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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 > South East > Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
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The 'knowledgeable' clinical negligence team of Boyes Turner 'handles a broad range of cases with the same skill and determination' and provides 'excellent client care'. It has particular expertise in child brain injury and cerebral palsy matters, and is also able to work with claimants residing abroad. Other focus areas include amputation and surgical and cancer negligence. In 2017, the 'superb, compassionate and unflappable' Richard Money-Kyrle, who is 'highly effective at generating creative solutions', and 'thorough' associate Sita Soni settled a £1.4m Erb's palsy case for a 20-year-old claimant. 'Tough and experienced tactician' Susan Brown and associate solicitor Julie Marsh, who 'is a credit to her team', 'inspires confidence in her clients' and 'leaves no stone unturned', represented a middle-aged claimant in a matter worth £550,000 concerning negligent hip (and later knee) replacement surgery, which caused a permanent shortening of her leg, reduced mobility, lower back pain and depression. Clients also recommend 'clever and dynamic' senior associate Vanessa Wand, who focuses on complex birth injuries.

The 'competent and efficient' BL Claims Solicitors has 'one of the very best' clinical negligence departments and a 'strong presence' in the South East. The practice focuses on high-value catastrophic claims, including birth injuries, cerebral palsy and brain injuries, as well as orthopaedic, surgical, emergency medicine, delayed cancer diagnosis and fatal cases. In a recent highlight, senior associate Patricia Wakeford, 'a former midwife with a formidable knowledge of obstetric matters and a very good manner with clients and opponents alike', represented an elderly client in a claim against a local trust involving the amputation of her lower leg and full-time care needs after she re-broke her leg post-surgery due to staff members not helping her to move around. Clients also recommend 'intelligent and hard-working' former doctor John White, 'determined and tenacious litigator' Kym Provan, who also heads the Southampton team, and 'sensible, intelligent and focused' senior associate Gemma Osgood. Osgood also handles lower-value claims such as dental, cosmetic surgery and misdiagnosis claims.

Coffin Mew LLP's clinical negligence department is 'professional and caring, with a good local reputation and strong commitment to high standards of client care'. It engages in children's brain injury, cerebral palsy and other birth and pre-term delivery injuries, as well as catastrophic injuries affecting adults. 'Conscientious, determined and dedicated' practice lead Douglas Miller represented a claimant suffering from cerebral palsy following her delivery and late-diagnosed bradycardia in a £6m case, while solicitor Chris Unsworth acted in a £145,000 claim involving a patient with a perforated bowel that was not detected during surgery, causing her severe disability, constant care needs and inability to work. The 'analytical, careful and hardworking' Sue Bowler continued to represent a former Royal Marine who contracted Q fever in Afghanistan in his £5m claim against the Ministry of Defence for failing to provide a vaccination and the right medical treatment after contraction.

The clinical negligence practice at Freeths LLP consists of 'high-quality advisers' handling high-value brain, birth, cerebral palsy, obstetric and orthopaedic cases, as well as matters concerning stillbirth and neonatal death. The latter types of cases are a specialism of 'hugely respected, approachable and very able' team lead Carolyn Lowe. Clients further recommend 'clear but subtle' solicitor Lucy Habgood and senior associate Lynne Foster , who 'understands cases from a personal perspective'. Another key member in the team is brain injury lawyer Catherine Bell. Leading lawyer Cecily Cameron retired at the end of 2016.

'Dedicated and thorough' Irwin Mitchell is 'one of the leading firms in the geographical area'. The clinical negligence team has a particular specialism in birth injury, stillbirth and neonatal death matters, while also focusing on negligent oncology, brain and spinal injury cases. The practice can further offer ancillary services to clients, such as public law, education, Court of Protection, family and investment management advice. 'Talented and compassionate' practice lead Justine Spencer , who is 'a sharp legal mind' and 'obtains superb results for her clients', and 'tactically astute' associate Rebecca Brown are recommended. Solicitors Matthew Gascoyne and Eleanor Phipp joined from Wixted & Co Limited in February 2017 and from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2018, respectively.

