John McDonald

Call 1981

“John has superb technical knowledge.”

Chambers UK 2024


Particular interest and expertise in motor insurance. Member of the 2TG MIB team. Advised on redrafting of MIB Hong Kong Agreements. Instructed in many cases by BLM, Browne Jacobson, DWF, Greenwoods, Horwich Farrelly, JAG Shaw, Kennedys, Keoghs, Aviva, Plexus, RSA, Travelers, RPC, Weightmans & others.

Particular interest and expertise in motor insurance. Member of the 2TG MIB team. Advised on redrafting of MIB Hong Kong Agreements. Instructed in many cases by BLM, Browne Jacobson, DWF, Greenwoods, Horwich Farrelly, JAG Shaw, Kennedys, Keoghs, Aviva, Plexus, RSA, Travelers, RPC, Weightmans & others.

Long experience of all areas of personal injury law, with particular expertise in:

  • Asbestos Claims: Instructed in over 250 asbestos-related cases by firms including ASB Law, BLM, Browne Jacobson, CLM, DWF, Langleys, Novum Law, Pickerings, Rollingsons, Simpson Millar, Slater & Gordon, Tayntons, Thrings, Watmores & Wragge & Co.
  • Health & Safety: Instructed by Greenwoods, Buller Jeffries, Plexus & others in many inquests and health and safety prosecutions.
  • Stress & Bullying: Instructed for defendants by DWF and other firms in many cases.
  • Other: Instructed in many other personal injury cases, including industrial disease (e.g. deafness, dermatitis & WRULD), paraplegia & brain damage cases, quantification of complex loss of earnings cases. Accepts instructions from claimants on conditional fee basis.

Professional negligence of solicitors, as well as engineers, architects and other construction professionals. Particular interest in fiduciary duties of solicitors and in liability of loss adjusters.

Wide experience of most areas of practice in the construction field, including delay and disruption claims, defects claims, flooding, tree root cases, and other work with a technical content. Particular interest in cases involving complex financial or quantity surveying evidence, John’s experience includes ICC arbitrations with hearings in Egypt, Tunisia and several European countries as well as the UK. Instructed on behalf of both employers and contractors, in cases before the Technology and Construction Court, arbitrators (both domestic and international) and adjudicators. Such cases have involved civil and marine engineering projects, as well as office and industrial building developments.

Significant Cases

Sahin v Havard [2017] 1 WLR 1853

Successfully resisted appeal on Monk v Warbey insurance point. Instructed by BLM.

Prater v British Motor Holdings (2016) Bristol CC

Appeared for successful claimant in diffuse pleural thickening asbestos exposure case. Instructed by Charles Lucas & Marshall.

Smith v Portswood House [2016] EWHC 939

Successfully defended fatal mesothelioma case. Consideration of meaning of “substantial quantity of dust” in Factories Act. Instructed by DWF.

Pinn & Guo v Zenith Insurance (2014) Swansea CC

Successful application of “racing” exception in motor insurance policy. Instructed by Plexus.

Sahin v Havard & Riverstone Insurance (2014) Central London CC

Contention that Monk v Warbey liability did not require insurance upheld. Instructed by BLM.

Equity v Meppen-Walter & Quinn Insurance (2013) Manchester CC

Resisted application by another motor insurer to intervene in section 152 declaration proceedings. Instructed by DWF.

AA v CC & MIB [2013] EWHC 2679 (QB) High Court, Lawtel

Power of Court to make variable PPO by consent. Instructed by Greenwoods.

Clarke v Clarke & MIB [2012] EWHC 2118

Successful defence on issue of whether accident arose out of use of vehicle on public place. Instructed by BLM Southampton.

Khalid v EUI and Barden v Diamond (2012) Birmingham and Winchester CC

Appeals on issue of whether second claim against motor insurer under 2002 EC Regulations an abuse of process. Instructed by DWF Liverpool.

R v Harris Calnan Construction (2012) Central Criminal Court

Complex HSE prosecution arising out of collapse of crane. Instructed by Greenwoods.

