Howard Elgot

Called 1974

'A formidable advocate and a clear, concise communicator. Clients trust him.'

The Legal 500 (2022) - Personal Injury (Tier 1)

About

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.

Areas of Expertise

Accolades

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 amputation 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.

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 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crackdown-on-unfair-leasehold-practices–2

His most recently reported professional negligence cases are Evans v Betesh Partnership 2022 RTR 1, 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 leading 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.

Howard 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 has a large high profile clinical negligence practice, including many cerebral palsy and other obstetric claims, brain and spinal injury cases, and amputation cases.

He was counsel for the claimant in the cerebral palsy case of DS v North Lincs and Goole NHS Trust 2016 Med LR 339, and at the end of 2021 acted for the claimant in the case of HTR v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, another maximum severity obstetric claim that attracted considerable press and radio attention https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-59507201

Other high profile clinical negligence cases include the claim of Gianluca Petrachi, an Italian footballer who played for Nottingham Forest, brought against an English surgeon, for what was in effect the loss of his playing career.

Although his clinical negligence practice is almost entirely on behalf of claimants. he was successful in the Court of Appeal in the important procedural case of Murrills v Berlanda, acting on behalf of an Italian doctor https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/legal-updates/civil-procedure-cpr-69/5040252.article

Howard has spoken nationally to AvMA on amputation claims and is a regular speaker at regional meetings of AvMA, on topics including consent to treatment, service of the claim form. He chaired the AvMA Seminar “Funding & Costs in the Brave New World” and spoke on changes to the discount rate at the Clinical Negligence Debate in Manchester. He has also spoken to the regional conference of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

His recent reported cases include the Court of Appeal decision in Evans v Betesh Partnership 2022 RTR 1, a case on the vexed question as to whether it is necessary to reinstate a claim against the original tortfeasor where a claimant without capacity had settled the claim without a court approval, and Walton v Pickerings, a procedural case about mis-service, soon to be reported in the Weekly Law Reports.

Legal 500 (2024) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 1) - "Howard is a highly experienced counsel. He understands the most complex medical evidence, and comes up with strategies and new avenues of investigation others may never have thought of.  He does not give up on a claim and is always willing to fight for the claimant."

Legal 500 (2024) - Personal Injury (Tier 2) - "A formidable litigator and advocate. Howard is determined and resourceful, and has excellent technical knowledge."

Legal 500 (2024) - Professional Negligence (Tier 1) - "A formidable litigator and advocate. Howard is a skilled trial lawyer with strong cross-examination skills."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Personal Injury (Band 2) - "Howard Elgot is a 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. He is experienced appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Clinical Negligence (Band 1) - "Howard Elgot assists with long-running and typically high-value claims on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He has demonstrated expertise in child brain injury including cerebral palsy, as well as failings in psychiatric care and amputation claims."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Personal Injury (Band 2) - "Howard Elgot is a 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. He is experienced appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal."

Legal 500 (2023) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 1) - "Howard's tenacity is unmatched. He is able to get straight to the issues of a case, no matter how complicated it is."

Legal 500 (2023) - Personal Injury (Tier 1)

Legal 500 (2023) - Professional Negligence

Chambers and Partners (2022) - Personal Injury (Band 1) - "He is very good technically."

Chambers and Partners (2022) - Clinical Negligence (Band 1) - "His strengths are his determination to succeed for the benefit of his client, his attention to detail, and tactical acumen"

Legal 500 (2022) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 1) -"A first-class lawyer and advocate who always operates at the highest level. His technical knowledge and case strategy is second to none."

Legal 500 (2022) - Professional Negligence (Tier 1) - "He spots the key issues early and focuses on the best approach going forward. He establishes very good rapport with lay clients."

Legal 500 (2022) - Personal Injury (Tier 2) - "A formidable advocate and a clear, concise communicator. Clients trust him."

Chambers and Partners (2021) - Personal Injury (Band 1) - "A sound advocate who always returns papers promptly. A pragmatic and commercially-informed approach is his hallmark."

Chambers and Partners (2021) - Clinical Negligence (Band 1) - "Very approachable and gets truly involved in cases to get the best result for the client." "He is really very impressive in face-to-face negotiations and argues his cases eloquently but forcefully."

Legal 500 (2021) - Professional Negligence (Tier 1) - "Go-to barrister."

Legal 500 (2021) - Personal Injury (Tier 2) - "Tenacious In pursuit of a case. Always willing to examine every angle of the evidence and to come up with new avenues to explore."

Chambers and Partners (2020) - 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. He is experienced appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal." 

Chambers and Partners (2020) - Clinical Negligence (Band 2) - "Assists with long-running and typically high-value claims on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He has demonstrated expertise in child brain injury including cerebral palsy, as well as failings in psychiatric care and claims against GPs." 

Legal 500 (2020) - Personal Injury (Tier 2) - "An excellent junior counsel."

Legal 500 (2021) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 1) "Tenacious In pursuit of a case. Always willing to examine every angle of the evidence and to come up with new avenues to explore. Skilled at pinning down experts and getting to the root of their evidence in conference. Excellent in negotiations. Very capable at arguing costs budget issues in these types of cases."

Legal 500 (2020) - Clinical Negligence (Tier 1) - "Specialises in claimant work."

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." 

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."

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."

Legal 500 (2016) - Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence - "He has a sharp mind- few can match his intellect in the region."

Chambers and Partners (2016) - Clinical Negligence - "Acts for claimants and defendants in maximum severity cases, including cerebral palsy and catastrophic brain injury claims."

Chambers and 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."

Chambers and 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."

Chambers and Partners (2014) - "Frequently handles extremely high-value complex catastrophic work, with particular expertise in industrial disease litigation and brain injury cases relating to infants."

Chambers and 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 and Partners (2012) - "Howard Elgot tackles catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, workplace stress and disease litigation."

Chambers and 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 and Partners (2009) - "Howard Elgot shines in fatality claims thanks to being "a marvellously innovative thinker."

Chambers and 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."

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

Recent Cases

As well as acting in the two reported cases below, he acted for the claimant in the case of HTR v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, a maximum severity obstetric claim that attracted considerable press and radio attention https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-59507201 , and in many claims that settled after successful joint settlement meetings and mediations such as a recent above-knee amputation case https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/howard-elgot-acts-for-successful-claimant-in-complex-above-knee-amputation-claim/ , and a claim by a producer of TV commercials for loss of profits following a negligently performed ear operation https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/howard-elgot-acted-for-a-claimant-in-proceedings-that-settled-at-a-joint-settlement-meeting-in-july-2022/
Howard Elgot continues to act in the national multi-party professional negligence litigation against solicitors who acted for purchasers in the new build leasehold ground rent scandal https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/24/thousands-more-homeowners-in-uk-to-be-refunded-for-doubling-ground-rents
 

Reported Cases

Evans v Betesh Partnership Court of Appeal [2022] RTR 1 - Is it necessary to reinstate a claim against the original tortfeasor where a claimant without capacity had settled the claim without a court approval, or may the claimant simply sue his/her original solicitor alone?

Walton v Pickerings - Soon to be reported in 1WLR -  Can a claimant take any “reasonable steps” comply with CPR  7.5 (service) if he is not in possession of a valid claim form? If not, does the court still have a discretion to refuse an extension of time to serve the claim form? Does the court have the power to back date a claim form? 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.

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

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

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