The 'thriving' clinical negligence practice of Moore Blatch LLP meets a 'consistently high standard with thorough and thoughtful work' and consists of 'highly qualified and experienced individuals'. Its range of expertise includes obstetrics, cauda equina, cerebral palsy, infectious brain diseases, neurosurgery, amputations and endocrinological conditions. The team can also refer individuals to the integrated healthcare, community care and education law teams concerning catastrophically injured children matters. Noted members include 'efficient' practice lead Tim Spring , 'intelligent and organised' cauda equina solicitor Maya Sushila and 'outstanding' partner Paula Barnes, who is 'in a league of her own in terms of the affection of her clients, her ability to turn around the most difficult cases and her ability to engage with experts'. In Richmond, clients further recommend partner Sarah Stanton, who 'is an excellent representative and leaves no stone unturned', as well as senior solicitor and 'safe pair of hands' Sarmad Gassoub and associate Mala Sidebottom, who 'has great empathy with clients and a good medical background'.

The 'accessible' clinical negligence department at Nockolds Solicitors is 'very well respected' and 'provides excellent support to clients'. The lawyers cover complex brain and spinal injury, including cerebral palsy, birth injuries, tumour misdiagnosis, severe burns, MRSA infection, strokes and gender realignment negligence. Apart from joint settlement meetings, practice lead Jennie Jones also champions alternative dispute resolution in regulated healthcare sectors, with one example being the firm's Optical Consumer Complaints Service. In a recent highlight, the 'supremely able and vastly experienced' Yasmin Ameer represented an 11-year-old claimant in their £20m claim for a brain injury which was due to a nine-hour delay in their delivery as a baby. In a claim of a similarly high value, she acted for a toddler who suffered cerebral palsy and a brachial plexus injury because the midwife did not follow the correct procedure at birth.

Penningtons Manches Cooper's clinical negligence team delivers an 'impeccable level of service within excellent response times'. Brain and birth injuries, as well as amputation, oncological, sepsis, cauda equina and orthopaedic claims, are some of the multi-track areas which are handled on a national and cross-border level, while the team also engages in lower-value cosmetic surgery and product liability matters. A highlight from 2017 was Alison Appelboam-Meadows' settlement of a matter in which the claimant suffered a placental abruption and lost her baby following the negligent treatment of her unusual CTG tracing results. The 'knowledgeable, professional and caring' practice co-lead Philippa Luscombe and associate Emma Beeson are recommended. Associate director Alison Johnson heads the maternal and gynaecological injuries team.

Royds Withy King in Oxford is a 'powerhouse clinical negligence firm with expertise across the board', with a team of 'high-quality, talented and client-oriented lawyers'. The team focuses on catastrophic injuries, notably claims related to cerebral palsy and obstetric brachial plexus, spinal injuries, fatalities, gastrointestinal necrosis, limb amputation, weight-loss surgery and stroke management. Clients recommend 'shrewd tactician and tough negotiator' Richard Coleman, 'mature' fatal accident specialist Lucy Crawford, and associate Lucy Norton, who 'turns difficult claims into winners', as well as 'excellent' lawyers Judith Leech and Rosie Hodgetts. The 'skillful and empathetic' Tracy Norris-Evans also leads the firm's Court of Protection department.

The 'dedicated, organised, attentive and well-trained' clinical negligence team at 'leading firm' Shoosmiths LLP 'brilliantly runs claims of the utmost complexity and severity', including cerebral palsy, brain and spinal injury, amputation, delayed diagnosis, orthopaedic and bowel injury, failed heart treatment and fatal cases. In a recent highlight, senior associate Susan Prior and 'outstanding' associate Helen MacKenzie represented a man in a fatal claim against a GP regarding his wife, who received a delayed diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma of the caecum. Another major, seven-figure claim, which Prior and 'smart and hardworking' associate Ruth Hewitt worked on, concerned a below-knee amputation due to incorrect treatment of a wound infection. The 'methodical and persistent' Denise Stephens, who 'gets fantastic results', heads the team.

