Madeleine is also the national coordinator for mesh litigation due to her experience of handling a number of high profile claims against surgeon Anthony Dixon, which resulted in Thompsons becoming an industry leader on the issue.
Madeleine started her career in 1998 as a paralegal and trainee solicitor focusing on personal injury and medical negligence claims, gained solicitor status in 2000 and has worked exclusively on medical negligence claims since 2009.
Handling a diverse caseload made up of high-value claims, Madeleine often represents clients who have suffered brain injuries, including cerebral palsy, child birth injuries, amputations, orthopaedic injuries, cauda equina syndrome and mesh injuries.
Madeleine also works on behalf of stroke and cancer victims whose conditions have to failed to be diagnosed or been misdiagnosed, as well as for families of people who have died due to medical negligence.
Whether handling her own caseload, overseeing the work of junior solicitors and executives or carrying out the national mesh co-ordinator role, Madeleine’s focus is on making sure all cases are thoroughly investigated so that clients who have sustained a life-changing injury are awarded the utmost compensation.
In addition, Madeleine also makes sure that, where applicable, interim payments are secured for clients who require specialist care, accommodation or rehabilitation.
Madeleine is proud of Thompsons’ close links with the Labour movement and that the firm only works on behalf of those who have been injured. Madeleine’s favourite aspect of being a Thompsons solicitor is being able to support clients through what is often a harrowing and stressful period in their lives.
Madeleine is an accomplished sea rower who has competed in the World Gig Rowing Championships in the Isles of Scilly and encourages the next generation of sea rowers by coordinating her gig club’s youth team. Mum of two Madeleine also fundraises for, and supports, the Cerebral Palsy Plus charity where she has previously acted as chair and trustee.
The Chambers and Partners 2020 directory says Madeleine is “very thorough, personable and a real hard worker”, while the Bristol team Madeleine manages is lauded by the 2020 edition of Legal 500 as one that “fights hard for justice and is immensely popular with clients”.
The Legal 500 2021 edition also references the Bristol team, stating that “the ‘strong’ group is led by the ‘capable and experienced’ Madeleine Pinschof who co-ordinates the firm’s efforts in gynaecological mesh litigation.
"The group, under Pinschof’s leadership, which includes Sonia Fu, has substantial experience bringing claims against negligent surgeons and other healthcare professionals."
Madeleine's case experience
Mesh claims: Madeleine has overall supervision of over 100 clients who were operated on by surgeon Anthony Dixon, who is alleged to have botched operations where mesh was used, leaving individuals in extreme pain and suffering medical complications. Mr Dixon was a surgeon at the private Spire hospital in Bristol as well as at NHS Southmead hospital. Mr Dixon’s use of invasive mesh implants in surgery, including during Stapled Transanal Resection of the Rectum (STARR) and mesh rectoplexy operations, has been criticised. A number of patients have also alleged that Mr Dixon made inappropriate and lewd comments. The NHS North Bristol Trust claims are currently being handled through alternative dispute resolution.
Clinical negligence claim: Madeleine’s client underwent back surgery whereupon screws were placed in the incorrect position in her back. Whilst that was not necessarily negligent, in subsequent surgeries they were not revised. The client sustained foot drop and latterly became reliant on a wheelchair. During the course of the litigation further negligence was sustained when the client complained of neck pain and there was a delay in performing an MRI scan. Due to the client’s pre-existing back condition and co-morbidities, this was an extremely complicated case as the condition the client would have been in if she had not had the negligence occur needed to be established. The defendant admitted some responsibility but denied that she was reliant on a wheelchair due to their negligence. The case was settled for a significant six figure settlement which enabled the client to obtain suitable accommodation for her ongoing needs.
Delayed diagnosis claim: As a result of mistakes in pathology reporting, Madeleine’s client received a delayed diagnosis of leukaemia which caused her death in a very short period of time. Had she been diagnosed sooner she would have survived and been able to continue her teaching career. Her husband pursued a claim for her estate and a settlement was agreed at a joint settlement meeting. This resulted in damages of £225,000 which included a claim for lost income until her retirement.
Misdiagnosis claim: Radiology staff misread an x-ray of Madeleines client’s hip after he presented to hospital with hip pain when he was 12-years-old. X-rays showed a slipped upper femoral epiphysis to his left hip, a condition that results in the thighbone slipping out of the hip socket, but were misread. The man’s condition was only diagnosed years later, resulting in him developing a disability and facing needing a hip replacement by the time he is 40. Madeleine secured £125,000 in compensation for her 22-year-old client.
Madeleine is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel.
Madeleine’s former client said: “Thank you for agreeing to take on the case. Thank you for persevering despite the complexities. Thank you for understanding and dealing with my frustrations along the way. I needed someone to help be my voice and you did that for me."
Another of Madeleine’s former clients said: “I would just like to thank you for the determination and hard work on behalf of my daughter. Those early days, weeks and months following her diagnosis were so, so difficult for us all as [she] progressed through treatment and into the unknown. Your perseverance, understanding and sympathetic handling of her case helped the family and of course [her] immensely. [She] is now starting to enjoy life, relax a little and continues to be a great mummy and wonderful wife. I would like to give some money to a charity of your choice, perhaps you could."