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North West

Transport - ranked: tier 2


BLM handles personal injury and recovery claims with a focus on the bus, coach, rail, tram and air sectors. Areas of expertise include pre-litigation claims, personal injury litigation, driving prosecutions, public enquiries, health and safety prosecutions and inquests. The 'hugely experienced, pragmatic and results oriented’ Ruth Graham leads the Manchester motor team.

Practice head(s):Ruth Graham; Simon Jones; Rachael Lumb; Joanne Francis; Joanna Peters; Andrew Millen; Helen Devery; Naomi Grant; Sarah Cartlidge; Simon Mattison

Key Clients



East Yorkshire Motor Services

Manchester Airport


Mersey Rail



National Express

Network Rail

Northern Rail


Shearings and their insurer, Protector





Work highlights

  • Defending Metroline against various personal injury claims.

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North West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Manchester
Corporate and commercial: Manchester - ranked: tier 4


BLM advises property owners, developers, local authorities and funders on development, regeneration and infrastructure joint ventures. Other areas of expertise include M&A, venture capital and high-net-worth investments and restructuring. Other key client sectors include retail and e-commerce, medical, manufacturing, travel and professional services. The firm also advises on commercial matters including contracts, data protection and outsourcing contracts. The team is headed by Daniel Varney, Steve Kuncewicz and Jonathan Askin, who joined as partner from Weightmans LLP.

Practice head(s):Daniel Varney; Jonathan Askin; Steve Kuncewicz

Key Clients

Oliver James Associates Limited

St Helens Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Hardroad (Builders Supply (North West)

Palletower (GB) Limited

MTC Novo


Direct Line Group


Persimmon Homes

Interpublic Group

The Ardonagh Group Limited

J Parker Dutch Bulbs Limited

University of Central Lancashire

Wondrwall Limited

Saks Medical & Cosmetic Limited

Santander UK Plc

Cert Property Group

Avensure Limited

Bugler Smith Limited

Builtvisible Limited

Landscape Institute

Tangerine Limited

Raised Floor Limited

Sputnik Digital

Work highlights

  • Advising University of Central Lancashire on the £200m redevelopment of its campus.

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North West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 4


BLM handles the full gamut of commercial litigation matters, including disputes relating to insolvency, breach of contract, contracts, debt recovery, fraud and injunctive relief. Clients include insurers, multinational corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and high-net-worth individuals. Craig McAdam, Nick Gee and Steve Kuncewicz head the team, which has continued to build on the the formation of its commercial advisory department, which was launched in late 2017 on the back of a 33-lawyer team hire from Slater and Gordon.

Practice head(s):Craig McAdam; Nick Gee; Steve Kuncewicz

Other key lawyers:Catherine Mangham; Rebecca Young; Clare Durkin; Susan Rands; Philip Skwierczynski

Key Clients



Mission Mars

John Welsby

Urban Splash

Schuh Ltd

Ecclesiastical Insurance

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North West: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 4


The employment department at BLM, which is led by Jim Lister, has diverse expertise across a range of sectors including healthcare, where the team advises some of the largest care home groups - as well as retail, travel, hospitality and technology. The team also acts for most major insurers in relation to employment tribunal claims, regulatory prosecutions and investigations.

Practice head(s):Jim Lister

Other key lawyers:Laura D’Arcy

Key Clients

Rezidor Hotels Group

Slater and Gordon LLP

Halliwell Jones Group


Black and Decker

Healthcare Management Solutions Group

Bank of England

Lubrizol Inc

GGR Group

London International School of Performing Arts

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers Limited

Kalibrate Technologies

Russell Hobbs

Park Inn Hotels


Eclerx Group


Harley Medical Group

HCA Group

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1


BLM has strength in sectors including manufacturing, construction and care, handling complex fatal accident investigations and high profile inquests for public and private sector clients alike. The team also offers a 24-hour helpline for immediate post-incident advice, encompassing attendance at site and legal advice representation. Practice head Helen Devery focuses on defending companies and individuals in investigations and prosecutions. David Rainey was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Helen Devery

