Spencer’s practice encompasses the full range of Chambers’ key specialisms, with a particular emphasis on international and travel, industrial disease, personal injury, fraud and clinical negligence claims.
Spencer has developed extensive trial experience, and his practice combines advisory work, drafting and advocacy in both the High Court and the County Courts. He appears at CCMCs, interlocutory hearings, multi and fast track trials on an almost daily basis. He has particular experience in a range of claims brought under the package travel regulations, the Montreal and Athens conventions and his international and travel work often involves complex questions of jurisdiction and foreign law. In the context of industrial disease litigation Spencer has experience of acting for claimants in claims arising from exposure to asbestos as both sole and junior counsel. He is a contributor to several publications in his specialist areas.
Prior to joining Chambers Spencer worked in the personal injury department of an international law firm. He read law at the University of Bristol and was an Exhibition and Benefactors Scholar of the Inner Temple. During his pupillage, he received the Jarman Award for Advocacy, and he has recently been awarded an outgoing Pegasus Scholarship to the USA. He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Young Barristers’ Committee. Spencer is committed to widening access to the Bar; he is part of the outreach team within Chambers and is regularly invited to speak on panels on the topic of social mobility.
Spencer frequently acts in cross-border injury claims which involve foreign law and jurisdictional issues, and he is adept at handling the interpretation and application of Rome I, Rome II and the Brussels Regulations.
Spencer is instructed by both claimants and defendants in claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations and regularly advises on local standards disputes. His practice includes advising on direct rights of action against insurers, claims against the MIB for overseas road traffic accidents where drivers are untraced or uninsured, sporting accidents abroad and in claims brought under the Athens and Montreal Conventions. He has also successfully defended several major tour operators in holiday sickness claims.
Spencer has particular experience in relation to cruise and maritime claims. He has advised various parties on the applicability of the Athens Convention, acted for a Claimant in relation to negligent medical treatment suffered during a cruise and has provided liability advice in relation to jet-skiing accidents. Spencer has a good working knowledge of the liability regimes applicable to such matters, is comfortable in handling six figure claims and recently conducted a full trial in the Admiralty Division of the High Court.
Examples of recent work include:
- Acting for the claimant who suffered serious injuries in a skiing accident in France.
- Successfully settling a claim on behalf of a claimant pedestrian who was hit by a vehicle whilst in Iceland where the applicable law was Icelandic law.
- Acting in litigation arising from the collapse of Thomas Cook in a claim being heard in the High Court.
- Advising a public authority on the applicability of the Athens Convention 1974 in relation to an accident at sea.
- Advising a Claimant on jurisdictional issues under the Lugano Convention.
- Representing both claimants and defendants in multiple foreign road traffic accident and package travel claims.
- Acting in a Spanish law claim concerning the scope of recoverable compensation from the MIB.
- Successfully defending a multi claimant denied boarding claim brought under EC Regulation 261/2004 for a major airline.
- Acting for and advising both claimants and defendants in claims arising out of the Package Travel Regulations 2018 and EC Regulation 261/2004 for refunds as a result of the impact of Covid-19.
- Assisting major tour operators in preparing generic materials to assist in the defence of Covid related claims.
- Successfully defending a major tour operator in a holiday sickness claim.
Spencer’s international experience also includes having worked on secondment with a Malaysian law firm based in Kuala Lumpur where he gained experience in transactional and dispute-related commercial matters. Prior to joining chambers Spencer worked as part of a team on a multi-million-pound arbitration heard under the SIAC rules. In 2021 Spencer will spend 2 months in the USA as a Pegasus Scholar.
Spencer regularly provides training to both claimant and defendant practitioners in the travel industry and has recently presented seminars on force majeure and frustration in travel contracts and on claims arising from Covid-19 in the travel industry. He is a contributor to the “Accidents Abroad” chapter of Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service and regularly writes for the 12 King’s Bench Walk International & Travel Law Blog.
Spencer’s personal injury practice combines advisory work, drafting and advocacy in both the High Court and the County Courts. He appears at CCMCs, interlocutory hearings, multi and fast track trials on an almost daily basis. Prior to joining chambers Spencer worked in the personal injury department of an international law firm.
Spencer drafts pleadings, detailed schedules, robust counter-schedules of loss and advises on personal injury claims in all areas including: occupiers’ liability cases, employer’s liability cases, claims involving CRPS, product liability cases, Animals Act claims, claims arising out of road traffic accidents (including the defence of fraudulent claims on behalf of insurers and MIB claims), costs proceedings travel litigation, and international claims involving accidents abroad with issues of jurisdiction and applicable law.
Spencer also has an interest in claims arising out of sporting accidents and has been instructed in claims involving skiing, snowboarding and jet skiing accidents. He recently advised a professional heavyweight boxer in proceedings brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Examples of recent work include:
- Representing the defendant in a CCMC heard in the High Court in a claim pleaded at £850,000.
- Securing a six-figure settlement for a claimant who brought a claim for CRPS and psychiatric injury.
- Acting for the defendant in an assault claim which was alleged to have caused life changing injuries. The claim was pleaded in excess of £650,000 with significant sums claimed for future loss of earnings and pension loss. The claim is ongoing.
- Acting for a defendant in a multi-party occupiers’ liability claim in which the claimant fell down a lift shaft and suffered catastrophic injuries.
