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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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The Yorkshire region is established as a clinical negligence stronghold for Irwin Mitchell. The national firm's Leeds and Sheffield offices, headed by Sarah Coles and Julianne Moore respectively, enjoy an enviable reputation and a large and varied workload. A total of 59 case handlers from both locations deal with high value cases relating to births, brain and spinal injuries, amputations and mental health, while a dedicated mini-team in Sheffield handles lower value cases from around the country. The department collaborates with charities and organisations to raise awareness of specific conditions and encourage early diagnosis and fast treatment. Rachel Roach, one of three team leaders in the medical negligence team in Leeds, is a key member of the practice.

Practice head(s):Rachelle Mahapatra; Julianne Moore

Other key lawyers:Rachel Roach; Lisa Swales

Testimonials

'First class in every respect and definitely recommendable.'

'The team is professional and organized, but more importantly approachable and with a personal touch.'

'An excellent clinical negligence team at the heart of the firm's national operation. The team has strength in depth in Sheffield with very high standards and simply a vast amount of experience over many decades in all types of clinical negligence. The team is a market leader in its region and, of course, has the firm's national resources to draw on.'

'Irwin Mitchell have been extremely caring, efficient, thorough and easy to talk to. We have been kept informed and each stage has been explained to us. Their legal expertise and persistence has been very impressive.'

'I have nothing but praise for the whole team, especially Ross McWilliams. Always available, excellent knowledge, friendly and helpful.'

'The clinical negligence teams in Sheffield and Leeds are particularly strong when compared with their peers in other firms undertaking the same work. They are excellent with client care, which is all the more important with claimant clinical work and they have an extremely wide breadth of experience and knowledge to call upon where it is required.'

'Irwin Mitchell is the go-to firm in the Sheffield area. The team provides an excellent and highly personal service. Without exception, those with whom I have regular contact have outstanding people skills and are very conscientiousness.'

'I was very fortunate to choose Irwin Mitchell as they were first class in every respect and I would definitely recommend them.'

'Rachelle Mahapatra is very experienced, robust and fearless in the representation of her clients.'

'Julianne Moore is a terrific, very hardworking and hugely experienced and practical lawyer. She recently achieved a fantastic result for a catastrophically injured client with cerebral palsy.'

'Lisa Swales has excellent client care skills, is a pleasure to work with and takes a flexible approach to dispute resolution.'

Key Clients

Janet Booth in her capacity as administratrix of the Estate of Craig Booth (deceased) and on behalf of all dependants

Katie Burgess

Charlie Scales

Group B Strep Support

UK Sepsis Trust

Back-Up Trust

Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT)

Work highlights

  • Advised on a case involving child and adolescent mental health service failures, which resulted in a 17-year-old with a short history of self-harm inflicting a catastrophic brain injury to himself.
  • Advised on a case involving a delay in diagnosis of a fatal brain tumour.

Minton Morrill, which has 'unparalleled experience in complex clinical negligence claims' have a well-established position in the competitive Yorkshire market, punching above its weight against bigger regional players. Practice head and 'masterful tactician' Simon Minton and Julia Morrill - 'one of the canniest litigators in the business' - are supported by a hugely experienced team, who are entrusted with complex, high-value cases ranging from Court of Protection work and infant settlements to birth injury, cerebral palsy and fatal claims. Sahida Patel is recommended by clients for her 'tireless and loyal' approach.

Practice head(s):Simon Minton

Other key lawyers:Julia Morrill; Susan Bartfield; Sahida Patel

Testimonials

'All the team at Minton Morrill deliver a high class service which beats any other competitor in this field.'

'Understanding, professional, compassionate, persistent, caring and down to details.'

'Simon Minton is an top-notch solicitor who has a team reflecting his values.'

Stewarts Law LLP's strategy of quality over quantity has helped the firm to establish itself as a leader in its chosen specialist areas, which centre around catastrophic injury claims and serious neurological injuries, including spinal cord damage and brain injuries. The team, which is led by practice head Frank Pinch - who can 'charm the birds from the trees' - benefits from its close connections with the firm's well-regarded London office. The team's up-and-coming bench of associate talent includes Gabrielle Ross, who is described as 'a future star' who 'leaves no stone unturned for her clients'.

Practice head(s):Frank Pinch

Testimonials

Stewarts sets itself apart by providing a second-to-none service for clients.'

'Dynamic and thorough, ensuring that no stone is left unturned.'

'The best clinical negligence law firm I have had dealings with in 20 years.'

'Frank Pinch is knowledgeable and tactically excellent.'

