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Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard merged to form Barcan+Kirby LLP, which clients consider ‘one of the best in the South West’. Richard Harries heads the team, which acts for claimants in high-value claims involving fatalities or serious injuries caused by late diagnoses or surgical negligence. Newly promoted senior associates Jay Nathwani and Claire Hurrell are also recommended.

Robert Antrobus’ department at Foot Anstey specialises in maximum severity cases and works closely with charities such as Headway. Claire Stoneman and Andrew Hannam are birth injury experts. Senior associate Alex McKnight arrived from Pryers Solicitors LLP.

Julie Lewis leads the ‘truly client-driven’ practice at Irwin Mitchell, which is considered ‘a market leader’ for cases involving elderly abuse, injuries to children and fatalities. Jonathan Peacock acts in inquests and abuse claims against social services and care homes.

Michelmores LLP stands in ‘a class of its own’. Laurence Vick, who heads the practice, ‘always goes the extra mile’ and is renowned for child cardiac surgery claims and matters involving jurisdictional issues. Bernadette McGhie is ‘an outstanding lawyer’ and continues to be active in maternal, birth and brain injury claims. Spinal injury expert Angie Maxwell was promoted to partner.

Royds Withy King is a ‘leading firm’ for catastrophic birth injury cases. Key figures include practice head Simon Elliman, who handles dental negligence, cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims; ‘first-rate solicitor’ Paul Rumley; and Kerstin Kubiak, who stands out for her ‘exceptional analysis’.

At Clarke Willmott LLP, Kerry Fifield focuses on cerebral palsy, stillbirth and neonatal fatality claims. Brain injury expert Marguarita Tyne arrived from Simpson Millar LLP.

Tozers Solicitors LLP is noted for its ‘excellence in the field of brachial plexus injuries’, including Erb’s palsy. Endurance Arthur and Stuart Bramley head the department. Tony Mills retired in 2015.

At Trethowans LLP, department head Clare Carterfights fiercely for clients’ on birth injury and cerebral palsy claims. Other areas of expertise for the practice include delayed cancer diagnosis and surgical negligence.

Ashfords LLP is well regarded for delayed cancer diagnosis cases, and Jason Squire is noted for his expertise in malpractice and cosmetic surgery claims.

At Coles Miller Solicitors LLP, department head David Simpson is ‘a great asset’ in cases involving cauda equine syndrome and mismanaged labour. Lydia Barnett made partner.

Simpson Millar LLP’s caseload includes spinal injury and Erb’s palsy claims.

Slee Blackwell undertakes cosmetic surgery negligence and birth injury claims, with Mike Clarke leading on brain injury cases. Legal executive Oliver Thorne heads the practice.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP excels in urological, maternal birth injury and orthopaedic claims. Senior solicitor Madeleine Pinschof is ‘intelligent, efficient and likeable’.

Under the leadership of Alison Underhill, Wards provides ‘excellent service’ in claims involving delayed cancer diagnosis and surgical negligence.

At Wolferstans, Barry Bayley excels in cerebral palsy claims.

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