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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 West > Insurance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Clinical negligence: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: claimant clients in South West 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


Barcan+Kirby LLP assists clients with a large variety of clinical negligence matters including mental health, head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, sepsis, and orthopaedic and fracture issues. The ‘efficient and excellent practice’ is particularly adept at handling complex high-value matters, including at the coroner’s inquest stage. Practice head Richard Harries is particularly recommended for cases involving delayed cancer diagnosis, maximum severity birth injuries, and surgical as well as A&E negligence. The team includes senior associate Jay Nathwani, who specialises in brain, ophthalmic and amputation injuries; Claire Hurrell, who made partner in 2017 and has particular expertise in advising on cases involving children with cerebral palsy resulting from negligence at or around the time of birth; and senior associate Adrian Stone, who is ‘particularly good’ and excels in advising on brain and cauda equina injuries, product liability-related cases, such as injuries resulting from prosthetic hips, and cases involving fatal accidents.

Enable Law is part of the Foot Anstey Group and was launched in May 2017, delivering ‘excellent advice’ on an impressive variety of clinical negligence matters to ‘extremely professional’ standards. It specialises in handling maximum severity cases and is particularly adept at handling cases involving complex spinal or brain injuries as well as high-value birth injury compensation claims. The ‘experienced, competent and committed team’ is led by Robert Antrobus, who specialises in claims resulting from injuries sustained at or shortly after birth and in claims resulting from orthopaedic injuries. The ‘charismatic and caring’ Mike Bird is ‘second to none’ and has particular expertise in acting in cases involving children with acquired brain injuries, while ‘extremely able’ and ‘stand-out lawyer’ Claire Stoneman is ‘fantastic at marshalling persuasive evidence’ and excels in birth injury claims, including stillbirths and neonatal deaths, as well as in claims arising from paediatric cardiac surgery. Andrew Hannam, who is experienced in birth injury and cerebral palsy claims, led the advice in two major cases, demonstrating his strength in handling high-value claims. Paul Sankey joined the team from Slater and Gordon, bringing with him his expertise in advising clients with serious injuries including stroke, sepsis, haemorrhage, meningitis and raised intracranial pressure. Other arrivals include senior associate Alex McKnight, who joined from Pryers Solicitors LLP, as well as legal director Laurence Vick, executive director Bernadette McGhie and legal director Angie Maxwell, who all joined from Michelmores LLP. DAS and ARAG are clients.

Irwin Mitchell delivers ‘a professional, efficient, timely, and courteous’ service which covers a broad variety of clinical negligence claims, ranging from negligent gynaecological treatment to delays in cancer diagnosis, meningitis diagnosis, and significant brain injuries. A particular area of strength is handling high-profile fatal injury cases and assisting clients with child and elder abuse cases. The practice works closely with a number of charities and support organisations, for example as a panel member of Action against Medical Accidents, and offers clients the services of the Bristol-based Court of Protection team, which advises on all aspects of damage management, including financial deputyships. ‘Tactically astute’ and ‘very sharp’ practice head Julie Lewis is highly experienced in handling birth injury cases and high-value brain-injury cases. Also recommended are ‘very professional’ associate Kate Easy and associate Luke Trevorrow. Jonathan Peacock left for VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards). The team’s recent caseload includes advising a client on a clinical negligence claim arising from the death of a patient who had been sectioned. This involved dealing Human Rights Act considerations and saw the practice represent the client at a coroner’s inquest into the death.

Royds Withy King advises on claims from all areas of medical negligence, but has a particularly good reputation for its dental negligence work. The ‘very high quality’ practice displays ‘good strength in depth across the whole range of claims’, from low-value claims to catastrophic injury cases. Its wide-ranging expertise covers catastrophic birth injury cases, Erb’s palsy, and bariatric as well as spinal surgery claims. Practice head Simon Elliman is ‘a very experienced lawyer with excellent judgment’ who has ‘an assured touch on difficult cases’. His ‘exceptionally strong team’ includes Kerstin Kubiak, who specialises among other areas in obstetric, gynaecological and fertility cases; the ‘simply first-class’ and ‘absolutely meticulousPaul Rumley; ‘highly effective’ ‘rising star’ associate Hannah Blackwell; and associate Ali Cloak, who ‘demonstrates good strategic thinking’. Highlights included acting in a claim of substandard provision of lingual orthodontic appliances, claiming the entire costs of the orthodontic treatment as well as compensatory damages in negligence; handling a multimillion-pound cerebral palsy claim and representing a client who had suffered brain-injury-causing oxygen deprivation at the time of birth.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s areas of expertise range from advising on complex high-value birth injury and paediatric brain injury claims to assisting clients with meningitis cases, including those resulting in serious neurological injury, amputation or death. The practice is adept at handling maximum severity cases, including stroke claims, and, thanks to Chris Thorne’s specialism, is able to advise on negligence claims in the niche area of cryogenics, sperm destruction and male fertility issues. The team also undertakes work in dental and surgical negligence. Additionally, the practice handles instructions in the field of medical ethics, such as questions in relation to capacity of patients, failure to treat and end of life decisions. Martin Pettingell heads the team, which includes team manager Kerry Fifield, who specialises in birth injury and paediatric cases with a particular focus on claims arising from cerebral palsy, and Marguarita Tyne, who provides advice on a broad range of clinical negligence claims, including delayed cancer diagnosis, negligence in orthopaedic treatment, gynaecological negligence and injuries arising from systemic failures.

Tozers Solicitors LLP specialises in advising on catastrophic injury claims, particularly brain injury claims. The ‘excellent’ team also has experience in handling cancer diagnosis delay claims, cerebral palsy claims, Erb’s palsy claims and matters relating to autism, in particular acquired autism. It is adept at representing child claimants in complex negligence claims and has started to specialise in cauda equina negligence and spinal injury claims while also strengthening its expertise in infection and child abuse matters. The ‘very thorough, pleasant, patient and professional’ Endurance Arthur and Stuart Bramley head the practice. Highlights include acting for a client with Erb’s palsy caused by an injury sustained during birth and representing a client whose child died of meningitis after neither the birth hospital nor the client had been properly informed of the client’s group B streptococcus infection by the GP surgery. Other cases handled by the practice include advising on a spinal nerve damage claim, a gynaecological injuries claim and a claim arising from a serious infection caused by the non-administration of antibiotics for an abdominal incisional hernia.

