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Charles Bagot QC
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He is a superb barrister who has the rare skill of having his eye to the future of litigation…Approachable and excellent both in writing and on his feet.

Chambers UK

…an exceptional barrister who achieves real results with his analytical but user-friendly approach…. Approachable and excellent both in writing and on his feet. Logical, methodical and analytical in his approach to complex issues

Chambers UK

For more than a dozen years, Charles has been recommended in the legal directories as a leading practitioner. He took silk in 2018 and is a specialist barrister in the fields of personal injury, clinical negligence, civil procedure and related insurance issues. He sits as a Recorder and as a Deputy Queen’s Bench Master and is an appointed panel member (and Chair) of the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal.

Charles’ practice is in acting for Claimants and Defendants in complex and high value injury and clinical negligence claims as well as having a particular specialism in secondary victim litigation and fatal accident claims.

He also has a niche practice in procedural law, having led on appeals in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council arising out of procedural points in his specialist fields and civil litigation generally, both domestic claims and appeals from overseas jurisdictions.

He has advised major insurers in various high value cases being litigated in the Caymans, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Gibraltar respectively. He has acted as an expert witness on English law in foreign jurisdictions.

He is sought after by insurers for cases where fraud and exaggeration are suspected in high value injury and clinical negligence claims.

Charles also advises insurers on coverage and policy interpretation issues arising in his specialist fields.

Clinical Negligence

Charles is highly rated for his forensic skills, strong negotiating and persuasive advocacy in sensitive and complex cases. His extensive clinical negligence practice for Claimants and Defendants is in high value and complex claims in a wide range of clinical fields, particularly those resulting in fatalities, maximum severity brain and spinal consequences, psychiatric injury/ secondary victims, amputations and loss of sight. He advises domestically and also internationally in numerous jurisdictions.

Recent Work:

  • ABC (re: SBC Deceased) v NHS: very high value fatal accident claim (pleaded at >£5m) arising out of death of a mother 10 days after giving birth to her 3rd child from an undiagnosed splenic artery aneurism; associated secondary victim claim by spouse.
  • AWB v NHS: Alleged failure adequately to treat acute herpes simplex encephalitis resulting in catastrophic brain damage; seven figure claim ongoing.
  • Moore (re: EM Deceased) v NHS: represented extended family arising out of late diagnosis of bowel cancer. Particularly complex on quantum/ apportionment due to deceased mother having children with 3 different partners.
  • JM v Specsavers & NHS: 7 figure claim for consequences of catastrophic stroke resulting from opticians’ and hospital’s failure to diagnose signs of pituitary adenoma.
  • Coleman v NHS: Failure to diagnose additional unstable spinal fracture, resulting in paraplegia. Settled for £1.05m.
  • Re Bullard (Bermuda): acted for a private hospital in Bermuda, arising out of a claim for the consequences of a hospital acquired infection.

Charles is one of the, if not the, most experienced and successful barristers (Leaders or Juniors) in secondary victim cases, many of which arise in the clinical negligence context, e.g.:

  • Taylor v A.Novo (UK) Ltd [2014] QB 150; [2013] Med LR 100; [2013] EWCA Civ 194: successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in novel secondary victim claim, shaping the law in this area (led by Charles Cory-Wright QC).
  • Wild v Southend Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] PIQR P3; [2014] EWHC 4053: successful at trial in secondary victim claim arising out of death in utero and stillbirth; the first reported application of Taylor v Novo in the clinical negligence context.
  • Tanner v Dr Sarkar (MPS) (2017) LTL, 4 April (HHJ Buckingham): successful defence at trial in the first reported secondary victim claim brought by a child who, aged 5 (16 at trial) witnessed death of her brother in ambulance due to failure to diagnose sepsis.

Personal Injury

Charles is highly rated for his forensic skills, strong negotiating and persuasive advocacy in sensitive and complex cases. He acts for both Claimants and Defendants, in high value claims, usually arising from catastrophic brain injuries, spinal fractures and amputations.