Harvey v MIB (2011) High Court, Manchester, Lawtel

Successful defence of appeal against arbitrators award in MIB Untraced Drivers case. Instructed by Weightmans, Liverpool.

Cahill v HMV (2011) Liverpool County Court

Successfully defended deafness claim by security guard at an HMV store. Instructed by DWF Manchester.

Mullen v Accenture [2010] EWHC 2336 (QB) High Court

Successful defence of stress at work claim. Instructed by DWF Liverpool.

Loader v Chauhan (2010) Brighton County Court

Defence of automatism in RTA claim. Instructed by Halliwells.

Singh v OShea (2010) Central London County Court

Successful defence of exaggerated claim. Instructed by Plexus.

R v Faulkner Gates Ltd & others (2010) Bournemouth Crown Court & Court of Appeal

Complex multiparty HSE prosecution: Important points of principle. Instructed by Greenwoods.

England v Foster Wheeler (Lawtel, 2009) Sheffield County Court

Asbestos claim – distinction between diffuse pleural thickening and pleural plaques. Instructed by Langleys & Rollits.

Shapoor v Promo Design & MIB (Lawtel,2009) Romford County Court

Construction of MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement and section 154 RTA. Instructed by DWF.

McCall v Poulton & MIB [2009] RTR 11

Appeal to Court of Appeal, re Reference to ECJ on recoverability of credit hire charges under MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement. Instructed by Weightmans.

Singh v OShea [2009] EWHC 1251 (QB) (Lawtel) High Court

Appeal re admission of further medical evidence where unfavourable video surveillance evidence. Instructed by Plexus.

R v Just Learning Ltd (2009) Cambridge Crown Court

Complex local authority prosecution of day nursery company re death of child in choking incident. Instructed by Greenwoods.

O’Brien v Day & MIB (2009) Carlisle County Court

Exclusion of passengers claim under Clause 6 of MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement. Instructed by DWF.

Taiwo v Community Links (2008) Leeds County Court

Claimant estopped from bringing stress claim by previous Employment Tribunal claim. Instructed by DWF.

Mitchell v Wright & MIB/Rolland v Muralytharan & MIB (2008) Manchester County Court

Recoverability of credit hire charges under MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement. Instructed by Weightmans.

Jones v Thornton (2007) Derby County Court

Exclusion of stress claim by agreement compromising Employment Tribunal and other claims. Instructed by DWF.

Hall & Richards v Merthyr Tydfil BC (2007) TCC Cardiff

Landslip/subsidence case involving liability of local authorities. Instructed by Dolmans.

Nias v Hampshire County Council (2007) Winchester CC

Bullying, stress claim. Instructed by Hampshire CC.

Stephens v Anderson Firmin & Collins (2006) Swindon County Court

Limitation in asbestosis/diffuse pleural thickening case. Instructed by Charles Lucas & Marshall.

Woodward v Carillion (2006) High Court, Birmingham

Contribution to mesothelioma claim from co-insured. Instructed by Langleys.

Mincher v Leaper (2006) Leeds County Court

Definition of “motor vehicle” under Road Traffic Act. Instructed by Weightmans.

Privacy Policy

John McDonald Privacy Policy

My contact details:

ICO Reg No: Z6798552
Address: 2 Temple Gardens, London, EC4Y 9AY
Phone: +44 (0)20 7822 1200

The type of personal information I collect

To enable me to provide you with legal advice and representation in courts, tribunals, arbitrations and mediations, I currently collect and process the following personal information:

Personal identifiers, contacts and characteristics (for example, name, date of birth and contact details), bank and financial details, your background and circumstance and education.

Other personal data relevant to, or included in instructions to provide legal services, including data specific to the instructions in question and data included in documents provided to me as part of instructions or otherwise.

Such information may include personal information relating to family members, associates, agents, employees, shareholders or beneficial owners. By providing such personal information to me, you automatically confirm that you are authorised to do so. It is not reasonably practicable for me to provide the information set out in this Privacy Notice to those individuals. Accordingly, where appropriate, you are responsible for providing this information to any such individuals.

