Chambers UK Leading Individual Legal 500 Leading Individual

Dominic Nolan QC

Year called:
1985; appointed Queen's Counsel 2006
LL.B. Nottingham University. Accredited mediator. Appointed Recorder 2005
Practice areas:
Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Disease, Fraudulent Claims, Regulatory (Health and Safety Prosecutions), Professional Discipline and Regulation, Mediation

Dominic Nolan was called to the Bar in 1985 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006.

He was called to the Gibraltar Bar in 2007.  He sits as a Recorder on the Midland Circuit. He is an accredited mediator. He was Head of Ropewalk Chambers from 2009 to 2012.

His major specialisms are in personal injury and clinical negligence work, health and safety prosecutions and cases involving disease.  He also advises upon procedural issues including costs issues and has on many occasions acted for insurers where fraudulent or exaggerated claims have been challenged. He has an interest in all areas of professional discipline and regulation

Personal Injury

He has an extensive practice in claims of the highest value (generally in the £millions) arising from fatal or catastrophic injury, acting for both Claimants and Defendants in such cases.

He has acted for many years for the major employer's liability and public liability insurers, self insured plc's and public authorities.

In silk he has a significant and growing practice in acting for Claimants who have suffered catastrophic injury and particularly serious head injury cases, including those involving young children and where superimposed upon pre-existing disability.

He has conducted numerous high value cases involving detailed reconstruction following road traffic accidents.

He has experience of product liability claims.

He has acted in many cases of alleged workplace bullying.

He has been identified in the Legal 500 as a Leading Practitioner in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence in all recent years.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2013: Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury: ‘Is a "brilliant advocate" who is "fantastic with clients and excellent on his feet."  He has a broad practice, of which personal injury claims are a key element.  He focuses on high-value cases, and represents both claimants and defendants.’

Chambers and Partners UK - 2012: Named as one of the two “Star Individuals” in Personal Injury work on the Midland Circuit: ‘a charming advocate with a good courtroom presence’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2011: Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury: ‘thoroughbred advocate’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2010: Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury: ‘one of the strongest EL/PL barristers in the country’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2009: Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury: ‘top-flight advocate and negotiator’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2008: Band 1 Silk for Personal Injury: ‘intelligent, accessible and commercial’...‘a star performer’.

Clinical Negligence

He has acted for over twenty years in cases arising from alleged clinical negligence, particularly in those where issues of breach of duty and causation are complex.  He has substantial experience of cases involving hospital medicine, surgery and general medical practice.

He has particular experience of spinal injury claims.

He has been identified in Legal 500 as Leading Practitioner in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence in all recent years.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2013: ‘Is a veteran clinical negligence practitioner, who is noted for his expertise in severe spinal injury claims.’

Chambers and Partners UK - 2012: ‘a leading clinical negligence silk who deftly handles complex cases’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2011: ‘very polished in court, but also an excellent negotiator out of it’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2010: ‘outstanding reputation’...‘delightful to work with, personable with clients and always delivers on time’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2009: ‘incisive outstanding silk’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2008: ‘combines intellectual rigour with a genuine understanding of medico-legal matters’.


He has for many years acted in claims arising from industrial disease, particularly where said to be caused by asbestos exposure or from use of hand held vibrating tools.

With Michael Beloff QC he was Leading Counsel for the Lead Appellant in the deafness test cases considered by the Supreme Court in 2010 (Baker v Quantum Clothing).

He has substantial experience in dealing with claims arising from the fatal acquisition of legionnaire’s disease.

He has substantial experience of advising and acting in cases where complex issues of breach of duty, causation and apportionment of loss arise.

He has appeared in very high value cases alleging stress or bullying at work.

He has also acted in substantial claims by employers’ liability insurers to recover from contractors and others a contribution to liabilities to injured claimants or their widows.

Dominic Nolan

Fraudulent Claims

Through having a very large personal injury and clinical negligence practice he has acquired substantial experience of dealing with claims involving allegations of fabrication or gross exaggeration of claimed injury and disability.

He has extensive experience in advising as to the proper procedural, strategic and tactical steps to be taken by Defendants subject to such claims.

Health and Safety Prosecutions

He has advised upon pleas, tactics and evidence and has conducted cases in numerous Health and Safety prosecutions including:

  • Mitigation for a large Plc after a fatal accident in a steelworks;
  • Mitigation for a large Plc after a serious accident at a coal storage facility at a power station;
  • Defending in the prosecution of a hotel following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease said to have caused the death of a resident;
  • An early case under Regulation 13 of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 against a rail operator after a serious injury caused during construction of a footbridge;
  • Defending a large Plc arising from a fatal injury at a quarry;
  • Acting on behalf of the Defendants in a prosecution arising from poor quality of asbestos removal from a site with significant public access;
  • Advising a large Plc regarding a potential prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and/or Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 and/or Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 after a fatal fall;
  • Defending a theme park operator in a prosecution following fatal fall from ride;
  • Defending a public authority in a prosecution following death of child struck by reversing refuse truck;
  • Defending a large company in a prosecution arising from poor legionnella control in cooling towers.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2013: ‘Is known for his defence work in health and safety prosecutions, and also carries out mitigation for companies following serious accidents.  One peer said that "when you get him you know the case is going to be nicely dealt with. He takes the good points and isn't offensive to deal with."’

Chambers and Partners UK - 2012: ‘Has extensive experience of defending private companies and public organisations against HSE prosecutions’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2011: ‘Has a multifaceted practice that draws on his experience of catastrophic injury, gross negligence and asbestosis claims. He has many supporters in the market’.

Chambers and Partners UK - 2010: ‘cerebral and practically minded’... ‘excellent client-facing skills’.


He is an Accredited Mediator (ADR trained) and has acted as Leading Counsel in mediations in more complex cases.

Professional Membership

Personal Injuries Bar Association.

Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Nottinghamshire Medico-Legal Society.


He is regularly invited to address seminars and conferences of specialists upon current and developing issues in personal injury law.

He was appointed Special Lecturer in Law by the University of Nottingham in 2003 and Special (now Honorary) Professor in 2009.


Please see above.

Reported cases include

Wright v Cambridge Medical Group Ltd[2011] EWCA Civ 669; Times 21st June 2011 (issues of extent of primary duty, causation and remoteness in delayed medical referral).

Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd[2011] UKSC 17; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1003; [2011] 4 All E.R. 223; [2011] I.C.R. 523 (deafness test cases in Supreme Court).

Spencer v Wincanton Holdings Ltd[2009] EWCA Civ 1404; [2010] P.I.Q.R. P8 (remoteness of damage where second accident for which Claimant at least partly to blame).

Brookes v South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive[2005] EWCA Civ 452 (date of knowledge for HAVS risk for “ordinary employer”).

Articles by this Barrister