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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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The 'tenacious' team at Ashtons Legal is 'extremely competent and keeps clients' interests foremost; it gives clients a distinct edge over other firms'. The firm has a stellar track record in the highest-value and most complex cases of physical and psychological injury. One on-going case is a claim under the Human Rights Act for the family of a teenager who took his own life after his GP recommended he be seen by mental health professionals within 24 hours, only for an NHS health trust to deem him not to be at significant risk. Sandra Patton leads the medical injury team and clients describe her as 'calm, efficient and thorough, whilst being very sensitive and thoughtful and extremely professional'. Her team is 'a pleasure to work with' and one client remarks that 'they are very bespoke, so no client will feel lost in a system, and they really care about outcome'. Leading light Sharon Allison, whose practice includes a focus on inquests and suicides arising from failures in the mental health service, is 'well prepared, diligent and hardworking; she drills into the detail of every case'. 'His experience and wisdom give him a reassuring presence in cases of the highest value', says a barrister of prominent partner Tom Cook. 'Very assiduous and very good with clients', says counsel of rising star associate Ben Ward who is 'a gifted analyst who can manage and run a complex case to a successful conclusion'. Also recommended are 'knowledgeable and efficient' associate Julie Crossley and 'thorough and diligent' rising star solicitor Sophie Bales, who is 'very good at dealing with expert evidence, and has an excellent grasp of the complexity of cases'.

The Cambridge office of national firm Irwin Mitchell has built up a strong following in Cambridge because 'the service is fantastic, the lawyers get back to you immediately and their in-depth knowledge and advice is really useful'. The firm is 'one of the best in the country', according to one barrister, and has a national medical negligence practice that handles cases of the highest value and complexity. Head of medical negligence in Cambridge Guy Forster is 'very experienced, able to get his head round any kind of case, very good with clients and able to get the best from a case'. One barrister remarks that he has 'a lovely way about him with clients, gives excellent instructions and keeps me informed about the case as it progresses'. Rising star Sarah Wealleans is 'amazing - warm, compassionate and always calm; she is very good at negotiating on clients' behalf'. Solicitor Gurpreet Lalli  has a particular interest in claims involving stroke, cauda equina, spinal injury, stillbirth and neonatal deaths, as well as assisting Forster with maximum severity catastrophic injury cases. Forster and Lalli secured a seven-figure settlement in a case of wrongful birth and failure to diagnose spina bifida in utero. Forster also worked with Wealleans to secure an eight-figure settlement for a boy of 12 who developed cerebral palsy as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating hypoglycaemia in the hours following his birth.

Tees Law provides 'very good professional service and quick response times; the team is on the ball and explains things well to clients'. The firm is known for 'high-quality instructions with intellectual calibre' and it has one of the largest clinical negligence practices in the East Anglia region. 'They are dedicated to the cases they handle', says one barrister of the team led by the 'intellectually sharp, personable and sensitive' Janine Collier and Paul Taylor , who provide 'robust and fair advice'. Taylor led a team that acted in a £1.2m claim arising from negligent management of a long-term Warfarin prescription, which led to an intracranial haemorrhage. Collier acted for the wife of a deceased man who developed sepsis after a routine elective reversal of an end colostomy at a private hospital in London. The amount of compensation has yet to be decided, but the claim has an estimated value of £7m. Associate and APIL senior litigator Adam Copeland is 'very able - he pushes very hard and obtains tremendous settlements'. He has 20 years' experience and recently secured £130,000 for the wife a man who was misdiagnosed as having an immunodeficiency disorder and consequently received unnecessary and excessive doses of immunoglobulin. 'Professional, friendly and helpful' solicitor Sarah Stocker is also recommended. Associate David Gabell joined Fosters.

Fosters's expanding team is handling a growing number of complex and high-value cases. Stephen Green leads the practice and has more than 20 years' experience in medical negligence claims against hospitals, GPs and the Ambulance Service. Solicitor Ian Comer is also known for his long experience in misdiagnosis and negligent surgery claims. The recruitment of highly-rated associate and APIL-accredited litigator David Gabell from Tees Law adds mid-level experience to the practice. He brings specialist expertise in gynaecology, fertility, orthopaedic and general surgery claims, and his recent successes at his former firm include securing a large settlement for a client who lost both fallopian tubes due to surgical negligence and suffered a subsequent ectopic pregnancy. Solicitor Barry Grogan is also recommended. Among the practice's recent highlights is a £30,000 settlement for a client who suffered keratitis following eye surgery.