Thomson Snell & Passmore's 'excellent' clinical negligence practice 'punches well above its weight and manages substantial, complex cases very competently'. The team focuses on brain injury, cerebral palsy and amputation, as well as surgical errors in post-operative treatment and delayed cancer diagnosis matters. Clients recommend practice lead Fiona Follis, who 'combines extensive experience and a tough fighting spirit with a lovely personality', as well as partner Graham Bell and senior associate Oliver Chapman, who are both 'responsive and sensitive to their clients' distress'. James Cahan was promoted to partner in June 2017.

The 'excellent' Trethowans LLP is a 'premiership regional firm' whose 'highly competent litigators deal with high-quality claims of the very severe type', using a 'very client-caring' approach. Typical cases concern birth injuries, stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and gynaecological, paedriatric, spinal, orthopaedic, cardiac and oncological issues, as well as  negligence relating to pharmaceutics, A&E treatments or amputations. The 'knowledgeable, fiercely intelligent and hardworking' Clare Carter leads the team; Gavin Lane, who has 'great attention to detail and the ability to find the right expert witness', and Chris Whiteley, who stands out for his 'common sense and good client care', are also noted.

The 'competent and personable' clinical negligence department at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors has an 'excellent regional reputation' and 'works on many high-quality cases without losing its local presence in the community'. Its areas of activity include injuries arising out of negligence during pregnancy and labour, orthopaedic injuries and cases concerning the suicide of psychiatric patients. Clients recommend 'firm negotiator' Madeline Seibert, who leads the team and 'brings huge experience, professionalism and empathy', as well as 'determined litigator' James Sherwin and 'very committed' solicitor Nadia Qadri. Ivan Moody handles surgical error, misdiagnosis and psychiatric injury claims. David Kerry retired in 2017.

'Regional and dedicated firm' Barlow Robbins LLP's 'efficient and supportive' clinical negligence practice 'litigates a wide range of good-quality work to the highest standard' and is 'down-to-earth and easy to work with'. The members' workload covers brain injuries such as cerebral palsy and viral encephalitis and spinal injuries such as cauda equina, as well as opththalmic, orthopaedic, oncological, paediatric, obstetric and gynaecological claims. In a recent highlight, practice lead and 'formidable negotiator' Caroline Flashman and 'calm and insightful' senior associate Victoria Jones represented a woman who received a delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome, while the 'well-organised and focused' Helen Goatley and 'effective' Deborah Powlesland acted for a claimant whose collapse with acute renal failure was caused by the delayed diagnosis of a urinary condition. Powlesland is particularly recommended for her expertise in medical product liability. Emma Potter made partner in June 2017.

'Excellent regional firm'¬†Dean Wilson LLP¬†has an 'efficient, reliable and supportive team' which 'tackles the full range of clinical negligence work' and 'punches above its weight'. It engages in birth, brain, spinal and orthopaedic injuries, as well as fatal, amputation and cancer misdiagnosis claims. In a recent highlight, the ‚Äėinformative, knowledgeable and sensitive‚Äô¬†Ben Davey, who ‚Äėhas a warm approach and a good eye for the important issues‚Äô,¬†represented the family of a man with an eating disorder who deteriorated and died after he was refused by the local community mental health team. Clients also recommend the ‚Äėhardworking, well-prepared and thorough‚Äô Alex Brown, who is renowned for his ‚Äėexcellent expectation management and argumentation skills‚Äô.¬†Frances Pierce¬†heads the practice and supervises on most matters.

Hart Brown¬†is ‚Äėa good firm with dedicated lawyers‚Äô and ‚Äėcontinues to have strength and depth in its clinical negligence department‚Äô by ‚Äėattracting high-value claims which are handled with consummate skill and professionalism‚Äô. Focus areas include cosmetic and laser eye surgery, birth injury, delayed cancer diagnosis and fatal cases. ‚ÄėExcellent, first-rate lawyer‚Äô Gerard Sanders¬†is ‚Äėcapable of pushing the boundaries of the law‚Äô. Also noted is the ‚Äėskilled and meticulous‚Äô associate Isabel Bathurst, who joined from Pierre Thomas & Partners¬†in June 2017.¬†Marek Bednarczyk¬†retired in 2017.

