Barrister Julian Matthews

Julian Matthews

Year of call: 1979  


Ranked as a leading junior in Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 in clinical negligence (Band 1), personal injury (Band 1) and product liability, Julian has a broad practice of high value and/or difficult and demanding cases, generally involving complex medical or technical issues.

Julian acts for Defendants (with instructions on behalf of major insurers, the NHSLA, and corporate clients) and for Claimants, particularly in respect of maximum severity claims. He has been involved in landmark decisions, such as Eeles v Cobham and Gregg v Scott, and regularly writes and presents on matters within his expertise.

Chambers & Partners 2014 say: “Highly rated by both claimant and defendant solicitors. He is recommended in particular for his technical expertise in a range of complex catastrophic and psychiatric injury claims“. “He knows what he’s about – he cuts through analyses.” “He punches with the weight of a silk.””

Clinical Negligence

Clinical Negligence

“An excellent trial advocate.” “He is very good with clients and experts. His ability to focus on the detail is phenomenal.” “An exceptionally thorough and capable barrister with an amazing track record on difficult cases.”
Chambers & Partners 2019

Julian acts for both Claimants and Defendants in this complex area of law. He is regularly instructed in birth injury and other catastrophic brain damage and spinal injury claims, and has significant experience in relation to Erb’s palsy, orthopaedic and anaesthetic accidents, and cases concerning delay in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.

He was junior counsel in the landmark case of Gregg v Scott, acting at first instance as well as on appeal to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, and has been instructed in numerous reported high value claims in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Julian is also regularly instructed in relation to secondary victim claims for psychiatric injury secondary to clinical accidents.


  • PNBA
  • AvMA

Clinical Negligence Cases

  • FM v Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 775. Successful claim for failure to provide appropriate advice in relation to delivery options, resulting in child being born with Erb’s palsy sustained during delivery.
  • Shorter v Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 614. Acting for Trust – claim rejected for severe psychiatric injury suffered by sister of patient who had a severe subarachnoid haemorrhage resulting in death due to negligence
  • Montagu v Collins (2014) settlement : severe withdrawal syndrome suffered after rapid detoxification from benzodiazepines as recommended by the defendant consultant psychiatrist. Suffered psychological and physical symptoms including pain, tinnitus, paraesthesia, memory loss and agoraphobia and had to leave his work as a chief executive officer of a large company.
  • Frawley v East Midlands (2012): Erb’s palsy birth injury – Claimant – won at trial.
  • Moied v South Central Ambulance Service (2012) – death of young mother due to failure of resuscitation by paramedics following collapse.
  • BP v South London & Maudsley NHS Trust (2012): Acting for Trust in preventable suicide claim.
  • Watson v Hull & Humberside (2011): Severe psychiatric injury suffered following excessive breast reduction surgery.
  • Khan v King’s College Hospital (2010): Young mother treated with removal of stomach and chemotherapy after incorrect diagnosis of cancer. Complex damages and provisional damages issues.
  • Holt v Edge [2007] EWCA Civ 602: Delayed diagnosis of sub-arachnoid haemorrhage, finding of no negligence in GP at first instance overturned on appeal.
  • Anderson v Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Trust [2005] EWHC 1325 (QB): Failure to provide prompt treatment of pneumonia causing death of young mother.
  • Ward v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2004] EWHC 2106: Successful defence of LGI against claim for psychiatric injury/nervous shock arising out of fatal anaesthetic accident.
  • Godfrey v Gloucestershire Royal Infirmary NHS Trust [2003] EWHC 549: Limitation issues in wrongful birth cases.
  • C v Cairns [2003] EWHC 437, [2003] Lloyd’s Rep Med 90: A GP failed to pass on knowledge of child sex abuse to the relevant authorities (and child then continued to be abused) – whether a breach of duty according to the standards of care at the time.
  • Webb v (1) Barclays Bank PLC (2) Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust [2001] EWCA Civ 1141: Contribution and causative potency as between medical and non-medical tortfeasors. Wrongful amputation.


Julian regularly deals on behalf of Defendants and Claimants with claims for civil damages arising out of employment relationships, including in particular psychiatric injuries and stress at work claims.

Employment Cases

  • Dr Mawgoud v West Kent NHS [2004] All ER (D) 96, UKEAT/0084/04: Disability discrimination claim as a result of stress at work.
  • Boreham & others v Easyjet (2010): Stress at work claims brought by flight attendants who suffered injury when aircraft suffered extreme turbulence resulting in PTSD and mental illness. Acting for airline.
  • Newman v British Airways (2012).
  • Barnet v British Airways (2012).
  • Rosbotham v Easthams (2012): Complex stress at work claim brought by employee.
  • Mian v Coventry University [2014] EWCA Civ 1275: Psychiatric injury resulting from inadequate investigation prior to charge of gross misconduct. Stress at work.
Personal Injury

Personal Injury

‘He is simply excellent in all aspects – his calm and measured approach inspires confidence.’ Legal 500 2019
“He is very tenacious and very bright.” Chambers & Partners 2019

Julian acts for Defendants, instructed by many major insurers, as well as for Claimants, across a range of work. He specialises in brain, spinal and other serious and complex injuries, whether sustained in the workplace or elsewhere, public health matters and group actions, including stress and bullying at work. He has considerable experience in travel, skiing and diving accident claims.

The majority of Julian’s cases do not result in contested trials, but are successfully resolved as the result of careful preparation leading to settlement or discontinuance as appropriate.



Court Of Protection Claims Involving The Military

Court Of Protection

Julian deals with Court of Protection issues relating to substantial awards of damages.

