He is CEDR trained, and accredited, Mediator who has mediated over
1000 cases across the country and abroad.
in Band 1 (Top 21) of the current editions of Chambers UK Guide and Legal 500.
Winner of the "Mediation Achiever
of the Year" category at the Personal Injury Awards 2012, 2013 and 2017.
He frequently writes, lectures and presents on Mediation. He has made presentations
at meetings with insurers, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Commercial Bar, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,
In-House Employment Lawyers' Network, Law Society (UK and Dublin), Clinical Negligence Conference, Association of Local
Authority Solicitors, solicitors' practices, corporate and commercial bodies, ADR Group's AGM, CEDR’s forum
and conferences and CIArb's Mediation Symposium.
Member of Panel: "Resolving Commercial Disputes"
(joint venture between Institute of Chartered Accountants and ADR Group).
He has mediated in a wide variety of disputes including:
- clinical negligence
- commercial contracts
- film funding
- fires and floods
- governing bodies
- group actions
- inheritance/trusts /estate /intestacy
- multiple parties
- personal injury
- product liability
- professional negligence
- public bodies/government
Specific examples include:
- Claims of abuse re
two children scheduled at £108m and £115m
- Break up of world famous rock band – corporate, commercial and IP issues
- Agency agreement between German and Chinese
companies - high value
distribution agreement for global restaurant brand - high value
- Super-injunctions involving celebrities and privacy
- Claims with allegations of contaminated crops, treatments,
animal feeds, accidents
within an office of a major law firm involving whistleblowing, issues between management and HR, allegations of harassment
and loss of personnel/business
- Employer's liability action with a scheduled value of £8.5 million, liability, causation and quantum
dispute with large GP practice facing dissolution and the sale of property with negative equity
- Multi-million pound intellectual property dispute involving
passing-off and trademark infringement
- Air crashes, fatalities with liability disputes; piloting and mechanical issues
- RTA caused by mother as the driver, who died leaving a brain
damaged child with a claim scheduled at £25m
- Clinical negligence claims (incl brain surgery; fatality; laser surgery; incorrect diagnoses;
disputes (incl claim scheduled at £26m)
- Defamation arising from radio broadcast with 11 claimants
- Defamation involving libel and slander between senior professionals; politicians;
re police investigation of child abuse and media coverage
- Defamation involving national newspapers; broadcasters; internet; super-injunctions
- Minority shareholders' disputes
including allegations connected with offshore companies, trusts with significant tax implications
- Shareholder /Company Valuation disputes over £50m
- Sport (contracts; transfers;
injuries; defamation; refereeing; governing bodies) including professional football; professional rugby, boxing, motor racing,
horse racing, golf and martial arts
- Stress claims within the insurance industry including from a large loss claims managers
- Harassment/Discrimination/Victimisation (academic institutions,
health and local authorities)
funding within a Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health Authority
- Claims against solicitors (eg commercial property transactions; business collapses;
claim brought by insurers against accountants following fraud prosecution
- Fires and flooding insurance incl issues of liability and cover
- Solicitors' and other partnership
disputes (doctors; accountants; architects: commercial; family businesses)
- Accountants' negligence claims including £100m tax dispute;
trust funds; offshore arrangements
- Disputes over PFI contracts and building management systems
- Claims involving mineral extraction, retained rights, disputed boundaries....
- Commercial contracts including
breaches or warranties; product liability
- Multiple vehicle accidents on motorways including fatalities, spinal and brain injuries, disputes between insurers
- Facilitation of consultants'
disputes with NHS Trust
incl discrimination; "whistleblowing"; dismissals; stress
- 6 Claimant stress claim against a local authority
- Probate / Trusts (UK and offshore; Inheritance claims; admin
of estates; structures of trusts; issues between Trustees; Beddoes Applications; prof negligence)
- Construction disputes contracts; collapsed buildings; defects;
architects' and surveyors' negligence claims; insurance aspects
- Costs claims (individual claims and group actions)
- Property transactions and planning issues
- Many motor accident claims scheduled
at over £10m including MIB Agreements
- Police (whistle-blowing, defamation, injuries)
- Group actions eg 17,000 personal injury claimants; hearing loss; flooding;
property/community disputes; clinical negligence claims
- Procurement in health and educational organisations
Some feedback includes:
"...clearly very experienced and we had
full confidence in him "
" Successfully facilitated a satisfactory settlement in a case with a very
emotional Claimant where the parties were, initially, a long way apart "
"…made several important
breakthroughs; would recommend him; very professional "
" Quentin really got the parties to open-up
from entrenched positions. He got a fair result "
"…as a result of Quentin's calm determination
and refusal to give up, terms were eventually agreed."
" Handled the case intelligently and with refreshing
"…supportive and helpful".
“He created and maintained a relaxed environment which was crucial to the success of the mediation".
