Practice Overview


After completing his pupillage with Hugh Griffiths (later Lord Griffiths), he practised at the Common Law Bar from 2, Crown Office Row throughout a distinguished 30 year career. In 1981 he was elected leader of the South Eastern Circuit and he became Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales in 1983. In 1990 he was appointed to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. From 1995 to 1998 he was presiding Judge on South Eastern Circuit. He retired from the High Court Bench in April, 2003 but continues to sit from time to time, often in the Court of Appeal. In 2003 he was Treasurer of Lincoln's Inn.


During his long and eminent practice at the Bar he specialised in major personal injury, professional and clinical negligence actions and insurance cases.



Over the years he has appeared or has been involved in many reported cases. Amongst those still regularly referred to are:

  • Photo Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd [1980] AC 827 (HL) regarding a question of termination of a contract upon a fundamental breach thereof.
  • Whitehouse v Jordan [1981] 1 AER 267 (HL) The seminal clinical negligence action. 
  • Arnold v Central Electricity Generating Board [1988] AC 228 (HL) on limitation in actions against Public Authorities under the Limitation Act 1939.

And whilst on the bench he presided over:

  • Masterman-Lister v Jewell [2002] Lloyd's Reports Med. 239 (QBD) at first instance, upheld by the Court of Appeal. The leading case on the definition of 'a patient' under the Mental Health Act 1983 
  • AB v South West Water [1993] QB 507. The major water contamination action
  • Afrika v Cape Ltd. The South African miners asbestosis claims
  • He was also the presiding Judge on the British Tobacco Litigation cases


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