The Legal 500

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North West

Transport - ranked: tier 2


At BLM Ruth Graham has ‘experience and knowledge that is second to none and nothing is ever too much trouble’. The ‘very experienced’ Andrew Millen  ‘always offers sound advice’. Graham oversees the transport team and specialises in catastrophic injury claims arising out of bus and coach accidents at home or abroad and is currently handling two claims in excess of £4m arising out of a coach crash. She is the client partner for a number of leading bus, coach, rail and tram operators as well as their insurers, brokers and claims handlers. {Joanna Peters} specialises in rail claims. Key clients include the National Express, Metrolink, Anderson Travel and Trathens/Parks of Hamilton.

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North West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3


BLM  has considerable claims fraud expertise in the insurance sector and also supports its corporate clients in tackling issues of fraud. Raymond Southern manages a team of lawyers that specialises in the defence of fraudulent insurance claims and regularly acts for the top ten insurance companies and leading corporate businesses. Naomi Grant  covers all aspects of motor claims fraud, including cross-industry fraud investigations. Grant also has experience of dealing with home policy fraud claims and casualty claims. The team acts for some household names such as Allianz Insurance, QBE Insurance, Ageas Insurance and LV.

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North West: Dispute resolution

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


The ‘commercial and responsive’ team at BLM is commended for its ‘attention to detail’ and its ‘sensible, pragmatic and client-focused’ approach. Noted for its expertise in commercial insurance disputes, the team strengthened its practice with the recruitment of financial services expert Craig McAdam, the ‘fantastic’ Nick Gee, and Steve Kuncewicz, who handles IP, media and communications-related issues; they joined from Slater and Gordon in October 2017. On the commercial insurance side, Robert Steele, who co-heads the team with McAdam, advises on policy coverage, property damage, construction and engineering matters as well as product liability disputes. Catherine Mangham specialises in property damage liability and recovery and Nick Bond handles policy advice, property damage, subrogated recovery and professional indemnity matters. Senior associates Rebecca Young and Clare Durkin, whose ‘style is clear, timely and confident’, are also noted. Clients include Zurich, Allianz, Chubb, J Sainsbury, QBE, HSB and Spirit Pub Company.

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North West: Human resources

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1


BLM's department is headed by the ‘undoubtedly impressiveHelen Devery, who is ‘calm, helpful and very capable’. Other members of the large team include the ‘very smart, hardworking and accessibleNatalie Puce, Sally Hancock, who has ‘great judgement and communication skills’, and Nick Gianferrari, who is regularly called on to represent clients in coroners' inquests. Associate David Rainey is ‘very sensitive to clients' needs and very knowledgeable’. The team is best known for its work in complex fatal accident investigations and very high-profile inquests. The team is currently representing Redrow Homes following a fatal incident at a site in Liverpool where a contractor was struck and killed by a large item of plant which was being operated by an employee of another sub-contractor. Other key clients include Warburton’s and G4S as well as Travelers and Aviva.

Next generation lawyers

David Rainey - BLM

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North West: Insurance

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


BLM   has a ‘highly competent team that takes a proactive approach to assessing the merits of the defence and to obtaining and analysing the expert evidence’. Sarah Woodwark  can ‘draw on the huge amount of experience that she has on medical regulatory, inquest as well as clinical negligence work; she pays close attention to detail and is excellent on strategy’. The recently promoted Chris Dexter  is also recommended. The practice has experience in high-value and complex litigation concerning delayed diagnosis, surgical claims (especially neurosurgery), wrongful birth and claims brought under the Human Rights Act. It has also built up considerable experience in dental negligence claims and other areas such as ophthalmic treatments, laser surgery and cosmetic procedures. The group successfully defended Medical Protection in a claim involving an allegedly negligent prescription by a GP. Other key clients include Allianz, Optimax and Ecclesiastical.  Lisa Nabou joined Hill Dickinson LLP  and Claire Fitzgerald moved to DAC Beachcroft LLP

