Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant in East Anglia

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has specialists in both clinical negligence and personal injury, with both practices being at the top of the league in East Anglia. It is particularly well known for brain injury, cerebral palsy and other birth injury claims. Furthermore, the firm has specialist sub-groups focusing on catastrophic injury matters and asbestos-related disease, and its PI team is on the major trauma panel of Addenbrooke’s hospital. Richard Foyster in Ipswich leads on personal injury work, while in Bury St Edmunds, Sharon Allison is the lead partner for medical negligence issues and Michael Wangermann for injury services. Consultant Sandra Patton and, in Norwich, newly promoted partner Ben Ward are key advisers on clinical negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Foyster; Sharon Allison; Michael Wangermann

Other key lawyers:

Sandra Patton; Ben Ward; Julie Crossley; Tom Ranson

Testimonials

‘Julie Crossley is well prepared with the issues clearly identified and thought through from an early stage. She is sympathetic to clients, yet equally comfortable delivering difficult advice.’

‘Ashtons Legal is a very approachable firm of solicitors. In my experience the personal injury team play full out for their clients and are truly empathetic to their needs as a direct consequence of their injuries. They embrace diversity.’

‘Richard Foyster is so very caring and empathetic to his clients needs, will give 100% to get the best outcome for his clients, and is highly knowledgeable and professional. Tom Ranson is highly skilled and professional, highly knowledgeable, very empathetic to clients.’

‘The firm is very responsive to rehabilitation updates, particularly where funding requests are made to support ongoing rehabilitation actions. Genuinely caring about their clients needs and championing/advocating for them to achieve the very best outcomes. Despite the limitations we have all felt due to the pandemic, I have not experienced any change in level of communication or responsiveness from Ashtons Legal.’

‘I have been working with Ben Ward on a number of rehabilitation cases. I have found him to be very personable, approachable, flexible and a solicitor who is keen to foster a two-way communication regarding a clients rehabilitation progress. A pleasure to work with. Feedback indirectly received from injured parties and their families is that Ben is very professional, responsive and again a champion of rehabilitation.’

‘The personal injury and clinical negligence team has excellent knowledge and extensive experience in the field. They have a strategic, informed approach to case management from the outset.’

‘Sharon Allison commands the confidence of clients, and the respect of opponents. She is very authoritative, and she has a very good manner with clients, and puts them at ease. Very impressive.’

‘Tom Ranson and Michael Wangermann in particular stand out for their exceptional abilities to drive a case forward. They both have a fantastic manner with clients; they are thorough, diligent and really get to the heart of any case. They are real team players. Clients are in the best of hands.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a young pedestrian who was hit by a car. He suffered severe head injuries and damage to the frontal lobe of his brain.
  • Acting for client who was following his friend on a motorbike. The friend hit the car in front head on and the client collided with the debris. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
  • Acting for a client who sustained severe hypoxic brain injury as a result of his mother being sent home in active labour, where she suffered a placental abruption.

Barr Ellison LLP

Barr Ellison LLP in Cambridge has a dedicated catastrophic personal injury practice that is known for high-value claims and its experience in Court of Protection matters and personal injury trusts. The firm, which also has an office in Addenbrooke's Hospital, has 'a high level of expertise and is always focused on getting the best results, as well as being tough and pragmatic'. Lead partner Emma Truin is 'calm, sympathetic, clear and easy to deal with for her clients', and associate Mark Copley handles complex claims with 'skill, understanding and clarity'. Daryl Robinson moved to Moore Barlow in London.

Practice head(s):

Emma Truin

Other key lawyers:

Mark Copley; Lucy Spraggons

Testimonials

‘A high level of expertise in high value and catastrophic personal injury claims. Very easy to deal with. Always focused on getting the best results and tough and pragmatic as required.’

‘Emma Truin has great experience of high value and catastrophic injury claims, particularly involving traumatic brain injuries. She is calm, sympathetic, and clear and easy to deal with for her clients. I am always struck by how well liked and trusted she is by her clients, some of whom are far from easy. She is a solicitor I would recommend without hesitation. Mark Copley is a senior associate and handles very serious and high value claims, with skill, understanding and clarity.’

