Joshua Hedgman

Joshua Hedgman

  • Called in 2011

Josh Hedgman has three core areas of practice: serious/catastrophic injuries, chancery, trusts and probate, and professional negligence. He has appeared as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal and in both the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions. He has a very busy paperwork practice, which includes drafting statements of case as well as advising on liability, causation and quantum.

Josh represents defendants, insurers and local authorities in his personal injury work. He is regularly instructed to defend multi-million-pound claims arising from accidents on the road, in the workplace or on other premises. His instructions tend to relate to catastrophic or serious cases, including fatalities, brain injury, spinal column damage and smoke inhalation. Josh is frequently instructed to attend JSMs but regularly achieves success at trial where there is a liability defence or where the Claimant’s quantum aspirations are unrealistic.

Josh has secured numerous findings of fundamental dishonesty, which have led to instructions in further strike out and committal proceedings.

Josh’s probate and trusts work tends to cover the construction and validity of wills (including statutory wills), as well as claims for financial provision under the 1975 Act. He has appeared in several trials in the Chancery Division, some of which have been reported and the subject of much commentary. Josh has also appeared in cases involving breach of trust, devastavit and maladministration.

Josh’s professional negligence work tends towards cases involving solicitors and insurance brokers. Josh often advises on merits, quantum and settlement tactics and is presently instructed in claims proceeding in the High Court.

Clinical Negligence

Joshua has acted in a number of multi track clinical negligence cases, including:

  • The wrongful diagnosis of cancer that lead to unnecessary chemotherapy and considerable loss of earnings (over £60k/year).
  • The alleged failure of a leading high street optician to identify glaucoma, leading to permanent loss of sight.
  • An incompetently performed appendectomy raising issues of consent.

Commercial

Joshua has a broad caseload in commercial matters.

Past and present instructions include:

  • A successful three-day multi-track construction trial that turned on issues of agency and whether a managing agent had authority to order extensive work.
  • Defending a claim brought against a principal contractor for damage sustained during excavation works; the principle issue being whether excavation in the vicinity of subterranean power lines is an ‘ultra-hazardous act’ for the purposes of a non-delegable duty of care.
  • Breach of directorship duties in an ongoing claim for $7.5 million against a former director.
  • Advising on the construction of pension agreements.
  • Breach of confidence, privacy and proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division for injunctive relief and substantial damages.
  • Resisting a defamation claim following articles published in a public journal.

Credit Hire

Joshua regularly represents clients in credit hire cases. He is fully conversant with arguments on enforceability, impecuniosity, rate, duration, need (personal and corporate), especially in light of Stevens v Equity.

Employment

Appearances in the Employment Tribunals in proceedings relating to unfair dismissal, redundancy, sex and disability discrimination, TUPE and claims under the Equality Act generally. Joshua has recently been instructed in appeals to the EAT on TUPE.

General Common Law

Joshua has acted in numerous cases concerning the provision of services and also title to goods (especially cars), sale, transfer and wrongful interference through trespass and conversion. Joshua recently acted for a clients in:

  • A £450,000 claim to reject substandard yacht worth half a million pounds.
  • A substantial claim for damages against a local council after arsonists raised the house to the ground.

Insurance

Joshua has broad experience in both insurance and re-insurance. He has recently acted or advised in cases concerning aggregation, coverage and indemnity clauses.

Joshua is fully conversant with the Uninsured Driver’s Agreement and recently succeeded in a trial on behalf of an insurer to recover substantial payments from an uninsured driver.

Personal Injury

Joshua has represented claimants and defendants in claims on both the fast and multi-tracks in the County Court and in the High Court, as well as at JSM. The upper end of Joshua’s caseload includes claims and defences of well over £500,000.

