an individual who is realistic and easy to get on with, and who achieves resolution quickly.", Chambers UK (2013)
- Deborah is well regarded for her work on serious clinical negligence claims, earning praise for her "calm, supportive nature throughout some highly emotive cases" and her "astute and sensible approach to claims", Chambers UK (2011)
- "fantastic adviser" with the "right mix of compassion and empathy", Chambers UK (2008)
- The Legal 500 (2016) comments that she "has exceptional client-handling skills"
- "highly professional", "approachable" and "above all, pragmatic", The Legal 500 (2013)
- "clever, conscientious", The Legal 500
- Recommended in 'Legal Experts 2012'
- Included in the Thomson Reuters 'London Super Lawyers' lists 2014 and 2015
- Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
- Panel Member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA)
- Panel member for Law Society Personal Injury
- Panel member for Law Society Clinical Negligence
Studied law at university, qualified in 1984 and was a partner at an established specialist practice in South London from 1987 to 1991 and joined Evill & Coleman in 1991, becoming a partner in 1992. She joined Russell-Cooke when the firms merged in 2005.