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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers

Kenneth Hamer

"He has almost unparalleled knowledge of regulatory case law."

Chambers UK 2017


Call
1975

Kenneth Hamer is an experienced barrister and has an extensive practice. He has wide experience of civil litigation at almost every level, particularly in the fields of professional negligence (including claims against architects, surveyors, valuers, accountants, solicitors and barristers); clinical negligence; personal injury involving issues of liability and quantum; and substantial common law commercial claims. He frequently appears against silks, often leading more junior counsel himself. He represents both claimants and defendants.

Kenneth also has substantial experience in all areas of professional discipline and regulation. He is the author of the leading textbook Professional Conduct Casebook, published by Oxford University Press, and he regularly lectures and writes articles on regulatory and disciplinary matters. He has been a Recorder of the Crown Court since 2000 and sits in crime, civil and family matters.

See Kenneth talking to the OUP about his Professional Conduct Casebook (2nd edition) here.

 

Expertise


Professional Discipline

Kenneth has substantial and wide ranging experience in professional conduct and competence matters. He has expertise in health care, legal, accountancy and financial aspects of professional discipline. He is a member of the prosecuting panel of the Bar Standards Board, a Legally Qualified Chairman and Legal Assessor for the General Medical Council – Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the Nursing & Midwifery Council and the General Dental Council. In recent years he has regularly acted for the General Pharmaceutical Council on appeals to the High Court. In 2014 he represented the Council in Gulamhusein v GPhC which re-affirmed the test for extension of an interim suspension order in concurrent disciplinary and criminal proceedings, and in 2015 he represented the Council in Rasool v GPhC where the court in reviewing the domestic and European authorities held that there was no risk of impartiality by reason of the chairman having dealt with earlier preliminary issues.

He regularly advises or represents solicitors in disciplinary and regulatory cases and appears at hearings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and other professional bodies. ‘He has been a member of the prosecuting panel of the Bar Standards Board for many years and also represents or advises barristers facing disciplinary issues. In 2014 he was instructed by the Bar Mutual and successfully represented a joint Head of Chambers on appeal before the Visitors concerning the responsibilities under the Code of Conduct of the head of chambers for the administrative arrangements in chambers; and the question of costs arising out of the successful appeal. From 2006-2012 he was chairman of the Appeal Committee for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. For some years Kenneth has appeared in the Professional Discipline sections of Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. In 2015-16 he was ranked category 2 in Chambers & Partners with the comment that his dedication to work, and his exceptional legal knowledge were consistently highlighted as key factors. The Legal 500 described him as always incredibly well prepared.

In 2008 he spent six months advising the Financial Services Authority on various matters and in 2012 he chaired a working group of senior practitioners and regulators who submitted a written response on behalf of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers to the Law Commission Consultation Paper on the Regulation of Health Care and Social Care Professionals.

Kenneth is the author of the leading textbook Professional Conduct Casebook, published by the Oxford University Press. His book contains all key professional conduct cases in a single portable volume and analyses cases across an extensive range of professions including the healthcare professions, law, accountancy and financial services, the police and prison service, and sports law and contains approximately 1000 cases. He regularly lectures and writes on professional conduct issues and is the joint editor of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers’ Quarterly Bulletin.

Representative cases

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  • Hussain v General Pharmaceutical Council [2018] EWCA Civ 22

    Court of Appeal rejects any procedure defect in hearing or that sanction of erasure was disproportionate.

    The case arose from a BBC documentary into a number of pharmacies in London selling prescription-only medicines without a valid doctor’s certificate, and the appellant Mrs Hussain was the responsible pharmacist on duty when an undercover reporter was able to buy Amoxicillin, a prescription-only medicine, over the counter in the absence of a valid prescription.

  • Khan v General Pharmaceutical Council [2017] 1 WLR 169 SC (S)

    Supreme Court Review procedure – need for panel to focus on current impairment at original hearing and at review hearing – whether sanction excessive and disproportionate.

  • Abdul-Razzak v General Pharmaceutical Council [2016] EWHC 1204 (Admin)

    Supply of prescription-only medicines without a prescription by counter-assistants at pharmacy – role of responsible pharmacist – patient safety – video evidence – weight to be placed of footage.

  • Burrows v General Pharmaceutical Council [2016] EWHC 1204 (Admin)

    Criminal caution for fraud – failure of registrant to attend fitness to practise hearing – representation by counsel at hearing – removal from register – lack of insight.

  • Rasool v General Pharmaceutical Council [2015] EWHC 217 (Admin)

    Bias – chairman of fitness to practise committee chairing earlier interim order against employee of registrant – no risk of impartiality.

  • Gulamhusein v General Pharmaceutical Council [2014] EWHC 2591 (Admin)

    Concurrent proceedings – interim suspension order granted pending trial of criminal proceedings – test for extension of interim order.