Leading individuals

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


BLM  ‘brings excellent technical knowledge as well as great experience and insight into each case. Not only is the firm progressive and constructive in its approach it also has a highly qualified team that has a good business understanding of the key issues’. Key members of the team include Jonathan Clay  who has a ‘strong understanding of the major issues’ and Ruth Graham  who is ‘vastly experienced and a tough negotiator in the motor insurance sector’. The ‘very thorough’ Stuart Furniss  and the ‘outstandingly hard workerDavid Spencer  are recommended along with the ‘cerebral’ Andrew Kerr . Nicholas Thorne  ‘combines intellect with common sense and gets great results for his clients especially on complex matters’. Liverpool-based consultant David Evans  is praised for his ‘extremely in-depth knowledge and his very good client care skills’. Also in Liverpool Joanne Francis  manages the casualty team. Key clients include Allianz, Zurich Insurance, Sainsburys and QBE.

Leading individuals

Ruth Graham - BLM

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1


BLM  is ‘undoubtedly one of the pre-eminent firms in the North-West in professional negligence work. The well-structured team has good industry knowledge in claims handling and defendant litigious work for insurers'. Standout individuals include Ben Parks  and Jason Nash: Parks is ‘calm and measured but his calmness masks a steely resolve'; Nash is ‘as tenacious as he is sagacious - he has a nose for a weak case and will hunt it down mercilessly’. Nash, an accredited mediator, acts for a range of professionals on regulatory and disciplinary matters and sits on the Regulatory Affairs Board of the Law Society. Parks frequently defends high value claims brought against solicitors, surveyors, brokers, IFAs and construction professionals. The ‘excellent’ team is currently defending a solicitor client in a matter under appeal. The claimant paid £1.03m for the purchase of a residential property. Following completion it came to light that the purported vendor was a fraudster impersonating the true vendor. By the time the fraud came to light the purchase money had dissipated. The matter will have serious ramifications on the extent of a solicitor’s liability where they are innocently caught up in a fraud. Key clients include Hiscox and Inter Hannover.

Leading individuals

Jason Nash - BLM

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North West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2


The lawyers at BLM  ‘put an enormous amount of effort into the work that they do but they never seem to lose focus on the main issue: getting the best result for the client’. The team has particular strength in abuse cases that are handled 'expertly, confidentially, sensitively and with the confidence of Council clients’. The ‘experienced, client-focused and very approachable’ Paul Tarne is a key member of the team and regularly acts for local authorities and emergency services in relation to civil claims. Mark Eisen  has also worked extensively for public sector clients in defending highways, employers’ and public liability claims. The team was pleased to add some key people to its ranks from Slater and Gordon  including Stephen Lintott and Tessa Leonard  . The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Nicholas Thorne  is recommended from the catastrophic injury unit and Natalie Puce for her health, safety and environmental work. Wirral MBC, Sheffield City Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are all clients.

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North West: Real estate

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


BLM’s ‘responsive’ team is active across commercial, residential and public sector development and regeneration. The team has particular expertise in housing work and is advising Smiths Dock, a joint venture between Urban Splash and Places for People, on the scheme to transform the former North Shields shipyard. The team is also advising FICM on the redevelopment of land for a mixed-use site at Trinity Way, Manchester, advises retailer Schuh on a number of lease transactions, and advised an associated company of BTS on the negotiation of a contract, conditional on planning permission, for the acquisition of a derelict warehouse in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. Department heads Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook joined the firm in 2017 from Slater and Gordon, as did Tessa Leonard and Mark Alexander.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2


The ‘professional’ team at BLM ‘responds quickly’ and represents social landlords in housing management and litigation and is particularly noted for its experience in tackling anti-social behaviour. Cases involving disrepair and housing fraud are also key strengths, and the team is increasingly acting on complex development projects and funding. The ‘knowledgeableMatthew Hyam heads the housing management and litigation team and acted for The Riverside Group on a possession case; defended Clarion Housing Group on a case involving allegations of disrepair, breach of human rights, personal injury, disability and racial discrimination; and was instructed by Wolverhampton Homes on a closure order following a referral from social services in relation to the exploitation of a vulnerable tenant. Halton Housing Trust and Sanctuary Housing Association are also clients. The arrival of Stephen Lintott and a team from Slater and Gordon, has enhanced the firm’s ability to handle property transactions and development projects.

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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

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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