Silk with a nationwide practice conducting the highest level of catastrophic injury claims in terms of complexity and value e.g. 10m+ (pre- Discount Rate review). At any one time he has conduct of multiple ongoing catastrophic brain and spinal injury, amputation and cerebral palsy/neonatal claims, particularly those involving complex medical and causation issues and issues relating to CCG/Local Authority statutory funding and PPOs. He works nationally for both claimants and defendants, both at first instance and to the Court of Appeal and regularly works with leading provincial and London solicitors and national defendant insurer firms.
Chris is Head of the Clinical Negligence Group at No5 and is involved with national organisations such as AvMA, Headway and the Spinal Injuries Association. He took Silk in 2009 and in the same year was awarded the Birmingham Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year” Award. He is a member of PIBA and regularly lectures to solicitors and medico-legal organisations upon subjects such as litigating catastrophic head/spinal injury, amputation and cerebral palsy claims, the use of experts and periodical payments and CCG/local authority funding.
“He has a brain the size of a planet.” “He is very thorough and very technically accurate.” “Tactically astute and a poised advocate.”
Chambers UK 2020
“Always extremely well-prepared and on top of all the issues.”
Legal 500 2020
“He’s able to marshal the facts of the most complex of cases and provide practical advice in all circumstances.” “He takes a very thorough approach, he’s tactically very switched-on and is very methodical in his preparation.”
Chambers UK 2019
“He combines a logical approach with excellent client care skills.”
Legal 500 2019
“Very attentive to detail. He adopts a thorough approach and is well liked and respected.” “Very knowledgeable. He is clear and concise, but of utmost importance to clients are his compassion, interest and bedside manner.”
Chambers UK 2018
“His attention to detail is exemplary.”
Legal 500 2017
“He is able to marshal the facts of the most complex of cases and provide practical advice in all circumstances. He is a model of clarity in court and is able to relate well to clients. Chris is very well organised and has a methodical approach. He is meticulous.”
Chambers UK 2017
“Very good with clients, approachable and friendly, while providing clear and firm advice.”
Legal 500 2016
“He is very knowledgeable, communicative and client-focused. He has got a good bedside manner with clients.”
Chambers UK 2016
Re: M El D.
Lump sum of GBP 3.625m gross and an unusual and complex PPO of GBP 250,000 pa for care/case management in the UK, GBP 175,000 in Egypt, GBP 125,000 in Libya, GBP 110,000 in Tunisia etc. Lump sum equivalent GBP 12m+. (Complex TBI claim involving a Libyan national on holiday in the UK. International expert evidence obtained/immigration case run in parallel).
Lump sum of GBP 2.5m and PPO of GBP 230,000 pa (Post-RTA catastrophic brain injury with complex issues around continuity of PCT funding, double recovery and the necessary reverse indemnities).
Lump sum of GBP 2.5m with no Peters’ undertaking thereby preserving PCT funding of GBP 68,000 pa (Householder suffering TBI in his garden due to a falling tree branch, liability keenly disputed. Approved settlement based upon assessments of security of CCG/local authority funding and clinical, residential and care needs).
Approved lump sum of GBP 12m (Acting for the Defendant in an RTA involving a catastrophic TBI to a teenager with a near-normal life expectancy, resulting in complex physical, cognitive, behavioural and dysexecutive deficits, including issues of gender dysphoria/identity issues, mandating 24-hour care for his safety and that of others. Favourable (pre- Discount Rate review) lump sum settlement of GBP 12m agreed by insurers/re insurers in order to avoid a PPO for care/case management of c. GBP 200,000 pa and neuropsychological, therapeutic, accommodation and Court of Protection/Deputyship costs for life).
Lump sum settlement of GBP 3.25m (Acting for the Defendant in a RTA claim re a motorcyclist who suffered CRPS rendering his dominant right arm functionally useless, along with a severe psychiatric condition. Involvement of the Court of Protection in concluding, very exceptionally that the Claimant had capacity to undergo an amputation in January 2015. Very complex issues on causation, prosthetics use and take up of care).
Lump sum award of GBP 700,000+ and periodical payments of GBP 100,000+ per annum (post-RTA brain injury/approved settlement/young claimant with a near-normal life expectancy).
Approval of a GBP 1.6m discounted lump sum settlement, GBP 2.64m at 100% (RTA brain injury to a teenager who stepped onto a dual carriageway with recovery of 60% in the Claimant’s favour. Multiple issues on levels of independence, accommodation and take-up of care/case management due to the Claimant’s ethnicity and supportive extended family. Religious considerations in relation to interest accruing and devotional giving to the poor).
GBP 2.4m (Serious spinal cord injury to 32 year old Polish male Claimant cyclist. Provisional damages award due to the risk of a syrinx. Issues around the cost of/take-up of care in Poland, future deterioration (including upper limb musculoskeletal problems) and full-time wheelchair use, comparative life expectancy in England/Poland (Professor Strauss involved). Polish financial/tax advice necessary in order to achieve a declaration of exemption from tax in Poland. Award included the capital cost and replacement costs for an Exoskeleton).
GBP 4.25m (Complex post-RTA brain injury with difficult issues on provision of accommodation and periodical payments, in particular upon the Defendant insurer’s ability or inability to give reasonable security for continuity of payments pursuant to section 2(3) of the Damages Act 1996 as amended).
GBP 3m (brain damage to pedestrian following collision).
(Life changing spinal injury on unusual facts when, during dancing the Claimant’s then partner lifted her and dropped her on her neck causing a spinal fracture and paralysis. Challenging issues on liability as ‘horseplay’ accidents usually occur in an employment scenario. Claim argued on a number of authorities and succeeded, liability conceded. Proceeding on quantum).
Approved settlement of GBP 750,000/1m gross with preservation of extensive statutory funding (Severe post-RTA brain injury to a Claimant in a minimally conscious (and arguably vegetative) state requiring 24 hour care. Liability keenly disputed, D2 as Article 75 Insurer having gained declaration voiding insurance policy due to D1’s non-disclosure. Favourable settlement of 75% of damages to be assessed, including all indemnity issues (ex turpi causa due to illegal racing/alleged knowledge of non-insurance), and contributory negligence (alleged knowledge of alcohol consumption/non-seatbelt use).
GBP 1.4m (Complex claim in which a promising IT consultant was assaulted both inside and outside a public house, knocked unconscious into the road and then run over, causing severe head and bodily injuries. Issues of liability, foreseeability, contributory negligence and causation).
Recorder - Crown and County Courts
Bencher of Gray’s Inn
BA (Hons) Law/Politics (Durham)