He's arguably the go-to silk in an international case

Chambers UK 2017

Robert Weir QC

Year of Call: 1992 Silk: 2010

He's arguably the go-to silk in an international case

Chambers UK 2017

Robert Weir QC

Year of Call: 1992 Silk: 2010

He's arguably the go-to silk in an international case

Chambers UK 2017

Robert Weir QC

Year of Call: 1992 Silk: 2010

Robert Weir

He's arguably the go-to silk in an international case

Chambers UK 2017

Robert Weir QC

Year of Call: 1992 Silk: 2010

Rob's practice focuses on all aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence and the impact of the Human Rights Act on those areas. He acts for a wide range of clients, both claimants and defendants. Rob has a heavy caseload of catastrophic injury work, involving brain and spinal injuries (including numerous claims for children with cerebral palsy). He specialises in claims with an international element.

Rob is regularly brought into industrial disease cases including asbestos related diseases and cases raising insurance/MIB issues and other difficult, often legal, issues. He is acting in British Coal Coke Oven Workers Group Litigation and other group litigation. Rob has appeared in numerous reported cases.

He is an editor of Kemp & Kemp (chapters on conflict of laws, accommodation claims, mentally incapable claimants and PPOs) and writes a chapter on the liability of public authorities for Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service.  He is currently Chair of PIBA.

Rob was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2010. He is also an arbitrator for PIcARBS, the Personal Injury claims Arbitration Service.

Rob won the Legal 500 UK Awards as Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Silk of the Year in 2015 (short-listed in 2016, 2014), and won the category of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Silk of the Year at the 2013 Chambers UK Bar Awards. 

The case of X v Dartford NHS Trust & Gravesham [2015] 1 WLR 3647, in which the Court of Appeal accepted Rob's submission to change the approach to anonymity in approval hearings, won the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards Outstanding Case of the Year 2015.  In April 2015, he won 'Lawyer of the Year' at the Modern Claims Awards.

  • Recommendations

    Devereux Chambers sees Robert Weir QC recommended for his personal injury and clinical negligence practice, typically on the claimant side. He is highlighted for his "instinctive understanding of the intricacies of travel law" and as an "excellent, very unflappable advocate". - Most Highly Regarded Silk for Travel, Who's Who Legal 2017

    Robert Weir QC Enjoys a stellar reputation as a leading travel barrister. He is instructed by claimants and defendants in high-value travel claims raising complex and novel points of law under Rome II and the Human Rights Act. His scope of expertise encompasses applicable law, jurisdictional questions and issues relating to quantum. "Robert is razor-sharp in his analysis and has a wonderfully calm yet forceful nature when in court." "He's arguably the go-to silk in an international case; he deals with ground-breaking issues, is hugely thorough, is totally assured and is someone with unsurpassed knowledge." "The breadth of his intellect is extraordinary. He tells things as they are, is very ingenious and he's dedicated to the client's cause." Represented the claimant in Humphrey v Aegis Defence Services, a case concerning injury sustained during a military training exercise in Iraq. - Travel PI, Chambers UK 2017.

    Towering presence at the Personal Injury Bar and one of the most respected and successful barristers in the market. He is regularly instructed by leading claimant and defendant solicitors in maximum severity catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases. "Absolutely top-notch. He really is gold-standard." "He's got a massive intellect." "His approach is incredibly precise. He provides fantastic and realistic advice and is able to push the boundaries." Represented an employee of the prison service who was injured by a prisoner in the Supreme Court case Cox v Ministry of Justice. - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2017

    An accomplished silk with noted handling of catastrophic injuries claims including those relating to cerebral palsy and brain injury. "He is very forensic on the detail and he cares about the issues and the clients." "He is so sharp, so bright and so intelligent." Acted in JXMX v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, representing PIBA in the Court. He successfully promoted an entirely new legal test to be applied to the issue of anonymity on approval hearings. - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2017

    "The most able advocate at the personal injury Bar." - Personal Injury, Legal 500 2016

