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BLM

PLANTATION PLACE, 30 FENCHURCH STREET, LONDON, EC3M 3BL, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7638 2811
Fax:
Fax 020 7920 0361
DX:
14302 MANCHESTER1
Web:
www.blmlaw.com
Belfast BT2, Belfast BT2, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derry and 9 more

London: Dispute resolution

Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 1

BLM

Led by the ‘particularly insightfulClare Chapman from Manchester, the ‘deservedly well-respected’ team at BLM has extensive experience representing healthcare clients before a range of regulators (including the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council, the General Pharmaceutical Council, and the Nursing and Midwifery Council) and benefits from a ‘strong working relationship with professional defence organisations’. Notable clients include the Medical Protection Society (MPS), Abbey Legal Protection, and Dental Protection, as well as Boots UK, Vision Express, and Specsavers Optical Group. ‘A force to be reckoned with’, Juliette Mellman-Jones provides ‘excellent judgement and provides high-quality advice’; she acted for the MPS on the successful judicial review of the GMC’s attempt to conduct a review of an Investigation Committee’s decision. The firm also acted for the same client on the successful claim against the GMC under the Data Protection Act regarding the disclosure of expert reports in DB v General Medical Council. Other highlights for the team included representing the registrant in the appeal of an MPTS finding of no impairment by the GMC in the first exercise of its new power. Cardiff-based Jane Lang and the ‘first-rateRosie Shapiro in London are also recommended.

Leading individuals

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 7

BLM

BLM’s practice acts for employers in high-profile discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. The team is headed by Andrew McDonald, whose experience includes handling TUPE and trade union issues, and includes Vanessa Latham, who acts for local authorities, educational institutions, SMEs and insurers. Clients include Westminster City Council, Aviva and CNA Hardy.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

BLM

BLM is ‘a steady insurance panel operator in this field’ and its group has notable experience defending high-profile prosecutions. Key names include practice head Jennette Newman, Victoria Kennedy, who has particular expertise acting for clients in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, and Leanne Conisbee. The team’s client base includes Aviva, Allianz and Fusion.

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London: Insurance

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

BLM

BLM’s ‘highly rated’ practice represents a range of clients across the healthcare sector including insurers, healthcare defence organisations, care homes and individual healthcare professionals. The firm handles a broad spectrum of cases, including claims involving birth-related injury, delay in diagnosis and amputation. The ‘very knowledgeable’ team includes Gary Allison, who acts as a nominated partner for the NHSLA and is instructed by clients on the full range of healthcare matters, including professional discipline, coroner’s inquests and criminal liability; Vicki Swanton, who heads the national healthcare department and has experience in handling high-value claims, disciplinary cases, and allegations of medical negligence or malpractice; Greg McEwen, who specialises in defending complex and high-value negligence claims for the NHSLA and the MPS; and Matthew Trinder, who joins the partnership from Bevan Brittan LLP and brings with him specialist experience in obstetric brain injury cases, neurosurgical claims, and matters involving screening and pathology.

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Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 5

BLM

BLM provides a ‘consistently reliable and professional’ service and has been handling construction and professional indemnity disputes. The practice recently defended a law firm in High Court proceedings filed by P&P Property, which alleged that the client and an estate agent breached their duty of care and warranty of authority by advising an individual, who fraudulently posed as a property owner, on selling a residential property in London. Alexander Traill has been acting for major insurers in several cross-border matters, including liability claims under D&O policies and cyber insurance mandates concerning large-scale data breaches. Mark Aitkenis very respected’ and ‘highly experienced’ in coverage disputes relating to property damage arising from arson and theft, among other claims. John O'Shea heads the policy indemnity and coverage team and was appointed to head of the property damage group following Cathy Hawkins departure to Cubism Law. His recent caseload included property damage, CAR policy and public liability work. Philip Adamis, Warren King and Michael Salau are additional contacts in the ‘top-class’ practice, which counts LV= and Direct Line as clients. Caroline Berens now works in-house at Allianz.

