12 King's Bench Walk continues to 'lead the way in personal injury and disease litigation'. This 'phenomenal set' is known for attracting 'established practitioners specialising in historic disease claims', and remains the 'go-to for asbestos-related illness work'. 'Chambers lead the way in mesothelioma claims and with Michael Rawlinson QC and Harry Steinberg QC supporting the juniors as they move through the ranks, they are all highly knowledgeable or know who to bring into a case and at what stage if required'. William Audland QC represented the defendant in the Supreme Court case X v Kuoni, a claim for damages incurred due to the rape of the claimant by an employee of the Sri Lankan Hotel where she was staying while on a package holiday, which raises issues of breach of contract and vicarious liability. Also of note, Marcus Dignum took silk in 2020. The future of chambers looks bright with James Beeton highlighted as a rising star of the PI Bar.
Personal injury, industrial disease and insurance fraud in London Bar
39 Essex Chambers is an 'elite set for personal injury work' which offers 'some of the best counsel both at junior and silk level'. Members of this 'polished and professional set' are 'regularly seen in difficult international injury cases', as well as acting in catastrophic injury cases, and, increasingly, historical abuse claims. Neil Block QC represents the defendant in the largest group personal injury case of its kind, which involves a claim by 42,000 Kenyans against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Block QC also continues to advise several high-profile individuals on allegations of historic abuse.
9 Gough Chambers is a 'leading set for personal injury with an enviable reputation' which 'has successfully attracted barristers who are exceptionally good and yet truly approachable'. This 'fantastic set' offers 'unparalleled expertise' across 'the full spectrum of cases', with a particular focus on representing claimants in serious brain and spinal injury matters, along with severe psychological injuries. Andrew Ritchie QC is representing all the claimants in Richards & 83 others v TUI, following the attack in Tunisia in which 34 British citizens were murdered by a lone gunman. Industrial disease is another key area of expertise for this set, as illustrated by John Foy QC's involvement with Beall v Euro Construction Scaffolding Ltd, a fatal asbestos exposure case.
With its 'strong track record of recruiting highly talented individuals at the junior end', the 'consistently excellent' 2 Temple Gardens offers 'an excellent range of barristers at all levels', who have 'their own particular strengths and specialities'. These include Marie Louise Kinsler QC, who has particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional matters and is instructed on behalf of the claimant Zambian citizens in the landmark Supreme Court case Lungowe and Others v Vedanta Resources plc, which examines the the jurisdiction of the English court to hear a claim against a UK-domiciled parent company in relation to alleged environmental abuses and personal injury abroad.
Crown Office Chambers is the 'go-to set in London for key insurer clients' due to its 'unrivalled expertise in the field of occupational disease' and its reputation as 'the leading defendant personal injury set'. In an illustration of this, David Platt QC is instructed for the defendant in Westgate v British Airways, a primary claim alleging that neurotoxic injury and death was caused by the composition of cockpit cabin air, which now proceeds as part of a group litigation consisting of over 200 claims against five airlines. Paul Higgins, who recently joined the set from Deans Court Chambers, offers particular expertise in fraudulent matters.
Devereux has 'a wealth of experience in personal injury and industrial disease' and offers 'superb barristers at every level', showing particularly 'significant strength and depth in the field of catastrophic injury claims'. Robert Weir QC was successful for the claimant, the chair of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum, in the Supreme Court in Dring v Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd. Weir QC's other recent highlights include representing an insurer claimant in the Court of Appeal case Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co. v Khan, which challenges the sentence handed down to a medical expert held guilty for contempt of court.
Outer Temple Chambers' 'excellent reputation' comes from its 'huge breadth of expertise relating to accident and injury types', along with its offering of a 'great number of silks at the top of their game' and 'juniors who complete work well beyond their call'. The set is also valued for showing 'particular capability in the less mainstream work areas', including equestrian claims, which are a particular specialism of Jonathan Hand QC, and historical abuse matters, which are frequently handled by James Counsell QC. In other highlights, Gerard McDermott QC continues to act for over 200 claimants following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Matthew Phillips QC is noted for his industrial disease expertise, specifically asbestos-related claims. At the junior end, Ben Bradley is noted for his expertise in both historical abuse and catastrophic injury cases.
Practitioners at 1 Chancery Lane are regarded as specialists in several key areas of personal injury work, in particular, it offers 'experts in local authority litigation' and 'unrivalled senior juniors doing travel injury work'. The former focus is illustrated by Edward Faulks QC and Paul Stagg's recent involvement with the Supreme Court case CN v Poole BC, which examines whether social workers owe duties of care to children in investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. Faulks QC also acted in the important vicarious liability case Barclays Bank v Various Claimants.