    "He is an outstanding counsel." - Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2016

    "Excellent on his feet and very good on tactics" - Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500 2016

    An experienced silk who pursues high-value claims for victims of alleged clinical negligence, especially those involving cerebral palsy or failures to diagnose serious illnesses. “Rob Weir QC has impressed me with his unfailing intellect.” “He puts points beautifully and has a very elegant style of advocacy.” “He cuts through it all. He's brilliant.” - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2016

    One of the best personal injury barristers in the country, Robert Weir QC is an expert in catastrophic injury cases, particularly those involving severe back and head injuries. Commentators highlight his intellectual ability and courtroom skills. "He is fantastically intelligent, has a brilliant legal mind and is very good with clients." "He is a formidable advocate, he handles the most complex issues with apparent ease." "He is just on another level in terms of the way his mind works and the knowledge he has." - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2016

    Widely recognised as one of the most important lawyers in the personal injury sphere, he has an impressive track record in travel claims. He handles applicable law, jurisdiction and quantum claims flowing from catastrophic injuries in Europe and further afield. "He is succinct in the points he makes, and is not afraid to stand up to judges if he thinks they are taking the wrong approach." "He is first and foremost a formidable advocate: he is able to analyse very tricky legal issues and convey them in an easily understandable way." Acted for the injured claimant in the appeal of Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers. The court decided that quantum for the RTA should be assessed using French law but that expert evidence should be adduced under UK procedures. - Travel, Chambers UK 2016

    "Top-drawer counsel." - Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Legal 500 2015

    "He manages experts incredibly well, and is a fantastic advocate." - Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2015

    "The best PI silk in the country; he is immaculately prepared, astoundingly bright, and a fearsome opponent." - Personal Injury, Legal 500 2015

    A highly respected catastrophic injury and disease silk who is acknowledged as a true expert in cases involving severe head and back injuries and amputations. He also has unique experience in foreign PI cases, and has worked on matters where the injury occurred in France or Australia. Expertise: "He has had some absolutely fantastic results recently with novel cases. He is always trying to look at new angles to cases and come up with ingenious new arguments." "He is really razor-sharp in his analysis, cuts to the chase and doesn't pontificate."  - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2015

    A widely respected silk with great expertise and a broad practice. He is especially noted for acting for claimants on cases where cerebral palsy has developed due to perinatal and neonatal negligence. Expertise: "He's a formidable intellect and has a very strong courtroom presence." "An extremely intelligent and able counsel, he's always on top of the detail and able to grasp really complex issues." Recent work: Represented a child claimant with cerebral palsy. - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2015

    Advises claimants and defendants on high-profile accident abroad cases. He is noted for his capabilities in cases concerning complex questions of jurisdiction and applicable laws. Expertise: "He is a heavyweight silk - his advocacy is outstanding and his written arguments are so clear." "He is razor-sharp in his analysis; he sees the issues and has a clear and forceful way of presenting issues in court." Recent work: Acted for the claimant in the landmark case of Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances, which concerned the effect of French law on accidents abroad in light of Rome II. - Travel: International Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2015 

    "Excellent on the most complex of cases" - Legal 500 2014

    "Experienced in the human rights aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence cases" - Legal 500 2014

    "His written and oral advocacy are of the highest quality and a privilege to witness." - Legal 500 2014

    "He has an enviable level of expertise in catastrophic injury claims and is highly rated for his client manner, his skill in court and his performances in negotiation.  Sources also comment on his knowledge of technical matters." Expertise: "He's very eminent - everyone knows he's the superstar of my generation.  He's a class act."   "He's a go to leader.  He's absolutely excellent - his technical ability is fantastic and he has a dogged determination in negotiation." - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2014

    Expertise: "He is razor-sharp in his analysis and has a wonderfully calm yet forceful nature when in court." - Travel, Chambers UK 2014