ADR Group Award: "Mediator of the Year 2007"
Injury Awards 2012:
Winner of "Mediation Achiever of the Year"
Injury Awards 2013:
Winner of "Mediation Achiever of the Year"
Personal Injury Awards 2017:
Winner of "Mediation
Achiever of the Year"
The Judges introduced
the award, commenting: "This highly regarded and experienced mediator impressed the Judges with his involvement in
a number of very complex and high value mediations His grasp of technical, medical and financial issues, coupled with his
ability to calm the waves and put the parties on track, enables him to get a resolution in even the toughest of cases."
Chambers Guide UK 2019:
One of the "Top Ranked Leading Individuals of
the Year" in his field.
Chambers Guide to the Legal
Recommended in the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2001/2 as a leader in
alternative dispute resolution, he is described as winning "plaudits from practitioners across the country" and
"young, earnest and clearly one to watch".
2002/3 edition: "energetic and persuasive" with
a useful ability to "tune into what people want". Commentators say that "he thoroughly deserves the hype"
and consider him a "growing player and future star".
2003/4 edition: "a rising star" and
"a hard-working mediator able to pick up difficult issues quickly."
2004/5 edition: Ranked in the top
25: " he retains a prominent position in the market".
2005/6 edition: Ranked in the top 18: "…(he)
has acquired an excellent reputation. Clients and peers alike praise his assured touch, and his understanding of the mediation
process. His practice has experienced exponential growth over the past twelve months."
2006/7 edition: "...(his)
assertive approach lends itself well to the mediation process, according to clients, who say that he controls the process
well….establishes a good rapport with clients from the outset….involved in a number of sensitive media and
defamation cases and regularly deals with commercial disputes, reinsurance, pensions, employment and personal injury…mediates
regularly and is appointed in high-profile, multiparty mediations."
2008 edition: Highly recommended: "…(his)
decision in early 2007 to mediate independently of Addleshaw Goddard while retaining a consultancy position has been well
received by a marketplace whose members anticipate great success for him. Peers are full of praise for his "charming
manner" and envy his ability to "win the trust of both sides; he can get through to people on a human level."
His profile continues to grow throughout the country..".
2009 edition: "The name that keeps coming
up right now", and "a good operator." His continuing success is attributed to his ability to "encourage
parties to look at the bigger picture."
2010 edition: Listed in the Top 14 (Band 1): “ an increasingly
familiar face in complex mediations. He "really drives the other side to a bargain"......"he stands out because
he not only sees the big picture, but he also gets into the nitty-gritty detail."”
Band 1: “...another fantastic year. "He's very pragmatic and very practical, but also very creative –
he makes things happen."
2012 edition: Band 1: "... charismatic, personable and down-to-earth"
with an "agile mind". Smith "understands the issues and knows how to adapt to different personalities
to get the best from them"
2013 edition: Band 1: Sources say Smith's "likeable manner and understanding
of the issues" proves "highly effective." Impressed solicitors note his "speed in getting to grips with
the key issues" and aptitude for "exploring every avenue he can think of to bring parties closer together."
"Fantastic at building rapport and creating a positive atmosphere for parties to negotiate".
Band 1: "(he) brings a very assured manner to the mediation and forms a real rapport with the parties." Someone
"at the top his game," Smith has "a great attitude with clients and really gets an understanding and a grip
of a case." Sources particularly recommend him for "commercial resolutions that require thinking outside the box."
edition: Band 1: “In addition to his well-recognised expertise in sports law, the "remarkable" Quentin Smith
is regularly instructed in a range of commercial matters, including personal injury, product liability and finance. Commentators
note that "he's simply first-class. He always has something interesting to say to put someone at their ease; a
mediator meeting strangers for the first time has to acquire their trust in a very short space of time, and Quentin is just
2016 edition: Band 1: "He has an active mediation practice and disarms people with his charm
and sense of humour. He has a strong track record in group actions and multiparty claims."
2017 edition: Band
1 (Top 20): "A highly flexible mediator with a diverse practice which sees him appointed to cases covering the full
spectrum of commercial disputes including property, professional negligence, clinical negligence and product liability matters.
He is praised for his ability to empathise with the parties to get them to put aside the grandstanding and get to a resolution".
2018 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): "Informal
and deal-focused - he understands people and what gets them to a deal. He prepares thoroughly and is on top of everything.
He has a good manner, understands the issues and gets cases over the line at mediation."
2019 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): Sole practitioner who handles a broad range of commercial and high-profile
private individual mediations. “Excellent. He had clearly prepared well which meant he demonstrated a good understanding
of the dispute. He also had the confidence of the parties and kept the mediation on track."
Recommended in the 2005 edition of Legal 500: "thoughtful and very bright".
2006 edition: "….is
a veteran of some 200 mediations and remains prolific despite the pressures of a private litigation practice. He is popular
with clients who appreciate his sense of humour, 'assured touch', and 'no-nonsense' manner. With a success
rate of over 95% and wide-ranging contacts, Smith and his 'tough facilitator' style are fast gaining ground."
2007 edition: "…increasingly prolific….mediates a wide range of disputes…..regarded as
an ‘activist’, he pushes parties hard in mediations and an astonishing settlement rate is testament to the success
of his approach."
