The team at Fieldfisher is led by ‘titan in the clinical negligence field’ Paul McNeil, and is recognised for its ability to act on the most complex cases in this area, with a particular focus on those including birth complications; genetic metabolic disorders; delayed diagnoses of cancer; spinal injuries, cerebral palsy and psychiatric injury. The team acts on cases of varying financial level, though claims are often for values in the multi-millions; ‘ferociously hard-working’ partner Samantha Critchley is currently acting for a premature baby on a case with an estimated value of £30m. The team is often able to provide its clients with early rehabilitation and has international reach. Kate Rohde's presence continues to inspire praise from the market. Catastrophic injury specialist Jane Weakley is a consistent standout in the team, as is former doctor Iona Meeres-Young. Legal director Caron Heyes is known for her work with charities including Child Bereavement UK, Inquest and Mencap, while senior associate Suzanne Farg, who joined from Kingsley Napley LLP in April 2021, is also one to watch. Mark Bowman and Jonathan Zimmern complete the roster of recommended practitioners.
Clinical negligence: claimant in London
Other key lawyers:
Samantha Critchley, Mark Bowman, Jane Weakley, Iona Meeres-Young, Jonathan Zimmern, Kate Rohde, Arti Shah, Caron Heyes, Helen Thompson, Will Jones, Christina Gardiner, Emma Kendall, Sevim Ahmet, Nilam Patel
‘Fieldfisher are truly the best in the business. The whole firm operates seamlessly. Paul McNeil and Nilam Patel worked together on my case, and both were reachable and knowledgeable. It was a seamless experience talking to either of them, they were always up-to-date with everything and are both phenomenal. Their administration team was top-class as well. Why go anywhere else?’
‘Paul McNeil is rightly regarded as a titan in the clinical negligence field. He acted with the utmost skill, care, and integrity to ensure that I can receive the care I need. Nilam Patel is also incredible, a first-class lawyer and no doubt a future big-hitter in the clinical negligence field. She handled my case with great adaptability, overcoming all the challenges we faced.’
‘Attention to detail is superb. The team immerse themselves in your matter and make sure all angles are covered, not just the immediate back and forth but the strategic thinking going forward – often three or four steps ahead. Combined with this, is a human desire to get to know you and the predicament your family is in and genuinely showing care and compassion – it brings an added sense that there is a drive and passion to get the best outcome.’
‘Samantha Critchley is head and shoulders above her peer group. Bright, dynamic, caring and ferociously hard working. You always want Sam in the room or at the table.’
‘Iona Meeres-Young has been a great professional support to us. She explained the process very clearly to us at each stage and would sum up and simplify medical terms and next stages of the case. Iona remained confident that our case was going in the right direction and with all evidence and the professional team of experts she instructed, she reached such a positive outcome for our son that has truly changed his life already. We cannot thank her enough and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her to other parents in the future.’
‘This is the best team in the country. An excellent ethos driving case after case to successful conclusion, and doing so with very great care and thoroughness, but also speed. The team is exceptionally well led. It has wide and deep experience. There is utter commitment. It operates within a city firm, so has the mentality and resources in funding and personnel that few can match, and which it routinely deploys.’
‘Paul McNeil is the leading litigator in this field: highly intelligent, vastly experienced, entirely dedicated to each client, and relentlessly hard-working. He is assisted by a deep bench. Iona Meeres-Young is an absolutely excellent litigator with a calm, highly intelligent and pragmatic approach which shines through. Samantha Critchley is another excellent and vastly experienced litigator – dedication and thoroughness personified. Mark Bowman is an extremely able, intelligent, efficient and effective litigator. Jonathan Zimmern is fully prepared to take on the most ground-breaking cases. Kate Rohde is a hugely experienced lateral thinker. Jane Weakley is a really terrific lawyer, Deborah Nadel is another who has the very highest standards and Arti Shah is one to watch. The team is packed with excellent lawyers.’
‘All the London partners deserve a mention and high praise. Paul McNeil runs a totally outstanding team with Samantha Critchley, Mark Bowman, Iona Meeres-Young, Kate Rohde, Arti Shah, Jane Weakley and Jonathan Zimmern all truly excellent partners as well. They all deserve very high praise for the work they do.’
- Settled a claim for a brother and sister, born in the early 1980s, who decades later were diagnosed with a rare genetic metabolic condition, which, if diagnosed promptly, can be treated with a lifetime of vitamin B12 injections but which, in this case, led to irreversible intellectual disability in the brother and a range of unexplained symptoms in the sister.
