Clinical negligence: claimant in East Anglia
At Ashtons Legal, injury services represent a core part of the firm's strategy and its large practice has a stellar track record in the highest-value and most complex cases of physical and psychological injury. Sandra Patton leads the medical injury team, which includes leading practitioners Tom Cook, who specialises in cerebral palsy and other complex and high-value birth or neonatal injury claims, and APIL senior litigator Sharon Allison, whose skills include advocacy at inquests. Rising star associates Ben Ward and Julie Crossley are also recommended.
- Sandra Patton is handling a multimillion-pound claim for alleged negligence when a hospital sent a mother home when she was in labour, which resulted in the baby sustaining hypoxic brain injury.
Irwin Mitchell is regarded as one of the leading medical negligence firms in the UK and the Cambridge office. Led by Guy Forster, it upholds this reputation with multimillion-pound settlements in high-value and complex catastrophic injury cases including birth injury, adult and child brain injury, spinal injury, amputations and fatal accidents. The practice also has a specialist public law team that handles cases in which an individual’s care or health needs are not being met by a local authority or clinical commissioning groups, and also handles Court of Protection, trust, probate and special educational needs. Other names to note are rising stars are Gurpreet Lalli, Sarah Wealleans and Sophie Bales.
“I bend over backwards to accept instructions from this team. They are extremely well organised and effective. The paperwork is always well prepared; and the conferences run like clockwork.”
“Guy Forster is a fantastic advocate for his clients; a stickler for the detail and extremely thorough.”
“Guy Forster really gets his teeth into the case and has great carry-over, remembering the details of reports and discussions even as the months roll by.”
“The standards applied by the practice are high with excellent case management and communication.”
“The team is supportive to clients and experts and is able to achieve appropriate and successful outcomes. I would have no hesitation in recommending this practice.”
“Its expertise in medical/clinical matters- including sudden and preventable deaths, and its profile and commitment to achieving change through justice means the firm stands out from what can look like a cluttered legal market place.”
“Guy Forster is clearly extremely competent and hugely supportive. Dealing with traumatised relatives takes skill and compassion – he has this in abundance.”
“Guy Forster works very flexibly and I feel is always available to deal with my questions. Rosamund Stafford is flexible efficient kind & compassionate.”
- Guy Forster represents a woman, aged 25, who suffered a massive stroke which left her with permanent brain damage and who requires substantial care and lacks capacity to manage her affairs.
- Representing a 5-year old girl who has cerebral palsy due to her developing rare condition kernicterus in the early days of life.
- Acting for a 7-year old child who suffered bacterial meningitis resulting in deafness in a claim concerning a failure by a commercial out-of-hours GP service to suspect a potential diagnosis of meningitis and make an urgent referral to hospital.
- Acting for the widow and 9-year old son of a man who died after contracting the CMV virus following a pancreatic transplant, in which there were a series of negligent delays in treating the virus and in which, due to a laboratory mix-up, the organ was infected.
- Acting for a child who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy following starvation of oxygen shortly before she was delivered, as her mother suffered a placental abruption preventing the baby from receiving the blood supply and oxygen it needs.
'In my opinion, it is the best of the best by a long way', remarks a client of Tees Law, who notes that its lawyers are 'personal, caring and very thorough'. The firm has one of the largest, most well-established and experienced practices in the region. It handles high-value and complex matters arising from, inter alia, adult and child brain injury, fatalities, delays in cancer diagnosis, gynaecology, orthopaedic surgery, dental and plastic surgery. Practice head Janine Collier and new hire from Slater and Gordon Tim Deeming, who is 'a master tactician', are the key partners. Senior associate and APIL senior litigator Adam Copeland is also recommended. Paul Taylor moved to Richard Buxton to practice environmental law.
“I have been dealing with Tees for approximately 35 years and have found them to be very professional in all aspects of law. They employ the best people in their field and, to date, I have not been let down.”
“A very friendly and committed team that leaves no stone unturned in investigating cases and gets good results in difficult and unusual cases.”