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Personal injury: claimant
Leading individuals

Jenny Moates - BLM

Next generation lawyers

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

BLM

BLM is ‘one of the leading defendant insurance practices’ and provides an ‘excellent’ service in its handling of a wide range of cases, including occupational illness and disease, catastrophic injury, abuse and travel claims. The firm recently acted in a multimillion-pound asbestos case in which the High Court found that the defendant, a former manufacturer of asbestos insulation board, was entitled to a full indemnity for previous, ongoing and future asbestos-related claims made by employees during the 1950s and 1960s. The practice has a team of ‘excellent professionals’ who are ‘known for their strength and depth in the field’, including Matthew Ford, who specialises in high-value claims; Jenny Moates, who specialises in RTA and EL/PL liability cases; Jennette Newman, who specialises in health and safety, major loss and catastrophic injury claims; complex policy coverage expert, Nick Pargeter; and Clare Garnett, who specialises in handling equestrian, bovine and canine cases.

Leading individuals

Jenny Moates - BLM

Next generation lawyers

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

BLM

Jim Sherwood leads BLM’s practice and is praised for ‘balancing what is right for the client with protecting the insurer’s interests’. Suppliers and manufacturers also instruct the firm in everything from cross-border disputes to recall claims. RSA and Globachem have retained the firm in a multimillion-euro claim relating to crops that were allegedly damaged, and the group is also representing Sunseeker and QBE in claims relating to a fire, which allegedly originated from a vessel that was manufactured by the insured. Mitchells & Butlers features on the impressive client roster with Generali, Direct Line and other leading insurers. Carys Oatham arrived from DWF, where she garnered expertise in mandates involving French and Italian courts. Michael Harvey is another key contact.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM has ‘a highly commercial approach to dispute resolution’ and the ‘approachable and friendly’ team includes ‘true specialists in professional negligence work’. The group is adept at defending trade unions, as well as clients from a range of sectors, including education, legal, accounting and other financial services, and construction. Highlights included defending Imperial College London in High Court proceedings brought by a former lecturer, which includes a claim for negligence. The Bar Standards Board, Zurich, RSA, Aviva, Travelers and Unison are also clients. Practice head Elliot Pound is ‘insightful’, consultant Charlotte Capstick is ‘immensely experienced, calm, authoritative and shrewd’ and is experienced in property and legal professional indemnity, and Martin Jensen has notable expertise advising on policy coverage. Michael Harvey is ‘always prepared to go the extra mile’, and Richard Wilkins is ‘cerebral with excellent legal knowledge and is particularly good at coming up with creative solutions to procedural and tactical challenges’ and is noted for his experience handling disputes pertaining to the education sector. Peter Stockill, Keith Lonsdale and Michael Salau are experienced in construction disputes, and Alex Traill handles professional indemnity, D&O and financial lines claims. Ross Baker joined from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2017. Associates Geneviève Rich, Andrew Layton-Morris and Katherine Heath are also noted.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Capstick - BLM

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London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 3

BLM

BLM’s group focuses on contentious work arising from issues including discrimination, negligence, fitness to practise and breach of contract. Practice head Elliot Pound specialises in representing universities in academic judgement and equality claims. Pound is defending Imperial College of Science against a breach of contract and confidence, harassment and negligence claim filed by a former lecturer who was dismissed on disciplinary grounds. Judicial review expert Richard Wilkins is acting for Newcastle University in a dispute arising from a false diagnosis based on the laboratory results obtained as part of a research project. Defendant defamation specialist Tim Smith represented the University of Portsmouth in proceedings alleging breach of contract, breach of confidence, breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and a defamation claim pertaining to the selection process for speakers at academic conferences. The group is also defending Kingston College against a claim for alleged discrimination brought by a disabled claimant arising from the decision to withdraw an acceptance offer due to the claimant’s unreasonable behaviour during the admission process, and defended Loreto College against a psychological injury claim filed by a former employee, who alleged bullying, harassment and excessive workload. The team has a track record handling allegations of negligence in the preparation of academic references and recently defended Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the University of Cambridge against such claims.