- Acting on a £30m case on behalf of an extremely premature baby who developed neonatal sepsis at 3 weeks old, which was not treated properly, and whom was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism.
- Reached a settlement of £2.5m on behalf of a woman who suffered a severe third-degree vaginal tear during childbirth at Ipswich Hospital.
The clinical negligence team at Irwin Mitchell is led by Auriana Griffiths, who is described as being ‘at the top of her game’. The team specialises in unique and highly complex matters, which by their nature are of significant value. Its caseload often includes claims involving such factors as severe neurological injury in adults and babies; multiple such cases recently worked on by the team have reached £30m plus in value. The group is also recognised for its sub-team of expert support and rehabilitation workers – the ‘outstanding’ Anita Jewitt is heavily involved with this aspect of the practice. The size and breadth of the team overall allows for collaboration across a breadth of sub-specialisms and, as such, a well-rounded service. Recently promoted partner Anne Kavanagh is known for her work on behalf of women and children, while Leena Savjani 'takes no prisoners' in her representation of clients' best interests. Richard Kayser, who has represented numerous clients at the High Court in recent years, and 'force to be reckoned with' Alison Eddy are also noteworthy individuals. At senior associate level, Punam Sood is the key name.
Other key lawyers:
Alison Eddy; Ian Christian; Anita Jewitt; Anne Kavanagh; Richard Kayser; Shivi Nathan; Leena Savjani; Alexandra Winch
‘Alison Eddy, Ian Christian, Anita Jewitt, Anne Kavanagh, Richard Kayser, Shivi Nathan, Leena Savjani are all excellent partners with whom I have worked on some really difficult cases and they are all outstanding.’
‘One of the best teams in London. The team is young, progressive, hard-working and gets great results. They have great quality work and do a fantastic job. It has an impressive track record and some outstanding court awards in high-value cases. Extremely well-resourced.’
‘Auriana Griffith is at the top of her game – one of the best clinical negligence lawyers in London. She pushes hard to get the very best results and doesn’t leave a stone unturned. Punam Sood is a great lawyer too – switched on, proactive and really easy to work with.’
‘Leena Savjani is focused, driven and committed – she takes no prisoners. Anne Kavanagh is very experienced and a great team player.’
‘Irwin Mitchell’s clinical negligence team is definitely one of the best in the London area. They are a large national team delivering a consistently high service to their clients. They really do have strength and depth in delivering for their clients. I see them investing in diversity, technology and innovation, and they care both about their clients and their people.’
‘Leena Savjani was the main solicitor on my case and a constant over the years the case ran. I was always kept updated. She understood at times how hard certain aspects of the case were and gave support. She knows all my family and felt like a friend and was always on call to ask any question, it was never too much trouble. Going through a case like this is hard enough but having a solicitor like Leena made it so much easier from the support she gave dealing with the case.’
‘I regard Irwin Mitchell as the ‘go-to’ firm for claimant clinical negligence. The department has very experienced senior practitioners to call on; Alison Eddy is a force to be reckoned with. The work ethos in the department is second-to-none, and the teams deliver a high quality of service. They ensure that their clients’ voices are heard and their claims assiduously investigated. The department’s caseload includes high-value matters of the utmost complexity, including multi-million pound cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims. Further, Irwin Mitchell has excellent contacts with leading medico-legal experts who can be called on to assist their clients.’
‘Anita Jewitt has a calming, reassuring manner which helps clients who are often stressed by the litigation process. She has excellent judgment and gives clear advice. She fights her client’s corner. Richard Kayser is a very talented lawyer with sharply-honed powers of analysis. He rises to the challenge that difficult cases can pose. He thinks through problems and presents clients with straightforward advice.’
- Recovered £35.5m on a capitalised basis (with a retained lump sum element of £13.85m) on behalf of a child, who sustained a brain injury at the time of his birth.
- Recovered just shy of £31m for a child who sustained a brain injury at the time of her birth.
- Recovered £30m on behalf of a child who sustained a brain injury as a result of the failure to follow a specific plan for the management of the pregnancy, which led to premature birth and extraordinarily burdensome behavioural problems, which required investigation, suitable compensation and rehabilitation.
