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Howard Elgot

Called 1974

Howard Elgot is one of the very few provincial barristers to have been shortlisted as Barrister of the Year by the Law Society.

He has acted as both leading and junior counsel in many cases of national importance in the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the Supreme Court. He practices principally in the fields of clinical and professional negligence, and personal injury litigation. He is accredited as an adjudicator by the Professional Negligence Bar Association. He previously practised at 3 Paper Buildings, Temple, London. 

Independent guides refer to Howard as a “well-prepared, fearsome cross-examiner and negotiator", a "marvellously innovative thinker", who is “admired for his client-friendly demeanour and sympathetic attitude."

Howard is a keen cricketer and a long-suffering supporter of Leeds United.

"As good as a silk. Able, tenacious and a fighter. Always quick to pick up on relevant points."

Chambers & Partners 2018
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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury
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Howard has acted in many high profile claims on behalf of claimants, insurers and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. He was instructed in the Selby Rail Crash personal injury litigation on behalf of the insurers of Gary Hart and has acted in many other multi-party claims on behalf of claimants. He is one of the lead counsel in the British Coal VWF Professional Negligence claims. 

Howard regularly appears in complex personal injury and clinical negligence claims, including brain injury and other catastrophic injury claims and industrial disease litigation, particularly stress-related claims. Howard appeared in the Court of Appeal in the leading stress at work case, Hatton v Sutherland. 

Additionally Howard has a substantial professional negligence practice arising out of personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

Howard has twice spoken at the Personal Injury Bar Association national conference on the topic of mental capacity, having appeared in the Court of Appeal in the landmark case of Bailey v Warren. He has also spoken at the national AvMA conference on amputationn claims, and has also spoken at a conference of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

As well as having been short-listed nationally as Law Society Barrister of the Year, Howard has also been short-listed nationally as Personal Injury Barrister of the Year.

Professional Negligence
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Howard Elgot continues to act in the British Coal VWF Professional Negligence Litigation. He has recently been appointed to act in national multi-party professional negligence litigation against solicitors who acted for purchasers in the new-build leasehold ground rent controversy

His most recently reported professional negligence cases are Liddle v Atha and Co and Barton v Wright Hassall LLP, both reported in 2018 1WLR. In Barton v Wright Hassall LLP, Howard acted as leasding counsel in the Supreme Court, leading Abigail Telford, also of Parklane Plowden.

Howard has a wealth of experience in commercial, construction and professional negligence work and has appeared regularly in the higher courts including the Queen's Bench and Chancery Divisions as well as the London Court of International Arbitration.

Howard has advised in various group litigation professional negligence claims relating to property development at home and overseas, particularly in Italy, Egypt and Turkey.

He acted successfully in a claim made by the Turkish sole distributors of Johnson and Johnson surgical products against Johnson and Johnson, a case in which he led Richard Copnall, also of Park Lane Plowden.

Howard is developing a habit of acting in commercial litigation involving Manchester United. He acted for the designer and the construction company that constructed the football pitches at their Carrington training ground and previously acted for the Vice-President of Manchester United in a dispute with a former director involving a substantial shareholding in the club. 

Howard has acted in many mediations and appeared in the Court of Appeal in the leading group of cases on ADR, reported collectively as Halsey -v- Milton Keynes.

Clinical Negligence
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Howard has a large high profile clinical negligence practice, including many cerebral palsy and other obstetric claims, brain and spinal injury cases and amputation cases. Although his clinical negligence practice is almost entirely on behalf of claimants. he was successful in the Court of Appeal in 2014 in the important procedural case of Murrills v Berlanda, acting on behalf of an Italian doctor. Other high profile cases include the claim of Gianluca Petrachi, an Italian Serie A footballer, against an English surgeon, and Marshall v Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust, a new and important High Court decision on causation.

Howard has spoken nationally to AvMA on amputation claims and is a regular speaker at regional meetings of AvMA, most recently on the topics of consent to treatment and service of the claim form. This latest talk drew upon Howard’s recent successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in Power v Meloy Whittle. Howard recently chaired the AvMA Seminar “Funding & Costs in the Brave New World” and spoke on the expected changes to the discount rate at the recent Clinical Negligence Debate in Manchester. He has also spoken to the regional conference of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

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Chambers and Partners 2019 - Personal Injury - Band 2

"His attention to detail is second to none and he is incredibly thorough in his preparations. He is very knowledgeable on the most complex of issues."

