Christopher Williams

Called 1981

He is very experienced, cuts to the quick of issues, and provides pragmatic advice.

Legal 500 2022 (Personal Injury Tier 3)


Chris has practised on the North Eastern Circuit since 1983. Initially he practised in all areas of Common law but since the early 1990s he has concentrated in personal injury and professional negligence.

His work is predominantly personal injury acting for both Claimants and Defendants in all manner of cases be it accidents at work, Road Traffic Accidents, Fatalities and Industrial Disease. Chris does a considerable volume of employer liability work including disease HAVS/VWF or other upper limb disorders and industrial deafness.

As a highly experienced advocate and practitioner, he has conducted a large number of JSMs leading to successful settlement (acting both for Claimant and Defendants). He continues to be instructed in a series of linked claims (some 60 in all) for both industrial deafness and HAVS against the same employer.

Chris was Head of Chambers from 2016-2020.

Areas of Expertise

Contact Christopher Williams


Chris accepts cases on CFA and is prepared to travel to provide advocacy and advice in conference.

Road Traffic Accidents

Chris Williams acts for both Claimant and Defendant in high and moderate value claims predominantly in the North East.

Serious Injury & Catastrophic

Chris continues to advise and represent clients as to compensation following serious injury and currently has a high number of such ongoing matters.

All aspects of Personal injury litigation including:

• Clinical negligence
• Employers’ liability
• Public liability
• Claims involving catastrophic injuries

Chris accepts cases on CFA and is prepared to travel to provide advocacy and advice in conference.

Regularly takes instructions mainly for both Claimant and Defendants in noise induced hearing loss, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injury and currently has been retained to deal with over 30 ongoing cases against the same employer for both NIHL and HAVS.

Chambers & Partners 2022 - Band 1 - Personal Injury

Legal 500 2022 - Tier 1 "He is very experienced, cuts to the quick of issues, and provides pragmatic advice. ’

Chambers & Partners 2021 - Band 1 "A very good barrister."

Legal 500 2021 - Tier 2Recommended for multi-track cases.

Chambers & Partners 2020 - Band 1 "He is knowledgeable, exceptionally helpful, excellent with clients and always reliable."

Legal 500 2020 - Tier 2 Recommended for multi-track cases.

Chambers & Partners 2019 - Band 1 "He is very approachable and has excellent client care skills, in addition to being a very experienced advocate."

Legal 500 2018/2019 "Very energetic and builds excellent client rapport."

Chambers & Partners 2018 - Band 2 New head of chambers. Has a broad practice that combines expertise in personal injury and professional negligence. He acts in a wide range of cases, representing both claimants and defendants in employers' liability matters, including those concerning industrial disease and injuries in the workplace.

Strengths: "A great advocate. He's really good on his feet when cross-examining witnesses." "Solicitor-friendly and commercial about the best way to resolve cases."

Recent work:  Represented over 20 claimants with hand-arm vibration syndrome pursuing claims against their employer.

Legal 500 2017 "His straightforward advice puts clients at ease."

Legal 500 2016 Christopher Williams A confident advocate, who is able to read the room.

Chambers & Partners 2016 Specialises principally in employer liability matters covering areas such as industrial disease and accidents at work. Also handles professional negligence matters.

Strengths: "He goes above and beyond our requirements. He is available 24/7, is always approachable and is very proactive." "He is an extremely competent advocate who prepares well and is also adept at thinking on his feet."

Legal 500 2015 "Excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, and translates that to clients brilliantly"

Chambers & Partners 2015  Offers solid expertise in a range of matters, including workplace accidents, fatal incidents and industrial disease, and is renowned for his strength in industrial deafness and upper limb disorders.

Recent work: He acted in Cleveland Potash Deafness and HAVS, a class action of deafness claims and HAVS claims against the same employer.

Legal 500 2014 "Particularly strong in employer liability cases"

Chambers & Partners 2014 Offers a wide range of experience in personal injury litigation, acting for both claimants and defendants, including complex industrial disease claims.

Expertise: "He's well known - he works very hard."

Recent work: Williams acted for the respondents in Gonsalves v Redcar and Cleveland, a much talked-about Court of Appeal case concerning the alleged negligence of a school after a child suffered serious facial injuries during a golf lesson.