Other key lawyers:Sally Hancock; Natalie Puce; Nick Gianferrari

Key Clients

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance






Warburtons Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Oldham Council

Stockport Council


Thomas Cook

CNA Hardy




Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company





Leading individuals

Helen Devery - BLM

Next Generation Partners

David Rainey - BLM

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North West: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1


BLM's defendant clinical negligence team is well-versed in handling high value and complex litigation brought against healthcare professionals and organisations providing healthcare services. Areas of specialism include dental negligence, ophthalmic treatments, cosmetic procedures and cases arising out of nursing homes and prisons. Sarah Woodwark leads the practice while 'outstanding solicitor' Chris Dexter is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Sarah Woodwark

Other key lawyers:Chris Dexter; Rachel Barnes


'Extraordinarily hardworking team coupled with a real empathy for client difficulties.'

'The Manchester office is led by some extremely experienced partners who lead a very strong team. Importantly, not only do they have the knowledge and experience to get great results, but they are also deeply committed to providing an excellent level of client service.'

'The team has a great depth and breath of knowledge. They work across a large spread of the industry - from care homes to prisons and most in between. In my view this it is a particular strength of able to understand how all aspects of the industry operate and inter relate.'

'Chris Dexter inspires confidence. He has a very sure manner and brilliant technical knowledge. An outstanding solicitor with razor sharp judgement.

'Rachel Barnes gets to the root of the issues quickly. She is rapidly responsive, very pragmatic and provides concise no-nonsense advice.'

Key Clients

Medical protection

Dental protection



CNA Hardy








Leading individuals
Next Generation Partners

Chris Dexter - BLM

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 1


BLM's substantial personal injury defence team has considerable expertise across the whole spectrum of cases. Jonathan Clay and Joanne Francis jointly lead the practice, which acts for a wide range of clients in the public sector, as well as charities, SMEs and multinational companies across sectors including retail, leisure, construction, manufacturing and the motor industry. Key team members include Andrew Kerr, Ruth Graham, David Spencer, while four lawyers were promoted to the partnership in the team during 2018 - Lauren Gosnell, Louise Stubbs, Steven Lynch and David Rainey. Associate Nicola Overmire is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Clay; Joanne Francis


'Vast experience across the industry, with an unrivalled team of partners.'

'David Spencer has an ability to get to the heart of complex issues of liability and quantum. Vast and almost unique knowledge of motor sports claims '

'Andrew Kerr has an unrivalled experience of catastrophic value PI claims.'

'BLM are a leading practice for defendant insurance. Their partners have genuine strength in depth, which cascades down through more junior associates.'

'Andrew Kerr is unflappable, highly intelligent and modest. He has excellent commercial judgement and attention to detail. If anyone sued me I'd want him on the job.'

'Gill Rothwell is quietly spoken but tenacious. Huge experience, great technical skills and almost psychic ability to predict settlement values.'

'Victoria Jackson is a rising star, superb at covering the proliferation of noise claims.'

'Very personable, with an excellent combination of diligence and approachability.'

'BLM's Manchester office is the first port of call for almost all major insurers. In catastrophic injury work they are adept at engaging with claims at an early (pre-action) stage and are able to ensure that claims are sensibly and swiftly dealt with, sometimes even before proceedings have be issued. The partners and associates have a strong team of junior solicitors and paralegals supporting them.''

'Andrew Kerr has a really good grasp and tactical awareness of how catastrophic injury claims work, and is able at an early stage to co-operate with claimant solicitors and work out route maps to both sides obtaining the necessary evidence to be in a position to consider settlement as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. He is determined and unflappable.'

'Lauren Gosnell is really on top of her case load, knows the details of each one inside out and is enthusiastic and determined to get the best outcome in each case.'

'Louise Stubbs instills her clients with complete confidence in her professional ability and her approach to cases. She is determined when it comes to a fight.'

'Nicholas Thorne is calm and measured, and strikes up good working relationships with his opponents.'

'Andrew Williamson and Nicholas Thorne are bright and capable with excellent capacity to deal with the swings and roundabouts of the litigation process, and good knowledge of their field. The same applies to Alison Noonan and Danielle Worrow.'

