William Featherby KC

The bulk of William’s work is heavy personal injuries and clinical negligence litigation, particularly trial work. He is a leading silk in his field and is well known in the personal injuries world.

He has been noted as an outstanding cross-examiner in the legal press.  He is featured in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence sections of all the leading professional directories.

William also specialises in legal, medical and professional ethics.

William’s practice is London-based but he travels frequently to Manchester, Leeds and other centres.  He conducts conferences all over the country.

William frequently gives talks and seminars to solicitors, insurers and other organisations.  He is an expert in civil procedure (Member of the Rules Committee).

Personal Injury

William is instructed by both claimants and defendants.

The personal injuries work is a combination of road accidents, clinical negligence, accidents at work, and industrial and occupational disease.  He specialises in difficult medical issues with an emphasis on catastrophic injuries (especially acquired brain damage), paralysis (paraplegia and tetraplegia) and psychiatric conditions.

William is noted for bringing teams of experts together for the efficient preparation and disposal of claims.  He has a very high success rate in negotiating settlements at joint settlement meetings.  He is known for his sensitive approach to catastrophically injured children and their parents.

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Clinical Negligence

William has an extensive clinical negligence practice, especially in cases of medical accidents involving babies, children and mothers.  At any one time he has about twelve to fifteen ‘live’ cerebral palsy cases.  He has a particular interest in neuroradiology, paediatric neurology and obstetrics.  He is recognised as a leader and coordinator of teams of experts.

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William has an extensive practice in fraud in personal injury claims.  He pioneered the use of applications to commit fraudulent claimants and others to prison for contempt of court.   He also prosecutes cases of fraud in the criminal courts and is an expert in private prosecutions.  He has an expertise in large and ring conspiracies to defraud.

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The construction of insurance policies; and procedural and substantive difficulties arising out of Road Traffic Act insurance, Article 75, technical committee matters, etc.

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Health & Safety

William has appeared in many health and safety prosecutions.

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William has extensive experience in this field as a practitioner and Recorder.  He works for the Church of England in drafting, implementing and supervising policies for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.  He is assisting the Church of England in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

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Professional Negligence

With a particular emphasis on solicitors’ negligence.

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Qualifications & Awards

M.A. (Hons), Oxford (Scholar, Trinity College), 1977

Astbury (Middle Temple) Scholarship, 1977

Appointments & Memberships

Founding member of the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Steering Group; Church Commissioner for England (and member of the pastoral and mission committee); Several synodical memberships; Member of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee; Member of the Bar Council’s Professional Conduct Committee.

Member of the Personal Injuries Bar Association.


He is a top choice for fraudulent claims. – Chambers & Partners, 2021

Experienced in catastrophic injury claims. – Legal 500, 2021

A brilliant advocate; he is incisive and formidable in cross-examination. He’s also a reassuring presence in the courtroom and in conference, and has an excellent in-depth knowledge of fraud and contempt. – Chambers & Partners, 2020

He’s an excellent trial lawyer. – Chambers & Partners, 2020

A great team player whose attention to detail is quite superb. – Chambers & Partners, 2020

A terrific practitioner. – Chambers & Partners, 2019

A tough advocate and a formidable opponent. – Chambers & Partners, 2019

Outstanding advocate who is extremely experienced in catastrophic injury claims. – Legal 500, 2019

An effective counsel and a formidable opponent. – Chambers & Partners, 2018

A force to be reckoned with. – Chambers & Partners, 2018

Undoubted leader in the (insurance fraud) field. – Legal 500, 2018

Particularly excellent. – Legal 500, 2018

He’s a fearsome advocate and a very powerful representative. – Chambers & Partners, 2017

He’s great on strategy, really brilliant. – Chambers & Partners, 2017

Meticulous in document preparation and a ruthless and thorough advocate. – Chambers & Partners, 2017

Incisive, with the ability to grasp complex medical issues. – Legal 500, 2017

He is a fearsome advocate. He is very good in cross-examination and is extremely good strategically. – Chambers & Partners, 2016

An excellent team player, with superb attention to detail. – Legal 500, 2016

A ferocious defendant’s man and relentless crucifier of fraudulent PI claimants. – Legal 500, 2015

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HS v. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 1376 (QB) (clinical negligence)

Hamed v. Mills and Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Ltd [2015] EWHC 298 (HC) (clinical negligence)

Tate v. Ryder Holdings Ltd [2014] EWHC 4256 (QB) (quantum)

Mitsui Underwriting at Lloyds Ltd v Khan [2014] EWHC 1054 (QB) (contempt of court)

AXA Insurance UK plc v. Rossiter [2013] EWHC 3805 (QB) (contempt of court)

Airbus Operations Ltd and QBE Insurance Co (UK) Ltd v. Roberts [2012] EWHC 3631 (Admin) (contempt of court)

AC v. Farooq [2012] EWHC 1484 (QB) (quantum)

Havering London Borough Council v. Bowyer [2012] EWHC 2237 (QB) (contempt of court)

Delaney v. Pickett and Tradewise Insurance Services Ltd [2011] EWCA 1532 (MIB)

MIB v. Shikell [2011] EWHC 527 (QB) (contempt of court)

Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company Ltd v. Brooks [2011] EWHC 2504 (Admin) (contempt of court)

May v. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2009] EWHC 3175 (QB) (clinical negligence)

Darg v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] EWHC 684 (QB) (quantum)

Kirk v. Walton [2008] EWHC 1780, [2009] EWHC 703 (QB) (contempt of court)

Eyres v. Atkinsons Kitchens Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 365 Court of Appeal – Liability for employee falling asleep at the wheel

Deadman v. Bristol City Council [2007] EWCA Civ 822 Court of Appeal – Stress at work

Irvine v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2005] EWCA Civ 129 Court of Appeal – costs between claimant and successful co-defendants

Read v. Edmed The Times, 13 December 2004 – Costs implications of Part 36 Offers

Evans v. Pontypridd Roofing [2001] PIQR Q61 Court of Appeal – damages for care

Leete v. Snow [2001] EWCA Civ 902 Court of Appeal – multipliers

Cooke v. Thorne [2001] EWCA Civ 81 Court of Appeal – apportionment of liability

Scholz v. Whitely (2000) Road rage

He is a top choice for fraudulent claims.

Chambers & Partners, 2021

Experienced in catastrophic injury claims.

Legal 500, 2021

A brilliant advocate; he is incisive and formidable in cross-examination. He's also a reassuring presence in the courtroom and in conference, and has an excellent in-depth knowledge of fraud and contempt.

Chambers & Partners, 2020