The clinical negligence department of Holmes & Hills¬†has ‚Äėan outstanding track record for assisting clients and strong expertise in complex cases and is well regarded‚Äô. The team handles claims involving fatal misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical error, amputation, spinal injury (including cauda equina syndrome), and brain and birth injury (such as cerebral palsy). A recent highlight was the representation of a family who lost their husband and father after he suffered a cardiac arrest as his thoracic aortic aneurysm was misdiagnosed by A&E the day before. The ‚Äėhands-on, thorough and sensitive‚Äô partner¬†Jason Brady¬†and senior solicitor¬†Dominic Graham¬†are the key contacts, while senior chartered legal executive Anna Watson¬† and litigation executive Kamila Jaskula¬†take on lower-value surgical error, failed beauty treatment and skin disease misdiagnosis cases.

The clinical negligence team at Knights plc is led by Helen Niebuhr, who is most renowned for her experience in brain injury, cerebral palsy and fatal injury claims, while Jonathan Phillips additionally covers inquest matters, misdiagnosis and spinal injury. Other key practitioners include partner Kay Taylor and senior associate Laura Cook. Brain injury specialist Matthew Heap joined from Serious Law LLP in May 2017.

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP's clinical negligence practice is best known for its work on birth and neonatal brain injury, neurological, neurosurgical and orthopaedic claims. In a highlight of 2017, department head Melanie Minter and solicitor Magdalene Zimnicki argued a case worth £210,000 concerning a negligent orthopaedic treatment by the NHS for hypersensitivity, reduced grip, numbness and pain in the client's hand. Birth and brain injury specialist and professional deputy John Lingwood, obstetric and orthopaedic claims partner Nick Garrish and senior associate Caroline Godfrey make up the core team.

McMillan Williams' clinical negligence team is based in various locations across the South East.  Practice lead Lauren Phillips in Surrey advises on obstetric, gynaecological, birth injury, surgery, spinal injury and cardiology claims, while recently promoted partner Nisha Sharma in Brighton specialises in oncology negligence. Birth injury experts Nicola Mooney and Jacqui Hayat are also key individuals, along with solicitor Andrew Bentham. Recent highlights include the £2.65m settlement of a cerebral palsy matter and a £9m claim concerning a negligent haemophilia screening which, years later, caused the claimant's son to be born with the condition, which the client had wanted to prevent by having the respective blood tests.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP's clinical negligence department handles brain, birth injury, orthopaedic, surgical error and gynaecological claims. In a highlight of 2017, the team represented a claimant whose facial bone fracture went unrecognised by A&E, leading to his collapsing on the street and fracturing his cervical spine; the final settlement was £60,000. Partner Kathy Fitzgerald is the key contact, while former in-house NHS solicitor James Fitzpatrick joined in 2017, and now focuses on pharmaceutical claims.

The clinical negligence department of Thompson Smith and Puxon impresses with its 'strong teamwork, prompt response times and appropriate advice', as well as by 'keeping clients fully informed throughout the process'. It represents claimants in A&E, birth injury and cerebral palsy, paediatric, psychiatric, fatal and orthopaedic matters. A recent highlight was the £1.4m settlement of a claim against an NHS Trust concerning the negligent drainage of a cyst via a shunt, which led to the claimant suffering a cardiac arrest and catastrophic brain damage. Birth injury specialist Julian Wilson, brain injury partner and department lead Steve Webb, whose 'strength is listening to clients and giving them time to understand', associate Clare Sheeran and 'excellent and professional' solicitor Sam Welham are the key contacts.

Birkett Long LLP's Chelmsford-based clinical negligence department covers orthopaedic surgery, stroke management, dental care, cosmetic surgery, obstetric, gynaecological and fatal claims against hospitals, ambulance services, dentists, GPs and care homes. Associate Nadina Edmondson is the sole practitioner.

