Call: 1974

John Gallagher

Mediation overview

John is an ADR ODR accredited mediator whose experience coversprofessional indemnity and malpractice, clinical negligence, personal injury, general contract and insurance claims and disciplinary tribunal inquiries, and contested probate claims.  He also sits as a judge.

If you would like to instruct John as a mediator, please contact Natasha Devlin-Clingham.

Areas of expertise

  • Clinical negligence & personal injury
    • Clinical negligence

      Clinical negligence

      For many years John has had a very substantial practice in the clinical negligence field, acting for insurers and individual Claimants.

      For example:

      • In late 2017, acting for a brain damaged child who had suffered meningitis, he secured a substantial settlement, which was subsequently approved by the Court. Breach of duty of care was very much in dispute and problematic.
      • In July 2018, at a round table meeting, he obtained £1.3 million in a claim involving injuries caused during surgery to alleviate back pain. Liability and causation were strongly in dispute, as was the issue of consent.
      • He is currently retained in a long running claim involving cerebral palsy caused at the birth of a child. Liability and causation have been established with the very substantial quantum claim still to be resolved.
    • Personal injury

      Personal injury

      For many years John has had a very substantial practice in the  personal injury field, acting for insurers and individual Claimants.

      He has extensive experience in almost every sphere of personal injuries law, whether it be involving employers, public or personal liability.

      He has particular experience of fatal accidents claims and of those involving maximum severity, including, quadriplegia, paraplegia, brain and other head injuries.

      He appears in Coroners courts, and has experience in health and safety prosecutions and the like.


  • Insurance
    • Insurance funded disputes

      Insurance funded disputes

      John regularly handles disputes involving insurers, details of which can be found in the sections of his profile setting out his particular expertise.

    • Professional indemnity insurance

      Professional indemnity insurance

      John’s practice covers the whole of Insurance law and he accepts instructions from all kinds of clients.  John has acted on all sides of the insurance world, including representation for Lloyd’s underwriters, insurers and mutual insurance associations, brokers and assureds.

      John has wide trial and advisory experience, and over many years has been instructed in substantial and difficult personal injuries claims; he has acted for Claimants and Defendants in this area.

      He is instructed direct by the likes of Aon and Chubb. He is regularly instructed to advise and settle proceedings, and to negotiate compromises in mediations or round table meetings in disputes of a similar nature to those referred to below.

      Relevant cases

      • Earl of Malmesbury v Strutt & Parker [2007] EWHC 99 (QB): Instructed by WHCG, John acted for the Defendants in a claim brought against them for £180 million, involving land rented for the purpose of an airport car-park. The case is a leading authority on the standard of care and skill to be expected where a large firm of valuers, holding itself out as having particular expertise, is concerned, the measure of damages in loss of chance cases, the breach date rule calculation for damages, the power of the court to review its own judgment under the Barrell jurisdiction [2007] EWHC 2199 (QB), and for costs incurred in mediations, and whether one or other party has acted reasonably or not [2008] EWHC 99 (QB). A seventeen day trial on liability and causation, and an eight day trial on quantum resulted in an award of about £1million to the Claimant.
      • Haydon-Baillie v Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd and Others [2007] All ER (D) 77 (Jul): This case involved a claim arising out of the repossession and sale of a stately home, Wentworth Woodhouse, which was described as the largest house in private hands in England, and perhaps in Europe. The claim was brought on the basis of fraud against the mortgagee bank, the valuers and others. Instructed by WHCG for the insurers of one of the valuers, John extricated his clients at the door of the court just before a 10 day application to strike out the claim, made on behalf of the Defendants was due to be heard in the QBD.
      • Owens Corning Fibreglass v Rio Tinto: Instructed by WHCG, John was brought in at late notice to advise and assist in a major disclosure exercise in a product liability claim, involving disruption of production at the Claimant’s factory. The claim was for well in excess of £1 million. This greatly assisted in the subsequent mediation at which the claim was favourably settled.
      • Birch v John Boyle & Co and Leadbetter: Instructed by RPC, John successfully defended a firm of solicitors, who, along with counsel were sued by their former client in negligence arising out his conviction for rape. The trial which was due to last 7-8 days in the Bristol Trial Centre ended on day 3 when the Claimant in the middle of his cross-examination, abandoned his claim and submitted to judgment. An indemnity costs order was made against the Claimant. He has been instructed by Aon in a further similar claim, which has yet to proceed.
      • EMD Law v Speed: Instructed by Levi & Co acting for the insurers of the Claimant solicitors, he first obtained a freezing order, and then judgment against a solicitor who had misappropriated substantial sums from the client account of the firm.
  • Commercial litigation

