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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 > West Midlands > Insurance > Personal injury: defendant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

BLM has a full-service insurance practice, which services local and national insurer and corporate clients. It has a general liability unit, which is active in employers’ liability, motor, public liability and health and safety claims. It also has specialist occupational disease and fraud units. James Harvey heads up the department, which includes Mike Dobson. Dobson's work includes complex claims involving serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as cases with a foreign law element. Adrian Marston joined from Weightmans LLP, while Henry Bermingham moved in the opposite direction.

Practice head(s):James Harvey

Other key lawyers:Mike Dobson; Adrian Marston

Key Clients

DLG

Aviva

AXA xl

Affinity Water

Travelodge

Babcock

Bloor Homes

National Express

Work highlights

  • Defended a case where the claimant claimed damages for personal injury following a road traffic accident.
  • Acted in a claim from a third party driver, who was involved in a minor road traffic accident on a roundabout.

Browne Jacobson LLP provides specialist sector-focused advice to insurers, public bodies and corporate defendants. Its team particularly excels in matters concerning catastrophic injury, disease, highways and liability insurance. It is also continuing to grow its social care and abuse team. Bridget Tatham, who leads the insurance and risk team, regularly advises local authority and commercial clients on motor, public and employers’ liability. She is also knowledgeable about other issues, such as policy coverage, claims and risk. Matthew Harpin is another key figure. Paul Cox joined DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Practice head(s):Susan Mabbott (Nottingham); Bridget Tatham

Other key lawyers:Matthew Harpin; Kevin Lawson; Paul Wainwright

Testimonials

'The personal injury team possesses a swan-like skill: whilst the quality of the work indicates hard work, they never appear to make heavy weather of difficult cases, even those involving clientele who need extensive management'.

'The team has a dynamic approach and is very professional, knowledgeable and approachable'.

'Has long standing expertise, is highly professional and has exceptional knowledge'.

'In term of personal injury public liability work it is a Premier League firm with the wins and team clout to justify that label'.

'The team has strength and depth in abundance. Client care is superb. The team only deals with our most complex, sensitive and difficult cases'.

'With Bridget Tatham and Matthew Harpin it is clear that their cases are thoroughly thought about and prepared'.

'Matthew Harpin is highly professional and remains unruffled'.

'Matthew Harpin has an excellent relationship with his clients and an uncanny ability to call difficult cases early on as runners or ones to negotiate'.

'Kevin Lawson is a true master of his craft and a consummate professional. He excels in his field and has generated some remarkable results over the years. He is our lawyer of choice for complex injury loss'.

'Paul Wainwright shows excellent attention and a real ability to get 'under the skin' of a case'.

Key Clients

Hiscox

Tokio Marine Kiln

Gallagher Bassett

Wolverhampton City Council

Walsall MBC

Coventry MBC

Solihull MBC

Shropshire County

New India

Tesco Underwriting

Gloucestershire County Council

Birmingham City Council

Nuneaton District Council

Worcestershire County Council

Newcastle under Lyme Council

Davies Group

Dudley MBC

Sandwell & Dudley MBC

Resolute Management

Work highlights

  • Advsed Walsall MBC on a personal injury highways claim.
  • Advised Gloucestershire County Council on a personal injury/ highways liability claim.
  • Advising Flintshire County Council on its statement submitted to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘IICSA’) in relation to the inquiry’s “Accountability and Reparations” investigation.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's Birmingham team is led by Rhodri Richards. High-level multi-track and catastrophic injury matters are an area of focus; Sara May leads the work in this space. Helen Bates is the main contact in relation to volume motor and credit hire matters. Elsewhere, the firm has a well-regarded counter-fraud team. In addition, the firm assists clients with specialist motor claims management, motor prosecutions and coverage issues. It also advises on sports liability claims. Richard Stallard is also recommended. Paul Cox joined the team from Browne Jacobson LLP.

Practice head(s):Rhodri Richards

Other key lawyers:Sara May; Helen Bates; Richard Stallard; Elisabeth Jones; Paul Cox

Testimonials

'Unrivalled experience, technical knowledge and commercial nous of the partners is what sets this team apart'.

'Richard Stallard holds the unique position of being the defendants' expert on periodical payments. He is intellectually tenacious, with formidable forensic skills and fights a shrewd and unflagging battle for his clients'.

'Richard Stallard and Elisabeth Jones are exceptionally conscientious, their knowledge of relevant law and ability to apply it to best effect; their commercial nous and deal making abilities when negotiating with opponents, along with their total professionalism and customer focused approach, all set them apart from the pack'.

