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

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  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Irwin Mitchell has a strong presence in Yorkshire with two personal injury claimant teams based in Sheffield and Leeds. With a focus on high value and complex cases, covering brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and disease, the firm stands out as a true national leader in this field. Adrian Budgen, head of the Sheffield office, specialises in asbestos disease and mesothelioma cancer cases, while his Leeds counterpart Sion Kingston leads the neuro trauma, criminal injuries, polytrauma and multi-track motor teams. In Sheffield, Louise Jenkins leads the 'amazing' serious injury team, while the 'hugely experienced' Rachael Aram is a specialist in brain and spinal cord injuries. In Leeds, the 'truly exceptional' Carolyn Heaton leads the neuro team and the national children’s serious injury group, while up and coming partner Ian Toft heads the asbestos disease team.

Practice head(s):Adrian Budgen; Sion Kingston

Other key lawyers:Carolyn Heaton; Rachael Aram; Louise Jenkins; Ian Toft

Testimonials

'The key strengths of team are communication, legal knowledge and ultimate care and attention given to the client.'

'They establish good relationships with clients and professionals alike.'

'The partners and associates take an active interest in the rehabilitation and quality of life of their clients and do not purely concentrate on the litigation process. They are true advocates and champions for their clients whilst also being realistic.'

'Claire Newstead is an astute and experienced litigator. An excellent tactician - able to progress cases to settlement extremely efficiently.'

'Carolyn Heaton has exceptional experience in this field and has consistently over many years achieved success for those who are the most catastrophically injured. She leads her department with great skill but has not lost her eye for critical detail in an individual case.'

'Hema Rana is incredibly hard-working and committed to her clients. She is operating at the highest level, representing clients in multi-million pound, complex cases.'

'David King is a very strong member of this team - his contribution to the team is exceptional.'

'Carolyn Heaton is emotionally intelligent and an excellent communicator - she has a strong work ethic, works collaboratively, has great attention to detail, easily develops trusting and productive relationships with clients and experts, always knows what questions to ask to get to the heart of the matter, and is creative in solving problems.'

'Louise Jenkins is a very experienced partner with huge empathy for her clients.  She manages a wide and diverse team with great aplomb.'

'David Withers is an up and coming star who is willing to take on and fight the most difficult cases to obtain a result for his client. Despite this difficult case load he is almost always successful, obtaining great outcomes for his client despite the difficulties he faces.'

'Claire Pilsworth is an associate who is willing to tackle complex and difficult cases. She is unafraid of difficult points and always produces excellent results for her clients.'

'Carolyn Heaton is a truly exceptional partner who is very popular with everybody she works with, extremely conscientious and really delightful to work with. She gets brilliant results for her clients.'

'The serious injury team based in Sheffield under the direction of Louise Jenkins are just amazing - it is hard to find the right words to describe the dedication and care shown by the whole team, they are a credit to Irwin Mitchell.'

Key Clients

James Casey

SARAG South Yorkshire Asbestos Victims Support Group (Sheffield & Rotherham Asbestos Group)

Back-Up Trust

Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT)

Work highlights

  • Helped client to secure access to vital mesothelioma therapies.
  • Advised on multimillion-pound pedestrian case.
  • Represented a client in multimillion-pound claim involving a complex accident at work.

Stewarts Law LLP is recognized as a leading firm in the field of catastrophic injury. This reputation has helped the firm to generate a steady flow of high-value work, securing record settlements and awards in a number of areas, recovering more than £500m for clients in 200 cases over three years. The team - which only acts for clients who have sustained life-changing injuries - is led by Leeds office head Daniel Herman, the first ever accredited spinal cord injury specialist appointed by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. Ben Townsend advises on high-value personal injury claims and has a particular focus on brain and spinal cord injuries.

Practice head(s):Daniel Herman

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Hill; Warren Maxwell; Ben Townsend

Work highlights

  • Represented a 24-year-old man who sustained a spinal cord injury following a motorcycle accident
  • Recovered damages of £16.25m on behalf of a 19-year-old man who sustained tetraplegia following a motorcycle accident.
  • Recovered damages of £6.1m on behalf of a 25-year-old man who sustained a spinal cord injury when he fell from ladders whilst cleaning gutters.
  • Recovered £3.655m on behalf of a 30-year-old man who sustained paraplegia following an accident in which he was a passenger in a car which was alleged by the defendant to have been stolen or unlawfully taken.
  • Recovered £1.7m for a 44-year-old man who sustained a serious knee injury at work which ultimately led to an amputation of his left leg below the knee.

