For many years the main focus of Jonathan’s practice has been personal injury and health & safety work, but he undertakes a range of related work, such as insurance, inquests and both clinical and professional negligence. He is instructed on behalf of both claimants and defendants.

Jonathan started his legal career in South Africa, first as a law student and later as an Advocate at the Johannesburg Bar from 1984 to 1986. During the State of Emergency his practice was concerned with human rights and public law.

He was the Chair of the Appeal Committee of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority from 2009 to 2015.


Listed as a leading silk in Personal Injury work: “Market commentators particularly highlight his meticulous attention to detail. Strengths: ‘He has incredible verve and a rare ability to think about all elements of a case and bring something new to the table every time. His technical ability and commerciality are great.’ ‘I’d use him without hesitation, he’s incredibly likeable on top of being very clever.’”
Chambers UK 2017

Listed as a leading silk in both Personal Injury and Health & Safety work: “He is super bright, very analytical and shows great attention to detail.”
Chambers UK 2016

Listed as a leading silk in both Personal Injury and Health & Safety work: “He has an impressive courtroom manner, making powerful, well-measured and succinct submissions.”
Legal 500 2016

Listed as a leading silk in both Personal Injury and Health & Safety work by Chambers UK 2015.

Personal Injuries: “He has good judgment, a sensible manner and excellent technical skills.”
Health & Safety: “Brilliant advocacy skills and great attention to detail.”
Legal 500 2015

Personal Injuries:  “… hugely experienced in catastrophic claims arising from RTAs. Peers note his calm manner and admire his incisive handling of cases. He represents claimants and defendants in high-value matters concerning complex issues of liability. Expertise: ‘A very personable QC, but a tenacious negotiator who never misses a detail.'”

Health & Safety: “Splits his practice between health and safety and personal injury work. Expertise: He is a very personable practitioner who is strong on the negotiation side.”
Chambers UK 2014

Personal Injuries: “A barrister with excellent tactics and a very calm manner.”
Health & Safety: “Excellent for regulatory cases, and very good at handling the personal injury elements of health and safety.”
Legal 500 2014

Personal Injuries: “Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC represents ‘the newer breed of Queen’s Counsel,’ and is known for his tenacious negotiation skills, tremendous approachability and ‘fantastic eye for detail.’ His measured approach to conference and his ability to think on his feet have especially impressed instructing defendant solicitors.”
Health & Safety: “Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC   … is an experienced silk with a practice that encompasses personal injury and health and safety.”
Chambers UK 2013

Personal Injuries: “Very bright and hardworking”
Health & Safety: “Temple Garden Chambers has an impressive track record in health and safety work, and recently bolstered its practice with the addition of the ‘clear and concise’ Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC ….”
Legal 500 2013

Personal Injuries: ”  … handles high-value, serious cases. Clients appreciate his ‘extremely sound judgement’ and his ‘close attention to detail.’ He is deemed one of the newer breed of Queen’s Counsel, in that he is ‘personable, attentive and tenacious’ in equal measure, as well as highly competent on his feet in the courtroom.”
Health & Safety: “He has a soft, careful manner which conceals a very sharp mind,’ observers remark. ‘He has an old-school manner about him that’s very careful and very considered.'”
Chambers UK 2012

“…is currently defending a number of clients under HSE investigation for serious accidents on public highways. His approach is ‘as feisty, dogged and determined as that of the best criminal barrister.'”
“…is highly regarded by instructing solicitors and insurer clients as a good team player. Sources note that he is ‘very self-assured in the courtroom – his advocacy is almost effortless.'”
Chambers UK 2011

Personal Injuries: “Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC is supremely intelligent.”
Health & Safety: Listed as a leading silk.
Legal 500 2011

“…he’s cool, calm and immediately commands respect”.
“…unfailingly has the ear and respect of the judges”
“Defence solicitors say that Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC is ‘an excellent advocate with loads of courtroom gravitas’. They particularly prize him as ‘he commands the respect of – and speaks the same language as – our insurer clients.'”
Chambers UK 2010