'Amy Fielding is extremely thorough with excellent client rapport.'

'Frank Pinch has a profound amount of experience. His judgement is always very sound.'

'Gabrielle Ross is plainly partnership material. She has a real eye for detail, but equally is able to filter out the good points from the bad.'

'Anna Higham is very hardworking. She is an excellent tactician and i always thinking of how to second guess and outdo her opponent.'

'Esther Gaudoin handles high value, complicated actions with aplomb.'

'Amy Fielding's nursing background gives her the edge over may non-medically trained lawyers which she uses to her advantage, coupled with her dogged determination to get justice for her clients. Utterly fearless, prepared to go all the way and beyond, she rarely fails to get the result. Sheer class.

'Frank Pinch is a fantastic lawyer, able to charm the birds from the trees. Experienced, tenacious, pragmatic and wonderful with clients and opponents alike.'

'Gabrielle Ross has an unbelievable eye for detail and leaves no stone unturned for her clients: she is a future star.

'Frank Pinch is committed, thoughtful and diligent.  Very experienced.  Great attention to detail and tactically astute.'

'Gabrielle Ross is outstanding in her knowledge of my case; I can ask her anything and she can recall facts of my case in a flash. She is also very patient and explains things in a way I can understand.'

The clinical negligence offering at Atherton Godfrey Solicitors is part of the larger litigation department, which also includes a complex injury team. The multi-layered nature of the practice, headed by John McQuater (litigation), Christopher Noble (clinical negligence) and Stephanie Veysey (complex injury), enables the firm to take on a wide spread of cases, covering claims relating to obstetric and general practitioner care to birth injury, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and beyond. The team has strong connections to key associations and charities such as the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Action against Medical Accidents and the Legal Aid Agency.

Practice head(s):John McQuater; Christopher Noble

Testimonials

'A well established firm with strength in depth. A professional coordinated approach with each fee earner delivering expertise. All of the cases are run efficiently and they instinctively pick up on the key issues. All of the fee earners are personable and a delight to work with.'

'Christopher Noble was fantastic at explaining legal terms and proceedings in really simple terms.'

'The team make you feel you matter. They aren't intrusive but are very friendly and respectful.'

'Christopher Noble is an expert at running high value complex cases.'

Pryers Solicitors LLP is continuing to progress under the leadership of CEO Neil Fearn, who joined in 2017 from Simpson Millar LLP. the firm recently achieved Lexcel accreditation and secured a major legal aid contract while also acquiring a caseload of clinical negligence files from Linder Myers. Based on NHS statistics, the firm is the sixth largest in the country for claimant clinical negligence work, and handles maximum severity cases relating to birth injuries,  spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and neuro-surgical issues. The firm has also recently established a Court of Protection team.

Practice head(s):Neil Fearn; Robyn Hawxby; Carmel Walsh; Richard Starkie

Work highlights

  • Represented a minor for negligence at birth by the Hospital Trust, with an interim payment of £750,000 awarded.
  • Client was awarded £200,000 for physical and neurological symptoms which occurred as a result of an excessive dosage of zinc.
  • Represented client who had suffered from infections and an adverse reaction to metal debris following contraindicated bi-lateral hip replacements. The client was awarded a £160,000 settlement.
  • Complex claim representing both mother and child seeking compensation for health complications following poor care of the mother when she was admitted to hospital for suspected appendicitis.
  • Represented client hrough mediation after her left arm was amputated as a result of delayed treatment for her vascular problems which was misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Switalskis Solicitors are held in high esteem in the clinical negligence arena, both by competitors who recognise the quality and depth of their caseload, and by clients, who benefit from an 'absolutely personal approach'. Jointly led by Suzanne Munroe - 'the driving force behind the success of the firm' and Janet Baker - 'one of the most experienced, capable and successful clinical negligence lawyers in the country' - the practice deals with brain, spinal and birth injury claims, as well as psychiatric injuries and cancer claims among others, while a cluster of smaller specialist teams focus on specific areas, such as inquests and fatal cases, complex and unusual cases as well as lower value healthcare claims.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Munroe; Janet Baker

Other key lawyers:Sarah Tipton Walker

Testimonials

'Janet Baker is one of the most experienced clinical negligence practitioners in the country and brings to the firm depth of knowledge and experience as well as leadership.'

'Suzanne Munroe and Sarah Tipton Walker (along with Janet Baker) head up an exceptional team of clinical negligence specialists who provide outstanding service to their clients.'

'From the first consultation to the aftercare, Switalskis provide a level of service that is second to none.'