His experience includes:

  • Road traffic collisions, including Low Velocity Impact arguments, occupancy disputes and civil fraud.
  • Landlord and occupier’s liability, especially public rights of way.
  • Employer’s liability.
  • Public liability, particularly under the Highways Act 1980 and New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Defective products
  • Claims under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

Away from personal injury, Joshua has a substantial practice in wills and probate. As a result, he is often asked to represent clients in unusual cases that involve an overlap between the two areas. Recent examples include:

  • Proceedings bought between siblings following the passing of their father. Instructed by the estate in claims for compensation following sexual abuse and for failure to leave a reasonable will under the 1975 Act.
  • Instructions from a defendant in a QBD claim bought under the Fatal Accidents Act, the substantial component of which was an increased inheritance tax liability, the deceased having passed within seven years of several inter vivos transfers to her son.
  • Claims against a negligent tortfeasor under the Fatal Accidents Act alongside a claim against the deceased for failing to make reasonable financial provision under the related Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Professional Negligence

Joshua has acted in negligence cases that touch on a variety of professions but has developed a particularly strong practice in claims concerning solicitors.

He has been instructed by both disappointed litigants and solicitors in matters including:

  • Resisting a claim, on behalf of a solicitor, for the allegedly negligent handling of a foreign royal’s immigration/asylum application (instructed with Andrew Hopper QC).
  • A claim against a firm of solicitors for the conduct of a defence in the Chancery Division; the substantive proceedings concerning the sale of a £650,000 residential home.
  • The defence in a claim for £550,000 arising from an allegation that the solicitor unreasonably failed to scrutinise interests in land before the conveyance took place.
  • Strike out of a claim brought for £72,000 in which the claimant alleged that the solicitor had negligently advised on and conducted litigation against real estate agents following the purchase of a property in Bulgaria.
  • A claim against a solicitor for breach of trust; the solicitor having released funds to their own client that were held on trust for the benefit of the opposing party.
  • Strike out of case alleging that a solicitor had negligently prepared proceedings in the Family Division.
  • A claim against a firm of solicitors who conducted the client’s defence to a partnership dispute; the partners in dispute themselves being solicitors.
  • A claim for the lost opportunity to bring Employment Tribunal proceedings for discrimination and unfair dismissal after the client was not advised on limitation.

Trusts & Probate

Joshua has extensive experience of matters proceeding in the Chancery Division.

The considerable bulk of Joshua’s probate practice is concerned with the formal and substantive validity of wills. Joshua has acted in many cases concerning section 9 validity, undue influence, knowledge and approval, capacity and forged wills.

Joshua has also advised on, and appeared, in many applications for failing to make reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, including:

  • An interesting Chancery Division case in which the deceased promised his wife maintenance over her lifetime provided she forbore objection to divorce proceedings. In the event, the deceased made a non-provision declaration in his will. Claim brought in the Chancery Division for misrepresentation, breach of contract and failure to make reasonable financial provision pursuant to the 1975 Act.
  • A claim by the fiancée of the deceased who was killed in a car accident by the tortfeasor before being able to change his will for the benefit of the claimant.

Joshua has experience in other chancery matters, including:

  • Breach of trust and knowing receipt.
  • Part 64 proceedings for the administration of multi-million pound estates.
  • Trusts of land, particularly constructive trusts.
  • Claims for wilful default, negligence and devastavit and associated proceedings for removal.
  • The representation of parties in proceedings following the dissolution of business partnerships.
  • Section 994 petitions alleging the unfair prejudice of minority shareholders.

Civil Fraud

Josh acts for defendants and has secured several findings of fundamental dishonesty. He has done so in cases ranging from invented events, exaggerated injuries, phantom passengers and LVI. He has obtained such findings across the board of injury claims and throughout road traffic, employers’ and public liability matters. He has achieved referrals to the Attorney-General for prosecution and in respect of contempt of court proceedings.

Josh has also been instructed on appeals in relation to the jurisdiction of the Appeal Court to infer dishonesty in reversal of the trial judge’s reluctance to do so.

Josh acts for property insurers in respect of fraudulent claims. He recently succeeded for a defendant in a claim where the insured had fabricated invoices for remedial works.

Josh’s probate practice has included 3 appearances in the High Court in respect of forged wills.

Public Access

Joshua frequently accepts instructions on a public access basis.

