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BLM

GALLERY 4, 12 LEADENHALL STREET, LONDON, EC3V 1LP, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7029 4240
Fax:
Fax 020 7816 5841
DX:
33861 FINSBURY SQ
Email:
Web:
www.blmlaw.com

London: Dispute resolution

Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 1

BLM

BLM stands out for its representation of healthcare professionals in disciplinary disputes with NHS England area teams and hospital trusts; the team also has considerable experience in appealing adverse outcomes to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal. In the regulatory space, the national department defends practitioners in investigations by the General Medical Council (GMC), interim and final hearings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), General Dental Council (GDC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and General Optical Council (GOC). It recently successfully defended a senior dispensing optician before the GOC, which followed allegations of sexual harassment and dishonesty. Manchester-based Clare Chapman heads the firm’s professional discipline and regulatory practice group, Cardiff's Jane Lang leads the healthcare advice and inquest practice group, and Adam Weston heads the medical crime team in the London office. Other key partners are Rosie Shapiro in London and Lisa Jones and Katie Costello in Manchester. Max Eckstein and Rebecca Gowling in Manchester and London-based Laura Smith are experienced associates.

Practice head(s):Clare Chapman; Rosie Shapiro; Jane Lang

Other key lawyers:Adam Weston; Lisa Jones; Katie Costello; Max Eckstein; Rebecca Gowling; Laura Smith

Work highlights

  • Advised two social workers at an inquest, which investigated the background to the death of a six-year-old girl who had been murdered by her father.
Leading individuals
Next Generation Partners

Adam Weston - BLM

Rising stars

Max Eckstein - BLM

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 7

BLM

BLM has a particularly strong reputation for public sector employment work, where it counts a number of MPs among its clients, and in the employment practices liability insurance sector. Other clients include local authorities, educational institutions, SMEs, insurers and trade unions. The team regularly handles employment tribunal claims, while also advising on a broad range of non-contentious issues. The practice is led by Andrew McDonald, whose recent work includes advising on the TUPE aspects of service provision changes and handling discrimination claims. Vanessa Latham specialises in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Andrew McDonald

Other key lawyers:Vanessa Latham

Key Clients

CNA Hardy Insurance Company Ltd

RSA

Jackson Lift Group

Aviva

Arden Software

Drayton Manor High School

Sandals

Work highlights

  • Advising Jackson Lift Group on multiple issues, including TUPE and dismissals.
  • Acting for European Oat Millers in an Employment Tribunal claim for constructive unfair dismissal and unauthorised deduction from wages following changes to the claimant’s pay structure.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM recently strengthened its team with the addition of Peter James, who joined from Harrison Clark Rickerbys. James. who is an expert in corporate and gross negligence manslaughter case, now heads the London team, working in tandem with Manchester-based national head Helen Devery. Devery also has a strong track record on manslaughter cases.

Practice head(s):Peter James; Helen Devery

Key Clients

Aviva

Allianz

Fusion

Mitsui Sumitomo Underwriting at Lloyds

Regis Mutual Management

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London: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM receives instructions from a range of clients across the healthcare sector, offering advice in high-value and complex matters. Insurers, medical defence organisations, clinics, care homes and individual healthcare professionals not only seek the practice's representation in civil claims arising from negligence in clinical care but also at inquests, as well as before regulators in disciplinary proceedings. The 'highly competent' Vicki Swanton heads the 'responsive and knowledgeable' team that also has a strong track record handling multi-party litigation.

Practice head(s):Vicki Swanton

Other key lawyers:Greg McEwen; Rosie Shapiro

Testimonials

'The London office is led by some extremely experienced partners who manage a very strong team. Not only do they have the knowledge and experience to get great results, but they seem to be deeply committed to providing an excellent level of client service.'

'The BLM team is highly proficient and knowledgeable.'

'Vicki is effortlessly confident, which is immensely reassuring to clients and in the last few years she has worked on some very large cases and yet has remained entirely unflappable.'

'Greg McEwen is extremely thorough and has a very sharp eye for detail and numbers.'

'Rosie Shapiro is a delight to work with; she is an excellent communicator, very professional and responds quickly to any concerns or questions.'