Key Clients

Aviva

AXA XL

NFU Mutual

Allianz

Ageas

Coop

ERS

AXA Insurance

MS Amlin

Work highlights

  • Assisted a major composite insurer with settling a case, which arose from the claimant sustaining a severe injuries in a road traffic accident as a child. The claimant suffered from significant physical disability and cognitive impairment, along with some behavioural problems.
  • Settled a case for a major motor insurer. The claimant was the widow of a passenger in a car which was struck by a lorry which had suffered brake failure on a steep hill. This was a high profile case, which involved a number of fatalities.
  • Represented Aviva Insurance in an appeal, which was connected with the claimant issuing proceedings for personal injuries arising from a road traffic accident. The claimant's case was dismissed and a finding of fundamental dishonesty was made.
  • Represented AXA Insurance in a major Court of Appeal ruling, which will see fraudsters pay additional damages to insurers if their behaviour and conduct are deemed ‘outrageous’.
  • Acted for AXA Insurance in a matter whereby the claimant was sentenced to a 16 month custodial sentence and ordered to repay £2,500 in costs following a conviction for contempt of court.

DWF has a full-service defendant personal injury practice, whose portfolio of work includes abuse claims, occupational health and industrial disease cases, as well as advice on complex policy coverage issues. The firm also has a renowned fraud practice, which is led by Lorraine Carolan, and excels in motor (credit hire, organised fraud and other areas such as fleet fraud) and casualty claims. Derek Adamson is the head of occupational health and casualty. Paul Donnelly is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):Derek Adamson; Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:Denise Brosnan; Paul Donnelly

Testimonials

'Overall service levels are excellent'.

'I value the individualised responses I get from DWF “one size does not fit all' and each client is dealt with in the best way that suits their needs and requirements'.

'Derek Adamson is very good on contractual liability and insurance policy wording issues'.

'Denise Brosnan  is very good on personal injury and  high-value class action disease and contamination claims. She understands the court process extremely well guiding clients through the process in a professional and user friendly way'.

Key Clients

Aviva

Markerstudy

Insure the Box

Mulsanne

Ageas

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in personal injury claims (and the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
  • Instructed by the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in relation to a scandal involving sexual abuse and in one instance murder by hand grenade of numerous children by members of the clergy (including three Bishops) in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Acting for an insurance company in obtaining committal proceedings/suspended prison sentences against 9 persons involved in crash for cash.
  • Defended claims made by two claimants who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.
  • Acted in a ground breaking case involving the use of telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim with savings of over £170,000.

Keoghs LLP's footprint in the insurance arena is evidenced by the fact that it acts for nine out of the top ten UK general insurers. It also acts for a wide range of self-insured clients, large corporates and public sector organisations. It has particularly notable expertise in abuse claims and in occupational disease cases. In addition, its complex and catastrophic loss team deals with the full spectrum of cases, ranging from multiple fractures to chronic pain cases. Ken Young heads up the team.

Practice head(s):Ken Young

Other key lawyers:Julie Park; Helen White

Testimonials

'Julie Park is proactive and cooperative, works hard to find fair and good solutions'.

'While a large firm offering facilities at all levels of claim to the insurance industry, it manages to provide a bespoke and careful service in the large claims'.

'This firm is absolutely the tops. Entirely realistic and pro-active in its approach to cases it achieves results for clients in commendably efficient timescales and at very reasonable costs'.

Key Clients

LV=

Allianz

Work highlights

  • Worked collaboratively with opponents to settle a spinal cord case within two years for a client without the need for proceedings.
  • Represented an insurer in a severe traumatic brain injury claim worth £10m.
  • Represented an insurance company in a public liability claim that was pursued dishonestly by the claimant.
  • Acting on behalf of a major insurer on a public liability claim involving contempt of court.
  • Acted on behalf of a motorcyclist involved in an accident with a pedestrian in the dark.

Plexus Law covers all major personal insurance specialisms, such as large loss and policy coverage disputes, as well as employers’ liability, public liability, casualty and motor cases. Other areas of expertise include occupational disease, fraud and public sector work. Its client base includes insurance companies, corporates and local authorities. Team head Damon Burt has a particular interest in asbestos-related matters; he defends clients against HSE prosecutions arising from serious injuries and fatalities sustained from exposure to asbestos. Jacqui Kendall is another notable individual.

Practice head(s):Damon Burt

Other key lawyers:Anthony Bushell; Jacqui Kendall

Testimonials

'Very professional, efficient and knowledgeable team that provides a personal service'.

'It delivers what the customer asks for, not want the law firm thinks they should provide. The team adopts a sensible and pragmatic approach'.

Anthony Bushell is pragmatic and thorough and is completely focused on the outcome for the client'.

'Anthony Bushell delivers clear and concise advice and is attuned to the needs of his clients. He constantly strives to deliver the best value outcome for his client'.

'Jacqui Kendall  is superb. Efficient and professional at all times and has an extensive knowledge of defendant personal injury litigation'.

'Jacqui Kendall takes no prisoners; she is a star'.

