Colin Baran

Introduction

A nationally and independently recognized barrister with over 17 years’ experience at the Bar, Colin manages an active personal injury, clinical negligence and employment practice. Clients value his practical approach to the issues and rare ability to develop rapport and trust with professional and lay clients alike in the most demanding and emotionally charged of circumstances.

As a robust advocate who regularly appears before the High Court, County Court and Employment Tribunals, Colin also thrives on technically demanding advisory work and settlement negotiations. He is called upon by national firms and boutique practices alike for his methodical approach that leaves no stone unturned, as well as his articulate and comprehensive grasp of medical evidence and factually dense cases generally. Accordingly, Colin is in particular demand in respect of JSMs, expert conferences, roundtables and in cases involving a considered and tactical approach to litigation.

Colin has a particular specialism in claims relating to cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as non-surgical cosmetic procedures. He is renowned for his deep understanding of medical and clinical issues and how complex evidence can be deployed in liability and quantum disputes.

Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury and Fatal Accidents

Clinical Negligence

Colin’s extensive clinical negligence practice covers all areas of clinical practice. A senior specialist in the arena, he maintains an active multi-track practice, including in his particular area of interest relating to plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery cases. A thorough and trusted advisor to his regular professional clients, Colin thrives in situations where he is asked to consider the evidence of and work with expert witnesses, especially in conference.

Colin has lectured extensively on cosmetic surgery litigation practice. He has worked as a led junior in a number of cases involving child Claimants concerning brain injury at birth and injuries of the utmost severity. Colin maintains an almost exclusively Claimant-focused clinical negligence practice and is happy to advise on paper, in conference and to represent clients on a CFA basis, including at inquests.

A snapshot of Colin’s extensive clinical negligence experience includes appearing in:

  • Re SB – a substantial ‘diabetic foot’ case following leg amputations resulting from a negligent failure to treat foot ulcer. Complex causation and quantum evidence in 5 expert disciplines led to settlement at a round table meeting against a pleaded schedule of loss running to in excess of £1 million;
  • Re DB – primary and secondary victim claims in respect of subarachnoid haemorrhage suffered following the negligent failure to diagnose a cerebral aneurysm. Liability was disputed but settlement was secured on behalf of patient and daughter who witnessed the injury consequences;
  • Re LH – a claim involving negligence in the management of an emergency caesarean section following post-partum haemorrhage resulting in hysterectomy;
  • Re ST, RF, LS, TM – breast augmentation and mastopexy cases with issues surrounding failures in counselling, consent and performance of procedures;
  • Re JJ, DW, SL – claims involving abdominoplasty, including post-bariatric abdominoplasty following massive weight loss;
  • Re SC – a claim that originally started out as an investigation into complications following post-mastectomy breast reconstruction but which evolved into an allegation of negligence in relation to the original mastectomy following recurrence of cancer. Complicated quantum evidence was handled in relation to loss of self-employed consultancy earnings and a substantial six-figure settlement was secured through persistent negotiation despite strong denials of liability; and
  • Re GLJ, AG, ST – claims in relation to negligently performed aesthetic treatments resulting in burns and allergic reactions/anaphylactic shock, including one on behalf of an Instagram influencer with unusual loss of earnings evidence.

Personal Injury

Colin acts for both Claimants and Defendants in a wide variety of personal injury matters, though has been in particular demand by Defendants and Defendant insurers of late. He covers the full spectrum of multi-track matters, including road traffic accidents, occupiers’ liability, public liability, employers’ liability and occupational illness claims. He also handles travel and holiday claims, along with industrial disease claims where appropriate. His extensive experience of all aspects of personal injury litigation at all levels, from drafting pleadings and giving preliminary advices through to applications, trials and the assessment of costs means that he has become the ‘go to’ barrister for some of the UK’s most prominent personal injury firms.

