Jack Nicholls (1991)

Barrister

Year of call 1991

Areas of practice PI / Clinical Negligence / Inquests, Insurance, Public Access

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“The service provided by Jack Nicholls is first rate”

Biography

Jack specialises in complex and high value personal injury and clinical negligence cases with a particular focus on rail claims. He acts for many train operating companies including claims for collision damage, level crossing accidents and bridge strikes as well as for injuries. He also acts in cases associated with his main areas of practice, such as Health and Safety prosecutions and professional negligence claims. He represents claimants and defendants in multi-track claims in the County Court, High Court and the Court of Appeal.

He is experienced at representing families and other interested persons at inquests. He has a straightforward but empathetic approach and is often instructed in any legal claims which arise out of the inquest conclusion (for example for clinical negligence).

Jack’s clear and considered advice and effective advocacy means that he is often re-instructed by solicitors. He is approachable and supportive, and is frequently sought out to provide a sounding board or second opinion in particularly difficult matters. Solicitors say "he is awesome and tackles complex issues like cutting cake".

Jack specialises in personal injury and fatal accident claims, predominantly employers' liability and public liability, and in particular construction and building site claims.

He has a particular specialism in public transport, logistics and railway claims, ranging from burn injuries caused by a passing steam train, to injury caused when a Formula 1 driver ran over the ‘lollipop man’ to fatal collisions at sea; pursuing recovery claims for collision damage to trains; bridge strikes and ‘Schedule 8’ claims. Jack has detailed knowledge of CAHA and proceedings before the Rail Industry Dispute Resolution (RIDR) Committee (now subject to mediation). He also has extensive experience of CRU appeals.

Jack also deals with other public transport passenger claims, e.g. buses, and road traffic claims in particular low velocity collisions; staged accidents and other fraudulent claims; claims where there is an allegation of fundamental dishonesty and MIB claims his extensive experience in the criminal courts at the beginning of his career providing valuable insight and technique.

Jack is Panel Counsel to a major chain of fast food restaurants in relation to employers' and public liability claims.

Jack has a wealth of experience in representing families and other interested persons at inquests. Inquests are extremely stressful for the families involved, and Jack is able to clearly explain the process and the relevant law in order to put parties at ease as far as possible.

Jack often goes on to advise on the legal implications of the findings of an inquest – such as whether there is a potential clinical negligence liability – and to represent parties in that case. He is very good at building and maintaining effective working relationships in cases which might go on for a long period of time. 

Jack acts in clinical negligence cases for claimants dealing with cases ranging from unwarranted discectomy and synthetic disc replacement, to post-surgical infertility to complications arising from gender reassignment. He is experienced in analysing and understanding complex medical information in cases which are often very document heavy. He is also skilled at analysing expert reports and in cross-examining experts in an effective manner.

To instruct Jack, please contact Greg Piner

Education

  • Certificate de Langue Francais (Elementaire III 1er degre), University Libre de la Cote D'Azur
  • B.A. (Hons) University of Durham

Memberships

  • Personal Injury Bar Association

Languages

  • French

Notable Cases

Bridge v. Halton Borough Transport Ltd (2015): Pinpointed ambiguity in application of law, acting for bus company which was not liable for injuries caused to elderly passenger, as vehicle pulled away after boarding.

Reynolds v. Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway Company Limited (2015): Acted for successful Claimant on liability of heritage railway for burns suffered by pedestrian due to emission of sparks and embers by passing steam locomotive.

Walls v. London Eastern Railway Limited [2014] EWCA 4724 (QB): Navigated complex issues of causation and extent of spinal injury, as well as role of medical expert. Acted on three-day High Court hearing on quantum before Nigel Wilkinson QC, cross examining Claimant and medical expert, limiting Claimant to minimal  damages and securing costs order in favour of Defendant.

Butcher v. Southend on Sea Borough Council [2014] EWCA Civ 1556: Occupiers’ liability claim, which reiterated that each case turns on its facts. Addressed system of inspection and won for Claimant at first instance, upheld at CoA the Court noting that relevant factors in Clerk & Lindsell on Torts were ‘not a checklist’.

Bartlett v. Cleveland Bridge Limited (2007): Acted for Defendant on application to lift stay and strike out claim where Claimant believed to have subsequently committed suicide but neither proved nor presumed.

Ferron v. Metroline Travel Limited [2002] EWCA Civ 385: No contributory negligence in pedestrian running into path of bus

Tengerakis v. Haringey L.B.C. LTL 13.06.00 (C.A.): No evidence of fraud in consideration of planning permission application.

Stroh v. Haringey L.B.C. LTL 13.07.99 (C.A.): Circumstances where appropriate to refuse permission to call any evidence.

Oakley v. Rawlinson (1998) P.I.Q.R. P161 (C.A.): Relevance of admission of liability to automatic directions.