John Bate-Williams has 35 years experience at the PI Bar in London and has been the Senior Junior in Temple Garden Chambers for the last decade, now being the longest serving member of the set. Extensive experience in catastrophic injury and fatal claims, with particular expertise in brain injury and quadriplegic claims.
His practice has for many years seen a division of instructions favouring Defendants’ insurers (75/25) until the last year, when a number of instructions acting for Claimants in a series of aviation catastrophes has seen the balance more evenly set. He was appointed as a Recorder in 2000.
Described by the solicitor who advised Balfour Beatty to instruct him in the Hatfield Rail Crash corporate manslaughter case as a “pragmatic street fighter”, JBW has acquired a reputation for sound judgment (in professional matters), realistic and practical advice and excellent advocacy. His practice involves representation of insurers and Claimants in high value claims, usually involving catastrophic head injuries or injuries of maximum severity.
He has particular experience in exposing exaggerated and dishonest claims but his objective approach has ensured that he continues to receive a significant volume of instructions on behalf of Claimants in substantial and unusual personal injury and clinical negligence claims.
Since 2014 he has been instructed in a series of claims arising out of aviation catastrophes. He represented all of the British Claimants in the fatal claims arising out of the September 2012 Nepal / Kathmandu Air Disaster, and he has advised in connection with claims arising out of the 2015 Germanwings (pilot suicide) Disaster and the 2015 Shoreham Air Show Disaster.
Inquest representation has included the family of a newborn baby who died as a result of clinical negligence, and the London Ambulance Service in relation to a fatal RTA involving one of their ambulances and a motorcycle ridden by a consultant anaesthetist. In Dufosse -v- Melbry Events  EWCA Civ John persuaded the Court of Appeal that Father Christmas and his Elf were responsible for the Claimant’s downfall in Santa’s Grotto in Selfridges, which led to The Times Award for the Courtroom Joke of the Year (The Times 29 December 2011).
The Times Courtroom Joke of the Year Award – 29 December 2011
“A legend who is always a nice opponent.”
Chambers & Partners 2022
“A very clear, precise and engaging advocate.” “He is incredibly experienced.”
Chambers & Partners 2021
“Veteran catastrophic personal injury and fatal accident practitioner with extensive experience handling maximum severity cases … an extremely experienced barrister.”
Chambers & Partners 2020
‘He has an uncanny knack of winning at trial as he is very good with witnesses and judges.’
Legal 500 2019
A very well-regarded senior junior, who can always be relied upon to give a pragmatic and sensible view.” “Has astonishing client skills.”
Chambers & Partners 2018
“A vastly experienced advocate who is instructed by insurers on high-value catastrophic and fatal injury claims. He also sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court.” Strengths: “He is a renowned advocate who is extremely skilled in catastrophic cases.”
Chambers & Partners 2016
“Continues to go from strength to strength and has built a formidable serious accident practice that covers head, back and psychiatric injury claims”
“A superb negotiator who displays great attention to detail and has excellent client skills.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 (London Personal Injury)
“Noted as much for his deft and sensitive handling of clients as for his technical ability in catastrophic injury claims of significant complexity. He is recognised as a specialist in brain injury work, receiving instructions from claimant and defendant solicitors, and is also highly experienced in claims involving severe spinal injuries and complex regional pain syndrome.”
Expertise: “Without doubt he has the skills to manage complex and sensitive head injury cases. He’s extraordinary – he’s incredibly talented and able to talk to clients from all backgrounds. A great team player.”
Chambers and Partners 2014
‘John Bate-Williams “consistently provides advice of the highest calibre”‘. The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2013
“The ‘talented and reliable’ John Bate-Williams earns praise from instructing solicitors for his “thorough approach” to brain injury cases and for his good sense of humour….” Chambers & Partners 2013
Recommended as a leading junior in the 2012 Legal 500 – “John Bate-Williams is ‘personable, polished and a provider of excellent, well-reasoned advice’.
Recommended in Chambers & Partners 2012: “Incredibly affable” senior junior John Bate-Williams “brings parties together with consummate ease and professionalism.” A “wonderful negotiator,” he often acts in severe brain injury cases stemming from road traffic accidents ….
Recommended in Chambers & Partners 2010: “A renowned advocate whose skil in catastrophic cases is there for all to see”. “You feel confident that if you instruct him you have an advantage from the off.”
Recommended as a senior Junior in Legal 500 (2010): “A very experienced and senior junior”
Recommended as a Leading Junior in Personal Injury work in the Legal 500 (2008): “John Bate-Williams’s loyal following praises him for ‘intimate industry knowledge’ ”
Legal Experts 2010 – Highly Recommended for Personal Injury work
Thank you for choosing to instruct me in your case. I will need to collect and hold your personal information in order to represent you. I will take all possible steps to protect your personal information. I am determined to do nothing that would infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This Privacy Notice describes the information I collect about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.
I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My registered address is Temple Garden Chambers, 1 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London, EC4Y 9DA and my registration number is Z4639954.
The vast majority of the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by us in the course of your case and/or proceedings. Your solicitor and/or I will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires all organisations that process personal data to have a Lawful Basis for doing so. The Lawful Bases identified in the GDPR are:
Examples of legitimate interests include:
My Lawful Basis is:
I use your information to:
I do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data.
I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. This includes:
I may share your personal data with:
I do not transfer any personal data to third countries or international organisations.
I retain your personal data while you remain a client unless you ask me to delete it. My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held. I will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:
The General Data Protection Regulation gives you specific rights around your personal data. For example, you have to be informed about the information I hold and what I use it for, you can ask for a copy of the personal information I hold about you, you can ask us to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data I hold, you can ask us to stop sending you direct mail, or emails, or in some circumstances ask us to stop processing your details. Finally, if I do something irregular or improper with your personal data you can seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred. You can find out more information from the ICO’s website http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information and this is the organisation that you can complain to if you are unhappy with how I dealt with you.
You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me at Chambers (address above).
You may opt out of receiving emails and other messages from my Chambers by following the instructions in those messages.
I will occasionally update my Privacy Notice. When I make significant changes, I will notify you of these through either mail or email. I will also publish the updated Notice on my website profile.