Claims about a rising litigation rate, particularly in obstetrics, have allegedly fuelled fears of worsening relationships between obstetricians and midwives. Interviews with a number of practitioners, and others concerned with medical litigation, provided differing views about these assertions. While the fear of litigation is one element, it is probable that other often personal factors may play a part. The overall tone of the interviews, however, suggested a significant degree of tension between obstetric and midwifery practitioners. The changing role of the midwife in contemporary maternity care also brings fresh challenges in developing healthy interprofessional relationships. At a time when litigation is believed to be ever-increasing, the existence of poor work relationships in this multi-disciplinary field may be critical.