'David has an in-depth knowledge of the motor sports sector - he is popular with clients as he provides robust, tactically sound and practical advice to maximise success for those he represents.'

'The team has a wealth of experience in dealing with high value personal injury cases.'

'Sally Whalley is an excellent PI lawyer. She has outstanding interpersonal skills, and knows how to prepare, and to win, a case.'

'The team has a solid background of work in this area which is passed on through the generations. Their practice and procedures are highly organised to assist in bringing out the best from each individual but also assist in analysis of cases at greater depth.'

'BLM's strength is founded upon their specialisation and deep knowledge of the insurance sector upon which they focus. They have excellent, seasoned, experienced professionals providing active, hands on solutions rather than a number of their process led competitors who are content, rather than outcome, led.'

'Stuart Furniss, Elizabeth Wallace and Lauren Gosnell are class acts in terms of identifying key issues, garnering the requisite evidence and advancing cases efficiently, while managing their insurers clients expectations. They provide prompt and accurate service to the clients and know the best occasions on which to involve counsel prior to any settlement meeting, medication or trial.'

'Luisa Lamb is particularly knowledgeable and a great leader for the Manchester team.'

'Lauren Gosnell goes the extra mile for her clients. She has the ability to hold her nerve and remain focused on the real issue in a case when unexpected developments occur.'

'Paula Jefferson: She is hugely experienced in abuse cases, acting for a wide range of religious institutions and their insurers. She does so with tact and good sense.'

'Streamlined and efficient personal injury lawyers dealing with defence cases in a cost effective manner.'

'Stuart Furniss is focused and very able.'

'BLM has populated their Manchester office with the best PI lawyers in the north west. As a result it is not unusual for insurers to send catastrophic claims to BLM's Manchester office even where the claim has no north west connection. All of the lawyers are extremely hard working and know their stuff as well as, and in some cases better, than anyone else.'

'Andrew Kerr has the intellectual ability to master the most complex claims - clients love his calm and authoritative approach.'

'David Spencer is an absolute master at client handling, right at the top of his game and an instinctively good lawyer.'

'Lauren Gosnell is probably the hardest working solicitor I know and will always put the client's needs at the top of the agenda, as well as having the know-how to manage a multimillion-pound claim.

'Chloe Davies is utterly reliable and a crucial part of the team.'

'BLM Manchester are probably the biggest firm in the NW handling Defendant PI work across the full spectrum from catastrophic injury to industrial disease to motor claims. The firm offers nothing less than a gold standard service. It has absolutely the right balance between a dynamic commercial approach to its cases and old school client care. It has unrivalled technical expertise and insight into industry developments and how to best advance their client's cause in those matters.'

'Ruth Graham is a wise head with bags of experience whom the insurer clients warm to and can trust.'

'Ruth Graham has huge experience in the sector and is very pragmatic and results-oriented.'

'A dynamic team with a broad range of knowledge and great depth of experience to deal with large loss claims. The partners are very much hands on and spend a lot of their time working on the cases.'

'Stuart Hardy is client focused and a great team leader. He has a brilliant grasp of the technical and commercial realities of litigating complex legal disputes.'

'Andrew Kerr has an excellent mind and an eye for detail.'

'Nicholas Thorne has a calm, reassuring manner that instills confidence.'

'David Spencer is robust and a good litigator.'

'Karen Redmore has excellent technical and legal knowledge and good sense of judgment.'

'There are few firms that can match their personal injury, regulatory, and insurance knowledge in the field of motorsports accident litigation.'

'David Spencer is highly experienced, and has the ability to cut through cases and see past the irrelevant detail. A seasoned negotiator who's never intimidated. I'd want him on my side.'

Key Clients











JW Lees

Karro Food Group



Ringway Jacobs


Thames Valley Police




Peel Ports




Network Rail







Aspen Risk




Leading individuals

Andrew Kerr - BLM

Ruth Graham - BLM

Next Generation Partners

Lauren Gosnell - BLM

Rising stars

Nicola Overmire - BLM

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1


The BLM professional negligence team is led by Jason Nash - 'one of the most experienced and best-connected partners in the country in this area.' The practice acts for professionals from all disciplines and has particular expertise in professional indemnity claims and in handling claims relating to fraud, especially where solicitors are involved. On the non-contentious side the team assists clients with the drafting of policy wordings and terms and conditions. Nash works alongside Ben Parks, who specialises in defending high value claims brought against surveyors, brokers, accountants and construction professionals.

