Christopher Barnes

Call 2000

“An outstanding operator”

Legal 500 2022
Photo of Christopher Barnes

Personal Injury

Chris practises exclusively in the areas of personal injury, clinical negligence and related litigation.

He has significant experience of all levels of multi track claims up to and in excess of £10 million, particularly:

  • Catastrophic injuries, including brain, spine and amputations;
  • Fatal accidents;
  • Military claims;
  • Clinical Negligence;
  • Product Liability;
  • Employer’s Liability;
  • Chronic pain and fibromyalgia;
  • Subtle brain injury;
  • Amputations;
  • Multiple/complex orthopaedic injuries.

In December 2021 Chris was recommended for appointment to silk by the Lord Chancellor. The appointment is due to be made in March 2022.

Significant cases include:


Serita Shone v British Bobsleigh
The Claimant was a professional heptathlete who was recruited by British Bobsleigh. After undergoing land based training she travelled to the Alps for ice based training. On her 5th run, her bobsleigh crashed and she fractured her spine. The judge accepted her claim that the injuries arose from the failure to adapt the bobsleigh to her particular dimensions. Shortlisted for PI Case of the Year 2018.

Experience of the full range of catastrophic injury claim, with recent settlements including (N.B. led by Bill Braithwaite QC or Gerard Martin QC):

£13,250,000 for a 22 year old tetraplegic;

£3,300,000 lump sum and periodical payments of £130,000, £155,000 and then £250,000 for AB who suffered a serious brain injury as a young child giving rise to high level, lifelong needs (capitalised value of the PPO in excess of £10,000,000 at the previous discount rate of 2%)

£3,000,000 for Kuwaiti resident who suffered severe brain injuries when hit by a van, as a pedestrian, whilst visiting the UK;

£2,000,000 lump sum and PPOs of £230,000 for a 20 year old man left in a PVS after a road traffic accident;

£2,900,000 and provisional damages for a C7 tetraplegic injured in a road traffic accident.

£10,000,000 net of an 87.5% liability apportionment for a C4 tetraplegic.

Counsel for the Claimant in the case of Fry v McFaull (High Court, Manchester DR, 12.6.18 HHJ Bird) in which the application of Coles v Perfect was considered and refined.

Counsel for the Claimant in the case of Aurora Brown v Lisa Alexander (Liverpool High Court, HHJ Wood QC, 3.8.18), reported on Lawtel, which addressed the disclosure of rehabilitation records to medico-legal experts.

Counsel for the Claimant in the case of Hill v Gill [2018] EWHC 2703 (QB)


Chris has built up an extensive practice in military claims, including:

Many cases involving Non Freezing Cold Injuries (at least 30 ongoing);

Many cases involving Noise Induced Hearing Loss (at least 20 ongoing);

Numerous other ongoing claims in a range of circumstances and including clinical negligence (in the services), stress, harassment and bullying;

Fatal accident claim involving a military diver (settled for over £850,000);

Clinical negligence claim involving a developing cauda equina syndrome
(settled for £1,000,000);

Counsel for the Claimant (Led by Amanda Yip Q.C.) in Birch v Ministry of Defence (2012) EWHC 2267 (QB) and (2013) EWCA Civ 676;

Counsel for the Claimant in Bradlaugh v Ministry of Defence (Lawtel, 29.4.10, £329,000 awarded for moderate deafness/tinnitus);

Counsel for the successful Claimant at first instance and on appeal in Lillington v Ministry of Defence [2015] EWCA Civ 775;

Counsel for the Claimant in Ifede v Ministry of Defence [2015] EWHC 3835 (QB).

A claim arising from an accident during adventurous training with a settlement agreed of £8,000,000 plus provisional damages relating to syringomyelia (for a paraplegic claimant).


In the case of EXN v Alder Hey Children’s Hospital [2021] EWHC 2989 (QB) Chris recovered damages with a capitalised value of £27,300,000 for a child following the Defendant’s failure to identify, and treat, the herpes simplex virus.

Experience of a wide range of different work. For further details see his
Clinical Negligence CV.


The full range of RTA, EL and PL claims (generally only where the value exceeds £100,000), including:

Counsel for the successful Claimant in the case of Colin Crooks v Hendricks Lovell Ltd.[2016] EWCA Civ 8