Photo of Brian McCluggage

Brian McCluggage

Year of call 1995, Middle Temple  

Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury, Insurance Law, Professional Negligence, Insurance Fraud

Personal Injury: Band 1
"Brian is an incredibly talented barrister who is highly regarded by solicitors and clients equally. His written work, attention to detail and ability to advocate is without equal."
"He is very impressive in his forensic approach and the way in which complex issues are tackled."
"His attention to detail is above and beyond."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Personal Injury:
"Brian has great attention to detail, has a good conference manner with lay and expert witnesses, is articulate, and prepares very helpful aid memoirs for conferences."

Legal 500 2024

Personal Injury - Northern (Bar):
"Brian is very good on his feet. He is very forensic and diligent."

Chambers and Partners 2023

Personal Injury:
"Brian is a fabulous legal mind with crystal clear thinking and an incisive approach to strategy. He has a breathtaking ability on his feet and is very calm under pressure; a pleasure to work with."

Legal 500 2023

Personal Injury - Northern Bar:
"He is really insightful and very forensic about the way he deals with a case. He is also brilliant on his feet." "He is exceptionally bright, a good strategist and very analytical."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Personal Injury:
"Adopts a very forensic approach. Incredibly thorough and knowledgeable. Advice is very measured and balanced, precisely what the client requires. You know you're on the right track."

Legal 500 2022

Personal Injury – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 1
"A good negotiator and excellent with clients." "An outstanding advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Personal Injury – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister Band 1
"A proper trial lawyer; he likes a contest in court and is very good on his feet. He knows which points to take and which to leave alone." "A standout senior junior."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Motor Insurance Fraud – All Circuits: Leading Barrister Band 2
"A genuine court advocate, who works tirelessly to get the right result and carefully selects the fights to pursue." "Widely respected and a phenomenally bright individual."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Personal Injury – Northern (Bar) Leading Junior
"Has a very good manner with clients and quickly gest to the nub of the claim"

Legal 500 2020

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence - ranked Tier 1
"An excellent court advocate."

Legal 500 2019

Personal Injury - Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 1)
"He is very measured, extremely clever and professional."
"He is a genuine trial advocate who really enjoys working on a case from preparation all the way through to a contest before the judge."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

Motor Insurance Fraud - All Circuits: Leading Barrister (Band 2)
"He gives very clear advice."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

"Particularly good at grasping the minute detail and seeing the bigger picture."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"Excellent. Really thorough, great with clients, very sensible and fantastic on his feet."

Chambers and Partners 2018

'His practice includes psychiatric injury cases.'

Legal 500, 2017

He is known for his involvement in high-value cases and those involving an element of insurance fraud. "Incredibly knowledgeable and highly reliable."

Chambers & Partners 2017

"Specialist personal injury and insurance practitioner with a strong track record of acting in high-value catastrophic injury claims. He is very familiar with cases that concern amputations, psychological damages and chronic pain conditions, and also acts in matters involving allegations of fraud or dishonesty. 'Pro-active, client-focused, professional and approachable.' 'He is a good, hard-working, competent opponent.'"

Chambers and Partners 2017

"A highly capable barrister recognised for his ability in high-value personal injury matters and alleged fraudulent claims. Commentators are quick to highlight his thorough approach and frank advice:
- ‘He is good to have on board if you know that there is a storm coming'.
- 'He is very tenacious; a real street fighter.’
- ‘He is always thorough and thinks outside the box.’"

Chambers & Partners, 2016

"Often instructed by high profile businesses and government departments to handle long, large-scale, or complex matters..."

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“very good and feisty”; "good attention to detail"

Legal 500, 2015 & 2016

“He is technically very good and his strategic advice is always spot-on.” “He is definitely leading the way, particularly in terms of complex fraud rings: he just gets it.” "He's a favourite because he gets results."

Chambers & Partners, 2015

"A very good junior on high-value claims."

Legal 500, 2014

"He's pragmatic, personable and proactive."

Chambers & Partners, 2014

"Has extensive experience in handling disability discrimination matters and regularly advises law firms in relation to employment issues."

Chambers & Partners, 2014

"is 'impressive with clients and experts'."

Legal 500, 2013

"Brian McCluggage has a broad practice which encompasses employment and insurance law alongside his personal injury caseload."

Chambers & Partners, 2013

"One commentator calls Brian McCluggage 'one of the very best senior juniors in the North. Praised for his 'fantastic communication skills', he mainly acts for government departments and corporate clients."

Chambers & Partners, 2013


Legal 500, 2012

"... one of the best juniors in Manchester"

Legal 500, 2012

"The 'absolutely superb' Brian McCluggage has established a thriving employment law practice alongside his personal injury work. His recent efforts include Keith Baker v Totesport, where he successfully defended bookmakers against a £500,000 DDA claim brought by a senior manager"

Chambers & Partners, 2012

"Brian McCluggage joins the rankings on the strength of praise for his 'steady hands on the tiller' in large PI cases. He also handles insurance and fraud cases"

Chambers & Partners, 2012

"9 St John Street's Brain McCluggage handles high value catastrophic claims and is one of the "best juniors in Manchester"

Legal 500, 2011

"Brilliant with clients and expert in conference, and always shows sound judgement"

Legal 500, 2011

"Brian McCluggage offers 'consistently excellent service' and impresses all who encounter him."

