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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 > Personal injury: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Rising stars

Ashtons Legal has a truly regional practice with experienced practitioners in many of its offices. Head of personal injury Richard Foyster leads the practice from the Ipswich office, where senior associate and APIL Senior Litigator Tom Ranson has more than 20 years' experience. In the Thetford office, key partner Hannah Clarke, senior associate Siobhan Thacker and highly regarded associate Mick Upton, who joined from Slater and Gordon, are the key contacts. Partner Michael Wangermann in Bury St Edmunds also plays a pivotal role in the practice. The firm is known for the quality of its client care, delivered partly through dedicated client liaison managers, and its stellar track record in complex cases involving, inter alia, serious brain injury, particularly in children, spinal injury, amputation and industrial disease.

Practice head(s):Richard Foyster

Other key lawyers:Hannah Clarke; Michael Wangermann; Tom Ranson; Siobhan Thacker; Mick Upton

Testimonials

'An experienced asbestos disease team in a region that perhaps lacks depth in this area.'

'Phoebe Osborne is very experienced in asbestos claims and very conscientious - she will go the extra mile.'

The 'friendly and knowledgeable' practice at Barr Ellison LLP provides the full range of services to clients and their families including Court of Protection, personal injury trusts, wills, family and property law advice. The firm has a dedicated office within Addenbrooke’s Hospital and is highly regarded for multiple catastrophic brain injury, spinal injury, psychological injury and amputation cases. As well as achieving high-value settlements, the practice frequently obtains significant interim payments under the Rehab and Serious Injury Codes to secure specially adapted accommodation for their clients. Head of personal injury Emma Truin and associates Daryl Robinson (who is 'friendly, forthright and honest') and Mark Copley are highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Emma Truin

Other key lawyers:Daryl Robinson; Mark Copley

Testimonials

"Friendly, knowledgeable and available for questions."

"Good team working - the team members respect each others views and work hard for their clients."

"The individuals I work with stand out as they are well aware of the importance of early rehabilitation and strive hard to get that in place for their clients."

"This is an excellent outfit that specialises in high-value personal injury claims. They have a very personal touch and are widely respected in the East Anglian region. I think client care makes this firm unique."

"Without exception, clients feel supported and engaged in the process. I would say they are the best personal injury firm in East Anglia for catastrophic injury cases."

"Daryl Robinson is hugely experienced and very well respected. He puts everything into his cases and has an enormous wealth of knowledge to call upon. Clients love him."

"Emma Truin is very capable. She is well known for her catastrophic injury work and has shown herself to be very adept at leading the personal injury team."

"Mark Copley is an excellent solicitor who really knows his stuff."

"Barr Ellison offers a strong and trusted boutique service for clients who admire and trust them."

"Daryl Robinson has no obvious weaknesses. He is methodical, organised and always goes the extra mile for his clients."

"Daryl Robinson is sympathetic and empathetic. The families of the injured know that in Daryl they have the complete litigator who is prepared to fight their corner robustly."

"This is a small, experienced niche practice in Cambridge that provides a client-centred service. They have a a depth of expertise amongst the team and deal confidently with some of the trickiest cases."

"Emma Truin is one of the most approachable and empathetic of PI lawyers and is trusted by her clients and by those who are instructed by her. However, she is also tenacious in getting the best outcomes for her clients. She is now an impressive advocate for her clients."

"A friendly team and approachable. Professional and supportive of the client and case managers. They do go the extra mile if the clients have a problem."

"Emma Truin is extremely friendly and stays in touch with clients and all concerned. She visits at home and offers help to the team wherever possible. Daryl Robinson is also helpful and informs the clients of the expectations within the case."

At Irwin Mitchell, the service is 'absolutely outstanding', according to one client and is highly recommended for the full range of serious injury, asbestos and armed forces matters. Practice head Neil Whiteley's areas of specialism encompass  brain, spinal cord and poly-trauma injuries, but he excels most in traumatic brain injury matters. One client remarks that he is 'exceptional in every aspect' of complex claims. Ruth Booy specialises in complex and high-value catastrophic injury cases, with a particular focus on child brain injury matters. The 'honest and upfront' Simon Harrington handles Ministry of Defence claims, along with newly promoted associate Alexander Davenport, and is a leading lawyer for cases involving injuries sustained through cold weather exposure. Rosemary Giles leads the firm's acclaimed asbestos claims team, in which rising star associate Samantha Shaw plays a key role.