'The firm is client driven, collegiate, and hard working. They are resolutely not corporate in their approach to work and this reflects in their willingness to run difficult cases.'

'Janet Baker is one of the most experienced, capable and successful clinical negligence lawyers in the country. I have worked with her in numerous claims by individuals who suffer from cerebral palsy. She is quite simply the best.'

'Suzanne Munroe has experience, commitment, drive and enthusiasm which results in exceptional client care.'

'Suzanne Munroe is the driving force behind the success of the firm. She is very experienced and highly regarded in the region.'

'Sarah Walker is a courageous solicitor, not frightened to take on difficult cases or to argue difficult points on her clients' behalf, but who is also skilled at working co-operatively with her opponents and fostering opportunities for early resolution. She is very hard working, and always tries to make herself available.

'Janet Baker is without doubt one of the most experienced, capable and successful maximum severity clinical negligence lawyers in the country. She combines experience and empathy with a superb eye for detail.'

'Associate Natalie Cosgrove is phenomenal. A force of nature. I have encountered few people who can litigate a case as well as she can. Her clients absolutely love her. She has a real dedication to making life better for people with disabilities. I have never met anyone who worked so hard to understand the types of problems faced by people with disabilities. Most lawyer see their role as being to value a claim and organise the evidence. Natalie sets out to gain a better understanding of her client's life and apply that to the legal problems that they face. If everybody did this the legal profession would be better for it.'

Work highlights

  • A very tragic case involving Mr Learoyd’s partner, who died postpartum at the age of 23 years.
  • Advised on a case in which the defendant admitted liability for failing to diagnose and appropriately treat the claimant’s right elbow fracture.
  • A newborn passed away following a delay in transfer of her mother to hospital by the ambulance service.
  • A complex claim which involved sub-standard treatment from various clinicians.

Harrowells Solicitors has a well-established regional practice across seven local offices, which provides a specialist service in relation to cases involving dental issues, NHS and GP treatment and private medical care. Birth injury claims are an additional strength of the practice. The team, headed by Richard Wood, prides itself on taking on unusual or challenging cases such as those which are close to limitation or are considered to be high risk, including birth injuries.

Practice head(s):Richard Wood

Howells fields a 'relatively small but strong' team of clinical negligence solicitors with a significant background in claims of all values, headed by the 'very experienced and very knowledgeable' Michelle Gyte. The firm, which represents clients in litigation involving spinal injuries, birth injuries, fatal accidents and ophthalmic claims, is one of a small number in Sheffield with a legal aid agency clinical negligence franchise.

Practice head(s):Michelle Gyte; Peter Mahy

Testimonials

'Michelle Gyte is very experienced and very knowledgeable, both on the medical issues and also relevant legal issues.'

Hudgell Solicitors has eschewed a partnership structure in favour of a more collaborative business model, as part of an effort to speed up decision-making and introduce more flexibility. The practice, which is jointly led by Chris Moore in Hull and Vince Shore in Leeds, handles serious medical negligence cases which often involve life-changing or life-limiting injuries. Helena Wood is developing a strong reputation for her work in claims against NHS trusts.

Practice head(s):Chris Moore; Vince Shore

Other key lawyers:Paul Cain; Helena Wood

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on a claim for injuries arising out of a delay in diagnosing Charcot foot.
  • Represented the parents of a child who died of sepsis after being left unmonitored for six hours as his condition worsened, with antibiotics not given quickly enough.
  • Advised on a case of negligence following the death of client’s baby girl just three hours after birth at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
  • Representing a woman whose baby boy died after being born at just 24 weeks.
  • Acted on birth injury case which left client with neurological abnormalities best described as bilateral cerebral palsy with extra pyramidal motor abnormalities.

Taylor & Emmet LLP's practice is headed up by James Drydale , who has almost 20 years' experience of advising on clinical negligence for claimants. His work includes advising on claims of maximum severity and complexity, including cerebral palsy cases, operating alongside fellow partner Paul Fouad, who also acts as the firm's training principal, and associate Camilla Attwood, who is now taking lead roles on much of the firm's key work.

Practice head(s):James Drydale

Other key lawyers:Paul Fouad; Camilla Attwood

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in an unusual matter involving what was initially thought to be a product claim in a hip case, but in fact was, following investigation, clinical negligence in respect of his original surgery.
  • Acted for a client in a case concerning Cauda Equina delay in diagnosis and surgery.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited's practice, which is led by 'excellent communicator and first class litigator' Terry Regan, attracts both local and national cases, with claims relating to cerebral palsy, cerebral cancer and orthopedic claims against the NHS increasingly complemented by cases involving breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. The team retains the Clinical Negligence Legal Aid Franchise, which secures high value neurological injury work.

