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Kirsty McKinlay

Year of call 2001, Lincoln's Inn  

Areas of Expertise
Clinical Negligence, Insurance Fraud, Inquests & Public Inquiries, Personal Injury, Travel & International Personal Injury Law

Personal Injury:
"Kirsty is a very impressive, first-class advocate and she uses her expertise and extensive knowledge to get to the issues quickly and achieve brilliant results for clients. She has a reassuring and approachable manner."

Legal 500 2024

Clinical Negligence:
"Kirsty has great attention to detail, is always on hand if the need arises, and is a real team player."

Legal 500 2024

Personal Injury:
"Kirsty has a wealth of experience in defending fraud cases. She is a calm and reassuring support in the most challenging of cases, and an intelligent, approachable, straightforward and impressive advocate. She is an absolute pleasure to work alongside and has achieved exceptional results for clients."

Legal 500 2023

Clinical Negligence:
"Kirsty has a friendly and approachable style which is appreciated by the client and the instructing solicitor. She is thorough in her assessment of the papers, providing firm and clear advice. She works well with experts in conference and manages confidently to resolve any ambiguities within their reports."

Legal 500 2023

Clinical Negligence - Tier 1
"The attention to detail which she displays is exceptional. This is combined with a very friendly approach which is very much appreciated by Solicitors and Clients alike."

Legal 500 2021

Personal Injury - Tier 3
"She is very confident in conference and in addressing medical experts. She secures a good grasp of the case and issues in hand and manages to address these in a productive way. Her draft documents are very detailed."

Legal 500 2021

Personal Injury: Leading Junior Band 2
"Astute, practical, and thorough when providing advice."

Legal 500 2020

Clinical Negligence: Leading Junior Band 1
"Provides very thorough and sound advice."

Legal 500 2020

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence - ranked Tier 1
"Very approachable, proactive, thorough and focused."

Legal 500 2019

'A skilful cross-examiner.'

Legal 500, 2017

"She has excellent communication skills and is able to uncover the truth"

Legal 500, 2017


Kirsty has developed a strong practice in personal injury and clinical negligence. She undertakes advocacy and advisory work for claimants and defendants in relation to higher value and more complicated claims involving serious injury.

Kirsty has experience in a broad spectrum of areas including clinical negligence, fatal accident claims, employers’ liability, public liability, road traffic accidents, defective premises, travel litigation and insurance fraud.

Kirsty attends inquests in the role of advocate including those where an Article 2 wider investigation is required and has also attended arbitration hearings particularly relating to arbitration relating to the MIB Untraced Drivers’ Agreements.

Kirsty is adept at dealing sensitively with claimants in difficult situations and being able to explain complex issues in simple terms both in conference and in cross examination. This is particularly useful in dealing with clinical negligence cases or cases involving serious and life changing injuries both for claimants and defendants.

Kirsty also has extensive experience of costs litigation and undertakes work for both claimants and defendants. Kirsty’s knowledge of costs ensures that she can take a commercial approach to litigation and she is frequently instructed in personal injury matters which have related costs issues on the basis that she can give tactical advice from the outset in respect of all issues.

Kirsty is noted for her thorough approach, meticulous written work, detailed preparation and attention to detail.

Kirsty endeavours to combine a professional attitude with a friendly and approachable style and is known for providing firm and clear advice.


Personal Injury

Insurance Fraud

Clinical Negligence

Costs Litigation

Travel Litigation


Examples of notable recent litigated cases include:

Insurance Fraud

  • Represented the NHS in the case of Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital FT -v- Wilson securing a finding of fundamental dishonesty at trial in respect of the Claimant’s claim in excess of £500,000 followed by committal proceedings resulting in an immediate 4 month sentence.
  • Represented a defendant insurer in a 2 day trial of a road traffic accident with allegations of a staged accident based upon expert engineering evidence and securing a finding of fraud.
  • Represented a defendant in a 3 day trial of an alleged accident at work resulting in findings of fundamental dishonesty.

Clinical Negligence

  • Represented a patient suffering an acquired brain injury following a prescription overdose in her successful claim where there were underlying causation issues and capacity issues;
  • Represented a claimant who suffered a serious pre-existing spinal condition in his successful claim against the treating hospital where his rehabilitation was profoundly and catastrophically affected by delay due to pressure sores;

Catastrophic Injury Cases

  • Represented a child claimant with a serious pre-existing condition in her successful claim against a utilities provider relating to catastrophic injury to the bowel;
  • Represented a claimant in her successful claim following a minor road traffic accident which caused her to develop functional neurological disorder and become wheelchair bound.


  • Represented a psychological therapist as an interested party where a patient had subsequently committed suicide;
  • Represented the family in relation to the death of a patient following a failure to undertake appropriate investigations into underlying health condition;
  • Represented the local authority as employer of an Approved Mental Health Practitioner in a case where a patient had absconded during a section 2 assessment and subsequently died.


Deputy District Judge (2020)
Recorder in Family Jurisdiction (2020)
Recorder in Civil Jurisdiction (2022)

Scholarships and Prizes

Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn


Personal Injury Bar Association


LLB (Hons) at University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Bar Vocational Course at Inns of Court School of Law

Prescribed Information

Kirsty McKinlay is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Kirsty can be found here.

Kirsty's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that she provides. Their contact details can be found here.

It is most common for Kirsty McKinlay to undertake Court and Mediation services for a brief fee plus additional refreshers. For advisory work and conferences it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed rates are available. Conditional Fee Agreements and Damages Based Agreements will be considered in cases with favourable prospects of success. Kirsty McKinlay will typically return paperwork within 28 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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