‘Inspirational leader’ and ‘absolute marvel’ Suzanne White heads up the clinical negligence team at Leigh Day. The practice stands out for its foundation of female-only partners; the team’s ‘Women’s Rights in Healthcare’ event – which is aimed at pushing policy change – is in its fourth year and brings such prominent issues as domestic abuse, endometriosis, perineal injury and abortion to the forefront of professional conversation. The team’s expertise spans the most complex and difficult cases, including brain injury; spinal injury, led by Olive Lewin; birth complications; and catastrophic and fatal claims, often worth multi-millions in value. In addition, practitioners are active in a uniquely high number of inquests. Emmalene Bushnell specialises in maternity scandal cases, while Maria Panteli notably acted for ten claimants in the high profile Ian Paterson case recently. Other recommended partners include Despina Kavadas and Sanja Strkljevic. The team is developing – the recently promoted Matt Westlake is one to watch, as is recent recruit Amy Chater, who joined from Freeths LLP in April 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Emmalene Bushnell; Maria Panteli; Sanja Strkljevic; Olive Lewin; Sally Jean-Nicholes; Henry Dyson; Despina Kavadas; Angharad Vaughan; Kirsten Wall; Anna Brothers
‘Angharad Vaughan is superb with clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries. Anna Brothers has the ability to see the way to success in the most difficult cases.’
‘Olive Lewin is tenacious and will leave no stone unturned.’
‘Henry Dyson has bags of experience and excellent nous whilst Emmalene Bushnell is well-regarded and an extremely professional solicitor.’
‘The whole team at Leigh Day show unfailing dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients who have acquired avoidable injuries in a clinical context. Their work is their vocation, yet they balance this with the necessary objectivity to ensure that they are always highly professional in everything they do.’
‘Suzanne White is an absolute marvel and an inspirational leader of the medical negligence team. She has boundless energy to ensure that her cases are thoroughly investigated and prepared and she also excels in managing clients’ expectations where required. She adopts a sensitive but pragmatic approach which clients appreciate and she is so accessible to counsel and clients alike. She keeps so many plates spinning, with a positive and upbeat disposition.’
‘Leigh Day has been, in my opinion, probably the premier claimant clinical negligence firm for the last 20 years and maintains this position today. One of its great advantages is the diversity of the work which the firm does as a whole, which is helpful when clinical negligence claims overlap with other areas of law.’
‘Leigh Day are the premier claimant-focused clinical negligence firm in London. They have the winning formula: an excellent reputation; true expertise in the field; experience in all types of clinical negligence claims; passion for their work; complete dedication to their clients; and a fantastic team ethos. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone who has suffered injury as a result of clinical negligence.’
‘Suzanne White is a formidable solicitor whose passion for the clinical negligence field – and improving healthcare standards more generally – is evident in all that she does. Her vast experience and tactical approach permeates her entire team. It is clear that her assistant solicitors and associate solicitors work very well with her. It is no surprise that she leads, and continues to shape, one of the best clinical negligence teams in the country.’
- Represented the family of a 28-year-old man who died from the sickle cell crisis at his inquest.
- Acted on a case against the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust concerning the negligent administration of Misoprostol, which caused the death of a mother and her unborn baby.
- Represented a claimant in a case concerning the delayed diagnosis of a popliteal artery aneurism, which led to him needing a transfemoral amputation.
Stewarts Law LLP
Muiris Lyons leads the team at Stewarts Law LLP. The focus is solely on higher-value cases of maximum severity, involving such complex factors as spinal injury and mismanagement of spinal infection, brain injury and complications following operations, childbirth injury, sensitive wrongful birth cases and amputations, with a notable recent uptake in sports injury work. In addition, the team is developing in the area of mental health deterioration cases; partner Hugh Johnson has particular expertise in this field. The group is much lauded by clients for its ability to ‘devote as much time as is necessary to ensure that a case is properly investigated.’ Alison Goldney, described as ‘the safest of safe hands’, was recently made up to partner in recognition of her exceptional contribution.
Other key lawyers:
Muiris Lyons, Amy Heath, Katherine Fitter, Hugh Johnson; Robert Dransfield; Nick Knowles; Aimee Morris; Hugh Johnson
‘Unquestionably the premier claimant clinical negligence solicitors in the country, in my opinion. Outstanding attention to detail and strength-in-depth at all levels ensures that their clients get the very best service and the best outcomes possible.’
‘Muiris Lyons, Amy Heath, Katherine Fitter, Hugh Johnson and Robert Dransfield all have great attention to detail, very strong client care and considerable experience of running the most complex cases. They do not let difficulties phase them and are prepared to see difficult cases through, and have great support.’
‘Nick Knowles has bags of experience; he’s thoughtful, knowledgeable and trusted by his clients. Robert Dransfield is an excellent negotiator, Katherine Fitter is knowledgeable, with good instincts, Alison Goldney is great with clients, always thinking about the best steps to take to make immediate improvements to their lives.’
