Posted on 28th September 2017
The history of UK vaccine litigation is a sorry tale but a careful reading of a new CJEU decision might...
I was admitted as a solicitor in 1994 and have been at Hodge Jones & Allen since 1997, becoming a salaried partner in 2000 and an equity partner in 2003. I specialise in common law dispute resolution, public law and contentious costs and my practice areas cover a wide range of civil litigation, including inquests, catastrophic/fatal injury claims, claims for birth defects caused by chemical or pharmaceutical exposure and criminal injury cases. I have particular expertise in cases involving acquired spinal cord injury or brain injury, injury caused by vaccines, organophosphates and defective pharmaceutical products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
I have been appointed as an independent adjudicator for the Legal Aid Agency since 2000 and I am now a member of the Special Controls Review Panel, which makes decisions on funding high value cases and appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. I independently adjudicate on legal funding appeals and legal costs appeals for the Legal Aid Agency on a weekly basis.
I have expertise in contentious costs and was as a Solicitor Assessor in the High Court – advising on appeals against detailed assessment decisions with a High Court Judge and Costs Judge.
I conduct professional negligence claims and contentious probate cases, claims for breach of confidence or under the Data Protection Act 1998, public law & human rights cases, contentious costs & commercial litigation.
I also act as a professional trustee, attorney and deputy in matters involving probate and administration, trusts, court of protections matters and property transactions.
I am a specialist in product liability/clinical negligence, brain and spinal cord injury and multi-party actions. I deal with inquests and appeals to the First Tier Tribunal in vaccine cases, and am a veteran of a number of previous multi party actions such as the Gulf War Syndrome cases and organophosphate litigation.
I acted pro bono for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (R v Lord Chancellor, on the application of APIL) commencing proceedings for judicial review against the Lord Chancellor regarding his failure to review the discount rate, and then for APIL as an Interested Party in the proceedings issued against the Lord Chancellor by the Association of British Insurers. This led to the reduction of the discount rate from 2.5% to -0.75%, and a substantial increase in value of catastrophic loss claims.
I am currently conducting a major multi-party action (90 clients) relating to Pandemrix® vaccine (the 2009/10 pandemic swine flu vaccine). The Claimants all have narcolepsy (a serious incurable neurological disorder) after the swine flu vaccination. Public funding has been granted.
I am also currently acting for a number of Claimants in a product liability claim against Oculentis B.V. relating to injury and loss caused by defective intraocular lenses. The Claimants all had lens replacement surgery but their prosthetic lens has calcified due to contamination in the manufacturing process, resulting in the need for revision surgery or permanent loss of vision.
I have also had success with claims under the Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979, including with appeals against refusals of awards. This included successfully defending the first ever appeal by the DWP to the Court of Appeal in a case under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 in February 2017 in the case of DWP v John (a minor) 
I have achieved substantial settlements in a number of other product liability claims including regarding defective metal-on-metal hip prostheses.
In October 2017 I was elected as the Secretary of the Product Liability Special Interest Group of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
I am a ‘cyclist-friendly’ solicitor and have acted for many cyclists over the years who have suffered serious injury in road traffic collisions.
I have acted in a number of high profile judicial reviews of NHS England’s decision to refuse funding for medical treatment including R (oao S) v NHS England  and R (oao SB) v NHS England 
I act as a professional trustee, attorney and deputy in matters involving probate and administration, trusts, court of protection matters and property transactions.
I am strongly committed to the principle of access to justice for all, regardless of ability to pay.
I am ranked in Chambers UK, A Client’s Guide to the Legal Profession 2017, in which one client reported: “He provides great advice, keeps me clearly informed of progress on a timely basis, and is always happy to take phone calls to discuss matters. I have never felt as though I was just another client” and also in The Legal 500 legal directory as ‘a hugely experienced and impressive’ partner with ‘a first-class reputation…’
Follow me on Twitter @petertodd_
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