Practice head(s):Terry Regan

Other key lawyers:John Vallance; Holly Dobson; Kate Lax

Testimonials

'High-level professionalism at all times, together with support and patience.'

'Wake Smiths combine professionalism and compassion; in this regard they go above and beyond what one would expect from a law firm.'

'The key clinical negligence firm in the region - impressive client care and ability to manage complex cases.'

Key Clients

Specialist Clinical Negligence Law Society Panel

AvMA Panel

APIL Senior Litigator

Work highlights

  • Represented a claimant in a clinical negligence claim against an NHS Trust arising out of the claimant developing cerebral palsy at the time of his birth.
  • Representing a claimant in a clinical negligence claim against an NHS Trust relating to failure to identify bilateral developmental dysplasia of the hips.
  • Represented a claimant in a clinical negligence claim against an NHS Trust and achieved an out-of-court settlement of £95,000.
  • Represented a client in a litigated clinical negligence claim against an NHS Trust. The matter settled shortly before trial in the sum of £92,500.
  • Represented a client in a clinical negligence claim and a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998 against an NHS Trust.  The claims arose out of a four-year delay in diagnosing his late mother’s lung cancer, and settled pre-action for £50,000.00.

As part of a medical negligence department spread across four offices, Bridge McFarland's Hull team is headed by Lorraine Taylor and deals with a wide portfolio of cases relating to birth and brain injuries, orthopaedics and cauda equina, gynaecology, general surgery, oncology and gastroenterology. The team is accredited by The Foundation for Infant Loss, enabling it to deal with infant loss claims. The firm's commitment to this area of law is underlined by its engagement with local charities and other similar organisations.

Practice head(s):Lorraine Taylor

Other key lawyers:Lynsey Furley

Testimonials

'Bridge McFarland can't be praised enough for the patience they demonstrate and the help they provide to clients who are going through difficult times.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client in respect of a clinical negligence claim arising out of a misdiagnosis of cancer, achieving £40,000 in damages.
  • Acting for a client in respect of an ongoing complex cerebral palsy case and providing a full package of support by way of links with local charities. .
  • Acting for a client in respect of a clinical negligence matter and achieving damages in the sum of £250,000.
  • Acting for a client in respect of a potential claim for damages in medical negligence in connection with a missed wrist fracture.
  • Acting for a client in respect of a clinical negligence matter in connection with the delayed diagnosis of Hirschsprungs disease when he was a newborn baby.

The medical negligence department at Chadwick Lawrence LLP Solicitors includes a team of lawyers with huge experience in settling serious and catastrophic injury claims, primarily acting for clients in the West Yorkshire area. Tony May established the department in 1998 and continues to head it, while also acting as a Court of Protection deputy for clients who have suffered brain and birth injuries and cerebral palsy.

Practice head(s):Tony May

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Vance

With the arrival of former Chadwick Lawrence LLP Solicitors lawyer Carol Simpson as the new head of the department, Graysons Solicitors is looking to build up its presence in the clinical negligence sphere. Simpson's caseload covers moderate to high value complex claims of birth injury involving cerebral palsy, amputation, spinal, orthopaedic and ophthalmic issues. The firm saw turnover and profit increase during 2018-19 financial year and more hires are in the pipeline.

Practice head(s):Peter Clark; Carol Simpson

Other key lawyers:Nikki Yavari

Work highlights

  • Negotiated a settlement of £20,000 in a complicated negligent hernia operation case.
  • A complex claim with jurisdictional difficulties against Optical Express, where the client had not given adequate consent to lasik monovision surgery.
  • A complex case of negligent laparoscopic gallbladder surgery which led to severe complications. Negotiated a settlement of £200,000.
  • A delay in treating carcinoma of the thumb led to necessity of amputation.
  • Fatal claim following RTA where the defendant failed to recognize significant thoracic aortic injury leading to the death of the personal representative’s father.

Morrish Solicitors LLP's clinical negligence team exclusively represents individuals, rather than employers or insurance companies. Many of these clients are referred by institutions such as trade unions, which turn to the firm for its expertise in cases involving fatalities, birth injuries, cosmetic surgery and dental negligence. Duncan Gardiner heads up the team.

Practice head(s):Duncan Gardiner

Work highlights

  • Represented a claimant on behalf of the deceased for longstanding failure to refer by the GP and the hospital, a settlement of £490,000 was agreed.

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