Atherton Godfrey Solicitors’ personal injury practice sits within the firm's overall litigation department, together with clinical negligence and the new complex injury team, which was created to reflect the growth in this area. The team routinely provides advice in employers’ liability, industrial disease, accident at work and motor accident cases; in addition, complex cases involving fatalities or significant injuries are also handled. The majority of the team holds APIL accreditation, with hugely experienced litigation head John McQuater sitting on the APIL executive committee and acting as assessor for the APIL personal injury accreditation scheme.

Practice head(s):John McQuater; Diane Parker

Other key lawyers:Janet Lee; Stephanie Veysey; Diane Parker

Testimonials

'This firm is a strong force in the locale for PI and clinical negligence work.'

'John McQuater who has a deep knowledge of the legal issues in this field.'

'John McQuater has a very good knowledge of the legal issues in clinical negligence and personal injury, and a good communicator with clients and other lawyers.'

Work highlights

  • The claimant suffered a fractured ankle. Liability of 90/10 was agreed at an early stage, however quantum remained in issue. Settled for £500,000.
  • Employers’ liability. The client suffered traumatic amputation of the thumb, fractures and damage to the tendons and ligaments, when a circular saw he was using malfunctioned. Liability was admitted, subject to negotiation on contributory negligence
  • The claimant was riding his motorcycle off road when he was in a collision with the defendant who ran in to the back of his stationary motorcycle.
  • The claimant sustained a fractured femur when he fell around 10 feet from a roof while working for the defendant
  • Fatal road traffic accident. The claimant’s 20-year-old son was hit by a car and subsequently died of traumatic brain injury.

Switalskis Solicitors personal injury practice operates out of the firm's Doncaster and Wakefield offices, which respectively focus on brain injury/serious injury and child abuse claims. The child abuse team is led by David Greenwood , who is hugely experienced in his field, acting on a series of landmark cases in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, the brain injury team, which is headed by the 'calm, courteous and doggedly determined' Mark Hollinghurst, handles claims in excess of £5m concerning profound brain injury and minimally conscious clients.

Practice head(s):Mark Hollinghurst; David Greenwood

Other key lawyers:Rob Casey

Testimonials

'Mark Hollinghurst is a very good lawyer and approaches his cases with care and thought. He has a pragmatic approach to litigation, seeking the sensible and workable outcome rather than becoming fixated upon being right - an admirable quality in a good solicitor. He is nobody's pushover and his calm manner and courteous style, even in the face of aggression from his opposite numbers, is a reflection of his quiet strength. I have no hesitation in saying that he is more than a safe pair of hands. He knows his stuff. He is doggedly determined - refusing to give up on cases many others had turned down.'

'Julie Wilkinson is efficient and a pleasure to deal with. She ensures the nuts and bolts are dealt with, without fuss'

'Switalksi's is a small firm but provides an excellent service - up there with the big players but with a more personal touch.'

Work highlights

  • Settlement achieved for victim in vicarious liability claim against local authorities for assault by a foster carer.
  • Complex claim for personal injuries arising from child sexual abuse.
  • Child sexual exploitation claim against local authority and police.
  • Serious abuse claim settled against detention centre.
  • Proceedings against local authority for failure to return child to birth family.

Trade union specialist firm Thompsons Solicitors LLP does not act for employers or insurers, meaning it is instead focused on fighting for "the injured and mistreated". The workload is divided between a national 'fast track centre' and a Yorkshire personal injury unit, both of which handle work for the largest and most important trade unions in the country. Natalie Harvey heads up a national unit in Sheffield and deals with accident claims such as slips and trips in the workplace, manual handling injuries and falls from height, while in Leeds, Simon Wood’s expertise is in industrial disease claims.

Practice head(s):Simon Wood; Lois McCaughey; Natalie Harvey

Other key lawyers:Marion Voss; Helen Tomlin

Testimonials

'Thompsons have unrivalled strength in claimant PI work, with a long-established history as the leading trade union firm.'

