Stuart McKechnie KC

Call: 1997     |    Silk: 2018

Stuart McKechnie KC is one of the leading catastrophic injury practitioners in the country and widely known for his speciality in maximising the value of claims.

In the 2024 legal directories he has been described as “the leading quantum PI silk in the country” and “the king of quantum”.

He works for many of the leading personal injury and clinical negligence solicitor firms in the country and all of his practice is in the High Court. He is a past winner of ‘Personal Injury/Clinical Negligence Junior of the Year’ at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards and Personal Injury Barrister of the Year at the Personal Injury Awards.

In 2022/23 Stuart recovered damages with a combined capital value in excess of £155,000,000 (one hundred and fifty five million) on behalf of Claimants. In JDF (a Child) v Hampshire County Council, he settled what at the time was the highest Personal Injury award ever made/approved by a Court in the UK, the equivalent of £28 million capitalised. This case was covered across the national media. More recently, in IXM v Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust he settled a long running birth brain injury claim for the capital equivalent of £33.2 million.

Stuart is one of only four Barrister members of the working party responsible for the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases (17th edition published in March 2024). He is the General Editor of the APIL Guide To Catastrophic Injury Claims (being the definitive practitioner guide to running high-value personal injury and clinical negligence actions).

Stuart has extensive experience across the full spectrum of catastrophic injury claims, including severe traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, amputations and poly-trauma. He acts only for Claimants. Stuart regularly appears in the High Court and spends much of his time in conference with experts, drafting complex Schedules of Loss and representing Claimants at Joint Settlement Meetings. His role as General Editor of the APIL Guide To Catastrophic Injury Claims places him at the forefront of work within this field, meaning he is frequently instructed on the very highest value cases.

Notable Personal Injury cases

  • TR v MIB [2023]

    8 figure settlement (including contributory negligence) for 19-year-old man rendered paraplegic in RTA. The case proceeded over several years with expert evidence in 13 different disciplines obtained. Stuart was integral to setting the case strategy and marshalling the expert evidence. The case settled at a JSM in November 2023 for a sum that, gross of contributory negligence, is thought to be a record for an adult male paraplegic. This settlement was £4 million higher than a written offer made by the Defendant 12 months earlier.

  • XY v OX [2023]

    Settlement on behalf of adult claimant rendered paraplegic in Northern Ireland. Stuart was chosen as leading counsel and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in order to act on this case over a period of several years. The case eventually settled at mediation shortly before a 3 week trial in Belfast. The outcome is subject to a strict confidentiality clause requested by the Defendant’s legal team / insurer.

  • CXR v Haven (2022)

    £3.8 million lump sum plus PPO £220,000 for 38 year old man who sustained catastrophic brain injuries in a RTA. Case settled several weeks after a JSM where the Defendant had made lump sum only offers. Post JSM the Defendant made further increased lump sum only offers to try to buy off the PPO including a £13.6 million global offer. These offers were all rejected and a combined lump sum and PPO settlement was subsequently agreed and approved.

  • JXE v KXA (2022)

    Settlement of £9.75 million net of contributory negligence (agreed at 20%), interim payments and CRU without any Peters Promise re ongoing CCG funding of £163,000 pa. Case involved 32 year old man who suffered catastrophic brain damage in RTA. The parties worked collaboratively from the outset, with the Defendant paying professional care costs with a reverse indemnity in place for social care funding. Following transition to CCG funding, a lump sum settlement was agreed equivalent to £13.275 million gross but with the Claimant entitled to keep future CCG funding, which would potentially add another £6.5 million across his predicted lifetime.

  • B v. M (2021)

    £6.35 million settlement (including costs) for 36-year-old above knee amputee who was run over in a RTA. One of the highest known settlements for an above knee amputee.

  • W v. X (2021)

    £7.2 million settlement for father of 2 who sustained severe orthopaedic injuries (lower and upper limb) in a RTA. One of the highest known settlements for poly-trauma without amputation or spinal cord injury.

  • XYZ & XYL (2020-ongoing)

    A unique case involving 2 young sisters (both children) rendered paraplegic in a road traffic accident. Combined, this will be one of the largest ever PI claims.

  • JWF [A Protected Party] v YWC (2018)

    Lump sum settlement of £1,850,000 plus PPOs for care, case management and therapeutic needs for retired GP who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries in RTA. Settlement approved at High Court.

  • XXP v. Metodiev (2018)

    £10,000,000 lump sum settlement for catastrophically brain damaged student. 95:5% split liability. Lump sum settlement required because there was no reasonable security for a PPO. Settlement approved at High Court.

  • M v X (2017)

    £9 million settlement for motorcyclist who sustained severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (ASIA grade C, at level T6), with secondary complications arising from post-traumatic syrinx. Significantly limited life expectancy.

  • Peters v. MOD (2017)

    Claim against MOD on behalf of a civilian forensic scientist who was badly injured in an explosion whilst working in a MOD laboratory in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011. Case covered across national media. Details of settlement confidential.

  • JDF v Hampshire County Council (2017)

    Claim on behalf of catastrophically brain damaged child injured in a RTA. Thought to be the highest ever RTA personal injury damages award made or approved by a Court, with a lump sum of £9,113,074 combined with PPO’s for care and case management. The settlement had a capitalised equivalent value of £28 million. Stuart conducted the vast majority of the case as junior counsel without a leader but was led at the JSM by Frank Burton QC in his last case at the Bar before retirement.

Notable Clinical Negligence & Healthcare cases

  • JXN v. Barts Health NHS Trust [2024]

    Hypoxic brain damage at birth leading to mild Cerebral Palsy and global developmental delay. The case was complicated by the fact that the Claimant, who was 14 years of age at settlement, came from a Traveller family and had lived on a Traveller’s site for his entire life. This gave rise to unique cultural and social considerations that went to the heart of valuing quantum and required a different approach to the provision of care and accommodation.

