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The firm: With strong ambitions for growth and expansion, BLM’s goal is to be recognised as one of the leading global insurance and risk law specialists by 2020. The firm has now broken through the £100m barrier and has the strength and breadth to work with more customers across more lines of business and in more locations.
In 2014, BLM restructured its business to reflect its customers’ needs. Today, it is more than an insurance and risk law firm – it understands and is firmly embedded into its sector. As well as having more experts in the sector than any of its competitors, BLM’s ‘one team’ philosophy is delivering extraordinary outcomes for its customers. Fundamentally, it is helping them to reduce the time and money they spend on managing risk and resolving disputes.
The combinations in Northern Ireland (with Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors in December 2014) and Scotland (with HBM Sayers in March 2014) enable BLM to have the strength and breadth to work with more customers across more lines of business and in more locations.
BLM has an efficient service delivery model that maximises its skills, training and intelligence to help make its customers’ lives better and more successful. It is for this reason that BLM is described in customer surveys and legal directories as a firm with “its finger on the pulse of the market” and as a ‘technical powerhouse’.
BLM’s team of over 200 partners and more than 800 legal specialists is completely dedicated to the insurance and risk market and is recognised for having the capability, creativity and energy to support customers and help them find solutions to their problems.
BLM’s purpose is to make its customers’ business lives better and to have a positive impact upon them. The firm believes that it is only through speaking to customers that it is able to strengthen what it does. BLM’s Customer Insight programme assists the firm in gaining an independent view of what its customers really think, with the aim of building a better understanding of their perceptions of the firm, and their needs and requirements for now and in the future.
BLM has an existing strong remit of international work and contacts, representing UK companies operating abroad, acting for a breadth of international organisations and handling high profile multijurisdictional cases. BLM is creating a network of global like-minded risk and insurance law businesses. Firms from across the globe are invited to join its insurance network, with access to an International Desk led by a team of specialists operating at the heart of the London insurance market.
In 2016 senior partner Mike Brown was awarded Director of the Year (Large Company) for the North West. Additionally, the firm was awarded Commercial Insurance Law Firm of the Year in 2016 at the Commercial Insurance Awards
Types of work undertaken: BLM has an established reputation for its excellent record in handling a full range of matters including commercial disputes, family law, healthcare disputes, liability claims, marine insurance claims, professional liability, public service risks and regulatory matters. BLM’s depth of expertise is pre-eminent in these areas and the firm is recognised by customers, competitors and the judiciary. BLM has established a deep-rooted presence in the general insurance sector, the London Market and amongst brokers. The firm also has a significant presence amongst corporate businesses many of whom are multi-national, the public sector and the health and care industry. In addition BLM has an established policy development team which often acts as a conduit between government, policymakers and the firm and its customers.
In January 2015, former Law Commissioner, David Hertzell joined BLM as a consultant to help the partners educate and inform the firm’s customers, key industry thought leaders and decision makers around the implementation of the Insurance Act 2015.
BLM takes a high level and active role in ongoing debates and consultations relating to legal and procedural reforms, actively engaging with Government, the Civil Justice Council, The Law Society and other industry bodies on emerging legal developments.
The firm is regularly involved in test cases and high profile litigation. A key example is the precedent-setting multi-defendant asbestos related lung cancer Court of Appeal case of Heneghan v Manchester Dry Docks Ltd and Others whereby judgment ruled that no single defendant was responsible for more than half the total exposure to asbestos: Heneghan establishes the correct approach. Also, Bobby Prior v Silverline International whereby BLM successfully appealed a costs decision for Allianz Insurance saving the insurer thousands and sending an important message to claimants about when it is reasonable to issue court proceedings.
Number of UK partners 200
Number of other UK fee-earners 675
Total staff Approx 1,800
Above material supplied by BLM.