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Nathan Tavares  QC

Nathan Tavares QC

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Nathan Tavares QC specialises in clinical negligence, catastrophic personal injury claims, product liability, and professional negligence. He is regarded by solicitors and opponents interviewed by the legal directories for having “sound judgment”, “an industrious approach”, “a measured and independent perspective”, and “a good approachable manner”. He is noted to be “a versatile and quick-thinking communicator“. “He is very hard-working, conscientious and intellectually very strong.” “He is very good on the mechanics of an accident and he is very experienced on brain and spinal injury cases.”

Over recent years Nathan has acted in some of the highest value actions in his field, for example Collier v Norton where he represented a tetraplegic teenager whose claim is currently believed to be the largest approved settlement of its kind (in excess of £20 million – see the introduction to Facts & Figure 2016/17 for comment on this case). Also Williams v Brown with damages agreed in excess of £10 million.

Other areas of injury litigation in which Nathan has special expertise include travel law, aviation accidents (his first degree was in Aeronautical Engineering and he has acted in a number of claims with significant liability issues), claims involving the MoD, and industrial disease litigation. Nathan is an experienced horse rider and has acted predominantly for riding institutions in many horse-related claims. In the leading case of Mirvahedy v Henley he acted alone for the defendant at the quantum trial.

Nathan has sat as a judge of the Mental Health Tribunal since 2004. He also sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Personal Injury Law to which he is a regular contributor. He is also a contributory author to the legal chapters in Brain Injury Claims, a new practitioner text published by Sweet & Maxwell.

Nathan has also provided comments on a number of clinical negligence and personal injury cases which are listed at the bottom of this page with links to .pdfs of the comments.

Outside of work, Nathan is a keen sportsman and cyclist. In November 2010 he ran the New York Marathon to raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association.

Clinical Negligence

Nathan has a wide ranging clinical negligence practice with particular emphasis on claims involving spinal cord injury (from spinal surgery, spinal abscess or discitis), birth injuries, and claims arising out of psychiatric negligence.  He is ranked as a leader in the field in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners:

He is as good with the numbers as he is on his feet in court.”  “He always adds value to any case.” Legal 500, 2015

He is very thorough, excellent on quantum and extremely bright.” “His client care is excellent. Nathan is super at quantum and very calm.” C&P 2015

Important cases include:

Barnett v Medway University Hospitals Trust [2015] EWHC 440 (QB), [2017] EWCA Civ 235

Acted for the claimant (led by Christopher Wilson-Smith QC) in spinal abscess case involving difficult causation issues, and an appeal regarding when a judge may resort to the burden of proof.

AB v Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 1024 QB

Successfully acting for claimant in action for delayed diagnosis of a spinal abscess leading to paraplegia. Quantum issues included interesting application of ex turpi causa as the claimant was a drug-abuser.

Hofer v The Bermuda Hospitals Board

Acting for claimant, a German national, who sustained tetraplegia when detained (whilst on holiday) by mental health services in Bermuda. The Hospital sought permission to appeal to the Privy Council in relation to a strike out application. I drafted the documents which were adopted by the Privy Council in refusing permission.

Szatmari -v- Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acted for the claimant in a claim for delayed diagnosis of spinal abscess. The assessment of quantum has been complicated by pre-existing morbidity including pancreas transplant and uncontrolled diabetes.

Caton v Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Acted for claimant in a hugely complex causation claim involving unexplained neurological symptoms following prolapsed disc and cauda equina syndrome. Numerous interlocutory hearings regarding failure by the defendant to make admissions.

Turnbull –v- South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Instructed for the defendant hospital in a difficult claim arising out of an attempted suicide by a psychiatric patient. Interesting issues involving the duty owed to prevent an individual with a personality disorder from making self harm attempts when there is nothing that can be done to keep them completely safe, and when they need to be encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Product Liability Forum

Please see below Nathan’s comments on some clinical negligence and personal injury cases:

Shaw v Kovac [2017] EWCA Civ 1028

Cavanagh v Witley Parish Council, 14/2/17 unreported

Webster (a child) v Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 62

Harris v Miller [2016] EWHC 2438 (QB)

Beaumont v Ferrer [2016] EWCA Civ 768

Wright v Barts Health NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 1834 (QB)

English Heritage v Taylor [2016] EWCA Civ 448

Atkins v Co-operative Group Ltd [2016] EWHC 80 (QB)

Baxter v Barnes [2015] EWHC 54 (QB)

Jackson v Murray [2015] UKSC 5

Brown (Widow and Executrix) v Hamid [2013] EWHC 4067 (QB)

Leigh v London Ambulance Service NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 286 (QB)

Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [2014] EWCA Civ 15)

Japp v Virgin Holidays Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1371)

Nathan Tavares 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.