Chambers & Partners, 2009


Brian McCluggage

Brian McCluggage is a barrister specialising in catastrophic personal injury cases. He is Head of 9SJS Personal Injury Team. With extensive experience in handling cases where the pleaded value exceeds seven figures, Brian is well-equipped to act as sole counsel in cases valued at up to £15 million.

Brian's approach to evidential analysis and preparation is rigorous and he has a particular expertise in dealing with complex scientific and technical evidence. He enjoys working collaboratively with professional clients who share this philosophy as part of a team dedicated to achieving the best outcome for their clients.

Brian is a formidable advocate in the courtroom, adept at cross-examining both lay and expert witnesses, particularly when exposing inconsistencies and challenging evidence that seeks to obscure rather than clarify the issues. He is known for his robust and incisive approach to advocacy.


Brian's experience covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Liability disputes involving technical or scientific evidence, including complex road traffic matters, Occupier’s Liability Act, Highways Act, construction site and property-related accidents.
  • Brain injury cases from contested minor TBI to Minimally Conscious State and levels of trauma/disability between these extremes.
  • Amputation cases (both upper and lower limb).
  • Complex fatal cases, particularly those involving business interests and accountancy evidence.
  • High-value cases with the whiff of fraud.

The selection of concluded cases below from the last few years, many of which are reported, give a good flavour of Brian's practice.


