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Dr Michael Powers KC

Dr Michael Powers KC

BSc MB BS DA FFFLM LLD (hons) Devon
Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Called in 1979 Appointed KC in 1995
Bar Standards Board - Regulating Barristers
Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board


General Information

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

He has had 40 years of experience at the bar in all areas of medico-legal practice focusing on medical, scientific and legal causation. He has published, lectured and broadcast widely on medical negligence. As a strong supporter of the NHS, Dr Powers advocates constant attention to standards of practice and an open system of accountability when things go wrong. For many years, he campaigned for “Robbie’s Law” – a legal duty of candour in the NHS.

His other main interests as a medical negligence QC relate to the investigation of deaths (coroners and other inquiries). He has represented the Fire & Rescue Service at inquests, the pharmaceutical industry with regard to product liability and licensing and all types of cases (civil and criminal) where scientific principles are involved. He lives up to his Chambers & Partners recognised reputation as being “first-rate on technical evidence.”

As a trained and accredited mediator, he mediates principally in professional negligence matters, though he has experience mediating in marine and aviation cases. As an arbitrator, he has recently concluded a 2-year international commercial arbitration which involved a substantial dispute on technical matters.

Education in medicine and the law is vitally important to Dr Powers. He remains a Registered Medical Practitioner and is a lead examiner for the Primary Membership of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians. For many years, he has been a grade A advocacy trainer/tutor trainer, and he seeks to improve the skills of advocacy of young barristers in England, Wales and abroad.

Areas of law

  • Medical Negligence
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation
  • Professional Negligence
  • Coroners' Inquests
  • Judicial Review
  • Civil & Criminal Aviation Law

Medical Negligence

Major medical negligence actions for both claimants and defendants, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Anaesthetic brain damage
  • Neuro/cardiac surgery 
  • Group litigation involving medical treatment such as excess irradiation cases (e.g. Exeter and RAGE)

Pharmaceutical Litigation

Examples cases include:

  • Benzodiazepine multiparty litigation for manufacturers
  • Combined oral contraceptive multiparty litigation for manufacturers
  • Carbon disulphide group litigation

Dr Powers acts in cases relating to general product liability, licensing and judicial review.

Other Areas of Practice

  • Cases 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
  • Judicial review
  • As a former helicopter pilot, Dr Powers is instructed in civil and criminal aviation cases 


  • Examiner for the Fellowship of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians
  • Legal Advisor to CORESS, the Charity improving standards of safety in surgery in the NHS


  • 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


  • London BSc (Hons Biochem) MB BS (Lon) DA (RCS), FFFLM, LLD (honoris causa)

Personal Interests

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

A long interest in wine led Dr Powers to being intronisé vigneron d’honneur by la Jurade de Saint-Emilion in September 2012, which ensures regular visits to the Bordeaux region.

Areas of Law

Dr Michael Powers KC is happy to accept instructions as counsel who is:

  • Clinical Negligence
  • Inquests
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Road Traffic

Outside of these key areas of law, Dr Michael Powers KC is always willing to consider any enquiry requiring the experience or knowledge needed to help you or your client. Please call Michael direct or the support team on 01823 247 247 if you would like to discuss any aspect of this profile.

Cases and Publications

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 (1990 - 2005)

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

Past 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.

Co-Editor in Chief: "Rix's Expert Psychiatric Evidence 2nd Edn 2021" published by Cambridge University Press

Fees and Feedback


Details regarding our approach to fees can be found at the following link:


Please see “profile” tab for a description of the legal services provided by this barrister.

We aim to complete and return all paperwork within 14 days (2 weeks) of receipt if no specific deadline is provided. We can work to much faster timescales if requested or we can agree a specific target date for each individual circumstance. We will always advise at the outset if counsel is unable to meet any deadline.

Each barrister has a standard hourly rate for their work. The individual hourly rate can be agreed when instructions are acknowledged if preferred. We welcome early discussion as to the suitability of a specific barrister for a specific case. The right barrister will have the relevant expertise to deal with the case but will not be too junior, or too senior depending on the complexities.

We aim to allocate all cases to the correct level of experience & seniority which we believe will prove most to be the most cost-effective solution for our clients.

If, due to urgency, we allocate paperwork to a more senior member of Clerksroom, we will charge the appropriate hourly rate for the work, not for the barrister. We welcome early discussion to ensure the correct fee is applied to the case at the outset.


All our barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and hold a current practising certificate, details can be found at the following link Barristers’ Register

Complaints information

If you are not satisfied with the service provided, you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on the chambers’ complaints procedure is available at the following link:

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from my chambers, you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. You must contact the Legal Ombudsman either within 6 months following the conclusion of our handling your complaint, within 6 years from the date of the act/omission, or 3 years from the date that you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).

The Legal Ombudsman’s details are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
Email: [email protected]

Privacy Notice

1.              This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).

2.              The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.

3.              I, Dr Michael Powers KC, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

4.              It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

·   Advise on the prospects of litigation;

·   Advise on the value of your claim;

·   Representation at a court hearing;

·   Representation at trial;

·   Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5.              Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.              The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7.              If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8.              If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.              I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)                  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii)                Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii)               Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv)               Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v)                Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi)               Education and examining bodies; and

(vii)             Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.          In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11.          This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12.          I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13.          How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14.          Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i)                  The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii)                To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii)               For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv)               To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15.          The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16.          The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17.          Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18.          Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19.          You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20.          You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21.          You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22.          Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23.          You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i)                  The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii)                You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii)               Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv)               The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v)                The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24.          You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25.          Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26.          I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. The I.T. systems used by Clerksroom are ISO27001 compliant.

Complaints or Queries

27.          If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: [email protected], or my clerks: mail@clerksroom telephone 01823 247 247.

28.          I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29.          You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:



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