As part of our Spotlight On series to learn about the people behind the firm’s successes, we caught up with Alexandra Scott to discover more about her life and what drives her.
Alexandra is a London-based solicitor who joined Thompsons in 2018 and specialises in medical negligence cases. When she is not securing settlements for people who have suffered painful complications following mesh implants, the dance enthusiast can be found at the opera, ballet or theatre.
What inspired you to go into law?
I read philosophy at university and this included a course on the philosophy of law. It inspired me to want to study law further. My philosophy degree also had courses on applied ethics, including medical ethics, prompting an interest in medical law and medical negligence that continues to this day - I enjoy the abstract thinking and practical problem-solving that comes with assisting someone with a legal problem.
I was determined that if I went into law I wanted to do what I could to further the public good and to use the law to make people’s lives better and Thompsons fits that bill for me.
What is your specialism? Why?
My specialism is claims involving the use of mesh for urinary incontinence.
When I started working in this area in 2018, very few claims had been brought and mesh was still in use as a treatment for urinary incontinence. Thankfully seeing what my clients have been through its use has now been withdrawn in the UK and the 2020 Cumberlege review exposed the serious long-term effects of its use.
Alexandra Scott, clinical negligence solicitor
It’s been immensely satisfying to have played a part in exposing the harm that mesh can cause and then seeing its withdrawal from use and the Cumberlege review acknowledging the harm it has caused.
I also have a group of cases involving a rogue gynaecologist who has been struck off because of criminal offences towards patients.
Dealing with these types of cases reinforces for me why I became a lawyer – to help protect individuals and to help people expose harm that might otherwise have been overlooked or dismissed.
Why did you join Thompsons?
I wanted the opportunity to be part of a highly-skilled clinical negligence team that works on ground-breaking cases.
The challenges are constant with the type of claims I work on, from dealing with issues of consent to handling belligerent defendants – both the NHS and private surgeons without exception, strongly defend any such claim. It is so rewarding at the end of a case to know that you’ve helped someone feel that they were listened to and properly compensated.
What is your proudest moment with the firm so far?
Undoubtedly the many incontinence mesh cases for clients with chronic pain that I have had successes with so far.
What do you want to achieve during the next five years?
I want to make considerably more progress with the mesh litigation and achieve settlements for many more people. The defendants, namely NHS and private surgeons, have been quite unwilling to accept negligence so far yet they have also been reluctant to defend them all the way to trial, presumably worried about the precedent it might set. I have got some great settlements but clients shouldn’t have to go through all that when it’s so clearly the fault of the surgeon.
What has been the most challenging case for you at Thompsons and why?
One client pursued a claim against a private surgeon who had wrongly performed a variety of gynaecological procedures on her over several years, including the implantation of a tension free vaginal tape for urinary incontinence.
She had not given proper consent to the various procedures performed on her – she just went with what she was told was best for her - and many of them were not appropriate to her particular condition. She suffered from dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, bowel symptoms and recurring stress urinary incontinence. She had further surgery to try and remove the mesh but that was only partially possible and she was left in chronic pain and experienced incontinence which significantly affected her quality of life.
The case was particularly challenging because the private surgeon was no longer practicing medicine and we had to trace his whereabouts and find his insurers. Once we found his insurers, they were deliberately obstructive yet we eventually managed to reach a settlement out of court of £500,000.
What do you enjoy most about working at Thompsons?
On a personal note, my colleagues are wonderful people, supportive and friendly. Some have become very good friends outside of the office. I also enjoy the quality of the work and the open-door policy to speak with anyone in the firm.
It’s also hugely satisfying to work on highly-specialised, ground-breaking clinical negligence cases. The type of cases I work on are exactly why I became a lawyer.
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discreet and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.