“Janine Collier is a really dedicated, very intelligent and excellent lawyer who leads a very good team.”
“From the very beginning they took me through the process thoroughly step by step. The firm’s biggest strength is that they never give up and they did battle well for us.”
“Another of their strengths is bringing the best medical experts to the table. Tees kept me confidant at all times.”
“Tim Deeming is someone I was proud to have represent me.”
“Tees draws on its vast experience to bring the very best medical experts to the table. I had confidence in the team and was highly delighted with the substantial settlement.”
“I feel our case has been dealt with very efficiently and everyone we have worked with has shown compassion and empathy during a very difficult time for us.”
“Janine Collier has been wonderful to work with, she has kept us informed throughout the process and is always happy to answer queries via email or phone. We feel she has completely supported us and we feel very lucky to have her on our side.”
“The key individuals we deal with at Tees are always at the end of the phone or email. We receive updates by phone regularly, without prompting, and have always had any queries answered immediately.”
“Janine Collier’s advice has been invaluable and we have felt extremely comfortable and confident in her and her team from the start.”
- Janine Collier and David Jacobs secured £3.5m for the widow and children of a City worker who died following routine surgery at a private London hospital.
- Janine Collier and Vanessa Thompson secured £2.87m for a lady who suffered a severe brain injury after four GPs failed to act on abnormal blood test results and refer to hospital, delaying treatment for high sodium levels.
- Adam Copeland and Isobel Foenander secured a provisional damages award of £450,000 for a 17-month delay in diagnosing breast cancer in a 23-year-old lady.
- Adam Copeland and Isobel Foenander achieved £400,000 compensation for a man who suffered a nerve injury during acromioclavicular joint reconstruction surgery.
- Janine Collier secured £140,000 and significant non-monetary relief in a claim against a Hospital Trust for failure to properly manage subglottic stenosis.
Fosters has a well-established presence in Norfolk and Suffolk thanks to its blend of experienced senior lawyers and up-and-coming practitioners. Practice head Stephen Green, who handles claims against hospitals, GPs and the Ambulance Service, and consultant Ian Comer have more than 60 years' combined experience in medical negligence. Associate and APIL-accredited litigator David Gabell, who is 'very good with clients, very bright and efficient', has specialist expertise in gynaecology, fertility, orthopaedic and general surgery claims. Solicitor Barry Grogan is also recommended.
“David Gabell is a very sharp and precise man. He kept me on my toes at all times and is very smart operator.”
“David Gabell listens well an ultimately makes the right judgement for his client.”
“David Gabell is an excellent solicitor who has recently joined the team. He is very hardworking, efficient and pleasant to deal with.”
“The firm has a hardworking and client-focussed team that is tenacious and energetic.”
“David Gabell has impressed me as a highly organised and motivated individual, dedicated to securing good outcomes for his clients in often challenging circumstances.”
“Marianne Harrington has already impressed me with her energy and enthusiasm for achieving good outcomes for her clients.”
Gotelee Solicitors has a small but experienced clinical negligence practice that focuses on client care and partner-led advice in complex and technically demanding cases. Practice head and APIL-accredited clinical negligence specialist Tim Humpage has 23 years' experience in medical negligence cases against Hospital Trusts, GP surgeries, dentists and opticians. Partner and former nurse Diana Infanti specialises in high-value, complex cases including Fatal Accident Act claims, delayed cancer diagnosis and mental health claims.
Other key lawyers:
“Gotelee Solicitors has cornered the market exceptionally well in their area. They offer an excellent face to face service for clients and have an impressive range of cases.”
“When instructions are received from Gotelee Solicitors you know that they have vetted the cases well and that there is a good quality claim. They are excellent at achieving a good settlement for their clients, but are also not afraid to fight a matter to trial if the offers on the table are too low.”
“Diana Infanti knows how to work cooperatively with defendant solicitors, but is not afraid to stand her ground when it is legally or procedurally called for; she has the perfect balance. She always achieves the absolute best for her clients.”
