Darren Bartlett

Darren Bartlett

Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Qualified in 2009 Public Access Accredited
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General Information

Darren’s robust advocacy and attention to detail has led to a busy civil practice with emphasis on matters arising out of road traffic accidents. He has a particular expertise in credit hire matters and accepts instructions from both Claimants and Defendants. Darren is unusual amongst barristers in that he actually enjoys credit hire work and happily accepts instructions in the upper reaches of the fast track and multi-track all over the country. Darren's other particular area of expertise is in those those cases involving fraud, fraud rings and where findings of fundamental dishonesty are sought or trying to be avoided.

Darren had considerable experience of other careers before he joined Chambers and utilises some of the skills he learned to develop specialisms in the work he now deals with.

After leaving University with a degree in Electronic Systems Engineering Darren enjoyed a career as an Army officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Following this he incorporated and ran two companies with great success; firstly as a Managing Director of a company dealing with international property sales for 7 years and secondly managing his own I.T. business for several years before coming to the Bar. His life experiences ensure that his clients not only receive excellent legal advice but advice which is presented with a practical, robust and common sense approach.


Darren’s practice involves a wide range of civil matters. He has a wealth of advocacy experience in all types of interlocutory applications and fast track and multi-track trials in the County Court and High Court. He appeared for the Appellant in the case of Howlett v Davies [2017] EWCA Civ 1696, [2017] WLR(D) 715 which considered fundamental dishonesty and QOWCS.

Alongside his busy Court practice Darren has an advisory practice in a wide range of civil matters including personal injury including costs, industrial diseases, contract, consumer credit, landlord and tenant and trust of land cases.

Given his engineering and technical background, Darren has an obvious advantage and interest in matters that involve engineering or other technical evidence.