Claims Involving The Military

Julian is experienced in dealing with claims by service personnel:

  • Claims arising out of non-military accidents (road traffic, clinical negligence, employment, travel) involving military personnel.
  • Claims by support staff for injuries sustained whilst engaged in military activities (injury claim by interpreter in Iraq arising out of conditions of work).

Personal Injury Cases

  • Ellis v Kelly [2018] EWHC 2031 : contributory negligence by 8 year old pedestrian. Liability of parent for allowing child out supervised only by other young children.
  • 2017 – Represented the defendant in a claim concerning a severe brain injury sustained by a finance director as a result of a building site defect in high wind. The case involved complex issues of liability in relation to neighbouring landowners, employers and shell companies.
  • Secker v Fairhill Property Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 69. No liability on builder and vendor of property for maximum severity injuries sustained by purchaser tripping on garden path.
  • 2016 – acting for travel company in respect of multiple deaths and injuries sustained during group tour to India
  • Harrison v Technical Sign Co Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1569. Collapse of shop frontage in Putney High Street causing multiple injuries. Complex issues of design responsibility and sub-contractors.
  • Mian v Coventry University (2013): Psychiatric injury resulting from inadequate investigation prior to charge of gross misconduct. Decision of CA pending.
  • Love v Dewsbury [2010] EWHC 3452: Brain injury quantum trial, acting for Defendant – issue as to appropriate approach pending review of discount rate.
  • Eeles v Cobham Hire Services [2009] EWCA Civ 204: Leading authority on interim payments – acting for Defendant at first instance and on appeal.
  • Bollito v Arriva London [2008] EWHC 48 (QB): Acting for Defendant in serious brain injury claim concerning passenger falling from moving bus.
  • Clenshaw v Tanner & Ors [2002] EWCA Civ 1848: Cyclist in a designated cycle lane collided with a vehicle turning left across him – found to be 50 per cent contributorily negligent. Deductibility of housing benefits.
  • Pratt v Smith [2002] All ER (D) 322, LTL 20/12/2002: Defective braking system on motorcycle resulting in collision, leading to severe brain damage and brachial plexus injury.
  • Morgan v Bourne (LTLPI 31/10/2001): Severe brain damage sustained in cycling accident with concurrent bipolar disorder. £1.6 million award.
  • Breeze v John Stacey & Sons Ltd (LTL 23/1/2002): A claim for damages for severe brain injuries alleged to have been caused by two accidents during the course of the claimant’s work dismissed because his medical condition was found to be pre-existing.
  • R v Wilson & Mainprize [2004] EWCA Crim 2086: Where there were breaches of the Diving at Work Regulations and Codes of Practice but those breaches had not caused or contributed to the death of a trainee diver, fines of £3,000 each were manifestly excessive, and given that much of what was alleged by the prosecution had failed, costs of £7,500 each were also found to be manifestly excessive.
Product Liability

Product Liability

‘He leaves no stone unturned in his preparation. He has excellent judgement.’ Legal 500 2019
“Julian is a very impressive and cool-headed advocate who is incredibly thorough and bright.” “He’s very sensible, grounded and able.” Chambers & Partners 2019

Julian acts for both Defendants and Claimants. Although medical products are a mainstay of Julian’s caseload he has also acted in matters relating to a wide range of other products.

Julian was instructed by the manufacturers in the Organophosphate Litigation [2002] EWCA Civ 1644. The group action was struck out at an early stage, and the striking out was upheld on appeal. Julian has also been instructed in relation to subsequent individual claims, which have also been struck out.

Julian was instructed on behalf of approximately 850 Claimants in the Seroxat Litigation.

Julian has also acted for the Defendants in cases concerning claims against major motor manufacturers (Ferrari), medical equipment suppliers (pacemakers), photographic product producers (Kodak) and nursery furniture suppliers (Mothercare).

Recent cases include:

  • acting for a claimant in a matter involving vaginal erosion secondary to the use of urinary incontinence tape. This was a successful claim against a surgeon for using the tape in a trial without informing the patient.
  • acting for a claimant injured as a result of defective equestrian protective equipment.


  • PNBA

Product Liability Cases

  • Wise v Mossa [2017] EWHC 2608 : extension of limitation period in vaginal mesh case,where used as part of a trial without informing patient
  • Organophosphate Litigation (2005): Group action relating to exposure to organophosphates in chemicals used for cleaning sheep.
  • Loveridge v Ferrari & Others (2006): Product recall and product liability litigation brought against defendant for alleged faulty oil filter on the defendants 328 Model.
  • Seroxat Litigation (2011): Group litigation relating to alleged side effects from taking anti-depressants.
  • Johnson v Suzuki (2013): Alleged faulty frame on defendants GSXR model resulting in injury to claimant.
Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Julian’s experience in medical and healthcare law means that he has acted on behalf of medical professionals at disciplinary tribunals. He is also instructed in inquests which involve a failure of medical care or breaches of health and safety legislation.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline Cases

  • Dr Mawgoud v West Kent NHS [2004] All ER (D) 96, EAT No. UKEAT/0084/04: Doctor disciplinary claim.
  • R v Wilson & Mainprize [2004] EWCA Crim 2086: Where there were breaches of the Diving at Work Regulations and Codes of Practice but those breaches had not caused or contributed to the death of a trainee diver, fines of £3,000 each were manifestly excessive, and given that much of what was alleged by the prosecution had failed, costs of £7,500 each were also found to be manifestly excessive.

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or by email.

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Privacy Notice

Julian is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Julian needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which he is instructed.

Julian will process personal data in accordance with his Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how Julian will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing him, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities he may have under relevant data protection legislation.

Judicial Appointments

  • Recorder (2001)
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