The ‘excellentTrethowans LLP represents claimants in a large spectrum of injuries sustained because of clinical negligence, with particular strengths in cerebral palsy claims, birth injury cases, cases arising from delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis, as well as surgery negligence claims and the negligent treatment of medical conditions. The ‘very strong’ team enjoys a very good reputation for its ‘extremely supportive and sensible’ client care. It is experienced in handling claims against NHS trusts, NHS and private hospitals, consultants, GPs and dental practices. The ‘very clever’, ‘very tenacious’ and ‘assiduous’ clinical negligence team head Clare Carter is an ‘excellent lawyer’ who ‘gives her all for her clients and leaves no stone unturned’. The ‘very experiencedGavin Lane is group leader for the practice’s personal injury and clinical negligence teams. Senior associate and ‘star in the making’ Rhiannon Daniel is recommended alongside managing partner Chris Whiteley. Recent work covers advising clients on a number of claims involving the negligent treatment of cancer, including delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and negligent treatment of the condition, as well as acting in various birth injury cases, ranging from delays in delivery to failure to admit for emergency caesareans, assisting clients with the recovery of various financial losses, including care, loss of earnings, therapies, and accommodation.

Ashfords LLP acts for claimants in clinical negligence cases involving either psychological or physical injury. Key areas of expertise include advising on claims arising from the wrongful death of adults; the death of children, including advising on antenatal complications matters; surgical errors, in particular negligent eye surgeries; and misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Jason Squire heads the team, which includes ‘extremely good’, ‘bright and very personable’ associate Claire Boucher. The practice’s recent caseload includes advising a couple on a claim arising from the death of their child due to a negligently inserted feeding tube, assisting the couple with the fatal accidents claim for damages against the relevant Hospital Trust, including a claim for the couple’s PTSD. The team also represented a client in a claim arising from a stillbirth allegedly caused by negligent treatment of a high-risk pregnancy by staff of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Coles Miller Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of clinical negligence issues, with key areas of expertise including cauda equina claims, claims arising from vascular issues resulting in amputation, mismanaged labour and ectopic pregnancies. The practice has a reputation for having ‘a very ethical and professional approach to dealing with clinical negligence claims’. David Simpson, who ‘demonstrates a high degree of intelligence’ and ‘has an eye for detail’, heads the team. Other key members are Christopher Whittle, whose specialisms include negligent dental treatment and sports injuries, and Lydia Barnett, who has particular experience in handling claims arising from substandard hysterectomies, bowel, bladder and gastrointestinal injuries, as well as in handling product liability and consent matters. Key cases included acting for a client who had sustained a permanent nerve injury due to negligent surgery.

Coodes Solicitors specialises in birth injury claims, obstetrics and gynaecological claims, claims arising from surgical errors and cases in relation to misdiagnosis and delays in diagnose and treatment. The team’s expertise extends to representing clients at inquests in relation to mental health issues and suicides of psychiatric patients. The practice has experience in handling high-value maximum severity matters, but also acts for clients in low-value claims. Practice head Tim Goldburn is ‘supremely experienced, confident and competent’ and noted for his ‘fine judgement’ and ‘wonderful manner with clients’. He is particularly adept at settling claims for clients through alternative dispute resolution. The practice advised a couple on a claim arising from the death of their new-born son due to a sepsis which had remained undiagnosed after the mother had been negligently sent home by the hospital.

The ’very efficientDutton Gregory LLP undertakes work in a large variety of clinical negligence matters, providing ‘a very sensible and hands-on service’. Its work covers high-value and high-complexity cases such as birth and head injury claims, cases relating to amputation and cerebral palsy claims. ‘Highly experienced’ practice head Carol Maunder is ‘immensely popular with her clients’ and particularly recommended for her negotiating skills. Her specialisms include catastrophic injury claims. Senior associate Rebecca Watkins is ‘capable of mastering vast quantities of documents with calm and thoroughness’. Solicitor Michael Kingman is ‘very thorough’ and approaches cases ‘with painstaking tenacity’. The practice’s recent caseload includes advising a client in a claim alleging substandard hip replacement surgery and improper care post-surgery.

Slee Blackwell is an expert in advising on cosmetic surgery negligence cases, with a strong track record in PIP breast implant claims. Other areas of expertise include birth injury claims, including high-value matters, brain injury claims and claims arising from delayed diagnosis of cancer. The ‘excellent’ practice enjoys a good reputation for the ‘diligence and speed’ with which it operates. Practice head Oliver Thorne, who made partner during 2016, ‘has an excellent grasp of the issues in a case’. Mike Clarke is another key contact. The practice’s recent caseload includes advising a client on a substandard rhinoplasty procedure which resulted breathing problems, acting in a claim arising from a breast augmentation procedure and represented the family of a mental health ward patient in a fatality case.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP’ areas of expertise range from cerebral palsy, negligent breast surgery and spinal injuries to claims arising from faulty medical products. It has experience in handling maximum severity and high-value cases, but also undertakes work in lower-scale matters. Senior solicitor Madeleine Pinschof, who specialises among other areas in gynaecological, obstetrics and orthopaedic claims, heads the practice. Key matters taken on by the practice include advising several clients in claims arising from tension-free vaginal tape and transobturator tape treatment performed by surgeon Rob Jones, including handling issues of causation and consent. The practice also supported a client with a claim which had arisen from a misdiagnosed hip injury, issuing court proceedings and quickly successfully settling the claim. Clients include unions, such as Unite and the Fire Brigades Union.

Wards Solicitors covers a broad range of clinical negligence matters, with key areas of expertise including claims arising from delayed referrals for the treatment of throat, breast and colon cancer, orthopaedic surgery claims, in particular knee, back and hip surgery, as well as claims for substandard care in nursing homes, care homes and hospital settings. Another area of particular strength is advising on claims arising from negligent treatment by GPs. The practice has experience in handling high-value complex claims involving several medical experts, but also undertakes work for clients with lower-value matters. Practice head Alison Underhill specialises in advising on prescription errors, birth injuries, and negligence claims arising from substandard surgical procedures.

Wolferstans delivers advice on claims arising from a variety of negligent treatments, from amputations subsequent to substandard treatment of illnesses such as diabetes or gangrene, to claims arising from the misdosage of anaesthetics or improper monitoring of a patient. The team handles cardiac disease claims, including misdiagnosis of heart disease, substandard testing or misinterpretation of test results. The practice also advises on claims arising from bowel injuries, claims in relation to the substandard diagnosis or treatment of cancer, and claims arising from improper treatment of cauda equina syndrome. Other work includes advising on birth injury claims. Practice head Elizabeth Smith is particularly experienced in handling birth injury and oncology claims.

