Helen Rutherford

Year of call 2010

Personal Injury

Practice Summary

Helen accepts instructions in all areas of personal injury acting for Claimants or Defendants. She has experience in RTAs (injury, credit hire, LVI issues and allegations of fraud etc), highways cases, accidents at work, slips/trips/falls, clinical negligence, employers’ liability and industrial disease. She is instructed for hearings on both liability and quantum, as well as application hearings at all stages of proceedings. In addition to her advocacy work, Helen has a busy paper practice which includes drafting pleadings, compiling schedules of loss and written advices on liability, quantum, evidence and tactics. She has also been instructed on a number of occasions to represent a party at Joint Settlement Meetings and at mediations.

Helen has a particular interest in animal law, including injuries caused by animals and, in particular, equine law (including contracts for sale, professional equine disputes, personal injury and negligent veterinary and farriery treatment). She is on the expert panel of contributors in Horse and Rider magazine, a leading equestrian monthly publication.

She is also experienced in travel law cases including accidents abroad and application of the EC Regulation 261/2004 on cancellation of flights and denial of boarding, and application of the Package Travel Regulations.

Helen is fluent in Spanish and is experienced in advising on quantum of damages in accordance with Spanish law.

Helen has experience representing parties at CICA appeals. She has also represented parties at a number of inquests.

Helen is highly experienced in claims involving credit hire. She acts for both Claimants and Defendants, and has particular expertise in matters involving fleet vehicles. Helen is regularly instructed on both fast and multi track claims for credit hire all over the country. Having been instructed on a significant number of cases, Helen is very experienced in dealing with cases involving enforceability disputes, defects in the credit hire agreements, and application of the Regulations.

Personal Information

Helen is a keen horse rider and regularly competes with her horse Albert. She has also obtained a number of equine qualifications through both the BHS and the ABRS, as well as a certificate in equine nutrition.

Helen is fluent in Spanish and has an extensive knowledge of the Peruvian justice system. She has also previously been involved in the translation of legal documents, statutes and case law.

Helen has also written papers on legal and social issues which were the subject of discussion at international symposiums.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Animal Law (including Equine Law)
  • Credit Hire
  • Occupiers’ Liability
  • Employers’ Liability
  • CICA Appeals
  • Industrial Disease
  •  Armed Forces Compensation Claims
  • Inquests
  • Travel Law
  •  Costs 
  • Applications (set aside, relief from sanctions etc)
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Professional Negligence

Notable Cases

  • Re RH – successful CICA appeal where the case had previously been refused on the basis that the applicant had failed to cooperate with the police following his injury
  • Successfully represented the owner of a horse which kicked a car while being ridden on the road.
  • GS v Darren Kennett & HWK Contractors Limited – successfully represented the Claimant in the liability trial in his claim for personal injuries following an accident at work, in which his employer ran over his foot with a 5 tonne excavator. At the trial on quantum obtained judgment for around £1 million.  Instructions received through the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
  • Rhodes v Bourne Leisure – Successfully represented a Claimant who had fallen from a grass verge at a holiday park, suffering a head injury, in her claim for personal injuries. The first instance decision, finding primary liability rested with the Defendant holiday park company, was upheld at appeal before HHJ Platts. Helen represented the Claimant at both first instance and the appeal.
  • Young v Maltby Colliery 

     successfully represented the Claimant in the trial on limitation in respect of his claim for damages for noise induced hearing loss.

  • Successfully defended a veterinary practice against a claim for professional negligence in relation to whelping puppies.
  • EB v Plus Seguro –  Advised on quantum according to Spanish Law following a road traffic accident in Spain.

Helen is frequently instructed on fast track and multi track cases involving credit hire, and has successfully argued issues of misrepresentation and enforceability of contracts for credit hire. She has a particular interest in cases involving damaged fleet vehicles.

Helen contributes to Westlaw: Insight on the subject of Credit Hire.


Represented the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road traffic accident involving a motorcycle, with issues of encroachment into the opposing lane and speed.

Represented the driver of a lorry involved in a fatal head-on collision in an inquest which included consideration of written and oral medical evidence.


  • Fraud and Fundamental Dishonesty – Zenith Chambers PI Update October 2017
  • Animal Law – Zenith Chambers PI update October 2015
  • Employers’ Liability – Zenith Chambers Wine and Wisdom series 2014
  • General Damages Update – Rudding Park PI Update October 2013
  • General Damages post-Jackson ­ - Rudding Park Jackson Seminar April 2013
  • Animal Claims – Rudding Park PI Update October 2012
  • RTA Update – Rudding Park PI Update October 2012

Helen has also delivered seminars to local equestrian businesses and agricultural colleges on all aspects of equine and agricultural law.

Helen has delivered a number of individually-tailored seminars in house at solicitors’ firms on topics including travel law, animal law, pedestrian claims, loss of earnings and armed forces compensation claims.

Helen Rutherford


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'A first-rate advocate.'

Legal 500 (2020)