  • JCA v. 1) CIC 2) MBD (2024) High Court, Manchester: settlement of brain injury/psychiatric case for £4.1m against Schedule of £14m as sole counsel against silk & junior. The primary issues in the case was causation of a treatment resistant severe schizophrenia – was it caused by brain injury or by genetic/drug induced reasons? If brain injury related, what care regime was appropriate given dangerous and unpredictable behaviour of the claimant?
  • Bennion v. Adventure Park Snowdonia Ltd [2023] EWHC 3334 (KB): 5 day High Court liability trial defending devastating tetraplegia case following a surfing accident in the UK’s first artificial surfing lagoon.
  • ABS v. LS & Esure (2023) High Court, Birmingham: settlement of serious brain and orthopaedic injury against a background of congenital physical issues and alcoholism. C left with cognitive deficits, limited use of right arm and aggravation of significant pre-existing knee problems. Life expectancy in issue. Settled for PPO on capitalised value of £3m against silk & junior.
  • McD v. B (2023) County Court, Manchester: liability success at trial on running down accident on Deansgate causing significant brain injury to a drunken undergraduate. Issue of law on the ‘counterfactual’ construction of the reasonable driver – D’s own PRT or the reasonable man’s PRT?
  • Sugden v. Cumbria County Council (2022): success in Highways Act case defeating claim by brain-injured cyclist riding into pothole. Judgment has implications for inspection regimes of rural local authorities, giving greater latitude to frequency of B roads.
  • H v. City of York Council (2022): amputation case settled at JSM against leading & junior counsel. Claim pitched at £4m, settled at under £2m.
  • BLA v. SAW (2022): serious brain injury case involving young woman who did not want excessive amounts of case management and rehabilitation foisted upon her by CM. Defendant was C’s partner giving rise to issues of relationship stability and contingencies. Issues over C solicitors approaching the insured without permission and applications to exclude evidence obtained. Settled for £2.25m.
  • Monks v. Connolly Scaffolding (2022): 5-day liability & quantum trial in Manchester County Court. C alleged brain and psychiatric injury after scaffolding accident, but only recovered £3,500 rather than the £1m claimed.
  • Hill v. Manchester Creative Academy (2022): success in employer’s/occupier's liability trial involving serious injury after tripping over parking stop in school car park.
  • Amdur v. Krylove (2021): 4 day trial involving claim by ‘celebrity psychic’ who alleged RTA had damaged his powers and earning capacity. FD found and claim dismissed after high octane trial.
  • LM v. PM (2020): settlement of brain damage claim for capitalised sum of £2.7 million involving hard fought dispute on numerous heads of claim, in particular on over-provision of therapies and support worker assistance.
  • Phillips v. Clayton Williams (2020): settlement and approval of seven figure Fatal Accident Act claim on behalf of family of PC David Phillips, the victim of manslaughter arising from a Liverpool police chase in which the heroic deceased was deliberately run over when deploying a ‘stinger’ to stop the defendant's vehicle.
  • Kore v. Brocklebank [2019] EWHC 3491 (Mr Justice Turner): appeal on Fatal Accident Act claim involving the meaning of section 2(3) of the 1976 Act. Does a claimant pre-action have representative status for all dependants?
  • JQ v. MOD (2019): settlement of birth injury clinical negligence case where claimant in his 20s who had managed conventional schooling suffered an organic personality disorder/anxiety leaving him unable to work or engage in activities outside his home. Claimant would not tolerate intervention but sought a 24 hour care regime. Settled for £2,250,000 lump sum plus £20,000 rising to £59,000 PPO.
  • Jackson v. Hilti UK Limited (2019) Leeds County Court, HHJ Gosnell. Defeating £1m+ chronic pain case on factual/medical causation. Dr Simpson vs Dr McDowell as pain experts.
  • Blake v. 1) Croasdale 2) Esure [2018] EWHC 1919 (QBD). Successful defence of alleged £3million brain damage case on basis of ex turpi causa.  Claimant was a passenger in a vehicle of alleged drug-dealers fleeing from the police.
  • Axa Insurance v. 1) Financial Claims Solutions 2) Aurangzaib [2018] EWCA Civ 1330. Leading authority on exemplary damages in the tort of deceit. Affirmed availability of exemplary damages where fraud against insurers in personal injury litigation.
  • Tuson v. Murphy [2018] EWCA Civ 1461. Court of Appeal authority on whether defendants can avoid the usual order where claimant guilty of malingering/fraud if Part 36 made with knowledge of the fraud. The underlying case reduced a seven-figure claim to five-figure sum.
  • Ford v. 1) Northern Rail  2) QBE Insurance [2018] EWHC 1417 (QBD): successful High Court appeal against finding for claimant at first instance in industrial disease case involving fraud. Replaced leading silk for purposes of the appeal.
  • Rhys Williams v. 1) McMurrays Haulage 2) WM Morrisons [2018] EWHC 2079 (QB).  Part 20 Claim between Defendants after catastrophic injury to Claimant’s hand and wrist.  Contribution claim unsuccessful but pursued on economic grounds after excellent settlement with claimant meaning trial was cost effective.
  • McHugh v. Okai-Koi [2017] EWHC 1346 (QBD): ex turpi causa, contributory negligence in high profile fatal case involving a road rage death in both tragic and unusual circumstances which gained national media attention Claim was for £1.5 million, not £250k as reported by the Standard.
  • Blake v. 1) Croasdale 2) Esure [2017] EWHC 1336 (QBD): a leading authority on resiling from admissions in cases involving change of value.
  • Select Car Rentals v. Esure Services Limited [2017] EWHC 1434 (QBD): leading authority on insurers’ ability to obtain third party costs orders against credit hire companies.
  • Shui v. University of Manchester [2018] ICR 77, Employment Appeal Tribunal decision exploring case management involving litigants-in-person suffering severe mental illness.
  • Hatfield v. 1) Drax & 2) SG Transport (2017) HHJ Belcher: liability dispute arising out of truck accident leading to amputation. £2 million claim dismissed
  • Jahan & Ali v. MIB 2015: fatal accident cases and nervous shock claims on behalf of families of victims killed in the 'Birmingham riots' in the summer of 2011.  Settled at JSM.
  • Express Solicitors v. Elite Insurance 2015: commercial litigation involving solicitors suing market leading ATE insurer for £500k unpaid indemnities.  Acted on behalf of the insurer defendant raising issues of breach of policy terms.  Counterclaimed in respect of unpaid premiums.  Settled on advantageous terms.
  • Lancashire Business Park fire litigation 2015: instructed on behalf of electricians defending claims for fire damage worth £30million by owners of property in Lancashire Business park. Clients paid out £2million by insurers through 'discharge of liability' clause and so effectively self-insured. Settled on basis that lay client came out with money left over. Some 20 parties involved.


Fee-paid Employment Judge (2010 to date)
A Panel, Attorney General's Panel for Civil Work ('Treasury Counsel') (2002 to 2023)
Barrister Member, Bar Disciplinary Tribunal (BTAS) (2017 to 2023)

Scholarships and Prizes

Middle Temple Fox Scholar


Personal Injury Bar Association
British Insurance Lawyers Association
Employment Lawyers Association


MA (Hons) Law, Cambridge University
LLM, University of Toronto

Prescribed Information

Mr McCluggage is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Mr McCluggage can be found here. Chambers take complaints seriously. A copy of the complaints procedure, which details the process and any time limits which may apply, can be found here. The Legal Ombudsman website provides decisions it has made about legal service providers, which can be accessed here.

Mr McCluggage's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Clerks contact details can be found here. Mr McCluggage undertakes court and ADR work on a fixed fee basis. Advisory work is most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed fees are available. Conditional Fee Agreement work will be considered in appropriate cases. Mr McCluggage will typically return paperwork within 21 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

Add Brian McCluggage's details to the 'Brochure Creator'

Nine St John Street Chambers 'Brochure Creator'. From here you are able to create a personlised PDF of profiles you have viewed while browsing the site, you can then download your brochure as a PDF to use on your PC, Tablet or print a hard copy.

Find a Barrister