Gareth McAloon

Call: 2010
Gareth McAloon

Gareth specialises in all aspects of personal injury work, predominantly on the Multi-Track. He is a specialist practitioner in all aspects of industrial disease claims including; asbestos claims, NIHL claims, HAVS claims and repetitive strain injuries. In addition, Gareth is instructed in inquests and clinical negligence claims. Gareth has a busy court and paperwork practice.

Gareth was called to the Bar following completion of his BVC in 2020. Prior to coming to Ropewalk Chambers, Gareth worked in a criminal defence firm of solicitors where he became a Police Station Representative and handled a complex caseload in the firm’s Crown Court Department. Gareth then completed two Masters Degrees; he graduated from the University of Birmingham in September 2012 with an LLM in Commercial Law and graduated from St Anne’s College, Oxford, in July 2013 having completed the BCL.

Gareth has been a tenant at Ropewalk Chambers since 2015.

Away from the Bar, Gareth is a keen cricket and rugby fan and continues to play cricket for his local team.

Disease

Gareth is regularly instructed in all aspects of industrial disease work including; NIHL, HAVS, occupational asthma, asbestos-related disease, occupational stress, COSHH cases and work-related upper limb disorders including repetitive strain injury claims. The majority of this work has been on the Multi-Track and has involved significant consideration of expert evidence of an engineering and medical nature.

He has been involved in a number of trials where matters have been defended on all issues and has led to him cross-examining expert witnesses.

In NIHL cases, Gareth has increasingly been instructed to deal with matters which have raised the issue de minimis injury and has become very familiar with the academic and medical literature which has discussed the aspects of material and noticeable hearing loss.

In the HAVS context, he has dealt with cases where the Claimant has alleged vibration-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and has become very familiar with the academic and medical literature which has explored the relationship between vibration and CTS.

Finally, Gareth frequently deals with industrial disease cases which have raised the issue of Limitation and is well versed in all the relevant authorities which have dealt with the Limitation Act 1980.

Gareth recently appeared before the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Defendant in the case of Mackenzie -v- Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 2110 where he was led by Patrick Limb QC. Whilst specifically arising out a NIHL claim, the case concerned important issues about disclosure and the defence of historic disease claims generally. A link to Gareth’s article on the case can be found here

Personal Injury

Gareth is regularly instructed in all aspects in personal injury work. Typically, this has arisen out of employer’s liability claims under the various regulations, public liability claims under the Occupiers Liability Act or under the Highways Act, or road traffic claims.

Gareth represents both Claimants and Defendants in such work and his success at doing so has led to a busy court and paperwork practice. The majority of Gareth’s work in this area is high-value and on the Multi-Track.

Usually, the cases that Gareth has dealt with have had complex issues of causation arising out spinal and psychological issues which has given rise to significant amounts of expert evidence and forensic detail in respect of a Claimants medical history. Gareth is used to holding conferences with experts, drafting Part 35’s and cross-examining experts at trial.

Gareth is also familiar with Fatal Accident Act claims and the issues arising from such matters. He is adept a drafting large value Schedules and Counter Schedules of Loss and is well familiar with the issues and complexities which surround pension loss claims.

Gareth’s courtroom experience in such claims has seen him appear across the country in the County Court. He has dealt with Joint Settlement Meetings, and Costs and Case Management Conferences.

Counter Fraud

Gareth has been involved in many claims where fraud has been alleged. He is familiar with organised fraud in the motor insurance sector which has led to large amounts of intelligence gathering including scrutiny of medical records, phone records, and social media accounts.

Gareth has been successful on many occasions in securing a finding of fundamental dishonesty for Defendants and obtaining a section 57 strike out under the Criminal Justice Act 2015. This has included not only circumstances whereby false evidence has been given on liability or causation but also where a Claimant has tried to deliberately deceive the court about his date of Knowledge for the purposes of the Limitation Act 1980. Gareth’s methodical approach to cases, and his eye for detail allows his skills to be particularly adept to dealing with cases where fraud is in issue. His meticulous preparation allows him to be strong in cross-examination with Claimants facing allegations of fraud or dishonesty.

Criminal Regulatory

Given Gareth’s background in criminal law, he retains an interest in criminal regulatory matters for proceedings brought against employers and individuals under the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Actions

Gareth undertakes instructions relating to catastrophic injury and CICA matters. He has presented several CICA matters on appeal which have seen significant uplift in the amount awarded. They have predominantly involved complex brain injuries where the full amount under the scheme was applied for. One also involved a further complexity which involved clinical negligence, and the proper approach under the scheme and the rules to the settlement received in the clinical negligence action and the impact that it had on the award under the CICA scheme. In that matter nine expert reports were put before the Tribunal.

Clinical Negligence

Gareth has developed a clinical negligence practice over the last few years. He has been instructed in matters ranging from initial advice on liability to complex advices on causation and quantum.

The majority of the work which Gareth has been involved in has arisen from allegations of a delay in treatment and/or misdiagnosis. This is a particular interest area for Gareth who enjoys the interplay between the factual evidence in such cases giving rise to the core chronology of events, and the parameters of the duty of care.

Gareth is also interested in cases concerning treatment of psychiatric conditions and the effects of medication withdrawal or delays in treatment which has precipitated patients self-harming and acts of suicide.

Gareth has also represented families at inquests where a clinical negligence claim is likely to follow.

Gareth acts for both Claimants and Defendants in this area.

Inquests

Gareth has represented a variety of interested parties in inquests. Gareth has a particular interest in cases involving care homes and the level of care given. Gareth is experienced in being able to deal with matters calmly and courteously whilst at the same time structuring an approach to an inquest so as to best support a future claim for damages.

Gareth’s experience from dealing with large volume disclosure, his familiarity with medical records, and his regular dealing with expert witnesses allows him to be ideally adept at dealing with the core issues which often go to the root of an inquest and the potential findings available to the coroner.

Gareth appreciates that the very nature of coronial proceedings is such that inevitably, emotions can run high and that therefore a calm and sometimes gentle approach is often needed to secure the right outcome for clients and ensure that all areas of the cause of death are thoroughly vetted.

Insurance

Gareth has significant experience, both at an academic level and in his career at the bar, in actions concerning insurance. A large portion of both his LLM and his BCL focused on the law of insurance contracts and the issues of indemnity.

In practice, during his time in Chambers, this has given rise to requests for advice in respect of coverage and indemnity, claims arising from reinsurance policies and their impact on longevity litigation in a disease context, and actions for contribution and indemnity under the 1974 Act. Predominantly the cases Gareth has dealt with have arisen out of primary claims for personal injury, product liability, or industrial disease.

Costs

Ancillary to his practice in personal injury work, Gareth has developed a healthy costs practice. This has involved applications to set aside a Claimants QOWCS protection and also the pursuit of applications for wasted costs against legal representatives.

Gareth also undertakes detailed assessment of bills of costs arising out of complex personal injury matters and again, his experience in this area allows him to be effective and gain a quick understanding of core issues.

Memberships

  • Personal Injuries Bar Association

Education

  • Eastham Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • BCL, St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford
  • BVC (Very Competent)
  • LLB, University of Birmingham
  • LLB (First Class Honours), Keele University

Notable Cases

Mackenzie -v- Alcoa Manufacturing (GB) Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 2110 - The judgment can be found here.

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