The areas of work in which we have particular expertise, experience and excellence.
"Sharp technical knowledge and practical approach to tactical litigation."
Legal 500 2023
Henk Soede’s practice is focused principally on three core areas: (1) personal injury and clinical negligence; (2) property and construction disputes; and (3) travel and private international law.
Henk also acts in professional liability claims arising out of these fields. He has quickly developed a busy advisory and trial practice, frequently appearing led and unled in the Court of Appeal, High Court and the County Courts. Further details as to his recent cases and experience are set out below.
Henk routinely acts in claims spanning the full spectrum of personal injury law. In addition to claims brought in common law negligence, such as RTAs, Henk routinely advises on and acts in claims brought under the Highways Act 1980, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and the Defective Premises Act 1972. Henk has a particular interest in psychiatric injury and occupational stress claims. He also has an expert understanding of the law relating to both employers’ liability and vicarious liability.
Henk is often instructed in claims where there are suspicions of fraud. He regularly obtains findings of fundamental dishonesty under both CPR 44.16 and section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and is very familiar with the law in this area.
Henk is adept at undertaking complex assessments of past and future loss. He takes a particular interest in cases requiring the assessment of entitlement to state benefits (e.g., where C has significant care needs but there is a shortfall in funds due to contributory negligence) and the extent to which the state factors in periodical payments and/or lump sum awards in calculating entitlement.
Riddell v Williams, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court
A two-day multi-track trial relating to a cycling accident in which serious injury was suffered. Henk acted for the successful claimant throughout the entire lifeline of the claim.
Piepenbrock v LSE & Ors (led by Laura Johnson QC)
Ongoing High Court claim involving alleged psychiatric injury, novel allegations relating to the duty of care, and losses pleaded at £1m+.
Hamidi v Aviva Insurance Limited
One-day fast track trial involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty. Henk, acting for the Defendant, obtained a finding of fundamental dishonesty, as well as an enforceable costs order of £7,000.
X v Insurance Company
Henk is instructed by the claimant in an ongoing high value claim for psychiatric injuries involving consideration of the scope of Attia v British Gas  QB 304.
Henk has a busy paper-based and trial practice in the field of professional liability. He has recently advised on a prospective claim (c. £90k) against a conveyancing solicitor relating to negligent advice prior to the purchase of a residential property; on a threatened claim (c. £300k) relating to the negligent withdrawal of an easement of support for a residential property; and on a claim concerning the negligent removal of the right to support from adjoining land. He also has significant experience in cases involving surveyor negligence, particularly in the context of Japanese knotweed claims. Henk regularly lectures on this area of law, particularly on issues relating to the assessment of damages in ‘loss of chance’ claims.
Henk has a specialist practice in property and construction disputes.
In the field of construction litigation, Henk is familiar with all major standard form contracts. He is regularly called on to advise on tactics and legal merit in prospective or notified adjudication proceedings, often on short notice. Henk’s recent instructions in the adjudication context include advising a school on a dispute with a main contractor (c. £150k) arising out of major cladding works; and enforcing an adjudication award (c. £800k) in the TCC.
In addition, Henk is instructed in claims involving consideration of the Defective Premises Act 1972, the Party Wall Act 1996 and common law rights to support. Recent instructions include advising a homeowner on a proposed claim brought for breach of section 1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972; advising a homeowner on a threatened claim (c. £300k) relating to the alleged withdrawal of a right of support for a residential property; and acting for a homeowner in a claim brought against their neighbours alleging a negligent removal of a right to support. Henk is familiar with the Building Safety Act 2022 and has provided training on how the new legislation is likely to affect the litigation landscape, particularly in the cladding context.
In relation to property litigation, Henk has experience in claims for breach of covenant, commercial landlord and tenant disputes, lease renewals, adverse possession, service charge disputes and dilapidation recoveries. He is currently instructed by a major city law firm in a high value claim involving a residential development and alleged breaches of covenants of repair and quiet enjoyment.
LEN Developments v Butler
The successful enforcement of an adjudication award (c. £800k) in the TCC, requiring advice on charging orders and a worldwide freezing order on property assets.
School v Contractor
An adjudication dispute arising from a major cladding project between a school and a main contractor under the JCT MW16. Issues arose due to delays and defects in the works. The dispute was resolved on favourable terms for Henk’s client.
Development Company v Freeholder
An ongoing dispute relating to alleged breach of the repair covenants in a valuable residential development.
X v Y
An ongoing high-value dispute relating to the withdrawal of neighbouring properties’ right to support from the soil beneath the properties.
In tandem with his personal injury practice, Henk regularly acts in claims brought against public authorities, whether in common law negligence or under the Human Rights Act 1998, data protection legislation, the Equalities Act 2010 or the Highways Act 1980. He was recently instructed by Essex Police (led by Laura Johnson KC) in a seven-day trial concerning the extent of the duty of care owed by the police when performing road policing functions (Transport Arendonk v Chief Constable of Essex Police, May 2022, HHF Freeland KC). He is well-placed to advise on any claim involving contentious duty of care allegations.
Henk has developed a specialist practice in the field of travel and private international law. He is a contributing editor to the leading practitioner text in this area, Saggerson on Travel Law and Litigation (7th Ed.).
Henk is frequently called on to advise in cases involving novel arguments under the Package Travel etc Regulations 2018. He is currently instructed (led by Sara Prager) in an ongoing representative action (£10m+) brought against several major tour operators under regulations 12 and 13 following the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.
Henk has built up expert knowledge in all private international law matters, including issues relating to jurisdiction, foreign applicable law and the enforcement of foreign judgments. He regularly writes and lectures on these areas.
Henk also acts in contractual disputes between travel business which necessitate detailed understanding of the package travel legislation landscape. He is presently instructed by a major UK tour operator as sole counsel in a high value arbitration concerning the covid-19 pandemic and various indemnity provisions linked to liability under package travel legislation.
Stait v Cosmos Insurance
Due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in September 2022 (led by Sarah Prager).
ST v BAI Ferries
Heard by the Court of Appeal in July 2022 (led by Sarah Prager).
Alli-Balogun v On the Beach  1 WLR 193 (assisted Sarah Prager)
Various Claimants v Tour Operators
High value group claim in respect of sums paid out due to package holiday cancellations, ongoing.
Henk routinely acts for both healthcare providers (in prison and in community) and claimants in the field of clinical negligence. He is frequently asked to advise on merits, evidence and quantum throughout the lifeline of a claim. Henk has dealt with high-value and complex cases involving difficult issues on breach, causation and evidence. He has no difficulty addressing contentious issues with experts in conference. Recent instructions include a wrongful birth claim involving complex psychiatric injury; advising on a claim involving a negligent hip-replacement surgery; and advising on the issue of non-delegable duties in the prison healthcare context.
Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)
Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. To see my privacy notice click here.