“Tim Humpage is incredibly dedicated and approaches his high and low value with 100% effort and commitment. Clients feel valued and he achieves great outcomes for clients.”
Morgan Jones Pett
Morgan Jones Pett joins the ranking this year as its two-partner practice punches above its weight in terms of the value and complexity of cases it handles. Its work ranges in scope from brain injuries to simple missed fractures, and the firm frequently handles matters arising from cerebral palsy and cancer misdiagnosis. David Jones and Sara Westwood are the key partners and both are deputies appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of clients who lack capacity. Legal executive Simon Bransby is also recommended.
Sara Westwood; David Jones
Other key lawyers:
“Simon Bransby is extremely helpful, and approachable. He went to great lengths to gain an understanding of some of the more unusual aspects of my case, and I had no reason to ever fault him.”
- Represented a client who suffered permanent neurological symptoms due to the failure of several clinicians to diagnose a congenital defect of the spinal cord.
- A case arising from negligent delay in the delivery of baby, resulting in severe brain injury causing death.
- Sara Westwood represented a client at an inquest following the death of his wife at a nursing home.
- Represented the parents of a baby girl who had died at only a few weeks of age following failure by an out-of-hours GP to refer the child to hospital.
- Sara Westwood secured £250,000 for a client who had his leg amputated due to a failure by the hospital to provide prompt treatment.
Buckles Solicitors LLP has the most prominent clinical negligence practice in Peterborough. Practice head Roger Clarke has more than 30 years’ experience in high-value personal injury and clinical negligence matters, and he routinely acts against NHS Trusts, GPs and dentists. APIL-accredited associate Martin Herson is particularly well known for his advocacy at inquests.
Other key lawyers:
- Martin Herson secured £150,000 in a claim against an NHS Hospital Trust for causing a 4th degree perineal tear during labour.
- Martin Herson handled a £100,000 fatal claim following the death of the claimant’s husband, Mr John Naylor (deceased), arising from negligent failure to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- The firm secured damages for neurological injury following the negligent adjustment of screw which fixed a cranial halo in place.
- Martin Herson is pursuing a claim for failure to diagnose complex hyperplasia leading to early hysterectomy.
- The firm is representing a deceased man’s estate in a claim arising from the alleged failure by registered GPs to identify and refer the patient for suspected throat cancer.
Clapham & Collinge Solicitors
Clapham & Collinge Solicitors joins the ranking this year due to the growing caseload of clinical negligence matters handled by key partner Philip Lumb, who has been working this field for 17 years. The firm, which has a growing client base across Norfolk, frequently handles claims arising from Accident & Emergency treatment, dentistry, cosmetic surgery, GP diagnosis and treatment, oncology, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology.
- The firm handled a claim for unsatisfactory dental work carried out over a nine-year period.
- The firm represented a woman in a case concerning failure to prescribe an appropriate dose of a medication.
- The firm is handling a claim against a teaching hospital alleging failure to diagnose kidney cancer.
- A hospital negligence claim concerning complications in treatment of a diabetic patient.
Rogers and Norton
Rogers and Norton has a small but highly experienced team centred on the expertise of Tim Nobbs, who handles a growing caseload of high-value matters. Personal injury partner Mark Hambling also handles clinical negligence matters. The firm has a strong following around Norwich and throughout Norfolk.
Other key lawyers:
- Mark Hambling handled a complex claim for negligence leading to the death of a woman due to failure to replace a plastic stent with a metal stent.
Scrivenger Seabrook Limited
Scrivenger Seabrook Limited has a small but high-quality team of seasoned practitioners who handle matters of the highest value and complexity. Key partner Vicki Seabrook has 40 years' experience and was formerly legal adviser to the Royal College of Nursing before founding the firm. Her recent successes include securing a settlement for a child with severe brain damage worth in excess of £8m. Key partner and former staff nurse Sarah Newcombe brings her first-hand experience of NHS and private hospital practice to bear on complex cases. Also recommended is Helen Hillson who stands out for high-value and fatal cases such as those concerning delays in diagnosis of cancer.
Other key lawyers: