Pat’s first 10 years of her professional life were in Nursing. She trained and qualified as a Nurse (RGN) in London. On qualifying, she specialised in Intensive Care nursing and obtained a number of post graduate nursing qualifications. Pat worked in various Intensive Care Units in the London area to include Great Ormond Street, the London Chest Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital where she was appointed to the position of Senior Sister in Intensive Care. Thereafter, Pat studied Law and on obtaining her Law Degree and Solicitors’ Final Examinations she did her apprenticeship with a London firm who had a renowned reputation for medical negligence. On qualifying, Pat remained with the same firm and was made Partner. She was instrumental in the firm obtaining one of the first (if not the first) Legal Aid franchise for medical negligence in the UK. Pat remained with the firm for 13 years. In November 2006, on returning home, Pat joined the Medical Negligence team in Cantillons Solicitors. Pat’s combined nursing and legal knowledge has been invaluable in her practice.
Over the last two decades, Pat has brought a significant number of high value complex catastrophic injury cases to trial to include Cerebral Palsy, Erbs Palsy, acquired brain injuries, maternal death, obstetric injuries and ophthalmic injuries.
The families of a victim of medical negligence have an awful lot to contend with in trying to nurse and provide care. There is an emotional, social, physical and economic impact that takes its toll on the family unit. Pat appreciates the impact that medical negligence can have on a family unit and has always sought to achieve the best possible results for her clients. In 2007, Pat achieved an award of €7.5million for a little girl with Cerebral Palsy. At the time, this was the highest award (by over 50%) ever achieved in the history of the State for a birth injury claim. In 2012, Pat achieved an award of €11million for another little girl with Cerebral Palsy. However, Pat’s most complex and challenging but most rewarding case did not attract millions in compensation. The case involved a seven year old little girl with Down Syndrome who also had heart problems and feeding problems. Unfortunately, her parents’ concerns about the feeding problems were not listened to and the food that was to nourish her was silently killing her as it was being inhaled into her lungs. The little girl was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension which is a life limiting condition. Therefore, the case was only ever going to attract modest compensation. The little girl was on continuous oxygen and her care needs were the most complex and onerous. Pat sought to expedite the case. However, the State refused to accept liability and maintained that the Pulmonary Hypertension was congenital. Pat’s nursing knowledge was invaluable as the condition of Pulmonary Hypertension is very complex and with help from top class world renowned experts, the State eventually capitulated after five weeks at Trial.
Registered General Nurse (RGN), Senior Sister in Intensive Care 1979-1989
LLB (Hons), London: 1992
Solicitors Final Examinations, London 1993
Solicitor and Partner in London Law Firm from 1995 – 2006
Pat likes reading, going to the Theatre and travelling whenever she can.