Health & Safety

He has been involved in health and safety work for over 20 years, mainly for claimants including the following:

  • Corby Group Litigation involving children born with limb disorders exposed to toxic waste before birth.
  • Buncefield Litigation – claims by residents affected by oil depot explosion
  • Stress at work claims including teacher unable to cope; insurance agent bullied by employer; accountant suffering depressive illness through exhaustion; barrister working for international bank put under excessive strain.
  • Claims for medical sickness including work related injury benefit payable under NHS Regulations for dentists; and accident and sickness health insurance policies acting for insurers, and policy holders.
  • Numerous medical negligence claims against NHS Trusts, and consultants.
  • Southall and Ladbroke Grove Rail Accident Inquiries representing injured passengers and bereaved families – evacuation from trains – emergency services response – safety management systems – regulatory framework of safety for rail industry.
  • 60 compensation claims for rail accident victims, and post traumatic stress disorder claims.

Kenneth has recently advised major parties in relation to responsibility for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems at commercial properties. He recently acted for a group of 11 mothers who gave birth to children born with fetal deformities (primarily gastroschisis) living adjacent to landfill sites used to dispose of liquid or sludge wastes.

In 1999 Kenneth Hamer was counsel at the Southall Rail Accident Inquiry for passengers and bereaved families funded by the Health & Safety Commission and Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions.  In 2000 – 2001 he appeared in both Parts 1 and 2 of the Ladbroke Grove Rail Accident Inquiry on behalf of passengers.  At Part 2 of the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry he represented 150 passengers and bereaved families and was lead counsel on the crucial issues of the regulatory framework for the industry, and the establishment of better safety management systems.  He has also advised nearly sixty victims in relation to civil claims arising out of the Watford, Southall and Ladbroke Grove rail accidents.  Representation included consideration of common issues for passenger safety similar to group litigation.

Kenneth advised claimants in respect of the Buncefield disaster where fuel escaped from storage at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot in Hertfordshire in December 2005. He also advised claimants in respect of the Corby multi-party litigation involving children born with limb deformities, their mothers having lived or worked close to and been exposed during pregnancy to toxic waste from the former British Steel ironworks quarry at Corby, Northants. In 2008 the Court of Appeal held that damages for personal injury in the Corby litigation were recoverable in the tort of public nuisance.

In 1999 he appeared as leading counsel with a junior against two silks in the Court of Appeal in a substantial personal injury case involving complex issues of causation following a fifteen day hearing at first instance, at which twelve expert medical witnesses gave evidence in addition to numerous witnesses of fact.

Representative cases

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  • Sam v Atkins [2006] RTR 14 CA

    Road Traffic – vehicle travelling at 20 mph overtaking stationary van in busy shopping street – pedestrian emerging from in front of van hit by vehicle – judge finding driving at 20 mph negligent but not causative – whether findings inconsistent – whether accident reasonably avoidable.

  • Vahidi v Fairstead House School Trust Limited [2005] EWCA Civ 765; [2004] EWHC 2102 (QB)

    Stress at work claim – teacher known to be unable to cope – foreseeability and causation established for second breakdown on return to work – whether breach of duty established – 10 days High Court, 3 day Court of Appeal held no breach of duty as school took reasonable steps.

  • Butler v Mount Vernon & Watford General Hospital NHS Trust [2002] EWCA Civ 1387; Med Lit Cases 0842

    Joint expert – put forward by defence reporting favourably to claimant – evidence agreed – application by Defendant to call additional evidence refused – effect on funding arrangements.

  • Hobin v Douglas [2000] PIQR Q1 (CA)

    Costs – personal injury – civil procedure – appeal on causation with offer of global figure for damages. Substantial personal injury case involving complex issues of causation lasting 15 days at trial with 12 expert witnesses giving evidence. 4 days in Court of Appeal.

  • Hassan v Gill [2013] PIQR P1 CA Court of Appeal

    Slipping hazard in shop – whether reasonable system – extent of evidence and burden of proof on defendant.

  • Corby Group Litigation [2009] 2 QB 335 CA

    Public nuisance – damages for personal injury – whether recoverable in the tort of public nuisance

Common Law & Commercial

Kenneth has recently acted for developers in relation to complex proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court relating to a commercial redevelopment scheme, and is currently advising in relation to a number of professional negligence claims against solicitors and barristers. Kenneth is also currently advising in relation to a number of probate related claims and he has experience of Chancery work generally. In 2015 he appeared in a heavily contested partnership dispute which was settled after 5 days in court, and he is currently appearing in a substantial probate action. Additionally, Kenneth has appeared in numerous money and property disputes often involving complex issues of law or substantial sums of money.

In 2006 he spent six months at the Financial Service Authority working in its General Counsel’s Division advising on a range of financial regulatory issues including the merger of two building societies, banking issues and European legislation.

