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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 Midlands > Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Specialist firm Barratts Solicitors is home to considerable expertise in high-end personal injury and clinical negligence litigation. On the personal injury front, the team has a proven track record in cases involving brain and spinal injuries, among others. Damages sustained at birth, GP negligence and surgical mismanagement are examples of specialist areas on the clinical negligence side. Ed Myers is highly recommended, and the team also including Julie Hardy  on the clinical negligence side. Debra Morris departed to join Affinity Law.

Other key lawyers:Ed Myers; Julie Hardy; Emma Zukowska; David Tomlinson; Julie Hardy; Alison Brooks

Acclaimed as ‘extremely professional and efficient’, Freeths LLP’s personal injury team places particular emphasis on brain, birth and spinal cord injury work for both children and adults. The firm is also a 'quality outfit in the clinical negligence market’, with expertise in diagnosis delays, misdiagnoses, surgical errors, incorrect treatment, cosmetic surgery and product liability. The ‘highly knowledgeableJane Goulding leads the personal injury team. The clinical negligence practice is co-led by Karen Reynolds and Jane Williams; the latter is a 'market leader and go-to expert in her field'.

Practice head(s):Jane Goulding, Jane Williams and Karen Reynolds

Other key lawyers:Gemma Bedford; Adrian Denton


'Adrian Denton is very professional and his knowledge of the system is second to none'.

'They have integrity and common sense. They do not pursue weak points or weak cases'.

'The team is tenacious, meticulous, clearly knowledgeable and willing to help at all times. They are supportive and sympathetic, clear in their explanations and always ready to listen'.

'Jane Goulding is a thorough solicitor and readily recommended.  She is tenacious but fair'.

'Jane Williams never gives up and we know she will keep going until she is satisfied that she has done all she can to get a justified result'.

'Jane Williams stands out as an excellent litigation specialist in the highest value claims'.

Work highlights

  • Acted for the claimant in the landmark case of Webster v Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which emphasised the importance of patient choice in respect of the treatment they receive. This was a successful Royal Courts of Justice appeal where the client, born in 2003, suffered cord compression and a hyptoxic ischaemic injury at birth as a result of the Defendant's failure to find polyhydramnios in his mother's womb.      
  • The firm has handled 14 settled cases for former patients arising from the high-profile surgical malpractice of Roger Bainton.  

Bruce Williams is a key name at Nelsons Solicitors Limited, providing clients with a ‘wealth of experience and a calm nerve’. He is reputed for his handling of acquired and traumatic severe brain injury cases for children, including birth injury claims. The team is knowledgeable about a broad range of severe and catastrophic injuries on both the personal injury and clinical negligence fronts, including spinal and orthopaedic injuries. Multi-party actions and inquest-related litigation are also areas where the group demonstrates a proven track record. Lisa Preece heads up the team, which comprises of ‘experienced and shrewd litigators', who are noted for their 'excellent client care’.

Practice head(s):Lisa Preece

Other key lawyers:Julie Walker; Matthew Olner; Bruce Williams


'Lisa Preece is excellent at building a strong case by getting the details right’.

'Dianne Collins is highly experienced and effective'.

'Bruce Williams' style is quiet, calm and assured. He works economically, without inflating costs. He knows the field of clinical negligence like the back of his hand and applies his experience accordingly'.

Work highlights

  • High-profile matter pertaining to death of a 4 year-old girl following Sepsis.
  • Group action following historical child abuse at Aston Hall.
  • Death following routine surgery due to delays in administering antibiotics, and mistakes in the administration of medicine.

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, the department undertakes a broad range of clinical negligence and personal injury matters, including birth and brain injuries, wrongful births, delayed cancer diagnoses, spinal injuries and industrial disease cases. Team head Robert Rose  is experienced in claims against negligent healthcare professionals, notably cases involving birth trauma. He is also knowledgeable about associated areas, such as paediatrics, orthopaedics and cardiology.

Practice head(s):Robert Rose

Other key lawyers:Neil Clayton; Steven Baylis; Kathryn Hart

Work highlights

  • Settlement in the High Court of a claim against University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust following a brain injury stemming from negligence during surgery.    
  • Clinical negligence claim against Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust and Dr Fatema Jamil over a minor injured at birth.
  • Clinical negligence claim against NHS West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning after a woman died of multiple organ failure despite being discharged from a care centre.
  • Clinical negligence claim against East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust following a late arrival to a call-out and the subsequent death of the client's baby.
  • Claim against University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust relating to a female patient falling into a diabetic coma, despite being admitted to hospital for monitoring of the condition.