    Expertise: “He is top-notch. Incredibly intelligent, he cuts through all of the gloss from the other side and gets straight to the point. You can have a huge case and he’ll cut through it in no time. Very firm with the other side, he is fantastic on complex medical issues and a brilliant advocate as well. - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2014

    Within Clinical Negligence and Healthcare Robert Weir QC is "at the top of the tree when it comes to his advocacy skills", whilst in Personal Injury he is noted for his "determination, refusal to bend under pressure, and tactical awareness" - Legal 500 2013

    The "extremely intelligent and able" Robert Weir QC is "a go-to barrister for the most complex claims." He habitually handles cerebral palsy and other brain injury cases, and recently handled a claim concerning cerebral palsy which arose as a result of an episode of hypocarbia shortly after birth. - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2013

    He acts for a broad range of clients, and receives instructions from both claimants and defendants. He "is an exceptional advocate and a brilliant problem solver who displays a high attention to detail" in all he does. He is further praised by instructing solicitors for his "sympathetic and down-to-earth" approach to clients. He appeared in Smith and others v Ministry of Defence, the much publicised case concerning members of the armed forces killed in Iraq. - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2013

    Has acted on personal injury matters for some years. His travel practice sees him act particularly on matters with a maritime aspect, and he recently advised on Saldanha v Fulton, a case concerning injury to an Indian merchant seaman. Sources describe him as an "excellent advocate." - Chambers UK 2013

    "Excellent legal brain" and takes "a very proactive approach" to his work. - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2012

    "real star at Devereux."  He is "incredibly intelligent, gets through the issues quickly and is a fantastic advocate."  His "authoritative yet conversational" manner in court was picked out for special praise. - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2012

    "Enormously talented" and "intellectually outstanding" - Clinical Negligence, Legal 500 2011

    "Extremely sharp", "a real lateral thinker" and "unwavering in cross-examination". - Clinical Negligence and Healthcare, Legal 500 2010

    New silk Robert Weir QC is a good negotiator who is ‘incredibly bright and extremely good on difficult points of law’. Clients appreciate the fact that he is ‘very clever and gets to the point.’ - Clinical Negligence, Chambers UK 2011

    “Robert Weir QC is a specialist in catastrophic injury cases, whose elevation to silk this year was warmly greeted.” - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2011

    As a junior, Rob was winner of 2007 Chambers & Partners, Personal Injury Junior of the Year Award

  • Personal Injury

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    Numerous high value brain injury and para/tetraplegic claims for both claimants and defendants.

    Settlements have included:

