Robert Smallwood > Chambers of Adrian Keeling KC and Jonathan Jones KC > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Adrian Keeling KC and Jonathan Jones KC
No5 Barristers' Chambers
B4 6DR

Work Department

Personal Injury, Serious Injury and Clinical Negligence.


Robert practices exclusively in the fields of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, acting for Claimants and Defendants on an approximate equal basis.
Robert’s caseload is almost exclusively in cases of the utmost severity or those with complex liability and causation issues.
Over the past 12 months he has acted in cases involving:
• Traumatic brain injury, including subtle brain injury and dispute over capacity;
• Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder;
• Non-epileptic Attack Disorder;
• Serious spinal injury;
• Concussive injury sustained in sport;
• Limb paralysis;
• Limb amputation;
• Disabling Pain Disorders;
• Fatal Accident claims with complex dependency issues;
• Vicarious liability, including cases involving for physical and/or sexual abuse;
• Cases involving complex quantum issues and/or the need for forensic accountancy evidence;
• Cases involving a loss of chance;
• Clinical Negligence;
• Fundamental Dishonesty;
• Inquests.
Robert also lectures to solicitors and insurance clients on all aspects of personal injury litigation and recent developments.


W – RTA. Cyclist riding across a road against traffic lights at night struck by speeding vehicle. Estimated value £20M+. Severe brain injury and below knee amputation. Liability compromised 57.5% in favour of cyclist. Quantum remains in dispute.
L- RTA. Pedestrian struck by police vehicle on emergency call. Liability compromised 72.5/27.5 in favour of pedestrian. Settled for £3.3M+.
E- RTA. 5 day liability trial against driver and highway authority. 100% liability established against driver. Subtle brain and severe orthopaedic injuries. Case settled for £1.4M.
S – RTA. Complex brain injury with significant personality disorder. Dispute as to whether C has capacity. Value estimated £4M.
R – EL. Crushing injury by reversing excavator. Liability and quantum in dispute. Value £1M+.
S- CICA award of £500,000 (maximum) for a minor who had been subject to physical and mental abuse which had materially contributed to his neurological and psychiatric conditions.
H – RTA. Tetraplegic with significant brain injury. Defendant arguing ‘Act of God’. £9.4M settlement.
F – RTA. Brain injury with complex personality issues.£5M settlement.
B – RTA. Brain injury after falling from bonnet of father’s car. Value £1M+.
G – OLA. C slipped down stairs in a nightclub. Brain injury. Case listed for 5 day liability trial and settled on 1st day. Value £3M.
T – Brain injury. ‘Loss of edge’ in running family business. Settled £1M+.
L – Quadraplegic case. 5 day liability trial. £2.5M settlement.

W – Brain injury with complex personality disorder and capacity issues. Value £3M +.

B – Complete brachial plexus injury with severe CRPS. Value £1M+.

T – Pain disorder arising out of road traffic accident. £750,000 settlement at JSM.
N RTA. Brain injury. Capacity dispute. Value £4M+.
S – OLA. Fall from Scaffolding. Brain injury. Liability in dispute. Pleaded £2M. Settled for £300,000.
R – EL. 7 day trial in 2020. Teacher missed chair when sitting down as it had been moved by a pupil. Liability and quantum (£700,000) in dispute. Claim dismissed.
B – RTA. Cyclist v car. Liability in dispute- listed for 4 day liability trial in October 2020. Brain injury. Capacity in issue. Est value £5M+
J. RTA. Pedestrian walked from behind a bus. Liability in dispute. Brain injury. Est value £5M+.
S – Fatal claim. Value £1.5M. High dependency %. Several loss of chance businesses claimed.
B – EL. Fall from scaffolding. Pelvic injuries. Value £1M+.
A – EL case listed for 5 days. C discontinued claim a few days before trial. Despite the Claimant undergoing back surgery D made a successful application for finding of fundamental dishonesty.
C – Vicarious liability case. Assault by one security guard on another. Liability in dispute. Extension of VL principles. Case due for liability trial in 2021.
VARIOUS- Pain/Functional Neurological Disorder cases valued between £500,000-£3M
D – Loss of chance claim pleaded in excess of £800,000. Settled at JSM £150,000.

H – Brain injury at work. Case listed for 7 day trial. C discontinued in the week before trial.
B – Head injury claim pleaded in excess of £200,000. Liability admitted. Judgment: £2,000.

A – Construction site accident. Pleaded in excess of £200,000. Case dismissed after 4 day trial.
T – Trial listed for 7 days. Liability and fraud in issue. Claim pleaded at £400,000. Parties’ costs estimated at £1M. Claimant discontinued on the 4th day of trial.
S – Liability admitted. Claim pleaded in excess of £400,000. Awarded £16,000.
F – Liability admitted. Claim pleaded at £400,000+. 4 day trial with 6 medical experts. Claimant awarded £3,000 and ordered to pay D’s costs from a 2 year period prior to the Defendant’s first part 36 offer.
M – Claimant attempting to extend scope of vicariously liability in respect of an assault by a security guard. Listed for 3 days. Claim dismissed.

‘He combines excellent negotiation skills with a very good client manner and willingness to fight in difficult cases.’ ‘Regularly appears opposite silks without a leader’ ‘Tier 1’ Legal 500 2021

‘A particularly strong junior. Ranked Tier 1’ Legal 500 2020’

‘Hard-working and very good on serious claims.’ Chambers UK 2020

‘A junior handling the work of a silk’ Legal 500 2019

‘He’s very thorough with great attention to detail, and leaves no stone unturned. He is very personable and interacts well with clients. He spots the important issues early on and has an innovative approach to tricky cases’ Chambers UK 2019

‘He is very good with clients and has strong technical knowledge.’ Legal 500 2017

‘Has a crystal clear understanding of brain injury matters and is a first-choice junior’
Legal 500 2016

‘Meticulous in his paperwork, and very good on his feet’
Legal 500 2015

‘Very effective and good on detail’
Legal 500 2014

‘Thorough, determined, and incredibly bright’ ‘excellent on his feet and in conference’
Legal 500 2013


Called to the Bar 1994; lectures to solicitors and insurance clients on all aspects of personal injury litigation and recent developments.




LLB Hons.

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Personal injury

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Robert SmallwoodNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Robert is a phenomenal operator, capable of dealing with the highest value cases. He is always well prepared and provides comprehensive advice in terms that clients can understand. He is a tenacious advocate that leaves no stone unturned during cross-examination.’