John Coughlan KC

Viewing: Serious Injury for John Coughlan KC

Appointed to silk in March 2021, John is looking forward to establishing a busy and successful practice as Leading Counsel.
John practises exclusively in clinical negligence and serious personal injury cases, acting for Claimants and Defendants.
John has over the course of his practice acquired significant experience ranging from the straightforward road traffic accident, highways trips, civil fraud and accidents at work, to high value and complicated claims involving head and spinal injuries, group litigation and occupational disease. His clinical negligence experience renders him particularly adept in addressing issues of causation and cases involving multiple tortfeasors. Across the years, John has also acquired extensive experience of appearing before Coroners and in Criminal Injuries Compensation hearings.
John’s personal injury practice is now focused on high value fatal accidents and catastrophic injury cases, principally relating to brain and spinal injury, but including serious orthopaedic injury (including amputation), severe burns, sensory loss and psychiatric injury. John is also heavily instructed in Fatal Accidents Act claims.
Many of his cases involve multiple Defendants, and he is skilled at exploring and distilling complex issues of causation and quantum. Many of his cases involve consideration of periodical payments, accommodation issues and statutory funding.
John is often instructed in cases where serious personal injury has been followed and worsened by medical mishap.
John is particularly adept handling expert witnesses in conference and at Trial and enjoys working closely with the solicitor client on difficult cases. He is regularly commended for his client care skills.
John is consistently recommended in the directories and has in recent years achieved Top Ranked status from Chambers UK Bar and Leading Individual Tier 1 status from Legal 500.
"John’s strengths are his attention to detail, practical advice, and view of the bigger picture. He is a fantastic advocate, calm and measured whilst getting his points across skillfully. He is also very good with witnesses, putting them at ease and very approachable. Overall, he is a very safe pair of hands."
Legal 500 2023 - Clinical Negligence
“He is responsive, meticulous in his written work and unflappable in court.”
Chambers UK 2022 - Clinical Negligence
“Fantastic level of attention to detail, excellent client care skills and sublime advocacy skills at Trial or hearing. One of the best in his field.”
Legal 500 2022 - Clinical Negligence
“A very insightful barrister - he is calm, measured and gets to the heart of issues quickly.” “An undoubted talent. His advice is first-class and he can be relied upon to produce the very best results possible, regardless of value and complexity. He is an extremely talented advocate and his attention to detail is second to none.”
Chambers UK 2021 - Clinical Negligence
“A formidable advocate with razor-sharp knowledge and excellent client care skills with catastrophically injured clients.”
Legal 500 2021 - Clinical Negligence
“He is an absolutely standout barrister who can turn around any kind of case.” “He is able to advise clients in very technical issues in a concise, straightforward manner.” “He has a brilliant manner with clients and has an aura which makes all of those involved feel at ease.”
Chambers UK 2020
“An extremely diligent barrister with a keen eye for the details.”
Legal 500 2020
Notable Cases
SA v UHBNHST [2020] EWHC 3384 QB
Acting for Defendant at Trial and in High Court appeal covering many aspects of the law on limitation, including detailed analysis of the application of the s.33 discretion in clinical negligence cases
KJ v LM Ltd [Feb 2020]
Acting for Claimant in complex somatoform disorder case arising from RTA for several years before achieving successful settlement for £400,000 at JSM
NK v EUI Ltd [Aug 2019]
Acting for Claimant in multiple orthopaedic injuries claim arising from RTA with uncertainty surrounding prognosis and earnings claims. Settled for £300,000
Re DM (December 2018)
Acting for Claimant in a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising from a tragic road traffic accident in which mother and daughter killed. Claim settled at JSM for 280,000
KH v Dudley Group of Hospitals NHSFT (August 2018)
Acting for the Defendant in achieving a nuisance value settlement in a claim pleaded to 2m. Issues of surgical negligence interwoven with allegations of historic sexual abuse
SJ v New Street Autos (March 2018)
Acting for Claimant who suffered severe burns injuries at work. Liability and employment issue disputed, but resolved at JSM for 250,000
JM v (1) Utopia Bathrooms (2) University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (3) GA (4) Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust (February 2018)
Acting for two Defendant Trusts in a mixed personal injury and clinical negligence claim, concluded at mediation for gross damages of 950,000
Re IM (May 2015)
Acting for the Claimant in a personal injury claim arising from brain injury acquired in a road traffic accident. Contributory negligence in play, and the Claimant’s capacity fluctuated. Settlement achieved at JSM for damages of 750,000 plus index-linked PPOs for care
MG v BH and others (March 2014)
Acting for the Claimant in a case where one effect of the accident was to prolong the protected party Claimant’s life expectation. Settled at JSM for damages of 1m gross of contributory negligence
Re VC (2011)
Acting for the Claimant with Leading Counsel. The Claimant was caused catastrophic injuries in a road traffic accident caused by her aunt. There were significant issues of contributory negligence (seatbelt and alcohol) and a vast array of medical and other expert evidence. Settled at JSM for damages of 2.675m
Re PD (2010)
Acting for the Claimant with Leading Counsel. 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. Settled at JSM for damages of 1.4m
Carver v BAA [2008] EWCA Civ 412
Appearing below and in the Court of Appeal in controversial case relating to Part 36 Offers
Powertrain Group Litigation (2008-10) with Leading Counsel
Group litigation on behalf of former employees of Powertrain at the Longbridge car plant, Birmingham who claimed damages for respiratory disease caused by exposure to contaminated coolant oil
Collins v Tesco [2008] EWCA Civ 1308
Court of Appeal guidance in relation to the approach to knowledge under Limitation Act 1980 s.14
Queen’s Counsel (2021)
Director and Member of Chambers Management Committee, No5 Barristers’ Chambers
Advocacy Trainer, Midland Circuit
Midland Circuit
Personal Injuries Bar Association
BCL (Oxon) 1998
LLB (Hons) (Bris) 1997

Latest News & Publications

This video discusses the decision with John Coughlan QC, Jamie Gamble, Rebecca Livesey and Imogen Halstead...

Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2021