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Written on 7th May 2021 by Rachel Makore

If you’ve ever wondered what motivates, challenges, excites and frustrates a clinical negligence claims lawyer, this 60 second interview with Richard Money-Kyrle is for you.

A bit about Richard…

Richard is a partner and maximum severity injury claims specialist in the clinical negligence team at Boyes Turner. He has a reputation for achieving outstanding results for clients, both in the form of high value compensation settlements and successful trials. He’s as comfortable in a court room as he is with analysing a client’s medical records, working through factual, medical and legal issues with clients, experts and barristers, or negotiating at round table settlement meetings. Within the team, he’s known for his good humour and genuine love for the work, his compassion for injured clients and his intellectually rigorous approach to helping them achieve justice and financial redress.   

Richard, what made you choose a career in medical negligence?

I came relatively late to law after studying for a degree in biology and then working as a negotiator for Anglia Television. When my brother died in a climbing accident my focus shifted to a career which would, above all else, help others. I come from a medical family, and chose law as a route to try to help some of those that I felt were most in need. I was able to build on my negotiating skills and basic scientific background to become a specialist working within the legal framework with both clients and senior medical practitioners. Whenever I have re-evaluated my direction in life, I’ve come back to the realisation that, for me, the differences I have helped make for injured people and their families give my career its fulfilling sense of satisfaction.

What personal skills does it take to succeed at this type of work?

Representing severely injured patients and their families in medical negligence claims takes empathy, perseverance, self-reflection and a strong sense of duty towards clients, justice and the law. These characteristics must be there to begin with, but I think they continue to develop over time. When I started as a medical negligence solicitor, I was younger than the parents of the children we worked for, and our adult clients. As the years have passed, I hope that I’ve gained a greater understanding of the personal trauma our clients experience, along with my extensive understanding of the types of mistakes that medical professionals make, their consequences, and how to achieve the best possible outcome from the life-changing events our clients have suffered.

What is the most frustrating part of your work? 

I wish I could tell clients, when they ask me, that the lessons from their experience have been learned by the NHS. So many injured patients want to be reassured that the same mistakes won’t happen to anyone again. However, even accepting the inherent difficulties with medical practice, we see the same avoidable mistakes time and time again. Despite the best intentions of those managing the healthcare system, it is sad that over the last 25 years there has been such limited progress in changing practice to improve patient safety across the country.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

It is a privilege to be involved with individuals and families who have suffered, and are still suffering, the trauma of injury and bereavement. The legal process can be long and difficult, and I hope my career-long experience helps minimise the added stress of litigation. 

In addition to working with clients, my role involves helping develop the skills within our team. I find it very rewarding to encourage and see the next generation of specialist solicitors work with our clients, experts and barristers with such enthusiasm and dedication.

Are there any types of cases that you find particularly satisfying?

Pushing the boundaries of the law to succeed in cases which have been rejected by other solicitors can be particularly satisfying, as can cases which push the boundaries of the law to result in changes to medical practice. 

As a young lawyer you left Boyes Turner but later came back…? 

Yes, I qualified in 1997 and then joined Boyes Turner in 1998. Ten years later I was headhunted by another specialist team, and again in 2014. In 2016 I was delighted to be invited back to Boyes Turner to help Susan Brown lead the clinical negligence team. I have worked with many fantastic lawyers over the years, all of whom put the client at the centre of their working world, but if anyone asked me what is special about the Boyes Turner team, I’d say that it’s the fact that every client counts as if they were a relation, and the sense of shared pride in the outcomes we achieve.