Clinical negligence: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: defendant
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: defendant clients in South West 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


DAC Beachcroft LLP delivers ‘comprehensive and high-quality advice’, and is highly adept at handling large group actions on behalf of the NHS, particularly in relation to clinical negligence by individual surgeons performing breast and orthopaedic surgeries. Other key areas of expertise are orthopaedic product liability claims, catastrophic injury claims and providing general strategic advice. Outside of this work for the NHS, the practice advises clients from the private healthcare sector, including independent acute hospital services such as Spire, and represents insurance sector clients including Allied World, RSA, and Zurich Global Corporate. The four-partner-strong Bristol team is led by Rachel Roberts-Jenkins and includes Hannah Volpe. Simon Perkins and head of health Nigel Montgomery are ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘excellent communicators’. Roberts-Jenkins represented Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust on a claim brought forward by a claimant who had suffered from a spinal abscess which led to paraplegia, with the claim focusing on the extent to which the claimant was entitled to claim costs that had been caused by his use of drugs. In another key case, the practice acted in a case involving alleged failure to obtain informed consent to plastic surgery, successfully defending the client’s liability and obtaining an award of contributory negligence.

Bevan Brittan LLP is ‘excellent in all areas’, delivering ‘a very high’ level of service for clinical negligence claims. It is an NHSLA panel firm that fields an ‘outstanding’ team noted for its strength-in-depth. Experience covers group actions, ranging from minor injury claims to claims arising from negligently caused fatalities, where it advises clients in particular on the disclosure of patient information and reputation management. The practice has experience in advising on claims which combine clinical negligence, mental health law and healthcare associated-infections. ‘Highly effective’ Bristol clinical negligence team head Joanna Lloyd specialises in complex high-value brain injury claims and group actions while also advising clients on high-profile inquests. She also frequently acts in an advisory role, for example as panel member of the UK Advisory Panel for Healthcare Workers Infected with Bloodborne Viruses and in her work for the NHSLA Safety and Learning Group. The practice acts for several private medical malpractice insurers and healthcare providers. Clients also include the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Nicola Pegg was promoted to senior associate.

Personal injury: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: claimant clients in South West 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


Burroughs Day LLP’s specialist personal injury team advises on a wide range of personal injury claims, including fatal injury law, mental capacity law and road traffic accident claims. The ‘excellent’ practice focuses on three key areas of expertise: catastrophic injuries, including severe head and brain injuries, both traumatic and non-traumatic; industrial disease claims and other claims arising from employer’s liability, including multi-party construction site accidents, industrial deafness and tinnitus, as well as lung diseases and asbestos-related injuries; and product liability and animal claims. It has experience in handling slipping and tripping accidents and demonstrates strength in advising on cases involving orthopaedic evidence and complex assessments of capacity through neuropsychiatrist experts. The team provides ‘very good’ service, with Hugh Balchin, whose specialisms include claims arising from stress and harassment at work as well as repetitive strain injury cases, being particularly recommended for his expertise in workplace claims. Crispin Edmonds heads the practice.

Irwin Mitchell is ‘a definite market leader’ in the personal injury claim market, delivering ‘excellent service’. In addition to its ‘extremely strong knowledge in mesothelioma’, the practice handles brain and spinal cord injury cases, fatal accidents and workplace accidents claims, industrial disease cases and multiple orthopaedic traumas. James Davies heads the serious injury department and specialises in representing children, teenagers and adults in catastrophic brain and spinal cord injury cases, in particular clients who are unable to manage their own affairs. Virginia Chalmers, the head of the practice’s workplace injury department, is ‘highly reliable’ and renowned both for her ‘first-class knowledge’, in particular of asbestos-related claims, and her excellent client skills. Isabelle Selley, who was promoted to senior associate together with Deborah Rose, is ‘compassionate’ and ‘patient’, with ‘a deep understanding’ of her area of law. Jonathan Peacock left for VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards). Recent highlights include advising a client who had sustained a severe traumatic brain injury after falling from a vehicle and acting for a client who had suffered a traumatic brain injury with subsequent coma following a traffic collision, securing early admission of liability from the defendant and successfully obtaining a substantial interim payment for the client in order to fund specialist rehabilitation measures. Other key cases include advising clients who had suffered catastrophic brain and orthopaedic injuries at a very young age.

Royds Withy King’s personal injury team has ‘a wealth of experience and a very client-focussed approach’. It is ‘very strong on brain injury claims’ and provides an overall ‘excellent’ level of service. Particular areas of expertise include spinal injuries, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, amputations, asbestos-related diseases, fatal accidents as well as claims arising from accidents involving animals, in particular horses. The ‘vastly experienced’ team is jointly led by Louise Hart and Stuart Brazington. The ‘tenacious’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Hart has ‘unrivalled’ experience in acting for clients who have sustained a personal injury with subsequent chronic pain’ while the ‘highly competent’ Brazington is ‘a very good strategist’. Senior associate Mark Hambleton, whose specialisms include sports-related injuries, is ‘client-focused’. The practice’s recent caseload includes representing a client who had suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury in a multi-million-pound claim before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) First Tier Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP handles a range of matters, having acted in cases valued at more than £2m. Its expertise includes advising on serious injuries, such as brain injuries, amputations, spinal injuries and fatal accident cases, while also handling claims arising from industrial disease, with a particular focus on upper limb disorder, deafness and vibration-related injury claims. The practice undertakes campaign work, helping stop ethnic penalties in the car insurance market and challenging the raise of the small claims limit. Senior solicitor and practice head Lisa Gunner advised a client who had sustained injuries to his brain, face and leg in a road traffic accident. Other cases included representing a client who had suffered significant injuries to his right leg and foot, including multiple fractures and a degloving injury and acting in a case relating to leg amputations below the knee with significant impact on the client’s professional, social and personal life. Recent work also covers claims involving moderate brain injuries, orthopaedic and psychiatric injuries after a fall, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder caused by a prolonged exposure to dust at the workplace. Nicholas Seymour acted for 22 cleaners at Torbay Hospital who had sustained various injuries due to an exposure to a cleaning product. Unite, the Prison Officers Association, the Rail and Maritime Workers Union, and the Public and Commercial Services Union are other clients.

Clarke Willmott LLP is ‘a major player with a deserved good reputation’ in the personal injury claimant market. It specialises in handling high-value claims and is particularly adept at handling complex serious injury matters, ranging from brain and spinal cord injuries to amputation injuries. Other key areas of strength are fatal injuries, cases dealing with multiple fractures, as well as brachial plexus and shoulder injuries, road traffic accident liability, and accident-related psychological trauma as well as complex psychological trauma in both children and adults. Cases handled by the team often involve clients requiring long-term care. Lee Hart is the head of the serious injury practice and ‘an exceptional lawyer, unflappable and a highly skilful tactician as well as negotiator’. He acts in claims arising from accidents involving animals, especially horses. The head of the practice is the ‘very experiencedMartin Pettingell who brings his experience in handling asbestos-related disease claims to bear, with a particular focus on mesothelioma claims. Stephen Trump is a ‘stand-out brain injury and amputation expert of the highest ability’ with ‘truly exceptional’ client care skills.