'Helen Shakespeare is outstanding. She has a sound legal knowledge and excellent client-handling skills, but above all her instincts are always right. She has the innate ability to sense when to settle and when to fight on.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a client who sustained traumatic brain injury in road traffic accident and successfully recovered £3.9m in damages.
  • Represented a client who sustained a brain injury in a pedestrian road traffic accident and recovered £1.4m in damages.
  • Represented a client who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and received £200,000 in damages plus private treatment costs for the future.
  • Represented a Client who was diagnosed with lung cancer and was awarded £40,000 damages
  • Represented a client who died of mesothelioma and his estate was awarded £350,000.

Emsleys Solicitors Limited, which has several offices in the Leeds area, has recently expanded its personal injury team into the field of occupational disease work, taking on a number of new lawyers across the UK to handle new workstreams. The firm offers an online service dubbed 'Review My Claim', which helps clients make well-informed decisions about their claim if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving. Road traffic accidents, employers’ and occupiers’ liability and occupational disease are key areas of work for the team, which is led by Andrew Greenwood, a deputy district judge in the High Court and County Court who is lauded for his 'experience, charm and gravitas'.

Practice head(s):Andrew Greenwood

Testimonials

'A small to medium sized firm that really punches above its weight. The serious injury team is led by directors Andrew Greenwood and John Hutchings.'

'Emsleys is led from the front by managing partner Andrew Greenwood. It prides itself on its core values, whereby its employees are valued and encouraged to work as a team. This leads very much to a happy, busy workforce, who are well managed yet independent.'

'Andrew Greenwood brings vast experience, charm and gravitas to bear in the management of claims, securing excellent results for his clients. John Hutchings goes the extra mile for his clients and is lauded by them for his fantastic client management skills and the favourable results he secures on their behalf.'

Work highlights

  • High value claim for a complex pain injury case settled through a Joint Settlement Meeting.
  • Undersettled compensation claim through Review My Claim.
  • Employers’ liability claim including future losses
  • Serious road traffic accident claim
  • Compensation claim for an accident at a college.

The backbone of Minster Law Limited's practice is made up of motor car cases, which constitute 89% of the team's workload. The team handles all types of road traffic accidents, while it is also a market leader in motorcycle claims. The Yorkshire offering is split into ten 'mini-teams' which cover the whole spectrum of personal injury cases. Rachel Di Clemente is head of serious injury and one of a number of APIL accredited members in the team; her areas of expertise include neurotrauma and amputation injuries.

Practice head(s):Rachel Di Clemente; Richard Harwood

Work highlights

  • Client suffered a serious fracture to her right knee resulting in her being admitted to hospital for surgical stabilisation of the fracture before being allowed home wearing a knee brace. The injury has led to early onset degenerative changes in the right knee making a total knee joint replacement inevitable in future years.
  • Advised a client who was on his motorcycle when the third party turned right across his path causing an accident

Morrish Solicitors LLP has a focus on advising trade unions and other membership based associations, which it advises on claims relating to catastrophic injury, spinal and brain injury, road traffic and workplace accidents, occupational disease and product liability. The team is led by Laura Nabozny, who is an active campaigner for improvements in the laws relating to personal injury and the rights of injured accident victims.

Practice head(s):Laura Nabozny

Other key lawyers:Martin Bare

Key Clients

Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA)

National Education Union (NEU – ATL Section)

Equity National Association of Racing Staff (NARS)

Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA)

British Grooms Association (BGA)

Musicians’ Union Society of Union Employees Social Workers Union (SWU)

Work highlights

  • Represented a client for an injury at work involving asbestos with a settlement of £190,000 agreed.
  • Represented a client who was a member of Unite and was injured at work - a settlement of £174,000 was agreed.
  • Advised a Unite the Union member injured at work - a settlement of £150,000 was agreed.

