Sport Injury and Negligence

Sport Injury and Negligence

Our sports injury and professional negligence law group continues to lead in this growing area of work, advising and acting for professional sports men and women, insurers, clinical and veterinary practitioners and their defence organisations, match officials, clubs, event organisers / promoters, schools, sports associations and governing bodies in disputes involving all of the major sports, including professional football, rugby, athletics, horse racing, equestrianism, motor sports, golf, boxing, cycling, snooker and numerous other areas.

Sports injury disputes frequently arise following intentional or reckless challenges, or negligent conduct during treatment.  These disputes are often in relation to indemnity for career-ending injuries.  The associated quantum calculations which follow can prove to be very substantial given the profile of the sport and talent level of the sportsperson and the value of their reputation / image.

Members were involved in the landmark Michael Watson case which changed the way the British Boxing Board of Control handled medical emergencies at ringside during boxing shows.  Chambers has also been involved in the inquiries and resulting civil litigation following major sporting disasters, including the Bradford FC Fire and Hillsborough.  Other examples include acting for the family of a female motor racing driver from a famous motor racing family who died following a crash, and successfully defending Everton FC against allegations of negligent employees in the rehabilitation from injury of a professional footballer.

An increasing part of the members’ sports injury experience involves issues around abuse and safeguarding children in sport.  39 Essex Chambers has a dedicated group of barristers who offer specialist knowledge in this evolving area.  With the rising number of disturbing claims about the mistreatment of children at high profile sporting organisations, it is vital that both individuals and sports organisations have access to specialist counsel who combine a rigorous intellectual approach with pragmatic and sensitive advice and advocacy. Chambers has leading practitioners recognised as experts in abuse and neglect.  They undertake the most demanding and complex cases involving children in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  As well as Court proceedings, members have also participated in public inquiries in this area such as Waterhouse Inquiry and are also involved in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Professional negligence claims also form an extensive part of 39 Essex Chambers caseload representing the interests of both individuals and sporting organisations professional indemnity insurers.  A large proportion of these matters are medical malpractice or veterinary negligence claims where injuries have been suffered following substandard treatment. Members act for sportspersons, animal owners and syndicates, sporting organisations and the defence organisations of clinicians and other professionals.

Following the growing trend in the use of ADR in injury related matters, Chambers has a number of mediators who are appointed in sports liability disputes.

Who to contact

Ben Sundborg

Ben Sundborg is the Senior Practice Manager for the Sport Injury and Negligence team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.


Ben SundborgEmail


Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1179


View clerk's team

Neil Block QC

Neil Block QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2002

William Norris QC

William Norris QC

Call: 1974 Silk: 1997

Matthias Kelly QC

Matthias Kelly QC

Call: 1979 Silk: 1999

Susan Rodway QC

Susan Rodway QC

Call: 1981 Silk: 2002

Colin McCaul QC

Colin McCaul QC

Call: 1978 Silk: 2003

Charles Cory-Wright QC

Charles Cory-Wright QC

Call: 1984 Silk: 2006

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2016

Geoffrey Brown

Geoffrey Brown

Call: 1981

Christian Du Cann

Christian Du Cann

Call: 1982

Jonathan Bellamy

Jonathan Bellamy

Call: 1986

David Bradly

David Bradly

Call: 1987

Bernard Doherty

Bernard Doherty

Call: 1990

James Todd

James Todd

Call: 1990

Emily Formby

Emily Formby

Call: 1993

Judith Ayling

Judith Ayling

Call: 1998

Caroline Truscott

Caroline Truscott

Call: 1998

Romilly Cummerson

Romilly Cummerson

Call: 1998

Nicola Greaney

Nicola Greaney

Call: 1999

Colin Thomann

Colin Thomann

Call: 1999

Katharine Scott

Katharine Scott

Call: 2000

James Burton

James Burton

Call: 2001

Sadie Crapper

Sadie Crapper

Call: 2004

Robert Lazarus

Robert Lazarus

Call: 2004

Caroline Allen

Caroline Allen

Call: 2005

Quintin Fraser

Quintin Fraser

Call: 2006

Edmund Townsend

Edmund Townsend

Call: 2006

Rebecca Drake

Rebecca Drake

Call: 2007

Jack Holborn

Jack Holborn

Call: 2008

Vaughan Jacob

Vaughan Jacob

Call: 2009

Emma Corkill

Emma Corkill

Call: 2010

Nicola Kohn

Nicola Kohn

Call: 2012

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones

Call: 2012

Michael Standing

Michael Standing

Call: 2013

Stephanie David

Stephanie David

Call: 2016

James Bradford

James Bradford

Call: 2016

Ruth Keating

Ruth Keating

Call: 2017

Gethin Thomas

Gethin Thomas

Call: 2017

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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