Charles Robertshaw

Charles specialises in complex personal injury claims. He is regularly instructed for both claimants and defendants in a wide range of personal injury work involving serious injury and death, including: employers’ liability, public liability, highways claims, clinical negligence, and road traffic liability. Charles’ practice involves claims of high value, including some in excess of £1 million.

Charles is known for combining his notorious attention to detail and thorough preparation with an ability to identify the key issues in the case and provide pragmatic, clear, logical advice to his clients.

Charles is an experienced, persuasive and robust trial advocate. He is approachable and builds a strong rapport with his instructing solicitors and clients.

Where settlement is appropriate for his clients, he is a skilled negotiator both in JSM’s and in mediations and regularly achieves successful outcomes for his clients without recourse to trial.

Personal Injury

Charles has considerable experience and expertise in a wide range of complex personal injury work, including:

  • Employers’ liability (particularly accidents on construction sites)
  • Occupiers’ liability
  • Public liability
  • Accidents on the highway
  • RTA claims
  • Fatal Accidents
  • Psychiatric/Secondary Victim claims

His cases often involve fatalities and injuries of the utmost severity, particularly:

  • Complex orthopaedic and psychiatric injuries;
  • brain injury and spinal damage;
  • Pain syndromes (including CRPS, somatoform disorders, and fibromyalgia).

In addition to his court advocacy, Charles is frequently instructed to represent both claimants and defendants at mediations and joint settlement meetings and he regularly drafts pleadings, schedules of loss, counter-schedules and interlocutory applications and advises both on paper and in conference.

Recent examples of Charles’ personal injury work include the following:

  • Acted for a defendant in a claim pleaded at around £900k arising out of an accident at work in which a groundworker suffered a very severe crushing injury to his foot which involved extensive surgery and a protracted and partial recovery. The key issues in the case included the quantum of the future loss of earnings as the accident occurred at a time when the claimant had only just started his business in the UK. Settlement was successfully achieved at JSM.
  • Acted for a claimant who suffered an accident at work when a spark entered his ear causing him to suffer catastrophic tinnitus and associated severe psychological injuries. Causation of both the tinnitus and psychological injuries were complex and disputed between the parties given the claimant’s history. A successful settlement in a six-figure sum was achieved prior to trial.
  • Acted for a defendant in a claim pleaded at around £700k arising out of an accident at work which resulted in the amputation of an index finger. Complexity arose in the valuation of the claims for prosthetics, future care and future loss of earnings. Settlement was successfully achieved at JSM.
  • Acted for a claimant who suffered a neck fracture in an RTA and went on to develop a chronic pain disorder which significantly disrupted his ability to work. Extensive expert medical evidence was obtained and an appropriate six-figure settlement figure was achieved at JSM at an early stage in proceedings.
  • Acted for a claimant who suffered a significant knee injury which affected his ability to pursue a career as a top-level sports conditioning coach for Team GB and Premier League football clubs. The matter involved difficult issues regarding future earning capacity and evidence of likely salaries. The matter was successfully concluded at a JSM.
  • Successfully obtained a settlement a six-figure settlement at JSM for 3 children whose mother was killed in a RTA. The significant issues in the case included the valuation of the gratuitous care for the children provided by their father.
  • Acted for one of four defendants in £100K+ claim by worker who suffered a significant eye injury whilst working on a construction site. The matter was successfully concluded at JSM following resolution of a difficult issue of apportionment between the defendants.
  • Acted for a claimant who suffered a significant psychiatric injury following witnessing her deceased father’s coffin being buried in the wrong plot at the defendant’s graveyard. The case examined where the boundaries of the class of secondary victims in psychiatric injury claims may lie.
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Clinical Negligence

Charles is regularly instructed in clinical negligence cases and has experience of advising on all aspects of such cases from the very outset of the litigation.

Having obtained a biology degree, he is well-placed to understand complex medical and biological issues which often arise in clinical negligence cases and he frequently conducts conferences with multiple experts.

Recent examples of his work in this area include:

  • Acted for a claimant in a claim arising out of a failure by the defendant to properly monitor and promptly treat his Barrett’s oesophagus and low grade dysplasia causing him to develop oesophageal adenocarcinoma and require an oesophagectomy. Complexity arose in the appropriate valuation and approach to settlement required given the claimant’s increased future risk of cancer reoccurrence. The claim settled for a six-figure sum.
  • Acted for an elderly claimant in a claim arising out of a fall at a care home due to negligent nursing by the defendant. As a result of the negligence, the claimant suffered a fractured hip and a significant decline in her functional state. A successful settlement was subsequently achieved and approved by the court.
  • Advising on liability and quantum and attending a successful mediation in a claim involving the failure to obtain informed consent from a mother during birth (in this case, a failure to give full details of treatment options), leading to significant neurological damage, pain and incontinence and a consequent loss of a cherished career.
  • Advising on quantum, particularly in relation to a large care claim, in a claim involving a delay in treatment of compartment syndrome. Complexity arose in this case due to (1) the precise length of the negligent delay and its effect on the claimant’s prognosis and (2) the claimant having significant pre-existing mobility issues and care needs.
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Charles is frequently instructed by defendants to act in personal injury claims which involve allegations of fraud, including claims involving exaggerated injuries, malingering, and fundamental dishonesty.

He provides strategic advice at all stages of litigation and his typical approach of thorough preparation, attention to detail and robust trial advocacy is particularly well-suited to cases involving fraud.

He is very experienced in the use of surveillance evidence and in the tactical considerations that arise whenever surveillance evidence is being deployed. He is also very familiar with the usual investigations into claimants including the analysis and deployment of social media evidence.

He has expertise in securing enforceable costs orders against dishonest litigants, solicitors, and related third parties (including wasted costs, third-party costs orders, and the disapplication of the qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) regime).

He has particular experience in dealing with RTA fraud cases which involve Low Velocity Impact (LVI) claims, induced/staged accidents, phantom passengers, and fraudulent credit hire and storage costs.

He regularly drafts defences, Part 18 questions and robust counter-schedules to very good effect. He also advises both on paper and in conference, and he frequently tests the evidence of insureds at the earliest stages of the litigation.

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Charles is regularly instructed to act in road traffic accident claims involving the MIB and the application of the RTA 1988.

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Charles has been regularly instructed to appear for both claimants and defendants at costs and case management hearings since their introduction to the multi-track process.

He has also been frequently instructed to advise and appear in cases involving the disapplication of the qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) regime.

He is experienced in handling costs disputes, appearing for both parties at costs assessments, applications for wasted costs and third-party costs orders.

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Charles has appeared in inquests on behalf of interested parties, usually where a subsequent civil claim is anticipated. He has experience of inquests involving road traffic accidents, deaths in care, and clinical negligence and he is keen to develop and expand this area of his practice further.

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Qualifications & Awards

Imperial College, London BSc (First Class, Hons) in Biological Sciences,
LLB Law (Hons), The College of Law
BVC (Outstanding)
GDL (Distinction)

HR Light Bursary (Middle Temple Scholarship) Winner
College of Law (London) GDL Mooting Competition 2006
Awarded College of Law (London) Advocacy Prize 2007



...Counsel have in-depth knowledge and a high level of expertise

Legal 500, 2017

...The set of choice for personal injury matters including travel litigation, which is an area that chambers is constantly strengthening

Legal 500, 2017

…Second-to-none strength in depth and a broad church of barristers, all of whom are fiercely intelligent

Legal 500, 2015

…A wealth of talent at both senior and junior levels acting for both claimants and defendants

Chambers & Partners, 2015