B.A., LL.B. (University of Stellenbosch)
Rhodes Scholarship
M.A., B.C.L. (Keble College, Oxford)

Professional Memberships



Solicitors acting in a high volume, fixed costs scheme for low value occupational injury cases were not under a duty to advise further about heads of claim which a client had said he did not wish to pursue and for which he said that he could not provide supporting evidence. If a client instructed his solicitor that he did not wish to pursue a particular head of claim, the solicitor was not necessarily under a duty to challenge that decision or to try to change the client’s mind.

Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2017] EWCA Civ 314

Represented, with John Greenbourne, the successful appellant whose claim against his former solicitors had been dismissed. The Court of Appeal ruled that the judge had erred in conducting a “trial within a trial” on the underlying claim, and had irrationally decided that the claimant and his witnesses were dishonest. Interest on damages was awarded at the judgment debt rate of 8%. Pursuant to CPR 36, the respondents were ordered to pay indemnity costs, a penalty of an additional 10% of the claimant’s damages and interest on the costs at 10.25%.

Lightfoot v Go-Ahead Group

Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC, instructed by DWF LLP, represented Go-Ahead Group. Aged 52, the claimant suffered brain injury when knocked down by a bus. He had serious alcohol and mental health problems before the accident, and a limited life expectancy. Perversely, the accident had the effect of increasing his life expectancy and giving rise to a very substantial full-time care claim.

Abraham v British Airways

Successfully defended a claim by a member of cabin crew for injuries sustained during turbulence experienced on an intercontinental flight.

R v G – (Brain Injury) – 20.10.15

Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC and Marcus Grant represented the Claimant in a claim arising out of a low speed bicycle accident. The Claimant, then a 49-year-old Company Director, fell off his bicycle and struck his head on the road. He suffered no PTA but presented with a cluster of subtle neuro-cognitive, neuro-behavioural and neuro-psychological symptoms.  A Telsa 3T MRI brain scan was normal, apart from evidence of a small haemosiderin deposit in the tentorium adjacent to the temporal lobe. There was no evidence of any macroscopic diffuse axonal injury to the white matter. He sustained partial shearing of his olfactory bulb and presented with very subtle patterns on neuro-psychological testing.

Procter v Raleys [2015] EWCA Civ 400; [2015] PNLR 24

Represented, leading John Greenbourne, the successful claimant at trial and on appeal, in another negligence action against Raleys for failing to provide proper advice about the claims under the Vibration White Finger (“VWF”) compensation scheme. Raleys’ advice in a series of standard form letters was held to be “at best unclear and … positively misleading” in some respects. The case deals with the standard of care required of solicitors when advising unsophisticated clients. Pursuant to CPR 36, the appellants were ordered to pay indemnity costs and also a penalty of an additional 10% of the claimant’s damages, and interest on damages and costs at the rate of 10.5%.

Raleys v Barnaby [2014] EWCA Civ 686; [2014] All ER (D) 42

Represented, leading Crispin Winser, the successful claimant at trial and on appeal, in a negligence action against his former solicitors for settling his VWF compensation claim at an undervalue. Raleys’ appeal was dismissed as “completely unsustainable” and, pursuant to CPR 36, they were ordered to pay indemnity costs and also a penalty of an additional 10% of the claimant’s damages, and interest on damages and costs at the rate of 10.5%.

Maclennan v Morgan Sindall (Infrastucture) PLC [2013] EWHC 4044 (QB); [2014] 1 WLR 2462

Represented the defendant in a successful application to limit the excessive number of witnesses that the claimant intended to call at trial; and to require the claimant to take concrete steps to obtain proper disclosure of earnings documents from those witnesses who were being called as earnings comparators.