Banner Jones Solicitors' team ‘is happy to think outside the box’ and ‘values the client as an individual’. Although the practice is particularly well-known in the area of personal injury, it also undertakes a broad range of clinical negligence work. Matters connected with the loss of life, the loss of a limb, spinal and brain injuries are core areas of focus. Also notable is that practice head Simon Wright is developing a strong reputation for sexual abuse compensation claims. The caseload also consists of road traffic accident, workplace accidents and industrial disease-related claims.

Practice head(s):Simon Wright

Other key lawyers:Robert Banner; Sarah Sadler


'Support staff, especially Sarah Sadler, are very efficient'.

'Communication is always excellent'.

'Individuals within the organisation are contactable and accessible.  They also return calls and emails in a timely manner'.

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the settlement of a claim where the client, an individual with learning difficulties, suffered an injury during the course of employment resulting in an almost complete amputation of his right hand.  
  • Claim of clinical negligence arising from the loss of use in the client's right eye.
  • Personal injury claim arising from a road traffic accident, which eventually led to the amputation of the client's leg.
  • Acting for the widower in a clinical negligence claim where the deceased suffered a cardiac arrest despite being discharged from hospital with no treatment.

Bridge McFarland’s clinical negligence team, which is led by Ian Sprakes, is active on a broad range of matters, such as birth injuries, cerebral palsy and human rights claims, general surgery, cancer treatment and GP negligence. In the personal injury sphere, Kathryn Hudson compliments her niche expertise acting for injured seafarers with experience in amputation and spinal injuries and serious burns. Nicola Evans recently joined from Hudgell Solicitors, and arrives with particular experience in obstetric and gynaecology-related claims.

Practice head(s):Ian Sprakes, Stephen Lambert, Kathyryn Hudson and Danielle Barney


'Bridge McFarland combines a modern, commercial approach to personal injury litigation with the best traditions of a regional firm - friendliness, approachability and dedication to the needs of the client. There is an in-depth expertise in personal injury law, including the most serious of cases. The team knows who to turn to in an given case - they have a real in-depth knowledge of the market when it comes to counsel and experts. They have a burgeoning expertise in asbestos litigation'

'Kathryn Hudson is a stand-out talent. She is a fearless litigator and the client always knows that she will fight for their interests. She has a real depth of experience in catastrophic personal injury, including spinal injury cases and she is an expert in accidents that happen at sea'

'Bridge McFarland have always kept me fully informed at all times'

Clients recommend Shoosmiths LLP ‘without hesitation’, with the team being praised as ‘knowledgeable, compassionate and confidence inspiring’. Andrea Rusbridge leads the department, which is active in all types of clinical negligence matters, such as cerebral palsy claims, spinal injuries, amputation and fatalities. The firm is also home to a well-regarded personal inquiry practice, which demonstrates prowess in brain, spinal and amputation injuries as well as occupational stress, sexual and elderly abuse and military-related claims.

Practice head(s):Andrea Rusbridge

Other key lawyers:Chris McKinney; Sharine Burgess; Sarah Cunliffe


'The practitioners listen and act upon your concerns'.

'The firm has a reputation of being efficient and professional'.

'Everything is centered around the client's interests'.


Work highlights

  • Settlement of £5m for case of compartment syndrome caused by facial surgery.
  • A wrongful birth case in which the baby was revealed to have a complex heart condition soon after birth.  
  • A case of non-diagnosis of tumours and fractures in the client's spine.

JMP Solicitors’ caseload encompasses a broad array of personal injury and clinical negligence and industrial litigation. The team is particularly experienced in handing industrial disease and road traffic accident cases. It also excels in head injuries, misdiagnoses of cancer, negligent dental treatment, still births and amputation matters. In addition, cases involving historical sexual abuse are a strength, so too is the department’s track record of representing vulnerable clients.

Practice head(s):Ian Howard, Yvonne Carratt and Samantha Towle

Work highlights

  • Claim arising from a violent assault of an elderly patient while staying at the defendant's hospital.
  • Representation of a claimant in a serious road traffic accident that resulted in life-changing injuries
  • Representing a pedestrian hit by car resulting in crushed leg injury and amputation.
  • Representing the parents at an inquest following the death of their baby due to delayed medical treatment.
  • Representing a claimant following a misdiagnosis of a serious fracture.

