Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > North > Insurance > Personal injury: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: claimant clients in North using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Clients consider Irwin Mitchell a ‘go-to firm in the North for claimants’, with a ‘superb reputation’ for personal injury work. The practice handles the full spectrum of serious and catastrophic injury work such as brain, spinal cord and multiple orthopaedic injuries as well as fatalities resulting from road traffic accidents, work place injuries and occupational disease. The Newcastle office is noted as being ‘very able, thorough and professional at all levels’ and ‘particularly good for asbestos cases’. Occupational disease cases are handled by Roger Maddocks, who has specialist expertise in workplace injuries, while team head and ‘total starFran Mayes is ‘pragmatic and very sharp’ as well as ‘highly experienced in severe head injury and spinal cord cases’. Other key members of the team include ‘fantastic’ senior associate Jane Pyrah, who is ‘extremely thorough and good with clients’; ‘knowledgeable and experienced’ solicitor Laura Mcilduff, who is ‘totally committed to her clients and gets excellent results’; and the ‘hardworking and tenacious’ Emma Tordoff. Associates Andrew McGowan and Rebecca Maddock are also recommended. John Davis  joined Sintons LLP  in May 2017 as a consultant.

Sintons LLP’s ‘very organised and highly professional’ team is ‘a pleasure to work with’, with clients singling out its ‘first-class service’ and ‘depth of experience’ in personal injury work, particularly related to spinal injuries. The ‘very experienced and bright’ Phil Davison jointly heads the team with the ‘impressive’ Kate Jenkins. Regarded by clients as ‘strategically aware’ and ‘unflappable’, Davison regularly handles matters pertaining to serious orthopaedic injuries, while Jenkins, who ‘provides sound no-nonsense advice’ and is also praised for her ‘good tactical awareness’ and ‘very thorough preparations’, specialises in neurotrauma claims and high-value brain injury matters in particular. ‘Vastly experienced, proactive and hardworking’ consultant John Davis, who joined the firm from Irwin Mitchell in May 2017, is regarded ‘as a go-to lawyer in the North East for neurological injuries’ and stands out for his ‘unmatched ability and tactical acumen’. Other key individuals include Joanne Willits, Paul Woodford, who ‘recognises gaps in the evidence, others might miss’, and industrial disease team head Suzanne Maddison. Associate David Knipe joined the team in February 2018 from Browell Smith & Co Solicitors Ltd; he has experience in employer liability claims and an ‘excellent manner with clients’. Former practice head Mark Quigley now acts as the firm’s managing partner. Kate Nicklin joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Beecham Peacock fields a ‘professional and personable’ team that is ‘very effective in pursuing personal injury claims ’and is ‘always happy to go the extra mile for the client’. Clients rate ‘tactically astute and very focused’ team co-head David Dewar as ‘outstanding’; he is a ‘tough litigator with meticulous attention to detail who provides sensible, down-to-earth and realistic advice’, while his ‘very thorough preparations’, ‘great client-handling skills and determination to get the best result for his client’ are also noted. The ‘very thorough and highly tenacious’ Victoria Wanless also jointly leads the group, with clients citing her ‘good judgement and attention to detail’.

Browell Smith & Co Solicitors Ltd  is ‘very strong local firm with a solid reputation’ in handling personal injury cases such as employers’ and public liability claims alongside holiday and travel matters. Associate Dawn Bagley, who jointly heads the team with managing partner Philip Browell, acted for a client in a claim for personal injury involving an accident at work when the claimant fell the height of approximately 10ft while moving equipment, causing injuries to the skull, neck, back, sternum and collar bone. Adam Burton  (‘always puts the client first’) acted for a claimant who sustained a serious crush injury to his foot and was subsequently diagnosed with chronic regional pain syndrome. David Knipe moved to Sintons LLP in February 2018. Solicitor Kathryn Shingles is also recommended.

