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John Greenbourne

Call 1978

"A master of detail and also very good on his feet."
(Legal 500 2016)

Personal Injury

Acts for Claimants and insurers – mainly cases of serious head, spinal and limb injuries and fatal accident claims.

He acted in 2007-2008 for a young man who suffered a severe brain injury following a road traffic accident.

The claimant developed intractable epilepsy and required 24 hour nursing care. This led to one of the largest personal injury settlements in UK legal history with a lump sum of £5.5 million and periodical payments for life of £350,000 per annum appropriately indexed. The capitalised value of the settlement was in excess of £14 million.

In 1998 acted for claimant who was awarded over £2 million at trial. In 2005 for claimant who was awarded £4.4 million before agreed 25% contributory negligence.

Represented successful claimant in 2001 case where motorcyclist who had been travelling at 80 mph on one wheel was seriously injured when dog from house at side of road ran across in front of him.

In 2003 acted for applicant awarded £1.33 million after hearing by CICA Appeal Panel.

In 2006-08 acted for claimant who was awarded over £4 million on a lump sum basis, converted into a lump sum and appropriately indexed periodical payments. Since then he has been in many cases in which over £1 million was recovered.

Claim for young man with head injury from road accident when aged 9, settled for over £1 million lump sum and over £21,000 p.a. ASHE linked periodical payments. Unusually complicated indexation arrangements because the parties agreed a lump sum in autumn 2007 but one of the two defendants raised an issue as to ability to make secure periodical payments because of a limited sum insured, which delayed approval until after a 2 day hearing in November 2008.

Represented claimant who suffered a serious head injury at a driving experience event at an airfield in the Midlands when a marquee attached to an articulated lorry trailer collapsed in allegedly tornado strength winds in mid summer. The defendant event organiser claimed unsuccessfully that such conditions were not reasonably foreseeable, alleged that the marquee was secured by bolts into the concrete hardstanding and that the marquee collapsed despite this. Judgment given at trial on liability for damages to be assessed.

In 2011 for the claimant settled a vigorously denied claim by an in-patient in a PFI hospital who suffered a spinal haemorrhage and consequent paraplegia after slipping or falling on an allegedly wet shower room/WC floor in the early hours of the morning. During proceedings there was a hearing on an application for disclosure of names and addresses of other patients who had had slipped and fallen on such floors which was unsuccessfully opposed by the hospital on grounds of their human rights and data protection.

Successfully represented lorry driver at trial against building site main contractor and groundworks subcontractor who disputed that his devastating ankle injury had been caused by slipping on mud which he said was on pavement after he had stepped down from his cab [2010] EWHC 1108 (QB).

In 2012 and 2013 notable cases concluded for claimants have included one for a person in early ’20s whose claim was settled after deducting a third for contributory negligence for £1.1 million and £106,500 p.a. periodical payments; another for someone of similar age who recovered, after allowing for contributory negligence, provisional damages of £1.9 million and £35,000 p.a. to age 65 and over £90,400 thereafter. In 2013-14 represented Defendants in 3 cases of allegedly fraudulent or deliberately exaggerated claims – in one the claim for about £6 million was settled for its perceived true value of £600,000, in another the claimant claiming about £400,000 accepted £25,000 and in the false claim the claimant discontinued.

In 2016 settled with a modest allowance for liability risks claim for cyclist with severe injuries including loss of dominant arm when run down by a coach.

In 2017 concluded claim for claimant who suffered severe brain damage aged 9 in 2003. Liability settled on a two thirds recovery basis in 2010 but quantum could not be determined until the claimant’s lifetime prognosis could be known. Settled in February 2017 on basis of new discount rate for £1,430,000 lump sum £75,000 p.a. periodical payments.

Selected Cases

  • Lindsay v Wood [2006] EWHC 2895 (QB) [2006] M.H.L.R. 341 – Head injury claim. Issue as to whether Claimant had capacity to manage his financial affairs for purposes of Part VII of the Mental Health Act 1983 and CPR Part 21.  Consideration and explanation of the principle in Masterman-Lister v Brutton & Co.
  • X v Bedfordshire County Council [1995] 2 AC 633 – Duties of care owed by statutory authorities, social workers, educational psychologists and teachers.
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“John is meticulous in both the preparation and delivery of his advice. He has a forensic approach to the evidence that instils confidence.”

Legal 500, 2024

“A very user-friendly and approachable junior.”

Legal 500, 2024

“John has meticulous attention to detail, a sensible and pragmatic approach to cases and puts clients at ease with his approachable manner.”

Personal Injury – (Legal 500, 2022)

“Very approachable, responsive and gives digestible advice. He is always willing to listen to views and takes time to discuss them.”

Insurance and reinsurance – Leading juniors (Legal 500, 2021)

“Inspires total confidence with very thorough preparation and drafting skills.”

Personal Injury – (Legal 500, 2021)

“He is easy to work with, responsive and gives digestible advice.’”

Professional Negligence – (Legal 500, 2021)

‘Thorough, analytical and good on his feet.’

Insurance and reinsurance – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘He has an incredible attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned.’

Personal injury – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘Incredibly talented.’

Professional negligence – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘he provides thoroughness and a rigorous test of the evidence’ and ‘superb attention to detail and preparation’ and ‘a master of detail and also very good on his feet’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2016)

‘very experienced in policy disputes and issues regarding non-disclosure in policies’ and ‘he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is very approachable’ and ‘a thorough and enthusiastic barrister, who is a formidable drafter and good on his feet’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2015)

‘thorough analysis and fierce advocacy’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2014)

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