Brian McCluggage is a barrister specializing 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 works collaboratively with professional clients who share this philosophy and enjoys being part of a team dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for their clients.
Brian is a formidable advocate in the courtroom. His experience in cross-examining both lay and expert witnesses is unparalleled, particularly when it comes to exposing inconsistencies and challenging evidence that seeks to obscure rather than clarify the issues at hand. He is known for his robust and incisive approach to advocacy.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Brian's experience covers a wide range of areas, including: disputes over liability involving technical or scientific evidence; brain injury cases from contested minor TBI to the most serious of catastrophic injuries involving Minimally Conscious State; amputation cases (both upper and lower limb); complex fatal cases, particularly those involving business interests and accountancy evidence. Additionally, Brian is well-versed in handling high-value cases that may have the taint of fraud.
The selection of concluded cases below from the last 5 years, many of which are reported, give a good flavour of Brian's practice.
- 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. https://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2021/04/20/fundamental-dishonesty-in-pursuing-a-loss-of-earnings-claim-it-is-not-necessary-for-the-purpose-of-this-case-for-the-court-to-determine-whether-psychic-powers-exist/
- 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. https://thepolicememorialtrust.org/pc-david-phillips/
- Kore v. Brocklebank  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  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  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  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  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  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  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.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  EWHC 1336 (QBD): a leading authority on resiling from admissions in cases involving change of value.
- Select Car Rentals v. Esure Services Limited  EWHC 1434 (QBD): leading authority on insurers’ ability to obtain third party costs orders against credit hire companies.
- Shui v. University of Manchester  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 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
Fee-paid Employment Judge (2010 to date)
A Panel, Attorney General's Panel for Civil Work ('Treasury Counsel') (2002 to date)
Barrister Member, Bar Disciplinary Tribunal (BTAS) (2017 to date)
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
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.