    • £2,273,000 and £330,000 p.a. index-linked to ASHE 6115 and £55,000 p.a. index linked to RPI PPOs for life (after reduction of 30% for contributory negligence) for a young claimant who sustained tetraplegia and lower brainstem injury rendering her locked-in and fully competent
    • £640,000 and a PPO of £60,000 p.a. rising to £100,000 p.a. in a clinical negligence case in which negligent surgery led to peritonitis and subsequent need for stoma and brain injury caused whilst in ICU
    • £1.1m and £23,000 p.a. PPO for a young adult injured when a young child in a RTA
    • £2.9m and £144k p.a. PPO for a young brain injured man who also sustained a below knee amputation
    • £1.35m and £150k, rising to £165k p.a. PPO for an incomplete tetraplegic client
    • £900k and £30k p.a., rising to £44k p.a. PPO for a brain injured client after reducing the claim by 20% for contributory negligence
    • £2.25m and £60k p.a. rising to £85k then £100k p.a. for an incomplete tetraplegic client
    • £1.75m for a client who sustained a below knee amputation
    • lump sum and PPO (equiv. to over £8m) for tetraplegic client
    • £3.025m for child brain injured client
    • £1.8m for paraplegic client (after reduction for contrib)
    • £1.8 for brain injured client (after reduction for contrib)
    • lump sum and PPO for brain injured client (equiv. to over £3m)
    • lump sum and PPO (equiv. to about £1.4m) for brain injured client
    • £1.4m and £157,000 p.a. PPO for a tetraplegic client (after reduction for contrib.)
    • £1.5m and £61,500 p.a. PPO for a cerebral palsy client
    • £785,000 plus £31,712 p.a. PPO for a brain injured client
    • £660,000 and £22,479 p.a., rising to £39,720 after 2 years p.a. PPO for a client who suffered severe gastrointestinal injury as a result of clinical negligence
    • £656,000 and £66,444 p.a. PPO for a clinical negligence client who had jumped from first floor window of psychiatric unit and sustained a brain injury
    • £800,000 and £110,000 p.a. rising to £135,000 after 4 years p.a. PPO for a client who had undergone a below knee amputation prior to the clinical negligence which rendered her paraplegic.
    • £1.8m and £305,000 PPO p.a. for a tetraplegic client
    • £2.75m for a brain injured client working in the City at the time of the acident
    • £415,000 and £64,000 PPO p.a. in a clinical negligence claim where the client sustained cauda equina damage
    • £1.43m and £200,000 p.a. PPO for a paraplegic client arising out of clinical negligence
    • £2.52m and £75,000 p.a. PPO, rising to £120,000 p.a. PPO, for a brain injured child
    • £2.5m for a child injured in a RTA
    • £5.5m for the wife and daughter of a City solicitor in a FAA claim
    • £1.5m and £100k p.a. PPO for a brain injured young adult
    • £500k and £51k p.a. PPO in a clinical negligence claim in which C sustained severe injuries and loss of a limb following a failed suicide attempt
    • £1.725m and PPO rising to £135k p.a. for life for brain injured child
    • £765k and PPO rising to £53,750 p.a.after reduction by 50% to reflect liability division for a brain injured child
    • Complex litigation involving accidents at sea, commercial divers, air accidents and conflict of laws issues
      Fatal accident litigation including claim for several £million and claim by family of serviceman killed in Iraq
    • Group action litigation including for E Coli and Cryptosporidium outbreaks in Wales
    • Stress claims for claimants and defendants
    • Abuse work
    • Full range of occupational illnesses and employers' liability claims
  • Human Rights

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    All aspects of human rights, principally but not exclusively in relation to personal injury/healthcare issues.

    Several leading cases in area from Matthews (HL 2003 - asbestos claim against military) to Dobson (CA 2009 - nuisance).

    Currently running HRA claims against MoD, police and local authorities and in respect of the Fatal Accidents Act.

  • Clinical Negligence

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    Many cerebral palsy claims for claimants arising out of peri-natal and neo-natal negligence.

    Wide range of other claims including failure to diagnose meningitis, failure to diagnose causing paraplegia and tetraplegia and brain damage, failure to diagnose cancer, negligence by psychiatric units leading to brain damage and paraplegia, fatal claims.

    Specialism in secondary victim claims.

  • Industrial Disease

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    As part of his well-rounded PI practice Rob has established a considerable practice in industrial/occupational disease work.

    He has extensive experience of all forms of industrial disease work but it is his particular expertise in some of the leading asbestos and mesothelioma cases which catches the eye. He is currently acting in the British Coal Coke Oven Workers Group Litigation and other group litigation. Significant cases include:

    • R (Whitston) v Lord Chancellor (2015): judicial review on behalf of Asbestos Victims Support Forum against Lord Chancellor in relation to court fees; settled after Lord Chancellor agreed to amend fee remission order.
    • Coventry v Lawrence [2015] 1 WLR 3485:  intervention in Supreme Court in case confirming that pre-LASPO CFA regime is convention-compliant.
    • Thompson v Renwick Group plc [2014] PIQR P18: successful appeal for defendant in asbestos case.
    • Haxton v Philips Electronics Ltd [2014] 1 WLR 2721: successful claim for novel head of loss in mesothelioma case.
    • Chandler v Cape plc [2012] 1 WLR 3111: asbestosis case in which Court of Appeal established that duty of care owed by parent company to employee of subsidiary.
  • Additional Information

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    Judicial review claims including relating to mental health and entitlement to continuing healthcare for elderly infirm.

