Nigel Brockley

I have acted in claims involving solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers, architects, insolvency practitioners and doctors (including claims of medical negligence). Given the nature of these disputes, which often focus on allegations of poor professional advice or management of a clinical condition, such claims tend to have had a profound impact upon my clients. Having also appeared before the professional disciplinary tribunals which regulate these professions has enabled me to focus upon the critical questions that a Court will ask in such claim. There is the need to balance the reputational damage caused by the bringing of vexatious claims with the right to adequate compensation, for my aggrieved clients. This is a difficult area of litigation due to the application of the objective standard to the question of the competence with which a particular task has been undertaken.  I am able to offer considered advice based on my experience.

I have also acted in defence of related intervention proceedings brought against solicitors. 

I have enjoyed significant success in a number of high value claims against solicitors and medical practitioners.

 

My approach

I try to ensure that my advice is easy to understand and capable of being followed by the non-lawyer; each client’s ability to undertake preparatory work at the various stages of litigation is something that I assess on a case-by-case basis.

I seek to ensure that legal costs are minimised, although, I am able to refer clients to solicitors, free legal advice centres and experts where it is necessary. I advise my clients to consider a range of approaches to litigation funding.

I am happy to meet clients wherever is convenient and I have offices in London, Bristol and Birmingham.

I have a busy professional life and understand that advice, when it is needed, tends to be urgent, therefore I can arrange to hold meetings during the weekend or outside of conventional office hours.

I prefer to have an initial telephone discussion with my clients to satisfy myself that I am able to help, and this first short meeting can be arranged by telephone; I will not charge for this.

My practice base is quite broad but if I cannot help with your legal issue, I will probably be able to refer you to a colleague who may be better placed to assist.

My approach to fees is to try to accommodate any budgetary constraints but again, if I cannot I may be able to refer you to a more junior colleague. It is important to note that in professional negligence claims, there are most usually significant costs incurred due to the highly defensive nature of the action taken by the insurers of the relevant professional.

I am happy to arrange fixed fee agreements and to provide ongoing help on a retained basis. My fees are, I hope, fair!   

My work

(1) I have acted in a claim concerning the failure of an external legal support company to give correct advice regarding the application of the National Minimum Wage, thus making a tendered contract unprofitable. My client had had a poor prior experience with lawyers but was able to make a pragmatic decision regarding his claim once I became involved. Upon my advice, proceedings were issued and after several procedural disputes, including a threat to strike out my client’s claim, the Company’s insurers agreed to pay my client’s claim and to meet his legal costs.

(2) In a  High Court claim brought against my client, arising from his role as a director of a company, I advised and acted in relation to a counterclaim concerning the sale of certain assets of the business at an undervalue. The administrator’s evidence was not strong but in summary judgment proceedings he sought judgment on the principal claim and the dismissal of my client’s claim. With some thought being given to the administrators’ evidence and the obtaining of our other evidence, my client was able to defeat the application and to maintain this success on appeal. My client’s business was in commercial waste recycling and it was necessary to undermine arguments which the administrator raised regarding the credibility of my client’s evidence and to challenge how the administrator had actually decided to sell the business assets at the price that he had. Ultimately, whilst not accepting the basis of my client’s claim, the administrator compromised the litigation to my client’s significant advantage.

About me

I have been a barrister for more than 25 years and have always undertaken a significant volume of charitable work, which I now continue through the Bar Pro Bono Unit. I have provided lectures and training to a diverse audience, including solicitors, local authorities and trade unions.

Before coming to the Bar, I worked in property and ran a restaurant in Mayfair. I also studied drama and have been involved with various fringe productions. I am now a WRU level 1 rugby coach and Sunday is often taken up with festivals of mini rugby.

I have conducted public access work since it was first possible to do so and have appeared and advised in disputes in a wide range of courts and tribunals (including on appeal). 

What my clients say

I come to my cases, thoroughly prepared and with a determination to achieve the best outcome. My written advice is specific and clear and highlights the strengths and weaknesses in a case.  In court, I am described as determined, forensic and respected.

My clients say that I engage with them in language which they are capable of understanding. 

“Nigel has been Counsel of first choice for me for the past 10 years. His deep subject knowledge, attention to detail, pragmatic advice, willingness to fight when required and superb cross examining skills has made him a firm favourite with many clients.” - 
Alasdair Hobbs

Professional & academic

I studied economics, initially, worked for a few years in property and then went on to study law.

I was called to the Bar in 1992 and trained in banking, contract, commercial, company and employment law.

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