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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 > 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

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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An absolutely outstanding firm’ that is ‘one of the national leaders in the field’, Irwin Mitchellis second to none for sheer hard work alone’; the firm’s ‘innovation and dedication to its clients places it in a league of its own’. The team is led by the ‘top-class’ Fran Mayes, who ‘has a fantastic client manner and always inspires trust and confidence’; she specialises in serious injury work and recently acted in several cases involving spinal and brain injury. The team includes a number of other ‘star players’, including occupational injury and illness specialist Roger Maddocks, who ‘gets incredible results and is on top of each case from beginning to end’; ‘outstanding’ associate Jane Pyrah, who specialises in cases involving serious brain injury; Andrew McGowan (also an associate), who focuses on severe head injuries and cycling accidents; and ‘highly intelligent’ solicitor Emma Crowther, who is recommended for her industrial disease expertise. John Davis is now a consultant at Sintons LLP.

Sintons LLP fields ‘an outstanding team that is unmatched in the region’, and the firm’s ‘strong footprint in Newcastle extends regionally and nationally’. The ‘diligent, client-focused’ group ‘always goes the extra mile’ for clients, who rate practice head Mark Quigley for his ‘combination of a composed and sensible approach with superb charm, pragmatism and robust experience’. Other key figures include Phil Davison, who is ‘truly trusted by clients and always delivers the best possible results’; Kate Jenkins, who is noted for her ‘great manner with clients’; the ‘very attentive’ Joanne Willits; Suzanne Maddison, who is ‘eminently sensible and blessed with a ruthless efficiency’; and Paul Woodford, who ‘sees straight to the heart of the problem’. Maddison and Woodford specialises in noise induced hearing loss matters. Recent mandates include acting for an individual who sustained lower limb injuries following a motorcycle crash, handling an occupational disease claim for an individual who was exposed to asbestos at work, and representing a client in a claim regarding head and back injuries following an accident at work. Consultant John Davis joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Beecham Peacock’s ‘incredibly professional’ department, led by the ‘outstanding’ David Dewar and the ‘brilliant’ Victoria Wanless, is recognised for its serious injury, occupational disease and medical negligence expertise. Dewar is noted for his complex brain injury and disease work, and Wanless is recommended for industrial disease and asbestos mandates. Dewar recently acted for an individual who suffered a finger amputation at work, and acted in an occupational injury claim following a bus accident. Wanless’s key work included handling a road traffic collision matter and an asbestos exposure claim. Other recent matters handled by the practice include acting for an individual who sustained a fractured wrist fracture which later developed into complex regional pain syndrome, and handling multiple claims involving noise induced hearing loss. In addition to its work for individuals, the group also sits on the panels of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, Unite and the Northern TUC Asbestos Support and Campaign Group. Kirsten Scott retired in 2016.

Browell Smith & Co Solicitors Ltd fields a ‘professional, helpful and efficient’ group that has ‘a very strong reputation as a local personal injury firm’ thanks in part to its ‘exceptional service standards, first-rate client care and uncompromising approach’. Dawn Bagley’s recent work includes advising on an employer’s liability case relating to lung cancer caused by the work environment; handling an occupiers liability claim for a claimant who sustained a brain injury following a fall; and assisting a client who suffered serious facial injuries in a work-based accident. Clients also single out ‘excellent tactician’ Adam Burton, who regularly deals with industrial disease matters and ‘provides clear and well-prepared advice that has been meticulously thought through’; and legal executive David Knipe, who ‘puts the client at the heart of the process and is always striving to achieve the best possible result’.

At Cartmell Shepherd, practice head Carol Fish is recognised for her catastrophic injury expertise, which spans fatal accident claims, brain injuries, spinal injuries, amputee claims and cases involving chronic pain. She also has a niche specialism in accidents involving animals. Her recent workload includes cases involving occupational injuries, brain injuries, and injuries arising from falls. Wills and trusts expert Deborah Flynn is also recommended for her track record in cases involving brain and spinal injuries.

For many, Winn Solicitors is ‘without question the market-leading firm in the region for claims arising out of road traffic accidents’. Recent work includes acting for the passenger of a vehicle who sustained head and facial injuries following a collision with another vehicle; acting for a pedestrian who was hit by a car while crossing the road; and representing a motorcyclist who was involved in a road traffic accident. Beyond the firm’s road traffic accident expertise, the group also cases involving head and spinal injuries, amputations, tinnitus, chronic pain syndrome and psychiatric injury. Practice head Ghazala Bashey is ‘a bold and attentive litigator who tempers a fighting spirit with a robust and commercial common sense’. Other key figures include Emily Sunderland, Jo Amos, who leads on complex claims, Jeff Winn (a ‘great leader’) and solicitors Simon Staton and Karen Whiteley, who are both members of the firm’s complex claims team.

Ruth Markham leads the group at BHP Law, which is noted for its fatal accident and catastrophic injury expertise. Recent work includes advising an individual who sustained an injury to their finger at work, acting for a client who scalded her hand, and representing a claimant who suffered a spinal fracture and psychological trauma. Also recommended are Karen Pratt, who jointly leads the firm’s wills, trusts and probate team, and associate Phil Masters, who is recommended for claims involving road traffic accidents, work accidents and fall-related injuries.

Jonathan Ditchburn leads the ‘high-quality’ practice at Butterworths Solicitors and regularly handles claims involving road traffic accidents, industrial accidents and occupational liability. Andrew Kirkpatrick (‘as experienced and competitive as they come’) has substantial expertise in high-value catastrophic injury claims and cases involving brain injury. Catherine Oakley is noted for her considerable experience in industrial disease and clinical negligence mandates.

Hay & Kilner is on the panels of the Spinal Injuries Association and Headway – the brain injury association. The practice is particularly noted for its head and spinal injury knowledge, with other areas of expertise including employers’ and public liability issues, road traffic accidents and sporting injury cases. Department head Ros Sparrow is recommended for liability claims and David Bradshaw specialises in acquired brain injury claims and spinal injury issues.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent, measured and under-stated style’. The firm handles claims relating to road traffic accidents, medical negligence, industrial disease, accidents at work and asbestos-related disease. Key practitioners include David Robinson and ‘excellent performer’ Paul Brown. Robinson is recognised for his expertise advising members of the armed forces on serious injury claims and his work in catastrophic injury claims involving amputations, spinal cord injuries and head and brain injuries. Brown stands out for his track record in cases involving road traffic collisions and occupational accidents. Clients also single out clinical negligence specialist Clair Wilson.

Ward Hadaway’s ‘exceptional’ practice ‘prides itself on its excellent and first-rate customer service’ and for its combination of ‘outstanding expertise and experience with a personal touch and endless charm’. The ‘thorough, knowledgeable and understandingRoger O’Donnell (who) heads the group and regularly handles high-value claims. Other key figures in the ‘extremely efficient and well-run team’ include ‘tenacious’ associate Kerri Kershaw, who focuses on road traffic accidents and employers’ liability claims, and ‘diligent’ associate Carole Ward, who advises on physical and psychiatric injuries. Areas of notable expertise for the department span serious brain injuries, claims involving farm accidents, and cases resulting in multimillion-pound settlements. Recent work includes acting in several cases involving amputations and occupational accidents. Consultants Paul Hughes and Chris Smith both joined in 2016 from Bond Dickinson LLP.

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