- Acted on a claim against West London NHS Trust for its failure to manage mental health deterioration leading to a suicide attempt, which resulted in significant head injury and paraplegia.
- Acted for a 76-year-old woman who sustained a spinal cord injury as the result of the mismanagement of a spinal infection.
- Acted for a 33-year-old claimant who sustained a post-operative complication resulting in communication hydrocephalus after a brain tumour.
The team at Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP is led by Jon Nicholson, and has a reputation for succeeding in claims made by internationally-based clients regarding the negligence of private healthcare practices; said cases are often of value in the multi-millions and involve particular consideration of cultural variation. The team has a reputation for handling catastrophic injury cases, including failed diagnoses or surgical negligence leading to complex brain functionality issues. Many members of the team have medical backgrounds – including expert in surgical, cardiac and emergency medical cases Ali Malsherand the ‘awe-inspiring’ Jenny Kennedy, who is well known for representing foreign nationals injured in the UK and vice versa. A particular standout for his recent work is ‘renaissance man of clinical negligence’ and ‘star in the field’ Jock Mackenzie.
Other key lawyers:
Jenny Kennedy, Ali Malsher, Jock Mackenzie, Jon Nicholson, Amy Wedgwood, Samuel David
‘Jock Mackenzie is a ‘renaissance man’ of clinical negligence litigation. He is not afraid to take on the most challenging claims: he thinks broadly and deeply about them and he achieves excellent results. His dual qualifications in medicine and law, together with a cerebral approach to each claim, make him a star in the field. Amy Wedgwood is an up-and-coming star of a junior solicitor – she is very intelligent and insightful, and applies her intelligence acutely to the case before her.’
‘The team are incredibly conscientious and hard working. They are particularly sensitive to the needs of the client and in all client-handling which is essential in this field. When I am asked to recommend a claimant clinical negligence firm, they are always top of my list.’
‘Jock Mackenzie is a stand-out partner and the individual to whom I recommend anyone looking for a claimant clinical negligence solicitor. He is incredibly bright, intellectually rigorous and maintains a keen involvement in his cases. He is medically trained and therefore able to bring his technical knowledge to the case and to his comprehensive instructions. He is extremely astute when it comes to strategy and tactics. Added to this, he is warm and sympathetic towards his clients. He is everything that you would want in a clinical negligence practitioner.’
‘Jenny Kennedy is awe-inspiring: a true ruthless fighter. Samuel David is immensely bright: a true tactician, I’ve never seen such impressive client-handling skills, putting clients at ease and explaining complex matters in a clear, concise and understandable way to his catastrophically injured clients – pragmatic and honest. Jon Nicholson is the biggest brain in the business: kind and empathetic, showing genuine compassion for his terribly injured clients.’
‘The team have been incredibly supportive throughout the whole case thus far. As a result of my disability, it has been difficult to provide timescales for the provision of quantum evidence and so on. The team understand that the case needs to progress in a timely fashion, but they also put my health first.’
‘Jock Mackenzie has been magnificent. He always explains things to me in very great detail (he asked me how much detail I wanted at our first meeting and tailored his approach accordingly).’
‘Anthony Gold are a ‘go to’ choice for clinical negligence work in central London. They have a great team culture, are hugely approachable and down to earth with no egos, but are brilliant at what they do.’
‘Jenny Kennedy has an incredible and intuitive ability to identify the best points in a case, she’s a brilliant litigator who offers a Rolls Royce service for her clients. Ali Malsher has superb client-handling abilities: she’s humane and highly supportive for her clients, whilst being extremely determined; a perfect choice for complex cases which require sensitive handling.’
- Representing a client wrongly diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain; later, after being correctly diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, she suffered a cardiac arrest, and developed a severe spinal cord injury causing a cauda equina syndrome-type condition.
- Acted for a 15-year-old boy in his claim against the 111 service, who failed to refer him to hospital when his mother telephoned and reported that he was experiencing intense abdominal pain; the client’s untreated bowel condition resulted in a cardiac arrest and consequential severe hypoxic brain injury.
The ‘remarkable’ Caroline Klage, specialist in birth and child injury, leads the ‘absolutely outstanding’ offering at Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP. The sizable team is separated into sub-divisions, which focus on specialised areas including child injury, brain injury and spinal injury. Particularly notable and niche areas of expertise include the new Women’s Health team - which is currently leading the charge on issues such as racial inequality within maternity care, menstruation and menopause - and the specialist military claims team, led by partner Ahmed Al-Nahhas. A standout feature of the firm is its annual client care training programme, co-delivered by Caroline Klage and recently appointed partner Amanda Garner, which is dedicated to improving the practitioners' ability to support clients through the traumas they may experience as a result of their claims. Claudia Hillemand is singled out as a ‘stellar partner’, while Alex Dabek is noted at senior associate level.
