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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 > Personal injury: defendant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals

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DAC Beachcroft LLP has a large team specialising in personal injury defendant work, it acts for major insurers and individual corporate clients. It advises on catastrophic injury claims such as road traffic accidents, amputation, spinal injuries, brain injuries, chronic pain and fatalities. The firm also advises on claims of employer liability and public liability. Clients include AXA, NFU, Zurich, Aviva and Allianz. Sally Yuill heads the Bristol team and specialises in high-value motor and casualty claims. Mark Bailey handles catastrophic injury claims, Paul Parke focuses on high-value brain and spinal injury claims and is experienced in handling cases involving children. Deborah Bradley  also deals with catastrophic injuries and deals with high-value motor claims. Caroline Hall , Robert Williams and Cassandra Mitchell are also recommended. The team ‘provides a good level of service’ and ‘identifies and meets the needs of their clients’.

‘Very thorough in its approach to all cases’, Ashfords LLP's practice handles high-value defendant work involving catastrophic injuries, road traffic accidents, fatal accidents and product liability. It also provides advice to clients on how to use the Ministry of Justice claims portal. Department head Flora Wood is ‘highly professional’ and ‘applies herself assiduously to obtain the best possible outcome for the client’. She is supported by associate Liz Johnson, who is ‘friendly, approachable and efficient’ and ‘a sensible and effective negotiator’. The firm recently acted for Cornish Mutual in a case involving a brain injury sustained from a motoring accident; a settlement was reached which drastically reduced the initial claim value. The team provides ‘a slick and efficient service’ and is ‘experienced, willing and tactically very aware’.

Bevan Brittan LLP is adept at handling personal injury defendant litigation particularly in relation to road traffic accidents, injuries caused by animals, hand/arm vibration syndrome, employer's liability and public liability claims. It works for buildings and contents insurers in relation to personal liability cover, particularly in relation to falls, serious injuries and fatalities. It also advises construction clients on industrial disease cases such as asbestos-related illnesses. Birmingham-based Adam Kendall heads the litigation, advisory and regulatory department. Partner Paul Taverner heads the insurance team, he is ‘excellent in all areas’ and provides ‘a personal and detailed service especially in relation to complex and higher value injury claims’. He has experience of maximum severity cases often involving head and spinal injuries. The team provides an ‘excellent bespoke service for household and motor insurers’. Clients include Covea Insurance, Nottingham County Council, Neon (formerly Marketform), Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Costain, CNA Europe and Praxair.

‘Excellent defendant insurance firm’ BLM handles a wide range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injury, industrial disease, casualty claims, health and safety, fast and small track litigation, and public liability claims. It also has specialist teams dedicated to marine and abuse claims, and also catastrophic injury and local authority claims. The firm regularly acts in multimillion-pound cases and cases involving seriously injured children and babies. Joe Wakeford heads the team and acts for large insurers and in non-clinical claims for the NHS Litigation Authority, in addition to handling inquests. Andrew Lawson is adept at defending catastrophic injury claims particularly in relation to road traffic accidents, he is ‘professional’ and ‘achieves outstanding results’. Rebecca Shafto has ‘good judgement’ and defends catastrophic injury claims involving brain injuries, amputations and multiple traumatic injuries. Clients include Direct Line Group, QBE, Gallagher Bassett, North Somerset Council and FirstPort. Recent work includes acting for Liverpool Victoria in a road traffic accident case in which an individual became paraplegic, involving defending the garage which undertook an MOT of the vehicle shortly before the crash.

DWF's defendant personal injury practice handles a range of matters including work related stress, somatoform disorder, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, spinal injury, brain injury, road traffic accidents and fatal accidents. Clients include insurers and local authorities and the practice regularly handles Health and Safety Executive investigations. Claire Gribben heads the team and specialises in insurance litigation including employer’s liability, public liability, industrial disease and product liability matters. Peter Barnes, who expertise includes product liability and multi-jurisdictional claims, is ‘dedicated, hardworking, easy to work with, thorough and very talented’. The practice recently acted for Direct Line Group in a catastrophic injury claim relating to a road traffic accident; the claimant was found to be exaggerating injuries after surveillance was undertaken and the claim was reduced by £750,000. Other clients include Aviva, Surrey County Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council and Cornish Mutual Assurance Company.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  acts for insurers, self-insured entities and corporate clients in the transport, retail and manufacturing sectors. It provides advice in relation to employers' and public liability claims, motor claims, product liability claims and catastrophic injury claims such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations and fatalities. ‘Sensible and personable’ David Brown heads the team and specialises in catastrophic injury and high-value claims and public liability cases such as noise induced hearing loss, asbestos, chronic pain, stress at work and travel claims. Clients include RATP (including London United Busways), AIG, Transdev, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, CNA Hardy and Tokio Marine Kiln.

Browne Jacobson LLP specialises complex employer liability and public liability claims, it acts for insurers, NHS resolution and local authorities. Areas of expertise include industrial disease claims including asbestos related illnesses, HAVS, occupational stress, deafness, WRULD and road traffic accidents. Joanne Pruden heads up the technical claims and social care team, she focuses on high-value occupier liability claims and cases involving sexual abuse, social care including claims for false imprisonment under the Mental Health Act, and bullying and harassment claims. Recent highlights include acting for the insurers of a driver who caused a motoring accident, the claimant argued for loss of career and loss of earnings and after complex medical evidence was given the claim was settled for a significantly reduced amount. Clients include Ageas insurance, Devon County Council, Covea Insurance, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, Travelers and Tesco.

Wansbroughs acts for local authorities, schools and insurers on personal injury cases in relation to Human Rights, Equality Act, harassment, stress, sexual abuse, highways, misfeasance, wrongful arrest and fatal accident claims. It advises on occupiers’ liability, employers’ liability, public liability claims and also inquest work. Partner and team leader Robert Hams is ‘a very good tactician and case planner’ and is ‘a robust negotiator’. Cynthia Watts is ‘very adept at handling the sensitivities and emotions around social service and abuse claims’. The team provides ‘exceptional level of quality and service from a boutique regional firm’.

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