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Unity Street Chambers - Bristol: A leading set of Barristers serving the South West and beyond

Bristol_lawyers

5 Unity Street Chambers, Bristol BS1 5HH
0117 906 9789 / 0117 906 9799 (fax)
fergus.currie@unitystreetchambers.com

Year of Call and Inn

1997 Grays Inn

Professional Details

Specialising in Employment, Personal Injury, and Public / Regulatory Law.
After starting at the Bar with a mixed criminal and civil practice, Fergus has gone on to develop a mixed but complimentary practice in Employment, Personal Injury, and Public Law.

Employment

Fergus’ employment practice includes the staple diet of unfair and wrongful dismissal actions, together with all aspects of discrimination, equal pay, whistleblowing, collective redundancies and TUPE Regulations, as well as more general contractual disputes.

Over the years since its inception he has advised in a number of cases where the Equality Act 2010 impacts on and overlaps with other areas of law, such as the provision of social housing.

Fergus undertakes both Claimant and Respondent work; the latter includes representing large organisations such as local authorities and national public bodies. He is happy to provide advice and guidance to individuals or companies of any size, whether that be in relation to internal procedures during employment or post-employment claims, at all judicial levels.

Recent employment cases of interest

‘S’ (2015) – High Court action involving the employment rights of an employee with learning difficulties in a TUPE situation. Allegations of misrepresentation / negligent misstatement alleged as between the transferor / transferee.

‘L’ (2015) – EAT case concerning the question of causation and unfavourable treatment / detriment under s.15 Equality Act 2010.

‘OE’ (2014) – acted for the successful Claimant in his race discrimination and harassment claim against a prominent local employer. Case turned on the issue of intention / motives in the use of words / behaviour of a senior employee of the Respondent.

‘M’ (2013) – six-figure claim, involving a substantial number of alleged incidents over the course of several years, for disability discrimination and harassment against a regional police authority.

‘N’ (2014) – successfully represented the Claimant in her disability discrimination / unfair dismissal action against a government department, where she had alleged a premature incapability dismissal.

Personal Injury

Personal injury work, broadly split between Claimant and Defendant, with emphasis on accidents at work given his experience in the employment law field (including industrial disease, vibration and deafness cases, as well as stress at work claims), but also covering clinical negligence, public liability slipping / tripping cases, and RTAs. Substantial involvement in the latter has led to regular instructions defending alleged fraudulent accident claims.

Predominantly multi track instructions received, but happy to undertake fast track claims – from initial advice and drafting of pleadings, right through to final disposal, and beyond to appeal where necessary.
Having been involved in a number of such cases over recent years, Fergus has broad experience in claims (for both physical and psychological personal injury, as primary or secondary victim) under the Animals Act 1971.

Recent personal injury cases of interest

‘W’ (2015) – multi-track accident at work claim, representing the Claimant who succeeded in her action against the Defendant despite the balance of expert engineering and medical evidence suggesting no liability.

‘S’ (2014) – acted for golf professional whose career had been shortened by injuries caused in a serious RTA. Significant six-figure claim, with complex causation and future loss issues.

‘A and others’ (2014) – allegations of fraud (staged accident) against two drivers and their passengers proved when acting for the Defendant insurer.

‘K’ (2014) – a case dealing with the issue of causation of injuries and the liability of the Defendant where an alcoholic Claimant is involved. Liability turned on the issue of the balance to be struck between the ‘egg-shell skull’ rule and where the Claimant has voluntarily refused treatment.

H (2014) – clinical negligence claim concerning liability of a private clinic for a ruptured breast implant.

VH (2013) – acted for dog-walker who suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung when she was attacked by cows. Claim under the Animals Act, turning on the characteristics of cattle and the knowledge of their keeper of those characteristics.

Public / Regulatory

Fergus’ general interest in all matters relating the relationship of the individual and the state has seen his continued involvement in proceedings for judicial review and related appearances in the Administrative Court, as well as article 2 ECHR-compliant jury inquests.

He has also represented individuals in appearances before Care Standards Tribunals (such as actions against local authorities and government agencies on behalf of appellants seeking removal from POCA / POVA ‘blacklists’ preventing individuals from working with children or vulnerable adults), as well as disciplinary proceedings brought by the GMC, NMC and other medical regulators.

Recent public / regulatory cases of interest

‘NB’ (2013) – article 2 jury inquest into the murder of a woman by a prisoner on early-release licence. Several interested parties involved in this high-profile inquest, heard over the course of several weeks.

‘B’ (2013) – judicial review hearing at the Administrative Court concerning the lower court’s refusal to state a case in relation to the admissibility of evidence from various types of speed-recording devices.

‘O’ (2015) – acted for midwife during the course of disciplinary proceedings brought by the NMC alleging unfitness to practice due to her previous criminal convictions.

Advocacy

In a past life, Fergus was a Grade 3 CPS prosecutor with significant Crown Court and Court of Appeal experience, for both prosecution and defence, in cases including those involving manslaughter, serious sexual assaults and corporate fraud. This background stands him in good stead as an advocate, leading to a robust style of advocacy, which is tempered with appropriate sensitivity when necessary.

Public Access

Fergus is willing and able to take instructions, in any of the above areas, on a Public Access basis.

Recommendations

“Fergus Currie of Unity Street Chambers is renowned for his outstanding client care skills” – Band 3 for Employment Law in Chambers and Partners

“The well-liked Fergus Currie of Unity Street Chambers “knows his way around his subject area”, which includes unfair dismissal, discrimination and TUPE work” – Chambers and Partners 2013

“Has a strong presence in the Bristol employment market, alongside his personal injury and public law activity… He is a great barrister – a really safe pair of hands” – Chambers and Partners 2014

Professional Memberships / Qualifications

Employment Lawyers’ Association, Personal Injury Bar Association, Accredited Pupil Supervisor.

Formal Education

1995-1996: Inns of Court School of Law
1992-1995: MA Jurisprudence, Oxford University

Interests / Hobbies

Rugby of both codes (currently still playing for Old Bristolians RUFC Vets XV), Football and Theatre.