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12 King's Bench Walk

Chambers of Paul Russell QC

Work 020 7583 0811
Fax 020 7583 7228
Bristol, London

Richard Methuen QC

Work 020 7583 0811
12 King's Bench Walk (Chambers of Paul Russell QC)


Richard Methuen specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence, and in professional negligence claims arising out of those areas of practice. He is recommended as a leading silk in ‘The Legal 500’ and in ‘Chambers and Partners’ where he described as ‘a superb operator with a direct approach’. Richard has a heavyweight personal injury practice. His strong specialist expertise, particularly in the areas of brain injuries, spinal injuries, sports injuries and occupational disease, is widely recognised. He is instructed on behalf of both claimants and defendants, and regularly acts for and against most major insurers, and in cases involving the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. He is highly regarded as a mediator. He is accredited by the ADR group and leads the 12 Mediation team. His success rate over the past two years exceeds 85%. He specialises in evaluative mediations. Since 2001, Richard has been an arbitrator appointed by the MIB to arbitrate claims under the Untraced Drivers Agreement. He is also a member of the Ogden Committee. Notable cases: Pankhurst v White [2010] EWCA Civ 1445 – consideration of a claimant’s entitlement to enhanced interest and costs under Part 36.14; Aktas v Adepta: Dixie v British Polythene [2010] EWCA Civ 1170 – a failure to serve proceedings in time is not an abuse of process and does not prevent a claimant invoking s33 of the Limitation Act in a second action; Pankhurst v White [2009] EWHC 1117 (QB) – MacDuff J – C4 tetraplegic – general damages £225k – very large accomodation claim held to be unreasonable – claim for loss of investment income failed; Cain v Francis [2008] EWCA Civ 1451 – Court of Appeal revisited the principles upon which courts should exercise their discretion under s33 of the Limitation Act; Sarwar v Ali [2007] EWHC 1255 (QB) – Lloyd-Jones J – claimants preference for a lump sum – periodical payments ordered for future care and earnings linked to indices other than the RPI; Taylor v Chesworth [2007] EWHC 1001 (QB) – Ramsey J – claimant’s preference for a lump sum – periodical payments ordered; Shelton v Jones (November 2005) – instructed in what was then thought to be the largest ever personal injury settlement at £15m; Thacker v Steeples and MIB (16 May 2005) Cox J – whether MIB a reasonably secure provider under the then new periodical payments regime; Masterman-Lister v Jewell [2003] 1 WLR 1511 – claimant who had compromised a personal injury claim 15 years before this trial sought to reopen it on the grounds of his mental capacity at the time of the compromise – Mental Health Act 1983 – definition of patient; Smith v White Knight Laundry [2002] 1 WLR 616 – limitation – restoration of company – whether cause of action against dissolved company accrues only on order restoring company to the register; Scutts v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (Court of Appeal May 2001) – duty of care owed by a police officer driving to an emergency; Van Oudenhoven [2000] 1 WLR 1413 – multipliers – what is a very exceptional case justifying a lower discount than 2.5% – Hodgson v Trapp – Dutch claimant subject to a harsher tax regime; O’mahoney v Joliffe [1999] PIQR P 149 – liability of MIB – when is a passenger using a vehicle; Cassin v London Borough of Bexley (Court of Appeal February 1999) – liability of Highway Authority for removal of traffic signs on police instructions prior to a demonstration; Wells v Wells [1999] 1AC 345 – House of Lords decision on multipliers; Armstrong v British Coal (Court of Appeal July 1998) – insurers estopped from contesting a second action; North East Shipyard Litigation – label given to a batch of test cases to determine the respective liabilities of shipyard employers on the one hand, and of the manufactures/sprayers of asbestos-related diseases amongst workers in the North East shipyards. Instructed on behalf of Turner and Newalls (third-party manufacturer/sprayer). Achieved settlement on the day of trial (November 1997); Gahan v Szerelmey [1996] 1 WLR 439 – dismissal for want of prosecution – financial prejudice; Ping v Letraset [1992] PIQR P 74 – number of plaintiffs claiming work related upper limb disorders; Matthews v Waltham Forest Health Authority (Pill J January 1991) – causation of cerebral palsy – birth asphyxia or genetically determined; Pitts v Hunt and MIB [1991] 1 QB 24 – Pillion passenger encouraging motor cyclist to drive dangerously after both had been drinking together – what duty of care owed by rider to passenger – defences of ex turpi and volenti – whether a finding 100% contrib sustainable.


Called 1972; silk 1997; head of chambers 2000-05; arbitrator under the untraced drivers’ agreements and under article 75, since 2001; recorder (civil and criminal) 2002 to date.


Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Council 1992-98; committee member PIBA; PNBA; Ogden Committee 2004 to date.

London Bar

Personal injury, industrial disease and insurance fraud

Within: Personal injury – Leading silks

Richard Methuen QC - 12 King's Bench WalkHe is very bright, professional and is able to cut through the unnecessary points.

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Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

Within: Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading silks

Richard Methuen QC - 12 King's Bench WalkHe has an excellent reputation in travel law and impresses with his technical knowledge.

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