In 2003 Kenneth Hamer was appointed by the Home Secretary to chair a review and report on the current legislative provisions in the Police Act 1996 and non-statutory guidance for appointing independent members to police authorities. The review consisted of Kenneth Hamer as Chairman together with the Chief Executive of the NHS Appointments Commission, and the Chief Executive of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority as specialist advisors. His report, “Review of the Selection and Appointments Process of Independent Members of Police Authorities”, was presented to Parliament on 4th May 2004, and contained a range of recommendations to improve the appointments process of key posts in police authorities, highlighting the need to engage local people and the importance of police authorities continuing to develop effective links with other community groups.

He has acted for solicitors in relation to intervention proceedings by the Law Society, and other claims involving the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In 2004 he acted in stress at work claims, and claims for injury and sickness benefits. He has acted for, amongst others, two directors of a Danish international company in respect of directors’ disqualification proceedings, a German multi-national tanker company against whom allegations of defective products were made, a claimant in a solicitors’ negligence claim concerning the purchase of commercial premises in Spain, and a claim against a Swiss bank for misrepresentation in the giving of a banker’s reference.

Representative cases

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  • Dhillon & Another v Heer Manak Solicitors

    Nottingham County Court September 2016 (10 days) Mortgagae monies – use of monies – breach of trust – employee of solicitors – whether claimants knew of or authorised transactions.

  • Rajvel Construction Limited v Bestville Properties Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 587

    Costs – directors liability – full and frank disclosure of means – security for costs.

  • Rajvel Construction Limited v Bestville Properties Ltd [2011] EWHC 2669 (TCC)

    Coulson J: hether High Court has jurisdiction to make freezing order to support order for security for costs – circumstances in which appropriate to grant injunction – section 37 Senior Courts Act 1981.

  • Rajvel Construction Limited v Bestville Properties Ltd (2011)

    Technology and Construction Court – security for costs – second application – change of circumstances – evidence not disclosed by claimant at previous hearing.

  • Rajval Construction Limited v Bestville Properties Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 1621

    Claim form served without response pack as required under CPR 7.8 – default judgment – litigants in person – setting aside default judgment under CPR Part 13 without terms – recording of proceedings – Technology and Construction Court.

  • Britton Special Steels Limited v Wood (2006)

    Claim for £800,000 against former director for alleged breach of fiduciary duties – payments made to associated company of director – issue as to proper consideration for payments and knowledge by fellow directors and shareholders – action dismissed (4 days, Bristol).

Inquiries & Tribunals

Chairman of Home Office Review of the Selection and Appointments Process of Independent Members of Police Authorities (2003-2004).

Counsel for passenger group at the Ladbroke Grove Rail Accident Inquiry (2000-2001)

Counsel for passenger group at Southall Rail Accident Inquiry (1999).

Representative cases

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  • In re Barlow Clowes Gilt Managers Ltd [1992] Ch 208

    Practice – discovery – public interest immunity – use in criminal proceedings of confidential information obtained by liquidators.

  • R v Clowes and Others [1992] 3 All ER 440

    Witness summons against liquidators – production of documents – information provided to liquidators voluntarily and in confidence – whether public interest in confidentiality outweighing public interest in ensuring that defendants received fair trial.

 

Instructing Kenneth Hamer

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Appointments
  • Recorder of the Crown Court since 2000: Assistant Recorder (1992-2000)
  • Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (2005-2011)
  • Chairman of Home Office Review of the Selection and Appointments Process of Independent Members of Police Authorities (2003-2004)
  • Lecturer, Holborn College of Law (1970-1974)
  • Accredited Mediator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of prosecuting panel for Bar Standards Board. Former member of the Disciplinary Tribunal Panel of the Council of the Inns of Court)
  • Legally Qualified Chairman and Legal Assessor to the GMC – MPTS
  • Legal Assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Legal Advisor to the General Dental Council
  • Legal Assessor to the General Chiropractic Council
Publications
  • Professional Conduct Casebook: OUP March 2015, 2e June 2015
  • Professional Discipline: Recent Case Law
  • Environmental Claims
  • Fitness to Practise
  • Corporate Manslaughter
  • Review of Police Authorities
  • The Role of the Regulator and Prosecuting Body
  • Public v Private Hearings in Disciplinary Tribunals
  • Environmental Offences: Sentencing in the Crown Court
  • Security for Costs in European Litigation
  • Hinde’s How to Prove a Will. 32nd edition
Memberships
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
Education
  • Evans Lewis-Thomas Law Award
  • Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
  • Cheltenham College
Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales. For our standard contractual terms click here.

Bar Council Number: 13145

VAT Registration Number: 244796037

Legal Status: Barrister

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd. Territorial coverage is world-wide and subject to the term of the Bar Mutual. Click here for details.

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