His cases often have an international element such as incidents abroad or Claimants based abroad; he has also advised on claims being litigated in numerous overseas jurisdictions.

He is known for his expertise in cases involving allegations of exaggeration and dishonesty. He also advises insurers on coverage and policy interpretation issues arising in injury claims.

Recent Work

  • JX MX (Protected party): Defending claim by teenage girl with locked-in syndrome who communicated by blinking and eye-gaze technology; 8 figure settlement with PPO achieved shortly before trial.
  • EJL (Protected party): thought to be the first catastrophic injury case compromised post-discount rate change (at a JSM on the day of the Lord Chancellor’s decision) and subsequently approved by the Court. Acting for a young woman, aged 20 years, and her family, living with the consequences of a brain injury sustained at age 7.
  • AX WX (Protected party): $18m claim by student repatriated to the US following brain injury in UK RTA; led project involving US financial experts to evidence and advance argument that more favourable US discount rates should be used instead of UK rates, post discount rate change. Claim settled at 7 figures on basis of US rates.
  • Denker v Lufthansa: Charles is Leading Jasmine Murphy, acting for a major European airline defending a claim for £7m by a mature male model for loss of income following an accident at Munich Airport.
  • Sajid v Nuur (2018) LTL 30 July (On appeal, HHJ Roberts): successful appeal considering the duty on a party to apply for alternative service before serving a Defendant at a ‘last known address’ and the circumstances in which a fresh claim, seeking the same relief as a previous claim which has been struck, will amount to an abuse of process. Judgment available here. Article available here.

Charles is sought after for test litigation by insurers, being one of the, if not the, most experienced and successful barristers (Leaders or Juniors) in secondary victim psychiatric injury cases, e.g.:

  • Taylor v A.Novo (UK) Ltd [2014] QB 150; [2013] Med LR 100; [2013] EWCA Civ 194: successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in novel secondary victim claim, shaping the law in this area in favour of Defendants.
  • Wild v Southend Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] PIQR P3; [2014] EWHC 4053: successful at trial in secondary victim claim arising out of death in utero and stillbirth; the first reported application of Taylor v Novo in the clinical negligence context.
  • Tanner v Dr Sarkar (MPS) (2017) LTL, 4 April (HHJ Buckingham): successful defence at trial in the first reported secondary victim claim brought by a child who, aged 5 (16 at trial) witnessed death of her brother in ambulance.

Fraud

Charles is sought after by insurers for cases where fraud and exaggeration are suspected in high value injury and clinical negligence claims. They value his forensic approach to identifying the issues, providing and seeing through a clear strategy on achieving the best outcome.

Charles was successful in one of the first Court of Appeal cases to question whether a dishonest Claimant should recover any damages at all, where a significant part of the claim was dishonest, long before such a power gained statutory force in Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015: Molloy v Shell UK Ltd. [2001] EWCA Civ 1272, [2002] PIQR P7.

Since then, he has been instructed in numerous such claims, securing favourable outcomes for insurers in Court or at JSMs.

Charles is also Editor of the Chapter in Kemp & Kemp dealing with Fraudulent and Dishonest Claimants.

