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North West

Transport - ranked: tier 2

BLM (Liverpool, Manchester)

Ruth Graham heads the team at BLM and is praised for her β€˜wealth of knowledge’ and β€˜excellent, sound and concise advice’. The β€˜extremely user-friendly’ Joanna Peters, who leads the rail team, and associate Sarah Shorrock are both recommended for their β€˜valued and balanced advice’. Graham oversees the team, which handles a broad range of disputes related to passenger transport, motor claims, employers’ liability and public liability. The team acted for the driver of a national passenger transport company who was interviewed under caution on suspicion of failing to stop and report an accident when an elderly female passenger fell while the insured’s bus was moving. Other clients include Metrolink, Rotala, Merseyrail and First Group.

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North West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3

BLM (Manchester)

BLM predominantly handles civil fraud claims and civil enforcement actions with a criminal law component, as well as defending fraudulent insurance claims. Raymond Southern heads the team and handles all aspects of motor fraud and casualty claims in addition to managing punitive civil actions for the recovery of investigation costs. Naomi Grant has considerable experience in defendant insurance litigation and covers all aspects of motor claims fraud including cross-industry fraud investigations. Other areas of expertise include handling fraudulent home policy and casualty claims. Clients include insurers such as Ecclesiastical, Zurich, Allianz and Tradex.

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North West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 5


BLM’s β€˜pro-active and thorough’ team has β€˜an expert sense of the realities of litigation’, and is β€˜a leading player in the insurance-backed commercial litigation market in and around Manchester’. It acts for a range of insurers, multinational corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and high-net-worth individuals. Zurich, Ecclesiastical, Allianz, Chubb and J Sainsbury are clients. Team head Robert Steele handles high-value and complex policy coverage, property damage, construction and engineering matters, as well as product liability disputes. Catherine Mangham, who has β€˜a high reputation as a litigator in the commercial insurance market’, and Nick Bond, who is β€˜an excellent technical lawyer’, are also recommended.

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North West: Human resources

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

BLM (Manchester)

BLM’s team is recommended for its handling of fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests, with a strong presence in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors. It’s impressive roster of clients include Zurich Insurance, Warburtons and QBE. Helen Devery has β€˜excellent communication skills and is able to fully relate to clients from the boardroom down’. Natalie Puce is also recommended, as as is associate Nick Gianferrari, who is β€˜proactive when dealing with the prosecution authorities and as a result places himself in a position where he regularly secures better than expected results for his clients’.Sally Hancock is best known for her work on police and regulatory body investigations, prosecutions and inquests.

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North West: Insurance

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

BLM (Manchester)

BLM’s team has β€˜extensive experience of healthcare matters across the board, which allows them to see things from all angles’. The β€˜friendly, insightful and pragmatic β€˜Sarah Woodwark is β€˜great to work with’, and Lisa Nabou is an β€˜incredibly safe pair of hands’. Also recommended are Chris Dexter, who has a β€˜forensic approach’; Nigel Wood, who is β€˜very thorough and tactically excellent’; and Claire Fitzgerald, who is β€˜an up-and-coming lawyer who is one to watch for the future’. The group regularly advises on high-value cases brought against healthcare professionals, with expertise in delayed diagnosis, surgical claims (especially neurosurgery), wrongful birth and brain injury claims, in addition to claims brought under the Human Rights Act.

Leading individuals

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

BLM (Liverpool, Manchester)

BLM has a β€˜strong team with real strength in depth that provides expert knowledge, insight and support on a timely, commercial and professional basis’. Jonathan Clay has β€˜great technical and insurance market knowledge, which he delivers in a very hands-on way’. Also recommended are Joanne Francis, who provides β€˜high-quality advice on time’; Val Jones and Donna Rawding, who are both β€˜very experienced and build up a great rapport with clients’; the β€˜pragmatic’ Stuart Hardy; and the β€˜very capable and erudite’ Andrew Kerr. Other key figures include the β€˜very able’ Stuart Furniss, who is recommended for catastrophic injury work, and Ruth Graham, who oversees the transport team and is a β€˜conscientious and calming presence on the really big cases’. Nicholas Thorne brings a β€˜balance of pragmatism and intelligence to cases and is good on complex liability disputes’; he is particularly experienced in brain injury claims. Lauren Gosnell is an β€˜up-and-coming associate who already has the feel for the big-game litigation’. The team has significant expertise in retail, leisure, construction, manufacturing and utilities claims. Key clients include Zurich, Allianz, QBE and Direct Line Group. It recently successfully represented the Ministry of Defence in a claim for damages for personal injury that was brought by a former Gurkha soldier injured in an adventure training exercise in Canada. The team negotiated a favourable settlement.

Leading individuals

Ruth Graham - BLM

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

BLM (Manchester, Liverpool)

The team at BLM is β€˜ably led’ by Jason Nash who is a β€˜very experienced and shrewd practitioner’. Nash β€˜knows the sector backwards’ and the β€˜pragmatic’ Ben Parks has β€˜excellent judgement’. The large regional team has a β€˜good range of skills at appropriate PQE levels’, among them associate Heather Mitchell, who provides β€˜clear, focused and commercial advice and has the ability to deal calmly and commercially with even the most assertive solicitors on the other side’. The practice can β€˜handle the full range of professional indemnity matters for various professionals such as accountants, surveyors and other emerging professions’. Clients include QBE, Zurich, Hiscox, RSA and Barbican.

Leading individuals

Jason Nash - BLM

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North West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

BLM (Liverpool, Manchester)

BLM is described by some as β€˜a leading firm for abuse claims’. It acts for local authorities and institutions including charities and religious groups and is praised by its β€˜sensitivity to the needs of clients in this difficult area of litigation; where cases need to be settled it does so at the first opportunity, however where cases need to be fought the firm will do so’. Under the leadership of Paul Tarne and Mark Eisen, the team also receives plaudits for its work in claims for misfeasance and malicious prosecution. It is also skilled at advising on social housing, inquests, personal injury and regulatory work. The team successfully defended a claim that was brought against Gwynedd Council by a cyclist on a remote highway in the mountains in North Wales who was thrown over his handlebars when he encountered a large chunk of tarmac. The claimant proceeded to the Court of Appeal where his claim was dismissed.

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North West: Real estate

Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

BLM (Liverpool)

BLM represents social landlords in housing management matters, and is particularly strong in contentious matters involving anti-social behaviour and on cases involving youths and vulnerable individuals. Disrepair and housing fraud matters are also a key area of focus. The team acted for City West Housing Trust in a possession case at the Court of Appeal, and represented Wolverhampton City Council in a closure order where tenants were engaging in criminal activity. It also advised Places for People in an issue relating to disrepair. Golden Gates Housing Association, EMH Homes and Sheffield City Council are also clients. The β€˜first-rate’ Matthew Hyam heads the team, which includes associate and advocate Chris Larkin.

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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


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North West

Offices in Liverpool and Manchester


Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh

South East

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South West

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West Midlands

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Yorkshire and the Humber

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