Williams v Williams [2013] EWCA Civ 455; [2013] PIQR P17

Represented the defendant at first instance and on appeal in a successful claim for a 25% contribution against a parent, whose young child had sustained serious injuries in a road traffic accident as a result of being placed in the wrong type of child restraint seat. The parent had been entirely blameless so far as the collision was concerned. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal against the award.

Ringe v Eden Springs (UK) Ltd [2012] EWHC 14 (QB

Succeeded on behalf of the defendant in reducing the claimant motorcyclist’s damages by 80% for contributory negligence. Permission to appeal having been obtained by the defendant, the case was subsequently settled.

Whiteford v Kubas UAB [2012] EWCA Civ 1017; [2012] All ER (D) 66

Represented the successful appellant  with Peter Freeman in the Court of Appeal. The finding of liability against the driver of a large articulated lorry which had been involved in a collision with a motorbike on a narrow country road was overturned.

Eden v Rubin [2011] EWHC 3090 (QB); [2011] All ER(D) 189; [2012] 1 Costs LO 66

Represented the defendant and succeeded in striking out the loss of earnings claim for £6,720,821 on grounds of breaches of unless orders.

Goad v Butcher [2011] EWCA Civ 158

Successfully defended the claim arising out of road traffic accident. The appeal raised a number of points of general interest, including the “coincidence of location” and the extent to which an admitted breach of the Highway Code by the Defendant constituted negligence.

Bowen v National Trust [2011] EWCA 1992 (QB)

Represented (with Rhiannon Jones) the Claimants in claims arising out of the fatal failure of an ancient beech tree on National Trust property.

Morrison v CIC

Settlement approved by Wynn Williams J:  Acted on behalf of the Care Home, whose agreed negligence had given rise to injuries of the utmost severity in a young man, who already had serious pre-existing brain damage. Settled the case on the basis that the claimant was not entitled to a fully privately funded care package.

Millhouse v City Demolition

Settlement approved by Royce J, QBD:  Acted on behalf of the Defendant in a case of the utmost severity. Future care was to be provided in part by periodical payments. Obtained the Court’s approval for an indemnity provided on behalf of the Claimant to reimburse the Defendant in respect of 50% of any social security benefits that he might in the future

BRB (Residuary) Ltd v Connex South Eastern Ltd [2008] EWHC 1172 (QB); [2008] 1 WLR 2867:

The case concerned the right of a party to recover an indemnity under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act where it had allowed judgment to be entered against it in a Fatal Accidents Act claim, despite the fact that it knew that it had no liability to the claimant.

Monk v P C Harrington Ltd [2008] EWHC 1879 (QB); [2009] PIQR P3

Successful defence of a claim for pure psychiatric injury by a rescuer and involuntary participant in the immediate aftermath of a fatal accident at Wembley Stadium.

Ansari v New India Assurance Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 93; [2009] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 926; [2009] Lloyd's Rep. I.R. 562

On behalf of the Insurer, successfully resisted an appeal against the ruling that the policy did not cover fire damage, where the sprinkler system was inoperative: Hussain v Brown (1996) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 627 CA  distinguished. The material change clause in the policy protected the Insurer against alterations to the property or in the facts on the basis of which it had written the policy.

Sam v. Atkins [2005] EWCA Civ 1452; [2006] R.T.R. 14

Successful defence of a claim, in which the Court of Appeal set out the proper approach to the issues of breach of duty and causation in road traffic accidents.

Cross v Kirby The Times

Successfully appealed a decision that a farmer who struck a hunt saboteur with a pickaxe pole was liable for his head injuries. The appeal was allowed on the basis that the claim arose ex turpi causa and that the defendant had acted in self-defence.

Severely Injured Claimant Recovers £1.14M

27th March 2017

Jonathan Watt-Pringle QC and Anthony Johnson (instructed by Richard Foyster of Ashtons Legal) represented the Claimant in this employer’s liability matter that settled for £1,425,000 on a 100% basis (£1,140,000 net of a previously agreed 80:20 liability split agreed between the parties) following a JSM attended by both Counsel.

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