Enable Law is part of the Foot Anstey Group and specialises in advising on serious injury claims, such as amputee claims and spinal injury claims, with acquired brain injuries being a particularly strong area of expertise. It also acts in group actions for clients who have suffered abuse in nursing homes or care homes, including acting for clients who lack mental capacity; the practice had the lead role in the Cornwall NHS Trust group litigation and the Winterbourne View group litigation. It handles asbestos cases as well as claims for military personnel, including injuries sustained at training exercises, advising on claims by personnel suffering from PTSD and diseases caused by using military vehicles. Robert Antrobus heads the practice’s clinical negligence and personal injury team, while legal director Juliette Clarke leads the personal injury team in the Plymouth office. The ‘highly experienced’ Clarke ‘is able to build up a good level of trust with her clients’. She has handled several high-value claims, advising on cases involving severe injuries such as major amputations, paraplegia, and traumatic brain injuries.

Lester Aldridge LLP has ‘a strong presence in the South West in personal injury litigation’ and is an ‘established, regional practice’ with ‘a wealth of experience’. The multi-lingual team’s range of expertise covers all major areas of personal injury law, in particular claims arising from brain and spine injuries which require intensive rehabilitation. Other specialisms include cases relating to industrial disease, defective products, sports, air and rail accidents, animals and claims brought by military personnel as well as claims arising from fatal accidents, bone fractures and amputations. ‘Extremely efficient’ practice head Tim Blackwell, who is ‘a very good communicator’, is ‘persistent in seeking the best outcome for the client’, providing ‘a great sense of reassurance’. Associate Stephen Norris is recommended for his tenacity and ‘keen eye for detail’.

NewLaw Solicitors specialises in serious brain injury cases, including maximum severity brain injuries, but also handles claims arising from psychiatric injuries and complex regional pain syndrome. Its experience in advising on claims arising from psychiatric injuries includes handling cases involving clients suffering from PTSD, depression and personality changes, as well as cases involving temporarily sectioned clients. The team is particularly experienced in complex orthopaedic claims, such as claims arising from motorcycle collisions. It approaches its cases with a focus on early interventions and rehabilitational treatment, securing the interim payments necessary for their clients. The practice operates a number of personal injury ABS firms, including FMG Legal and Carole Nash Legal Services. Team manager Judith Brightman’s specialisms include advising on road traffic accidents, accidents at work and accidents in public areas. APIL brain injury assessor Jo Darlington is ‘charismatic and highly impressive’. Recent cases include number of six-digit personal injury claims, including a case involving serious psychological injuries caused by a road traffic accident.

Slee Blackwell has expertise in claims arising from sexual abuse and Animals Act cases, in particular injuries sustained in dog attacks. Other work undertaken includes cases involving employer’s liability and public liability claims. The ‘very professional’ practice provides ‘excellent’ service in a ‘personal manner’. Practice head James McNally is noted for his ‘in-depth knowledge’ of personal injury law. The practice’s work in cases involving animal attacks included advising a client whose lower lip had been partly bitten off by a dog, another client who suffered a gastrointestinal illness as a result of the medication prescribed to him to treat an infection caused by a dog bite, and another client who had been bitten by a dog when trying to protect her dog. Other key cases involved a hand injury sustained while operating machinery at work and a slipping accident injury.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) is noted for its efficiency and provides ‘a thorough service for its clients’. The ‘very good’ practice focuses on undertaking multi-track work and specialisms include claims arising from head and spinal injuries, employer liability cases, fatal accident claims and professional negligence claims involving personal injury. Its expertise also covers claims arising from abuse cases, industrial disease cases, injuries sustained in assaults, injuries sustained as a result of bullying at work, vicarious liability and representing clients at inquests. The group has experience in handling highly sensitive matters and is noted for being ‘genuinely interested in the claims of its clients’. The ‘bright and persistent" Jan Markland heads the team, which also includes ‘star performerJohn Webster who specialises in claims arising from injuries sustained in accidents. Jonathan Peacock joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Ashfords LLP provides ‘dependable advice’ on the full range of personal injury claims in relation to road traffic accidents, employers’ liability claims, public and product liability claims as well as occupational and industrial disease claims, claims arising from fatal accidents, and claims arising from injuries caused by animals. The ‘excellent’ team is led by legal director and ‘highly experienced practitioner’ Stephen Walker. The ‘highly intelligent’ Flora Wood offers ‘exceptional client care’ and handles ‘high-value cases with flair, initiative and extensive knowledge of her practice area’. Jason Squire is recommended alongside ‘particularly impressive’ associate Elizabeth Johnson.

Barcan+Kirby LLP acts for clients in serious personal injury cases, with a particular focus on serious neck, brain and back injuries. The ‘very good’, ‘solid’ and ‘approachable’ practice’s recent work also includes handling claims arising from amputations, fatal accidents and psychiatric injuries, as well as road traffic and workplace accident claims. It is managed by senior associates Adrian Stone and Myfanwy Buckeridge, who is ‘very perceptive’, an ‘excellent communicator’ and shows ‘attention to detail’. Senior partner and practice head Bill Willcocks is ‘one of the most efficient lawyers around’ and ‘very thorough’ senior associate Samantha Castle is ‘a sensible negotiator’.

Coles Miller Solicitors LLP specialises in complex brain injury and catastrophic injury cases, but also offers advice to clients who sustained injuries in sports accidents or in accidents at work. Managing partner and practice head Adrian Cormack specialises in several types of personal injury, including spinal injury cases, claims arising from road traffic accidents, in particular motorcycle accidents, and claims arising from accidents at home, in a public place, at school or on holiday. The practice has experience in handling claims arising from injuries sustained in assaults in the workplace, including CICA claims. It also demonstrates strength in advising clients on claims requiring the payment of interim sums.

Festival Law (Cheltenham) Limited is a niche personal injury firm specialising in industrial disease, in particular asbestos-related claims, and high-value injury claims, though it also takes on portal cases. The ‘very professional practice’ provides ‘exemplary service’ and is noted for the deep experience of its major fee earners. The ‘client-focussed’ Ann-Marie Whelan, whose specialisms include handling claims involving minors and parties with a disability, ‘is not afraid of a fight’ and ‘negotiates excellent results’. She jointly leads the practice with ‘excellent lawyer’ Julia Briano, who has ‘significant expertise in disease work’ and provides ‘empathetic service’ to clients. Recent highlights include asbestos-related claims involving mesothelioma and diffuse pleural thickening, but also an industrial dermatitis claim, a claim arisen from occupational hearing loss, and cases involving asbestosis and lung cancer.