    After a failed JSM in March 2024, the case was settled shortly before a 10-day trial in April 2024 for a lump sum of £5,000,000 plus a PPO of £140,000 for Care & Case Management across the Claimant’s lifetime (the Defendant having made an increased offer to settle). This settlement was approved at the High Court, with the Claimant’s legal team praised for the sensitive way they had dealt with the complex cultural issues in the case.

    Stuart led James Aldridge at Outer Temple Chambers.

  • NXA (A child) v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust [2023]

    A unique and highly complex case involving a child born with congenital toxoplasmosis (through no breach of duty) who went on to suffer from a hypoxic brain injury caused by prolonged hydrocephalus and raised intracranial pressure that was not identified and acted upon as a medical emergency at 10 months of age. Breach of duty was admitted but causation was in dispute, with the Defendant accepting causation of mild Cerebral Palsy but asserting that epilepsy, cognitive and behavioural difficulties and ophthalmic problems are all related to the underlying congenital condition. At a JSM in February 2023, the parties settled causation on the basis that the Claimant would recover 85% of the value of his claim. The case now proceeds on quantum.

  • IXM v Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust (2022)

    11.8 million lump sum plus PPOs of £315,000 rising to £345,000 across the Claimant’s lifetime. Capitalised value of just under £33.2 million. This case was viewed by all of the experts involved as uniquely complex, with the Claimant’s hugely experienced neuropsychological expert commenting “I do not recall such a challenging birth injury case in my clinical and legal work over 35 years”. The settlement was approved at the High Court on 28th February 2022 where Mr Justice Ritchie commended the work done to achieve this outcome. Stuart led Helen Pooley in chambers.

  • ABC v Epsom & St Helier Hospital NHS Trust (2019)

    £3.7 million lump sum plus PPOs (£42,500-£128,000) for 19 year old young lady who suffered a period of severe asphyxiation at birth causing hypoxic brain injury and the development of a mild form of dystonic cerebral palsy. Settlement approved at High Court.

  • EXP v Barker (2019)

    Multi-million pound settlement for member of the judiciary who suffered a catastrophic aneurysm bleed requiring lifesaving surgery and resulting in devastating neurological and neuropsychiatric injuries. Stuart dealt with the quantum of the claim in silk having previously been led (as a junior) by Grahame Aldous QC at the successful trial on liability [2015] EWHC 1289 (QB) and the Defendant’s unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeal [2017] EWCA Civ 63. This case is now a leading authority on the duties of expert witnesses and conflict of interest.

  • Powell v North Bristol NHS Trust (2015)

    Successful 5 day clinical negligence trial on behalf of Claimant. The Defendant’s case was reliant on the expert evidence of a world renowned shoulder expert. Following detailed cross examination by Stuart at trial, the judge (HHJ Denyer QC) rejected this evidence as flawed and illogical.

  • T v Walsall Hospital NHS Trust (2015)

    Catastrophic clinical negligence claim arising from negligent treatment of 7 year old boy at Walsall Manor Hospital leading to severe cerebral ischaemia. The Claimant lived with his family in the Channel Islands and the case therefore involved complex quantum issues involving care, loss of earnings, curatorship and indexation. The claim settled almost 9 years post incident for a combined lump sum and PPO package worth over £11.5 million. Stuart was led by John Foy QC.

Endorsements

“Ferocious eye for detail, meticulous preparation and adds value to every case he is instructed on - the leading quantum PI silk in the country.”

Legal 500 2024

“He is the king of quantum.”

Chambers & Partners 2024

“Stuart leaves no stone unturned in finding the value in the claim and making sure he understands all the issues in a case.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“Stuart puts the client at the centre of the process and advocates for the very best at all times.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“Stuart is excellent. He is very detail-orientated, good with clients, knowledgeable and thorough.”

Chambers & Partners 2023

“When it comes to catastrophic injury claims, Stuart is the most outstanding and hard-working silk of his generation.”

Legal 500 2023

“Exceptionally hard-working. He is meticulous, detail-oriented and second to none when it comes to issues of quantum.”

Chambers & Partners Clinical Negligence 2019

“Absolutely outstanding on very high-value claims.”

Legal 500 Personal Injury 2019

“Always one to push the boundaries on difficult quantum matters.”

Legal 500 Clinical Negligence 2020

“He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things quantum.”

Legal 500 Personal Injury 2020

“Stuart is great to work with and technically brilliant.”

Chambers & Partners Clinical Negligence 2020

“His attention to detail is second to none, and he is accessible, responsive and proactive. He is also extremely robust in joint settlement meetings and court hearings.”

Chambers & Partners Personal Injury 2020

“His drafting, negotiation skills and efficiency are all second to none. He is also excellent with clients and never fails to impress.”

Chambers & Partners Personal Injury 2021

“He is incredibly hard-working, intelligent and committed to achieving the best results for clients and their families. He's exceptional on high-value cases and he presents incredibly well in court.”

Chambers & Partners 2022

“The best quantum advocate in the country.”

Legal 500 2017

“Stuart is supremely bright, incredibly practical, has brilliant attention to detail and is able to explain really complex concepts clearly and in plain English. He has amazing emotional intelligence which enables him to build rapports and work effectively with people who have experienced significant trauma.”

Legal 500 Clinical Negligence 2020

“He is absolutely at the top of the tree when it comes to catastrophic injury claims. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge when it comes to case law, and is very highly regarded by opponents.”

Legal 500 Personal Injury 2021

“He's absolutely unbelievable - one of the most hard-working silks and his attention to detail and work ethic is amazing.”

Chambers & Partners Clinical Negligence 2021

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate.

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate.

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