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  1. Clinical negligence: defendant
  2. Leading individuals (Claimant and Defendant)

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Pre-eminent defendant firmCapsticks LLP is noted for its ‘exceptional service and excellent industry knowledge’. The group frequently acts for the NHSLA and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, along with various Lloyd’s underwriters and private health providers, including Care UK and Compass Wellbeing. Department head Philip Hatherall acted for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in a claim concerning a hallucinogenic drug brought by a high-profile individual. The firm also successfully defended the NHSLA in a substantial psychiatric injury claim. Managing director Alison Morley is the other key figure.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘hugely respected’ group attracts praise for its ‘empathy with clinical staff at inquests’ and for its ‘sound, friendly advice in difficult situations’. Practice head and ‘formidable opponent’ Claire Petts is ‘an excellent partner, offering sound judgement and a great wealth of knowledge’. The team also includes catastrophic injury expert Kevin Bitmead, Rob Wilson, who acts for malpractice insurers and NHS bodies, and Duncan Batchelor, who represents various healthcare professionals before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and General Dental Council. The practice expanded further with the merger in 2015 with Simpson Marwick.

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides ‘solid advice and practical resolution strategies’ to its extensive client base. Matthew McGrath heads the regional team, which includes medical malpractice and casualty expert David Weatherburn; Nigel Montgomery, who specialises in group actions and catastrophic injury matters; and Rachel Roberts-Jenkins, who handles high-value birth injury cases.

Hempsons has strong links with the NHSLA, and has handled a number of complex negligence claims at first instance and in appellate courts. The ‘insightful, acute and incisiveBertie Leigh heads the practice, which includes John Holmes, who is ‘a steady hand, providing calm and reassuring advice across a range of issues’; and recent arrival Mary Menjou, who is ‘an outstanding performer, and always secures the best possible outcome’.

At Kennedys, practice head Janet Sayers has strong experience handling cerebral palsy, spinal injury and anaesthetic-related claims, and Christopher Malla has ‘excellent judgement, and a superb knowledge of liability and quantum issues’. Spire Healthcare, the Medical Protection Society and the NHSLA are all key clients.

Joanne Easterbrook leads the ‘competent and helpful’ team at Bevan Brittan LLP, which acted for Medway NHS Foundation Trust in a complex spinal injury claim, and also represented the client in a case concerning delay in the diagnosis of a stroke. The firm acts for numerous private insurers, and has strong expertise in Human Rights Act claims.

Weightmans LLP successfully acted for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in resisting an interim payment application in a potentially high-value claim. Practice head Rachel Kneale has ‘particular strength in catastrophic claims’ and is recommended alongside Vanessa Splaine, who has ‘an unerring instinct for how to run a case’, and Beth Buchanan, who has ‘a very good understanding of medicine’.

BLM’s Gary Allison is ‘an incredibly safe pair of hands for large, high-value and complex claims’. Department head Vicki Swanton has ‘a huge breadth of experience and sound judgement’, and ‘always fills clients with confidence’. Greg McEwen handles medical product litigation, along with major claims for the NHSLA and the MPS.

Hill Dickinson LLP frequently undertakes disease-related work for the NHSLA, and recently represented the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust in a secondary victim claim which proceeded to the Court of Appeal. Andrew Craggs heads the team along with Ian Gardiner and the ‘pleasant and conscientiousJanet McWhinney.

Nabarro LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team is led by the ‘impressive’ Chris Horsefield, who ‘combines a deep knowledge of the law with a robust commercial sense and faultless forensic judgement’. Mike Jennings and Yvonne Screene have ‘a strong eye for detail’, and are ‘cool under fire’.

At RPC, Dorothy Flower acts for a variety of medical malpractice insurers, private hospitals, clinics and individual healthcare practitioners, and has a strong knowledge of pharmaceuticals. Recent work includes acting for Spire Healthcare and Royal Sun Alliance on more than 700 claims arising from the activities of a consultant surgeon.

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Legal Developments in London for Clinical negligence: defendant

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