Caroline McColgan joined chambers in October 2011 following successful completion of her pupillage. Since then she has been developing a practice which is strongly focused on property damage, professional negligence, construction and insurance work. She is a confident advocate and regularly appears in the High Court and County Courts as well as before the Court of Appeal.
Caroline’s present caseload includes 2 Entertain & Ors v Sony DADC, an £8m insurance dispute arising out of the London Riots in 2011, and a £12m construction claim on foot in the TCC. She was previously instructed as junior counsel on the major reinsurance case of Amlin Corporate Member Ltd & Ors v Oriental Assurance Company  EWHC 2380 (Comm), appearing as junior counsel for the defendant at trial in the commercial court and on appeal to the Court of Appeal (see Amlin Corporate Member Ltd & Ors v Oriental Assurance Company  EWCA Civ 1135).
Before coming to the Bar, Caroline read history at Magdalen College Oxford and then undertook the law conversion course in which she received a distinction. She is a contributing editor to Emden on Construction Law, co-authoring Chapter Two: “Formation and Validity of Contract”.
Caroline has wide ranging experience of commercial litigation. She frequently deals with matters concerning the sale of goods and supply of services, breach of contract, misrepresentation, bailment, conversion, mortgages, estoppel, credit hire, corporate and personal insolvency.
- Acting for a private company in a breach of contract claim concerning an automatic renewal clause in a supply agreement.
- Acting for a major UK reinsurance broker in a dispute over unpaid commission.
- Acting for a private individual in relation to a contract for the installation audio-visual services that were not provided. The claim made involved restitution for monies had and received.
- Acting for insurers in a claim for policy indemnity despite failure to comply with a condition precedent.
- Acting for wholesalers in a claim for defective goods supplied to the prison service.
- Acting for the owner of a wind farm in a claim arising from failure of the electronics system installed.
- Acting for petitioners and creditors in bankruptcy and/or winding up proceedings. Acting for a well-known estate agent in claims for unpaid commissions.
- Acting for the defendants, a partner and the company he had established, in a dispute within a limited liability partnership. After a breakdown in relations between the partners, the company was set up and carried on the same business. An account of profits was sought under Reg.7(9) and (10) of the Limited Liability Partnerships Regulations 2001. The case was successfully resolved after a day’s mediation.
- Advising in a claim for breach of duty by a mortgagee in possession. The case involved questions of the complex duties, which were owed to the mortgagor.
- Advising in an insurance brokers’ dispute concerning the broker’s right to sue the insured for an alleged breach of the insurance contract.
Caroline is regularly instructed in construction disputes. She has experience of dealing with claims for delay and disruption, loss and expense and defective works. She acts for employers, contractors, sub- contractors, insurers and individuals. In addition to her court practice, Caroline has been involved in a number of high value adjudication and arbitration matters. She frequently advises in claims for negligence and/or breach of contract against construction professionals.
Caroline is also developing a practice in Energy and Natural resources to complement her general construction work.
- Acting for a major UK contractor in its defence to a £12m claim alleging defects in the construction of a leisure centre. Part 20 proceedings have been brought against the architect, the structural engineer and a subcontractor. Caroline is being led by Andrew Rigney QC.
- Acting for the Defendant in a £25m+ arbitration concerning defective microtunneling works on a major engineering project in Bahrain;
- Acting for the developer of a prestigious development in Belgravia in connection with a nuisance and party wall dispute. Caroline was led by Michael Curtis QC and instructed together with Crispin Winser and Michele de Gregorio.
- Acting for the Respondent in confidential adjudication proceedings concerning the electronics system installed at a Wind Farm. Caroline was led by Daniel Shapiro.
- Acting for the Defendant, a major national piling company, in a £6m claim for defective piling works. Caroline was led by Julian Field.
- Advising a contractor in a claim for unpaid fees where there were no formal contractual arrangements in place.
- Assisting with investigations into the Lakanal House Fire, which occurred in 2009. Caroline was particularly concerned with the buildings / structural issues which were raised and became very familiar with the provisions of the Building Regulations 2010.
Caroline has significant experience of insurance and reinsurance disputes.
Early on in her practice, she was instructed with Roger ter Haar QC to represent the Defendant in the major reinsurance case Amlin Corporate Member Ltd & Ors v Oriental Assurance Company  EWHC 2380 (Comm). She acted as junior counsel at trial in the commercial court and on appeal to the Court of Appeal (see Amlin Corporate Member Ltd & Ors v Oriental Assurance Company  EWCA Civ 1135.
Recent instructions include 2 Entertain Video Ltd & Ors v Sony DADC Europe Limited, an £8m claim for loss following the destruction of a Sony Warehouse in North London during the 2011 riots. Caroline is being led by Ben Quiney QC.
Caroline is also regularly instructed in insurance matters in her own right.
- Acting for a major UK reinsurance broker in a high value dispute over unpaid commission following a mid-term change of broker. The Claim settled shortly after Caroline prepared draft proceedings.