Langleys Solicitors LLPstands out’ through its ‘focus on the individual needs of the client throughout the duration of the claim’. The team, headed by Andrew Cragg, handles a broad caseload of clinical negligence matters ranging from those of low value to maximum severity claims. Delays in diagnosis, preventable suicides and surgical errors are among the areas of expertise, as are brain injuries. Helen Rundle and Helen Murphy were both recently promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):Andrew Cragg

Other key lawyers:Helen Rundle; Helen Murphy


'Helen Murphy is a very careful and organised legal executive. She has the Langleys knack of knowing when a case is likely to succeed'.

'They are extremely responsive to queries and comments and are focused on what is best for the client at all times'.

'It feels like nothing is too much; they always have time to discuss matters and are very supportive'.


Work highlights

  • Represented the client in a claim for damages worth in excess of £5m and relating to negligently acquired cerebral palsy.
  • A claim for damages against Social Services which settled at £2.2m and related to a child suffering a devastating head injury due to not being received into care.
  • Representing Client LC in a claim for damages worth in excess of £1m and relating to a negligently acquired hypoxic brain injury..
  • Represented the widow of the deceased in a claim for damages that settled in excess of £350,000 and related to a failure to treat a massive retroperitoneal bleed.
  • Representing the client in a claim for damages worth in excess of £1m relating to a delay in diagnosis of a frontal brain abscess, frontal sinusitis, and Potts Puffy tumour.

David Clark, who leads the personal injury practice at Smith Partnership, undertakes a mixed caseload  but is noted for his specific expertise in disease and industrial accident cases. The wider team is also adept in injuries arising from car accidents and criminal assaults. In the clinical negligence space, Martin Bradbury heads up a team with specialist knowledge of brain injuries, misdiagnoses, dental negligence, fatal claims, missed fractures, cosmetic surgery errors and delays in cancer diagnosis.

Practice head(s):David Clark and Martin Bradbury

Other key lawyers:Simon Rowley

Work highlights

  • Assisted a client with obtaining a settlement of £1.5m against NHS, following complication arising from spinal surgery.
  • Assisted a client with obtaining a settlement of £70,000.00 against NHS, following avoidable death of cancer patient seven years earlier than anticipated.
  • Acted for the executors of an elderly lady in a matter arising from neglect in a care home, which led to her death.
  • Acted for a young rugby player where incorrect medical diagnoses on an injured knee led to delay in treatment and curtailment of his playing career.
  • Representing the client in a high value claim for damages for a catastrophic brain injury.

Wilson Browne Solicitors' team is noted for its ‘dedication to the case and speed of communication’. The practice, which is led by Louise Tyler, solely focuses on clinical negligence work. It undertakes a broad range of matters, such as cases involving birth-related injuries, delayed cancer diagnoses, surgical claims and avoidable falls by the elderly. Client representation at inquests is another area of activity.

Practice head(s):Louise Tyler

Other key lawyers:Marianne Stapleton


'It is a friendly firm, which does not confuse clients with complicated terminology'.


'The team works very professionally'


Work highlights

  • Secured damages of £60,000 for a minor who suffered a delayed diagnosis of a scaphoid fracture and fracture of his pubic ramus bone.

Actons' ‘highly professional’ team provides an ‘efficient prompt service and obtains good results’. Distinguished through its niche expertise, it has a strong track record in hair and beauty claims, matters involving children, dog attacks, accidents involving horses and falls within retail premises. Tom Payne is hailed for his ‘expertise’ and ‘open and honest approach’, he heads up the practice following the retirement of Gary Chadwick.

Practice head(s):Tom Payne

Other key lawyers:Justine Tyas; Heidi Gleadhill


'Tom Payne's communication is clear and concise'.

'They are open, honest and transparent all the way through the process'.

'All solicitors in the personal injury department are worthy of praise'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a client who developed rhabdomyolysis and chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of an induction session at the gym with a personal trainer who pushed her too hard.
  • Represented a client who fell on a cycle-path, sustaining a personal injury.  
  • Acted for a client in a stress-related claim, arising from bullying at work.
  • Acted for a client who broke a tooth on food served to him in a hotel restaurant.
  • Acted for the claimant, who sustained an injury after being bitten by a dog.