‘Lucy Spraggons works mainly alongside Emma Truin, providing much assistance with Emma’s heavy cases. She is efficient and gains the trust of clients with her sympathetic and straightforward manner.’

‘This is a niche catastrophic personal injury practice offering a very high level of service doing PI cases in East Anglia. They have real strength in depth within their team and a track record of achieving outstanding results on the highest value cases. They are set apart from other firms because of their links to the medical profession and the personal service they provide.’

‘Mark Copley is a fee earner I rate highly because he really understands how to maximise catastrophic injury claims. The PI department is ably led by Emma Truin, who is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘This is a medium-sized firm in Cambridge. The personal injury department punches way about its weight and is excellent.’

‘Emma Truin is exceptional and her client care excellent. She shows empathy and consideration for all of her clients and offers a first class service. If I or a member of my family ever personally needed a PI Lawyer I would instruct Emma ’

‘An excellent firm of solicitors based in Cambridge and covering the region. Major strengths include empathy with clients, extensive medical and legal knowledge of neurotrauma and impact on patients, Collaborate closely with clinical services to the benefit of patients.’

Irwin Mitchell

Praised by clients as 'the leading clinical negligence firm nationally and in East Anglia', Irwin Mitchell in Cambridge is noted for its 'unrivalled breadth and depth of experience'. All of the firm's practice heads - Neil Whiteley for personal injury work, Guy Forster for clinical negligence issues, Ruth Booy for serious injury claims, Rosemary Giles for workplace injury and asbestos-related cases and Simon Harrington for Ministry of Defence matters - are leaders in their fields. They are supported by a vastly experienced team of associates including Sarah Wealleans, Gurpreet Lalli, Sophie Bales, Alexander Davenport, Samantha Shaw and catastrophic injury specialist Justina Molloy.

Practice head(s):

Neil Whiteley; Guy Forster; Ruth Booy; Rosemary Giles; Simon Harrington

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Wealleans; Gurpreet Lalli; Sophie Bales; Alexander Davenport; Samantha Shaw; Justina Molloy

Testimonials

‘The team is brilliant. All areas of the case are dealt with and there has never been a day when I could not pick up the phone and get an answer or solution to a problem. Everyone (even in lockdown) has managed to keep up to date with the case.’

‘The leading clinical negligence firm nationally and in East Anglia. Unrivalled breadth and depth of experience for this type of work in this area of the UK.

‘Gurpreet Lalli is a rising star. Judgment and skill beyond her years. Guy Forster is very well respected. A safe pair of hands for high value claims.’

‘The industrial disease team is fantastic, very client focused with excellent people skills. Samantha Shaw and Rosemary Giles are both excellent.’

‘The military injury team in Cambridge is excellent and has significant knowledge in this area, which is second to none in the UK at the moment in my opinion. They are able to cater for all levels of client in this area, from private soldier to the senior commanding officer. They are also able to provide advice in areas not associated with contentious litigation in this area, namely the Specialist Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. The clinical negligence teams are also extremely skilled and knowledgeable and have the necessary bed side manner to ensure that all of their claimant clients feel listened to as well as being extremely ably advised. Their preparation is second to none.’

‘For military personal injury, Simon Harrington and Alex Davenport. The experience and knowledge of this area of work held by these individuals is second to none in my view. The think ahead carefully and tactically. For clinical negligence Guy Forster and Gurpreet Lalli. The team is led by Guy Forster who is extremely experienced in this area. Gurpreet Lalli is one of the up and coming stars of his team.’

‘Irwin Mitchell have strength in depth as one of the main players in the PI market nationwide. They have a number of very capable practitioners and a track record of achieving excellent results in the highest value cases. One of their biggest advantages is that they have the financial clout to run cases over long periods of time and carry large amounts of debt. This puts them in a position of strength in litigation.’

