Getting to know you – Chris Skyner

Getting to know you - Chris SkynerGetting to know you - Chris SkynerChris Skyner is an Advocate at Carpenters Group. He was elected to the MASS Management Committee at the 2019 AGM. Read on to find out what makes him ‘tick’ …


Why MASS (i.e. Committee member)?

I have been in the profession for just over 30 years and have worked with many previous MASS Co-ordinators for the North West, including Gillian Carlisle-Collett and David Byrne, who both impressed me with their dedication acting on behalf of the innocent injured claimants.

In addition, the work carried out by Donna Scully (Director at Carpenters Group) has been invaluable to the sector, she has gone above and beyond to campaign for the rights of accident victims.

Being elected as the MASS Co-ordinator for the North West has given me new opportunities to meet likeminded people, share ideas and seek to address the problems the profession faces in these uneasy times.

It is an honour to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors and hopefully carry on with their campaign to protect the rights of the accident victim from further erosion.

Why the Law?

I haven’t always been in the law. I started my working life in industry and, whilst working for a firm of timber importers, I was asked to attend a course on Health and Safety. From this point I became interested in the law. I was given an opportunity to help those who can’t help themselves and, through a close friend, I was offered a position in a Liverpool high street practice. The rest is history as they say.

Best win in Court/most important win to date

As an in-house advocate I attend court on a regular basis, representing the claimant, so every successful hearing in favour of the claimant is a “good win” and are all important to each individual I represent.

Thoughts on the implications of the Civil Liability Act

Little thought has been given to the way the process is being rolled out and the practical implications; it seems the Government want to put it in place without any real consideration for the “man on the Clapham omnibus!”.

I am a very long way yet from being convinced that the e-system will work for the Litigant in Person (LiP), and I’m very concerned about the likely adverse effects on the vunerable groups.

Since the changes where first mooted, MASS has been at the forefront in voicing concerns about how these changes will affect the LiP.

It was clear from this year’s MASS AGM that there is still a long list of unanswered questions, which need to be addressed before the reforms are implemented.

One of the main concerns will be the increase of CMCs and McKenzie friends and the impact it will have on the LiPs.

There are also issues with the claimant being under compensated because of the increase in the Small Claims Limit and the tariff scheme.

With the likely increase in the number of LIPs taking their cases to court, this could cause the judicial system to reach almost breaking point, especially as there are more and more courts closing down.

What 3 items would you take to a desert island?

A solar powered or wind-up radio, my classic car magazines and a comfy chair.

What’s your claim to fame?

None really, except once when travelling to Paris on the Eurostar, George Osbourne and his entourage were travelling on the same train to one of his many meetings in Paris.

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?

Has Brexit happened?



Best ever holiday or place you have visited?

Leglio, a small village on the shores of Lake Como, the Hotel Relais Villa Vittoria had beautiful views across the Lake, and after this would be Rome.

First car?

A red Austin 1100, it came with the standard oil leaks, and required a tool kit be kept in the boot as it constantly broke down.

Favourite song/artist?

I have an eclectic mix of music depending on my mood, but if I am really pushed, it has to be anything from Genesis, Peter Gabriel to Phil Collins era.

Favourite book?

There is not a particular book that stands out as a favourite. However, it is good to see the books read to our children are now being read to theirs.

Best TV boxset or movie?

The best box set has to be West Wing. Although it ran from 1999 to 2006, most of the episodes cover the trials and tribulations faced by society today.

Favourite drink?

A Gin & Tonic or a nice pint of Real Ale (IPA).

Favourite food?

A traditional Sunday Roast with family.

What is the first thing you like to do with your free time?

My free time is taken up attending my local racetrack at Oulton Park where I am a volunteer incident/flag marshal. The ideal hobby for a petrol head who can’t afford to race cars!

What annoys you?

This is a difficult question mainly because, as I have gotten older, I’ve become more laid back. However, I dislike poor service whether it is in a shop or restaurant.

Thoughts on Brexit?

We need to sort this out, the people have voted and therefore whichever Government is elected needs to deliver upon the wishes of the voters. It needs to be sorted for future generations.

This article first appeared in MASS Insight Magazine, Winter 2019/20.

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MASS promotes the highest standards of legal services through education and representation in the pursuit of justice for victims of road traffic accidents.