At Rothera Sharp Solicitors, the practice is made up of 'knowledgeable and client centred lawyers’. The work encompasses a broad spectrum of personal injury matters, including public, employer and occupier liability claims. Sports injuries, slips and falls, defective beauty treatments and defective products are key strengths, as are road traffic accidents and cases involving children. Rebecca Emeleus  and Elisabeth Halls jointly lead the department, which undertakes maximum severity cases and possesses a strong track record in claims against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Practice head(s):Elisabeth Halls and Rebecca Emeleus


'Lawyers are prepared to venture out on a limb to represent their clients' best interests.

'Elisabeth Halls is a dedicated litigator who is able to negotiate surprisingly good outcomes for her clients'.

Work highlights

  • Assisted a client with settling a claim for an injury to knee for £100,000 (to include future loss of income).
  • Assisted a client with settling a claim for a back injury for £37,500.

Roythornes Solicitors is home to a ‘knowledgeable and hardworking’ team, noted for its ‘friendly, approachable and personable staff’. Both personal injury and clinical negligence instructions form the caseload with core strengths including psychological injuries, substandard care, accidents at work, road traffic accidents and travel claims. A number of vulnerable claimants form the client roster, namely the elderly and those who lack mental capacity. Victoria Stevenson leads the team.

Practice head(s):Victoria Stevenson

Other key lawyers:Tim Edwards; Robert Dempsey


'The client care is very good and they give clear, straight advice'.

'They do a brad range of work, and do it well'.

'Robert Dempsey is personable and trusted by his clients'.

'They are excellent at what they do'.

Work highlights

  • Significant compensation obtained for a client who brought a claim for personal injury damages arising from the negligent delay in investigation, diagnosis and treatment of a post-operative haematoma and Compartment Syndrome in his right leg.
  • Successful representation of a client who suffered from the failure to identify a spinal arterio-venous malformation during an MRI scan.
  • A case where deficiencies in surgery caused the client increased leg pain and swelling, resulting in an osteotomy to correct the original surgery.  
  • Obtaining settlement for a client who fell into a hole when delivering supplies to the defendant's premises.
  • Compensation obtained for the client, a former soldier who suffered eye trauma during an altercation with a fellow soldier at a mess function organised by the MoD.

Amy Smitheringale's team at Spencers Solicitors has a varied workload of catastrophic and complex personal injury claims. Among its areas of expertise are brain and spinal cord injuries, industrial disease, motor-related accidents, amputations, fatalities and whole body burns. Employer, occupier and public liability claims also form the workload, as do a number of clinical negligence matters. Karen Cawood and Steven Barke are new arrivals, joining from SSB Law and Thompsons Solicitors LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):Amy Smithineringale

Other key lawyers:Helen Reynolds; Mary Kay; John Spencer

Work highlights

  • Assisted a client with obtaining a £3.25m settlement following a motorcycle accident.
  • Assisted a pedestrian with obtaining a £135,000 settlement following a road traffic accident.
  • Assisted a client with negotiating an £18,000 settlement following injuries which were caused by an explosion at his work place.
  • Acted for the client in a matter where he suffered a right shoulder dislocation, which the defendant failed to diagnose.
  • Acted for a vulnerable claimant in a matter arising from him jumping from the roof of the defendant’s premises, which resulted in him being tetraplegic.

The ‘dedicated team of professionals’ at Wilkin Chapman LLP  ‘leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice’. Jonathan Baker leads the clinical negligence practice, which operates across the full range of medical negligence matters, including brain and birth-related injuries. On the personal injury front, department heads Mark Robinson and Tean Butcher specialise in Ministry of Defence and highway claims, in addition to employer liability.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Baker, Mark Robinson and Tean Butcher


'It is particularly strong in claims by serving and ex-service men and woman against the MOD'.


Work highlights

  • Representing a brain-injured Claimant whose injuries would have been avoided with reasonable treatment.
  • Represented a child who suffered a Grade 3 brachial plexus injury at birth.
  • Represented client in personal injury claim where client suffered fibromyalgia as a result of injuries sustained in a RTA
  • Representing a child who suffers from cerebral palsy arising out of the management of labour.
  • Representing a university student who has suffered permanent nerve damage and brain injury as a result of a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment of encephalitis.

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