"A very skilled advocate who gets excellent results, and a sharp thinker who can find a way through complicated situations."

Chambers & Partners 2020
Nicolas Nicolas

Barrister: Nicolas Hillier



Nick has specialised in personal injury and professional negligence litigation for a period in excess of 25 years. He is instructed almost exclusively on behalf of claimants. His very considerable experience spans employers' liability claims, both serious accident and industrial (principally asbestos) disease litigation, together with Fatal Accidents Act claims.

Typically Nick is instructed in complex high-value catastrophic/brain/spinal-cord injury claims because of his ability to find a way through the most impenetrable detail and to present a claim, both in written form (Advices and detailed Schedules) and to a court in an easily digestible form.

Nick is also well known for (and instructed because of) his excellent client skills demonstrating himself to be consistently able to effectively deal with grievously injured and emotionally vulnerable claimants with exactly the right balance of sympathy and objectivity.

In addition to his personal injury practice Nick also has experience of clinical negligence claims (again, principally for claimants) and professional negligence litigation (invariably arising from failed personal injury claims).

Nick has recently been appointed as a PicArbs Arbitrator.

What the directories say:

"A powerful advocate working at full throttle." Legal 500 2017

"An excellent advocate who can deal with the most complex of personal injury claims." "An extremely experienced and thorough junior who is more than a match for any QC." Chambers UK 2018

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What The Directories Say:

Nick is ranked by Chambers UK as a Band 1 and Legal 500 as a Tier 1, leading junior (both currently and for many years before).

  • Chambers UK 2020: "Very able and extremely experienced. He is calm, collected and meticulously prepared."
  • Chambers UK 2019: "A strong advocate and a very thorough and detailed lawyer; he doesn't miss a thing." 
  • Chambers UK 2018: "An extremely experienced and thorough junior who is more than a match for any QC."
  • Chambers UK 2017: "One of the top senior juniors out there. He's always well prepared and a fantastic advocate." "He's exceptional, he's excellent in court and gives very realistic and sympathetic advice to clients."
  • Chambers UK 2016: "He is said to have been "working at QC level for years. He is endlessly energetic, incredibly analytical and is the consummate advocate."
  • Legal 500 2016: "Reccomended for complex cases."
  • Legal 500 2016: "Probably the most commanding presence at the junior Bar; superb on his feet and feared by his opponents."
  • Chambers UK 2015: He "shows fantastic attention to detail and can hold his own against any silk...an excellent advocate and negotiator".
  • Legal 500 2014: "Delivers QC - standard work relentlessly."

Notable Cases:

  • Verlander v Rahman [2012] EWHC 1026 (QB): Traumatic brain injury claim. Multiple and valuable issues were raised by the Defendant during a five-day trial where, as the judge put it, "there was a dispute between the parties on almost every quantum issue". The claim was eventually concluded by way of a lump sum equivalent of £1.65 million (some of which was to be paid by way of a PPO).
  • Connery v PHS [2011] EWHC 1685 (RTA): Substantial award (in excess of £440,000) received for a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome resulting from a whiplash injury.
  • V v R [2011] EWHC 822 (QB)(RTA): Contested (preliminary) issue as to whether the Claimant had litigation capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Somnez v Kebabery Wholesale (unreported: 31.10.09, High Court) (Employers Liability) Machine accident: Traumatic amputation of dominant right arm at the shoulder. Liability trial (claim thereafter settled for the gross sum of £531,000).
  • Yildirim v Kossick (unreported 20.7.10, High Court) (RTA): Liability trial, concluded in widow's favour (claim thereafter was approved in the sum of £200,000 gross).
  • Ahmad v Ahmad (2011) (RTA): Traumatic Brain Injury to a child with substantial impact upon future employment prospects (settled for £1,915,000 gross).
  • O'Leary v Dietrich (2009) (RTA): Resulting in above knee amputation (settled for £1,800,000).
  • N v V (2009, High Court) (RTA): Injuries provoking a debilitating heart condition that threatened to preclude a (medical) consultant from continuing in clinical practice. The claim involved multiple issues as to likely prognosis and future working capacity. The complex multi-element pay structure for Consultants in the NHS gave rise to an involved claim for lost earnings (past and future) and pension loss calculations (settled on the eve of trial for £575,000).
  • Godbold v Mahmood [2005] Lloyds Rep Med 379, [2006] PIQR Q5 (RTA): Serious brain injury claim. Substantial "Sowden" issue resolved in the Claimant's favour. One of the first rulings on Periodical Payment Orders.
  • Edmonds v Lloyds Bank plc [2004] EWCA Civ 1526 (Employers Liability: accident) Court of Appeal: Ruling on an issue of an alleged (but not proved) failure to mitigate loss (refusal to undergo treatment).
  • Pirelli plc v Gaca [2004]1 WLR 2683, [2004] PIQR Q49 (Employers Liability: accident) Court of Appeal: Ruling on the deduction (from damages) of payments received by a Claimant from a policy of insurance paid for by the Defendant/employer.

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