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Richard Furniss has more than 20 years’ experience of clinical negligence, personal injury, and solicitors’ and other professional negligence. He is an expert in medico-legal work, has appeared in innumerable inquests, and has wide experience of judicial review and Court of Protection matters, especially where they concern medical issues.

He has always acted for both claimants and defendants in all areas of his work.

He is straightforward and firm, but personable and sympathetic with lay and professional clients. He brings an imaginative approach to cases, but is sensible and realistic when advising.

Richard was educated at Downing College, Cambridge, and called to the Bar in 1991.


Richard has enormous experience of all types of inquest and coronial law.

He has acted in nearly a hundred Article 2 inquests, especially those concerning deaths in prison, including the inquests into the deaths of Gareth Myatt, Michael Bailey, Wayne Reid and Aleksey Baranovsky.

He has also acted in innumerable inquests arising from deaths in hospital and concerning the adequacy of medical care. He represents both the families of the deceased and doctors/NHS Trusts. He acted for London Air Ambulance (Bart’s Health NHS Trust) in the inquests for the victims of the London 7/7/05 bombings.

Richard is especially well known for his ability to tackle complex medical issues (and has particular experience of positional asphyxia cases).

Related accreditations:

"An experienced and accomplished junior, who is able to handle large cases with good sense and judgement." Legal 500 2021

“Clients appreciate his ability to provide… straightforward advice given in a manner which is readily understandable by those without either legal or medical training.”

 The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Judicial Review

As a specialist in medical law, Richard has experience of various aspects of judicial review, but is particularly well-known for cases which involve medical issues. Frequently, these arise in the setting of a prison or other secure establishment.

Related accreditations

“Clients appreciate his ability to provide… straightforward advice given in a manner which is readily understandable by those without either legal or medical training.”


  • "A first-rate practitioner for high-value personal injury work." Legal 500 2021
  • "Richard is excellent with both witnesses and experts."

    "He's very good supporting his clients through the legal process, and is also technically very strong."

     – Chambers & Partners 2021

  • Recognised for his abilities in catastrophic injury and costs litigation on behalf of claimant clients. He has deep knowledge of the Fatal Accidents Act and vast experience in industrial disease cases, lower limb amputations and complex spinal injuries claims. Sources further note his ability to assist in cases involving psychiatric and chronic pain injuries. Chambers and Partners 2018
  • Widely known for his extensive experience acting on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He routinely handles cases concerning cerebral palsy, as well as a range of catastrophic injury claims. He is also renowned for his personal injury advocacy.
  • Strengths: “Pragmatic and sensible.” “Prompt, thorough and concise. He always gives sound advice and instils confidence in clients and lawyers alike.”
    Recent work: Acted for a claimant who contracted an infection after undergoing surgery on his fractured wrist, rendering him unable to use his wrist. Chambers and Partners 2018
  • Clients appreciate his ability to provide… straightforward advice given in a manner which is readily understandable by those without either legal or medical training.
  • “a top-rated junior…who is widely appreciated for his comprehension and expert analysis of voluminous complex information: ‘He has the ability to sort through large amounts of information and come up with sensible suggestions, and gives a strong opinion about matters, which is often what is needed. He takes control of cases and gives a good sense of direction. Pleasingly, he is realistic and sensible in his assessment of cases, which is a real plus.’ – 2014 Chambers & Partners
  • A well-regarded clinical negligence advocate, who is recognised by market sources for his approachable manner and technical skill. His practice covers both the claim and defendant side and takes in cases relating to cerebral palsy and catastrophic injury. ‘He can cut through a case, see what the main issues are and give you really practical solutions when you’re trying to settle cases.’ ‘He’s great with clients and really leads the way when it comes to round-table meetings.’ – 2015 Chambers & Partners

Selected Cases

  • T v Foster and others – RTA causing brain damage to a 16-year-old – settled for £3.75 million after discount for contributory negligence.
  • Gunn v Essex Strategic HA – Community midwife negligently failed to diagnose meningitis in new-born baby – child survived with brain damage – damages £1.7 million.
  • M v King’s College Hospital – Wrongful birth after hospital failed to discover genetic abnormality – child born with lobar holoprosencephaly – liability admitted shortly before trial – quantum ongoing.
  • O v Queen Mary’s Sidcup NHS Trust – Cerebral palsy as a result of perinatal hypoxia – liability admitted during proceedings -quantum ongoing.

Areas of Expertise

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Professional Memberships

  • PNBA
  • PIBA


  • MA (Cantab)

Related News

Animals in Law Webinar

Animals in Law Webinar

We will be hosting a virtual round table discussion where a group of five practitioners, specialising in different areas of law, will discuss the status of a pet or companion animal in law.

Published: 26th Sep 2022

Awards & Recognition

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