Recent Work

  • CF v LT NHS Trust
    Seven figure claim based on allegations of unremitting pain and disability from negligently performed abdominal surgery. Charles advised on appropriate investigations into the Claimant’s DWP records and a case strategy maximising the impact of surveillance showing the Claimant driving, shopping and throwing a ball for her dog. A compromise was ultimately reached whereby the Claimant accepted a low offer two years out-of-time, paying the Trust a substantial sum in costs.
  • Burke v Hersant (Caymans)
    Charles advised the Defendant’s insurers in this injury case pleaded at CI$6m and was briefed for trial in the Caymans. Credibility issues arose. The Plaintiff claimed significant disability and incapacity but was found to have completed a 1 mile charity swim and was filmed carrying out normal day-to-day activities. The claim was compromised shortly before trial for around 5% of the amount originally sought.
  • LB v Local Authority
    A Claimant who alleged severe consequences from a hand injury had bragged on social media about his forthcoming boxing matches and training exploits. Charles’ strategy to amend the Defence pleading conscious exaggeration and making an application for further disclosure, resulted in the claim being struck out for non-compliance. A fully enforceable costs order was made in his client’s favour.
  • ABC v Matalan
    Charles’ carefully drafted CPR 18 Requests for Information resulted in answers wholly inconsistent with the Claimant’s presentation to the DWP in benefits claims and on surveillance. At a subsequent JSM a favourable settlement was reached.

Product Liability

Charles has extensive experience in product liability cases arising out of fatalities and serious injuries for both Claimants and Defendants. Further details can be found under ‘Personal Injury’. He also advises insurers on coverage and policy interpretation issues arising in this area.

Recent work

  • JM v Leading Watersports Manufacturer
    Defending product liability claim on behalf of the world’s leading watersports equipment manufacturer. Claim by a kite surfer who sustained multiple spinal fractures when he struck the sea bed after performing a freestyle stunt. He alleged a product defect. Charles represented the company at a pre-action negotiation and a confidential settlement was reached.
  • BCC v Geesink Norba
    Defending product liability claim involving technical engineering evidence and contractual issues  for worldwide manufacturer of refuse vehicles. Sued by City Council which sought recovery of damages paid to an employee who had been paralysed when he was crushed by mechanism which was alleged to have operated unexpectedly. Claimed at £1 million + and settled for £365,000 including costs. Opponent was leading PI silk.
  • Teall v Inztec & 2 others Defending product liability claim by lorry driver struck by a large roller shutter door which fell from its mountings resulting in a below knee amputation of his leg. Acting for occupier of building. At JSM, secured settlement in which Charles’ client did not have to pay any damages or costs and co-Defendant paid entirety of Claimant’s substantial damages and costs.

Inquests & Inquiries

Charles has been a specialist injury and clinical negligence barrister for over 20 years and, since the start of his practice, he has been instructed for interested parties in Coroner’s inquests of all types.

He has drafted written submissions/ responses, appeared as advocate before (and sat on/ chaired) a range of different panels, tribunals, inquiries and committees.

Examples of his experience in the inquest field include:

  • A 5 day jury inquest into the death in custody of an asylum seeker at an immigration detention centre run by a private contractor. The death was highly sensitive and provoked a serious riot causing extensive damage to the centre;
  • A 3 day inquest into the death of a motorcycle racer at a major racetrack, when a mock-emergency drill led to a fatal collision between the motorcyclist and an emergency vehicle, at the conclusion of a race;
  • Inquests concerning the provision of medical treatment, such as an inquest into the sudden death of a toddler, 6 hours after her arrival in Accident and Emergency, from undiagnosed myocarditis. Acting for the bereaved family.
  • Jury inquests into deaths at work (often multiple deaths in the same incident) including construction site accidents, falls from height, crane/ machinery collapses, collapse of excavations and asphyxiation;
  • Numerous inquests into fatal road traffic accidents.

Other:

  • Chaired a panel for a sporting body investigating an allegation of assault by a spectator at a competition;
  • Charles has been a panel member of the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal since 2012 and a panel chair since 2018.

International

Charles is instructed in an increasing amount of international injury litigation often involving cross-border issues. He has recently advised major international insurers in various high value injury and clinical negligence cases being litigated in the Caymans, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Gibraltar respectively.