Humphreys & Co. specialises exclusively in industrial disease claims and has a reputation for being a ‘go-to practice for asbestos-related claims’ with ‘extensive knowledge of asbestos disease claims’ and an impressive track record of success in claims which have proceeded to trial. The ‘superb’ practice excels at handling terminal mesothelioma claims, but also undertakes work in asbestos-related lung cancer claims, asbestosis and pleural thickening claims. ‘Excellent lawyer’ and practice head Stephen Burbidge is ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘sensible’ and ‘dedicated’ while also being noted for handling claims with great sensitivity and showing ‘considerable empathy’ for clients. Consultant Peter Montgomery is ‘dedicated to the achievement of a good outcome for his clients’.

Simpson Millar LLP advises on personal injury and industrial disease claims, acting for both private clients and unions. Expertise ranges from advising on industrial deafness, repetitive strain injury claims and carpal tunnel syndrome claims, to asbestos-related claims such as mesothelioma, respiratory claims such as emphysema, and occupational cancer claims. Other key areas are claims arising from dermatitis and stress at work claims. Industrial disease team head Gavin Evans, who is ‘clear-sighted and very knowledgeable’, specialises in chest disease claims, including silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as in occupational cancer matters, including skin cancer. New arrival Helen Grady, who joined from Novum Law, has a strong track record in advising on lung cancer, pleural thickening and asbestosis claims. Solicitor Emma Costin is the director of complex personal injury. Clients include the National Association of Head Teachers Union, GMB Union, and Communication Workers Union.

Trethowans LLP is a strong regional practice that advises on complex high-value head and spinal injury claims as well as complicated orthopaedic claims. It also handles accidents at work, road traffic and fatal accidents, occupiers’ and public liability. The team has experience in handling high-value claims in the High Court and stands out through its strength-in-depth. Practice head Gavin Lane is commended for his ‘compendious’ and ‘outstanding knowledge of catastrophic injury cases’, and managing partner Chris Whiteley is ‘hugely experienced, very sensible and highly supportive of clients’. Clare Carter is renowned for her comprehensive grasp on her cases, while senior associate Rhiannon Daniel is ‘a highly competent practitioner with sound judgement of the strength of a case’. Recent covers accident at work claims and road traffic injury claims.

Wards Solicitors advises on the full range of personal injury claims; it has expertise in handling cases involving personal injury trusts, head and back injuries, losses of limbs, fatal accidents, sexual abuse, occupational stress and harassment, psychological injuries and work accidents. Alison Underhill heads the team, which includes Helen Boyd who is particularly recommended for her approachable personality.

Battens Solicitors Limited's areas of expertise include a variety of accident claims such as accidents at work, road traffic accidents and tripping and slipping accidents, and regularly acts in claims arising from brain injuries, spinal injuries and lower limb injuries as well as multiple injury cases. It also undertakes work in industrial disease claims, including asbestos-related pleural effusion and pleural thickening. Senior associate and practice head Kate Golding has significant experience in advising insurance companies. Highlights included representing a client who had become paraplegic after an accident at work, successfully settling the claim at a six-figure sum, and assisted another client with a claim arising from poisoning by toxic fumes while at work.

Coodes Solicitors advises on a range of personal injury cases, including those relating to road traffic accidents, with particular strength in motorcycle-related ones, employers’, public and occupiers’ liability, as well as slipping and tripping accidents. Highlights included advising the widow of the victim of a fatal road accident, successfully settling the claim and representing a client who had lost a lower arm in an accident at work. Tim Goldburn heads the practice.

Dutton Gregory LLP handles a wide range of personal injury claims, with catastrophic, brain and spinal injury claims being particular areas of strength. It has experience in handling cases involving multiple injuries and serious injuries requiring extensive care and rehabilitation measures. Severe psychological injuries, such as PTSD and psychiatric trauma, are another string in the practice’s personal injury bow. The ‘professional, thorough’ ‘remarkably knowledgeable’ and ‘thoughtfulJoanna Gatehouse heads the team. She is especially experienced in handling claims on behalf of children. The recent caseload includes acting for a client who had sustained severe facial injuries and loss of sight as well as suffering from depression and PTSD due to an accident at work, which required extensive rehabilitation and occupational assistance.

Nash & Co is a small practice specialising in neuro-trauma claims, industrial disease claims and environmental claims. It is particularly experienced in handling claims brought against the Ministry of Defence. The team takes on claims arising from road traffic accidents, including accidents which cause serious injuries such as significant head injuries, but also undertakes work in claims arising from psychological injuries such as PTSD, claims arising from chronic pain syndrome, and claims arising from substance poisoning. Practice head Michael Shiers is recommended.

Personal injury: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘by a very long way the leading defendant insurer practice’ in South West England; providing an ‘excellent’ level of service and recommended for its strength in depth. It handles volume and high-value claims, including complex liability and multi-party ones, across a broad spectrum of personal injury cases and has particular strength in handling catastrophic injury claims, particularly those caused by road traffic accidents, with six partners specialising in this field of expertise. Other key areas of expertise are casualty claims which comprise employers’ and public liability as well as industrial disease claims, including claims arising from mesothelioma. Apart from providing litigation services, the team also supports clients with strategic advice, in particular on the impact of litigation on their businesses. ‘First-rate practitioner’ and practice head Sally Yuill is ‘a leading defendant’ personal injury solicitor who has ‘a nationwide reputation as a litigator’. ‘Hands-on litigator’ and associate Caroline Hall, Robert Williams and Cassandra Mitchell, who specialises among other things in advising insurance clients and local authorities on employers’ and public liability claims, are also recommended.

Ashfords LLP’s very strong ‘all-round practice with great individuals’ provides ‘prompt, sound advice’ and enjoys a reputation for being in ‘the upper echelon of skill, professionalism and reliability’. The team handles workplace accident, public liability, fatal accident, brain injury and catastrophic injury claims as well as road accident and amputation cases. Practice head Flora Wood ‘brings experience and common sense’ to her cases and is noted for her ability to robustly fight for her clients. Associate Elizabeth Johnson is ‘extremely professional and very reliable’ and known for her ‘meticulous preparation and case management’. The practice advised a road traffic accident insurer on a £1.7m long-running claim involving serious leg injuries and an above-the-knee amputation, advising the client on the reserve sum required in the case and assisting with likely upcoming costs such as the costs for prosthetic provisions, future earning capacity and care needs. The team also supported Cornish Mutual in handling a public liability multi-track claim involving work-hindering injuries, successfully reducing the damages by a significant amount through extensive gathering of evidence and establishing contributory liability from the insured. Cornish Mutual and the Sandwell Met Borough Council are clients.