Legal 500 2013 The ‘sensible and effective’ Christopher Williams is recommended. Chambers & Partners 2013  ...focused on representing claimants in a broad range of personal injury claims. He recently handled a road traffic claim in the case of Hughff v Rowley. The matter was serious and resulted in a £3 million settlement.

Chambers & Partners 2012 The "fantastic" Christopher Williams is "brilliant with clients" and enters the table on the strength of support from sources who appreciate his experience, depth of knowledge and lack of arrogance.

Legal 500 2011 His 'communication skills are second to none'.

Chambers & Partners 2010 "He always gives clear, concise advice, which gives appropriate weight to all of the options." Interviewees also explain that "one never gets the impression that he takes a view either because he doesn't have a thirst to fight or merely to retain him in work. Although he is clearly popular and busy, he always finds time to accommodate his clients."

Chambers & Partners 2009 "Solid, down to earth and excellent in court." Christopher Williams performs admirably in general liability work.

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA); North East Medico-Legal Society

Recently Concluded Cases

Meron Burka + 4 others -v- Marshalls Mono Limited 2 of 5 actions to be tried together where all claimants allege work equipment (new curtain sides on wagons) were defective resulting in upper limb disorder as a result of poor design so that when curtain sides of lorries were removed and replaced over a period of time injury to the shoulders resulted. Issues are reasonable foreseeability of harm and causation in the context of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and The Manual Handling Regulations as well as at Common law. Proceeding to trial in the Spring of 2019.
Robert Skidmore -v- A. Tremble (1) J. MacMasters Demolition (2) A.Cohens (3) Claimant’s claim for alleged beryllium poisoning after exposure to beryllium in course of his demolition work and handling of metal alloys. Issues regarding reasonable foreseeability of harm to exposure to old fluorescent light tubes and other noxious metals as well as medical causation in this first ever such case of alleged beryllium poisoning complicated by the claimant’s admitted suffering from asbestosis. Expert evidence from occupational hygenists and a total of 6 medical experts.
Allan Graham -v- S.Tees Hopsitals NHS Foundation Trust Medical Negligence (breach of duty admitted). Issue re causation of loss and quantum of future losses including “lost years” claim as well as claims for care and loss of earnings. Claimant’s schedule at £2million met by Defendant’s counter-schedule disputing past loss of earnings and past care; also as to future loss of earnings the Defendant contends for a Smith  claim (risk of disadvantage only) so the Defendant offers one eighth of the Claimant’s schedule.
Swales (x8) -v- Clark Pearson Eight members of the same family claim damages for psychiatric injury having witnessed the Defendant’s pall bearers let slip go of a coffin bearing a deceased family member, the coffin lid then falling open revealing part of the cadaver. Issue as to whether the Claimants (or any of them) are secondary victims and entitled to recover as neither they nor the (already) deceased was/were imperilled or injured.
Brickley + 23 others v Cleveland Potash Limited Over 20 employees at the Defendant’s Potash mine claimed damages for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome having worked in various occupations underground at the mine at Satltburn, Middlesbrough. Expert evidence from a single joint engineer as to vibration levels and (non) compliance with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations. Medical causation in dispute as to aetiology of the men’s condition and link to work conditions. Four cases selected for trial determined/heard in late 2017/early 2018 leaving the balance of cases (19) to be resolved at a “round table” meeting in Autumn 2018. Engaged in a series of test case litigation where five cases were selected to be litigated arising out of a local potash mine with over 60 cases in the background. Ultimately all cases were compromised. Elsewhere, in deafness cases he has advised on the issue of limitation and appeared at trial where medical causation has been at issue.

Reported Cases

Wombwell v Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises (Waller & Laws L.JJ. and Sir John Chadwick), June 9,2008, [2008] EWCA Civ 831, CA (Civ Div) This case illustrates how an analytical approach, applying the law to the facts of the case, can help identify the real issues and avoid risk, either for the claimant or the defendant, of either assuming fault of itself will give rise to liability or that an unusual chain of events will necessarily preclude liability.
Jakto -v- Hall [2005] C of A The correct approach to the credibility of a witness, In particular when there is expert engineering advice.
Phoenix Pubs -v- Fawcett and others [2003] Pavey -v- MOD [1998] Court of Appeal

Assistant Recorder, 1999 Recorder, 2000

Chris has delivered numerous CPD accredited lectures and seminars for APIL

Repton School, 1972 - 1976; LLB, University of Sheffield, 1977 - 1980; Inns of Court School of Law, 1981 - 1982