Other key lawyers:
Claudia Hillemand; Hannah Travis; Alex Dabek; Hema Wanza; Jo Chapman; Rhiannon Daniel; Tom Lax; Olivia Boschat; Deepti Patel; Kate O’Brien; Ipek Tugcu
‘Claudia Hillemand is a stellar partner in clinical negligence – she has a deep understanding of the medicine surrounding brain injury, but most importantly the impact upon claimants. Ipek Tugcu is a determined and dogged litigator with a growing reputation. She manages to bring a smile to even the toughest of negotiations. Kate O’Brien is a rising star with a natural touch for the more complex clinical negligence cases; her client care is wonderful and she is a dream to have on the team.’
‘An absolutely outstanding team, with a particular sub-speciality in child birth brain injuries. The level of dedication, determination and ability they demonstrate in each case is exceptional. There are no weak links at the firm and I have recommended them on a number of occasions to trusted friends and family members.’
‘For me, Caroline Klage is the best birth brain injury solicitor in the country. I have never come across another solicitor so hardworking, passionate, knowledgeable and caring. She is absolutely remarkable and would always be my first recommendation in this field. Her team members are also outstanding. Claudia Hillemand is brilliant and her experience is this field is second to none.’
‘Tom Lax is an excellent associate who is thorough, thoughtful and absolutely on top of his cases. He builds really solid relationships with his clients and will leave no stone unturned order to get the best possible outcome for them. Rhiannon Daniel is a very capable, no-nonsense lawyer who works with dynamism and energy. She balances this really well with empathy for her clients and gets great results for them.’
‘Alex Dabek is a lawyer who is fastidious with detail and really thinks through her cases but also pragmatic. She is easy to work with and has a kind and empathetic manner with clients.’
‘The solicitors I have worked with at Bolt Burdon Kemp are dynamic, empathetic, caring and prepared to go that extra mile for the clients and professionals working with them. The solicitors take a genuine interest in the client and family and have an excellent bedside manner.’
‘Claudia Hillemand, Alex Dabek, Hema Wanza and Jo Chapman are particularly dedicated and professional members of the team.’
‘Hannah Travis was the person who dealt with my case, she was professional and always made me feel comfortable and was reassuring and patient if I had any questions. Hannah and everyone who dealt with me made it easy for me to deal with my claim. I would definitely recommend Bolt Burdon Kemp.’
- Acted for a child who suffered severe brain injury at birth, securing a large multi-million pound settlement.
- Acted for a man who suffered a stroke as a result of negligent anaesthetic care during surgery, and secured a seven-figure settlement for his life-changing injuries.
- Acting for a woman in a highly complex clinical negligence claim, where she suffered a spinal cord injury during spinal decompression surgery carried out by a private surgeon.
Accredited Action Against Medical Accidents panellist Agata Usewicz leads the specialised and diverse clinical negligence team at Hodge Jones & Allen, which is formed of a number of former medical professionals. Its caseload predominantly consists of acting on complex matters including birth injuries and delayed diagnoses, and a significant portion of the cases are also cross-border in nature. The team has a reputation for representing particularly vulnerable clients, namely, individuals who have suffered detrimentally as a result of negligence within mental health services, care systems and those organisations which provide assisted living to the elderly. Qualified cardiology nurse Nina Ali, ‘top-class’ Emma Wray and senior associate Priya Singh are standouts in the team.
Other key lawyers:
James Bell; Emma Wray; Nina Ali
‘James Bell is a highly experienced litigator handling cases of the highest order and complexity.’
‘Hodge Jones & Allen have a team of experienced and dedicated clinical negligence practitioners. They offer an excellent service to their clients and are highly empathetic. They persist in investigating claims where other firms might not.’
‘Agata Usewicz is highly experienced, very calm, with excellent client care skills, very good judgement and is a pleasure to deal with. Emma Wray’s medical background means she has a very good nose for a case; she is excellent on detail and I would be very happy for her to represent me.’
‘This practice is unique because even the people who are not working on your case are ready to help. They provide a first-class service. I really felt like I was part of the family. They cared about me and my son, their client, who has severe disabilities. I was kept updated on the billing. I also noticed that the firm is very diverse and so are its clients.’