Working to ‘excellent standards’, BLM has a strong track record in high-level brain injury, spinal injury and chronic pain cases. The ‘eminent’ practice also has deep expertise in road traffic and workplace accident claims, regularly handling cases with matter values in excess of one million pound. It acts in claims relating to infant brain injuries, the defective design of farming equipment, traumatic and elective amputations, multiple traumatic injuries, chronic pain and fatal accidents, also advising local authorities on public sector risks. Additionally, the practice has experience in matters requiring periodical payments and provisional damages. Southampton-based Joe Wakeford heads the Bristol team, which includes the ‘very able and highly experiencedAndrew Lawson, and Rebecca Shafto; both are noted for their ‘thorough case preparation’. Gallagher Bassett, several local councils including Plymouth City Council, Zurich Municipal and QBE are clients. Recent highlights include advising Direct Line Group on a multimillion-pound claim involving a baby with severe brain injuries which have led to significant behavioural problems over the years, collaborating with the claimant’s solicitor to ensure adequate rehabilitation in the interim period before a final settlement is due to be achieved. The practice also acted for Liverpool Victoria on several claims arising from the deliberate use of a vehicle to kill and cause injury.

Bevan Brittan LLP offers a broad spectrum of personal injury defendant litigation services. It advises on serious head and spinal injuries, including maximum severity cases and is adept at handling high-value claims, including matters involving periodical payment orders. Claims arising from motor accidents, and in particular claims involving both motor insurers and the Motor Insurers Bureau, are a special area of strength. For construction clients, the practice provides specialised advice in claims arising from asbestos-related diseases. It also has expertise in handling dermatitis and loss of hearing cases. The Birmingham-based Adam Kendall is head of the litigation, advisory and regulatory department to which the personal injury defendant practice belongs. The personal injury team includes head of insurance Paul Taverner, who ‘has extensive knowledge’ of the legal environment for insurance companies and provides ‘a personal and detailed service’, especially on complex and high-value injury claims. The team represents buildings and contents insurers in a broad range of claims, including those arising from injuries caused by falls, fires and explosions. Covea Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Nottingham County Council, and Neon (formerly Marketform) are clients.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Bond Dickinson LLP specialises in advising insurance companies, self-insured entities and commercial organisations. Its main areas of focus are catastrophic injury claims and high-value claims, but the group also handles motor and disease claims as well as matters involving employers’ and public liability. The practice assists clients with industrial disease claims such as loss of hearing, chronic pain syndrome and stress at work. Practice head David Brown has ‘strong technical knowledge’ and ‘excellent communication skills’. His expertise includes spinal cord injuries, amputation and fatality claims and also claims in relation to product liability. The team is able to offer services in German and Dutch, advising clients in Germany, Switzerland and Austria on issues of English law and has an extensive network of European contacts. It is active in a variety of sectors including transport, retail and manufacturing; RATP Group, AIG, Transdev, and CNA Hardy are clients.

DWF acts for insurers and local authorities across the full spectrum of personal injuries. Claire Gribben heads the practice and specialises in claims arising from brain injuries, spinal injuries, chronic pain cases and fatal accidents. She has recently acted for Direct Line Group in several cases, such as a complex eight-figure-claim in relation to a severe traumatic brain injury resulting in spastic tetra paresis with lifelong severe health consequences for the claimant. The team also defended Direct Line Group in a claim for personal injury and financial loss following an alleged accident at work which caused a back injury - this involved handling complex medical diagnoses and analysing the extent to which the claimant’s history of back pain had contributed to the sustained injury. Director Mark Fowles joined from Browne Jacobson LLP while Trevor Fox, Peter Barnes and Michael Hitchings were added to the team following the merger with Fox Hartley. Technical director Stephen Byass left the practice to become a district judge Clients include Aviva, and a number of local authorities.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team provides ‘fantastic’ service to a client base which includes insurers, local authorities, and NHS trusts. It has deep expertise in acting in claims relating to psychiatric injuries, sexual abuse and social care, including claims for false imprisonment under the Mental Health Act, failure to nurture and occupiers’ liability. The team also handles cases linked to occupational stress, including claims arising from bullying and harassment, confidentiality breaches, the Human Rights Act, industrial disease, hand-arm-vibration syndrome, loss of hearing and work-related upper limb disorder. The Exeter practice is headed by the Nottingham-based head of insurance Susan Mabbott, Joanne Pruden is the main contact in Exeter and provides ‘great service’; she specialises in complex high-value employers’ liability and public liability work, with a particular focus on working for local authorities and other public bodies. Clients also include schools and academies. Mark Fowles left the practice and now works for DWF.

Wansbroughs provides an ‘outstanding’ ‘niche service’ to clients such as local authorities, social services authorities, educational institutions, insurance companies and the police. The ‘strong’ practice handles serious injury claims, fatal accident claims, claims arising from breaches of the Human Rights Act as well as wrongful arrest and detention claims. Practice head Robert Hams has ‘keen knowledge’ and ‘significant experience of public sector claims’; he specialises among other things in claims arising from stress, bullying and harassment. Cynthia Watts is ‘very thorough’ and noted for her skilful handling of highly sensitive child abuse claims. Consultant John Osmangives good advice particularly regarding subsidence claims’. Clients include several local councils, such as Bristol City Council, but also Zurich Municipal and Aster Group.

Professional negligence

Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Rachael Healey - RPC

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Professional negligence clients in South West 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


The defendant-focused Bond Dickinson LLP specialises in advising clients on claims arising from solicitors’ professional negligence, but is also adept at handling cases involving construction contractors, barristers, and accountants. It also has expertise in matters relating to brokers, engineers, pension professionals, surveyors and IT professionals. The team acts for insurers and their respective policyholders, providing policy advice and claims-handling services; it assisted AIG with the establishment of an outsourced claims handling operation. Claims involving cross-border issues are another area of strength. The team is led by the Southampton-based James Robins and includes Ian Peacock and Gary Oldroyd. The Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Liberty Mutual Insurance are other clients.

CMS’ key areas of expertise are construction claims, CAR claims and disputes against construction professionals, and financial services claims. It also acts in claims against insurance intermediaries, solicitors, accountants, actuaries and architects, as well as banks, financial advisers, and lawyers other than solicitors. Surveyor’s negligence, and negligence in relation to pensions professionals and trustees are also part of the team’s areas of expertise. It undertakes defence work, but also provides policy advice to clients, in particular insurance policy coverage advice, including advising on policy interpretation and the application of exclusions. The practice is experienced in resolving disputes through adjudication and mediation and has acted in in a number of high-profile matters, including cross-border ones involving questions of relevant jurisdiction. Cheryl Gibson and the London-based Ed Foss head the practice, which also includes Zoe Burge. QBE, Channel Syndicate, Axis and CNA Hardy are clients. Belinda Schofield retired.

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for insurers, handling coverage issues such as directors’ risk and advising on title indemnity policies, as well as large professional services firms from the legal, financial services, construction and surveying sectors. It provides an outsourced claims handling service to large professional indemnity insurers and advises on environmental issues involving planning consultants and surveyors. Marcus Campbell and Helen Faulkner head the six-partner-strong practice, which includes legal director Justine Williams, who joined from Kennedys, and Rebecca Smith. Highlights included successfully defending QBE and one of its insured law firms in three highly important trials for alleged negligent under-settlement of miners’ vibration white finger claims and negotiating a favourable settlement for Liberty Insurance and one of its insured insurance broker companies in a claim of more than £2m brought by a policyholder against the insurance broker following a serious workplace accident. The team also successfully negotiated a favourable settlement for Zurich Insurers and a students’ union in a claim brought forward by a student against the union, and several of its directors and trustees, involving allegations of discrimination, victimisation, and harassment. Aviva, Zurich Financial Services and Travelers Insurance are other clients.

RPC acts for insurers, their insured, and professional services firms in matters relating to the negligence of solicitors, insurance brokers, accountants, financial and pension professionals, surveyors and construction professionals, providing defence work as well as advice on policy coverage issues. Areas of expertise include advising professional services firms and solicitors on disciplinary and regulatory matters, acting in corporate and tax litigation, as well as assisting with conveyancing and estate planning-related issues. The practice also regularly handles claims against trustees, actuaries, and administrators, in particular in relation to investment decisions. Will Sefton represented Giambrone Law and its insurer AIG on a multimillion-pound case involving claims from several hundreds of people against three Italian solicitors who had advised them on the purchase process of off-plan properties in Italy which were subsequently not built and eventually seized by the Italian police in relation to an anti-mafia operation. The claims, which were heard in the High Court before returning to appeal, sought damages for lost deposits as well as additional losses. The team also successfully defended Colliers against a claim in relation to surveyors’ over-valuation of five London properties. Practice head Jeremy Barnes, Peter Mansfield and Robert Morris are also recommended. Rachael Healey was promoted from senior associate to legal director.

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong track record of acting for lenders and has experience in advising on claims relating to financial services, solicitors, pensions, construction, environmental issues and energy. It also handles claims involving auditing and accountancy, surveyors, tax, actuaries, IT professionals and fund managers while cases regarding cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions make up an increasing part of the workload. The team undertakes mostly claimant work and acts for private clients, companies, and large financial institutions. The ‘clear-headed, practical and committedAndrew Burnette heads the practice and led in a High Court claim against surveyors Edward Symmons in relation to an over-valuation of properties, which involved a novel point of law on the recovery of losses from a negligent professional. Justin Briggs was lead partner in advising Nomura London Retirement Benefits Plan Trustee and Nomura International in a case involving the negligent drafting of pension scheme rules, advising on a potential pre-action disclosure application and subsequently rectifying the pension scheme rules. In another pension scheme case, the group acted for Volvo Group UK and the trustees of the corresponding pension scheme on recovery of costs of rectification proceedings required after negligent drafting of the pension scheme rules, ending the case through tri-partite mediation. Clients include the Co-operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Volvo Group UK, and Cobb Europe.

Clarke Willmott LLP is ‘very well regarded in relation to professional negligence work’ and provides ‘realistic advice on possible outcomes’. It has a particularly good reputation for its claimant work, but also undertakes defendant work. The practice, noted for its strength in depth, shows expertise in a number of different sectors, ranging from claims against tax advisers and accountants in the banking and financial services sector, to construction, agriculture, private client, and property transactions. It has experience in acting for lenders in claims against solicitors, valuers and surveyors in relation to commercial lending transactions, but is also adept at handling claims against architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, as well as land agents. Practice head Alex Jakubowski is ‘a fierce opponent and a first-class choice for any client’, while Philippa Hann, who specialises in financial litigation, is noted for her impressive technical knowledge. Highlights included acting for Lloyds Bank on a high-profile claim against a firm of monitoring surveyors, which involved allegations of negligence and recklessness, and handling a claim against Knight Frank on behalf of Lloyds Bank subsequent to an inflated valuation. Showcasing its insurance sector strength, the team advised Great Lakes Reinsurance and Burford Capital on a claim against Pennington Manches alleging negligent advice during litigation. In the tax sector, the practice advised a number of high-net-worth private clients on claims against Ernst&Young subsequent to tax advice concerning tax-mitigation film scheme LLPs.

The expertise of Kennedys’ ‘excellent’ five-partner-strong practice includes defending negligence claims against solicitors, barristers and medical professionals. The practice is also adept at handling claims against accountants, independent financial advisers, but also advises on D&O claims as well as property and fire-related claims. It has started to build expertise in managing general agent-related claims and is growing its work for UMAL, for which it was appointed to handle professional negligence claims, representing universities in litigation and regulatory matters. Pen Underwriting is another recent client win. Sarah Cornish heads the practice, which includes Simon Combe who is recommended for his expertise and awareness of practicalities. Mark Skinner relocated from the London office. Highlights included successfully representing an architect against allegations of negligent design and failure to inspect in relation to a high-value luxury property and defending a property agent in relation to damages caused to luxury town-houses caused by sewage waters. Clients include AIG, Allied World and the Medical Protection Society.

Osborne Clarke delivers an ‘excellent’ level of service, with ‘first-class’ responsiveness and ‘good’ levels of industry knowledge in the professional services sector. It advises on issues from three main areas: professional negligence litigation for accountancy companies, both for claimants and defendants, but with a stronger focus on defendant work, representing claimants acting against pension providers, with experience covering claims against investment advisers, pension providers, solicitors and actuaries, and handling claims against construction professionals and property-related negligence claims in general. This third area includes claims against surveyors, valuers, engineers, architects, and contractors. Leona Briggs heads the team, which includes ‘excellent’ ‘careful and canny litigator’ Tom Ellis, Clare Robinson, and ‘bright’ associate director Charles Crowne, who is ‘a superb lawyer’. Paul Matthews specialises in advising on high-value claims in pension law professional negligence. Clients include Clerical Medical Investment Group, Wincanton and Harrods Bank.