    Professional negligence and insurance claims, principally arising out of personal injury work.

    Nuisance claims.

    Health and safety work.

  • Notable cases

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    • AAA v Unilever plc [2017] EWHC 371 (QB): hearing to determine whether claim on behalf of hundreds of Kenyans can proceed in England.
    • Wood v TUI Travel PLC [2017] 1 Lloyds Rep 322: acting for holidaymakers in establishing that they can recover damages where food provided on holiday is contaminated without proving fault
    • Pickard v MIB [2017] RTR 20: meaning of article 4 of Rome II following road traffic accident in France.
    • Qader v Esure Services Ltd [2017] 1 WLR 1924: successfully intervening on behalf of PIBA to establish that a case existing RTA portal and then allocated to multi-track comes out of CPR 45 fixed recoverable costs scheme
    • Wigley-Foster v MIB [2016] 1 WLR 4769: successful appeal on proper interpretation of 4th Motor Directive in context of accident in Greece where Greek insurer became insolvent.
    • Humphrey v Aegis Defence Services Ltd [2016] All ER (D) 81 (Jan) (CA): claim for security contractor injured in Iraq.
    • R (Whitston) v Lord Chancellor (2015): judicial review on behalf of Asbestos Victims Support Forum against Lord Chancellor in relation to court fees; settled after Lord Chancellor agreed to amend fee remission order.
    • Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] AC 660: successful appeal in Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, prison service found vicariously liable for negligence of prisoner at work. 
    • Coventry v Lawrence [2015] 1 WLR 3485:  intervention in Supreme Court in case confirming that pre-LASPO CFA regime is convention-compliant.
    • X v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust [2015] 1 WLR 3647 (CA):  successful intervention on behalf of PIBA, establishing anonymity presumption in all approval cases.
    • Akhtar v Boland [2015] 1 All ER 644: allocation of claims to appropriate track in light of partial admission of value of claim.  
    • Thompson v Renwick Group plc [2014] PIQR P18: successful appeal for defendant in asbestos case.
    • Haxton v Philips Electronics Ltd [2014] 1 WLR 2721: successful claim for novel head of loss in mesothelioma case.
    • Smith and others v Ministry of Defence [2014] AC 52: combat immunity and article 2 claims arising out of soldiers killed in Snatch Land Rovers in Iraq; issue as to whether HRA extended to deaths in Iraq.   Succeeded in the Supreme Court on all issues.
    • Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers [2014] RTR 17 (CA); [2013] 1 WLR 3890 (HC): decision on scope of Rome II arising out of accident in France.
    • Billingsley v UPS Ltd [2013] RTR 30: court can order PPO for claimant injured in RTA in England even though insurer based in Dublin.
    • Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig v Barratt Homes Ltd [2013] 1 WLR 3486: successful appeal against claims in nuisance, negligence and trespass to goods involving breach  of statutory duty under Water Industries Act 1991.
    • Swift v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] QB 373 (CA); [2012] PIQR P21 (HC): human rights challenge to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 on behalf of a cohabitant unable to bring a claim for dependency because she had lived with the deceased for less than two years.
    • Stylianou v Toyoshima [2013] All ER (D) 36 (Aug): successful application to bring claim in UK for tetraplegic client injured in Australia against Australian insurer.
    • Chandler v Cape plc [2012] 1 WLR 3111: asbestosis case in which Court of Appeal established that duty of care owed by parent company to employee of subsidiary.
    • Thomas v Bridgend CBC [2012] QB 512.   Successful human rights challenge to Land Compensation Act.