Practice head(s):Neil Whiteley

Other key lawyers:Ruth Booy; Simon Harrington; Rosemary Giles

Testimonials

"After taking over my claim after previous solicitors were closed down, they were one hundred percent on top of it."

"I couldn't ask for a more proactive or professional team to deal with my case."

"Simon Harrington is by far one of the most helpful professionals I have ever had the pleasure to meet and work with."

"Simon Harrington is top class and obviously a huge asset to Irwin Mitchell."

The PI team in Cambridge has a pre-eminent reputation for serious brain, spinal, amputee and other complex injuries, specialist armed forces and disease cases. It also has vast expertise in handling accidents at work cases and demonstrates great courage in pursuing the most challenging of cases."

"Frequently, the team has secured large interim payments to facilitate rehabilitation of seriously injured clients and I am aware that Irwin Mitchell have a mandatory rehabilitation policy to ensure that our clients benefit from early support where required."

"Irwin Mitchell offers a holistic range of services integrating a wide range of consumer services under the Irwin Mitchell brand. Personal Injury clients also benefit from the support available from Cambridge based services in Court of Protection."

"Ruth Booy  is a serious player in the PI market and no case is too big for her to litigate in an exceptional fashion. She takes no prisoners in her pursuit of rightful damages for her clients and is the go to PI practitioner in Cambridge."

 

Work highlights

  • A serious injury claim, which succeeded against a full denial of liability by the defendant. Due to lack of progress by previous solicitors, the firm turned the case around and prepared the evidence on liability from scratch.
  • A complex injury claim settled for a client that came from a previous solicitor who had not prepared the evidence and was in default of court orders and the timetable.
  • Ruth Booy acted in a multimillion-pound compensation claim for life changing injuries resulting in paraplegia.
  • Ruth Booy handled a high-value compensation claim for life changing injuries resulting in caudia equine syndrome.
  • Ruth Booy handled a high-value compensation claim for life changing injuries resulting in lower limb amputation.

Slater and Gordon has a large team of 'highly experienced specialist personal injury lawyers who are extremely professional and yet caring and personal'. The firm operates a multi-track office in Cambridge handling complex multimillion-pound brain and spinal injury claims, as well as military, CICA, fatal accident and repetitive strain injury matters. The 'extremely knowledgeable and conscientious' Angela Beric is child brain injury and CICA specialist. Brain and spinal injury specialist Paul Tapner routinely wins large settlements; military claims specialist Richard Gaffney has a strong track record of in traumatic brain injury, fatal accident and amputation matters; and the 'highly professional' Crystal Eaton is a rising star.

Other key lawyers:Paul Tapner; Angela Beric; Richard Gaffney;

Testimonials

"Compared to other companies, this team is at the level of a transplant surgical team or a Formula One team that is always ahead due to its efficency and professional knowledge."

"The PI team and Court of Protection teams have a strong skill base and are extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of PI and financial management."

"Angela Beric is extremely knowledgeable in PI and particularly in the areas of severe and traumatic brain injury in adults and children. I value her skills and expertise. She works well with case managers, the client, their family and other health and social care professionals."

"The Cambridge office retains the personal touch of local solicitors while still being part of a much larger operation."

"Angela Beric is experienced and diligent and has considerable empathy with her clients."

"Paul Tapner has enormous experience and is a shrewd tactician."

"I cannot praise them highly enough!"

"Richard Gaffney is a top expert, yet always available and trying his best, and he is highly respectful of injured clients".

"They give a very good service to their clients. They are diligent in their investigations, go to great lengths to pursue claims and make things as easy as possible for the client."

"Paul Tapner has a sound practical approach to cases, and is an excellent tactician with huge experience and unsurpassed client handling skills. He will achieve the best possible result for the client."

"Angela Beric is very experienced and hardworking with a grasp of detail and a lot of common sense. The type of solicitor you need on a difficult case."

