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Richard Lynagh KC

Call 1975 • KC 1996

“He epitomises the perfect QC – he’s always well prepared, clients adore him and he’s an excellent advocate.”
(Chambers & Partners 2019)

Personal Injury

Recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Richard is widely considered to be one of the top-ranking barristers within the personal injury field. He represents both claimants and defendants in fatal and catastrophic injury claims.

In 2010 he represented the Claimants in two trials in the Cayman Islands against the Attorney General.

He has advised in connection with accidents occurring in France and Belgium and the insurance implications.

He was instructed on behalf of a hotel in Barbados in respect of a claim for indemnity by a tour company in respect of a serious injury sustained by a British guest in a fall from a balcony. The case raised issues of inter alia, Bajan law and building standards and questions of jurisdiction and forum conveniens.

He has recently been retained in respect of a number of cases involving accidents abroad and in particular has negotiated settlements in respect of cases in Jersey.

Selected Cases

  • Dusek & Ors v Stormharbour [2015] EWHC 37 – This case concerns the extent of the duty of care imposed upon a UK employer in respect of foreign travel undertaken by one of its senior employees who was killed in a helicopter crash in Peru.
  • Love v Halfords Ltd [2014] P.I.Q.R. P20 – He defended a claim brought against Halfords Limited under the Consumer Protection Act in respect of serious head injuries sustained by a rider in a cycle accident. It was alleged that there had been a mechanical defect in the bicycle. There were very complicated matters of expert metallurgy evidence.
  • Johnston v Suzuki GB PLC [2014] – He represented Suzuki in its defence of a claim brought by a motorcyclist who claimed that serious injuries suffered in an accident had been caused by a failure of the frame of the motorcycle. The preparations for trial involved extensive expert metallurgical and reconstruction evidence. The Claimant discontinued shortly before trial.
  • Joyce v O’Brien & Tradex Insurance Co Ltd [2012] EWHC 1234 (QB) [2013] EWCA Civ 546 – Represented Insurers in a case involving consideration by the Court of Appeal of the maxim ex turpi causa non oritur actio. It was held that a participant in a joint enterprise of theft involving dangerous getaway driving could not recover for injuries suffered in the course of that enterprise – parties jointly engaged in a criminal enterprise owe no duty of care to each other – unlawful activity of the Claimant in the theft and getaway was as directly causative as the driving of the First Defendant so the Claimant was precluded from recovering for the consequences of his own criminal conduct.
  • Dass v Dass [2013] EWHC 2520 (Haddon-Cave J) – This appeal involved the Court’s approach to the exclusion of expert evidence where the Defendants had not complied with case management directions.
  • Cleightonhills v Bembridge Marine [2012] EWHC 3449 (TCC) – Claim by employer against steel erector who erected a platform from which a man later fell and suffered serious injuries – contractor’s obligation to warn about deficiencies in design – contractor’s fitness for purpose obligations in tort – whether a contractor is entitled to delegate its responsibilities to others further down the contractual chain – apportionment under the Civil Liability Contribution Act 1978 where several Defendants are sued and some have already paid substantial sums by way of settlement to the party claiming contribution.
  • Donald Berry v Ashtead Plant Hire & Ors [2012] – Instructed on behalf of land owners who were allowing their land to be used for a music festival. The Claimant sustained a severe brain damage by electrocution when the crane of his delivery lorry contacted an overhead power cable. The case raised issues of the scope of a landowner’s duties to visitors. The claim against the landowners was discontinued before trial.
  • Uren v Corporate Leisure Ltd & MOD [2010] EWHC 46 QB [2011] EWCA Civ 66, [2013] EWHC 353 – The First Defendants provided and ran a series of competitive games of an “It’s a Knock-Out” nature for a Health and Fun day at an RAF base. The Claimant suffered a broken neck when he dived into a shallow pool in the course of such a game.
  • Frost v Oldfield [2010] EWHC 279 QB – High speed collision between two motorcycles on the notorious Cat and Fiddle road in Cheshire. The case turned largely upon the highly conflicting expert accident reconstruction evidence due to the absence of eyewitness evidence as to the collision itself.
  • Darg v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis & Venson Public Sector Group Ltd [2009] EWHC 684 QB – Instructed on behalf of a Claimant who had sustained a relatively minor cut to a finger. Significant medical dispute as to whether the cut had lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and subsequently to a seriously disabling complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Duncan v Acrabuild Ltd [2009] – An appeal relating to alleged breaches of inter alia The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 and head injuries sustained in a fall from a roof space. The Trial judge had dismissed the claim and the Claimant’s appeal was withdrawn shortly before the hearing date.
  • Stevens v Allianz & Chaucer Syndicates [2008] – He was instructed in arbitration proceedings relating to whether the pilot of a helicopter that had crashed killing the pilot and all passengers had been flown recklessly and/or in breach of the relevant Air Regulations so that there would be no liability under the relevant insurance policy.
  • Alan Ide v ATB Sales [2007] EWHC 1667 QB (Gray J) [2008] EWCA Civ 424 – Instructed on behalf of a Claimant who had suffered serious head injuries in a fall from a mountain bike. The claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 involved complex matters of metallurgy and issues relating to the discharge of the burden of proof in cases where there exist various alternative possible causes of an injury. The hearing in the Court of Appeal raised issues as to the discharge by a Claimant of the burden of establishing causation in circumstances where there are alternative explanations for the loss advanced. The application of the House of Lords’ ruling in The Popi M [1985] 1 WLR 948 (Rhesa Shipping Co SA v Edmunds) was considered.
  • Gleeson v Court [2007] EWHC 2397 (QB) – He appeared on behalf of the Defendant in which the issue was the appropriate reduction to be made in the damages awarded to a Claimant who had been travelling unrestrained in the boot area of a hatchback car driven by an acquaintance who had been drinking. The case is interesting in view of the limited amount of previous authority on the question of the appropriate reduction in a passenger’s damages when there are two such elements of contributory negligence.
  • Slater v Buckinghamshire County Council and Stigwood [2004] EWHC 77 and [2004] EWCA Civ 1478 – Instructed at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, on behalf of a coach company in a trial, which involved consideration of the duty and standard of care applicable to the operation of a service for the transport of handicapped persons and questions relating to the scope of Road Traffic Act insurance cover.
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“He is very experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic. He gives sound and detailed advice and is very good on the detail.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Extremely knowledgeable in insurance work. Richard is extremely thorough and pays great attention to detail, which is imperative in this type of work. Provides sensible, pragmatic advice for clients and his experience shows through in difficult negotiations. Very much a team player, always works to deadlines and is very efficient.”

Legal 500, 2022

“The perfect QC – a skilful advocate with an excellent knowledge of the law.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is extremely experienced and very forensic in his approach. His attention to detail is second to none.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Extremely knowledgeable and pays great attention to detail, which is always necessary in indemnity/coverage cases – he draws on his vast experience to find solutions, is calm and unruffled, and a very good advocate.”

Legal 500, 2021

“An extremely experienced barrister who is calm, measured and forensic, as well as extremely quick and responsive. He is very much a team player.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

‘He is very commercially aware. ’

Legal 500, 2020

“His advocacy and client care are first rate.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“The consummate QC, there is no better”

Legal 500, 2018

“Highly knowledgeable in his field. Very thorough. He provides a pragmatic analysis of the issues informed by his wealth of experience.”

Legal 500, 2017

“He is held in high regard for his tactical skills and steely determination – you want him on your side.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“He’s extremely knowledgeable, easy to talk to and has a very good presence in court – all the things you would look for in a barrister.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

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