‘Emma Wray was not just a solicitor for my son, but has gone beyond her call of duty to support us when we needed help. Emma has changed our lives for better and words will never describe how grateful I am. I feel blessed receiving help from this firm. Everybody at Hodge Jones & Allen has supported my family for more than 10 years.’
‘James Bell is excellent, highly experienced and effective in clinical negligence casework.’
‘The team comprises many highly experienced individuals, and they have a vast pool of experience to draw upon. They are fearless and (very importantly) extremely cheerful.’
‘Emma Wray and Agata Usewicz are top class.’
- Represented a family at inquest, leading to a finding that neglect had contributed contributed to the death.
- Achieved settlements in five separate multi-million pound birth injury cases.
- Represented the family of a vulnerable man in a judicial review challenge concerning the outcome of his inquest, on the basis that the coroner had acted irrationally in reaching her conclusions; the court ordered that a new inquest be held by a different coroner.
Stephanie Prior, leading spokesperson on the high profile maternity scandal cases involving many NHS Trusts and head of the clinical negligence offering at Osbornes, is described as having ‘superb judgement and a medical knowledge that is second to none’. The team’s workload has particular emphasis on fatal claims; misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose; birth injuries; child and adult obstetric injuries; and ophthalmic claims. In addition, the team has a specialism in spinal injury work, with Ben Posford being described as the ‘undisputed powerhouse’ of cauda equina cases. The team also has a clear focus on diversity and inclusion, with fifty percent of its partners being female. It is also standout for its proportion of bilingual fee-earners and its resultant ability to comfortably assist clients for whom English is not their first language. Jodi Newton, described as a ‘true specialist’ and ‘star in the making’, is developing a reputation for her expertise in cases involving both cerebral palsy and childbirth issues.
Other key lawyers:
Nicholas Leahy; Jodi Newton; Ben Posford; Robert Aylott
‘Ben Posford’s particular expertise in this area focuses upon cauda equina claims, of which he is an undisputed powerhouse.’
‘Stephanie Prior is an experienced lawyer with immense knowledge of her specialism, which allows her to run her cases with strategic precision. Jodi Newton is a tenacious and intelligent fee earner. She fights tooth and nail for her clients and gains their trust and respect from the outset. Nicholas Leahy works extremely hard and understands the commercial sensitivities of clinical negligence litigation.’
‘Osbornes somehow combine the accessibility of a local firm, with the professional standards of a national or city outfit. They are ambitious for their clients and expect high standards from all who work with them.’
‘Jodi Newton has carved out a niche specialism in cerebral palsy and serious claims arising out of childbirth. She is so committed to her clients and their claims that she always gains and deserves their respect. A true specialist.’
‘Osbornes has impressed me with their personal touch for clients whilst offering a first-class handling of catastrophic injury claims. The partners all have vast experience and are highly respected in their field.’
‘Stephanie Prior is a standout solicitor. She knows her way effortlessly around any clinical negligence issue and has a great strategic mind. She has always shown great judgment and common sense whilst building valuable relationships with her opponents.’
‘Stephanie Prior and Jodi Newton are both superb. They always have the client at the centre of everything they do, they’re approachable, down to earth and dedicated.’
‘Stephanie Prior is highly respected in the marketplace, with a great wealth of experience, superb judgment and medical knowledge that is second to none. I’ve been hugely impressed by Jodi Newton – she’s truly passionate about her cases and her clients, a real fighter and a star in the making.’
The Putney-based clinical negligence and personal injury outfit at Russell-Cooke LLP is headed by experienced advocate at coroner’s court Dominic Fairclough. The team works on a broad range of complex cases involving such issues as orthopaedic injury, mismanagement of surgery and missed diagnoses. It has also been developing a reputation for its notable expertise in brain and serious injury work, particularly involving failure to treat psychiatric injury. Although many reach the millions in value, the team does not have a monetary threshold for its cases, rather an ethos to assist bereaved and struggling families in often fatal claims with lower damages. The arrival of partner Grant Incles from Kingsley Napley LLP in January 2022 has added a cycling case specialism to the team. Nimmisha Aslam, renowned for championing diversity and inclusion alongside managing her caseload, is a key team member. Janice Gardner is identified by one client as 'the consummate professional'.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Towler; Teri Gauge-Klein; Janice Gardner; Ruth Roberts; Claire Heneghan; Nimmisha Aslam; Bernadette McGhie; Lucy Lawson; Grant Incles
‘Janice Gardner is very experienced and hugely empathic. Sarah Towler is determined and tenacious. Teri Gauge-Klein is able and clever.’