- Representing the claimant in a claim for lifelong back injuries arising from repetitive lifting at work.
- Securing settlement for a claimant who had suffered a miscarriage as a result of a road traffic accident.
- Securing a liability finding in favour of a defendant in a multi-track personal injury claim.
- Advising an applicant who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a murder attempt in a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority appeal.
- Representing the defendant in an Early Neutral Evaluation in a claim pleaded in excess of £60,000. The claim settled for a fraction of its pleaded value.
- Acting as part of a team in a large-scale document review exercise in litigation arising from the PIP breast implant scandal.
- Acting for the receiving party at a detailed assessment where the question of premature issue and the provisions of Part 45 were in issue.
- Advising on prospects of appealing a costs decision to the Court of Appeal.
Spencer provides bespoke training to both claimant and defendant personal injury practitioners and regularly presents seminars to wider audiences. He is a contributing author to ‘Local Authority Liability’ (7th Edition) published by LexisNexis.
Spencer has a busy defendant fraud practice for his year of call and has successfully defended numerous claims at trial or secured discontinuances after drafting a defence. He has experience in phantom passenger claims, staged accidents, LVI claims and of exaggerated injuries.
Examples of recent work include:
- Securing the discontinuance of two separate but linked claims following the service of a robust defence. Both claimants agreed to make payments towards the defendant insurer’s costs.
- Securing a finding of fundamental dishonesty and the removal of QOCS protection in a case in which the claimant had failed to disclose a number of previous road traffic accidents to his medical expert.
- Representing the defendant at trial in a claim in which it was alleged that the claimant had staged the accident. The claimant accepted a ‘drop hands’ offer after being cross-examined.
- Acting for the Defendant in a claim in which the claimant alleged he was assaulted by the defendant’s employee. Spencer secured a successful strike out and finding of fundamental dishonesty.
Spencer has a broad industrial disease practice with particular experience in acting for claimants in claims arising out of exposure to asbestos as both sole and junior counsel. He has experience of dealing with living mesothelioma and secondary exposure cases, as well as claims concerning pleural thickening and asbestosis.
In addition to asbestos claims, Spencer regularly accepts instructions in noise induced hearing loss, hand arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma, occupational cancers and work-related upper limb disorder claims.
Spencer’s industrial disease practice includes acting in claims for injuries and diseases suffered by members of HM Armed Forces. His military work involves acting in claims for hearing loss caused by exposure to weapon fire and other physical and psychiatric injuries suffered during training or on deployment. He is currently part of a team of barristers representing a number of servicemen in claims for injuries arising out of prolonged exposure to cold conditions. Spencer’s work in this area often involves consideration of complex medical, engineering and epidemiological evidence.
Examples of recent work include:
- Representing a living claimant (led by Michael Rawlinson QC) diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of secondary exposure to asbestos from her husband’s overalls.
- Acting for a claimant in an asbestosis claim where date of knowledge and level of exposure are in issue.
- Advising the claimant in an asbestosis claim in a case giving rise to the duties owed by non-employers.
- Successfully representing the claimant in a limitation trial in an NIHL matter.
- Acting and securing settlement in numerous NIHL claims issued in the High Court where former members of HM Armed Forces have suffered hearing loss as a result of noise exposure during service.
- Advising on the scope of the combat immunity defence, limitation, diagnosis and causation in numerous claims for military personnel.
Spencer often provides training to leading claimant asbestos firms and has recently presented a seminar on causation in benign asbestos related diseases. He is a regular contributor to the 12 King’s Bench Walk Asbestos Law Blog.
Spencer has a broad clinical negligence practice and includes work for both claimants and defendants. He is instructed as sole counsel in matters proceeding in the High Court as well as those in the County Court. Spencer’s clinical negligence practice includes drafting pleadings, drafting agendas for expert meetings, providing advice and acting on behalf of clients at RTMs and mediations. Spencer has particular experience in ophthalmic negligence cases.
Examples of recent instructions include:
- Acting in an ongoing failure to refer for a retinal detachment claim.
- Acting in an ongoing failure to refer for Wet AMD claim.
- Acting in an ongoing failure to diagnose glaucoma claim.
- Acting in an inappropriate laser eye treatment claim.
- Advising on prospects in a secondary victim claim where proximity was in issue.
- Representing an NHS Trust in the High Court at a CCMC and subsequently advising on quantum in an obstetric negligence case in which there were failures in the obstetric and neonatal care which led to the death of the baby.
- Acting for the Claimant in an obstetric negligence case in which there was a failure to perform a caesarean section rather than a ventouse cup delivery.
BPTC, University of Law (2016)
LLB (Hons), University of Bristol (2015)
Inner Temple, Outgoing Pegasus Scholarship to USA (2020)
Times Law Award, 1st place (2018)
Inner Temple, Jarman Award for Advocacy (top ranked pupil barrister in cohort) (2017)
Inner Temple, Marshall Hall Award (2017)
University of Law, Negotiation Prize (2016)
University of Law, Advocacy Scholarship (2016)
Inner Temple, Major Exhibition Award (2015)
Inner Temple, Frank and Buriss Gahan Scholarship (2015)
Inner Temple, Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Award (2015)
Bar Council Young Barristers’ Committee (2020 – Present)
Sport Resolutions Pro Bono Panel (2017 – Present)
Government Legal Department’s Panel of Junior Junior Counsel (2017 – Present)