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For some, Capsticks LLP is ‘pre-eminent among NHSLA panel firms’, and its Leeds office ‘matches its London office in terms of the quality of the personnel conducting the work’. David Roberts and Ian Cooper lead the team in Leeds; in addition to handling a significant share of NHSLA matters, the team also acts for the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland as well as a number of private health providers and Lloyds underwriters. The firm’s expertise runs the full gamut of defendant clinical negligence matters, and it can call on dedicated advisory and inquest teams to advise on areas involving abuse and psychiatric injury and CQC regulation and enforcement. In an illustration of its track record in high-profile inquests, Roberts is leading the team acting for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust in the inquests into the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 people lost their lives. Roberts is also defending the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in a case involving allegations of negligence in failing to warn the claimant of the risk of chronic, neuropathic pain prior to the performance of a hysterectomy, which has reached the Court of Appeal. Key associates include Lucy Hannon, Beth Dickinson and Gerard Aston, who attracts praise for his ‘good judgement and commitment to cases’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s clinical negligence practice is singled out for its ‘approach to client support, wealth of expertise and fair and balanced approach to managing claims’. The firm, which has acted for the NHSLA since its inception, is regularly called on to handle high-value, catastrophic injury claims, including handling the largest group actions in the UK arising from breast surgery and orthopaedics. Other clients include the Medical Defence Union, private healthcare providers and three of the UK’s five largest providers of independent acute hospital services. Paul Taylor leads the team in Leeds, which includes Sean Doherty, who acts for the NHSLA on all metal hip claims pursued against the NHS nationally. Taylor recently acted in defending a claim alleging failure to prescribe adequate thrombo-embolic prophylaxis therapy prior to hip replacement surgery, which resulted in the patient’s death. In another key matter, Doherty defended Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in a claim alleging failure to correctly interpret an ultrasound scan leading to delayed diagnosis of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

At Hempsons, Adrienne D’Arcy, Kathleen Wilson and Helen Freeman have extensive track records handling NHSLA clinical negligence matters, with D’Arcy singled out for her expertise in spinal injury cases. Wilson regularly handles maximum-severity cases, particularly those involving cerebral palsy arising from negligent obstetric care. Freeman specialises in brain injury cases involving adults and children; her recent matters include successfully defending a high-value cerebral palsy claim allegedly caused at birth due to delay by midwives in calling for medical assistance and by the obstetric registrar in deciding to perform an emergency caesarean section for placental abruption. In another key matter, D’arcy and Laura Scott successfully defended a claim alleging inappropriate treatment by a physiotherapist leading to a torn calf muscle, deep vein thrombosis, haematoma and delay in recovery. Other key figures include Adam Hartrick, who regularly represents acute NHS providers and health and social care bodies before the Coroners Court. He recently acted before the Court of Appeal, in which he successfully argued a costs point in favour of the client.

A pleasure to work with’, CMS’s clinical negligence practice (which comprises the legacy Nabarro LLP team in Sheffield following the merger between the two firms along with Olswang LLP) ‘always gets the best result for its clients’. Led by the ‘vastly experiencedChris Horsefield (who attracts praise for his ability to ‘shrewdly judge the merits of a case’), the practice has built an excellent representation defending clinical negligence claims on behalf of the MDU and DDU; it also acts for medical and professional indemnity insurers, as well as members of the medical profession not covered by a medical defence organisation. Other key figures include Rachel Cooper, who splits her time between the Sheffield and Manchester offices and regularly represents MDU members in inquests and GMC investigations; Mike Jennings, ‘an unflappable litigator who handles the heaviest cases with skill’; and Rachel Brown, who recently joined the Sheffield office from Slater and Gordon.

Alistair Hewitt leads the team at RadcliffesLeBrasseur, which regularly acts for healthcare professionals in fitness-to-practise investigations and interim orders hearings before statutory regulators, as well as in public law and judicial review matters. Key mandates included acting in a three-week inquest into two separate deaths arising from misplaced naso-gastric tubes. Anne Green is also recommended.

Ward Hadaway’s clinical negligence practice is led by the Newcastle-based Jeffrey Keeble and includes Leeds-based partner Liz Hackett, who brings more than 10 years’ experience handling defendant clinical negligence matters on behalf of the NHSLA, the MDU and private healthcare providers. Mental health law is a particular area of expertise.

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