The clinical negligence team at BTMK Solicitors in Southend-on-Sea covers the whole range of settlement values, from fast-track work to catastrophic claims, including maternity and brain injury, as well as surgical error and fatal claims. Co-director Johanne Turner, senior solicitor Ruth Hemingway and fast-track solicitor Shefa Begum are the key practitioners.

The two-partner clinical negligence team of Clarkson Wright & Jakes takes on a variety of multi-track matters, including brain damage, birth injury and surgical error, as well as misdiagnosis, gynaecological, urological and bowel-related claims. Highlights from 2017 included the settlement of a £1m claim involving a negligent laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy which caused the need for a colostomy, as well as brain damage, contracture of the claimant's limbs after being bedridden for a year, and psychiatric issues. A different matter focused on a six-figure claim concerning a psychiatric patient who was allowed off site without a warden and suffered brain and physical damage after their attempt to commit suicide by jumping from a three-storey building. Partners David Greenhalgh and Alexander Wormald, as well as associate Michelle Easton, are the main practitioners.

The clinical negligence department of 'extremely competent and client-oriented firm' DMH Stallard LLP 'has a good range of expertise in clinical negligence' and 'responds swiftly to queries'. It handles claims concerning birth injuries, misdiagnosis, oncology, surgical errors, fatal cases, pressure sores, undiagnosed fractures, informed consent and defective medical products against hospitals, cosmetic surgeons, GPs, dentists, opticians, mental health departments and various other practitioners. Partner Lucienne Westbrook is the key contact, while personal injury lawyer Tessa Grayson leads the overall team.

The 'dedicated and hardworking clinical negligence team' at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is 'a safe bet and gets good results'. It is best known for its work on brain, spinal and neurological injury claims for both children and adults against NHS and private hospitals, while also covering obstetric, neonatal, cerebral palsy, anaesthetic, cardiac, organ damage, surgical, emergency care and prescription matters. 'First-class lawyer' and department lead Rebecca Thomas is recommended.

Gardner Leader LLP's clinical negligence team is 'very professional and has good communication'; it is particularly experienced in handling birth asphyxia claims. The 'excellent' team lead Alastair Goggins represented a child, who was starved of oxygen during labour and was delivered by emergency caesarean section with no heartbeat or respirations, in a claim against a hospital trust involving delay and miscommunication in proceedings, as well as a lack of swift action upon CTG traces, which caused the baby to suffer life-changing injuries.

Griffith Smith LLP is 'an example of how a smaller firm can undertake specialist clinical negligence work to a high standard'; it is best known for handling fatality and brain injury claims. Other focus areas include surgical negligence and delay in diagnosis cases. In a recent highlight, 'competent' department lead Jennifer Ray acted for a young claimant who had an unnecessary biopsy of a tumour, which resulted in bilateral third nerve palsy. Ray is recommended for 'combining technical knowledge with a good eye for detail, high levels of efficiency and excellent client care skills'.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)'s 'good' clinical negligence department 'puts the client's interests at the forefront of every decision'. Its particular specialism is brain injury claims. In a recent highlight, the team handled a fatal claim concerning the suicide of an individual after a brain tumour caused their mental health issues, with little support being received from local mental health services. Senior solicitor Simon Pimlott has 'a real eye for detail and works incredibly hard to get the best result for each client'. Malcolm Underhill heads the practice.

Pinney Talfourd LLP's 'small, but well thought of' clinical negligence team provides 'services to the highest standards, with prompt response times, excellent advice and very professional, friendly communication'. A major focus area is oncology claims, and the team further covers orthopaedic, brain injury, fatality, gynaecological, obstetric, neonatal, cardiac, cosmetic surgery, spinal and ophthalmic injury cases. In a recent highlight, the practice represented an elderly client who suffered an infection from a negligent hip replacement, which was not treated properly and caused knee pain and reduced mobility as well as the need for an exchange arthroplasty. 'Approachable and hardworking' senior associate Kim Huggins, who 'combines encyclopaedic medical knowledge with a fantastic bed-side manner', is the key contact. Assistant solicitor Helen Keefe joined from an East London firm in May 2017.

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