Key Clients

Child Brain Injury Trust

Headway

Eastern Region Brain Injury Forum

East Anglia Vocational Rehabilitation Group

Cyclist Interest group

Trauma Networks

Work highlights

  • Accident resulting in surgery in which complications arose.
  • Cycling accident resulting in brain injury.
  • Road traffic accident resulting in brain injury.

Buckles Solicitors LLP has a small but reliable team handling multi-track claimant personal injury matters from Peterborough. Partner Roger Clarke leads the practice, in which associate and experienced advocate Martin Herson is a rising star. The firm's workload includes several industrial disease claims, some of which are referred through the respiratory team at Peterborough City Hospital. The practice also handles fatal accident claims through referrals from the its large probate team and externally from professional contacts.

Practice head(s):Roger Clarke

Other key lawyers:Martin Herson

Testimonials

"Martin Herson is very honest and explains everything to the client."

"With Martin Herson, I always had good communication that always ended with a good outcome."

Work highlights

  • A £200,000 mesothelioma claim arising from alleged negligent exposure to asbestos by Mr Harding whilst working at Brighton Power Station in the late 1960s. Diagnosed late 2017, but tragically died 10 months after diagnosis. Matter started as live mesothelioma claim but now changed to a fatal claim with complex issues on causation and damages given specific pension provisions.
  • A £300,000 employer liability claim for a client who sustained a significant wrenching injury to left arm causing permanent muscle and nerve damage. The client will not be able to return to pre-existing job and employment prospects are low, given the level of disability. The client has had two surgeries and likely to need more, given the onset given the likelihood of CRPS.
  • A £100,000 RTA claim following a serious accident causing significant and multiple injuries. There are issues of head injury requiring specialist neurological opinion. Also, internal injuries to kidneys, given impact of accident and ICU admission. This case is a complex dispute on causation, given significant pre-accident health issues.
  • A £250,000 RTA claim for a client aged 21 at the time of the accident, who suffered multiple injuries. He suffered severe injuries to his lower limbs, which required knee surgery as well as a head injury which has caused neurological issues, as well as impacting on eyesight.
  • A £100,000 crushing injury claim involving a young girl who seriously injured left ring finger when a large iron radiator fell from its support at a wedding venue. Crushing injury with partial amputation, plus fractures to adjoining fingers. Prosthetic expert evidence being taken to assist with long-term cosmetic appearance, given the injury to the finger.

Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich handles a broad range of work including high-end catastrophic injury, fatal accident, acquired brain injury, RTA, psychiatric and industrial disease claims. Practice head Robert Gair has 30 years' experience in personal injury matters and 'handles every case with in-depth care and precision'. Legal executive Bernice Spurgeon  'has a practical "can do" attitude and a realistic approach to case management'. Solicitor Sarah Dawes frequently handles severe orthopaedic and brain injury cases.

Practice head(s):Robert Gair

Testimonials

"The PI department manages to combine in-depth experience with a 'local' and personal feel."

"With Robert Gair, no stone is left unturned."

The highly experienced team at Fosters handles a large quantity and variety of claims and has a track record of achieving significant settlements for clients across Norfolk and Suffolk. Stephen Green, who leads the practice, and consultant Ian Comer have more than 60 years' experience between them, and both have Headway panel accreditation. Associate Barry Grogan recently settled several high-value cases including a fatality claim. 'They are very very good at keeping in touch - very reassuring and competent' remarks a client.

Practice head(s):Stephen Green

Other key lawyers:Ian Comer; Barry Grogan

Testimonials

"There is an excellent team dealing with personal injury at Fosters -  you get an immediate response from them with any inquiry and all of the team are fully up to speed with your case."

"As soon as I put my case in their hands I felt full confidence in their ability to handle and progress it to a satisfactory conclusion."

"Stephen Green is so good at explaining the process."

Gotelee Solicitors handles complex and technically demanding personal injury matters. The firm is a key player in the Suffolk market but is steadily building its brand further afield. Clients note that practice head and 'true champion of claimants' James Davies, solicitor Stevan Stratton and legal executive Howard Bush are 'prepared to go the extra mile to secure the best result'. The practice frequently handles claims involving sexual abuse, elder abuse, stress at work claims, neglect and wrongful death relating to public bodies, mesothelioma and asbestos cases, as well as fast-track RTA and employer liability claims.

