"an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases"

Chambers UK

Colin Mendoza

Year of Call: 1983

"an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases"

Chambers UK

Colin Mendoza

Year of Call: 1983

"an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases"

Chambers UK

Colin Mendoza

Year of Call: 1983

Colin Mendoza

"an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases"

Chambers UK

Colin Mendoza

Year of Call: 1983

Colin Mendoza has a broad practice encompassing all aspects of personal injury work for Claimants and Defendants; including clinical negligence; and health & safety. Colin has built a reputation for taking on high value and difficult cases.  He is very experienced in cases involving fatal accidents, brain damage or spinal injury and has built up as particular expertise in advising in cases involving amputations. Many of his cases involve awards or settlements running to many millions of pounds and he often has Leading Counsel as his opponent.

A number of his cases in recent years have been ground-breaking and he enjoys advising in cases that involve issues arising in developing areas of the law. Colin has extensive experience of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediations and round-table meetings.

In addition, Colin is instructed in cases conducted in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

Having spent his early years at the criminal Bar he is experienced in criminal work and is instructed to defend in Health and Safety prosecutions.

Apart from his clinical negligence work involving Defendant doctors or Health Trusts, Colin is instructed in other types of professional negligence cases involving healthcare providers, such as nurses, veterinary surgeons and  solicitors.

Colin was appointed in 2008 as a Tribunal Judge Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

  • Recommendations

    "His advocacy skills are unrivalled and he always exceeds expectations with the results he achieves." - Personal Injury, Legal 500 2017

    Handles the full spectrum of personal injury work for both claimants and defendants, with significant expertise in life-changing brain and spinal injuries, catastrophic psychiatric injuries and amputations. He comes particularly recommended for handling complex quantum issues. "He's a junior in name only. He's very good with clients, he puts them at ease, he prepares well for conferences and doesn't need anyone holding his hand." "Pragmatic and provides sensible solutions." - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2017.

    Colin Mendoza is ranked as a Leading junior in 'Personal Injury'. "He has a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience in the field of claimant personal injury" - Legal 500 2016 

    A veteran practitioner who acts for both defendants and claimants across the full range of personal injury work. His practice is focused on cases concerning injuries of the maximum severity. "When you see his name at the bottom of a skeleton, you know the case is really well prepared and that you will have to be on the top of your game." Defended Stagecoach South in a case concerning a claimant who fell from a bus and was said to have suffered severe brain injuries. - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2016

    "He is highly regarded for his success in the most difficult cases." - Personal Injury, Legal 500 2015

    A personal injury junior whose sophisticated understanding of medicine enables him to deal with cases involving severe, often life-changing back and head injuries, as well as injuries involving the loss of major organs. He is also a specialist in amputation and chronic pain syndrome matters. Expertise: "He's very, very hard-working and doesn't shirk the difficulties in a case." Recent work: Advised a claimant who, following an accident at work, had developed a chronic pain condition that meant he was severely dehabilitated. - Personal Injury, Chambers UK 2015

    Ranked as a Leading Junior in Personal Injury, Colin Mendoza has been known to "make the client feel that their case is his only case" - Legal 500 2014

    Colin Mendoza receives regular instructions from both defendants and claimants in catastrophic injury cases involving spinal cord injury and brain damage. He acted in Virgo v Howie, a case brought by the claimant following a severe injury in a road traffic accident. - Chambers UK 2012

    “Unbelievably hard-working and incredibly sharp” Colin Mendoza, a “stunning lawyer” who is both “technically and commercially astute” and who has “an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases” - Chambers UK 2012

    Standout juniors include Colin Mendoza, who “strives to achieve the best possible outcome” Legal 500 2011

    A barrister who is "totally committed to his clients" - Chambers UK 2011

    "A good Junior to go up against a Silk" - Chambers UK 2010

    Extensive experience in insurance defence and in dealing with fraudulent claims. “Good with clients”, he gains approval for being “approachable, friendly and robust in court.” - Chambers UK 2009

    Known for his “diligent approach and extensive medical knowledge” - Legal 500 2008

  • Personal Injury

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    Colin undertakes all aspects of personal injury work for Claimants and Defendants, including claims involving fatal accidents, catastrophic personal injury including brain damage suffered by adults and children, spinal injury, severe orthopaedic and soft tissue injury, particularly those leading to amputation, scarring and severe psychiatric damage. He has experience of disaster litigation such as that arising out of rail crashes, industrial accidents and transport accidents involving multiple deaths.