Taylor & Emmet LLP acts on all types of claims – from catastrophic injury and fatal accidents to industrial disease and lower value work. The practice is led by Jonathan Stittle, who is accredited as a senior litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers for his expertise in road traffic, public liability claims and criminal injuries. John Green , who handles cases of all types, including those of maximum severity, is seen as a future head of department.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Stittle

Key Clients

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client who sustained a serious hip injury following a cycling accident, recovering compensation of just under £200,000 without using counsel.
  • Acting for a seriously injured man whose claim is likely to be valued in the region of £2m.
  • Acted for a woman and her son poisoned by toxic chemicals; a complex claim involving seven defendants.
  • Handled a serious life-changing head injury claim for a man with pre-existing learning difficulties, which was settled for £500,000.
  • Helped an amateur footballer to win more than £200,000 following a bad tackle during a charity match.

Bridge McFarland’s personal injury work is handled by a three-partner team, which, as well as industrial disease and road traffic accident cases, has experience of claims relating to asbestos and mesothelioma. Leanne Keating, who heads up the department, has been a partner for almost 15 years and handles a broad range of claims relating to brain injury and chemical exposures, among others.

Practice head(s):Leanne Keating

Other key lawyers:James Burrell; Kathryn Hudson

Key Clients

Michael O’Neill

Stephen Cottrell

James Robinson

Daniel Edwards

Graysons Solicitors has a very experienced department which deals with the whole spectrum of personal injury work; led by Peter Clark, the team handles public liability and road traffic cases while a smaller, dedicated group specialises in industrial disease, being particularly strong in coal mining, mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. The firm also provides representation at inquests

Practice head(s):Peter Clark

Other key lawyers:Belinda Lancaster; Mark Fisher; Lucy Flynn

Testimonials

'They go the extra mile for clients and are not afraid to run novel cases.'

'Robust but realistic as well as being commercially savvy.'

'A solid choice for any personal injury case, big or small.'

Key Clients

National Accident Helpline

Accidents Direct

Work highlights

  • Won a settlement of £100,000 for a woman who slipped on water at work.  The settlement was won on a 100% basis, despite the defendant asserting contributory negligence.
  • Pursued a claim against a company that had become insolvent and had to be restored, securing a settlement of £70,000 for his client, who had been kicked in the face whilst working for the care home company, resulting in significant and chronic pain.
  • Settled an occupiers’ liability, winning £100,000 for an elderly woman who fell and injured herself.
  • Won compensation for a woman who was bitten by a dog in a grooming parlour when the owner of the parlour had not warned that the dog was dangerous.
  • Pursuing the first appeal made by Graysons against the MIB, which has now gone to a QC, relating to an accident in a petrol forecourt.

Harrowells Solicitors ' longstanding personal injury department is led by Richard Wood and operates for national clients under the CNCI brand name. Its caseload includes claims relating to spinal injury, road traffic accidents and work injuries.

Practice head(s):Richard Wood

Other key lawyers:John Coulson

Specialist personal injury firm Hudgell Solicitors has grown significantly in recent years. The personal injury team is led out of the firm's Hull office by the experienced Jane Woodcock  - who has expertise in coordinating and obtaining substantial rehabilitation packages - and Karen Smith in Leeds, who handles a wide variety of personal injury matters including road traffic accidents, catastrophic accidents, public liability and occupiers’ liability, while also acting for injured professional sportspeople.

Practice head(s):Karen Smith; Jane Woodcock

Work highlights

  • Advised on an ongoing package of financial, physical, emotional and psychological support to a client and his family following a car accident in 2005 which his partner and their daughter were killed.
  • Acted for a client who was left fighting for life after a head-on car crash caused her to suffered compound fractures to both legs, fractures to both knees and hips and nine broken ribs.
  • Acted for a client who suffered an open fracture to his left tibia and fibula in an accident at work.
  • Acted for a client who suffered an amputation of the left arm from the shoulder joint, an open fracture to the right wrist, a fracture to the right hand and a fracture to the left eye socket in an accident at work.
  • Acted for a client who suffered a fracture to his left femur, permanent nerve damage to his right leg, fractured ribs, urinary incontinence and psychological injuries in a road traffic accident.

The claimant personal injury department at Keebles  focuses on claims relating to injuries sustained in accidents and occupational diseases, as well as road traffic accidents and complex cases involving brain injuries. The bulk of the firm's work is led by Owen Brown, who has been a partner at the firm since 2014.