For Claimants, Colin is more than happy to accept instructions on a CFA basis when appropriate. In Defendant practice, Colin acts for employers, a number of regional local authorities, landlords and occupiers and the emergency services (notably Chief Constables and Fire Authorities in cases involving actions by officers against their employers). By deliberately acting for both Claimants and Defendants, Colin is able to offer a comprehensive and balanced overview of the issues and deliver robust, tactically useful advice that is both commercially aware and practical.

Colin accepts instructions as a led junior and in his own right in personal injury claims involving multiple injuries of the utmost severity, including those resulting in severe and long term physical and mental incapacity (including brain injury). He is well used to working with care, rehabilitation and occupational therapy professionals as part of a broader team to secure appropriate future provision for those unfortunate enough to sustain life-changing injuries.

A significant part of Colin’s practice continues to be in respect of settlement negotiations and mediation, including JSMs. He is called upon in some of the most complex cases to not only manage vulnerable and entrenched clients with tact, patience and respect, but also to bring his extensive procedural, evidential and tactical knowledge to bear in securing an optimal result. Here, Colin’s ability to quickly develop relationships of trust and confidence, as well as personal rapport, really shines.

A snapshot of Colin’s extensive personal injury experience includes appearing in:

  • IC v WMP, MR v WMP – acted for Defendant Chief Constables in claims brought by officers following injury sustained during riot police training, one involving extensive expert evidence on complex regional pain syndrome and ill-health retirement;
  • NW v WCC, CM v SFRS – successful defences acting for Defendant Fire Authorities in claims brought by officers in relation to training accidents.
  • AB v TP Ltd – instructed at late notice with limitation period due to expire in claim by IT professional against former employer based on repetitive strain injury/epicondylitis. Secured substantial settlement at joint settlement meeting with liability in dispute and contested ergonomics and medical evidence;
  • SB v LP Ltd – advised and represented from pre-issue in respect of career-ending injuries to electrician following workplace accident. Secured six-figure settlement at joint settlement meeting against Leading Counsel; and
  • MS v LN – secured six-figure compromise at joint settlement meeting in a road traffic accident claim where the client lost an Army career on account of the injuries sustained. Complex specialist orthopaedic shoulder evidence, along with employment and pensions loss evidence in relation to lost career.

As a complimentary suite of specialisms, Colin also regularly deals with:

  • claims involving industrial illness and disease including deafness, work related upper limb disorders/repetitive strain injury and stress at work; and

 

  • travel and holiday sickness claims, including those brought under the Package Travel Regulations and to represent at interlocutory hearings and at trial. He has a particular interest in claims arising out of snow sports and winter holidays, but has in addition dealt with claims involving the usual allegations of breach of duty against hoteliers and tour operators, including those involving food poisoning and cruise ship cases under the Athens Convention.

Fatal Accidents

Complementary and often intrinsically tied into to his clinical negligence and personal injury specialisms, Colin has specific experience in dealing with all aspects of fatal accident claims, including road traffic collisions, industrial accidents and cases of clinical negligence resulting in death. Clients appreciate his patient, tactful, though robust, way of working with personal representative and dependent clients from an early stage, including representation at inquests.

Colin tends to deal with high value and complex claims pursued under the Fatal Accidents Act. He has particular expertise in drafting Schedules of Loss and advising on quantum in conference in complex technical matters involving loss of dependency claims. He is also regularly instructed to attend and to represent both Claimants and insurers at round table settlement meetings.