    Recent settlements have included:

    • £800,000 settlement at a round table meeting for a dependent widow following a fatal accident involving her husband, a young engineer working on an on-shore drilling site. There were 3 dependent children. A very hard fought case on liability and quantum, in which the Defendant sought a substantial reduction for contributory negligence. Colin saw the case through after first representing the family at a 4 day Inquest in Hull heard in 2006: approved by Master Leslie on 20th March 2012
    • £750,000 settlement at a round table meeting for a young man with mild brain damage. The case was complicated by a pre-existing condition. Arguments on causation of injury and the effect of the accident on the need for on-going care and any future loss of earnings: settlement on 29th February 2012
    • £100,000 settlement for a Defendant where the young male Claimant had suffered severe pelvic fractures leaving him with sexual difficulties and other long-term disability: February 2012 settlement
    • £950,000 settlement for a 26 year old man suffering from chronic pain following a crush injury to his chest and rib fractures. The Claimant had permission to rely on 10 experts at trial and the Defendant 4 experts. The case failed to settle at two round table meetings after insufficient compensation was offered. Colin dealt with an application made by the Defendant to rely upon DVD surveillance evidence disclosed shortly before trial. The case settled the day before an 8-day High Court action was due to commence in December 2011
    • £1.5m lump sum for a cyclist run over by a HGV. He suffered major orthopaedic injuries (fractured pelvis) and the loss of both kidneys. Complicated case involving assessment of future care costs, future loss of earnings and the future costs of private medical treatment for further kidney transplant procedures/home dialysis treatment and necessary accommodation etc. Colin drafted the Schedule of Past and Future Losses and pleaded an Amended Particulars of Claim to include a claim for provisional damages, once the risks of a serious deterioration in the Claimant’s condition had been clarified in the joint reports of the experts. The case settled at a mediation in Plymouth in which Colin was lead by Mr Christopher Wilson-Smith QC on 23rd November 2011
    • £1.45m lump sum in a brain damage case involving a young teenage client injured in a road traffi9c accident: November 2011
    • £365,000 settlement at a joint settlement meeting for a woman suffering from chronic pain syndrome following her involvement in a road traffic accident: settlement on 18th November 2011
    • £230,000 settlement at a joint settlement meeting for a construction worker suffering from chronic pain syndrome following his involvement in a construction site accident, when he suffered a traction injury to his shoulder: settlement on 19th September 2011
    • £1.2M settlement for a male concrete stripper who suffered an above-knee amputation following an industrial accident, in which the defective water jet tool he was using malfunctioned so as to cause deep and penetrating wounds to his leg leading to amputation. There was a round table meeting on 21st June 2011 at which the Defendant was represented by Leading Counsel. The case settled shortly thereafter

    Significant cases include:

    • A and E v Manchester City Council (2012) QBD: Colin is acting for the Claimant in a ground-breaking case, in which the Claimant claims damages for various torts including false imprisonment, misfeasance in public office and negligence together with damages for breach of Articles 6 and 8 ECHR, after the Claimant was taken into care and separated from his family without due regard to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) set up pursuant to the Mental Capacity Act 1995. Led by Mr Guy Mansfield QC
    • Napier v B & Q and others (2012), Manchester County Court (2012): Colin acted for B & Q in a 2 day trial in which his clients were being sued for assault and false imprisonment after the Claimant had been stopped outside the store by security guards employed by the other Defendant on suspicion of shoplifting. The case raised a difficult point of law concerning the extent to which there could in these circumstances be dual vicarious liability. Colin successfully argued that here, mere supervision by B & Q of the store guards was not sufficient and the Claimant had not proved a sufficient degree of control at the time of the incident to be able to rely upon the concept of dual vicarious liability
    • G v L (2012) QBD: acting for minor Claimant in brain damage case causing change of schooling/substantial future private education needs
    • Christopher Pomeroy v Samuel Turton and Janet Turton and various Lloyd’s Underwriters (2011) QBD, Exeter District Registry: Colin acted for the Claimant alone who was award damages of £1.8M damages on a full liability basis following his involvement in a residential property he was helping to renovate for the property developer First Claimant
    • Daglish v MOD (2011) QBD: Colin acted for the Clamant in this very substantial brain damage action. He represented the Claimant alone in a week-long medical causation trial in the High Court where he succeeded in establishing a minor head injury had led to severe psychiatric disorder. The case settled at a joint settlement meeting for a lump sum of £798,500 and annual periodical payments, index-linked appropriately, of £102,451. Led by Robert Glancy QC at settlement meeting but drafted Schedule alone
    • Savundranayagam v Sony DADC Ltd (2011) QBD: Colin was instructed on behalf of the defendant company. The Claimant maintained he had slipped over at the Defendant company’s property as a result of slipping on grease and/or a sprue entering the heel of his show. Colin successfully appealed the Master’s case management decision to refuse to allow expert engineering evidence. At trial, the Judge accepted that the sprue had been placed into the heel of the shoe by human action after a pre-existing hole had been present in the heel and he dismissed the claim after a week-long trial. Led by Mr Tim Brennan QC
    • Salter v Anscombe (2011) QBD: Colin acted for the dependents in this  substantial fatal accident claim arising out of the deaths of a senior partner in a solicitor’s firm and his daughter who bred and trained horses for show jumping at the highest level. Settled at mediation for substantial damages. Led by Robert Glancy QC
    • Henry Webster and others v Ridgeway School (2011) QBD: Colin acted in this novel and ground-breaking case, in which the Claimant sought to hold a school liable in negligence for allowing him to be attacked on the school premises by an Asian gang who were not pupils at the school and who were able to gain access to the school through an unmanned exit. There had been a history of racial problems at the school prior to the attack. Led by Robert Glancy QC
    • Footman v Royal Mail (2010) QBD: Colin acted for the Royal Mail, in an action pursued by one of their employees who was shot in the neck during an armed raid and paralysed. A change in the way cash pouches were stored in the delivery vehicle had meant that the Claimant had been unable to satisfy the robber’s demands prior to being shot and the Claimant contended the Defendant had been in breach of duty as a employer in implementing this system of work. The claim was discontinued shortly before the trial was due to commence. Led by Stephen Killalea QC
    • Toxic Sofa Group Action (2011) QBD (thought to be the largest Group Action litigation about a consumer product, where 4,500 claimants claimed more than £10m from 14 high street stores, including Land of Leather. Colin acted for one of the Defendants.) 
    • McNeil v MoD (2009) QBD: Colin acted for the Claimant who suffered a serious head injury whilst serving in Iraq. Case settled at mediation presided over by Mr Alan Gore QC, now HH Judge Alan Gore QC
    • Ryan Callier v Nicholas Deacon (2009) QBD: Colin acted for the Claimant, who suffered the traumatic amputation of his leg below the knee after being struck by the Defendant’s car as it performed an over-taking manoeuvre on an unlit country road. Liability was contested. The matter proceeded to a trial on liability where the Claimant succeeds, albeit with a reduction for contributory negligence. Previous solicitors and Counsel had advised the Claimant had no case. The Defendant was given permission to appeal and the whole case then settled later on at mediation. Led by Stephen Killalea QC
    • Blount v Amalgamated Lifts (2009) QBD: Colin acted for one of the Defendants being sued after the Claimant suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident whilst servicing a lift. His hand became caught in the lifting mechanism. Settled at mediation
    • Baroness Jean Corston QC v House of Commons  Commission (2009): Colin acted for the Claimant who claimed damages after suffering an accident whilst walking down the steps  past the Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons. Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was granted to the Claimant on a mitigation of loss point
    • Ahanonu v South East London and Kent Bus Company Limited (2008): Colin successfully argued the case in the Court of Appeal on whether or not the Defendant’s bus driver had been in breach of the duty of care owed to a pedestrian and overturned the trial judge’s apportionment of 50:50
    • Port of Tilbury (2007) Crown Court: Colin represented Port of Tilbury as Junior Counsel  in a 3 day plea in mitigation hearing at Croydon Crown Court following the death of six year old boy at the dock premises after he was  crushed by falling reel of paper. A fine of £100,000 imposed. Led by Stephen Killalea QC
    • Ashton v MoD (2006) QBD: Colin was the junior in this very substantial claim against the  MoD where the Claimant suffered very severe brain damage and severe spinal injury. Damages awarded in excess of £4m. Led by Robert Glancy QC
    • P (a child) (2005), CICAP, Kemp: Colin represented a teenage girl who was awarded a £2m compensation award for severe brain damage after non-accidental injury whilst a baby
    • Addison v Mencap (2005), Southampton County Court: Colin acted successfully for the Defendant in a£300,000 employers’ Liability claim where the Claimant was only awarded £1,500 after a week long trial in which 4 medical experts gave evidence
    • Hassan Salih v Cannon Plant and Crane Hire (2005) QBD and COA: Colin acted in this successful claim for a roofer who fell to ground level from a roof, suffering catastrophic injures including total and permanent blindness. Successfully resisted appeal to Court of Appeal) 
    • Miles v Esso Petroleum (2005), Southampton County Court: Colin acted for the Defendant in this test case concerning a number of refinery workers who alleged they suffered a repetitive strain injury after being exposed to excessive value turning work - complex liability and medical causation issues. Claim failed on primary issue of limitation. Led by Graham Read QC
    • R v Atkinson and Others (2004) Hull Crown Court: Colin acted for defence in prosecution of second mate of a fishing trawler that collided with a North Sea oil platform, causing extensive damage to trawler and platform and potentially extensive loss of life) 
    • Gladwin v TDG (UK) Limited and Ian Read Transport (2005): Colin represented the Claimant at the liability trial in respect of a forklift truck accident which had led to a below-knee amputation. He then represented him at a round table meeting
    • Daglish v Ministry of Defence (2004) (week long successful High Court trial involving complex issues of medical causation following head injury leading to schizophrenia and permanent disability. Successfully established Claimant had sustained an organic personality disorder after minor head injury)
    • Rawji v GTRM Limited [2004] (railway worker who suffered arm amputation and very serious leg injuries after being struck by a train) 
    • Hewston and Others v Hoverland Travel Centre Limited [2004] (instructed for defendant in claim in respect of alleged severe gastrointestinal symptoms arising out of holiday to Spain) 
    • Nixon v Chanceoption Developments Limited [2002]: Colin represented the Claimant in a (successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in a case concerning a fall from scaffolding. He overturned the trial judge’s decision completely and had a full award substituted by the Court of Appeal
    • Evans v Stracey [2001] (brain damage to child with damages awarded of £1m)
    • Gubbins v Bailie [2001] CL (severe whiplash with damages awarded in excess of £200,000)
    • Matthews v MoD [1998] (a successful claim by a soldier who was forced to make a parachute jump on a day when he contested it was too windy to jump in safety; he suffered a severe shoulder injury
    • Inker v Ministry of Defence [1995] The Times, 25 January, (claim by soldier rendered paraplegic)
  • Clinical Negligence