Chambers and Partners 2019 - Clinical Negligence - Band 2

"He's relentless in his pursuit of a case and clear in his assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. He handles medical experts and opposing counsel well and is not intimidated by anybody." "My greatest praise for Howard is when he is in court - he is a brilliant advocate."

Legal 500 2018/2019

"A smooth and determined barrister."

Chambers and Partners 2018 - Clinical Negligence - Band 2

Assists with long-running and typically high-value claims on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He has recent experience in child brain injury and failed orthopaedic surgery cases, as well as psychiatric claims.

Strengths: "He's very, very experienced and he thinks outside the box." "He will fight your client's corner and doesn't back down easily."

Recent work: Successfully represented the claimant in a case in which negligent treatment of an infection led to a total knee replacement, while further infections and surgery left the claimant permanently disabled.

Chambers and Partners 2018 - Personal Injury - Band 2

Senior junior known for his superb grasp of claims involving serious spinal and brain injuries. He often acts in complex, high-value paralysis cases, representing both claimants and defendants. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on personal injury law.

Strengths: "As good as a silk. Able, tenacious and a fighter. Always quick to pick up on relevant points." 

Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Mills v Bankole, an RTA matter in which the claimant claimed permanent disability and almost £1 million in damages.

Legal 500 2017

"Experienced in catastrophic injury claims."

Chambers and Partners 2017 - Clinical Negligence

Assists with long-running and typically high-value claims on behalf of claimants and defendants. Has recent experience in child brain injury and failed orthopaedic surgery cases.

Strengths: "He is excellent at dealing with liability in difficult clinical negligence claims. He has a thorough knowledge of both medicine and the law." "He is a safe pair of hands and is reliable and academic."

Recent work: Represented the Claimant in Carrick v NHS Commissioning Board. The Claim related to negligence after the claimant suffered a stroke in prison.

Legal 500 2016 (Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence)

"He has a sharp mind- few can match his intellect in the region."

Chambers & Partners 2016 (Clinical Negligence)

"Acts for claimants and defendants in maximum severity cases, including cerebral palsy and catastrophic brain injury claims."  

Strengths: "He is an extremely thorough individual who focuses on the main issues in a particular case." "The work that you send him is always returned promptly and he is happy to engage at any time by telephone."

Chambers & Partners 2016 (Personal Injury)

"Represents claimants and defendants in personal injury cases of the utmost severity involving brain, spinal and orthopaedic injuries. Noted by market observers for his strength in cases involving fatal accidents."

Strengths: "He is one of the strongest players." "He has the courage of his convictions."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"Well versed in catastrophic injury and clinical negligence litigation. Commentators praise him highly for his strong technical skills and knowledge in industrial disease cases, including asbestos and respiratory." 

Expertise: “He is very capable and a tenacious advocate.” “He has a sharp mind and is one of the best counsels in the region, even a match for a QC.”

Recent work: He acted in the fatal incident claim Chapman and Gibbs v Bradley, which involved dependency claims as well.

Chambers & Partners 2014 

"Frequently handles extremely high-value complex catastrophic work, with particular expertise in industrial disease litigation and brain injury cases relating to infants." 

Expertise: "He is extremely thorough and very good with clients."

Recent work: He acted for the claimants in a group action against British Coal by coal miners who suffered VWF as a result of using vibratory tools.

Chambers & Partners 2013

"Howard Elgot acts for both defendants and claimants on a broad range of personal injury matters. He handles catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases, as well as disease litigation. His recent matters include the British Coal Vibration White Finger Litigation."

Chambers & Partners 2012 

"Howard Elgot tackles catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, workplace stress and disease litigation."

Chambers & Partners 2011

"Well-prepared, fearsome cross-examiner and negotiator" who is well known for his handling of catastophic injury, industrial disease and stress claims.

The Legal 500 2010 

"Howard Elgot is an excellent choice for fatal accident actions."

Chambers and Partners 2010

The "cerebral" Howard Elgot is another well-known figure on the circuit. His great forte is his "expert handling of fatal claims, which few can better."

Chambers & Partners 2009 

Howard Elgot shines in fatality claims thanks to being "a marvellously innovative thinker."

Chambers & Partners 2008

"a solid, safe pair of hands" who is "admired for his client-friendly demeanour and sympathetic attitude."