Key Clients

Royal College of Nursing

Hiscox

Harley Medical Group

Specsavers

RSA

HCA

FODO

Zurich

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Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM, which has well-established strength in handling property damage claims, also fields a growing range of work for insurers and brokers on professional negligence, reinsurance, commercial risk, personal injury and cyber insurance matters. John O’Shea heads the property damage and recovery team, supported by property damage expert Mark Aitken. Head of reinsurance Gavin Coull and Damian Cleary, who specialises in business interruption, property and onshore energy, both joined from Foran Glennon (UK) LLP in July 2018. Ross Baker works on professional indemnity claims arising from personal injury accidents, data breaches, medical incidents and frauds.

Practice head(s):John O’Shea; Damian Cleary; Gavin Coull; Mark Aitken 

Other key lawyers:Ross Baker

Testimonials

'Painstaking, thorough, persistent, well-respected firm'

'This firm stands out from others in its approach - they understand our company's values and philosophies and provide advice that incorporates this. They are approachable, knowledgeable and thorough. Their advice is always detailed and balanced and they always get good outcomes'

'Martin Jensen is an impressive lawyer, very effective in complex cases involving financial and property professionals'

'Philip Adamis and associate Hanna Platt are incredibly approachable and professional. Their advice is always well balanced, detailed and gets to the heart of the issues perfectly. They also have great people skills'

'Alexander Traill and solicitor Nick Benson give outstanding attention to detail'

Key Clients

AGEAS

Allianz

Amtrust

Aspen

Aviva

AXA

Direct Line Group

Ecclesiastical

Generali

IGI

HDI Global Specialty

LV=

Mapfre

Munich RE

WRB

Zurich

Apollo Syndicate

Work highlights

  • Retained by Generali and Mapfre to advise on policy coverage and defend subsequent court proceedings in relation to an aluminium smelting loss where the insured, Lassan Holdings, sought €21m for property damage and business interruption.

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

BLM

BLM 'remains a top-tier firm' serving the needs of the insurance industry in the context of catastrophic injury claims. Apart from major insurers, corporate clients as well as public sector entities seek the practice's advice on the full-range of personal injury matters, including accidents at work, motor claims as well as disease, public liability and fatal cases. The London casualty team is headed by Matthew Ford, who has a substantial track record defending complex and large loss claims across a range of industries, namely construction, retail, manufacturing and travel. Leading disease specialist Michelle Penn leads the occupational disease group; while the catastrophic injury team, which handles claims of the utmost severity often including cross-border elements, is under the supervision of Antony French. The team is regularly instructed to advise on spinal cord injuries, amputation cases, high-value chronic pain claims, as well as brain injury cases, for which Claire Collins is noted as a subtle brain damage specialist. High-profile group litigation related to sexual/physical abuse and bullying cases are the key areas of expertise for Michael Pether, who has a strong reputation for claims concerning local authority and institutional liability.

Practice head(s):Michelle Penn; Matthew Ford

Other key lawyers:Claire Collins; Michael Pether; Nick Pargeter; Nigel Lock

Testimonials

'One of the biggest players in the insurance market, handling personal injury claims across the whole range of sectors. They are a leading firm in handling non-recent abuse work for defendants, including public authorities, schools, religious organisations and sports bodies.'

'Great industry experience, professional approach, genuine commitment.'

'They can be guaranteed to provide sound and pragmatic advice which will ensure that their clients achieve the best outcome in what are sensitive and difficult cases.'

'The defendant insurance team at BLM provides not just efficient and tenacious defence of litigation, but also delivers this in a commercially astute and pragmatic way. They have wide knowledge and understanding of the insurance market and an awareness of the need to ensure that reserves are properly assessed and monitored.'

'The team from a claimant perspective is always robust, professional and whilst acting in their insurance client's best interests throughout, are nevertheless understanding of the impact injuries can have.'

'Vanessa Latham is outstanding in dealing with work-related stress claims.'

'James Chambers has a clear view of where a case should go and will always achieve that end for his client.'

'Caroline Craigie has great experience and tenacity. Her unflappability stands her in good stead and she is ably assisted in her work by Nicola Warren.'