Cartmell Shepherd's ‘very professional’ team has a strong profile for serious and catastrophic injury work, including claims involving fatal accidents, brain injuries, serious orthopaedic injuries, spinal injuries and chronic pain. It also handles work pertaining to accidents abroad and those involving horses and other animals. Team head Carol Fish is ‘knowledgeable, friendly and easy to work with’, and is  praised as ‘working very hard for her clients’. Her recent work includes an occupiers’ liability claim where the claimant suffered multiple fractures to the lower leg and serious psychological injury from an accident. In other work, she acted for a client who sustained multiple injuries following a road traffic accident, handled a claim for severe psychological injury, and dealt with a claim for an injury caused by two dogs.

Acting for children and adults, Thompsons Solicitors LLP is ‘approachable and friendly’ and receives regular instructions pertaining to industrial disease litigation and claims arising from catastrophic and serious injuries; frequently, this relates to brain and spinal injuries, amputations as well as multiple and fatal injuries. The team pursued claims for an infantryman, who, as a result of his service, developed non-freezing cold injuries (NFCI); the claimant was subsequently awarded a six-figure-sum in an out-of-court settlement. ‘Top drawer’ solicitor Paul Brown ‘fights the corner for his clients’ and is noted for his ‘gentle and considered manner while having a firm grip on each of his cases and a determined approach to litigation’. Leeds-based national serious injury team head Simon Wilson  ‘combines experience and knowledge with charm and a sensible, pragmatic approach to litigation’, and ‘tenacious solicitor’ David Robinson is a ‘very good legal mind’ and ‘goes the extra mile’. Tony Hood is noted for his specialism in claims arising from asbestos-related diseases.

Much of BHP Law’s work pertains to fatal accidents as well as serious and catastrophic injury claims. Team head and associate Ruth Markham handled an instruction from a claimant who suffered a serious hand injury as a result of employer’s negligence, and solicitor Phil Masters acted for a claimant involved in a work accident which left the client unable to work for approximately 13 months; he also deals with a number of road traffic claims.

Butterworths Solicitors handles the full spectrum of serious and catastrophic injury claims, including brain and spinal injuries, arising from accidents at work, road traffic accidents and accidents abroad. Jonathan Ditchburn, Andrew Kirkpatrick and Catherine Oakley are the main contacts. Oakley is noted for her experience in industrial disease and clinical negligence matters.

Ward Hadaway's ‘very effective’ team is headed by Roger O’Donnell, who is experienced in handling claims involving brain injuries, road traffic accidents, accidents at work and industrial disease, as well as employers’, occupiers’ and public liability matters. He is supported by ‘extremely dedicated and determined’ associate Kerri Kershaw, who ‘ensures that all aspects are considered and all angles of a case explored’; and ‘extremely thorough and caring’ associate Carole Ward, who ‘will always fight hard for her clients and is determined to get the best outcome for them’. Kershaw has a specialism in road traffic accident work involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists, while Ward focuses on traffic accidents involving insurers and the MIB, while also handling employers’ liability claims pertaining to falls from height, manual handling operations and unsafe and unsuitable work equipment. Consultants Chris Smith and Paul Hughes left the firm in May 2018.

Winn Solicitors has substantial expertise handling claims pertaining to road traffic accidents while also dealing with employers’ and public liability claims. As an example for the latter, solicitor Simon Staton acted for a client who sustained a severe crush injury at work from an accident with a fork lift truck. In an illustration of its track record in road traffic accident cases, the team acted for a client involved in an accident where the defendant moved across the claimant’s path when overtaking, forcing him into a collision with a brick wall which led to a spinal injury and soft tissue disruption to the nerve roots. David Burn specialises in serious injury claims involving brain and spinal injuries, amputees, multiple orthopaedic injuries and fatalities. Also recommended are Joanna Amos, Paul Morpeth and trials team head Emily Sunderland. Former practice head and director Ghazala Bashey retired in 2018.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to