Practice head(s):Jason Nash

Other key lawyers:Ben Parks; Iain Fraser; Anne Eady; Sarah Elderton; Michael Appleby; Richard Gould; Jennifer Bebbington; Laura Scott


'Jason Nash is one of the most experienced and best-connected partners in the country in this area; he has exceptional judgement.'

'Ben Parks is an up and coming and very highly regarded partner.

'Exceptionally good value for money; a very experienced team, offering insurers and defendants a highly competent service.'

'BLM have achieved a rare consistency in the professional indemnity market in the last few years. They seem hardly to be buffeted by the winds of change which blow other firms off panels and into difficulties. This is probably because they boast such a consistently strong team.

'The team is talented at all levels. Jason Nash has an eye for selecting strong asoociates who provide great support. It is one of the top three professional indemnity practices in the area.'

'I particularly recommend two partners, Ben Parks and Jason Nash. Ben is calm and measured, but his calmness masks a steely resolve. He has a habit of getting good results. Jason is as tenacious as he is sagacious. He has a nose for a weak case and will hunt it down mercilessly.

'Jason Nash is highly experienced in leading teams dealing with the heaviest of cases. He is a born negotiator and has a strong commercial feel.'

'Ben Parks goes from strength to strength. He has developed into a very safe pair of hands in whom clients repose trust.

'Richard Gould is an associate who is both efficient and mature. He has a good feel for which cases to fight.'

'Jason Nash is responsive, pragmatic, and highly personable.'

Key Clients







Manchester Underwriting


Leading individuals

Jason Nash - BLM

Rising stars

Jennifer Bebbington - BLM

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North West: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3


The newly established private wealth team at BLM , which was launched in 2018 with the hire of practice head James Bereford from Slater and Gordon , provides advice to ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trustees and family businesses on matters including wills, estate planning, inheritance tax planning, LPAs, asset protection and probate. The firm has particular expertise in advising families with disabled children and vulnerable individuals.

Practice head(s):James Bereford

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North West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2


BLM handles a range of work for local government clients and boasts experience across development work, site acquisitions and funding, governance, abuse and child sexual exploitation, social care, misfeasance, regulatory matters, social housing, personal injury, IP, media and communications instructions. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott specialises in real estate mandates. Paul Tarne, who is experienced in civil claims, and Matthew Hyam, who is noted for his social housing expertise, jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Tarne; Matthew Hyam

Other key lawyers:Stephen Lintott; Tessa Leonard; Garry Dover; Nicholas Leigh; Lauren Gosnell

Key Clients

Wirral MBC

Knowsley MBC

Sheffield City Council

Stockport MBC

Lancaster City Council

West Lancashire Borough Council

Lancashire County Council

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Rochdale MBC

Blackpool Council

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Defended council on an accident claim.
  • Advised Sheffield City Council on a claim for damages following a fall the claimant had during the course of her employment.

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North West: Real estate

Commercial property: Manchester
Commercial property: Manchester - ranked: tier 4


BLM handles a range of commercial, residential and public sector development mandates, and is also active on a number of regeneration projects. The education, charities, industrial, hotels, retail and leisure sector are key areas of focus, while property investment and finance work is a growing area of expertise for the department. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook, who is experienced in portfolio management mandates, head the team.

Practice head(s):Stephen Lintott; Stephen Crook

Other key lawyers:Tessa Leonard; Mark Alexander; Emma Edwards; Helen Smith; Andrew Knight


The team has extensive knowledge of commercial property law and offers a seamless service.

The team is partner-led, has strong commercial astuteness and good attention to detail; it understands very well what clients need.

Stephen Lintott is very approachable and responsive.

