The Legal 500


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London: Dispute resolution

Defamation and privacy
Defamation and privacy - ranked: tier 4


BLM’s Tim Smith is ‘extremely knowledgeable and helpful’. Clients include a number of insurance companies, Bauer Publishing and Express Newspapers. The latter instructed the firm in relation to a libel and privacy claim brought by Paul Gascoigne.

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Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 1


Top-flight firmBLM is a ‘leader in the field’, providing healthcare clients with ‘high-quality legal advice’. The team represents doctors and dentists in disciplinary disputes, contractual disputes and criminal proceedings. The department is co-headed by the ‘dedicated and conscientiousClare Chapman, who is based in Manchester, the ‘clever and personableJuliette Mellman-Jones in London, and Jane Lang in Cardiff. Clients recommend the ‘clear-headed and assiduousVicki Swanton, the ‘highly experiencedMark Shaw, and ‘standout leader’ Gary Allison.

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London: Human resources

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2


Jennette Newman’s team at BLM has a strong regulatory practice and an ‘excellent’ reputation acting for insurers. The firm noted an increase in instructions to handle inquests, and attended a three-month inquest for Apollo Property Services Group, as well as dealing with the associated civil proceedings, following the death of six tenants in a tower block. Leanne Revitt is ‘determined to get the best possible result for the client’. James Jevon joined in November 2014 from Osborn Abas Hunt.

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London: Insurance

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


BLMprovides an excellent level of service to medical practitioners and superb instructions to counsel’. Greg McEwen has significant experience in medical product litigation and high-value claims, and Vicki Swanton and Gary Allison are ‘effortlessly knowledgeable, with exceptionally sound judgement’. Janet McWhinney joined Hill Dickinson LLP.

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Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 6


BLM provides ‘thorough and invaluable knowledge’, and ‘has a good awareness of current market trends and exposure’. Practice head Mark Aitken is a ‘tenacious, experienced and thoughtful lawyer, with a great instinct for fraudulent activity’; John O’Shea’s ‘advice is always thoughtful and considerate’; and Philip Adamis also attracts high praise. Catherine Hawkins heads the property damage group.

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Personal injury: claimant
Leading individuals: personal injury (general)

Jenny Moates - BLM

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


The ‘excellent’ team at BLM has ‘extensive knowledge and a solid understanding of what is important to the parties’. Department head Michael Pether has strong experience in handling abuse cases and catastrophic injury, stress and education claims. Health and safety specialist Jennette Newman is ‘enthusiastic, problem-solving, knowledgeable and accommodating’, and ‘doughty fighter’ Jenny Moates handles severe brain and spinal injury claims.

Leading individuals: personal injury (general)

Jenny Moates - BLM

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


Possibly the best team of product liability lawyers in the field’, BLM acts for Travelers and Transform Medical Group, the lead defendants in the PIP litigation, and earned multiple clients wins during 2014/15, including Allianz, XL Insurance, and reappointment to the Direct Line Group panel. Jim Sherwood is praised for his knowledge and tactical ability, and David Kidman is ‘a go-to lawyer for food safety prosecutions’.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4


The ‘broadly experienced, knowledgeable, diligent and commercial’ team at BLM is co-led by Elliot Pound and consultant Charlotte Capstick, who is a ‘ferocious defender of her clients’ interests’. It defends claims in the legal, construction, financial, real estate and public sectors. Martin Jensen demonstrates ‘careful attention to detail’; Michael Harvey is ‘excellent’; and Richard Wilkins is ‘tactically astute’. Michael Salau, Keith Lonsdale and Alex Traill are also recommended. Caterina Yandell joined Kennedys.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Capstick - BLM

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London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 3


BLM is frequently instructed to handle disputes for its university client base, and defended the University of Portsmouth against alleged defamation, breach of contract and human rights breaches brought by a statistician. Elliot Pound and Richard Wilkins have notable expertise defending student dispute cases.

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London: Real estate

Construction - ranked: tier 5


Under the leadership of Michael Salau – who has an ‘excellent technical grasp’ – and Keith Lonsdale – who shows ‘great commercial judgement’ – BLM’s practice has a strong contentious focus and is particularly known for advising insurers and their insured. Robert Stevenson handles non-contentious matters.

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Environment - ranked: tier 5


BLM’s environment team, headed by Michael Salau, is best known for advising insurers and acting for companies being prosecuted by the Environmental Agency. Viridor, Penon Group and Aviva are among its clients.

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Further information on BLM

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