Viewing: Cancer for John Coughlan QC

Over the course of his career, and acting for both sides, John has conducted many (often tragic) claims arising from delays in the investigation and management of cancer.
In such cases, the focus is often on causation and likely outcome in the presence of reasonable care, requiring sensitive and adept handling of expert witnesses and client care.
John’s current workload includes many similar cases to those described below, often involving the loss of a young parent or a substantial loss of life expectancy. John has fought several cases in respect of avoidable radiotherapy injury.
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.
“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
“He stands out for his attention to detail, willingness to be proactive and practical as well as his sympathetic manner with clients.”
Chambers UK 2019
“A standout performer”
Legal 500 2019
“Very good with clients, and on technical issues he is second to none. He is efficient and measured with a calm exterior whilst being a shrewd and skilled advocate. He tells it like it is, and his advice is brilliant”
Chambers UK 2018
“A methodical lawyer with a tenacious approach”
Legal 500 2017
“No-one can beat him when it comes to detail. Exceptionally sharp but also has a way of making clients feel utterly at ease. He is a fantastic litigator, always prepared and incredibly pragmatic with real tactical nous. John is a very astute practitioner. He is a really good negotiator.”
Chambers UK 2017
“A fantastic barrister, who achieves exceptional results”
Legal 500 2016
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
SA v ABNHST [Nov 2020]
Acting for family of deceased who died from rectal carcinoma resulting from failures in treatment and monitoring of a rectal stump left post-colectomy. Liability disputed but case resolved at JSM for £950,000.
MW v a Trust [Jan 2019]
Acting for Defendant in missed cervical cancer case resulting in early hysterectomy and early menopause. Schedule of £1m+ reduced to £415,000 for settlement
Re KC (October 2018)
Acting on behalf of the Claimant in a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising from cancer treatment delay and consequent death of a young mother. Multiple medical Defendants persuaded to settle the claim for damages of 700,000
Re KMA (September 2018)
Acting on behalf of Claimant and his young daughter following the death of his wife from ovarian cancer. The Trust admitted its failure to follow up an incidental finding of ovarian cyst during a pregnancy scan, resulting in an eighteen-month delay in diagnosis and allowing the disease to metastasise. Settled at JSM for 600,000
Re KS (July 2018)
Advising and acting at JSM for Defendant Trust in case arising from death of young mother from cancer. Case pleaded in excess of 500,000 settled at JSM for 165,000
Re CC (May 2018)
Acting for the Claimant in a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising from cancer treatment delay resulting in death of young mother. Damages 780,000
Re NE (May 2018)
Advising and acting at JSM for Defendant Trust in claim arising from death of Consultant Gynaecologist from rectal cancer following failures to follow up earlier treatment. Settled at JSM for 1.1m
CT v Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 3244
Acting for the Defendant Trust at Trial, successfully defended a Fatal Accidents Act claim arising from alleged delay in investigating signs of oesophageal cancer
Re SG (May 2017)
Advising the Claimant and his three young children in claim arising from the tragic early death of his wife from cervical cancer, the early signs of which were missed on negligently reported smears. 500,000 damages
TC v University Hospitals of North Staffordshire NHST (October 2016)
Acting for the Claimant in a claim arising from failure to diagnose and manage plasmacytoma in hip, resulting in substantial growth and requirement for more extensive and damaging treatment, and metastatic disease. Settled at JSM for damages of 1.2m
Carver v BAA [2008] EWCA Civ 412
Appearing below and in the Court of Appeal in controversial case relating to Part 36 Offers
Collins v Tesco [2003] EWCA Civ 1308
Court of Appeal guidance in relation to the approach to knowledge under Limitation Act 1980 s.14
Queen’s Counsel (forthcoming, 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