The Legal 500 2007 

 "one of the leading juniors on the North Eastern Circuit in the field of personal injury and clinical negligence work."

Notable Cases
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Recent Cases

Howard Elgot continues to act in the British Coal VWF Professional Negligence Litigation. He has recently been appointed to act in national multi-party professional negligence litigation against solicitors who acted for purchasers in the new-build leasehold ground rent controversy

Recently he has successfully obtained compensation for a professional footballer  whose career was ruined by a foul tackle during a game. Former Colchester United centre forward Jamie Guy suffered a complex double leg fracture after being fouled by the Eastleigh Town goalkeeper. International referee Dermot Gallagher and football agent Dan Chapman acted for Jamie Guy as expert witnesses.

Reported Cases

Liddle v Atha and Co [2018] 1 W.L.R. 4953 QB Underpayment of issue fee. Abuse of Process? Striking out.

Barton v Wright Hassall LLP  [2018] 1 W.L.R. 1119 Supreme Court - Should the courts apply the dispensing provision in CPR 6.15 to allow irregular service of a claim form by a litigant in person?

DS v North Lincs and Goole NHS Trust [2016] Med. L.R. 339 QB Cerebral Palsy. Breach of Duty and Causation.


Marshall v Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust - [2015] All ER (D) 76 (Feb) - Do the causation rules expounded in the well-known cases of Chester v. Afshar and Wright v. Cambridge Medical Group apply in all cases of clinical negligence?

Murrills v. Dr Berlanda [2014] EWCA Civ 6 - Appropriate place of service of claim form on an Italian doctor. Residence or place of business?

Power v. Meloy Whittle Robinson [2014] EWCA Civ 898 - Use of CPR 6.15(2) to validate invalid service of claim form in the British Coal VWF Professional Negligence Litigation. The first judgment of the Court of Appeal in a domestic case on this new provision.

Swift v Dr Edbrooke. Clinical Risk, 2013 -  Ectopic pregnancy claim against GP. The negligent GP and her senior partner were described by trial judge as the least satisfactory medical witnesses he had ever come across.

Bryce v Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust. Clinical Risk 2012 – Failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome

Middleton v Thompson [2012] EWCA Civ 231 - The court's approach to psychiatric evidence - somatoform disorder.

Lovell v Leeds City Council [2009] EWHC 1145 (QB) - Allegation of negligent design and siting of new roundabout causing catastrophic injury.

Lough v Intruder Detection and Fulton [2008] EWCA Civ 1099 -  Occupiers' Liability claim. Apportionment of liability between residential occupier and employer.

Bailey -v- Warren [2006] EWCA Civ 51 ; The Times, 20 February 2006: [2005] PIQR P15 - The leading case on the court's discretion to ex post facto validate an agreement with a claimant lacking litigation capacity.

Halsey -v- Milton Keynes NHS Trust [2004] 1 WLR 3002 - The leading case on the effect of a refusal to mediate.

Beck -v- Ministry of Defence [2004] PIQR P1 - When will the Court permit change of an expert witness?

Hatton -v- Sutherland [2002] 2 All ER1 - Stress at work - the leading case.

D & D -v- Donald [2001] PIQR Q5 -  Impact of marital infidelity on the multiplier in a fatal accident claim.

Burke v Leeds Health Authority [2001] All ER (D) 209 (Jan) – Parental consent to treatment.

Cullen v Harman and MIB, Court of Appeal 18th Feb 2000 – MIB liability

Hurd v Stirling Group Plc, Court of Appeal  26th May 1999 - reg.18(1) Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Clarke -v- Kato [1998] 1 W.L.R. 1647 (H.L.) - When is a car park a "road" for the purposes of Road Traffic Act liability?

Dickson v. Barrington Black, Austin, Court of Appeal 13th May 1997 – Solicitors’ negligence. 

Liddell -v- Middleton [1996] P.I.Q.R. P36 - Admissibility of expert evidence in motor claims.

Hill -v- Bruce [1995] P.I.Q.R. P300 - Causation of damage - contributory negligence.

Roebuck -v- Mungovin [1994] 2 A.C. 224 - Strike out for want of prosecution.

Dale -v- British Coal [1992] 1 W.L.R. 96 Limitation Act - whether leave to appeal required.

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Formerly tutor in law, Queen Mary College, University of London

Personal Details

BA, B.C.L., New College, Oxford

Professional Associations

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA); Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA); Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA).

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Awards &

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