Practice head(s):Owen Brown

Work highlights

  • Represented client in claim against employer following traumatic amputation of eight fingers.
  • Represented client in a claim against a roller-skating rink following an accident while a visitor there.
  • Represented client in a claim against the occupier of a car park following an accident when she slipped and fell due to ice.
  • Represented client in a claim against his employers following an accident at work when a colleague suffered life threatening injuries in front of him, causing him to develop post traumatic stress disorder.

The team at Lupton Fawcett specialises in claims relating to road traffic accidents, public, occupiers' and employers' liability. The practice, which is led by Jack Ferraro, is spread across Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Practice head(s):Jack Ferraro

Other key lawyers:Jackie Rowe

Testimonials

'My case with Lupton Fawcett  was handled in a very professional manner from start to finish. There was always a voice and the end of the phone to answer all my queries or concerns that I may of had. Every query was answered with a very satisfactory answer and at no time did I feel uneasy or worried about my claim.

'The firm treated me like a member of their family. Everyone who helped out with my claim obviously worked well as a team to get the best results possible for me and myself and my family are extremely grateful for that.'

Work highlights

  • A claim under Law Reforms (miscellaneous provisions) Act 1934 and a dependency claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
  • The claimant, a pedestrian, was suddenly struck with some force by a scooter having lost control.
  • Claimant signalled and began his overtaking manoeuvre when the Defendant suddenly and without warning, turned across the claimants path.
  • The Claimant was carrying out building works at a construction site, he was instructed to demolish a concrete wall using a hammer drill when a section of the wall collapsed onto the Claimant causing injury.
  • Claimant was footing the ladder for a colleague when a gust of wind caught the ladder and trapped the Claimant’s wrist

The Asbestos Law Partnership LLP is a boutique asbestos disease firm for claimants, set up in 2017 by the 'assiduous' Helen Wilson, 'thorough and helpful' Paul Glanville and the 'standout' Fozia Hussain , who were all previously partners at a niche asbestos practice prior to its acquisition by Slater and Gordon in 2013. The firm has a presence in Halifax, Birmingham and has recently expended into Manchester. A key goal of the practice is secure rapid resolution of claims, with the team aiming to take cases to conclusion within three to six months of instruction.

Testimonials

'Very focused and experienced.'

'Dedicated to getting the client the best and timely compensation.'

Key Clients

Asbestos Support Central England

Sheffield & Rotherham Asbestos Support Group (SARAG)

Cumbria & Lancashire Asbestos Support & Advice Group (CLASAG)

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group (GMAVSG)

Mesothelioma Support Yorkshire (Messy)

Asbestos Support Central England

Sheffield & Rotherham Asbestos Support Group (SARAG)

Cumbria & Lancashire Asbestos Support & Advice Group (CLASAG)

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group (GMAVSG)

Work highlights

  • Advised on six-figure mesothelioma settlement within six months for single man.
  • Secured £145,000 award for mesothelioma following exposure as a schoolchild visiting factory.
  • Secured provisional damages claim for client living in Canada for pleural thickening with potential limitation issues.
  • Mesothelioma case settled for £400,000 involving payment for immunotherapy.
  • Disputed mesothelioma claim for a single man exposed as a school leaver.

Howells’ personal injury practice draws on department head Sharon Rinaldi’s 18 years’ post-qualification experience. She is a member of the Law Society Panel and of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and works with paralegal Lesley Dixon to offer assistance on all types of claims including high value and complex cases.

Practice head(s):Sharon Rinaldi

Ramsdens has a small personal injury team that deals with occupational, incident, road and spinal injury cases. Former Emsleys Solicitors Limited director Natalie Marrison joined the firm in late 2017 to establish an abuse team, which handles proceedings relating to physical and sexual abuse against private institutions and establishments. She is supported by partner Steven Singh, who heads the commercial dispute resolution department, which the personal injury team is part of.

Practice head(s):Natalie Marrison

Other key lawyers:Anne Scott

Testimonials

'The team work with their client's needs as central to everything they do. They are professional, responsive, timely and realistic in their advice and deadlines'.

'Clients respect them and their advice and they work holistically across all departments to deliver the best outcome for their clients at all times'.

'Put simply they deliver what they say in the best way possible with a professional approach and in a timely manner'.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a Claimant who was injured in a work place accident. Case was settled for £565k.

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