'Michael Pether has two decades of experience in claims concerning local authority and institutional liability for sexual and physical abuse. There are few if any solicitors in the defendant insurance arena with more experience.'

'Claire Collins has mastered the balancing act of supervising her team whilst retaining an in-depth knowledge of her files. She provides excellent balanced advice.'

'Andrew Williamson is always on top of his brief and the provider of realistic advice.'

'Antony French is a very commercial operator who weighs up the economic balance of cases very well.'

Key Clients

Allianz Insurance

Aviva

AXA

Chubb

Hiscox

Liberty Mutual Insurance

QBE Insurance

Zurich

MS Amlin

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pro Global in a group action of 31 claims from former pupils of an independent school who alleged they were subjected to excessive corporal punishment, physical and emotional abuse.
  • Acting on behalf of Hiscox & Inter Hannover in a claim regarding an employee that sustained a severe head injury while removing asbestos from a garage roof.
  • Representing Middlesbrough Borough Council at the accountability and reparation public hearing regarding claims arising from allegations of abuse at Stanhope Castle School in the '60s and '80s
  • Acting for Direct Line Group in a claim regarding a road traffic collision in which the claimant alleged he suffered a minor traumatic brain injury.
  • Assisting QBE in contempt proceedings on the basis of dishonesty following a dismissed claim regarding an injury sustained in the workplace on the rail track.
Leading individuals

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM fields a strong team of dedicated practitioners, who are regularly instructed by insurers, manufacturers and corporate clients. The firm also has a specialist food group, which assists with related claims and consultations. Jim Sherwood heads the practice and is a key contact for fire and flood damage and commercial property claims, as well as regulatory issues. Edinburgh-based Ian Leach has been active in the field for more than 30 years and has a particular focus on pharmaceutical disputes. Michael Harvey and Carys Oatham are also noted.

Practice head(s):Jim Sherwood

Other key lawyers:Ian Leach; Michael Harvey; Carys Oatham

Key Clients

Allianz

Aviva

Direct Line Group

Generali

QBE

Sunseeker International

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Representing Occulentis BV against claims pursued in England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Germany relating to alleged calcification of its lenses and consequent loss and injury sustained by claimants.
  • Acting for Royal & Sun Alliance in a €4.2m claim relating to damage to fruit crops in Belgium following a product liability dispute between the suppliers of fertiliser and the owners of the orchards where the damage allegedly occurred.
  • Acting for Sunseeker International and its insurer in respect of claims concerning a fire that is alleged to have originated on a vessel manufactured by Sunseeker.
  • Representing the Medical Protection Society in multiple claims brought against an individual practitioner, with claims involving both medical negligence allegations and product liability allegations in relation to the medical implants used.
  • Instructed by QBE in relation to a fire on a Princess Yachts International  luxury yacht relating to insured risks and the fire damage caused by products incorporated into the yacht.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM defends a range of professionals in complex negligence disputes; it handles cases involving lawyers, property professionals, construction professionals, accountants, auditors, IFAs, banks, insurance brokers, fund managers, local authorities, trade unions and educational institutions. The team has a 'versatile, pragmatic and business-led approach' and defended David Rubin & Partners, a prominent firm of insolvency practitioners and its insurers, in a £1.2m, long-running claim brought by a claimant creditor who alleged that the insured had acted in breach of trust. Despite the departure of construction experts Keith Lonsdale and Michael Salau to Beale & Co, construction specialists Gary Wicks and Gary Thwaites have joined from Plexus Law.

Practice head(s):Elliot Pound

Other key lawyers:Martin Jensen; Michael Harvey; Richard Wilkins; Ross Baker; Gary Wicks; Gary Thwaites; Alexander Traill; James Adams;ndrew Layton-Morris;Geneviève Rich;

Testimonials

It is approachable and knowledgeable and has an appreciation of the client's business needs.

Alexander Traill, Nick Benson and Gary Wicks are recommended.

