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William Vandyck

Call 1988

William Vandyck specialises in personal injury and industrial disease. He deals particularly with workplace stress/bullying, chronic pain/fibromyalgia, asbestos, and catastrophic injury as well as accident and general personal injury work.   His cases include the leading asbestos case of Fairchild v Glenhaven [2002] UKHL 22, and the important limitation cases of Johnson v Ministry of Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 1505 and Malone v Relyon [2014] EWCA Civ 904.

He is an effective performer in court both at trial and on interlocutory matters with extensive experience of conducting settlement meetings.

Previously a Lincoln’s Inn advocate trainer and Editor of Current Law, he has also given evidence to foreign courts as an expert on English personal injury law.

Solicitors’ comments about him include: “An incisive mind and advocacy skills achieve results often beyond expectations”; “A counsel who cares about the result”; “Solicitor-friendly”; “A pleasure to work with”.

Personal Injury

William undertakes all aspects of personal injury work and is frequently instructed against Queen’s Counsel both at trials and in settlement meetings. His current caseload includes catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, amputations, tetraplegia, fibromyalgia/somatoform pain disorder and fatal accidents as well as more general injury work. He is on the Counsel panel to major insurers and can provide advice on coverage.

He has expertise in dealing with fibromyalgia/ chronic pain/ somatoform pain disorder and in dealing with issues of dishonesty, causation and acceleration, frequently against the background of an extensive medical history and complex medical evidence.

His experience enables him readily and effectively to identify the issues arising, advise clearly, and pursue the client’s position in negotiations and at trial.

Selected Cases

  • Traumatic brain injury on a building site involving the relative blameworthiness of the subcontractor, main contractor, occupiers and Claimant.
  • Traumatic brain injury to person travelling on a canal barge when a lift-bridge came down as the barge passed underneath; Claimant unsuccessfully sued the hirer of the barge claiming inadequate instructions.
  • Minor injury said to lead to chronic pain then excess of painkillers causing hypoxic brain injury, including issues of self-harm and negligent prescription.
  • Subtle brain injury allegedly affecting Claimant’s ability to work as director in private equity firms.
  • Traumatic brain injury said to have caused organic personality disorder, dysexecutive syndrome and dyscontrol.
  • Fatal accident involving failed use of safety harness in a cleaning operation.
  • Serious injuries following failures of car tyres, lifts, beds.
  • Wrist injury caused by slip on ice said to have prevented professional golfer from extensive earnings on the European Seniors Tour.
  • Traumatic amputation of dominant arm in conveyor belt accident.
  • Fibromyalgia cases following road traffic accidents, involving extensive issues on causation and acceleration.
  • Withdrawal of admissions of liability in cases including tripping, manual handling, occupiers’ liability, and road traffic accidents.
  • Liability trials on large numbers of slipping, tripping, manual handling and road traffic accidents.

Industrial Disease

William has an extensive industrial disease practice including asbestos work and stress at work/bullying claims. He regularly deals with Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), respiratory disease, upper limb disorders, and dermatitis and other COSHH claims and the physical and psychiatric injury said to result. He is instructed by major insurers. He gives clear advice, and has a busy practice of trial and interlocutory work.

Selected Cases

  •  Howard v Imperial London Hotels ltd [2019] EWHC 202 (QB).  In a living mesothelioma case the costs of future treatment were more appropriately dealt with by adjourning that head of claim (with interim payments as required) than by making a Periodical Payment Order.
  • Fairchild v Glenhaven [2002] UKHL 22, the leading case on legal causation of mesothelioma.
  • Johnson v Ministry of Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 1505: The Court of Appeal held that a 61 year old man who suffered from hearing loss should have been curious as to the cause rather than assume it was age related, so that his claim was out of time
  • Malone v Relyon [2014] EWCA Civ 904. The Court of Appeal overruled a decision on section 33 of the Limitation Act in a case involving exposure over different periods with different levels of prejudice arising.
  • Other Court of Appeal cases include Spencer v Boots (work related upper limb disorder in Chemist) and Warner v Huntingdonshire DC (manual handling of refuse collectors).
  • Reported High Court cases include:
  • Passmore v Evan Cook [2012] EWHC 4051 (whether Claimant suffered from asbestos induced mesothelioma)
  • Pattani v ICICI Bank [2014] EWHC 4356 (manual handling/fibromyalgia said to have arisen from bank employee carrying promotional material)
  • McDade v Critchlow [2014] EWHC 1261 (stress at work of paralegal at solicitors’ firm)
  • Myall v Ministry of Defence, Serco [2017] EWHC 1752 (case management of mesothelioma including the Claimant seeking split trial so as to pursue new immunotherapy treatment, the application being refused given a lack of evidence).
  • Other ongoing cases include:
  • Claims for new immunotherapy treatments for mesothelioma.
  • Withdrawal of admission of liability in a respiratory illness case.
  • Applications contesting the court’s jurisdiction where proceedings have been served following extensions of time for service.
  • Limitation cases in noise induced hearing loss and upper limb disorder cases.
  • Stress at work and bullying claims.



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  • BA (Hons) , Peterhouse College, Cambridge (Exhibitioner)
  • William was a founder member of Crown Office Chambers and lives in Cardiff and London.


  • London Common Law Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Member of Lincoln’s Inn

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