‘Janice Gardner is the consummate professional with many years of experience, always deployed to good use. She is empathetic but always pragmatic and has a steely determination on behalf of her clients. I would trust her with any case no matter how complex or difficult the client. Sarah Towler is a very capable lawyer who is easy to work with and gets great results for her clients.’
‘Lucy Lawson works really hard for her clients and always has them onside. Ruth Roberts is an up-and-coming lawyer who is thoughtful, thorough and has a lovely manner with clients but will stand her ground with opponents. Claire Heneghan is a conscientious lawyer who works hard for her clients to get the best possible outcome. Teri Gauge-Klein is a capable and hard working lawyer, always calm and personable. Nimmisha Aslam is another up-and-coming lawyer who works really hard to pursue her client’s best interests and has excellent client handling skills.’
‘Janice Gardner at Russell-Cooke is a real fighter who stands her ground and gives realistic and proper advice to her clients in heavy duty cases. She is hugely experienced, has a lightness of touch and brings tactical nous to all her decisions.’
‘Bernadette McGhie is the lead solicitor for my daughter’s case. She is approachable, honest, flexible and I feel that she is in total control. Her wide knowledge of the nursing side of the case is excellent.’
‘Janice Gardner was the solicitor working with us and we couldn’t have asked for a more diligent and understanding person to help us. Janice kept us up to date every step of the way and made sure we were really well represented in every aspect of our case.’
‘Bernadette McGhie has a wealth of experience in clinical negligence. In addition, she was formerly a senior nurse and therefore brings a considerable knowledge of a range of hospital and medical specialties and treatment. Therefore, the team has a very clear understanding of the issues not only legal but those specific to the client in any claim that they deal with.’
‘The team that supported us during our litigation case were always efficient, caring and supportive. Particular strengths were attention to detail and a personal approach. We always felt really well informed and up to date with everything surrounding our case.’
- Acting for the claimant in a case challenging the doctrine of illegality, in which if he had been sectioned as he should have been, he would not have been able to kill a passer-by.
- Acted for a deaf client who, through a negligent patient mix up, had his prostate removed unnecessarily.
- Acting for a minor in a claim involving a missed diagnosis of hip dysplasia with three possible defendants and negligence fiercely contested initially before a liability settlement was reached with one of the defendants and a no adverse costs order was issued against the remaining one.
Jon Crocker leads the highly specialised team at Bindmans LLP with 'warmth and dedication'. The firm's caseload is formed of solely catastrophic and very serious injury, often of high value, including cases involving psychiatric injury and pain; preventable suicide attempts; limb amputations; and complex child and adult head injuries, with particular expertise in hypoglycaemia leading to brain injury at birth. The firm itself is human rights-focused and this unique perspective permeates into its clinical negligence work. Yagmur Ekici is described as a ‘real star’, while Siobhan Kelly is singled out as ‘exceptional’. Notably, Alla Murphy was successful in obtaining settlement for gambling losses as part of a claim, an issue for which there was no set precedent.
Other key lawyers:
Alla Murphy; Siobhan Kelly; Yagmur Ekici; Rosaleen Wyllie
‘The team has, I think, a strong supportive approach, with panel members working alongside up-and-coming new members of the team. The team has both medical and legal experience and extensive contacts with experts and counsel. There is usually “hands on” partner involvement in all cases, which is not the case in some larger firms. From my perspective, the team provides an excellent and highly personal service. Without exception, those with whom I have regular contact have outstanding people skills and are very conscientiousness.’
‘Jon Crocker and Siobhan Kelly set the tone for the team. Jon is an excellent solicitor with warmth and dedication. Siobhan Kelly I rate very highly – she is sympathetic with clients and tough with opponents. She is a good and determined negotiator, often taking on and succeeding with claims which other solicitors have refused, with first-class client care skills.’
‘Jon Crocker has an excellent clinical negligence team, who do a very thorough job for clients and leave no stone unturned in getting them the best results.’
‘Yagmur Ekici is a real star. She’s conscientious and bright with a wonderful bedside manner. Every time I get a case from Bindmans, I hope that Yagmur will be one of the solicitors on the team.’
‘Alla Murphy is a formidable figure.’
‘Bindmans’ clinical negligence team has a particular excellence in their ability to communicate with their clients, to explain the complexities of what can be an excruciating process running on year after year, and (in my experience of cases) to deliver a satisfactory outcome that the claimant understands.’
‘Siobhan Kelly is exceptional in her attention to detail and in her willingness to go over matters again and again until they have been properly resolved and explained. Alla Murphy has a formidable grasp of detail and does not shirk asking hard questions of experts, on her client’s behalf. Jon Crocker is the safest pair of hands I have come across.’
