Colin McCaul QC

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“He’s very personable and very good on technical engineering cases – he has a good understanding of the evidence.”
Chambers & Partners 2014

Colin McCaul QC represents both organisations and individuals across all areas of Tort law.

He practices extensively in the areas of professional liability, clinical negligence, health and safety and personal injury. His clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including: Formula 1, engineering, construction, shipping, health, tourism, hospitality, manufacture, energy and telecommunications. His experience of asbestos litigation in particular has seen him instructed in a number of cases both within the United Kingdom and abroad.

Civil Liability

“Tactically astute, approachable and delightful with clients. He is full of common sense and excellent on particularly complex RTAs.” Chambers & Partners 2015

He is extensively involved in cases concerning catastrophic injury, including injuries arising in the fields of medical negligence and product liability. He was instructed on behalf of passengers injured in the Paddington Rail crash and in the Grayrigg train crash and is currently instructed by a major oil company in a case involving a fatality at a refinery. He has represented construction companies, manufacturers and hospitals prosecuted under health and safety legislation following incidents involving fatalities or serious injury.
His knowledge and experience of asbestos litigation has seen him instructed both in the UK and abroad. He acts in contractual disputes involving identification of asbestos, its encapsulation and removal, performance of surveys and air monitoring. He also acts in associated claims involving contaminated stock and loss of profits caused by asbestos contamination and suspension of trading. His advice is sought in relation to responsibilities and potential liabilities in the development of brownfield sites with a history of asbestos use. He has advised on one of the largest former asbestos sites in the UK. He acted on behalf of the Defendant Milner v Humphreys & Glasgow, being the forerunner of and cited in Holtby v Brigham & Cowan.


“He’s very personable and very good on technical engineering cases – he has a good understanding of the evidence.” Chambers & Partners 2014

His expertise in the field of toxic torts is widely recognised. He has been instructed in more than 200 asbestos cases involving oil refineries, ships, docks, power stations, railways, aircraft, factories, construction sites, home decorators, telecommunications and hospitals. His practice extends to all areas involving damage to persons and to property.

He has also been instructed in industrial disease cases involving carcinogenic substances as well as deafness, VWF and stress. He represented the Claimant in Rowntree v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, one of the very few successful stress claims brought by police officers.

His practice in Health and Safety law encompasses both civil and criminal jurisdictions. He acted for the most seriously injured passenger in the Paddington rail crash in a multi-million dollar settlement and for the parents of a Seikh police officer who fell to his death from a roof, giving rise to the HSE prosecution of the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis. He represented Thistle Hotels in their successful appeal in the Court of Appeal arising from the death of a sub-contractor’s employee – E.H. Humphries and Thistle Hotels plc v Fire Alarm Fabrication Services Ltd [2007] ICR 247.

He regularly appears in Health and Safety prosecutions arising from accidents occurring on construction sites and elsewhere. He successfully defended Penguin Books in a prosecution arising from a fatality at their main offices and, more recently, represented the South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust in a case cited by the Court of Appeal in the Hatfield Rail crash sentencing appeal [2007] ICR 247.

He has extensive experience in high-value road accident cases involving fatalities or catastrophic injury and in particular acting for clients with severe brain injury.  He frequently acts in motorcycle claims, including claims brought by professional riders against track owners in respect of accidents resulting from inadequate safety provision.  He has represented a Formula 1 Team in an action brought against another Formula 1 Team.

He has experience of group litigation. He represented the Claimants in the RAGE case, comprising over 150 victims of excess radiation in breast radiotherapy, and in the Epilim pharmaceutical litigation.

His advocacy skills are acknowledged and sought after internationally. He has taught advocacy in Malaysia, India and South Africa whilst his seminal paper, “Teaching Advocacy without Tears” has been employed in many parts of the world.

In addition, his well-recognised negotiating skills see him instructed in a broad range of spheres both in the UK and abroad. He was recently instructed in a negotiation in Washington DC arising from a construction contract in the Middle East.


He is consistently recommended for Personal Injury in Chambers & Partners, where he is praised for his client-handling skills, and ranked as a leading silk. He is recommended in the Legal 500 for Environmental law, Health & Safety law, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence and Healthcare.

