Kate O'Brien | Associate | Bolt Burdon Kemp Kate O'Brien | Associate | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Kate is an Associate in our Child Brain Injury team. She joined the firm in 2016, having previously trained at, and worked for, a specialist personal injury firm in London for a number of years.

She specialises in representing children who have suffered brain injuries due to negligent medical treatment or accidents. She has experience acting on behalf of both children and adults who have suffered surgical errors and delays in diagnosis of disorders or events directly affecting the brain (such as brain tumour or stroke), as well those who have suffered brain infections (such as encephalitis or meningitis). She also has experience of claims involving children with cerebral palsy, who sustained a brain injury at birth.

In addition to her clinical negligence experience, Kate regularly investigates claims where a brain injury has been caused by road traffic accidents, as well as those relating to employer’s and occupier’s liability (i.e. where an accident has occurred at work, or on property or land owned by somebody else).

Her notable successes have included:

  • Securing a seven-figure settlement for a teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was involved in a car accident as a passenger. Due to his injuries, Kate’s client relied on family and professionals to help care for him and to manage his needs. The compensation ensured he would have professional support for the rest of his life. Whilst the claim was ongoing, Kate was able to secure interim payments on her client’s behalf to ensure he could access early rehabilitation.
  • Investigating a clinical negligence claim for a vulnerable young adult who suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he was inappropriately restrained by security staff at a hospital. Due to the manner of restraint, the brain was deprived of oxygen for so long that he was rendered in a permanent vegetative state. Kate settled the legal claim against both the hospital Trust and the security staff’s employers, despite their initial refusals to accept liability. Unfortunately, Kate’s client sadly passed away. In addition to the civil claim, Kate also assisted his family with the Coroner’s inquest investigation and hearing.
  • An adult who suffered a stroke when an air embolism was negligently allowed to enter the central venous catheter. Kate’s client suffered life-changing injuries, meaning she was no longer able to live independently and struggled with changes to her personality. The client received compensation, which allowed her to purchase a new home, as well as an apology from the Defendant NHS Trust.

Kate has been commended for her approachable and empathetic manner. She is passionate about making the lives of clients and their families easier, by pushing for early admissions of liability and apologies from Defendants, and arranging rehabilitation services for her clients. She works with third parties including independent financial advisers, charities, professional trustees and deputies in order to ensure that clients receive adequate support in managing any compensation they receive.

Kate was recognised as a ‘key lawyer’ in the Legal 500 Rankings 2023; ‘Kate O’Brien is a rising star with a natural touch for the more complex clinical negligence cases; her client care is wonderful and she is a dream to have on the team.’

She has been accredited with Senior Litigator status by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), a body committed to improving the service provided to those who have suffered injury.

Professional Memberships

  • Acquired Brain Injury London member (ABIL)
  • UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF)
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) – Senior Litigator
  • The Law Society of England & Wales

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