Nigel Spencer Ley

...A well-regarded clinical negligence barrister. "He is very efficient and his attention to detail is excellent.

Chambers UK 2021

Nigel Spencer Ley

  • Called in 1985

Nigel Spencer Ley undertakes clinical negligence, personal injury, and related professional negligence work, acting for both Claimants and Defendants.

Nigel is a regular contributor to a wide variety of legal journals. He has been the co-editor of the Farrar’s Building Personal Injury Newsletter since 2007.

He has lectured on personal injury law for the Judicial Studies Board, Cambridge University Board of Continuing Education, for numerous solicitors’ firms and at the annual Farrar’s Building Personal Injury Seminar.

Clinical Negligence

In the field of clinical negligence Nigel has wide experience in:

  • Consent cases
  • Cauda equina syndrome claims: Nigel recently achieved the highest ever settlement of a cauda equina claim at £3.3million
  • Haemochromatosis claims
  • Encephalitis claims
  • Negligence while undertaking spinal surgery
  • Failure to diagnose cancer (including claims against GPs)
  • Wrongful birth
  • Dental negligence
  • General failure to provide appropriate medical care

Personal Injury

Nigel has experience in all aspects of personal injury work including:

  • Head and spinal injury claims
  • Employers liability / statutory regulations claims
  • Industrial disease claims (including asbestos-related illness and RSI)
  • Sporting accidents both in the UK and abroad
  • Animals Act claims
  • Road traffic claims
  • Occupiers’ liability
  • Playground and school activity claims
  • Highways Act claims
  • Railway accident claims

Professional Negligence

Nigel regularly acts for Claimants suing their former solicitors for mishandling personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

Notable Cases

Hayes v South East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (2015)
NHS Trust found liable for failure to administer appropriate treatment to patient suffering asthma attack which resulted in death.

Tarren v Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals (2013)
Approval of novel reverse indemnity clause in Order for periodic payments in claim by brain-injured Claimant; gross award £3.75million.

Lac & others v Clayton (2009)
Contributory negligence of pedestrians waiting at scene of an accident.

Read more

Robert Jones Hospital v Budd (2008)
Manchester C.C. Application by Defendant for pre-action disclosure from Claimant.

Gedye v Land Rover (2008)
Barnet CC ability to continue action against one Defendant having reached settlement with another.

Lewis v Avidan (2005)
Whether Workplace Regulations impose absolute duty to keep floor of workplace free of water.

McMahon v Brett (2003)
Recovery of damages for alternative therapies.

Saed v Ealing Hospital (2001)
Failure to diagnose tuberculosis.

Conaty v Barclays Bank (2000)
Secretary at bank developing RSI as a result of excessive typing.

Walsh v Gywnedd County Council (1998)
Failure to provide adequate supervision to psychiatric patient who later committed suicide.

Read less

If you would like to instruct Nigel Spencer Ley or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by Chief Executive, Alan Kilbey MBE. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at

For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.

Appointments & Memberships

  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Personal Injuries Bar Association

Education & Qualifications

  • Harmsworth Scholar, Middle Temple
  • Peterhouse, Cambridge
  • Bangor Grammar School

Directory Quotes

Nigel is ranked in Chambers Directory in the field of clinical negligence.

Nigel Spencer Ley is listed as a leading personal injury junior in the Legal 500.

A well-regarded clinical negligence barrister, noted for his expertise in cauda equina and encephalitis claims.   “He is very efficient and his attention to detail is excellent.” “Calm, measured and responsive.” Chambers UK 2021

Great on paperwork and in conference and responsive. Very organised and approachable. Easy to work with. Always achieves a good result.Legal 500 2020

His drafting is superbly clear and he is always approachable.”
Legal 500

“Experienced in acting for claimants and defendants.”
Legal 500

“…clients endorse Nigel Spencer Ley for ‘eye for detail’ and ‘excellent paperwork’.”
Legal 500

“…puts his detailed knowledge of the NHS to good use.”
Legal 500

‘Client friendly and skilled in complex cases.’
Legal 500 2018


Nigel is the co-author of the Wrongful Birth chapter in Kemp & Kemp.

Personal Interests

Nigel enjoys playing tennis and the piano (both very badly and never at the same time). His real passion however is skiing in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland.

He is President of the Down Hill Only Club (the DHO), one of the world’s oldest skiing clubs.