- Acting for a claimant policy holder in a £multi-million coverage dispute following a fire at a warehouse. Caroline was led by Ben Quiney QC.
- Acting for claimant policy holders in a fire claim where insurers are attempting to defend proceedings for declaratory relief/damages on grounds of arson and other technical defences.
- Acting for the Defendant in a complex claim by an insurance broker against its principal (the insured) for an adjustment premium fee said to be due to an insurer. The matter raised difficult questions of agency and brokers’ duties. It was settled on very favourable terms.
- Advising an insured who had been declined cover on grounds of material non-disclosure.
- Advising on the effect of the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 and whether it could be relied upon to require an insurer to meet a set of personal injury claims directly.
- Drafting a defence to a claim for declaratory relief (confirmation of cover) in a claim for consequential losses arising from storm damage.
Caroline has considerable experience of all types of Personal Injury litigation. Her particular focus is on fraudulent road-traffic litigation and she regularly appears for insurers at trial where the claim is defended on low velocity impact grounds. She is very familiar with the Kearsley v Klarfeld / Casey v Cartwright arguments and has obtained findings of fundamental dishonesty on a number of occasions. More broadly, Caroline has a keen interest in employers’ liability and industrial disease claims, in which she acts for both claimants and defendants.
Her practice extends to dealing with associated insurance and professional indemnity work.
- Acting for a number of defendant insurers at trial in their successful defences to fraudulent personal injury claims.
- Advising and settling a Schedule of Loss on behalf of a Claimant who suffered significant back pain following multiple road traffic accidents. There was a significant and difficult dispute among the medical experts as to causation.
- Representing several local authorities in claims by employees for injury in the workplace.
- Representing a defendant local authority in a claim for psychiatric damage / distress arising out a series of procedural errors. The claim was successfully struck out before trial.
- Settling a defence on behalf of an NHS Trust in a claim valued in excess of £575,000. The claim was discontinued on receipt of the defence.
- Representing a number of care homes in inquest proceedings lasting several days and touching on sensitive issues of patient care and safeguarding. Favourable verdicts were achieved on every occasion.
- Acting as Counsel to the Coroner in the Inquest into the Lakanal House Fire in 2009. Caroline was led by James Maxwell-Scott and instructed with Mike Atkins.
Caroline is regularly instructed in professional negligence matters. She has experience of dealing with a broad range of professions, including solicitors, managing agents and insurance brokers. She frequently acts in high value matters on her own account.
- Acting for the defendant in a high value accountants’ negligence action arising out of complex investment schemes. Caroline was led by Ben Quiney QC.
- Acting for the defendant firm in a claim for solicitors’ negligence alleging a failure to identify Japanese Knotweed during a property conveyance.
- Acting for several firms of managing agents said to have breached their duty to manage commercial properties adequately, resulting in claims by third parties.
- With Dermot Woolgar, acting for a solicitor-executor in a very complex contentious probate dispute in which it was alleged he had breached his duty to manage the estate.
- With Michael Curtis QC and Andrew Davis, acting for a provider of social housing in a brokers’ negligence claim. The broker had failed to notify insurers of a high-value claim for tree-root induced subsidence, leaving it uninsured.
Caroline has extensive experience of Property Damage matters. She regularly advises on issues of subrogation and/or policy coverage and accepts instructions from both claimants and defendants. A number of the claims she has handled have involved defective electrical or plumbing products, which have resulted in fire and flood damage to premises. Caroline is comfortable in dealing with complex expert evidence, and handling increasingly high value claims.
- Various Claimants v Lancashire County Developments Limited , TCC – Acting for the defendant in several £multi-million claims arising from a catastrophic fire at a business park. Caroline was led by Graham Eklund QC and instructed with Miles Harris.
- Chliaifchtein v Wainbridge Estates Belgravia Ltd , TCC – Acting for the Defendant in a claim for nuisance and also involving complex issues under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Caroline was led by Michael Curtis QC and instructed with Crispin Winser and Michele de Gregorio.
- Tideland Ltd v Westminster City Council , TCC – A £multi-million claim for tree root induced subsidence and raising difficult issues of quantum as well as liability. Caroline was led by Muhammed Haque QC.
- A v B – Acting for a freehold owner of premises destroyed by a fire caused by a defective white goods product. Quantum is likely to exceed £9m. Caroline is being led by Andrew Rigney QC.
- Acting for a commercial landlord to defend a claim for asbestos contamination caused during building works.
- Acting for a London housing association in a large claim for business interruption arising out of an escape of water.
- Acting for buildings insurers in several high value claims for tree root-induced subsidence.
- Court of Appeal construes important Typhoon Warranty in marine reinsurance contract
- New members of chambers
- Major Scholar, Inner Temple (2009 – 2010)
- BVC, BPP Law School (Very Competent) (2009 – 2010)
- Exhibitioner, Inner Temple (2008 – 2009)
- GDL, BPP Law School (Distinction) (2008 – 2009)
- Demyship, Magdalen College, Oxford (2006 – 2008)
- BA (Hons) University of Oxford (2005 – 2008)