Expertise

Anna acts in a variety of cases including those involving delays in diagnosing spinal injuries such as fractures or abscesses; misdiagnoses of cauda equina syndrome; delays in treating meningitis; misdiagnoses of strokes; fatal claims and birth injuries or injuries sustained in the neonatal period. She is particularly adept at drafting schedules of loss.

Recognition

Anna is a key member of the Legal 500 Tier 1 and the Chambers Band 1 clinical negligence team in Leeds. She has been commended in the Chambers directory as an ‘Associate to Watch’ since 2018. She is also commended as a key lawyer in the Legal 500. Feedback includes: “Anna Higham combines a thorough and effective approach to cases with an approachable and friendly manner which puts clients at ease”; “She is an excellent tactician”; “a creative thinker” and “Anna Higham has a sharp mind combined with an accessible manner.”

Clients have praised her empathy, her integrity and her ability to explain complex issues in ways that are easy to understand. Other client feedback includes: “she goes the extra mile, we trust her implicitly” and “she is reliable, determined and efficient.”

Experience

Anna’s recent cases include:

  • Younas v Okeahialam [2019] EWHC 2502 (QB) Mr Younas succeeded at trial in his claim against his GP for a negligent failure to refer him for cardiac investigations following a suspicious ECG test. As a result of his undiagnosed heart condition, Mr Younas lost consciousness in a car park and fell. He hit his head as he fell, sustaining a spinal cord injury. The defendant GP had admitted breach of duty in failing to make the referral, but denied causation. He denied that Mr Younas’ condition would have been diagnosed and treated in time to prevent the fall and spinal injury.
  • A settlement of £8 million (capitalised) for AB, a vulnerable adult with special needs, who was left paralysed after a hospital failed to diagnose a fractured spine following a fall.
  • A settlement in excess of £1 million for the widow of an army Colonel who died following negligently performed abdominal surgery.
  • Securing judgment for a man in his 50s who sustained incomplete tetraplegia when his GP failed to refer him for investigations for symptoms suggestive of cervical myelopathy. His claim is valued at £6 million.
  • Settling a claim for £1.7 million for a lady in her 70s whose central cord syndrome, sustained in a fall at home, was misdiagnosed and mistreated, resulting in permanent spinal cord injury at C2 level. The defendant defended the claim up until two months before trial.

Career

Anna studied Law at the University of Nottingham, before returning to her home town of Leeds to undertake the Legal Practice Course which she passed with a distinction. Anna qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and joined Stewarts in January 2014.

Together with a colleague Esther Gaudoin, Anna has set up a networking and support group for working parents with young children called Midnight Mums and Dads. The events comprise a presentation by an expert speaker on topics relevant to working parents followed by socialising. Attendees share ideas, stories and laughs, forming bonds with like-minded individuals with whom they have a shared experience.

Accreditations and Memberships

Anna is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers as a Senior Litigator and is a member of Leeds Medico-Legal Society.

Publications

Anna enjoys giving legal presentations. Her most recent is a schedule of loss webinar recorded for “Schedule School”, a resource for junior lawyers who wish to learn more about quantifying high value claims. Anna presented on quantifying claims for care and case management in catastrophic injury cases.

Anna has recently written an article for the Journal of Personal Injury Lawyers (J.P.I. Law 2021, 4, 199-208) titled ‘Lockdown Babies, the ‘baby blind spot’ and the Law’. The article considers the legal position of babies born in lockdown, from a clinical negligence perspective, who missed their routine health visiting checks or had referrals to secondary services delayed, and who have suffered injury as a result.

Personal

Anna is a keen reader, theatre-goer and piano player, although chances to indulge in any of these hobbies are rare now that she has two young daughters. Anna enjoys travelling – her favourite destinations include Japan, Croatia and Sri Lanka. She hopes to be able to take her children to Lapland in the near future to meet Father Christmas.