James Badenoch QC, EWI Chairman Emeritus


A renegade from a far-flung medical family dynasty, (father, grandfather, five uncles, two great uncles and seven cousins all doctors or surgeons). Born, raised and latterly educated in Oxford,  where his late father, Sir John, was sometime Director of Clinical Studies (Dean of the Medical School), a physician of many honours and distinctions, and a pioneer of gastroscopy.

Called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1968, he was pupil to John (later Mr Justice) Alliott, and Harry (Lord) Woolf, who became Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice. His practice at 1 Crown Office Row in the Temple was originally as a general common lawyer of the kind all in his chambers used to be, but for the last 25 plus years he has specialised in medical negligence, medical law and medical discipline. He took silk in 1989. He has appeared in the House of Lords in Wilsher v. the Essex Area Health Authority, (the seminal medical negligence case of the late 20th century), and in a succession of major medically oriented cases in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council, as well as the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong. 

He is a Deputy High Court Judge, a Recorder of the Crown Court, a President of the Mental Health Review tribunal, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and an accredited Mediator. He has been admitted to the Hong Kong bar.

James was Chairman of the Expert Witness Institute from 2004 to 2013, which with his work at the bar has kept him constantly involved with expert witnesses, and has given him a particular interest in all matters affecting them and expert evidence generally. He lectures regularly, contributes to learned textbooks, and is an occasional broadcaster on TV and radio.

He is married and has a daughter, two sons, and two dogs. He and his wife live by the river in West London, where he pursues his hobbies of ornithology (in particular the study of herons) and wildlife digital photography. 


  • Clinical Negligence, Powers and Harris (Contributor), published by Butterworths, 1st Ed 1990 2nd Ed 1994, 3rd Ed 2000, 4th edition 2007
  • Urology and The Law, (Co-Author) published by Informa 2006

Lectures & Talks

He has lectured frequently on medico-legal and related subjects, including expert evidence, and is a regular speaker on TV and radio and after dinner. He has addressed by invitation among others: the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee of the House of Commons and Lords, the Senior Judiciary, Royal Colleges, assorted Learned Societies, numerous medical, surgical and expert witness conferences, seminars and gatherings, AvMA, APIL, the Hong Kong Bar, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the BMA.


  • Deputy High Court Judge
  • Recorder of the Crown Court
  • President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal
  • Bencher of Lincolns Inn
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine 
  • Admitted ad eundem to the Hong Kong Bar
  • Chairman of the Expert Witness Institute  

Significant cases include:

  • Lillywhite -v- UCL Hospitals NHS Trust [2006] Lloyds Rep Med 268 (CA) Medical standard of care
  • Law Society -v- Sarah Harman [2006] Professional Discipline
    Michael Stone -v- South East SHA [2006] EWHC 1668 (Admin) Medical records, human rights and data protection
  • Preiss v General Dental Council [2001] Lloyd's Rep Med 491 (Privy Council) Human Rights and Professional Discipline.  Defining "serious professional misconduct"
  • GMC v Dr Harold Shipman (2000) Disciplinary proceedings
  • Heil v Rankin [2000] 2 WLR 1173 (CA) Landmark case on general damages
  • Penney & Others v East Kent Health Authority [2000] Lloyd's Rep Med 41 (CA) Application and limits of 'Bolam Test'
  • Dobbie v Medway Health Authority [1994] 5 Med LR 160 (CA) Medical injury, limitation principles
  • Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority [1988] AC 1074 (HL) Medical negligence