Brian McCluggage

Brian McCluggage

Year of call:

1995, Middle Temple

Contact:

Brian McCluggage

Appointments:

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

Associations:

Personal Injury Bar Association
British Insurance Lawyers Association
Employment Lawyers Association

Education:

MA (Hons) Law, Cambridge University
LLM, University of Toronto
Middle Temple Fox Scholar

Brian McCluggage is instructed in complex personal injury and insurance/indemnity matters in the High Court or in cases of commensurate weight, ranging between £200,000 to £20,000,000 in value.  He works nationally and is regularly instructed in difficult liability disputes and matters involving complex expert medical and engineering evidence.

In personal injury work, his practice predominantly involves claims with life-changing or catastrophic consequences.  He is experienced with accommodation claims, care regimes and PPOs in the context of serious limb trauma, spinal injury, and brain damage claims.  These instructions are predominantly from insurers.

Brian has a particular interest in Fatal Accident Act claims and has experience of cases involving deceased persons with business interests and/or complex family arrangements. His fatal accident practice is evenly split between claimants and defendants.

Recent Notable Cases

  • 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. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/2511/AC5004191
  • 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. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003248
  • Tuson v. Murphy [2018] EWCA Civ 1461.  Leading authority on whether defendants can avoid the usual order where claimant guilty of malingering/fraud if Part 36 made with knowledge of the fraud.  While this decision went against insurers’ interests, the underlying case was a good result for insurers, reducing a seven-figure claim to low six figures. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003386 
  • 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.  https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003690
  • 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. https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/456/AC5003920
  • 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 https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5639/AC9902257  and https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/nurse-sued-for-250000-over-road-rage-death-of-london-mother-a3502726.html 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  https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5357/AC9902257
  • 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  https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5450/AC0154930
  • Shui v. University of Manchester [2018] ICR 77, Employment Appeal Tribunal decision exploring case management involving litigants-in-person suffering severe mental illness https://www.lawtel.com/UK/Searches/5535/AC0155386
  • Hatfield v. 1) Drax & 2) SG Transport (2017) HHJ Belcher: liability dispute arising out of truck accident leading to amputation. £2 million claim dismissed http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2017/09/15/an-expert-report-that-was-extraordinary-in-its-presentation-and-shot-through-with-breath-taking-arrogance-this-doesnt-end-well/
  • 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.  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/28/tariq-jahan-sons-death-2011-riots-birmingham
  • 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. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-16298158 
  • Mason v. PJ Myers & Co (2014): 5-day trial for defendant against Silk. Hand injury leading to CRPS leading to a spinal cord stimulator leading to wound infection and back pain leading to falling down stairs leading to serious injury to other hand leading to morphine addiction. Significant credibility and complex causation issues. Claimant accepted Part 36 on day 4.
  • Advising and acting for motor insurers in many of the highest profile 'fraud ring' cases (eg Operation Orion in 2008: deceit claim on behalf of 7 insurers against 63 defendants, Operation Koyna in 2015: deceit claim by Aviva against 20 defendants). Brian no longer undertakes RTA fraud work, but this litigation gave great experience in court craft and case preparation involving voluminous documentation and multiple parties.

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


"recommended"

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


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