Recent Cases

  • Darren represented a husband and wife who were Defendants against a solicitor’s claim for their costs of approximately £22,000. After trial, the court agreed that the solicitor’s retainer was such that the claim should be dismissed. The Claimants were awarded their costs of the action.
  • Instructed in a credit hire matter of some £32,000 for the Claimant, who faced allegations of fundamental dishonesty and section 57 applied, Darren was successful in obtaining damages for the Claimant. No finding of fundamental dishonesty was made, and the court accepted Darren’s submissions that section 57 did not apply to the claim in any event, regardless of whether any finding of dishonesty was made or not.
  • Darren represented the Claimant in a hearing at which was directed to be held to consider whether a finding of fundamental dishonesty should be made. The Defendant’s applicaiton was dismissed with costs standard costs awarded to the Claimant.
  • Acting for a Defendant insurer on a credit hire matter, after 'robustly and forensically' cross examining the Claimant, the court found that the Claimant did not have a need to hire a motorcycle and dismissed the claim of some £17,000.
  • Acting for the Claimant in a credit hire case of some £23,000, Darren successfully obtained judgment for every penny of that claimed, despite 'problems' with the Claimant's case. Darren persuaded the court after a 'tour de force' of the case law, that the steps the Claimant had taken to mitigate his loss of use were reasonable - despite a complete lack of evidence by both the Claimant and Defendant on the point - by reference to other cases. An unexpected and happily received outcome.
  • Represented the Appellant in Howlett v Davies [2017] EWCA Civ 1696 where the Court of Appeal considered and clarified: (i) whether Defendant insurers needed to plead and put in cross examination dishonesty or fraud before such a finding can be made by the court; and (ii) the meaning of fundamental dishonesty.
  • Multi-track case acting for the Defendant insurer defending a claim of personal injury and credit hire. Darren was consulted at a relatively advanced stage of proceedings to advise. As a result of Darren’s advice, the Defence was successfully amended to plead fraud. Procedurally very complex litigation that resulted in one Claimant discontinuing on day of trial and the other Claimant not attending trial.
  • Darren advised and acted for a company involved in a long running and acrimonious dispute involving trespass to goods, injunctions and breach of contract. Damages were awarded to Darren’s client at a multi-track trial in excess of £95,000 and interim costs of £30,000.
  • Darren acted for the Claimant in a credit hire claim of some £29,000 but allocated to the Fast Track. Darren advised on the evidence and advised that several key areas needed addressing. Those evidential issues addressed, at trial Darren obtained judgment for the full amount of the credit hire sought.
  • Fast Track matter in which Defendant insurer had suspicions a personal injury claim was fraudulent or at least fundamentally dishonest. As a result of Darren’s robust cross examination of the Claimants, the Defendant applied to amend its pleading at the end of the cross examination. Judge subsequently made findings of fraud.
  • Darren acted for several Defendants who were (correctly) pursued for breach of restraint of trade clauses in their employment contracts. As a result of Darren’s advice the Defendants managed to ‘extract’ themselves from an apparently hopeless litigation with an award of costs after succeeding in an interlocutory application.
  • Darren acted for the Defendant insurer in a personal injury matter where a passenger of a vehicle had caught her hand in a closing car window. Darren successfully obtained summary judgment.
  • Darren acted for the Defendant insurer in a motorcycle credit hire claim of some £30,000. At trial the Judge found the Claimant had no need to hire a vehicle and dismissed the claims. The Judge further found the Claimant was not impecunious. Defendant insurer awarded 75% of its costs.
  • Darren acted for Claimants in a neighbour dispute involving trespass and harassment. Darren successfully argued that summary judgment should be granted on some of the claim. Matter ultimately settled at PTPH.
  • Multi-track case acting for the Defendant insurer in a multi vehicle collision where liability, causation and quantum were all in dispute between the numerous parties. Darren’s insurer clients was not found liable and awarded substantial costs.
  • Darren acted for the Defendant’s insurer in a fast track matter that resulted in a finding of split liability in the Claimant’s favour. As a result of Darren’s cross examination, though, a finding of fundamental dishonesty was made in relation to the claim for personal injury and physiotherapy. At a subsequent hearing the Defendant was permitted to resile from a previous Part 36 offer, which the Defendant had purported to accept, and the Claimant was ultimately committed with costs being awarded to the Defendant.
  • Representation of an Appellant who, after different Counsel had represented him in the Land Tribunal, wished to appeal the Tribunal’s findings of fact. As a result of Darren’s forensic analysis and detailed Skeleton and Chronology the Respondent conceded the Appeal and settled in a sum in excess of £350,000.

Public Access & Direct Access

Darren accepts instructions from individuals and companies in a wide variety of matters. Darren has a litigation extension to his practising certificate and can therefore act for individuals and companies directly in bringing and defending claims. He conducts his practice through a Bar Standards Board regulated entity DBTR Legal Services Limited.

Darren has a wealth of experience in financial remedy proceedings in matrimonial matters and is happy to accept instructions in this area as well as his general civil practice.

Reported Cases

  • Howlett v Davies [2017] EWCA Civ 1696, [2017] WLR(D) 715
  • BK-S (Children) (expert evidence and probability) [2015] EWCA Civ 442
  • Southampton City Council v A Mother & Ors [2014] EWFC 16
  • O v O [2013] EWHC 2970 (Fam)
  • R v Mander [2013] EWCA Crim 1503
  • Re R (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 558, [2011] 2 FLR 863, [2011] Fam Law


  • LLB (Hons)(Electronic Systems Engineering) BEng (Hons), Cranfield University
  • GDL (Distinction) College of Law, Guildford
  • BVC (Outstanding) College of Law, London
  • LLB (First Class Hons) College of Law, London


  •  Middle Temple



Areas of Law

Darren Bartlett is happy to accept instructions as counsel who is:

  • Approved for the following panels:
  • Costs
  • Road Traffic
  • Approved for the following panels:
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Commercial Arbitration & ADR inc Adjudication
  • Inquests
  • Land & Property
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Regulation

Outside of these key areas of law, Darren Bartlett is always willing to consider any enquiry requiring the experience or knowledge needed to help you or your client. Please call Darren direct or the support team on 01823 247 247 if you would like to discuss any aspect of this profile.

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