The Legal 500

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Top-tier recommendations


London: Human resources

Within Employment: employees/unions, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Top’ claimant firm Leigh Day is ‘extremely impressive’, and ‘one of the best in its area’. The firm continues to advise on equal pay claims, and is currently acting in a group action brought on behalf of 174 ex-employees of a local authority, in Abdulla & Ors v Birmingham City Council. ‘High-flyerChris Benson is recommended for his ‘innovative’ approach, ‘has an eye for novel legal arguments’, and is strong in disability discrimination and equal pay claims. A ‘skilled and successful negotiator’, Camilla Palmer is ‘adept at spotting and utilising the potential of test cases’, and is renowned for her experience in pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims.

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London: Insurance

Within Clinical negligence: claimant, Leigh Day is a first tier firm,

With a nine-partner team led by the ‘extremely strongRussell Levy, Leigh Day has ‘dominated the field for many years’, and takes a ‘very caring and supportive’ approach. Its recent caseload includes claims involving ectopic pregnancy, delayed diagnosis of breast cancer, catastrophic brain injury, and failure to diagnose tuberculosis. Claire Fazan has a ‘brilliant grasp of the medical issues’, and is ‘often regarded as the person to consult on difficult issues’. Sally-Jean Nicholes has ‘many years of experience’, and acts for individuals in ‘often challenging and high-value claims’.

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Within Clinical negligence: defendant Leading individuals: clinical negligence

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Within Personal injury: claimant, Leigh Day is a first tier firm,

Leigh Day rates ‘extremely highly’ in terms of its capabilities and its commitment to getting ‘the best result for its clients’. It handles a large number of complex, often precedent-setting cases each year, and is particularly strong in industrial disease. It recently won a successful judgment for a mesothelioma victim against Tate & Lyle, in what was the first asbestos case to consider occupiers’ liability. Its sizeable team is led by Sally Moore, who is ‘always dedicated and professional’, and ‘exceptionally sympathetic’. Daniel Easton is ‘calm and dependable’; and Harminder Bains is ‘inspirational’, with a ‘superb track record’. Senior partner Martyn Day heads the firm's international claims department, and is acting in Mutua v Foreign & Commonwealth Office, a case relating to the torture of Kenyans during the Mau Mau rebellion.

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Within Personal injury: defendant Leading individuals: personal injury

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Within Product liability: claimant, Leigh Day is a first tier firm,

Leigh Day is ‘outstanding in the field of product liability’. The team includes Bozena Michalowska-Howells, who ‘approaches cases with real creativity and panache’; Jill Paterson, who is ‘calm, utterly focused and brilliant’ in her approach, and newly promoted partner Michelle Victor. The firm is the lead adviser in the DePuy hip claims, and is working with Slater & Gordon Lawyers in advising hundreds of victims of thalidomide.

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Within Product liability: defendant Leading individuals: product liability

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London: Private client

Within Court of Protection, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Leigh Day fields a three-partner team which is ‘one of the very best, combining medical, public law, and human rights experience’. The ‘tacticalFrances Swaine is a ‘leader in the field, and sensitive to the client’s needs’. Richard Stein has a strong reputation for right-to-life and right-to-die cases; and Alison Millar is well regarded for healthcare, inquest and disability discrimination work.

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London: Public sector

Within Administrative and public law, Leigh Day is a first tier firm,

Outstanding’ claimant firm Leigh Day provides ‘commercial standards for legal aid clients’, and is ‘one of the best public law firms in the country’. It has a strong reputation acting for individuals, interest groups and NGOs on a range of matters including education, healthcare, immigration and detention, and community care and housing. It continues to act for Reprieve, advising on challenges to the UK’s involvement in the arrest of overseas individuals who now face the death penalty. Richard Stein is an ‘exceptional, no-nonsense litigator’. Sean Humber, associate Benjamin Burrows and assistant solicitor Rosa Curling are also recommended.

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Within Civil liberties and human rights, Leigh Day is a first tier firm,

With broad expertise, Leigh Day has a ‘well-deserved reputation for taking on cutting-edge cases’, and is ‘creative and wide ranging in its challenges’ while also remaining ‘realistic in terms of advice and litigation strategy’. The ‘inspirational, imaginative and committedRichard Stein and ‘tenacious and passionate’ associate Rosa Curling are representing a number of interpreters employed by UK forces in Afghanistan in their attempts to gain resettlement in Britain. Jamie Beagent is ‘knowledgeable’; Sean Humber is ‘committed’; and associate Benjamin Burrows is ‘careful, efficient, focused and effective’.

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Within Education: individuals, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Leigh Day handles SEN appeals, discrimination claims and advisory matters, and has developed expertise in the traveller education community. Recent work includes advising members of the NUT and the Anti-Academies Alliance on challenges to the privatisation of education. Alison Millar and Richard Stein are key figures.

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Within Healthcare, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Leigh Day’s ‘excellent’, five-partner team primarily represents individual claimants in health-related claims. Richard Stein and solicitor Rosa Curling are currently acting for clients including UNISON, UNITE and Patients First, in challenges to the privatisation of the NHS, access to NHS treatments, and waiting times. Alison Millar and ‘impressive’ solicitor Emma Jones are recommended.

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London: Real estate

Within Environment, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Leigh Day does ‘whatever it can to provide a flexible, affordable, and high-quality service’, and has a ‘strong commitment to social issues and justice’. It stands out for its work on domestic and international environmental claims arising from contaminated land, pollution, and human rights abuses, and is active in judicial review challenges. It is representing over 80 Colombian farmers in suing BP for environmental damage caused by the construction of an oil pipeline in the late 1990s. Richard Stein is ‘innovative’, ‘strategic’ and ‘approachable’. Martyn Day leads on international work.

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London: Transport

Within Travel, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Leigh Day is ‘very experienced’ in travel-related personal injury claims. Keren Adams is recommended.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces