The Legal 500

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Top-tier recommendations


London: Human resources

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

The ‘excellent' Leigh Day is ‘highly responsive' and particularly recommended for its advice on discrimination claims. Department head Chris Benson, who is ‘very knowledgeable' and ‘always available', and the ‘very smart' Michael Newman, are instructed by the GMB in representing its members on a blacklisting claim in the construction industry. The ‘very client-focused' Elizabeth George represented the claimant, a trainee solicitor, in a pregnancy discrimination case against a law firm. Solicitor Emma Satyamurti is ‘outstanding'. Camilla Palmer departed the firm in 2013 for a position with a charity.

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London: Insurance

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

The team at Leigh Day is ‘professional, compassionate, patient and determined'. It has a department of 11 partners acting solely on clinical negligence matters, and its workload in 2013 featured numerous cerebral palsy claims and brain injury matters. Russell Levy is ‘excellent, and dedicated'; Suzanne White has particular experience representing families at inquests; and Sally-Jean Nicholes and Claire Fazan are also recommended.

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Within Clinical negligence: defendant Leading individuals: clinical negligence (general)

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

Leigh Day is ‘one of the best firms in the marketplace', and ‘a leader in its field'. The practice acts only for claimants, with teams dedicated to catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, claims involving amputation and fatalities. The firm has expertise representing cyclists, having acted for British Cycling’s memberships for over a decade. The ‘compassionate and committed' Sally Moore co-heads the department with Martyn Day. Bozena Michalowska-Howells is ‘passionate', and Daniel Easton is noted for his ‘thoughtfulness and empathy'.

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Within Personal injury: defendant Leading individuals: personal injury (general)

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

Leigh Day is ‘pre-eminent in product liability'; ‘the sheer amount of drive and relish of a fight sets it apart', and it is ‘outstanding in its professional and humane approach'. The firm’s recent caseload includes representing over 500 claimants against DePuy ASR in relation to metal-on-metal hips; acting for victims of Thalidomide; and advising victims of allegedly faulty Beko white goods. The team of ‘hugely intelligent lawyers' includes leading figure Martyn Day; Bozena Michalowska Howells, who is ‘passionate about product liability'; ‘shrewd litigator' Jill Paterson; Michelle Victor, who has ‘excellent commercial instincts'; and Gene Matthews, who has ‘tactical nous'.

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London: Private client

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

‘Up there with the best', Leigh Day fields a three-partner team with a strong mix of medical law, public law, and human rights expertise. Frances Swaine is widely acknowledged as a leader in her field and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor; Richard Stein has a strong reputation for right-to-life and right-to-die cases; and Alison Millar is well regarded for healthcare, disability discrimination and best interests work.

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London: Public sector

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

Leigh Day has ‘brought some of the most important public law claims', and provides ‘the highest quality of advice', which is ‘strategically and tactically informed'. The firm has expertise in handling a broad range of claims involving areas such as immigration, healthcare, right to privacy and the ‘war on terror’. Rosa Curling and Richard Stein‘both have a brilliant eye for an argument', and are ‘fantastic with clients' and ‘highly creative'. Jamie Beagent is ‘top-notch'. Merry Varney, Alison Millar, and Charlotte Skouby are also recommended.

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

The ‘committed and talented' Leigh Day is ‘one of the clear leaders for difficult, cutting-edge civil liberties and human rights cases', and ‘undertakes pioneering work of the highest quality'. Sean Humber and Benjamin Burrows are ‘outstanding prison lawyers' who show ‘unrivalled attention to detail'. Rosa Curling and Richard Stein are ‘creative, knowledgeable and fantastic with clients'. Jamie Beagent is ‘excellent', Martyn Day is praised for his ‘passion, determination and knowledge', and Daniel Leader‘combines sharp forensic analysis with a deep passion for his cases and clients'. Alison Millar and Charlotte Skouby are both ‘thorough, committed, intelligent and dedicated'.

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

Alison Millar and Charlotte Skouby at Leigh Day acted for a child with severe autism and sensory processing difficulties in obtaining a specialist school placement. Richard Stein and Rosa Curling continue to advise on challenging the establishment of free schools and academies.

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Within Healthcare, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

The ‘excellent' Leigh Day is the ‘go-to firm for prisoner health care complaints’. Department head Sean Humber is valued for his ‘passion and tactical nous', and is leading on a judicial review challenge alleging unlawful religious discrimination and a breach of human rights on behalf of a Muslim prisoner, who was required to take his medication in daylight hours during Ramadan. Richard Stein, Rosa Curling, Frances Swaine and Alison Millar are also recommended.

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London: Real estate

Within Environment, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

‘With very broad reach', Leigh Day is recommended for its ‘strong' claimant practice, acting in claims in areas ranging from pollution and contaminated land to human rights; it has ‘the skill, legal knowledge, experience and sheer bravery to take on huge, complex cases'. It is representing the Bodo Community in Nigeria in claims against Shell following two oil spills in 2008. Sean Humber heads the team. Martyn Day is ‘first class', and Richard Stein‘is a longstanding leader in environmental public law, with huge litigation experience'.

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London: Transport

Within Travel, Leigh Day is a second tier firm,

Clare Campbell handles travel claims at Leigh Day, having joined from Pannone, part of Slater & Gordon in July 2014.

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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
  • 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.

  • 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
  • Silence is not always golden

    In PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd [2013], the Court of Appeal considered, for the first time, whether a failure by a party to respond to an invitation to mediate should be treated as an unreasonable refusal to mediate - previous cases having focused on situations where there had been an express refusal to do so. 

  • Continued uncertainty for international manufacturers in the US

    For manufacturers that export, a key strategic issue for in-house counsel is assessing the risk of being sued in another jurisdiction - particularly the US. 

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.