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  1. Personal injury: defender
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    • Jenny Dickson - Morton Fraser

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The ‘excellent and very approachable’ team at BLM is ‘a joy to deal with’ and is praised as ‘responding quickly and providing top-drawer advice’. Commended for its wide-ranging experience, the team handles the full spectrum of personal injury defence work and acts for a large number of major insurers. Areas of expertise include occupational illness and disease matters alongside catastrophic injury and motor claims. The ‘helpfulAndrew Gilmour, who’ knows his subject inside out’, defended Resolute Management in a high-value mesothelioma claim concerning asbestos exposure in the 1960s, and represented BAI Claims Services in a similar case where the pursuer claimed to have suffered from lung cancer resulting from asbestos exposure in the 1950s and 1960s. Edinburgh office head Ian Leach acted for a multinational pharmaceutical company in two pharmaceutical product liability cases where the pursuers had claimed significant health problems as a result of the use of this product. Head of the Glasgow office Louise Gallagher defended Aviva in several catastrophic injury claims. Rachel Rough is praised as ‘having first-rate knowledge and excellent communication skills’; she is recommended alongside the ‘experienced and wiseGillian Rushbury and senior partner David Taylor.

Brodies LLP is ‘a very good firm for insurer defence work involving complex loss claims’, and is praised for its ‘commercial awareness and knowledge of court procedures’. The ‘responsive’ team acts for P&I clubs, brokers, public bodies and self-insured businesses and has a niche in shipping and marine matters. ‘Knowledgeable and strategically adept’ shipping and maritime team head Duncan MacLean represented offshore engineering and construction company Technip in a claim raised by a seafarer injured at sea. ‘Thorough and knowledgeable’ casualty insurance team head Peter Demick acted for a Scottish housing association in its defence of a class action comprising more than 35 claims from tenants and former tenants, who alleged a variety of neurological and psychological symptoms from solvent contamination. He also defended a client in a product liability claim. ‘Extremely sharp and pragmatic’ head of the insurance and risk team Elena Fry has ‘very good negotiation skills and a commanding presence’. Aberdeen-based Malcolm Mackay is another key member of the team.

Clyde & Co LLP handles the full spectrum of personal injury work for insurers and private clients, who regularly retain the team to assist with catastrophic injury and large loss claims, disease and motor matters, and employers’ and public liability issues. Andrew Constable acted for Travelers Insurance Company in a product liability group action arising from allegations pertaining to the quality of silicon within breast implants, and assisted AXA Insurance with matters arising from a fatal road traffic accident. In an illustration of his handling of latent disease claims, Toni Ashby defended the insurance company RSA against claims, brought by a lecturer, of exposure to negligent quantities of asbestos dust. He claimed to have developed peritoneal mesothelioma in the aftermath of substantial renovations at the university. Vikki Melville successfully defended the bus services operator First Scotland East in Court of Session proceedings following the death of an elderly passenger. Calum Mathieson acted for an employer and its insurer Tokio Marine in an employment liability claim brought by an employee who suffered fatal injuries at the employer’s premises. Gordon Keyden and Gilles Graham jointly head the team. Consultant Alan Cowan left the firm.

BTO Solicitors LLP handles a wide spectrum of defendant personal injury work, and attracts praise for ‘putting the client first’ as well as ‘providing a first-class service in a timely manner’. The ‘knowledgeable, strategic and detailedCatherine Currie acted for Aspen Insurance in a health and safety case pertaining to the claimant’s work accident. The ‘outstandingGarry Ferguson, who ‘displays a good understanding of insurers’ needs and expectations’, handled multiple claims for an insurance client following the claimant’s tractor accident. Carly Forrest acted for Amlin Insurance in a Court of Session action. Stephen Bryceland heads the team, which includes Claire White, who was elevated to the partnership.

The ‘very competent and experienced’ team at DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP handles high-value personal injury claims and attracts praise for ‘preparing and administering cases with distinction’. Acting for a large number of insurers and corporate clients, the practice is particularly experienced in dealing with catastrophic personal injury and industrial distress matters alongside loss claims. ‘Excellent and pragmatic’ regional senior partner John Maillie, who ‘inspires confidence in his clients with his knowledge and experience’, defended Alpha Insurance as the insurers of the taxi operator Knowles in a personal injury claim brought by an individual who was under the influence of alcohol when hit by a taxi in the client’s fleet. Head of casualty Andrew Ireland is praised as ‘having an eye for detail and a wealth of experience’. He acted for AXA Liabilities Managers as the insurer of a major Scottish landowner in the defence of a £250,000 harassment and bullying at work claim. ‘Experienced’ head of counter-fraud Claire Newcombe assisted Amlin Insurance with fraud investigations following an accident involving three cars. Associate Isla Taylor is ‘extremely clever, personable and thorough, leaving no stone unturned when preparing a case’. ‘Very experienced and calm’ dispute resolution head Campbell Normandhas good judgement’, and large loss expert Anne Logan is ‘exceptionally hard working and has great attention to detail’.

