Deans Court Chambers

Expert legal advice and advocacy, delivered by an outstanding team of Queen’s Counsel and barristers.

The Barristers at Deans Court are regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Michael Smith

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Michael Smith - Deans Court Chambers


  • St. Mary’s High School, Astley
  • Christ Church, Oxford - MA (Jurisprudence) BCL


  • Recorder

Professional Associations

  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit TCC Users Group


Michael has a broad based civil practice, acting for both Claimants and Defendants. He covers the whole range of personal injury disputes, specialising in higher value claims and clinical negligence disputes, including catastrophic birth injuries and injuries of maximum severity. He also has a broad commercial practice, with an emphasis on construction disputes, insurance policy issues and professional negligence.

He appears regularly in the High Court and County Court as well as in the TCC.

He has considerable experience of alternative dispute resolution, including commercial mediations, adjudications and arbitrations.

Michael is computer literate and email friendly.

Notable Cases

  • Common Law

    Barclays Bank v Fairclough Building

    Scope of contributory negligence in contract

  • Common Law

    Bainbridge v Circuit Foil Ltd.

    Proper construction of terms of employer’s pension scheme)

  • Clinical Negligence

    Brown v Lewisham & North Southwark HA

    Breach of duty and causation

  • Clinical Negligence

    Barratt v South Manchester University NHS Trust

    No breach of duty on the facts

  • Personal Injury

    Re SS [2002] 1 FLR 445 (Wall J)

    Person under disability – abortion – consent - role of medical practitioners

  • Clinical Negligence

    Burgess v Stockport NHS Trust (2011)

    No breach of duty on the facts

  • Clinical Negligence

    R v CM NHS Trust

    Substantial cerebral palsy claim settled on lump sum plus PPO basis

  • Personal Injury

    Re D P

    Award of over £4m

  • Personal Injury

    Re J R P

    Award of £3.5m

  • Common Law

    SHP v UU

    Substantial commercial arbitration settled after mediation

  • Landlord & Tenancy

    McManus v Salford CC & Punch Taverns

    Dispute about liability for subsidence to adjacent property between landlord and tenant – issue as to meaning and scope of contractual indemnity clause

What the directories say

"Concise in his defence and quickly gets to grips with complex medical issues. He is excellent in conference with upset and anxious doctors and is a go-to counsel for a sensitive approach." "He will drill down into every detail in the case and nothing gets past him. He is very persuasive as an advocate, and his knowledge of case law and putting together an argument is exemplary."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

An exceptional advocate. You know you are in safe hands when Mike is involved and the outcome for the client will be the correct one.’

Legal 500, 2021

Strengths include getting to grips with very technical medical procedures/rapport with experts and excellent testing of them in conference, simplifying the most complex of matters and being concise in defences.’

Legal 500, 2021

"He takes responsibility and ownership of the case, but also has a great respect for the thoughts and ideas of those he is representing. My clients and in turn, their clinicians, take to him quickly and are confident after a first meeting."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

‘ Has a good handle on cases from the beginning. ’ Great with individual medical practitioners and quickly gets to the heart of the issue. ’

Legal 500, 2020

"He is very instinctive and sensitive. He cleverly navigates the differing interests and challenges posed by the mix of clients, expert witnesses, judges and opposing counsel." "He fights hard when he has to but shows great intelligence in the way he does it."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"He's really attentive to what we need, his advice is always fierce and to the point and in trial he's quite clever and smart. He's a safe pair of hands, clients like him and he's robust." "He has impressed clients, who ask me to give repeat instructions if he has capacity to accept them." "He is accessible directly at all times, and gives you an honest appraisal of likely timescales for his input."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

Frequently instructed on complex and high-value clinical negligence cases, predominantly on the defendant side. He is also experienced in handling substantial personal injury cases. "He is good on technical applications such as interim payments." "He is particularly good analytically - if you've got a case with a tricky legal point, go to him."

Chambers UK, 2015

'one of the barristers of choice for clinical negligence defendant work in the North West.'

Chambers UK, 2013

'draws praise for his skill, meticulous approach and excellent bedside manner.

Chambers UK, 2012

He is recommended as “highly regarded in severe cases” and for his “skill, meticulous approach

Chambers UK, 2010

‘Highly intellectual, precise approach and keen perception of a case’s strengths and weaknesses.’

Chambers UK, 2009


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