Key Clients

Zurich

RSA

Aviva

Travelers

RIBA

UNISON

CNA Hardy

The Bar Council/The Bar Standards Board

HDI Global Specialty (formerly Inter Hannover)

QBE

Work highlights

  • The team is representing European Risk Insurance Company, which has been the victim of a large-scale fraud concerning its involvement in a scheme for solicitors professional indemnity insurance for the 2011/2012 policy year.
  • The team is defending the University of East London on a £43m claim brought by an international student.
  • The team is defending UNISON in a £30m claim brought by 429 claimants employed by North and South Lanarkshire Councils, alleging that UNISON acted negligently in the conduct of a job evaluation scheme undertaken by the councils and subsequently in advice provided to members in respect of their claims for equal pay.
  • The team represents various universities in relation to claims brought by students relating to lost teaching time caused by the well-publicised strike action in February and March 2018.

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London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 3

BLM

The education group at BLM has broad expertise in matters ranging from discrimination claims and admissions to regulatory and contractual issues. Overseen by Elliot Pound, the team has specialisms in judicial review and in the field of discrimination. Key team members include Richard Wilkins, who handles contentious and non-contentious education matters with an emphasis on exclusions and special needs education; Martin Jensen; and associate Geneviève Rich. Public sector head Michael Pether has experience handling employers' liability claims.

Practice head(s):Elliot Pound

Other key lawyers:Richard Wilkins; Martin Jensen; Michael Pether; Geneviève Rich

Key Clients

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

The University of Cambridge

University of Surrey

King’s College London

University of East London

University of Newcastle

University of Central Lancashire

Work highlights

  • Defend a high-profile academic institution in London in High Court proceedings.
  • Acting for various universities in relation to claims brought by students relating to lost teaching time caused by the well-publicised strike action in February and March 2018.
  • Defend a university against a claim for damages threatened in the US concerning alleged misconduct by one of its academic staff in a fundraising project.
  • Acting for a university in a claim brought by a former MBA student who alleges that the university acted in breach of contract and negligently in suspending her whilst investigating allegations of misconduct.

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Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

BLM

Elliot Pound is a key name to note in BLM's education team, along with Richard Wilkins. The team has experience handling issues relating to school admissions and exclusions and has sector strengths in insurance and the public sector. Other lawyers in the team include Martin Jensen; Manchester-based Jim Lister, who advises schools on governance issues; Geneviève Rich; and Michael Pether.

Practice head(s):Elliot Pound

Other key lawyers:Richard Wilkins; Geneviève Rich; Martin Jensen; Michael Pether

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London: Real estate

Commercial property: corporate occupiers
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM is active in the corporate occupiers space in London and elsewhere in the UK, representing both landlords and tenants on leasing matters, headquarter relocations, disposals and acquisitions. Stephen Lintott is a specialist in estate management, development and lease work while Stephen Crook routinely acts for public sector and local authorities on acquisitions, disposals and developments. The pair head the practice alongside Peter Klim , who is strong on all fronts within the commercial property arena.

Practice head(s):Peter Klim; Stephen Lintott; Stephen Crook

Key Clients

Be At One

Frank Truman

Patrick Perry

Trades Union Congress

FDA

PCS

Prospect

MTC Novo

Community

Work highlights

  • Acquisition of the new headquarter premises for MXW Limited and the disposal of their existing premises.

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Construction: contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM's contentious practice advises contractors, engineers, architects and insurers on a range of domestic and international disputes. Other areas of work include construction insurance issues and advising on fee claims, delay and disruption claims and contractual disputes. The practice is led by Guy Lane and Robert Stevenson. Lane specialises in advising consultants on contract administration issues, fee claims and liability disputes. Stevenson acts for developers and contractors on a range of issues in several jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):Guy Lane; Robert Stevenson

Key Clients

Aviva

Geo Underwriting

Hastings

Work highlights

  • Instructed to act on behalf of structural engineers in relation to a residential property.
  • Acting for a geotechnical engineer in multiparty claim relating to preparation of ground investigation used by structural engineer in the preparation of foundation designs for housing development in North London.
  • Acting for an architect in a multiparty claim for delay following six adjudications arising from the design and construction of a high-end residential development in St John’s Wood.
  • Acting for structural engineer in relation to claim for cost of remedial works to a bus interchange following allegedly defective design.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM focuses its reputation management practice on defending claims brought against a wide range of clients, in particular insurers, reinsurers, government bodies and police forces, alongside more traditional media such as magazines, newspapers and marketing companies. The team that advises on both contentious and non-contentious issues is led by Tim Smith, who is an expert on defamation and malicious falsehood. Steve Kuncewicz acts mainly for corporates and Julia Varley regularly assists local authorities. Furthermore, the department has been actively involved in government consultations on defamation reform, costs in defamation proceedings and internet defamation.

