Martina van der Leij

Called 2001

Martina’s practice encompasses a wide range of advocacy, both in the High Court and County courts with particular specialism in the fields of family work and personal injury/medical law. She also undertakes advisory work, particularly in relation to clinical negligence and personal injury. Martina accepts work funded by CFA on a case by case basis, and also accepts instructions under direct access.

If you would like any further information regarding Martina van der Leij’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Personal injury & medical law

Martina acts for a wide range of clients, including local authorities, companies, insurers and individuals. She regularly deals with Fast and Multi Track personal injury claims and is an experienced trial advocate.  She acts for both Claimants and Defendants in all areas of personal injury litigation including employers’ liability, tripping, slipping and occupiers’ liability claims, road traffic (including issues relating to credit hire and fraud), inquests and infant settlements.

CFA funded work is undertaken by arrangement.

Notable case
  • Tomer v Atlantic Cleaning Service Ltd & Anor (2008) EWHC 1652 (QB) – Claim for damages after a workplace accident struck out
Professional negligence

Martina has experience in negligence claims in particular those involving a medical component, including cosmetic surgery, Erb’s palsy and care home claims.  She was recently involved in settling a claim on behalf of a child against a local authority for a non-accidental injury sustained when the child was returned to the care of her heroin addicted parents.

Family & children

Martina is regularly instructed to advise and represent local authorities, parents and children in often complex and sensitive public law proceedings involving allegations of non-accidental (unexplained) injuries and sexual abuse of children.

She also regularly represents parents in private proceedings involving disputes over contact, residence, removal from the jurisdiction

Financial provision

Martina has acted and advised in a broad range of ancillary relief matters, including more complex cases involving interveners, insolvency, or company assets  She is also instructed in cases dealing with financial provision for children, cohabitation and civil partnership disputes.  She has advised on pre-nuptial agreements.

Martina has appeared in a number of contested divorces and nullity proceedings, as well as declarations as to the validity of foreign marriages.

Additional information

Before coming to the Bar, Martina worked as a scientist in both academia and industry.  Her first degree was a joint major in Zoology and Botany, and she completed a Masters in Biotechnology in 1991.  She was awarded a PhD (biological sciences – membrane transport) by UCL in 1995.  In addition to carrying out research and field work in Africa and India, she worked in the Biodiscovery Division of Rhone Poulenc, and as a clinical scientist for a company conducting clinical trials, before retraining as a barrister.  In addition to her areas of work, she has an interest in all aspects of science and law, in particular genetics and ethics, and environmental issues.

Martina is a qualified Public Access barrister.



PhD (biological sciences) UCL 1995

Professional memberships
  • FLBA
  • PNBA
  • PIBA