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is a member of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers and has a client base that extends far beyond East Anglia. Last year, it represented numerous bereaved families who lost relatives as a result of failings in the mental health services across Norfolk, Suffolk and North East Essex, and it acted for a large number of children who suffered catastrophic hypoxic birth injuries at local hospitals. It handles complex and technically demanding cases, which last year included securing substantial damages for a bereaved client whose wife took her own life whilst an inpatient at a secure mental health facility in North Essex. Practice head Tim Humpage has 23 years' experience in clinical negligence cases and is a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel. Partner and former nurse Diana Infanti specialises in high-value, complex cases including Fatal Accident Act claims, delayed cancer diagnosis and mental health claims. Also recommended are legal executives Chris Moffat, who like Humpage is an APIL Clinical Negligence specialist, and Sian Mullane, who is an APIL senior litigator.

Scrivenger Seabrook Limited¬†has ‚Äėa first-class practice in clinical negligence with a team of specialists who have repeatedly illustrated their ability to handle complex and high-value matters with finesse‚Äė, according to one source who adds that ‚Äėthe team‚Äôs overall level of skill and knowledge of the law in this area is second to none, and the¬†advice is faultless‚Äė. Vicki Seabrook¬†is ‚Äėa clear leader in her field and a meticulous lawyer, technically and strategically impressive; she fights incredibly hard for her clients and is intelligent, experienced and completely committed‚Äė. She secured ¬£180,000 for a claimant who suffered nerve damage during vaginal surgery. Former nurse and ‚Äėphenomenal, fearsome and tactically astute advocate‚Äė¬†Sarah Newcombe¬†has ‚Äėan excellent knowledge of medicine which, when combined with her vast legal knowledge, makes her a first-rate lawyer in her field; she is a tough, tenacious and realistic litigator who runs substantial claims with great skill and shows utter devotion to her clients with impressive end results to match‚Äė. She acted for a man whose left big toe was left deformed following two procedures performed by a consultant podiatric surgeon.¬†Clients also recommend the ‚Äėthorough and outstandingly creative‚Äė¬†Helen Hillson¬†as ‚Äėa skilled and devoted lawyer with a great depth of knowledge who can absorb the detail in really complex cases and can produce phenomenal results for her clients‚Äė.

'High-quality and very client-focused firm' Slater and Gordon is 'one of the best in the country', according to one barrister. Another source remarks that the firm is 'excellent in its instruction to me as an expert and knows what it is doing in regard to clinical negligence'. The firm handles some of the most high-value and complex cases, notably in the areas of spinal cord injury and catastrophic injury, and it also has a prominent Court of Protection practice. Its current caseload includes numerous matters involving children who have suffered cerebral palsy following birth injury, amputations and spinal cord trauma.  Practice head Tim Deeming is 'very experienced, very good with difficult cases, and has a particular expertise in difficult ophthalmic cases'. He is described as 'very good with clients; he also gives excellent expert instructions'. His recent highlights include advising a client, a boy of three, who suffered from a complex delay in diagnosis of and treatment for an infection that resulted in bilateral below-knee amputations as well as the removal of seven fingers.

Buckles Solicitors LLP is 'an extremely and through law firm' and clients speak highly of 'superb' associate Martin Herson. 'He is a credit to the firm, very professional with an extremely good client manner that is helpful and focused', says one. The clinical negligence practice led by Roger Clarke is the most prominent in Peterborough and is known for having a selective approach to cases to ensure that only those with merit are taken on. Its roster of high-value and complex cases continues to grow and its recent work includes multiple instructions relating to delay in diagnosis of cancer, paralysis from epidural anaesthetic during labour; failure to diagnose Turners Syndrome in a child leading to adverse physical and psychological development; and failure to diagnose fractures in the A&E department. Herson recently secured a £75,000 settlement for a claimant pregnant with her first child whose requests for an elective C-section were ignored and who suffered a 4th degree perineal tear during labour.

Rogers and Norton has a highly respected practice in the Norfolk region thanks to two experienced partners Tom Nobbs and Mark Hambling. The firm handles a significant volume of multi-track cases and is able to advise on both low- and high-value claims. Among recent examples of work was Nobbs' advice to a client who lost a kidney as a result of alleged failures on the part of a consultant urologist during the course of private treatment, specifically a  failure to carry out the treatment in the appropriate manner and review the outcome of the surgery. Nobbs also handles matters involving physiotherapists and pharmacists. Legal executive Hannah Rudling plays a key role in the practice.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Clinical negligence: claimant

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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