Where necessary, I may also need to process Special Category data about you including

  • racial or ethnic origin;
  • personal data revealing political opinions;
  • personal data revealing religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • personal data revealing trade union membership;
  • genetic data;
  • biometric data (where used for identification purposes);
  • data concerning health;
  • data concerning a person’s sex life; and
  • data concerning a person’s sexual orientation.

How I get the personal information and why I have it

Most of the personal information that I process is provided to me directly by you or via the professional you have instructed such as a solicitor or consultant or other professional adviser who instructs me on your behalf to provide legal services.

I use the information that you have given me in order to

  • provide legal services to you, my client, including the provision of legal advice and
  • representation in courts, tribunals, arbitrations, and mediations
  • keep accounting records and carry out office administration
  • take or defend legal or regulatory proceedings or to exercise a lien
  • respond to potential complaints or make complaints
  • check for potential conflicts of interest in relation to future potential cases
  • promote and market my services
  • carry out anti-money laundering and terrorist financing checks
  • train other barristers and pupils, and when providing work-shadowing opportunities
  • publish legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals as required or permitted by law.

I may share this information with

  • other professional advisers such as other legal professionals and consultant experts and other witnesses
  • courts and tribunals
  • the staff in my Chambers
  • prosecution authorities
  • pupils and mini pupils
  • lay clients
  • family and associates of the person whose personal information I am processing
  • in the event of complaints, the Head of Chambers, other individuals nominated by Chambers who deal with complaints, the Bar Standards Board, and the Legal Ombudsman
  • other regulatory authorities
  • current, past or prospective employers
  • education and examining bodies
  • business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies, e.g. the Bar Council
  • professional indemnity insurers or brokers
  • the general public in relation to the publication of legal judgments and decisions of courts and tribunals
  • If you have engaged other professional advisers to instruct me on your behalf on the matters on which I am providing legal services to you, I shall assume that I may disclose your personal information to them unless you tell me otherwise.
  • I may be required to provide your information to regulators, such as the Bar Standards Board, the Financial Conduct Authority or the Information Commissioner’s Office. In the case of the Information Commissioner’s Office, there is a risk that your information may lawfully be disclosed by them for the purpose of any other civil or criminal proceedings, without my consent or yours, which includes privileged information.
  • I may also be required to disclose your information to the police or intelligence services, where, acting in good faith, I consider it required and permitted by law.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the lawful basis I rely on for processing this information is

  • The processing is necessary for a contract I have with you, or because you have asked me to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
  • You are able to remove your consent at any time. You can do this by contacting me.
  • It may be necessary for me to share your personal data to comply with legal obligations to, for example, HMRC.

How I store your personal information

Your information is securely stored in Chambers or at my home. I use reasonable technical and organisational security measures such as password protection and encryption of computer generated data and keeping paper data secure to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or destroyed, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way.

In this connection, Chambers, as data processor, acting on my behalf, will only process your personal data on my instructions and is subject to a duty of confidentiality.

The data will be held in line with any regulatory obligations and generally be kept for 6 years but may be 12 years, or longer where, for example, the case includes information relating to a minor, from the date of completion of instructions. At this point any further retention will be reviewed and the data will be marked for deletion or marked for retention for a further period.

All data will be securely deleted or securely shredded after this time without reference to you. I will store some of your information which I need to carry out conflict checks for the rest of my career. However, this is likely to be limited only to your name and contact details and the name of the case. It will not include any information that is “sensitive information” for GDPR purposes.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • Your right of access – You have the right to ask me for copies of your personal information.
  • Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask me to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask me to complete information you think is incomplete.
  • Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask me to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask me to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to object to processing – You have the the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that I transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.
  • You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, I have one month to respond to you. Please contact me at 2 Temple Gardens, London, EC4Y 9AY or if you wish to make a request.

