Tom Panton

Call: 2002

He's straight-talking, to the point and fully aware of the economic and commercial side of things. He always has the client's best interests at heart.

Chambers UK 2020
Tom Panton

Tom is a specialist in the areas of personal injury and industrial disease.

In nearly eighteen years at the bar he has built a practice based mainly on complex or multi-party liability disputes, fatal accident cases, high-value quantum disputes and the full range of occupational disease cases including NIHL, HAVS, asbestos, and work-induced psychiatric injury.

Personal Injury

Employer's Liability

Regularly instructed in accident cases involving all key EL areas including Work Equipment, Manual Handling, Workplace and COSHH issues.

Tom has a particular interest in multi-party CDM disputes involving complex issues of control and practical responsibility.

Tom has considerable experience of workplace violence cases, particularly in the social care context. Tom is very much alive to the sensitivities of these cases and well-used to being involved from the very early stages dealing with disclosure involving multiple agencies and complex data protection issues.

Public Liability

Tom has vast experience of all kinds of claims against local authorities including highway tripping claims, landlord and tenant cases, and accidents in schools.

Tom has a particular interest in Defective Premises Act claims, admitting to being fascinated by the interplay between the law of landlord & tenant and mainstream personal injury. His 2016 article on Claims against Landlords and the Defective Premises Act generated considerable interest for its clear, structured approach to analysis of these sometimes surprisingly difficult claims.

Fatal Accidents

Tom has represented both Claimants and Defendants in FAA claims for many years and is well-known for his careful, conscientious and sensitive handling of what can, for all parties, be the most taxing and stressful type of litigation imaginable. In the past year he has successfully brought two £1million-plus claims to settlement well before court proceedings became necessary. He is well-used to handling difficult situations involving disputes between defendants. Tom stresses the importance of early involvement in these cases, ideally from the Inquest stage, and (for defendants) close coordination between the teams responsible for regulatory and civil actions.

Product Liability

Tom has considerable experience of Consumer Protection Act cases within the personal injury sphere with cases involving a diverse range of products from cosmetics to domestic tumble dryers.

Disease

Vibration, noise and dust diseases

Tom sees himself as forever indebted to the late, much-missed Simon Beard of Ropewalk Chambers for a thorough grounding in industrial disease work right from the very start of his career.  Tom has since developed experience in virtually all kinds of occupational illness litigation ranging from noise exposure, vibration, asbestos exposure, and work-induced psychiatric injury.  He has conducted literally dozens of limitation trials and is particularly adept at securing medical facilities for the benefit of defendants even in the face of determined opposition.

Tom has experience of large-scale HAVS litigation, having been led by Dominic Nolan QC in the context of multiple claims against a large private mining concern.

Work-related stress/psychiatric injury

Tom has always had a particular interest in psychiatric injury cases. His experience of work-related stress claims encompasses a wide variety of workplace situations including local authorities, policing and the financial sector.

Memberships

  • Personal Injury Bar Association

Education

  • LLB, University of Kent at Canterbury 1998-2001
  • BVC at Nottingham Law School, 2002

Notable Cases

  • AB v Chief Constable of X Constabulary [2015] EWHC 13 (QB) – former undercover police claiming damages for psychiatric illness; issues relating to workplace stress and defence of ex turpi causa.
  • Smith v Northamptonshire County Council [2009] UKHL 27 – interpretation of r3 of PUWER, relevance of concept of control to imposition of statutory duties.
  • Hood v Mitie Property Services (Midlands) Ltd & Royal Mail Group plc [2005] All ER (D) 11 (Jul) – contribution claim by the employer of a catastrophically injured claimant against the occupier of premises where he had fallen from height.

Recommendations

Significant expertise in employers' liability claims. He also has vast experience in industrial disease claims, including hand-arm vibration syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss and asbestos cases.

Strengths: "He has a relaxed manner which calms witnesses, and his advocacy is excellent and very robust." "He's straight-talking, to the point and fully aware of the economic and commercial side of things. He always has the client's best interests at heart."

Chambers UK 2020 - Personal Injury

Significant expertise in employers' liability claims. He also has vast experience in industrial disease claims, including hand-arm vibration syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss and asbestos cases.

"He is very clear in his advice and has a good manner with clients in conference."

Chambers UK 2019 - Personal Injury

Significant expertise in employers' liability claims. He also has vast experience in industrial disease claims, including hand-arm vibration syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss and asbestos cases.

Strengths: "I was thoroughly impressed. He is charming in court and will go places." "Very intelligent and good with tactics."

Chambers UK 2018 - Personal Injury Leading Junior - Band 3

"Very experienced in industrial disease cases."

Legal 500 2017 - Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Leading Juniors

Significant expertise in employers' liability claims. He also has vast experience in industrial disease claims including hand-arm vibration syndrome, noise-induced hearing loss and asbestos cases.

Strengths: "A very safe pair of hands, very pragmatic and very easy to engage with. He provides practical, commercial advice." "Pleasant, professional and straightforward."

Chambers UK 2017 - Personal Injury Leading Junior - Band 3

'Solid in every area, he is always well prepared and can communicate the most complex arguments.'

Legal 500 2016 - Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Leading Juniors

He mainly represents defendants, although his claimant practice is growing in size. He is particularly noted for his expertise in industrial disease and employers' liability cases.

Strengths: "He has a good judgement of tactical points, a sound eye for the true issues in a case and he is very calm under pressure."

Chambers UK 2016 - Personal Injury Leading Junior - Band 3

'Sought after for his expertise, which includes employers' liability, road traffic accidents, and industrial disease.'

Legal 500 2015 - Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Leading Juniors

'Recommended for defendant personal injury work.'

Legal 500 2014 - Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Leading Juniors

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