Areas of Law


“His attention to detail is brilliant and he is very good at providing realistic advice.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2021

“He is exceptional with clients and has a very good bedside manner.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2021

“He goes above and beyond for his clients and his written work is very, very good. A very impressive barrister.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2021

“He is firm and unflinching in his dealings with opponents, and very committed to fighting for the best possible outcomes for his clients.” Product Liability, Legal 500 2021

“Meticulously well prepared, on top of the detail, builds a great rapport with professional and lay clients alike, and matches good judgement with a healthy dose of pragmatism.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2021

“He is an experienced new silk.” Travel, Legal 500 2020

“He is reliable, precise and well organised.”Product Liability, Legal 500 2020

“Extremely effective advocate in utmost severity cases.” Personal Injury & Industrial Disease, Legal 500 2020

“He pays excellent attention to detail and is approachable and good with clients” Clinical Negligence,  Legal 500 2020

“An insightful and practical adviser.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2019

“He’s good with clients, thinks outside of the box, is very experienced and is always on the ball.” “His advocacy is very persuasive; you can see the points hitting home from the back of the courtroom.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2019

“His strengths are client care, negotiation skills and great knowledge.” Travel, Legal 500 2019

“A good negotiator with great client care and knowledge on traumatic brain injury cases.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2019

“Analytical with a fast turnaround of instructions and in depth knowledge of quantum issues.” Legal 500 2019

“He delivers quick advice and is good at getting to the issues in a case.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Very thorough, excellent on quantum and extremely bright.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Highly capable and competent in all areas of personal injury law.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Intelligent, hard-working junior with sound judgement.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Undoubtedly one of the brightest juniors at the personal injury Bar.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2017

“He has impressive knowledge of the law and good judgement.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2017

“He’s got real gravitas and is clearly a silk in the making. He’s a real technician, a real brain.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He’s approachable, thorough and detailed. He gives good, in-depth advice on how to pursue a claim.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He has a lightning-fast grasp of issues and is always ready to assist.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2017

“He is industrious and a very capable advocate.” Legal 500 2016

“He is very thorough, excellent on quantum and extremely bright.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2016

“His client care is excellent. Nathan is super at quantum and very calm.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is very hard-working, conscientious and intellectually very strong.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is very good on the mechanics of an accident and he is very experienced on brain and spinal injury cases.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2016

“He is a very methodical and incredibly hard-working advocate. Very good with clients, he’s excellent at fielding questions.” Clinical Negligence, Chambers & Partners 2015

“His judgement is sound, he is hard-working, has a good brain and is a safe pair of hands.” “He is a pleasure to work with as he is very good with clients and excellent at analysing medical reports and numbers.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2015

“He is as good with the numbers as he is on his feet in court.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2015

“He always adds value to any case.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2015

“He’s good forensically and on technical points.” “He’s brave – he stands his ground and has the courage of his convictions.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2014

“He has a wealth of experience, together with a solid work ethic that gets results.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2014

“Excellent at case preparation.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2014

“A well-respected claimant junior working on the highest value cases,” who is appreciated by legal teams for his no-nonsense approach to issues. His practice consists of a mix of spinal cord and brain injury work and he “never fails to add value to a case.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2013

Nathan Tavares is praised as a “versatile and quick-thinking communicator.” Tavares handles a wide range of severe brain injury cases and has a particular grasp of claims with a psychiatric element. Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2012

Nathan Tavares, is “destined to take silk.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2012

The “talented” Nathan Tavares is a sound choice for high-value brain and spinal injury cases, and is noted for his particular expertise on cases involving military and aviation aspects. Solicitors rate him for his “industrious approach, measured advice and independent perspective.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2011

Nathan Tavares, for his ability to “tackle difficult issues head on.” Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2011

Nathan Tavares, is “destined for silk”. Personal Injury, Legal 500 2011

“Nathan Tavares has built his reputation on having “sound judgment and a good, approachable manner”. A good choice for managing difficult clients, he represents both claimants and defendants. His expertise covers many bases, including equestrian and aviation claims, as well as cases with a mental health element.” Personal Injury, Chambers & Partners 2010

“Nathan Tavares judgement is invariably sound.” Personal Injury, Legal 500 2010




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