A snapshot of Colin’s extensive fatal accident experience includes appearing in:

  • SA v NH, BT Ltd – claim on behalf of widow and children of deceased run down by reversing HGV. Liability heavily disputed following expert evidence in support of defendant driver and acquittal at Crown Court trial. Fundamental dishonesty raised at a late stage in relation to claims based on deceased’s income. Settled in favour of estate and dependents;
  • Re JK –claim on behalf of estate and dependents (including child) following delay in referral and treatment leading to death from toxic shock syndrome as a result of post-surgical sepsis. Liability disputed but settlement secured with assistance of 3 expert witnesses in run-up to trial;
  • Re CH – claim on behalf of estate and dependents (including child) following delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer; and
  • Re ND – advised and represented parents of deceased child at trial of 3 expert clinical negligence claim related to allegedly negligent neonatal and paediatric

Colin is also an experienced inquest advocate, advising and representing families at the Coroners Court across a range of different types of fatal accident including deaths in hospital. He is willing to consider acting on a conditional fee agreement basis in such instructions and any subsequent claim where appropriate.

Fraud and Allegations of Fraud

Often closely connected to his busy personal injury practice, but as a standalone specialism in its own right, Colin regularly acts for Claimants and Defendants in claims where fraud has been intimated or alleged, as well as allegations of fundamental dishonesty. He provides an end-to-end advisory and advocacy service in this area, from advising in conference on evidence and tactics to appearing at trial. He has appeared against Leading Counsel in a number of matters involving motor claims fraud cases and alleged exaggeration of losses relating in particular to allegations of phantom passengers, induced accidents, fraudulent exaggeration and LVI.

Employment

With a primarily Respondent practice, Colin’s employment clients regularly turn him on their complex, multi-day discrimination cases and issues involving interrelated medical or mental health issues. Colin has gained extensive of the years advising and representing both (often insurance-backed) Claimants and Respondents in Employment Tribunal and County/High Court litigation across England, Wales and Scotland. Colin is also in regular demand in respect of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, TUPE, employment status disputes, health and safety dismissals, working time disputes and redundancy claims from an expanding client base, including insurers, trade unions, public authorities, NHS Trusts and private employers, including UK-based global corporates.

A snapshot of Colin’s extensive employment experience includes appearing in:

  • Re AHS – series of employment claims relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination and protected disclosures made by a number of claimants following termination of employment at a school during the ‘Trojan Horse’ investigations. Acted for the local authority and interim executive body in managing and responding to the claims;
  • Re EOC – acted for FTSE 100 listed insurer against Leading Counsel at Tribunal in respect of claims made following dismissal of senior executive; and
  • Re MS – advised and represented claimant in claims against major retailer employer.

Working with Colin

Colin’s practical approach and thorough, methodical style set him apart. Professional clients in particular value his willingness to leave no stone unturned and his proactive ability to anticipate the hurdles in play in a set of proceedings, or at court, and to propose viable strategies to overcome them and secure the best result.

As a natural consequence of his many years of dealing with lay clients who have sustained life-changing injuries, or the relatives of deceased loved ones in the context of fatal accident claims, Colin has developed a tactful, patient and calm way of working. He is keen to take the time to ensure lay clients understand the issues and the next steps, a quality also particularly valued by his regular professional clients. In other areas of practice, this ability to quickly develop rapport means that Colin is particularly adept at advising those clients who have challenging needs to manage, through a robust and firm but tactful and tactically astute approach.

Education

BA Jurisprudence, University College Oxford
BVC, Nottingham Law School

Appointments and Memberships

PIBA

Employment Law Bar Association

Employment Lawyers Association

Testimonials

Colin is nationally recognized as a leading junior, particularly in respect of clinical negligence. He is ranked Tier 2 in the UK Bar Edition of Legal 500 2021. Recent testimonials include:
“A calm, knowledgeable and reassuring voice for clients, with an understanding of the technical issues in cosmetic cases that often proves invaluable… approachable, thorough and responsive.” Chambers Commentary, Legal 500 (Latest Edition)
“A great advocate with meticulous drafting skills… Colin Baran is particularly strong on employer's liability claims in the public sector, with several recent defences of emergency services following injuries sustained during training exercises.” Chambers Commentary, Legal 500 (Latest Edition)
"A highly competent personal injury barrister.” Chambers Commentary, Legal 500
"Tactically and technically strong." Chambers Commentary, Legal 500