Transfer of your information outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

This privacy notice is of general application and as such it is not possible to state whether it will be necessary to transfer your information out of the EEA. If I do transfer your personal data I will use safeguards to ensure the data is fully protected as required by the UK Data Protection Regulations.

Changes to my Privacy Policy

From time to time, I may need to make chances to my privacy policy. If so, the changes will appear on my entry on the 2TG website.


As above, I may share your personal data with Chambers who may in turn use that data to notify you by email, or post about an invitation to seminars and similar events. You may opt out of receiving any such marketing communications at any time by using the “unsubscribe” link in any emails. In relation to how Chambers uses such data, please see Chambers’ privacy policy. Other than sharing personal data with Chambers as described above, I will not share your information with any other third party for marketing purposes.

How to complain

If you have any concerns about my use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to me or to my Senior Clerk, Lee Tyler at 2 Temple Gardens, London, EC4Y 9AY or You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
ICO website:

© Briefed Ltd 2021. All Rights Reserved.

"He is extremely experienced and is the oracle on insurance."

Chambers UK 2022

"Very thorough and excellent in court."

Chambers UK 2021

"He's brilliant, meticulous and an extremely pleasant man."

Chambers UK 2020

"...he's excellent: incredibly prompt, pragmatic and very astute when it comes to risk management."

Chambers UK 2017

"Comprehensive knowledge, innovative approach."

Chambers UK

  • Chartered Arbitrator (2002)
  • Solicitor (Hons) (1979)

  • Sir Henry Jones Memorial Prize

  • College of Law
  • MA, St Andrews University

  • Speaks good written and spoken French and some Turkish.

  • PIBA
  • PNBA
  • TecBar
  • Western Circuit

John is recommended for personal injury in Chambers UK and Legal 500.

“John has superb technical knowledge.”
“He always gives clear and robust advice and inspires confidence in decision-making.”
Chambers UK 2024

“John is very good, he is a persuasive advocate.”
Chambers UK 2023

”He is extremely experienced and is the oracle on insurance.” “His knowledge of motor indemnity law is very deep – he knows it inside out.”
Chambers UK 2022

“Very thorough and excellent in court.” “Extremely knowledgeable, astute and a good tactician.” “He is very good with clients and extremely technically competent.”
Chambers UK 2021

“He’s brilliant, meticulous and an extremely pleasant man.” “Excellent – he’s very quick on the papers, very thorough and has great attention to detail.”
Chambers UK 2020

“His attention to detail is second to none.  He has an excellent breadth of legal knowledge and is always able to answer complex technical questions.  He’s also extremely approachable.”
Chambers UK 2019

“He is well thought-of for his understanding of insurance law. He has excellent knowledge of the area and provides strong, clear advice.”; “He is very strong technically, a good communicator and is always on top of the case.”; “A very good technical lawyer and a charming opponent. His cross-examination is devastating.”
Chambers UK 2018

“elicits praise for his exhaustive case preparation… he’s excellent: incredibly prompt, pragmatic and very astute when it comes to risk management.”
Chambers UK 2017

“very quick with his papers and always makes time to discuss matters over the telephone.”
Chambers UK 2016

“known for his effective, well-judged advocacy … He is very thorough, has a great eye for detail … he is very easy to deal with.”
Chambers UK 2015

“has equally formidable expertise in relation to industrial disease claims and to serious and catastrophic injury cases … he is very approachable, quick and efficient, and he provides thorough, sound advice.”
Chambers UK 2014

“an industrial disease expert who is also well recognised for his Motor Insurers Bureau work.”
Chambers UK 2013

“praised for his “comprehensive knowledge, innovative approach and ability to get to the nub of complex policy issues.”
Chambers UK 2012

“a well-respected industrial disease practitioner, who wows instructing solicitors and peers alike with the “impressive level, clarity and extent of his advice”, and “has a fantastic practice.”
Chambers UK 2011

“scores well because of his awareness of his clients philosophies and tactics”. Solicitors flock to him, as “he displays a willingness to work in partnership…”
Chambers UK 2010

John also features in Chambers UK Industrial Disease Spotlight Table.

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