Notable Cases


Re Morris (HHJ Simpkiss) (2019)
Josh represented the deceased’s daughters and sole beneficiaries of her estate. Their father claimed a constructive trust over the deceased’s property and also sought an award of reasonable financial provision pursuant to the 1975 Act. Following extensive cross-examination of the Claimant, the Judge found that the Claimant’s case “was littered with untruthful statements and with evidence designed to improve his case…” . Claim successfully defended in full.

Re K v A (2019)
Joshua represented the Defendant in a claim pleaded at £1.1 million following an accident at work in which a long drill bit penetrated the Claimant’s thoracic spine by over 20cm. The principal issue was loss of future earnings and the Claimant’s residual earning capacity. Liability was admitted and the claim settled for £185,000 following JSM.

Re Wright, (QBD) (2018)
Josh was instructed jointly by two defendants in a claim pleaded at £2.2 million following a devastating fire on a construction site. Primary liability was admitted and the matter proceeded solely in relation to contributory negligence and quantum. The case was a complex one involving a novel injury with dual experts in the fields of neurology, ENT surgery, psychiatry and speech and language therapy. The experts agreed that the Claimant had suffered a very rare clinical sub variant of laryngeal dystonia, although no expert was able to identify the mechanism of the disease. The Claimant sought damages for a permanent and disabling impediment to the production of his voice, together with lifelong injection therapy and loss of earnings. The matter was listed for trial in the Queen’s Bench Division but settled favourably at a pre-trial JSM.

Read more

Ashraf v Shah (Anthony Elleray QC, Chancery Division) (2018)
Joshua represented one of the defendants in a 10-day trial relating to the validity of a will, which covered a substantial property portfolio in Luton. The matter settled on the third day of trial following Joshua’s cross-examination of several of the Claimant’s witnesses.

Lomberg v Roszkowski, Gloucester & Cheltenham CC, HHJ Harington (2017)
Joshua represented the defendant in a claim for £250,000 following a road traffic accident. Liability was admitted but the dispute surrounded a substantial loss of earnings claim as the claimant imported unique Hungarian goods and was prevented from doing so as a result of a significant back injury. The defendant's orthopaedic surgeon was unable to attend trial but the court refused an application to adjourn and the matter proceeded with the claimant's orthopaedic surgeon in attendance only. Joshua cross-examined the claimant on the first day of trial and, by lunchtime, the claimant had taken the defendant's pre-trial offer of £20,000.

Carter v Walker, QBD (2016)
Joshua acted for the defendant in a fatals claim, the vast majority of which sought damages for an increased inheritance tax liability as the deceased passed within 7 years of substantial inter vivos transfers of shares to her son.

Re Fulton, QBD (2016)
Joshua was instructed as sole counsel for a principal contractor, one of three defendants, in a claim and contribution proceedings for over £1 million following a serious spinal injury during an extensive construction project. The matter settled favourably two days before the commencement of trial. Joshua's client took a significantly lower apportionment than the other two defendants.

Ashman v Thomas [2016] EWHC 3806 (Ch)
An interesting case concerning the formal validity of three wills. Joshua successfully argued that the presumption of due execution upon regular attestation arose regardless of any suspicious circumstances, albeit the strength of the presumption may be affected by such circumstances. On the facts, two wills were found to be invalid but a first and earlier will was upheld. The decision on costs has attracted much commentary.

Read less

If you would like to instruct Joshua Hedgman or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by senior clerk Alan Kilbey MBE. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at chambers@farrarsbuilding.co.uk

For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.

Education & Qualifications


  • BA Hons, Jurisprudence, Keble College, Oxon (2010)
  • Farnham Sixth Form College (2007)

Testimonials


“Josh is an excellent barrister providing objective advice with his excellent knowledge of common law practice and procedure. He is our first port of call for personal injury quantum advices and with his unassuming natural charisma is our favourite choice for any liability dispute hearings with an untarnished feedback from clients. I would recommend him every time.”
Emma Bradshaw, Principal Solicitor AXA Insurance

Personal Interests


Outside of the Bar, Joshua enjoys travel and theatre. He is a Governor of his former secondary school, Farnham Heath End School, and a lecturer in contract law on the Graduate Diploma in Law. He also examines for the leading A-level Law examination board.