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    Colin acts for both claimants and defendants. Past and current work includes claims involving negligent spinal surgery leading to tetraplegia, the failure to diagnose and treat serious illnesses such as meningitis, the failure to perform surgery correctly and complex Group Litigation against the Ministry of Defence on behalf of former soldiers for the alleged failure to diagnose and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following active service in theatres of war including the Falklands, the Gulf and Bosnia.

    Recent settlements have included:

    • £700,000: Colin acted for the Claimant in a successful claim where the spinal surgeon negligently fused the wrong levels in the spine. Settlement in 2010.

    Significant cases include:

    • Gormley v East Cheshire NHS Trust (2010) (successful claim by 81 year old man for substantial damages following negligent medical and nursing care. Settled by way of periodical payments with capitalised value of some £450,000)
    • McCready v Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust (2009) (successful claim against hospital following emergency delivery of child by Caesarean section that led to serious complications for mother) 
    • Ruparel v Medway NHS Trust (2007) (successful claim against hospital for negligent treatment of vascular illness, leading to amputation of leg) 
    • Beighton-Garner v Sandwell Healthcare NHS Trust [2002] (cerebral palsy with damages awarded of £2.7m)  
    • Shah v Pinderfields Hospital NHS Trust [2001] (medical negligence involving spinal surgery)
    • Mullett v East London and City Health Authority - [1997] (negligent administration of Lederspan Steroid in accident and emergency department); CL 97/197
    • Crane v Kynoch - [1994] (duty of care owed by veterinary surgeon, surgical trespass); CL 94/3399

Appointments

2008 - Tribunal Judge Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Tribunal

Memberships and Associations

PIBA, PNBA, APIL, BAFS

Education

Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree

University of Kent (1982 BA Law)

Cambridge University (1984 LLM)

Languages

French & Spanish

Personal Interests

Jazz, rugby, water-skiing