Michael is Head of the Personal Injury Team at 9 St John Street and specialises in high value and catastrophic personal injury litigation. He is a skilful trial advocate and advises and appears on behalf of Claimants and Defendants with respect to domestic and cross border claims. Dealing exclusively with complex and high value claims he has represented both Claimants and Defendants on claims of the utmost severity worth many millions of pounds. He regularly appears in the RCJ and District Registry of the High Court, and is experienced in the Court of Appeal. He has a wealth of experience of joint settlement meetings and mediations.
Called in 1994 Michael has experience of the full spectrum of catastrophic injury claims, including spinal injury, brain injury, amputation and chronic pain. He is thoroughly conversant with the arguments over Cauda Equina and has experience, as a junior, of total cord injury and the suitability of complex care regimes. He has a wealth of experience dealing with traumatic brain injuries including severe brain injuries involving significant care regimes, moderate brain injuries where capacity is often in issue and subtle brain injuries where the presence of organic cognitive deficits can be difficult to determine. He is able to advise his clients on the latest developments in prosthetics and the experts required to deal with those claims. Michael is familiar with the complex causation arguments that are often central to cases involving chronic pain.
Michael is familiar with the legal and technical arguments that may be deployed in fatal accident and dependency claims and has considerable experience in the Coroner’s Court.
He has a developed a complementary niche advising and acting for insurers in relation to technical insurance points including ex turpi causa and contempt of court.
Michael enjoys a collaborative approach and working as part of a team. He is sensitive to the needs of severely injured Claimant’s and their families. He is approachable and communicates well with both professional and lay clients.
Michael is an accredited Advocacy Trainer and was invited by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy to travel to South Africa in 2016 and 2017 and to Sierra Leone in 2018 to deliver advocacy training to the local bar in order to support the rule of law.
When not working or travelling Michael is a keen runner and triathlete. He has completed 3 Ironmans, 2 Ultra-marathon and several marathons including the London Marathon and the Paris Marathon. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant travel restrictions his entry to the Chicago Marathon has been deferred from 2020 to 2021 and now to October 2022.
In April 2019 Michael ran the London Marathon and raised over £2,000 for the Middle Temple Scholarship Fund to ensure that those of real ability are not precluded from coming to the Bar by a lack of resources.
Michael has been instrumental in organising, delivering and co-chairing a series of amputation seminars which have raised over £4,000 in support of the Limbless Association.
Buttar Construction Ltd v Arshdeep  EWCA Civ 1408 – Michael represented the Respondent in an appeal to the Court of Appeal against an interim payment order made by HHJ Bird. The appeal was live streamed and can be viewed here.
The Respondent suffered catastrophic spinal injury when part of a building collapsed onto him in August 2020. Proceedings were issued and an interim payment sought against two of the four defendants. One of the defendant’s appealed on the basis that the court did not have power to make an interim payment order against it where it could be satisfied that another defendant would be liable. The Court of Appeal accepted Michael’s submissions, the appeal was dismissed and the Court of Appeal gave guidance about the scope of Part 25.7. Michael is being led by Chris Melton QC in the substantive claim.
Kendall v Strange (2021) – Michael represented the Claimant at a 5 day quantum trial at Manchester County Court and secured damages in excess of £2m including future loss of earnings in excess of £1m. The Claimant, a senior manager, suffered serious orthopaedic injuries and PTSD when he was knocked from his bicycle. His Honour Judge Charles Khan accepted that he could not return to his previous occupation earing circa £85,000 per annum net, that he was now rendered disabled but that he could return to work as a technician earning circa £20,000 per annum. HHJ Khan did not adjust the disabled reduction factor so that the Claimant’s residual earning capacity was just £67,000 as against a potential earning capacity of £1.155m.
Naughtan v Bolat (2021) – Michael represented the Defendant at a 3 day liability and quantum trial at the Central London County Court. Claims were brought by the partner and children of the deceased who was a tenant of the Defendant. It was alleged that the deceased died as a result of cold and damp living conditions. Various breaches of tenancy were raised and a claim for personal injury and dependency was brought. Claims for personal injury were also brought by two of her children. All claims were dismissed on the basis that no breach of duty was established and that the Claimants had failed to prove causation. The trial attracted national press coverage. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15379408/dad-pneumonia-died-sues-landlord-damp-freezing/
Hussain v Iftikhar & MIB (2021) – Michael represented the MIB at a 2 day liability trial arising out of a road traffic accident. Michael was successful in establishing a meaningful degree of negligence on the part of the Claimant driver with the result that his insurance company, rather than the MIB, will have to deal in full with all claims arising out of the accident including the claim of a severely brain injured passenger.
G v J & MIB (2021) – Instructed on behalf of the MIB in a trans-femoral amputation claim. The claim settled at a mediation for in excess of £4.3m.
S v A & MIB (2021) – Instructed on behalf of the MIB in a case where the Claimant suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in an RTA. The claim settled at a JSM for in excess of £3.3m.
B v MIB (2021) – Instructed on behalf of the MIB in a case where the Claimant sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. The claim settled at JSM for in excess of £1m.
H v RSA (2020) – Instructed on behalf of the Claimant who suffered a very severe traumatic brain injury. The claim settled at a JSM for £2.75m lump sum together with periodical payments of £145,000 per annum. Michael was led by Chris Melton QC.