    • Saldanha v Fulton Inc. (2011) 2 Lloyds Rep 206: accident on board ship involving conflict of laws issues.
    • C v Merthyr Tydfil CBC [2010] PIQR P9.   Duty of care to parent where her child had been abused by person other than the parent.
    • O'Leary v Tunnelcraft Ltd [2009] EWHC 3438.   Covert video surveillance kept out of case.
    • Knight v Axa Assurances [2009] Lloyds Rep IR 667. Conflict of laws case arising out of road traffic accident abroad.
    • Dobson and others v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2009] 3 All ER 319 (CA) - Times 3 April 2009. HRA claim by 800 claimants arising out of nuisance.
    • Harley and others v Smith and others [2009] PIQR P11, (2009) 1 Lloyds Rep 359 (CA). Limitation under Saudi law and Foreign Limitation Periods Act in personal injury claim by commercial divers.
    • Jones v Powys Local Health Board [2008] All ER (D) 234. Restitutionary claim for repayment of care home fees, strike out application.
    • R (Green) v South West Strategic Health Authority [2008] All ER (D) 21 (Nov).  Judicial review claim involving continuing healthcare NHS.
    • Arnup v. M.W. White Limited [2008] ICR 1064 (CA); [2007] PIQR Q6 (HC). Fatal acciddent claim involving deduction of benefits under section 4.
    • Flora v. Wakom (Heathrow) Ltd - [2007] 1 WLR 482, [2006] 4 All ER 982 (CA); [2006] PIQR Q7 HC. Whether court can apply inflationary rate other than RPI to award of periodical payments.
    • R (Kemp) v. Denbighshire LHB - [2007] 1 WLR 639, [2006] 3 All ER 141. Restitutionary claim arising out of NHS's failure to fund claimant in nursing home.
    • Cameron v. Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd - [2007] 1 WLR 163. Claim to establish novel tort of wrongful death against Railtrack.
    • Lawrence v. Pembrokeshire County Council - [2007] 1 WLR 2991 (CA); [2007] PIQR P1, [2006] Lloyd's Rep Med 383 (HC). Claim to establish parent owed duty of care by local authority in risk of child abuse cases in light of Human Rights Act.
    • O'Connor v. Wiltshire County Council - The Times 28 May 2007 (CA); [2006] 18 EG 152. Lands Tribunal 6 Feb 2006. Human rights challenge to Land Compensation Act and statutory construction of provision of Highways Act 1980.
    • W v. Doncaster MBC - The Times 13.5.04 - Court of Appeal. Human rights and mental health law.
    • Bristow v. Sikorsky and others - [2004] 2 Lloyd's Rep 150. Conflict of laws in fatal claim arising out of helicopter crash.
    • Braybrook v. Basildon & Thurrock University NHS Trust - [2005] All ER (D) 320. Withdrawal of admission of liability case, subsequently approved in Sowerby v. Charlton (CA).
    • Wilson v. Secretary of State for Trade and Industry - [2004] 1 AC 816. House of Lords case involving human rights, constitutional law, and contract law.
    • Matthews v. Ministry of Defence - [2003] 1 AC 1163 - House of Lords case involving personal injury and human rights (whether servicemen between 1947 and 1987 could sue ministry of defence for injuries).
    • Jones v. University of Warwick - [2003] 1 WLR 954 - Court of Appeal. Personal injury and human rights (admissibility of video evidence).
    • Walters v. North Glamorgan NHS Trust - [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 49 - Court of Appeal. Personal injury, breaking new ground in recovery of damages for pure psychiatric illness.
    • Roerig v. Valiant Trawlers Ltd - [2002] 1 WLR 2304 - Court of Appeal. Leading case on conflict of law. Personal injury/fatal case.
    • Salt v Consignia plc [2002] CLY 420 - disclosure of instructions to expert, referred to in White Book commentary.
    • Koonjul v Thameslink Healthcare Services NHS Trust [2000] PIQR P123.   Leading CA case on manual handling regulations.

Memberships and Associations

Arbitrator, PIcARBS

Chairman of PIBA

Member, Founder and past Chairman of Oxford Medico-Legal Society


MA in Medical Law and Ethics

1st class degree from Cambridge University

MA (Cantab), MA (KCL)