Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Chris Melton QC

Chris Melton QC was born and educated in Manchester which is where his Chambers has its main base. Most of his clients are based in the Midlands and North. He spends much of his time on the road visiting clients.

He took silk in 2001 when he was 19 years’ call. He then became Senior Counsel to the Shipman Inquiry for four years until normal service resumed in 2005. Since that time he has acted exclusively for very seriously injured Claimants and for bereaved families.

Chris has appeared on four occasions before the Supreme Court and in a large number of Court of Appeal and litigated first instance cases.

He is a member of PIBA and APIL and is on the APIL discount rate working party.

Chris is an advanced advocacy trainer for the Northern Circuit and for the renowned Keble College International Advocacy Course

Chambers and Partners 2019 places him as a stand out silk and in Band One. It says:

Standout silk who excels at representing claimants in high-value catastrophic injury and fatal accident cases, particularly those involving minors. He does a significant amount of appellate advocacy and has appeared in the Supreme Court numerous times.

His Supreme Court cases are:

  • Armes v Nottinghamshire CC where the Appellant is seeking to establish that a LA owes a non-delegable duty or is vicariously liable in respect of sexual abuse perpetrated by a foster parent.

  • Woodland v Essex CC where the Claimant successfully established that a LA owed a non-delegable duty to a child brain damaged by the negligence of a non-employee swimming teacher.

  • Dunhill v Burgin where the Claimant successfully established that the settlement of a claim was invalid where the Claimant lacked litigation capacity, even where the Defendant had no knowledge of her incapacity.

  • Sienkiewiz v Greif where the Claimant successfully established liability on the basis that her mother’s mesothelioma was caused by negligence, even though the risk of contracting the disease was only slightly increased by the relevant exposure.

His CA cases include:

  • Sabir v Osei-Kwabena, where the Claimant successfully resisted the Defendant’s appeal against a 25% contributory negligence finding against a pedestrian;

  • McCracken v Bell, where a brain injured pillion passenger on off road trials bike being unlawfully ridden on cycle path successfully resisted an appeal by the third party driver;

  • Waterhouse v Welsh, where the CA rejected a surgeon’s appeal against findings of negligence

  • Nunnerley v Warrington HA, where the CA refused the Defendant’s application for permission to appeal in a twin wrongful birth case, holding that damages were recoverable beyond the child’s age of 21.

The reported first instance cases include:

  • Paul Tate – five day High Court trial for brain injured Claimant where the main issue was the cause of his behavioural problems. The court determined that it was his brain injury, not his background that was the main cause and awarded £6m, allowing £165,000 for continuing care costs

  • Chelsea Armstrong – a three day liability trial in the High Court where liability was established in favour of a teenage girl who ran onto a Newcastle dual carriageway in darkness and was knocked down by the Defendant’s vehicle, travelling at 30mph.

  • Tom Buckett – a difficult and ultimately unsuccessful five day trial run on behalf of a teenage boy who fell through a school skylight suffering a devastating brain injury.

  • Russell v Partington – two High Court trials where the Claimant obtained a substantial interim payment where there was no admission of liability and then went on to obtain a 100% liability finding for the accident that caused his high level complete tetraplegia

  • Sedge v Prime - two High Court trials where the Claimant won a liability trial and went on to obtain a substantial interim payment to fund a best interests hearing and community living where the Defendant had argued for institutional care.

  • Marcel Beasley - two High Court trials where the Claimant motor cyclist recovered 100% damages and went on to obtain a substantial interim payment to fund community living where the Defendant had again argued for institutional care.

More generally other cases relating to:

  • the recovery of substantial future care costs for the heroin addict passenger in road accident; numerous cases involving the MIB and the interpretation of its agreements; the successful claim by a 2 year old child who crept unnoticed from a vehicle and walked into the path of another; the claim by a 14 year old girl rendered paraplegic for whom an interim payment was obtained and a suitable property purchased within 9 months of the accident; the recovery of substantial damages for a teenage boy with complete personality change; the settlement of the liability aspects of a claim in which the insurer alleged contributory negligence of a passenger in a vehicle in which no seat belts were fitted; the claim of a senior manager with an airline who suffered a personality change and brain injury as the result of a carotid stroke in a road accident; the pursuit of damages for an elderly man who prior to his accident had looked after his severely disabled wife; several claims for motorcyclists suffering amputations, brain injuries and/or spinal cord injury in which allegations of contributory negligence were either defeated or diminished; three cases involving CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome); a case involving severe leg injury as the result of infection following a wakeboarding accident; several cases involving fall from height at work, two involving defective scaByrom Street Chambersffolding; a claim involving a defective skylight at a school.