Practice head(s):Tim Smith

Other key lawyers:Steve Kuncewicz; Julia Varley

Key Clients

Hiscox

QBE

RSA

Aviva

Zurich Insurance

CNA

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Medical Protection Society

Manchester Underwriting

Work highlights

  • Instructed by City of London Police in relation to a warning notice published by the Financial Conduct Authority and statements made in the course of their duties in connection with a company and its chairman, which market a cryptocurrency product.
  • Acted for the City of London Police and its insurer QBE in relation to a defamation claim concerning a statement published on their website.
  • Acting for London Quadrant Housing Trust defending a claim brought against it and its directors for breach of confidence, conspiracy by use of unlawful means and defamation.
  • Acted for the English Bridge Union and its reinsurer RSA in successfully applying to strike out a claim brought against it by a member in relation to the transfer of “master points”.
  • Acting for the Anglo-Portuguese Society and its insurer RSA in the defence of a claim  for defamation against it and a number of its members brought by its former chairman and members of his family.

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London: Transport

Travel
Travel: personal injury - ranked: tier 2

BLM

The team at BLM specialises in claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) for major tour operators and insurers; it is a 'very commercially-minded defence team with good knowledge of the industry and a strong record of defending claims'. Travel group head Matthew Ford leads the travel and tour operator liability team and is a 'capable and confident negotiator'. Ford defended a tour operator on a group claim for gastric illness. The team is 'astute to the commercial realities and requirements of the leisure and tourism market'; Emily List, who was promoted to partner in 2018, has a 'calm head under pressure'; and associate Deborah Sayers is 'excellent at case management, is engaging, and is adept at marshalling expert evidence'.

Practice head(s):Matthew Ford; Sarah Hill

Other key lawyers:Gemma Pearce; Greg MacDougall; Emily List; Arion Jones; Deborah Sayers; Sandeep Aujla; Helen Northwood; Alexandra Brigden

Testimonials

The team has a wide spread of talent at several centres and is able to accommodate a major case load without any compromise of quality.

Deborah Sayers is a very well-connected solicitor with a good market understanding and knowledge of her clients.

Deborah Sayers' instinct for the sources of additional evidence to add value to what is provided by her client is second-to-none.

One always feels in control of events when Deborah Sayers is holding the reins of a case.

Matthew Ford is accessible, easy to communicate with and always on top of events.

A good, solid defendant travel industry practice.

Matthew Ford is very well respected by his commercial clients and has a very good eye for the critical elements of each claim.

The attention-to-detail and preparation of the team's work is meticulous.

Emily List is a pleasure to work with and provides great results for her clients.

Matthew Ford has an excellent relationship with tour operator clients.

Key Clients

Thomas Cook Tour Operations

Sandals/Unique Vacations

Jet2 Holidays

Red Sea Holidays

Olympic Holidays

British Airways

Stena Line

Direct Line Group – Travel

Intercontinental Hotels Group

AXA Corporate Solutions

Ryanair

QBE

Allianz UK

Barry Nilsson

Audley Travel

Generali

Chubb

Work highlights

  • Defended a tour operator on a gastric illness claim brought by a large group who had travelled to Mexico.
  • Defended a tour operator on a claim brought as a result of a skiing injury.
  • Defended Red Sea Holidays in illness claims brought by five claimants who had visited a hotel in Egyps at various times during 2015.
Leading individuals

Matthew Ford - BLM

Next Generation Partners

Emily List - BLM

Rising stars

Deborah Sayers - BLM

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Further information on BLM

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Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

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West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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