Lawyer secures top medico-legal qualification

A Partner in a North East law firm, who changed her area of expertise after more than 20 years of practice, has now become a recognised medical law specialist following her achievement of a highly-regarded legal qualification.

Kathryn Riddell has gained a Master of Law degree (LLM) with distinction in Medical Law, making her one of only a few specialist medical lawyers to hold such a qualification.

Kathryn, a Partner in Newcastle-based Sintons, has achieved her LLM from Northumbria University after three-years of studying, which she combined with her role as a healthcare lawyer. Kathryn provides specialist advice to NHS Trusts and healthcare professionals on all aspects of legal and ethical issues arising from patient treatment and she has extensive experience of representing Trusts at inquest.

Prior to taking up her role in Sintons’ highly-esteemed healthcare team, Kathryn was a Partner in the firm’s personal injury department, having been with Sintons since undertaking her training contract 24 years ago.

Now, her role sees her working closely with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to which Sintons are long-standing legal advisors. She works with Barry Speker OBE DL, consultant at Sintons and a nationally-renowned medico-legal specialist who has been solicitor to the Trust since its inception.

Kathryn said: “While I have been with Sintons for my whole career and worked as a litigation lawyer for over 20 years, I have relished my move into healthcare and the challenge of gaining an expertise in medical law.

“Having an LLM in Medical Law is not essential for a specialist healthcare lawyer, but was something I wanted to do to help gain a greater understanding of a practice area that was totally new to me and get me up to speed with issues of consent, capacity, mental health and confidentiality, which are so central to my role.”

Barry Speker OBE DL said: “Kathryn’s admirable performance in her LLM is a tremendous credit to her. Her significant specialist medico-legal knowledge is a very important addition to our leading healthcare department.”

Mark Quigley, Managing Partner of Sintons, said: “Kathryn has very successfully moved from one very complex area of law into another, and the achievement of her LLM confirms her as a specialist in medical law. She has secured this qualification while continuing to excel in her role in our healthcare team, which is quite a feat to achieve.

“We are all very proud of her achievement; yet another success story to come out of our healthcare team which enjoys such a strong national reputation.”

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