Practice head(s):James Davies

Other key lawyers:Howard Bush; Stevan Stratton

Testimonials

"The team is totally committed to securing the best possible outcome for its clients."

"They are knowledgeable in the areas of expertise and have a sensible and pragmatic approach to litigation"

"They are all team players and value the close working relationship they share with counsel."

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in relation to a back injury sustained at work.
  • Handling a claim for compensation as a consequence of the client contracting an asbestos-related disease.
  • Handling a claim for compensation arising as a result of elder abuse.
  • Representing a claimant who suffered significant soft tissue injuries in high-speed rear end shunt.
  • Advising a client who suffered a significant crush injury to the hand in an accident at work.

Hunt & Coombs LLP focuses on high-value and complex cases and deals purely with multi-track claims. Practice head Naina Tilney, who handles both claimant and defendant matters, has 30 years' experience in personal injury law. During the last five years, she has helped the firm increase its flow of serious injury work by 900%, handling cases with damages ranging from £100,000 up to £9.5m. Her practice includes rising star Richard Moon, who handles brain, orthopaedic and psychiatric injury matters, and has a particular interest in cases involving chronic pain disorders.

Practice head(s):Naina Tilney

Other key lawyers:RIchard Moon; Mariam Alipour; Darren Fletcher

Testimonials

"The firm's letters of enquiry and instructions are always very clear."

"The team is easy to communicate with and is responsive to queries and requests."

"I have valued Naina Tilney's direct approach and the ease of working with her."

"The concern for client care shown by this team is stronger than others."

"An excellent firm local to East Anglia. It has a strong knowledge base."

"I regard this firm as an excellent example of a mid-size regional firm, which provides the 'human touch' to its clients, including some who have suffered life changing or disabling injuries."

Naina Tilney. She is the heart and soul of the personal injury team.

Work highlights

  • A £2m claim for a pillion passenger involved in a serious road traffic accident who sustained life-changing orthopaedic and vascular injuries which are being investigated with medico-legal experts. She also sustained a head injury which resulted in neuropsychological intervention.
  • A £100,000 claim for a cyclist involved in a road traffic accident. He suffered a double open fracture of the left tibia and fibula and required skin grafting of his upper leg. An interim payment was obtained to assist him in his recovery and rehabilitation, and his home has been adapted.
  • A £9.5m claim for a man involved in an RTA which resulted in full amputation of his right leg, and further life-threatening injuries including internal pelvic injuries, and resulting in the use of a stoma bag and ongoing complications.
  • A £1m claim for a young mother and wife involved in motorbike accident whilst travelling as a pillion passenger. She sustained serious multiple injuries including a brain injury, and her mobility was restricted. Recovered £100,000 interim payment to assist the claimant with intense physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and psychological support.
  • A £500,000 claim for a client injured in a head-on RTA. Initial symptoms of neurological damage to the spine and shoulder, which have gradually developed into a psychologically-mediated chronic pain syndrome, alongside PTSD.

Niche litigation firm Morgan Jones Pett joins the ranking this year thanks to the high quality of work undertaken by its two-partner PI practice. The firm handles every type of personal injury claim from low to high value, which includes cases involving head injuries, spinal injuries and industrial disease. Key partner David Jones has more than 30 years' experience in the field and is known for securing large settlements in catastrophic injury and fatal accident claims. Sara Westwood has more than 15 years' experience and is known for her work in cases involving spinal injuries, which may include pre-existing conditions, and acquired brain injury.

Practice head(s):Sara Westwood; David Jones

Other key lawyers:Simon Bransby

Testimonials

"I found Morgan, Jones Pett to be friendly, approachable, efficient and always willing to ensure that I was fully informed of progress, and that I understood the entire process."

"Simon Bransby was extremely helpful, and approachable. He went to great lengths to gain an understanding of some of the more unusual aspects of my case, and I had no reason to ever fault him. He was always courteous and made me feel valued as a client."