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Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

BLM

BLM’s ‘professional and approachable’ team provides ‘a high standard of expertise and excellent client service’. Its ‘extremely knowledgeable’ lawyers ‘have a way of providing the most complex legal advice in layman terms’. Practice head Elliot Pound is representing an independent school in a claim for unpaid fees against the parents of two former pupils and is defending the client against subsequent counterclaims of unsuitable facilities and failure to detect dyslexia. Richard Wilkins defended Michael House School against a disability discrimination claim filed by a pupil with learning difficulties. Other highlights included acting for a school in pursuing a civil action to remove the presence of certain excluded students from its grounds, who demonstrated various levels of anti-social behaviour on the school’s premises, and representing a school in a damages claim for defective construction work.

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London: Real estate

Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM noted an uptick in adjudications against consultants in 2016, and the practice continues to be highly active defending construction professionals either directly or on behalf of insurers. Contentious co-head Keith Lonsdale is acting for Buller Welsh in six adjudications arising from the design and construction of a high-end residential development at St John’s Wood, London. Lonsdale was also active in litigious matters, where he defended the Millward Partnership in a design claim relating to water ingress into the basement of an apartment block with underground parking in Buckingham. The other main contact is ‘good strategist and team-leaderMichael Salau, who co-leads the practice with Lonsdale. Salau’s reent mandates include a number of professional negligence matters for clients such as Griffiths & Armour, QBE and Adjaye Associates. Peter Stockill specialises in disputes involving infrastructure, process plant and other complex engineering projects.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 4

BLM

For one observer BLM is ‘amongst the leading firms in the field of representing liability insurers covering pollution or contamination claims’, and the team continued to be highly active defending claims for the likes of XL Insurance and QBE. The practice is also adept in the defence of criminal prosecutions, where it serves waste and water operators such as Viridor Waste Management and South West Water. Other avenues of work include advice on policy wording, regulatory advice and assistance with environmental permitting. Michael Salau heads the practice and is a ‘good strategist and team leader’.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 4

BLM

BLM’s practice has a core focus on acting for insurers. Recent highlights including defending King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls and its insurers in defamation, malicious falsehood, misfeasance in public office and negligence proceedings; defending the University of Cambridge and its insurers against claims made following statements made in an email concerning the claimant’s suitability for a job role; and defending Frederic Robinson and its insurers against a defamation and privacy claim relating to the use of the claimant’s image without permission in an advertisement. Other clients include Hiscox, QBE, RSA and Zurich Insurance. Practice head Tim Smith handles defamation, privacy and data protection mandates.

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London: Transport

Travel
Travel: personal injury - ranked: tier 4

BLM

Based across offices in London, Leeds and Bristol, the leisure, travel and casualty team at BLM is ‘excellent on defendant personal injury’, and is known for its experience acting for blue-chip tour operators, travel agents and their insurers. The team handles complex, serious and catastrophic injury claims, as well as group and class actions arising out of illness and disease outbreaks abroad. Thomas Cook, The Freedom Travel Group, LastMinute.com, Jet2, Regis Mutual, Olympic Holidays, Stena Line, InterContinental Hotels Group and British Airways are clients. Leisure and travel casualty team head Matthew Ford is experienced in defending international casualty claims. Solicitor Deborah Sayers is a ‘forensic and tactical litigator with a keen attention to detail’. The team works closely with the marine casualty team, which is led by Gemma Pearce in Bristol, and the counter fraud team, which is led by Birmingham-based Sarah Hill.

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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.

Ireland

Offices in Dublin

London

Offices in London EC3M and London EC3V

Northern Ireland

Offices in Belfast BT2, Derry, and Belfast BT2

North West

Offices in Liverpool and Manchester

Scotland

Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

Offices in Bristol

Wales

Offices in Cardiff

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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