Work highlights

  • Secured an eight-figure settlement (lump sum and periodical payment for life) for a young woman who suffered avoidable catastrophic stroke.
  • Liability settlement in a birth injury claim leading to cerebral palsy; interim payment secured to fund immediate and medium term needs.
  • Death of man from heart attack in hospital due to a mix up in care which led to inadequate cardiac monitoring. Admission of liability, apology and representation at inquest in December 2020.

Slater and Gordon

The Cambridge office of Slater and Gordon is a key hub for the firm's national personal injury practice. The firm provides 'a high-quality of work dealing with the full range of serious and catastrophic injuries, and excellent client care'. Brain and spinal injury specialist Paul Tapner 'get to grips with the detail of a case but also sees what the most important issues and factual points are'. Catastrophic injury partner Richard Gaffney, child and adult brain injury and CICA specialist Angela Beric and 'level-headed, focused, pragmatic' associate Crystal Eaton also play pivotal roles in the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Paul Tapner; Richard Gaffney; Angela Beric; Crystal Eaton

Testimonials

‘This is probably the best personal injury claimant-oriented firm. They are utterly devoted to their clients and prepared to fight for the most difficult cases in the face of adversity, achieving extraordinary outcomes. They are a lovely team as well, pleasure to work with as they are both empathetic and pragmatic in their approach and highly personable.’

‘I have been working with Richard Gaffney over the last two years on a high-value complex head injury case. He is experienced and is a joy to work with because the case is always in such spotless condition. He has excellent client care skills. It is not easy managing the expectations of a young serious head injury survivor and he manages the client and the family with consummate skill.’

‘The individuals we work with are always professional but really seem to make the effort to get to know us as individuals. They know the whole family even though the claim we are making is just for one of us. Richard Gaffney is excellent and I would highly recommend him to others. The administrative staff who support him are also extremely professional and friendly.’

‘High quality of work dealing with the full range of serious and catastrophic injury. Excellent client care provided to injured claimant, and proactive steps taken to engage counsel at an early stage.’

‘Crystal Eaton has an excellent way of working with clients. She instils confidence and makes claimants feel genuinely cared for. She undertakes serious and catastrophic cases.’

‘There are some very experienced and capable solicitors in the team who strive to obtain the best for their clients to an extraordinary degree but exercise judgment and common sense in doing so.’

‘Paul Tapner, who has some 35 years experience in the personal injury field, will get to grips with the detail of a case but also sees what the most important issues and factual points are. He has sound judgment, great tactical sense and assesses objectively the strengths and weaknesses of the client’s case.’

‘Angela Beric is an immensely hard working, diligent and able solicitor. She involves herself in the intricacies of a client’s case and does everything possible to achieve the best result while remaining objective. Although devoted to the client, she does not lose sight of reality and the difficulties with a case.’

Tees Law

Tees Law in Cambridge has one of the most well-established, experienced and well-respected claimant clinical negligence practices in East Anglia. Janine Collier leads the personal injury and clinical negligence practice, in which the vastly experienced Vicki Seabrook brings to bear more than 30 years' experience. Collier recently secured more than £2m for a young child injured due to delayed diagnosis of a Group A Streptococcal infection. The 'quite exceptional' Tim Deeming 'manages cases with a light touch and with the client's best interests at heart'; he recently secured a large settlement for the family of a man whose death was due to the delay in diagnosis of a colonic tumour.

Practice head(s):

Janine Collier

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Seabrook; Tim Deeming

Testimonials

‘Tees has been clear and consistent over a number of years to me in cases of personal injury and negligence. Inevitably this involves sensitive material and the need to dissect complex causal relations whilst maintaining empathy and sensitivity to clients.’

‘Tim Deeming has been quite exceptional in the quality of his legal instructions, respect for the independence of an expert and empathy towards clients. He has had to construct coherent analyses of causal relations thereby piecing together multiple different medical specialties, but has managed this with a light touch and with a client’s best interests at heart.’

