Christopher Wilson-Smith QC

Year of Call:
1965
Year of Silk:
1986
Direct Access:
No

Christopher Wilson-Smith QC’s practice covers personal injury, often compounded by breaches of duty in healthcare following the initial trauma; clinical negligence; and serious crime, primarily involving corporate manslaughter and health and safety cases.

In clinical negligence Christopher acts for claimants and defendants (NHSLA), often involving babies with birth injuries and often compounded by breaches of duty in healthcare following the initial trauma. Across the legal directories, he is listed as a leader in personal injury and clinical negligence.

His clients say this of him: “He is always well prepared and his conduct of conferences with experts and joint settlement meetings is exceptional. He shows great skill in identifying the important and relevant issues.”

“One of the best cross-examiners in the business, he is an outstanding advocate with finely tuned judgment.”

“His larger than life character and bluff amiability disguise his sharp forensic skills honed over many years in both criminal and civil cases of the highest order giving him an ability to see through to the real issues and address them quickly and effectively. His ability to turn around a set of papers in short order is testament to his considerable work ethic and yet his eye for detail often catches out the unwary or ill-prepared.”

Christopher became a Recorder of the Crown Court (civil and crime) in 1977 and Master of Bench Gray’s Inn in 1996. He was also admitted as QC to the Bar of New South Wales in 1996.

Expertise

For over 25 years Christopher Wilson-Smith has been recommended in both key legal directories. His practice involves working with the top-rated solicitors, and he acts for both claimants and defendants, often involving babies with birth injuries and resulting in £Multi-million damages.

Christopher Wilson-Smith is a member of all the important professional associations including AvMA. Two recent cases exemplify the quality and value of the work that Christopher leads on.

Notable Clinical Negligence cases


Chloe Dolby (by litigation friend – Amber Dolby) v University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust

Cerebral Palsy case, £Multimillion compensation claim successfully argued. Instructed by Barratt Goff Tomlinson.

Simon Barnett v Medway NHS Trust Kent

A misdiagnosis and failure to discover a spinal abscess leading to paralysis.
Instructed by Stewarts Law.

Martha Richardson-Rudd (by litigation friend – Helen Richardson) v Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Cerebral Palsy case, child has terrible injuries and a massive dependency. Instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

Maria Michael v Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

A Cerebral Palsy case, over 10 years, £Multimillion claim. Liability and quantum eventually compromised, although challenged. Instructed by Foot Anstey.

Paula Maxfield v Medway NHS Trust and Kings College NHS Foundation Trust

Spinal injury, £Multiple millions compensation, complex liabilities and quantum compromised. Instructed by Stewarts Law.

For over 25 years Christopher Wilson-Smith has been recommended as a leader in Personal Injury in both key legal directories and he has worked with the top-rated solicitors. His Personal Injury practice involve £multi-million claims, (including the highest value P.I. case, ever, in England and Wales), and are often compounded by breaches of duty in healthcare following the initial trauma.

Notable Personal Injury cases


Jay Young v SGA Productions Limited

A gymnast, unsupervised, fracture of spine, paralysis case £Multimillion claim, liability and quantum compromised. Instructed by Moore Blatch.

Sarah Thomas v James Baker & Insurance Commission of Western Australia

Road Traffic Accident in Australia, paralysis £Multimillion claim complications in the assessment of damages, differences as to whether Australian or UK jurisdictions apply. Instructed by Stewarts Law.

Liam Blake v Mitchell Knight

A £Multimillion quadriplegic paralysis case, road traffic accident.
Stewarts Law

Robert Croden v Frank Redman

Road Traffic Accident, paralysis, the suggestion was the defendant was trying to murder the claimant, now dropped. Liability should now be resisted on the basis of criminal activity. Instructed by Stewarts Law.

June Vann (Martin Vann (deceased)) v Ocidental – Companhia de Seguros s.a.

Road Traffic Accident with dreadful injuries caused to the father causing death, injuries to other members of the family including the mother who sustained brain injuries. Overseas case complicates level of damages claimed. Instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

Related updates

Christopher Wilson-Smith QC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

"He is exceptional in the courtroom and his cross-examination skills are brilliant."

Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2021

"He is very persuasive in settlement meetings."

Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2021

"His negotiation skills are excellent - he's a force to be reckoned with."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2021

"A real legend of the Bar who has a keen eye for details and enthusiastically engages with tricky issues and opponents."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2021

"Unique and effective questioning of the evidence and experts in conference."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2021

"Consummate personal injury silk with decades of experience acting for claimants and defendants. His caseload frequently includes maximum severity catastrophic injury claims, often complicated by breaches of duty of care in the subsequent medical treatment of the injuries. He is further able to represent clients in cases with difficult health and safety issues."

Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2020

"He's exceptionally knowledgeable and instills confidence in every client."

Personal Injury, Chambers and Partners 2020

Widely praised for his expertise amassed over 30 years. He is frequently instructed by both claimants and defendants in high-profile cases, a number of which concern birth injury claims. He has a portfolio of multimillion-pound wins under his belt, many of which concern cerebral palsy.

Clinical Negligence, Chambers and partners 2020

One of the most experienced clinical negligence silks. He has great attention to detail, is very experienced in dealing with large and complex claims and is also very good with clients." "He is a formidable barrister – he has a huge amount of experience and just radiates confidence.

Personal Injury, Chambers and partners 2020

"He has that fantastic ability to cut through cases and concentrate on what really matters. He's also very strong in negotiations."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers and partners 2020

"Able to assess the risks of cases and identify weaknesses in a way that few counsel can."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2020

"Despite his years of experience and high intellect, he is approachable and has an excellent way of managing difficult and challenging issues."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2019

"One of the most experienced clinical negligence silks. He has great attention to detail and he is also very good with clients."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2019

"A real character at the Bar, he is enormously experienced, seemingly tireless and has great attention to detail."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2019

"He is excellent at the forensic detail in cases and is a formidable negotiator at settlement meetings."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2019

"He was just a huge support. He worked extremely hard and was always available when I needed him. He is also very good with clients."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2018

"Excellent in the courtroom. Sharp as a tack."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2018

"One of the best cross-examiners in the business. He remains an outstanding advocate whose judgement is finely tuned."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2018

"Absolutely 100% behind clients and prepared to go the extra mile and a whole lot more to protect clients' interests. Phenomenal commitment and work ethic. A real bonus to any legal team."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2018

"He has vast experience and is a very skilled negotiator."

Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury, Legal 500 2017

"An excellent advocate on his feet."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2017

"He's excellent: excellent judgement, extremely hard worker, does what needs to be done."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2017

"He is simply phenomenal. His ability to grasp the facts within seconds and cross-examine astutely is a prized skill."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2017

"There is nothing that he has not seen or is capable of not dealing with."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2016

"Forensic in his approach to claims, decisive and very user-friendly."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2016

"Christopher Wilson-Smith QC has the gravitas and experience to handle the most serious and complex injury claims. Christopher combines in Court advocacy of the very highest level, including unrivalled cross-examination skills, with a very powerful and effective style when it comes to negotiating settlements. He is, quite rightly, a legend."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2016

"His ability to explain to a client the complexities of their case whilst simultaneously fighting their corner tooth and nail is second to none. Quite simply, he is a force to be reckoned with and one that you want on your side."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2016

"Christopher Wilson-Smith has a reputation, rightly, for providing a level of advocacy which is beyond compare."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2016

"One of the best cross-examiners in the business, he is an outstanding advocate with finely tuned judgement." "A very good advocate and negotiator."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2015

"He is always well prepared and his conduct of conferences with experts and joint settlement meetings is exceptional. He shows great skill in identifying the important and relevant issues."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2015

"He coaxes, teases and humbles expert witnesses in a manner that is admired by all."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2015

"A force to be reckoned with; he is as sharp as a nail and really fights his clients corner."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2015

"He's an absolutely outstanding advocate and in terms of being able to consider tactically where the other side will go, he's always spot-on." "He's an excellent advocate when it comes to cross-examination."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2014

"He is really good at focusing on the key issues in a case. He is also excellent in conference and always takes control when there are a large number of experts."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2014

"An excellent choice for catastrophic personal injury work."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2014

"A force to be reckoned with."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2014

Go-to counsel" Christopher Wilson-Smith QC is "tenacious and pugnacious" in court and "inspires confidence" with his "legendary cross-examination."

Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2013

"A go-to silk for difficult cases."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2013

Christopher Wilson-Smith QC is "always willing to put himself out."

Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2013

Christopher Wilson-Smith QC delivers "advocacy of the very highest level and has unrivalled cross-examination skills."

Personal Injury, Legal 500 2012

Christopher Wilson-Smith QC is "a trial silk you want on your side to scare off the opposition." He provides "great attention to detail and tactical advice", whilst also being "superb in settlement negotiations."

Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2012

To find out more, contact Paul Barton on +44 (0)20 7353 4907 or Mark Gardner on +44 (0)20 7353 4909 for a confidential discussion.

Our professional clerking staff can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • Chambers & Partners Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)

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