Work highlights

  • Represented a primary school child who was knocked over by a car; the case settled for £9m.
  • Represented several members of the family of 7-year old Summer Grant who died in 2016 when the bouncy castle she was playing on blew away because it wasn’t properly secured.
  • Secured a payment for a claimant who suffered an injury whilst working at a chicken factory.

Rogers and Norton in Norwich has a small but highly experienced team that frequently handles cases with values in excess of £1m. The firm climbs the ranking on the back of a successful track record of settlements achieved by key partners Mark Hambling and Tim Nobbs. Hambling not only handles litigation, but also works as a Deputy in personal injury settlements. He frequently acts for elderly and vulnerable clients. Nobbs handles both personal injury and clinical negligence claims, particularly those involving employer liability and industrial disease.

Practice head(s):Mark Hambling; Tim Nobbs

Other key lawyers:Hannah Rudling

Work highlights

  • Successful negotiation of a settlement in an employer liability claim involving machinery in relation to lower limb crushing injuries sustained and the consequent losses.
  • A claim involving a collision between two buses, the case being made all the more complex by pre-existing medical issues giving rise to complex causative issues. The client had initiated the claim herself but given the complexity and variety of the injuries sustained, this necessitated intervention to ensure that the claim was settled at the appropriate value.
  • Advising client in respect of an employer liability claim involving life-changing damage to both lower limbs causing the client not to be able to return to his former employment.
  • Representing the claimant who was acting on behalf of a minor who sustained injury during a swimming lesson at the minor’s school to include a fully contested case which was settled one calendar month prior to trial. The case was complicated given the age of the witnesses and the necessity to obtain statements in the presence of parents.
  • The firm acted for an individual in respect of an employer liability claim (a fall from height) which gave rise to significant causative complications in respect of a pre-existing psychiatric history necessitating a forensic evaluation of the impact of the psychiatric trauma in particular when added to the physical limitations that were caused as a consequence of the fall.

At Fraser Dawbarns, personal injury is handled by the civil litigation practice, which is led by the 'understanding. empathetic and accessible' Neil John in Wisbech. John and newly hired senior associate Marcus Chapman in the March office, who was previously at Kenneth Bush, handle personal injury matters as part of their broad litigation practices, which include a steady flow of serious injury and RTA cases.

Practice head(s):Neil John

Other key lawyers:Marcus Chapman

Testimonials

"They are always polite and helpful, and always respond to questions in a timely manner."

"They are responsive and understanding of the issues."

"Neil John responded quickly and was comprehensive in his explanations when outlining his suggested course of action. He listened!"

Work highlights

  • The claimant fell from her bicycle and broke her ankle whilst avoiding a car that had emerged from a side road. There was no contact and the driver denied liability.
  • The claimant had a parcel delivered to her property. This was placed directly outside her back door and she tripped and fell when exiting her property, fracturing her wrist. Damages were pursued and a settlement was agreed.
  • The claimant was helping a delivery driver move a cage that had frozen into the back of the lorry. The driver knocked the claimant off the trailer ramp and pushed the cage off the lorry onto the claimant’s ankle. A settlement was agreed and, later, costs.
  • This case should have been a straight forward road traffic accident but was complicated by the fact that the defence initially ran that their insured suffered a form of seizure that rendered him an automaton. The claim was successfully agreed.
  • The claimant was a teacher who suffered an alleged bullying incident by the Deputy Head of her school while in their employment. She suffered a psychological condition and was unable to continue working at the school. Settlement successfully reached.

Niche claimant injury firm Scrivenger Seabrook Limited in St Neots has a highly respected personal injury specialist in Marc Folgate, who frequently handles complex and high-value cases. His work encompasses serious injury, brain injury and fatal injury matters for claimants across the UK.

Practice head(s):Marc Folgate

Cozens-Hardy LLP has a dedicated PI specialist in partner Damian Short, who leads the firm's accidents team. He has particular expertise in representing clients with acquired traumatic brain injury. He is on the specialist solicitors’ panel of Headway, and is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel. Associate Jane Welsh handles claims against employers and public bodies, including brain injury and asbestos disease claims.

Practice head(s):Damian Short

Other key lawyers:Jane Welsh

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