Recent Work

  • H v A (Caymans) Acting for insurers in a multi-million CI$ claim by a businesswoman injured in accident.
  • Igelski v Scamp (Gibraltar) Advising an employer’s liability insurers arising out of the death of a commercial diver whilst working on a vessel in Gibraltar harbour.
  • Burke v Hersant (Caymans) Charles advised the Defendant’s insurers in this injury case pleaded at CI$6m and was briefed for trial in the Caymans. Credibility issues arose. The claim was compromised shortly before trial for around 5% of the amount originally sought.
  • Farmer v Smith (Bahamas) Charles advised and drafted the skeleton argument for an application to set aside the extension of time to serve a writ long after its validity had expired. The Court granted the application, set aside the extension and struck out the case. The outcome was overturned by the Bahamas Court of Appeal. Charles was lead Counsel for the insurers in the application to the UK Privy Council.
  • Re Bullard (Bermuda): acted for a private hospital in Bermuda, arising out of a claim for the fatal consequences of a hospital acquired infection.

Insurance Coverage

Charles advises insurers on coverage and policy interpretation issues arising mainly in injury, clinical negligence and property damage claims. For instance:

Recent work

  • He advised two major insurers as to whether a public, employer’s or road traffic liability policy should answer where various bus drivers had assaulted members of the public following road accidents.
  • Fire Damage: Charles advised on issues arising in a seven figure claim for consequential loss and business interruption arising from a HGV fire in a loading bay at a large supermarket.
  • Madonna Stage Collapse Litigation: Charles advised on various policy issues arising out of this incident, in Marseille, which resulted in a fatality, serious injuries and major consequential losses.

Insurance Funded Disputes

Charles regularly acts in clinical negligence and personal injury claims involving insurers.  You can see details of his experience in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury sections of his profile.

Directory recommendations

Charles is recommended in both Legal 500 and Chambers UK for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence and in Legal 500 for the additional field of Travel Law (including jurisdictional issues).

Testimonials

  • ‘He’s consistently hard-working, very thorough and has an exceptionally good grip on procedural matters.’

Chambers UK

  • ‘Very good on the law and very accomplished.’

Chambers UK

  • Approachable and excellent both in writing and on his feet. Logical, methodical and analytical in his approach to complex issues.

Chambers UK

  • An exceptional barrister who achieves real results with his analytical but user-friendly approach. A quiet, incisive mind.

Chambers UK 

  • He is an astute analytical thinker who is exceptional in managing clients’ expectations.

Chambers UK

  • Has great attention to detail and his measured approach is appreciated by clients.

The Legal 500

  • He is a superb barrister who has the rare skill of having his eye to the future of litigation; ably assists clients on how to manage a large loss portfolio.

The Legal 500

  • He writes arguments accurately, coherently and simply, and in an accessible style.

The Legal 500

  • He uses the law creatively but pragmatically to achieve the best possible results for his clients.

Legal 500

Languages

French (Fluent)

Professional associations

  • Member of Personal Injury Bar Association Executive Committee & co-organiser of PIBA Continuing Education programme
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • British Insurance Law Association

Publications

Charles is on the Editorial Boards of Kemp & Kemp: the Quantum of Damages and also the Personal Injuries and Quantum Reports.

Qualifications

  • LLB Law with French (Leicester); & Dip E.J.F.: Diploma in French Law (Lyons)
  • Deputy District Judge (2010-2018)
  • Bar Disciplinary Tribunal Panel Member (2012-2018); Panel Chair (2018-)
  • Deputy Queen’s Bench Master: High Court (2015-)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court (2018-)

CSR

  • Advocacy and Ethics trainer for Inner Temple new practitioners
  • Speaker and group leader for Inner Temple Pathways to Law, PASS and Schools Days programmes for Y12/13 and university students.
  • Volunteer for Inner Temple mock pupillage interview programme
  • Panel member at the Inner Temple Pegasus Access and Support Scheme
  • Pupil supervisor and Group Leader for pupil supervisor training
  • Careers speaker for various school and student audiences
  • British Swimming Judge & Starter
  • Charity open water swimmer: cross-Solent swims in 2014, 2017 & 2018; Needles headland swims 2015 & 2016.
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