Key Clients

Urban Splash


Maxilead Limited

Realty Estates/Deansgate Securities

Evonik UK

Salboy and related entities


Property (Done)

Dwell Developments/Dwell Properties

Redwater Group

McCaul Group

The Caravan Club

University of Central Lancashire

Santander UK

Milliken Industrials

Etc Urban (Guildhall) Limited

Scarisbrick Hall School

Lancashire County Developments

Cramant Homes

Methodist Church (Manchester Circuit)


Work highlights

  • The team advises Schuh on a number of transactions which included advising it on new leases in Leeds, Westfield Stratford, Bullring, Leicester, Southampton, Rushden and Lakeside in 2018.  
  • Advised UCLan on its £200m redevelopment.  
  • Advised The Caravan Club (now trading as the Caravan and Motorhome Club) on the renewal, extension and variation of leases, and on the acquisition of additional land.
  • The team advises Lancashire County Developments on all sales, acquisitions, lettings, property management and property disputes at the 150 acre Lancashire Business Park, the 300,000 square foot White Cross Business Park and Rising Bridge Business and Enterprise Village.
  • Advised J and G Marshall on the property aspects relating to the conversion of various schools across the country to academy status.  

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Construction - ranked: tier 6


At BLM team head Jahanara Hussain is experienced in construction and engineering projects and is instructed by private and public sector clients such as developers, contractors, funders and local authorities. The team is particularly noted for its education sector expertise.

Practice head(s):Jahanara Hussain

Key Clients




Magnificent Developments

Property (Done)

Domis Construction

Etc Urban (Guildhall)


Langtree Property Partners

Work highlights

  • The team advised University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on the drafting and negotiation of a number of building contracts and consultants' appointments for a number of developments and projects.
  • Acting for FICM on construction agreements and agreements with the funder in connection with its redevelopment of land off Trinity Way in Manchester.
  • Advised Tibst, which is a joint venture between Salboy and Factory Estates, on the construction agreements and agreements with the funder, for a mixed-use development in Manchester.
  • Advised First Choice Homes Oldham Limited (FCHO) on the acquisition and development of a new operations facility, which included advising on the structure of the acquisition, advising on the construction agreements and reviewing and negotiating the construction obligations in the sale contract for the delivery of the building.  
  • Advised Magnificent Developments, which is a joint venture between Salboy and Factory Estates, on the construction agreements and the agreements with the funder, for a residential development in Manchester consisting of 273 residential apartments and associated works.    

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2


BLM regularly represents social landlords in housing management matters, and it stands out for its litigation expertise. The team handles a range of mandates involving anti-social behaviour, disrepair, housing fraud, inquests and regulatory matters. The practice has recently broadened and is also able to offer property and commercial advice to social housing clients, which includes advising on development and regeneration projects, acquisitions, finance and governance matters. Matthew Hyam in Liverpool leads the housing management and litigation team and commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott is experienced in housing projects.

Practice head(s):Matthew Hyam; Stephen Lintott

Key Clients

Urban Splash

First Choice Homes

The Riverside Group

Halton Housing Trust

Places for People Group

Peaks & Plains Housing Trust

Wolverhampton Homes

Clarion Housing Group

Sanctuary Housing Group

Phoenix Community Housing Group

Onward Homes

Work highlights

  • Represented Wolverhampton City Council (via Wolverhampton Homes) in a case against joint tenants, who were were protagonists in a serious and sustained campaign of anti-social behaviour against neighbours which rendered the neighbouring property un-lettable.
  • Defended Clarion Housing Group in a claim for disrepair, harassment, discrimination and personal injury, which was dismissed.  
  • The team successfully obtained a closure order and an extension to a closure order due to ongoing anti-social behaviour affecting vulnerable tenants in the locality.
  • The team successfully obtained a possession order at the first hearing against an introductory tenant who had been engaging in serious and prolonged anti-social behaviour at the property.
  • The team successfully obtained two linked injunction orders at a contested trial against a tenant and her partner, following a stabbing on a London estate.
Next Generation Partners

Matthew Hyam - BLM

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Further information on BLM

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about BLM in other jurisdictions.


Offices in Dublin


Offices in London EC3M and London EC3V

Northern Ireland

Offices in Derry and Belfast

North West

Offices in Liverpool and Manchester


Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

Offices in Bristol


Offices in Cardiff

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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