‘Janine Collier was the first contact with Tees, this was still at a very distressing time for me, she patiently listened as to why we considered the care my wife received was not fit for purpose, and was quite reassuring and understood with empathy why we were so distressed. Tim Deeming also had the same qualities as Janine Collier, before Covid he made a home visit were the case could be discussed within a relaxed environment, and his manner inspired confidence. When we presented Tim with any small detail his telephone or email response would be almost immediate or at least within the day.’

‘The Tees law team has always been supportive and quick in any answer or request, they followed my case in the last two and half years, we always had good communication.’

‘Helpful and through. Excellent knowledge and understanding. Great customer service. Service through pandemic was excellent lots of contact via video call and resolved my whole case virtually.’

‘Very efficient when dealing with medical negligence claims, deep understanding of relevant issues and sensitivity when dealing with claimants.’

‘Great teamwork. Every team member I was in touch with was very sufficient and professional. I was able to trust them all as we were working alongside of my case.’

Work highlights

  • Secured an admission of liability and compensation of £3.125m for a negligently performed smear test in a pregnant patient causing their waters to break and the premature birth of her son at 24+6 weeks resulting in severe physical, behavioural and cognitive problems.
  • Secured £1.85m for the delay in diagnosis and treatment of Cauda Equina resulting in avoidable permanent bowel and bladder dysfunction.
  • Represented a family at a three-day inquest into the suicide of a patient following an inadequate assessment at hospital and the failure to take proper precautions to prevent suicide. The patient was negligently discharged from hospital and died within 1 hour. Compensation was secured for the patient’s family following the inquest conclusion.

Ellisons Solicitors

Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich has an accomplished head of claimant personal injury in Robert Gair, who is ‘conscientious, has an intimate understanding of the medicine and leaves no stone unturned‘. Among his many areas of specialism are claims involving fatal accidents, acquired brain injuries, industrial diseases and RTAs. He is supported by associate Bernice Spurgeon, who has more than 20 years’ experience in fast and multi-track cases including matters of employer and public liability.

Practice head(s):

Robert Gair

Other key lawyers:

Bernice Spurgeon

Testimonials

‘I do claimant work for Robert Gair, senior injury partner at Ellisons. He and his team offer an excellent conscientious service to seriously injured clients.’

‘Robert Gair is a first rate injury lawyer with 30 years’ experience. He is conscientious, has an intimate understanding of the medicine and leaves no stone unturned. His clients receive an excellent service from him. He manages to bring out the best in those with whom he works.’

‘The PI team provides a detailed and caring response to their clients’ needs. They often undertake detailed research and investigations into a claim before proceedings are instigated thus making the litigation process more efficient and settlement more realisable.’

‘Robert Gair always undertakes his cases with a careful eye for detail and rigour thus meaning that his lay and professional clients are well served and that litigation runs more smoothly. He is also a realist who will give clients advice they need to achieve a good settlement. Robert was also quick to adapt to video and IT technology during the pandemic to ensure his case work did not suffer.’

Fosters

The service from Fosters in Norwich is ' exemplary in every sense', according to clients, who are 'impressed by the rapid response times and made to feel an important client at every stage of the journey'. The 'attentive and compassionateStephen Green is head of the personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest department, in which senior associates Barry Grogan and David Gabell, who specialises in clinical negligence work, play central roles. The firm frequently handles cases involving serious injuries, as well as claims concerning occupational stress.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Green

Other key lawyers:

Barry Grogan; David Gabell; Carl Rix

Testimonials

‘Clear instructions. Good availability. Excellent case management. David Gabell and Carl Rix are both knowledgeable, and with good organisational efficiency.’

‘There is tremendous empathy for clients.’

‘David Gabell is an exceptional solicitor who has a keen, analytic legal mind but also a caring attitude for his clients. He will go the extra mile and takes a thorough, analytic view of cases which he then applies in a humane manner.’

‘My experience with Fosters was exemplary in every sense. It is the first time that I have dealt with a solicitor, but I cannot imagine any other solicitor providing me with the expertise, understanding and professionalism I experienced with Fosters. Outstanding in every sense.’

‘I dealt with David Gabell and I have nothing but admiration for him in the way he dealt with my case. A solicitor who always kept me updated, showed me patience and discussed every minute detail with me at every stage of the case. He always addressed any points I had to raise with utter professionalism and expediency at any time of the day or night. The outcome we achieved was more than we expected which again illustrates his capabilities. I would highly recommend David Gabell in particular to anybody. Again, outstanding at every level.’

‘An excellent team keeping communications flowing throughout the case. I was always impressed by the rapid response times and being made to feel an important client at every stage of the journey.’

‘Stephen Green was attentive, compassionate and very professional in all our dealings. I was always kept aware of the situation as the case developed.’

‘This is a high street firm which punches above its weight. The fee earners are all excellent and the support team is also really switched on. Steven Green is excellent, very calm and reassuring to clients and always goes the extra mile for them. Barry Grogan is also a really good practitioner.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a 22-year-old man (through his uncle and litigation friend) who sustained a serious head injury when he was knocked off his bike by a car driver in September 2016.
  • Acting for a claimant, who suffered multiple orthopaedic injuries and loss of his sense of smell in a work related accident. Matter settled for £350,000.
  • Advised on a claim for a man who suffered an acoustic injury during an ear procedure, resulting in catastrophic tinnitus. This was a consent case and settled for £140,000.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich 'stands out for its attention to detail and the fact that every avenue is explored to present the best case possible for the clients'. The firm specialises in complex cases including fatal accidents, asbestos claims and historical abuse cases. Tim Humpage, who is 'very personable, easy to talk to and very knowledgeable' and Diana Infanti are the lead partners, and both handle clinical negligence matters exclusively. Newly promoted partner Stevan Stratton takes the lead on high-value personal injury cases. Legal executive Sian Mullane also plays a pivotal role in key matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Humpage

Other key lawyers:

Diana Infanti; Stevan Stratton; Sian Mullane

Testimonials

‘This team has been very helpful and explained everything step by step as it has been a very difficult time for me. They keep me informed about how things are progressing by emails and telephone calls.’

‘Timothy Humpage came to see me at home as it’s was difficult for me to get out. He explained everything about what would happen. He has kept me informed about how my case is going.’

‘Gotelee offers a great range of services and after a detailed initial discussion with one of the partners I decided to move forward with my case. This decision was made because the partner concerned was very personable, easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He listened to me very carefully and asked pertinent questions. I have been confident throughout the whole process that the advice I have been given is correct and always in good time. I have been kept fully informed as well. These are great strengths and give me peace of mind. After all, deciding to take legal action is a very scary thing to embark on.’

‘All the people I have dealt with at Gotelee, from reception staff to the partner, have been professional, knowledgeable and easy to deal with. They have reassured me when necessary because sometimes the terminology and process can seem quite daunting. The team are also very nice people and that makes a huge difference.’

‘I think what makes them stand out is their attention to detail and the fact that every avenue is explored to present the best case possible for their clients.’

‘Tim Humpage is representing me. My wife was not in the best of health and Tim travelled down from Ipswich to Felixstowe several time to take statements and keep us updated with the case. Sian Mullane has assisted Tim with the case. She has also worked to the highest standards to present the best possible case.’

‘A local firm providing a top class service in the field of PI and clinical negligence. A really good alternative to the top firms if you want a more personal approach that produces results on a par with firms higher up.’

‘Stevan Stratton has years of experience in a wide range of personal injury cases from simple tripping accidents to high-value fatal accident claims. He is extremely compassionate towards his clients which really puts them at ease at a very difficult time in their lives. By contrast, he is incredibly tenacious and tactically astute when it comes to dealing with opponents. He is a pleasure to be represented by and to work for but a nightmare to be against. A rising star.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the estate of a man who died of mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos in the 1960’s working in factory. Settled the case in excess of £100,000 for the estate.