TLT provides ‘excellent technical and strategic advice’ and is noted for its ‘ability to offer pragmatic solutions when dealing with complex issues’. The service level is ‘excellent’ and the ‘very client-centric’ team is ‘very experienced’, delivering specialist advice on claims in the financial services, corporate, pensions and construction sectors. The team works with the firm’s litigation practice on matters in relation to fraud and banking recovery claims and has experience in advising on the insurance aspects of real estate transactions and infrastructure projects. Additionally, it is adept at resolving matters through the use of alternative dispute resolution, mostly mediation. Neil Franklin, who shows ‘excellent leadership’, is co- head of the professional negligence team and specialises in professional negligence in the financial services sector. Other co-head Richard Hall specialises in property-related professional negligence. The practice recently acted for a major high street clearing bank in a complex £15m claim against an international company of valuers and solicitors regarding negligent advice given in relation to a property development loan. The case involved issues of fraud and various title issues and was successfully settled via mediation, with the bank making a substantial recovery. The department also acted for another UK clearing bank in recovering losses suffered as a result of fraud across several mortgage accounts. Clients include RBS Group, UPS, and Avon Rubber plc.

Ashfords LLP advises claimants on claims in six areas of practice: banking, bloodstock, construction, solicitors, accountants and financial services. The team’s expertise in the banking sector includes claims against surveyors, solicitors and project managers, as well as claims in relation to over-valuations, failures to report, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. In the bloodstock sector, it acts in claims against veterinary surgeons and other professionals while work in the construction sector includes handling claims arising from negligent design, cost advice and project management, with claims brought against architects, engineers and quantity surveyors as well as project managers. Rory Mac Neice heads the team, which includes Victoria Bonnet. Clients include Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland plc, The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and Devon County Council. The team’s recent caseload includes advising a leading high street clearing bank on a multi-defendant claim brought against a large firm of surveyors regarding the over-valuation of a property.

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP is noted for its very good service. The practice advises insurers of all non-medical professions and professional service providers across a broad range of sectors. The team covers negligence involving solicitors, accountants, surveyors and construction professionals as well as independent financial advisers. Apart from undertaking defence work, the practice also supports clients with claim handling services, policy coverage advice and document review services. It is adept at handling high-value cases and has experience in representing clients in the Supreme Court. Rhian Howell heads the team; she specialises in defending professionals facing disciplinary proceedings and has a track record of successfully settling matters through mediation. Joe Eizenberg is also recommended. Clients include RSA, Aviva, the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Aspen Risk Management.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a ‘technically excellent practice’ with particular expertise in the banking and finance sector. Its expertise covers negligence claims against accountants, solicitors, financial advisers and surveyors. The team advises high-net-worth individuals, SMEs and plcs, with clients including banks and insurance companies. Practice head and ‘very good tactician in litigation’ Adam Finch ‘brings excellent client care and management skills’. He led in advising a high-net-worth couple in a high six-figure claim relating to negligent investment advice involving an offshore bond. The team also successfully acted for the shareholders of Marrill in a claim arising from the over-valuation of company stock when completing the accounts, which led to the withdrawal of credit facilities and the company being put into administration. Clients come from a broad variety of sectors and include Attivo Group, Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, Assured Futures, and Sleeperz Cardiff.

Michelmores LLP undertakes work in three key areas: private wealth; finance and investment, with particular strengths including distressed and overvalued assets as well as product suitability; and real estate. Other areas of work are agricultural professional negligence and veterinary negligence, including subsidy claims, the purchase of agricultural property, the presale vetting of horses and valuation issues in relation to pedigree livestock. The practice acts for high-net-worths, SMEs, private investors, and large national and international companies. It is experienced in handling complex high-value matters. Simon Barnett heads the team, which includes senior associate Jayne Clemens and recently made partner Jonathan Kitchin.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) advises on claims against solicitors, surveyors and valuers. The practice mainly undertakes claimant work, but also acts for professionals facing negligence claims, including solicitors, patent agents and surveyors. Ed Husband leads the team, which also includes Ben Holt. The practice acted for Platform Funding, a subsidiary of the Co-operative bank, in a claim against a firm of valuers which had failed to inform the client of the fact that the property for which the client arranged a mortgage was in fact a commercial property, making it significantly more difficult for the client to enforce its security. In another case for Platform Funding, the team acted in a complex multi-party claim against solicitors in relation to a fraudulent sale-and-lease-back scheme.

DWF specialises in insurance sector work, acting for insurers and insurance brokers. The practice is particularly experienced in handling highly complex and highly technical claims, including disputes relating to technical engineering and claims against construction professionals. Other areas of expertise are solicitors’ negligence, claims against accountants and actuaries, and claims in relation to financial services products and regulations. Following the merger with Fox Hartley, the practice has strengthened its work in acting for brokers, regulatory authorities, engineers, naval architects, aircraft maintenance facilities and IT consultants. It provides outsourced claims handling services and loss adjustment services. Simon Mason heads the team, which now includes Peter Barnes who joined from Fox Hartley. The team’s recent caseload includes acting for a professional indemnity insurer and its insured firm of solicitors in a Court of Appeal case in relation to conflicts of interest and payable work by solicitors.

Lester Aldridge LLP advises mostly claimants on both traditional professional negligence claims, such as claims against solicitors, accountants, independent financial advisers and surveyors, and on niche areas such as marine surveyor’s negligence. It is particularly adept at handling claims against accountants and independent financial advisors in relation to aggressive tax schemes. The team handles national and international claims and has experience in multi-party actions and high-value claims. Michael Giddins heads the practice.

Meade King LLP acts for private individuals and SMEs in claims against solicitors, barristers, surveyors, insolvency practitioners and accountants. A particular area of expertise is professional negligence claims in the construction sector, including claims against architects, and property-related claims more generally. It exclusively undertakes claimant work. John Vasey is the head of the team.

Stephens Scown LLP advises claimants on professional negligence claims against solicitors and barristers, accountants, architects and surveyors, valuers and financial advisers. It is experienced in advising on claims in the charities and marine sector as well as in handling mortgage lender claims and claims arising from contentious probate cases. Additionally, the team offers services in relation to the professional negligence aspects of property litigation, such as regarding rights of way and commercial property. Catherine Mathews heads the professional negligence team following Chris Harper’s retirement.

Slee Blackwell provides ‘excellent service’ to clients, handling a range of claims arising in a variety of professions. It specialises mainly in claims against solicitors, with negligence claims in relation to wills, trust and probate as a particular area of expertise, acting exclusively for claimants. Emma Slade heads the practice and is particularly recommended. Recent highlights include acting for a client in a claim which had arisen due to negligent financial advising in the form of an unsuitable fixed rate mortgage, also acting against solicitors in a claim relating to a prescriptive easement on an industrial property and a claim involving a contested will and testamentary capacity; both cases were settled successfully. Other recent work includes handling a claim against a surveyor who had failed to properly check the boundaries on a property.

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