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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



Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Ashtons Legal¬†‚Äėprovides a highly professional service to its clients and to the counsel it instructs;¬†its technical knowledge is amazing and it provides extremely good value for money'. 'A great firm - the best in the region', says one barrister. 'Very smart and very capable' head of personal injury¬†Richard Foyster¬†has ‚Äėan admirable grasp of the detail in a complicated task, and an empathy for his clients‚Äė. Hannah Clarke¬†(who is 'really switched on and proactive; she really cares about people and handles claims aggressively') and associate Siobhan McWhinney¬†make 'an impressive team; they are strong negotiators and know how to run a catastrophic injury claim'.¬†'The firm raises the bar in their level of service', according to one client who picks out 'absolutely fantastic' associate¬†and¬†APIL Senior Litigator¬†Tom Ranson¬†as¬†'the¬†star solicitor; he¬†is like a Grandmaster of the chess world - a great listener and brilliant tactician with a very good sense of honesty and integrity - and his level of expertise is second to none'. He has¬†more than 20 years' experience in personal injury litigation and 'bends over backwards to support clients' claims'.¬†Solicitor Phoebe Osborne¬†handles mesothelioma cases and a barrister notes that she is 'extremely thorough and fights her client‚Äôs corner very hard'. Partner¬†Michael Wangermann¬†is also recommended. The firm's highlights included securing ¬£2m for an elderly man¬†with a severe spinal cord injury.

Barr Ellison LLP¬†in Cambridge has¬†'a professional and very friendly team‚Äė and one referrer notes that 'its willingness to build relationships with service providers to enhance the process for our clients makes it stand out'. One barrister describes it as 'an excellent boutique firm that does an incredible job for its catastrophically injured clients'. Another says, 'I rate it as one of the very best PI firms in East Anglia doing high-value work'. The firm's well-established catastrophic injury practice, which has an office at¬†Addenbrooke‚Äôs Hospital, successfully pursued a ¬£3m claim¬†arising from a road accident in which liability was disputed. It also acted in a ¬£7m claim for a child who suffered a diffuse axonal injury at the age of six. Leading light¬†Emma Truin, who leads the practice and has 'a lot of experience in the field and is known for her excellent negotiation skills', and the 'outstanding, invaluable' Daryl Robinson¬†are known for¬†'respect, cooperation and quick responses; both are their friendly and have a collaborative approach'. Robinson is 'a shrewd, hardworking and tactically astute operator, whose abilities are well recognised by clients and opponents; he will fight tooth and nail for his clients'. Robinson and managing partner¬†Robert Curry¬†each have more than 25 years' experience in personal injury law. Associate Mark Copley¬†joined from Slater and Gordon¬†and is described as 'a rising star at the firm, who does a very good job on high-value claims'.

The service from¬†Irwin Mitchell‚Äės PI practice in Cambridge is ‚Äėperfect‚Äė, according to one client. 'It is in my view the leading firm in this region, with a wealth of knowledge and experience such that they provide a full and comprehensive service', remarks one barrister. 'A true heavyweight in the sphere of catastrophic injury law, respected, formidably intelligent and skilled litigator' and¬†practice head Neil Whiteley¬†is ‚Äėsympathetic but able to get clients to accept realistic outcomes‚Äė. 'A tough negotiator and great tactician', catastrophic injury specialist Ruth Booy¬†'has oodles of experience in high-value personal injury and brings her formidable intellect to bear on her cases', according to one barrister who adds that 'I have absolute faith in her judgment'. She secured a ¬£2m settlement for a client who was left paralysed following injuries sustained in a road accident.¬†Simon Harrington¬†leads a military PI practice that is 'the best specialist team in this part of England and Wales', according to one barrister who adds that¬†'Harrington leads a team of able solicitors with an abundance of military PI experience from large numbers of such claims, and he has vast experience of litigating against the MoD'. MoD and aviation claims specialist¬†Alexander Davenport¬†is one to watch.