Hatch Brenner LLP

Clients appreciate the 'care, empathy, professionalism and knowledge' of Hatch Brenner LLP in Norwich, which handles both personal injury and clinical negligence claims. 'Compassionate and personable' practice head Colin Cook, who recently secured a £400,000 settlement for an assault victim with a life changing brain injury, specialises in brain injuries, accident claims and medical negligence issues. Sara Westwood, who joined along with the entire medical negligence team from Morgan Jones Pett, is 'very shrewd and has an excellent nose for cases with merit'.

Practice head(s):

Colin Cook

Other key lawyers:

Sara Westwood; Simon Bransby; Pasha Alnadaf

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Sara Westwood for 15-20 years. Very shrewd and had an excellent nose for cases with merit.’

‘Hatch Brenner stood out from the other solicitors that I contacted at the beginning of my case initially because of the level of care, empathy, professionalism and knowledge of the area of head injury claims that they exhibited. This was maintained throughout the years that they worked with me. I was also impressed by the communication – they always kept me well informed about the progress of the case and the nuances within it.’

‘From the very beginning of my case, Colin Cook was compassionate and personable while maintaining a high level of professionalism. He was sensitive to the impacts of my head injury and I always felt comfortable during meetings with him. He handled the case with efficacy and transparency, keeping me updated with each step in the process. I was comforted and empowered by this, as the complexities of the case could otherwise have left me feeling confused and overwhelmed. I was also impressed by his knowledge of this specialist field, and by his choice in medico-legal experts. I was highly impressed by Colin’s handling of the case, his transparency, and by his demeanour throughout.’

‘Always professional and supportive. Kept up to date with all information and put at ease with the process.’

‘Sara Westwood was always so supportive and kind. Keeping us involved in every process. Tower of strength at stressful moments in our case.’

‘Hatch Brenner were highly recommended to us by a local family solicitor. From the minute we contacted the firm or experience was only ever excellent. We would like to thank Simon Bransby and the rest of the team for making an unpleasant matter easier to deal with.’

‘A unique ability these days is true professionalism and this undoubtedly is a key strength within this company. As I client, I was welcomed and very well looked after. I never felt it necessary to chase the company for information and all members worked competently and confidently as a team. I haven’t had dealings with other companies but know, should the need arise, that I wouldn’t hesitate to return to this one.’

‘My single experience was with Pasha Alnadaf and his very helpful and capable assistant, both of whom responded without delay in a friendly and personal way throughout my process. The processing of my claim was exceptionally thorough and compassionate, and every aspect and stage of the consequences of the accident and subsequent medical treatment was interrogated, to a successful conclusion.’

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

'Not only does the team make things easier to understand, all information was communicated in a sensitive, compassionate and appropriate way', says a client of Clapham & Collinge SolicitorsPhilip Lumb in Norwich is a litigator with extensive experience in PI and clinical negligence cases, particularly those related to industrial diseases, asbestos claims, serious injuries, accidents at work and RTAs. He is supported by legal executive Kate Smith who has notable experience in personal injury matters.

Practice head(s):

Philip Lumb

Other key lawyers:

Kate Smith

Testimonials

‘From my experience with the team, I would say a key strength they offer is communicating cases with you in terms you will understand. This is very helpful when trying to understand complex rules and laws, and trying to come to terms with situations which are not ideal. Not only do they make things easier to understand, all information was communicated in a sensitive, compassionate and appropriate way.’

‘Philip Lumb worked with us over a few years on a long-winded case. He particularly was good at taking on board our feedback and ensuring our point of view was communicated, ultimately it made me feel like I had a voice in my case, and he did an excellent job at making sure this was heard. He also offered good advice over a long period of stressful time, which helped me to last the long processes involved.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client in her claim for personal injury and loss arising from injuries sustained as a result of her being attacked by her husband.
  • Representing a client who suffered a traumatic amputation of his forearm and hand below his elbow as a result of an accident at work.
  • Represented an elderly client who suffered significant injuries in a road traffic accident. The client’s claim for personal injury included a claim for future care expenses for 24-hour care.