DWF’s ‘very responsive and proactive’ team handles the full spectrum of personal injury defence work, including motor, casualty, disease, catastrophic injury and fraud matters. New arrival and ‘excellent’ counter fraud head Jill Sinclair, who joined from Harper Macleod LLP, defended an insurance provider in road traffic liability matters, and assisted another client with the repudiation of two personal injury claims. ‘Highly experienced and very approachable’ general insurance head Andrew Lothian defended a client in an industrial disease claim and advised a different client on a construction-related fatality.

Burness Paull LLP’s ‘very good, responsive and commercially-minded’ team acts for corporates, public sector bodies and insurers and has a specialism in aviation disaster litigation and disease work. Advising on public and employer’s liability claims, including serious workplace accidents and building damages, is another key element of the practice. ‘Very client-centric and knowledgeable’ team head Ewan McIntyre defended hospitality company Whitbread in loss of society claims raised before the Court of Session following the fatality of a hotel guest. He also acted for housebuilding company Taylor Wimpey in a range of public and employers’ liability claims arising from workplace injuries and occupiers’ liability allegations. Similarly, the team represented construction company Kier Group in a number of employers’ and public liability cases, and SSE in a range of litigated and non-litigated employer’s liability claims pertaining to noise-induced hearing loss cases and industrial diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Other key figures include Aberdeen-based Rona Jamieson, who specialises in oil and gas sector matters, and ‘responsive and diligent’ senior solicitor Fiona Davidson, who is praised for ‘understanding her clients’ needs’.

CMS’s ‘robust’ team acts for a blue-chip energy and chemical sector client base on workplace accident, industrial disease and product liability matters. Team head Colin Hutton defended Imperial Chemical Industries against an asbestos claim at the Court of Session. ‘Very experienced’ senior associate Craig Watt, who ‘defends his clients forcefully’, assisted an energy client with matters arising from an employee’s injury at work following an explosion. Insurance company Chubb is another key client.

Harper Macleod LLP is particularly active in defending corporates and insurers against claims arising from road traffic and work accidents. It also has a strong profile in industrial disease and employers’ liability matters. The ‘realistic, pragmatic and determined’ Heather Calderwood is ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove and a pleasure to work with’, and is praised for her ‘phenomenal preparations and attention to detail’. She defended Saga against a number of loss of earnings and services claims. Suzanne McGarrigle handled multiple industrial disease claims. Elizabeth Mitchell heads the team, while counter fraud expert Jill Sinclair moved to DWF and Douglas Cowan joined Keoghs LLP.

Kennedys Scotlandunderstands the importance of a good client relationship’. Team head Rory Jackson (who ‘provides clear and concise advice’) defended an insurance company in multiple spinal injury claims and acted for an employer in a personal injury claim brought by an employee injured at an away-day event. He also acted for a client in a number of loss of society claims. Senior associate Clare Crawford assisted an insurer with employers’ liability issues.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP specialises in representing public bodies in fraudulent, catastrophic and fatal claims. The firm also acts for insurers. Sarah Morris represented a local authority in a stress-at-work claim brought by an employee and, in a separate matter, represented a different local authority in a fatal mesothelioma claim brought by the deceased’s widow. She also represented a public sector client in a Court of Session action raised by the family of a motorcyclist following his death in a road traffic accident. Litigation team head John Chalmers represented a local authority in a fatality compensation claim arising from a house fire, and acted for another public sector client in a public liability claim. Aberdeen-based Graeme Edward is also recommended.

The ‘very proficient’ team at Morton Fraser has a strong profile for representing public sector organisations as well as acting for private sector clients. Team head Jenny Dickson defended an employer in a post-traumatic stress disorder claim raised by an employee who allegedly had been trapped on a flat roof when a fire broke out. Similarly, the team defended a claim arising from a fatality in a mid-air collision. The claimant and widow of the deceased alleged to have developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to her status as a secondary victim as she was present in the Ops Room of the RAF base when reports of the accident came in. Dickson also advised Aberdeen Airport on actions raised by an employee, who sustained injuries while carrying out a technical role in the runway area, and assisted the Home Office with industrial disease claims raised by the widow of the deceased, who had allegedly suffered from asbestos exposure.

Weightmans LLP’s ‘clear and concise’ team has ‘excellent industry knowledge’. It acts for insurers in fatality compensation and motor claims, employers’ and public liability matters, as well as industrial disease litigation. The ‘extremely well-informed’ Pamela Stevenson ‘provides sound legal guidance and anticipates the pursuer’s next steps at all times’. She advised a client on a mesothelioma claim. In a separate matter, team head Douglas Keir represented a client in a fatality compensation claim arising from a road traffic accident. Seonaid Busby is another key member of the team.

Anderson Strathern acts for insurers, liability adjusters, public sector clients and other employers. Team head Jonathan Guy acted for the Scottish Prison Service in a claim arising from serious prisoner-on-prisoner assault, and advised the same client on a personal injury claim brought by a prisoner. The team also represented the client in a number of fatal accident inquiries pertaining to deaths in custody as a result of suicide, unintentional overdoses and natural causes. Senior associate Sarah Phillips is another key member of the team.

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Legal Developments in Scotland for Personal injury: defender

  • 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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