Temple Garden Chambers is a 'great set with an abundance of talented barristers' who are also 'approachable, professional and very well organised'. As well as acting in all areas of personal injury law, including subtle brain injuries and chronic pain cases, practitioners of this set also have particular expertise in motor insurance fraud. Marcus Grant is representing the claimant in Mustard v Flower & Flower & Direct Line Group, which centres around the admissibility of covert recordings in injury claims. Also of note, Dominic Adamson QC is a recent silk appointment.
7BR offers a 'good depth of counsel' who match 'technical expertise' with 'a friendly but forthright attitude'. This 'fantastic set' is well regarded for 'a variety of specialisms', ranging from maximum severity brain and spinal injury claims to historical abuse work. For military personal injury cases, Timothy Meakin is the key name to note, while sports injuries are an area of particular focus for Jeremy Pendlebury. In a recent example of the group action cases which the also set handles, Simeon Maskrey QC is acting in Ian Chown v Ministry of Defence, which examines the use of the anti-malarial drug Lariam.
Old Square Chambers has 'a reputation for able and honourable barristers', and the set has 'really bright sparks emerging especially in the younger generation'. As well as handling catastrophic injury claims, practitioners are also instructed in international group litigation and psychiatric injury work. In addition, Paul Rose QC and Ben Collins QC have a particular focus on representing severely injured service personnel. Brian Cummins acts for the largest core participant group in the Infected Blood Inquiry, a significant statutory inquiry into the infection of a haemophiliac and other patients with contaminated blood products. Also at the junior end, the 'excellent' Charles Woodhouse is 'just about the best barrister in the PI business' and 'at the top of his game'.
The 'wealth of experienced and respected barristers' at 1 Crown Office Row have 'great collective knowledge'. This 'exceptional set' comprises both 'pre-eminent silks and very talented juniors' who provide expertise across the full gamut of personal injury work, particularly when dealing with quantum issues in catastrophic injury cases. Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC and Robert Kellar QC represent the claimants in the Supreme Court case Various Claimants v Barclays Bank, in which it is alleged that Barclays is vicariously liable for assaults committed by a general practitioner who was performing occupational health checks for the bank.
At 3 Hare Court, practitioners are particularly adept at handling travel-related and international personal injury matters. The set offers expertise in the full range of work, from fast track cases to the most substantial and complex disputes, involving serious head and spinal injuries, as well as catastrophic and fatal accidents. In recent work of note, Howard Stevens QC is representing the Hertz UK & Probus Insurance Company DAC, an interested party, in the London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attack inquest.
Gatehouse Chambers has a 'strong presence' and is 'a go-to set for personal injury of all types'. Practitioners are noted for their 'consistency, hard work and diligence', as well as their ability to come up with 'novel ideas to put the other side off guard'. Charles Bagot QC is instructed for the defendant in Hoff (a child) v Langley Design & Ors, a catastrophic brain injury claim valued at over £25m. Alongside dealing with a wide variety of injury work, including brain damage, fatalities, and Animals Act and Montreal Convention claims, the set also handles matters relating to fraud, where the key name to note is the 'very approachable' Gemma Witherington. The 'tenacious' Colm Nugent is earmarked as 'a future silk', while 'passionate advocate' Jasmine Murphy is highlighted as being able to 'discern a novel approach to most issues'.
Cloisters is a 'strong set' with a 'good reputation for personal injury work'. The 'experienced barristers' at this set are particularly skilled at dealing with complex liability and quantum issues. William Latimer-Sayer QC is instructed as lead counsel on Pandemrix multiparty action v GSK and the Department of Health, which over 80 claimants are bringing on the basis of injuries caused by the administration of the swine flu vaccination. In other highlights, Joel Donovan QC acts for the claimant in Hadley v LB Redbridge, a high-value workplace bullying case against a former teacher.
Farrar's Building has a 'long-established reputation for personal injury work' and offers 'a range of call and experience to suit the case', as well as 'an efficient and well-run clerking service'. Along with very high-value claims, the set also frequently handles matters relating to fundamental dishonesty and other fraudulent matters, and international group actions. Lee Evans regularly acts in catastrophic personal injury cases, with an emphasis on severe brain injuries, serious spinal injuries, and amputation and chronic pain cases. Occupational disease is a key focus for John Meredith-Hardy.