Slater and Gordon¬† in Cambridge 'gives a very good service to its clients; the lawyers are diligent in their investigations, go to great lengths to pursue claims and make things as easy as possible for the client'. The firm runs a multi-track practice handling complex, multimillion-pound brain and spinal injury claims; military claims; Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) matters; fatal accident and repetitive strain injury claims; and second opinion cases for clients seeking new legal input into existing claims. The firm has numerous panel appointments including Child Brain Injury Trust, Limbless Association, Headway and Spinal Injuries Association. It¬†has a deep bench of talent that includes Paul Tapner¬†(who is ‚Äėa good tactician who is also extremely experienced‚Äė); military claims expert Richard Gaffney;¬†¬†Andrew Zajac¬†who handles complex and high-value brain and spinal injury claims and is 'a tough negotiator who handles cases with great skill'; and¬†Angela Beric, who is ‚Äėexperienced and pragmatic and works tirelessly and effectively on behalf of her clients‚Äô. One client notes that Beric ‚Äėhas a high level of knowledge in the area of complex brain injury ‚Äď with children and adults ‚Äď and is extremely thorough in her work‚Äė. The office also has a strong associate team in Crystal Eaton,¬†Mick Upton¬†and¬†Joe Speed. A key highlight saw Tapner act for a claimant who died as a result of¬†a defective tumble dryer which caused a house fire. He obtained formal admission of liability from the manufacturer and the case is now being valued.

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough has 'an extremely high quality clinical negligence and personal injury department that is easy to work with and really put clients first, which tells in its results'. One barrister remarks that the firm is 'very good at giving total support to its clients, whilst maintaining the professionalism to give dispassionate and accurate advice'. Roger Clarke leads the practice, in which 'first-class solicitor' Martin Herson is 'an extremely skilled tactician and negotiator, extremely thorough and hardworking, and his client care skills are superb'. 'He has a great understanding of the litigation process', says one barrister who adds that 'I have absolute confidence that he will do the right things at the right time; his expertise unquestionably obtains higher settlements and awards for claimants than would be achieved by other solicitors'. The firm handles industrial disease matters and high-value catastrophic injury claims, primarily involving motorcycle injuries. Herson secured £2.5m for a client who suffered catastrophic injuries to his left leg in a traffic accident.

Fellow of APIL Robert Gair at Ellisons Solicitors has a stellar reputation for complex and high-value personal injury cases, in which he has almost 30 years' experience. He undertakes all manner of PI cases, and his many areas of specialism include claims arising from fatal accidents, acquired brain injury, industrial disease, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. Legal executive Bernice Spurgeon handles fast and multi-track cases including road traffic accident, employers and public liability claims. One of Gair's on-going matters involves representing a client whose employer fell on him, leaving him with a fractured spine and severe shoulder injuries. He is also pursuing a high-value settlement for a client who fell and injured herself, immediately receiving an admission of liability from loss adjusters, who then withdrew that admission once proceedings were issued. The case is made more complex by international elements relating to tax liabilities and healthcare costs abroad.

Fosters has an experienced head of personal injury in Stephen Green who is a an Association of Personal Injury Lawyers senior litigator and has been on the Law Society Personal Injury Panel for more than 20 years. Solicitor Ian Comer specialises in head injury, catastrophic injury and multi-trauma claims. He is a recommended solicitor for brain injury charity Headway and the Spinal Injuries Association, and he has extensive experience in  dealing with asbestos exposure claims. The firm is now on the panel of Headway  and the Spinal Injury Association, and is part of the Injury Consortium at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The five-lawyer practice has a regular flow of industrial disease, product liability and stress at work claims. A recent highlight saw solicitor Barry Grogan secure £95,000 for a client who suffered psychological injury following an armed robbery at her place of work. Solicitor Lynn Satchell is also recommended.