D v S (2020) – Instructed on behalf of the Claimant who suffered a serious injury to his ankle and who underwent elective trans-tibial amputation. Michael was closely involved in all aspects of quantum including the claim for prosthesis. The case settled at JSM for £1.35m
S v D (2020) – Michael was instructed on behalf of the Claimant who suffered a total spinal cord injury, was rendered tetraplegic and who sadly passed away due to covid. Michael was led by Nicholas Braslavsky QC.
DS v East Cheshire (2019) – Michael was instructed on behalf of the Claimant who suffered catastrophic injury including right hemiparesis, right homonymous, cognitive impairment and dysphasia as a result of negligent medical treatment. She requires 24 hours care. Michael was led by Chris Melton QC. The claim settled at a JSM for £3.45m lump sum and £116,000 per annum PPO.
L v A (2019) – The Claimant suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when she was knocked down by a car. The Claimant was represented by Leading Counsel. Michael represented the Defendant at a JSM where the claim was settled.
C v W (2019) – Instructed on behalf of the Claimant who suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when, as a child, he was knocked down by a car. Michael was led by Chris Melton QC and played an active role in drafting the Schedule of Loss in excess of £6m and settling the claim against leading counsel.
ML v CD (2018) – The Claimant sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and the claim settled for in excess of £2.8m. Michael was instructed by the Defendant and was led by Chris Kennedy QC.
Aviva Insurance Ltd v Ahmed (Lawtel 23/11/2017 Document No. AC5000854) – Instructed on behalf of Aviva who brought proceedings in the High Court against Mr Ahmed for contempt of court. Mr Justice Spencer accepted Michael’s submissions that Mr Ahmed had signed documents with a statement of truth which were false and sentenced Mr Ahmed to 9 months immediate custody.
Santos v Blanche & Others (2017) – The Claimant is the widow of a Brazilian national, working for the Brazilian Embassy, who died in a road traffic collision with the Defendant. Michael represented the Defendant who denied liability for the accident. There were complex issues as to whether the deceased was driving his vehicle or whether a Brazilian Naval Officer was driving and the quantum of the claim was in dispute. Michael successfully represented the Defendant at an appeal against the judge’s refusal to set aside a judgment in default. The case settled followed a Joint Settlement Meeting. The Claimant was represented by Leading Counsel at both the appeal and the JSM.
A v A & Others (2016) – Instructed to represent a private hospital that was one of four defendants to a claim for clinical negligence. Michael represented his client at all interlocutory stages including a mediation and advised on strategy. The claim against his client was discontinued shortly before trial when the claim was settled by the NHS & MDU for £8.8m. The Claimant was represented by Junior and Leading Counsel. Two Co-Defendants were also represented by Leading Counsel.
Clowes & Nuzzolese v Embrace Group (2016) – Instructed to represent the Defendant at a trial for damages for psychiatric injury in the case of two secondary victims. After lengthy legal argument the judge accepted Michael’s submissions that the Claimants did not satisfy the necessary test to succeed in their claims as secondary victims and the claims were dismissed.
Goodkin v Loretto College (2015) – Michael represented the Defendant’s interest on an effective 10 day trial on liability and quantum in relation to a claim for personal injury arising out of alleged bullying and stress and work. The Claimant’s claim was dismissed.
Whitehouse v CSM (2015) – Acted for the Claimant at a 3 day trial of causation and quantum against leading counsel. The case involved a Claimant who sustained an injury to his wrist resulting in his wrist being immobilised in plaster. Whilst his wrist was in plaster he was engaged in a violent assault using the plaster to strike a man a number of times to the head.
J v C (2014) – Instructed on behalf of the Claimant who developed complex regional pain syndrome following a minor injury to his leg. The claim settled at a JSM for £1.35m.
C (a minor) v Middlesbrough Council (2014) – Michael was instructed in relation to claim for alleged brain and sensory-neural injuries sustained 10 years ago when the Claimant, a child aged 1, was tipped out of a high chair and fell onto his head. There was complex and competing medical evidence. The claim settled at JSM.
H v Hussain (2014) – Michael represented the Claimant on a claim for traumatic brain injury arising out of a road traffic accident. The Claimant had a profound pre-accident hearing loss and behavioural problems which caused significant difficulties in the administering of neuro-psychological testing and hence the assessment of his brain damage. The case settled at a JSM against leading counsel.
Armstrong v Haslam Homes (LTL 14/2/2012) – Instructed by the Defendant on a 3 day liability only trial in the High Court against leading counsel. The claim by an infant in respect of a catastrophic brain injury was dismissed. The duty of care owed by the local authority with respect to the dangers on adjoining land was considered.
Pykett v Clement, NIG & Aviva  EWHC 2925 – Instructed on behalf of Aviva in a 2 day liability only trial in the High Court. Claims by a claimant who was rendered paraplegic (agreed value circa £3m) and a claimant who had suffered a traumatic brain injury were dismissed and guidance was given by the High Court as to the duty of care owed by one driver to another overtaking driver.
Michael is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Michael can be found here.
Michael's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Michael to undertake Court work for a brief fee plus additional refresher days. For advisory work including paperwork and conferences it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed fees are available. Conditional Fee Agreements and Damages Based Agreements will be considered in cases with favourable prospects of success. Michael will typically return paperwork within 14-21 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.
Head of 9SJS Personal Injury Team
Personal Injury Bar Association
Cleeve Comprehensive School
LLB (Hons), Queen Mary College, University of London
Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, London
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