    Commercial litigation

    John Gallagher has built up an expertise in unusual and complex property and general commercial, often involving fraud.  This includes directors’ disqualification proceedings and disciplinary inquiries. John also has a niche practice in sports law and ecclesiastical law (see separate tabs).

    Relevant cases

    • Bourgais v Sandor: John was instructed in a nine-day trial in the Central London County Court between two Harley Street physicians. He successfully represented the Defendant against a claim that he had been in partnership with the Claimant and had been defrauded out of his share of the earnings.
    • Elwes v Trustees of The Elwes Trusts: On behalf of the Trustees of a substantial family trust John was instructed in a dispute worth in excess of £12 million. John acted for the Defendants and successfully struck out the claim.
    • Wave Lending v Batra [2012] EWHC 2744 Ch: protracted litigation in a dispute between a bank and a borrower involving mortgage loans of about £6 million which went to trial then compromised. There were then proceedings to set aside the Tomlin Order.
    • Mahdi v Nurie [2011] EWHC 1545 (QB): John was instructed on behalf of the Claimant in a 10 day trial proceeding in the QBD, which involved a commercial dispute between a number of Jordanian businessmen, and behind which lay claims of fraud involving the control of a number Jordanian companies worth in excess of £40 million.
  • Contentious Probate & Inheritance Act claims

    Contentious Probate & Inheritance Act claims

    John regularly receives instructions in contested probate claims and Inheritance Act proceedings.

    For example, he was recently instructed in respect of claims against an estate where in excess of £2.5m is concerned.

  • Ecclesiastical law

    Ecclesiastical law

    John Gallagher is the Diocesan Chancellor of Rochester and Deputy Chancellor of Chelmsford.

    His practice covers ecclesiastical matters and he appeared most recently for the successful petitioners in Re Ashford St. Mary the Virgin [2010] 13 Ecc LJ 120, in the Commissary Court of the Diocese of Canterbury.

    He is currently instructed in a clergy disciplinary tribunal proceeding in Ireland.

  • Sports law

    Sports law

    John has been instructed by Premier Division rugby footballers and professional footballers (eg Dean Richards) in contractual and insurance claims.

    He has also acted for schools, clubs and individuals in claims arising out of swimming, cricket, tennis, horse racing and boxing. These include contractual, insurance, and injury claims, as well as licensing and disciplinary matters.

    He was the drugs adjudicator for the ICC and has been the professional member and chairman of The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel.

    He has a special interest in gun licensing law, appearing in appeals against revocation of and refusal to grant licences/ certificates, and regularly lecturing on the subject.

Professional associations

  • Bar Sports Group
  • London Commercial and Common Law Bar Association
  • Personal Injuries Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit


  • 1969-1972 King’s College, University of London
  • 1970 Masom Scholar in Classics
  • 1972 BA Classics, AKC Theology
  • 1974 Called to the Bar, Gray’s Inn
  • 1990 Appointed to the Bar Council panel to prosecute cases for the Professional Conduct Committee before the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal.
  • 1995 Assistant Recorder, Crown Court
  • 1999 Appointed Professional member of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel
  • 2000 Recorder, Crown Court
  • 2000 Recorders “Civil” ticket
  • 2005 Chancellor, Diocese of Rochester
  • 2014 Elected to be a Master of the Bench of Grays Inn
  • ADR ODR Accredited Mediator