2008 edition: Ranked in the Top 30: "An instinctive and shrewd negotiator, his friendly,
easy-going style quickly builds trust and confidence. His analysis is 'spot-on' and he identifies and tackles the
issues 'head on'. His persistence in seeking the deal on occasion goes well beyond the call of duty".
2009 edition: Ranked in the Top 30: “Quentin Smith has a well-honed, highly effective style. While ‘convivial’
and ‘self-deprecating’, he is considered ‘hugely clever, a skilled and intuitive negotiator’, and
a ‘tireless worker’. ‘A good operator’, and ‘generous with his time’, he has ‘a
clever way of bringing parties to settlement’ which rarely fails.”
2010 edition : Ranked in the Top
15, "... blends professional experience with impressive personal qualities, and a noted commitment to ‘thorough
preparation'. Winning trust through ‘concrete knowledge of the issues', Smith ‘excels at building rapport',
maintaining an enviable settlement rate in what clients describe as ‘complex' ‘intractable' and ‘multiparty
2011 edition; Ranked in the Top 16: "(Quentin) has built up a very strong following
in the market. He is noted for his impeccable professional expertise and thorough preparation, which helps him win the trust
of the disputing parties and has maintained a very impressive settlement rate".
2012 edition: Ranked in
the Top 16: “A magnificent mediator” and “certainly the best in the North West”. “Top-class”.
“He never loses sight of the end goal, and will continue to strive to achieve a successful outcome even when it may
appear a lost cause”. “He brings an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to mediations”.
2013 edition: Ranked in the Top 18: "A real professional with a human touch"; particularly recommended
for highly emotive matters, enjoying a market-leading reputation for clinical negligence and personal injury cases as well
as Chancery disputes. His "calm and affable manner" means that "clients always warm to him", and he is
"particularly good at persuading parties to overcome personal animosity and deal with a case commercially". "His
commitment and utter desire to facilitate a suitable settlement where possible results in him going above and beyond what
would be expected of a mediator".
2014 edition: Ranked in the Top 20: "a standout mediator
- approachable and friendly, but determined to bring the parties to terms "; " has a unique approach that is highly
effective: his force of personality will often drive through a deal where it is proving difficult to conclude the case";
clients also appreciate his ability to "understand both the commercial interests of the parties and the human and emotional
2015 edition: Ranked in the Top 19. Quentin "brings gravitas and common sense to his work
and to the mediation process. He impresses with his ‘down-to-earth manner, which immediately makes clients relaxed
and feel comfortable with the process'. His ‘patient, friendly and conciliatory approach' and ‘ability
to read difficult characters' ensures he ‘calms the waves and puts parties back on track'; also noted for
his ‘ability to adapt easily to a range of cases'. "
2016 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): "recommended
for his very commendable approach and for producing very reasonable outcomes - best known for commercial cases, professional
negligence and personal injury disputes".
2017 edition: Band 1 (Top 21): "an experienced mediator for high-end commercial disputes,
and he is sought-after with good reason - his relaxed and pragmatic manner is popular with clients, and disarms parties that
are intent on being aggressive for the sake of it; he understands that mediations are about building a deal and not arguing
legal points. Recommended for large and complicated mediations that are often multi-party. Recent highlights include mediating
a dispute involving financial management, distribution issues and profit shares, following the financing of a major feature
2018 edition: Band 1 (Top
21): "A supreme people person who has fantastic interaction skills and a good commercial mind". He "has
a nuanced and flexible approach and is able to adapt as the case requires; one of the great advantages of this flexibility
is that he is able to gain the trust of the parties at an early stage of the process and is able to drive the mediation process
forward towards an early settlement, rather than losing the early hours of the mediation as many other mediators have a tendency
to do". "Work highlights include a dispute over a multi-million euro distributorship and service agreement between
a German manufacturer and a Chinese company; a break-up of an undocumented partnership owning several properties, created
by the patriarchs of two family dynasties and operating for over 40 years; and a 12-party dispute over a disparate and
very valuable estate containing businesses, an industrial park and properties including arguments over shareholdings
and the management of minorities'/minors’ interests".
Graduated in B(Hons)Econ from Manchester University in 1977. Employment in social work
and then management before qualification as a Solicitor in January 1988; Articled Clerk, Solicitor and Partner with James
Chapman & Co, 1985 - 1996; Partner in Addleshaw Sons & Latham then Addleshaw Booth & Co and then Addleshaw Goddard
from 1996 until 2007 specialising in commercial/insurance litigation, personal injury, professional negligence and sport.
Head of Safety, Health and Environment Unit and Chair of Sports Business Group.
Member of Chartered
Institute of Arbitrators
Chairman of Sale Sharks 2000 - 2010
Chairman of Premiership Rugby 2010 - 2016
Director of England Rugby 2015 Limited - the company which delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Chairman of The Football Association's "Exceptions Panel" which determines
work permits for top overseas players. Current.
Chairman and Trustee
of Wooden Spoon - The Children's Charity of Rugby. Current.
experience in arts, media and sport including sale of fine art, theatre management and music.
What the Press are saying . . .
These links open
in separate windows.
Sport Resolutions, 16th Nov 2009 - Quentin Smith on the Value of Mediation in Sport