Key Clients

Aspen

Sutton Specialist Risk

Lang O’Rourke

Geopost

Ceva Logistics

Sims Metal Management

Mears Group

Wolverhampton City Council

West Midlands Police

Rugby Borough Council

Balcia Insurance

Davies Loss Adjusters

SLS Crawfords

Gallagher Bassett

ABB

Weir Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Capita Insurance on behalf of the FSCS in a successful defence against a fatal mesothelioma claim.
  • Acted for an insurance company in the successful defence against a fictitious claim, which resulted in a finding of fundamental dishonesty.
  • Acted for an insurance company in the successful defence of a high-value personal injury claim.
  • Acted for Aspen Insurance in the successful defence of claim for hand-arm vibration syndrome at trial.
  • Acted for an insurance company in the successful defence of a high-value care home claim.

Weightmans LLP's Birmingham-based group is active in a broad cross-section of areas, such as casualty, disease, large loss and commercial insurance work. It acts nationwide for 16 of the top 20 insurers, numerous FTSE 100 companies, and other large private and public organisations. The disease team is led by David Tuck. Henry Bermingham joined from BLM, while Adrian Marston moved in the opposite direction.

Practice head(s):David Tuck; Chris Webb-Jenkins; Penelope Marshall; Henry Bermingham; Navdip Wilson; Bruce Ralston

Key Clients

Municipal Mutual Insurance

Nottinghamshire County Council

Travelers Insurance

Gallagher Bassett

Leicestershire County Council

Staffordshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in the IICSA investigation into the suitability of the civil litigation process for child abuse personal injury claims.
  • Represented the second defendant ( a school) in a mesothelioma claim.
  • Representing a plumbing construction company in a fatal mesothelioma claim.
  • Represented the defendant in a fatal asbestos case which resulted in the claimant discontinuing the claim.
  • Represented a client in a work-related upper limb disorder case which resulted in the claimant discontinuing and paying part of the defence costs.

Kennedys' clients include global brands and leading insurance companies. It has a notable specialism in leisure industry claims, and is also strong in asbestos-related litigation, as well as catastrophic and fatal accident claims. The team's wide-ranging areas of sector expertise include construction, manufacturing, engineering and recruitment. Ian Davies is the firm’s product head of motor claims. Mark Walsh is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Ian Davies

Other key lawyers:Mark Walsh; James Shrimpton; Philippa Craven

Testimonials

'Provides clear non-formulaic advice with each case dealt with on its individual merits'.

'They are thought leaders in the field of disease litigation'.

'Is thorough, fair, transparent and pragmatic'.

'Ian Davies and Mark Walsh are a formidable team. Their knowledge and calm authority stands alone. They lead the team by example and are never afraid to pick up the phone to discuss more difficult issues'.

'Mark Walsh is a straight talking solicitor who constantly delivers excellent results on cases of the highest technicality and cost'.

'With Mark Walsh his knowledge and experience of large loss/catastrophic personal injury provides a level of security and trust when he is nominated to act on our claims knowing that we are robustly represented in the market'.

'James Shrimptonhas established a very competent team'.

' Philippa Craven gets people and what they require'.

'Philippa Craven has a wealth of experience, a good practical approach to cases and the skill to know when to negotiate and when to be firm'.

Key Clients

EON

Zenith Marque Insurance (formerly Chaucer)

Gallagher Bassett

ERS

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Alton Towers to manage the ongoing civil claims arising from a crash on the Smiler ride in June 2015, whereby 16 passengers suffered injury, including two who required amputation of lower limbs.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP ’s defendant insurance team acts for a variety of blue-chip insurance companies, intermediaries and self-insured organisations in high-value catastrophic injury claims. It advises on the full spectrum of employer, liability, property and motor liability claims mostly with a pleaded value in excess of £1m. Group head Craig Wallace represents various insurers, companies, public sector organisations and self-insureds. Ravinder Johal is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Craig Wallace

Other key lawyers:Ravinder Johal

Testimonials

'Shakespeare Martineau LLP's strength is with its people'.

'The team is always on the ball and it gets it right every time'.

'Ravinder Johal and Craig Wallace. Both have taken the account we work on together by the scruff of the neck and are providing a very good legal service for the client'.

' Ravinder Johal -his attention to detail is outstanding and the level of service he has provided has exceeded our expectations. He is always available if we need to discuss anything'.

'The team has very much a 'can-do' attitude and provides a swift service'.

'The team is dedicated and provides an excellent service to clients'.

Key Clients

Gallagher Bassett

DHL

Europcar

Sixt

Amlin Insurance

Zurich Insurance

Sainsbury’s

NEC Group

Keir Group

Morrison Utility Services

Crawford & Co

Community Union

Hawkwell Underwriting

Work highlights

  • Represented the first Part 20 defendant in contribution proceedings relating to a claim for damages by a tenant injured when part of the ceiling of his home fell on his head.
  • Represented the defendant in a head-on road traffic accident involving a high net worth claimant.
  • Represented the defendant in a catastrophic injury claim involving a claimant who had sustained a serious traumatic brain injury in a road traffic accident.
  • Advised on a claim whereby the claimant was a middle rear seat passenger who was involved in a road traffic accident when the defendant swerved in front of the claimant’s car, resulting in a head-on collision.
  • Represented the defendant in a case where the claimant, who was a child passenger, suffered a serious brain injury in a road traffic accident.

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