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.
“Outstanding negotiating skills and superb intellect.”
Legal 500 2020
“Market commentators highlight his grasp of the finer legal points of a case and attention to detail. Has an astounding intellect and cuts to the chase.”
Chambers UK 2018
“He has a first-class intellect and loves the law.”
Legal 500 2017
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)
M.A., B.C.L. (Keble College, Oxford)
The claimant was injured when his motorbike collided with the defendant’s car at a city junction. He made a good recovery from his relatively minor physical injuries, but brought a claim for £3,244,430, alleging significant brain damage, associated with clinically significant concussive symptoms, PTSD and audio-vestibular changes. In addition, he claimed that he lacked capacity to litigate and manage his own affairs.
A minor rear-end shunt was alleged to have given rise to brain damage and psychological injuries.
Represented, with John Greenbourne, the claimant. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision upholding the claim for professional negligence, and identified a clear line between what a claimant must prove before the assessment of the lost chance takes place. Where the solicitor has failed to advise a claimant on a potential claim, the claimant must prove on the balance of probabilities that s/he would have brought a claim if proper advice had been given. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the limited basis on which appellate courts may reverse a trial judge’s findings of fact.
Represented the defendant at a long trial in which the claimant’s claim for £4,434,307 in respect of a “subtle brain injury” and audio-vestibular injuries was dismissed.
Represented the defendant shopkeeper, who was held liable to contribute one third to the damages payable by the manufacturer of caustic soda bottles on grounds that it was negligent to display the product on a shelf accessible to young children, when the label on the bottle contained a warning that the contents could cause severe burns and that the bottle should be kept out of the reach of children.
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.
Successfully defended a claim by a member of cabin crew for injuries sustained during turbulence experienced on an intercontinental flight.
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  EWCA Civ 400;  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  EWCA Civ 686;  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%.
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.
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.
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  EWCA Civ 1017;  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  EWHC 3090 (QB);  All ER(D) 189;  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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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  EWCA Civ 93;  2 All E.R. (Comm) 926;  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  EWCA Civ 1452;  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.
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 might also need to collect and hold personal information of third parties.
I will take all possible steps to protect personal information. I am determined to do nothing that would infringe your rights or undermine trust.
This Privacy Notice describes the information I collect, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it. If you have any questions about how I collect and hold your personal information as your barrister, please do not hesitate to contact me by email, at email@example.com.
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 Z4616222.
The information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by your legal team in the course of your case. Your solicitor will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it.
The Lawful Bases for processing personal information under the GDPR
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:
- Consent of the data subject
- Performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract
- Compliance with a legal obligation
- To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
- Performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
- The legitimate interests of ourselves, or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.
Examples of legitimate interests include:
- Where the data subject is a client or in the service of the controller;
- Transmission within a group of undertakings for internal administrative purposes;
- Processing necessary to ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access;
- Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud; and
- Reporting possible criminal acts or threats to public security)
Some personal data is especially sensitive, so falls into special categories of personal data which require other lawful bases for processing. Medical records are in one special category of data. The special categories are data revealing:
- Racial or ethnic origin;
- Political opinions;
- Religious or philosophical beliefs;
- Trade Union membership;
- Data concerning health or sex life and sexual orientation;
- Genetic data or biometric data.
My Lawful Bases for processing your personal information
My main Lawful Basis for processing your information is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you (the “data subject”) are party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract.
(The “contract” here is the contract for the provision of legal services to you, the data subject.)
I have another Lawful Basis for processing your information (and that of any third party – see below). That is for the legitimate interests of my business as a barrister. Among those legitimate interests, for example, are:
- The administration of my business (eg. my clerks receiving information from your solicitor in relation to the case and making sure that all the information I need, eg. about hearings, is passed on to me);
- To keep records in relation to the services I provide (just in case, for example, there is a problem with those services and I need to provide information to you, to a professional body or to my professional indemnity insurer);
- To provide training. Trainees (pupil barristers and “mini-pupils” on short placements in chambers) are made aware of the strict duties of confidentiality applicable to legal work. I will always do my utmost to ensure the confidentiality of your personal information and will share with the trainee only the minimum amount of information necessary to provide such training (and will, if I can, avoid sharing any personal information at all with the trainee). But please do tell me (by email or in writing by post) if you would prefer that your case not be used by me for training purposes and I will not use it in that way.
My lawful basis for processing any third party’s information provided to me in relation to your case is that processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which I as controller am subject, namely the obligation to provide legal services under the contract with you.
(A “third party” is another person – whether the other party in the dispute or someone else whose information is relevant, such as a witness to the event in question).
My lawful basis for processing any special categories of personal data (yours or a third party’s sensitive personal data, eg. medical records) is that the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
So I use personal information carefully:
- To provide you with legal advice and representation;
- To manage efficiently the work I do for you;
- To investigate and address any concerns you might have; and
- To train future barristers.
Automated Decision Making
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, for example:
- Phone number;
- Payment or bank details;
- Date of birth;
- Location details;
- Device IP address;
- Financial information;
- Medical Records;
- Employment Records.
I may share your personal data with:
- Instructing solicitors
- Opposing Counsel, for the purposes of resolving the case
- Chambers management and staff who provide administrative services
- Pupil or mini-pupil, under my training
- My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute or other legal matter
- Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties, if necessary to meet our legal obligations
- Any other party where I ask you and you consent to the sharing.
Transfers to third countries and international organisations
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:
- There is an unresolved issue, such as claim or dispute;
- I am legally required not to do so; or
- There are overriding legitimate business interests, including but not limited to my obligations to keep records in case of future complaint or claim against me, fraud prevention and protecting customers’ safety and security.
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.
Accessing and Correcting Your Information
You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me in writing, please:
- By email, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
- By post, at Temple Garden Chambers, 1 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London EC4Y 9DA
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I will occasionally update my Privacy Notice
When I make significant changes, I will do my best to notify you of these by email. I will also publish the updated Notice on my website profile.