Denise Stephens

Partner - Medical negligence

Brain injury

I am a partner working in the medical negligence department within Shoosmiths.
denise stephens

Brain injury and cerebral palsy expertise

I am one of the country's leading medical negligence specialist solicitors. I am head of a specialist national clinical negligence group within Shoosmiths in Reading and, although based in Reading, I travel extensively throughout England and Wales representing my catastrophically brain injured clients

I am renowned for my work involving babies injured at birth such as cerebral palsy but also have vast experience across a wide and diverse range of medical cases.

I have 20 years of expertise in handling numerous serious brain injury claims for patients across a wide medical spectrum.

I am passionate about fighting for the rights of injured patients, I am focused, approachable and sympathetic. I get to the centre of an issue quickly and with expertise.

Brain injury work highlights

I have dealt with many highly complex cases involving multi-million pound claims in the High Court.

One of the highest ever court awards for a medical negligence

In 2015, I achieved one of the highest court awards for a birth injury claim. I secured the sum of £14.6 million in an 11 day trial in the case of Robshaw v United Lincolnshire Hospitals [2015] EWHC 923 (QB); MED LR 339, James Robshaw had suffered cerebral palsy at birth.

This case is a landmark judgment in quantum.

Another brain injury high court award for medical negligence

Milly Evans acquired a brain injury at birth resulting in cerebral palsy and Denise recovered £10.8 million by way of damages.


Cerebral palsy testimonial

'Denise was able to get us what is called interim payments, which was a sum of money from the hospital. This enabled us to provide James with things that he needed. James requires 24 hour care, we need extra support with his education, he also needs an awful lot of specialist equipment, just so that he is able to do ordinary things that we take for granted that other 12 year-old lads would do.[...] I can now see light at the end of the tunnel and, the amount of support that Denise has given us, on a personal and a practical level, that has made such a huge difference to our lives.' - Suzanne Adams (James's mother)

'You need to have a legal team who are caring, who you absolutely trust and who will tell you the truth. Certainly from our point of view Denise Stephens from Shoosmiths has been absolutely amazing.' - Andy Evans (Milly's father)

Professional testimonials

'First rate ..... handles extremely heavy cases with a certainty of touch and capability.' [...] 'The team is led by ‘star performer’ and ‘utterly dedicated and formidable litigator’ Denise Stephens, who possesses ‘exceptional intelligence and technical knowledge’. Stephens represents clients in brain and spinal injury matters, especially in regard to birth injuries.' - Legal 500

'Charismatic and forceful with a wealth of experience in the field.'  Sources admire her 'client centred approach' and describe her as 'top-notch'. - Chambers and Partners

Deputy by the court of protection

In addition to my litigation work, I am also appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection to look after the financial interests of protected parties.


Charities & awards

I hold a special bond with the Encephalitis Society and I am extremely proud of having been shortlisted alongside the Encephalitis Society for the 2018 'Partnership with a Health Charity' Better Society Award.

I also took part on a live Q&A evening session jointly with the Encephalitis Society using the Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

William Latimer-Sayer (barrister instructed by Shoosmiths) won the 'Case of the Year' at Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards 2015 for representing our brain injury client, James Robshaw and seeing the highest ever clinical negligence court award in history at the time.


Denise Stephens's insights