Gotelee Solicitors is 'up there amongst the very best firms in this practice area in East Anglia', according to one barrister.  The firm handles elder abuse claims, sexual abuse claims involving local authorities, stress at work cases, claims of neglect and wrongful death against public bodies, mesothelioma and asbestos-related claims as well as fast-track RTA and employer's liability matters. James Davies  is the lead partner and as part of his broad PI practice he excels in niche areas of injury law such as sexual abuse. He also has an exclusive relationship with a charity in Suffolk and other organisations that specialise in helping historical child abuse victims, with whom he works to bring civil and CICA claims. Associate Stevan Stratton  is 'excellent with lay clients - very approachable, empathetic and caring; he fights his client's case fearlessly and tenaciously, often beating the other side into submission with the well-reasoned, on-point arguments'. Clinical negligence specialists Tim Humpage and Diana Infanti also play a role in the firm's PI cases.

The team at¬†Hunt & Coombs LLP¬†is ‚Äėdedicated and client-focused‚Äė. 'It is an excellent example of a regional firm which provides good quality legal services, primarily to the injured victims of accidents', comments one barrister. 'Shrewd and tough'¬†head of department¬†Naina Tilney¬†handles both claimant and defendant matters and has nearly 30 years' experience in personal injury law. The firm focuses on high-value and complex cases and deals purely with multi-track claims. Tilney and solicitor¬†Mariam Alipour¬†acted for a client involved in a head-on car collision, which resulted in the death of the third-party driver driver who was driving on the wrong side of a dual carriageway. The claim was settled for ¬£620,000. The same team advised a young mother involved in a motorcycle accident as a pillion passenger, who sustained multiple serious injuries.¬†Senior litigation executive¬†Darren Fletcher¬†and senior solicitor¬†Richard Moon¬†play key roles in the practice.

Niche claimant injury firm Scrivenger Seabrook Limited in St Neots has a 'high level of knowledge, skill and expertise'. The 'personable, very knowledgeable' Marc Folgate 'keeps clients at ease and is calm throughout the process'. He is 'able to speak plain English, enabling clients to understand the process and make informed decisions'. He represented a claimant struck by a car who suffered multiple injuries including a brain injury that resulted in cognitive impairment and a requirement for on-going care. On a full liability basis, the claim is valued at around £5.4m. In other cases, Folgate secured more than £300,000 for a client whose ankle was crushed in a workplace injury, and successfully pursued a £270,000 claim for a client whose fall at work resulted in a hip fracture.

Fraser Dawbarns has an experienced partner in head of civil litigation Neil John in Wisbech. His broad litigation practice includes a steady flow of complex personal injury claims. Among his recent highlights was a case in which liability was strongly denied and in which he replaced the incumbent solicitors. He managed to achieve a £25,000 settlement for a pedestrian who had been struck by a car. Another case saw him achieve an improved outcome for a client in a dispute over who had right of way at a temporary traffic light, in which witnesses were unwilling to give evidence. He also secured a £16,000 settlement in a case where liability was strenuously denied because of the client's pre-existing back condition.

At¬†Rogers and Norton, 'the¬†quality of service is really good and the team is very knowledgeable, gives great advice and responds quickly to questions'. Practice co-head¬†Mark Hambling¬†is ‚Äėsound, professional and personable‚Äė. Tim Nobbs, who jointly runs the personal injury and legal expenses practice, is 'always¬† available and always explains everything that is happening in a way that is understandable'. The firm handles a significant volume of¬†multi-track RTA and employers‚Äô liability cases involving major injuries, and also supports clients in a variety of disease-related claims. Nobbs acted for a client and, subsequently, his widow in a mesothelioma case in which the client survived for an extended period after diagnosis. Interim payments were secured while the client was alive, followed by a settlement after his death. Nobbs also advised a client involved in a serious motorcycle accident, which resulted in catastrophic injuries including the amputation of the lower half of one leg and a brachial plexus injury.

Cozens-Hardy LLP in Norwich is 'a well-respected and sound firm that gets good results in some challenging and high-profile PI cases for its local clients'. One barrister remarks that it is 'a first-rate provincial firm'. Head of the accidents team Damian Short is a PI specialist who has particular expertise in cases involving acquired traumatic brain injury. He is on the panel of brain injury charity and is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel. Associate Jane Welsh has 'an excellent, personable and straightforward manner with her clients and witnesses, which enables her to get the best out of them while taking the strain out of litigation; she retains a steely inner core when it comes to her opponents'.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Personal injury: 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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