“Tactically astute, and approachable.” Legal 500 2015

“Highly regarded for his experience in asbestos-related cases both in the UK and abroad.” Legal 500 2015

“Tactically astute, approachable and delightful with clients. He is full of common sense and excellent on particularly complex RTAs.” Chambers & Partners 2015

Extensively experienced pair of hands’” Legal 500 2014

“Extremely intelligent.” Legal 500 2014

“Recommended for asbestos-related litigation.” Legal 500 2014

“He provides clear, well-thought-out advice.” Legal 500 2014

“He’s very personable and very good on technical engineering cases – he has a good understanding of the evidence.” Chambers & Partners 2014

‘meticulous’ and ‘always accessible’, and has ‘an astounding grasp of the technical detail’. Legal 500 2013

“very good technical skills and attention to detail” legal 500 2012

“tactically astute and approachable,” and “delights clients with his excellent bedside manner.” Chambers & Partners 2012

“ A good, solid performer in catastrophic injury cases” Chambers & Partners 2011

“approachable and knowledgeable.” Chambers & Partners 2010

A “delightful opponent” Colin McCaul QC has “good client rapport, excellent advocacy skills and a remarkable knowledge of the relevant litigation” Chambers & Partners 2009

Related Cases

Health & Safety

R v Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [2012]

Professional Negligence

(1) Ashok Jain (2) Nisha Jain v Trent Strategic Health Authority (House of Lords) [2009] 1 AC 853,(Court of Appeal [2008] QB 246, [2008] 2 WLR 456)

No duty of care owed by a public health authority to the proprietor of a nursing home whose registration was cancelled.

Environmental & Planning

De La Mare v Chief Land Registrar (ChD) 1 May 2003 Lawtel 1/5/2003

The defendant’s appeal from a master’s order releasing the claimant from certain sanctions was dismissed as the master had reviewed the factors in CPR 3.9 and reached a decision that he was entitled to reach.

Thames Water Utilities Ltd v Digginwell Plant & Construction Ltd (TCC) 24 June 2002 (2003) Env LR 433

A remedy under s.20 Water Act 1989, where available, was not intended to preclude any other remedy, either under some other statute or arising because what amounted to a breach of a requirement to which s.20 of the Act applied also gave rise to other rights.

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Groves V Studley [2014] EWHC 1522 (QBD)

Road Traffic – negligence; apportionment of liability

Devoy & William Doxford & Sons Ltd (QB) [2009] EWHC 1598

Fatal Accidents Act, damages

Knott v Newham Healthcare NHS Trust (CA) [2003] EWCA Civ 771

Nurse succeeded in a claim for damages for back injuries where the employer hospital had inadequate arrangements for lifting patients and where the precipitating cause of the injury was a non-work related injury.

Sheriff v Klyne Tugs (Lowestoft) Ltd (CA) 24 June 1999 [1999] IRLR 481; [1999] ICR 1170

The employment tribunal had jurisdiction to award damages for a claim for personal injury which had been sustained by the appellant arising out of his employment. Under the principle of public policy, claims that have been or could have been litigated in one tribunal, should not be allowed to be litigated in another.


Trent Strategic Health Authority v Jain & Anor 15 February 2013 [2009] UKHL4

Carlo Saulle v Olivier Nouvet (QBD) [2008] LS Law Medical 201, [2007] EWHC 2902

In determining whether a claimant had capacity to manage his own property and affairs and to conduct the litigation, the court was required to apply the definition of capacity within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in deciding whether he was a protected party.

(1) E H Humphries (Norton) Ltd (2) Thistle Hotels Plc v Fire Alarm Fabrication Services Ltd (CA) 10 November 2006 [2006] EWCA Civ 1496, [2007] 1CR 247

Represented Thistle Hotels in a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the duty of care of the occupier of a building to the employee of a sub-contractor.

(1) Thames Trains Ltd (2) Railtrack Plc v Michael Adams (QBD) 20 January 2004 [2006] EWHC 3291 (QB)

Offer and acceptance re enhanced offer to settle a claim for injuries incurred in the Paddington rail crash in the sum of USD 9.8million; Solicitors’ powers and duties; unconscionability; unilateral mistake.

Hewison v Meridian Shipping Pte and others (CA) 11 December 2002 [2003] 1CR 247

A merchant seaman whose claim for loss of earnings or for loss of his congenial sea-going career following a work-related accident depended on the proposition that he would have continued deliberately to conceal his epilepsy from his employer was, as a matter of public policy, prohibited from pursuing that claim.

Rowntree v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (QBD) 26 October 2001

A police officer was awarded damages for two mental breakdowns caused by her employer’s negligence.


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