Dr Michael Powers QC (1979, QC 1995)

Dr Michael Powers QC (1979, QC 1995)

Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Qualified in 1979 Appointed QC in 1995


General Information

Dr Michael Powers QC is leader of the Clinical Negligence Group at Clerksroom and acts on behalf of both claimants and defendants.

He has a wide experience of major actions where issues of medical causation arise. He acts on behalf of pharmaceutical companies in group litigation and licensing matters. He also has a leading practice in non-pharmaceutical cases where exposure to chemicals and irradiation have been alleged to cause injury and in heavy professional medical negligence work. Dr. Powers is an Accredited Mediator with the Notre Dame School Law School and has acted as a mediator in claims, particularly relating to professional negligence.

He also has a particular expertise in the law and practice of coroners' courts and he is often instructed in complex medical cases where pharmaceutical/chemical companies have an interest in the outcome of inquests.

Before coming to the Bar, Dr Powers held hospital appointments in a number of specialties including obstetrics and anaesthesia. At the Bar he is an established specialist in a wide variety of medico-legal litigation and is recognised as a leading silk in clinical negligence and product liability. Medical and legal causation of injuries alleged to have been caused by drugs, chemicals and radiation is a particular interest of his.

Advocacy training is a major interest. He is “Grade A” qualified to train tutors of advocacy. He lectures and trains in the UK and overseas and is a member of the Barristers Overseas Advocacy Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Advocacy Training Council. He was elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 1998.


Major medical negligence actions (cerebral palsy, anaesthetic brain damage, neuro/cardiac surgery) for both claimants and defendants. Group litigation involving medical treatment such as excess irradiation cases (e.g. Exeter and RAGE)

Pharmaceutical litigation: egs: the benzodiazepine multiparty litigation for manufacturers and combined oral contraceptive multiparty litigation for manufacturers; carbon disulphide group litigation; general product liability, licensing and judicial review.

Other areas of practice include:

All work where significant medical causation issues arise such as chemicals used in industrial processes. Professional negligence associated with the conduct of medical cases.

Prosecution of Medical Practitioners before the General Medical Council for the GMC and ABPI

Significant Coroners' Inquests (particularly helicopter tragedies and deaths alleged to have been caused by drugs or chemicals) and Judicial Review.

House Surgeon to The Middlesex Hospital, London 1972/73

House Physician to Professor Sir Donald Acheson, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton 1973/74

Senior House Officer (Anaesthetics) Royal United Hospital, Bath 1974/75

Registrar in Anaesthetics, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow 1975/77

Students’ Counsellor at Lincoln’s Inn 1983/90

Assist. Deputy Coroner (Westminster) 1981/87

President of the South of England Coroners' Society 1987/88

Member of Qinetiq Medical Research Ethics Committee 1999 -

Member of the Advocacy Training Council 2004- Vice Chairman 2007 -

Member of the Bar Standards Board Sub-Committee on Revision of the Code of Conduct

Member of the Bar Standards Board BPTC Committee

Professional Memberships:

Royal Society of Medicine

Professional Negligence Bar Association

Society of Doctors in Law

Medico-Legal Society of London

Elected Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic Law & Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians (2007)

Personal interests:

Improving the quality of medical practice and advocacy at the Bar;  Probationary Examiner in Forensic Law and Medicine for the Membership examination for the FFLM.

Lecturing, broadcasting on specialist topics, shooting, flying (holder of PPL(H) and has held ratings on R22, R44 and EC120 helicopters), piano playing and photography.


London BSc (Hons Biochem) MB BS (Lon) DA (RCS), FFFLM

For further details about Dr. Powers' career and practice please click link for his own website.




Clinical negligence inquests. 1 Hour CPD. Free.

Judicial Experience

Assistant Deputy Coroner (Westminster) 1981/87


I have written many articles on medico-legal subjects. My first publication, as a young co-Author of a biochemistry paper was "Hydroxylations of aromatic amino acids mediated by a tetrahydropterin" Biochimica et biophysica acta {Biochim-Biophys-Acta} 1970 Dec 29, VOL: 222 (3), P: 606-10, ISSN: 0006-3002.

The more prominent other publications are:

Co-Author of "Thurston's Coronership: The Law and Practice on Coroners" (1985) Longman Law, Tax and Finance

Specialist Editor: Coroner's Law in the Justice of the Peace Reports (1985-1990)

Chapter in "Consciousness Awareness and Pain in General Anaesthesia" Butterworths (1987)

Co-Author of "Casebook on Coroners" Barry Rose Publications (1989)

Chapter in "General Anaesthesia" Butterworths 5th edn (1989)

General Editor of "Powers & Harris: Medical Negligence" Butterworths (1990)

Record Keeping in Anaesthesia: what the law requires Br. J. Anaesth. 1994:73:22-24

The Coroner's Inquest: Br. J. Anaesth. 1994; 73; 78-82

Introduction to Medical Negligence Law Clinical Risk (1995) 1, 37-39

Foreseeability and Remoteness Clinical Risk (1996) 2, 85-87

Chapter in "Rehabilitation of the Physically Disabled Adult" Stanley Thornes (1997)

Chapter in "General Anaesthesia" Butterworths 6th edn (1997)

Chapter in "Emergency Anaesthesia" Arnold (1997)

Chapter in "Drug Induced Automatism in Medicine, Medical Devices and The Law" Greenwich Medical Media Limited (1999)

Co-Author of "Sources of Coroners Law" (1999) Barry Rose Law Publishers Ltd

General Editor of "Powers & Harris: Clinical Negligence" Butterworths (2000)

Chapter in "Risk Management and Litigation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology" Royal Society of Medicine (2001)

Chapter in "Acquired Damage to the Developing Brain" Arnold (2002)

Communicating risk in the United Kingdom. BMJ 2003 Sep 27 327(7417) 735-6

Present Consulting Editor: Clinical Risk published by Churchill Livingstone

A Quantum Leap for Investment in Patient Safety: A Legal and Moral Duty. Published privately Simon John and Michael Powers QC September 2011

Opinion on the Crash of Chinook ZD 576 on Mull of Kintyre 2nd June 1994

Please click link for full list of Case Law.

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