‘Jon Crocker and Yagmur Ekici have been extremely supportive to us, always explaining every process we have had to endure to final settlement. I highly recommend them both.’
- Acted on a cerebral palsy case arising from negligence during the management of the client’s birth.
- Acted in a civil claim for injuries arising from the admitted negligence of the defendant hospital trust during pregnancy, leading to the claimant suffering an acute uterine rupture that led to life-threatening haemorrhage, an amniotic fluid embolism and cardiac arrest.
- Acting for a very vulnerable individual in a case arising from a missed opportunity to identify a detached retina, which led to complete blindness.
The clinical negligence and personal injury team at Kingsley Napley LLP is led by ‘one of London’s doyens of clinical negligence’ Terrence Donovan. Its caseload consists largely of handling complex claims, including such elements as birth injury; amputation; spinal injury; catastrophic and fatal injury; and delayed diagnoses. In addition, the team is experienced in handling high-value psychiatric negligence claims, often involving suicide and inquests. Specialist in spinal injury, gastrointestinal injury and loss of vision Eurydice Cote and catastrophic spinal, brain injury and consent expert Richard Lodge are described as ‘outstanding’. Recently made up ‘stand-out’ partner Laura Sylvester is another practitioner to watch.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Lodge; Eurydice Cote; Laura Sylvester; Aideen McGarry; Kirsty Allen
‘Highly personalised, approachable, professional and responsive. The team is very knowledgeable and experienced and have provided us with confidence throughout our case. There was full transparency and communication was clear and timely. They helped us understand the process from start to finish.’
‘Respectful, responsive, diligent and highly competent. Richard Lodge and Eurydice Cote have been outstanding throughout. I would recommend them anytime.’
‘Richard Lodge is a highly skilled, dedicated, and thorough solicitor, committed to his clients’ cause.’
‘Terrence Donovan, Richard Lodge and Laura Sylvester are all very thorough and reliable.’
‘Terrence Donavan is a razor-sharp but extremely personable lawyer – he is hugely experienced. Aideen McGarry is an up and coming member of the team – she is responsive, smart and reliable. Laura Sylvester is very exerienced and someone whom clients adore – she runs cases smoothly and has excellent judgment.’
‘Laura Sylvester is stand-out. She has a very strong grasp of the issues and the medicine, and is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Aideen McGarry is a wonder to work with. She is highly capable and works hard to achieve the best outcome for her client.’
‘Terrence Donovan is one of London’s doyens of clinical negligence, lovely manner, great with clients. Hugely experienced and gets great results. Kirsty Allen is hardworking, efficient and effective – an excellent team player, organised, thorough and puts together beautifully prepared instructions.’
Formed from a merger in 2020, the Richmond-based team at Moore Barlow is headed by ‘outstanding individual’ Anne Cassidy. Its complex workload includes claims involving brain, maternal and spinal injuries, including cauda equina syndrome; cerebral palsy; oncological, orthopaedic, ophthalmic, neurosurgical and endocrinological conditions; and infections of the central nervous system. A number of qualified medical professionals - including specialists in anaesthetics, orthopaedics and general medicine - are integrated into the team of lawyers, giving the practice a considerable medical expertise within the clinical negligence offering. It is developing a reputation for pursuing well founded claims in previously unchartered areas of law and medicine; Tim Spring and Sarah Stanton have had a particularly standout year, acting for the claimant in a high profile, landmark case brought under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976.
Other key lawyers:
Mala Sidebottom; Tim Spring; Sarah Stanton
‘Our initial conversation with the firm was handled with the utmost care and respect. Throughout the process Mala Sidebottom and the team were very supportive and communicative, taking extra care to better explain processes and paperwork.’
‘Mala Sidebottom was extremely supportive during my claim, and attentive throughout. We would like to thank her and her team again for all of their hard work and dedication.’
‘Mala Sidebottom – I enjoy working with her, she knows her stuff and is good with clients.’
‘Mala Sidebottom brings her medical experience to her work.’
‘Moore Barlow have the willingness to take on difficult cases and pursue them with great skill, in particular, by the allocation of the best-suited lawyers to the challenging claims.’
‘For me, the outstanding individual is Anne Cassidy. There is no better forensic approach found in clinical negligence than that provided by Anne. She explains truly complex medical issues in terms that clients can understand, and pursues cases that other lawyers would not even start.’
‘Mala Sidebottom is very communicative and approachable. She constantly actively thinks about cases, and keeps everything under review.’
‘Anne Cassidy is brilliant: tenacious, with a great forensic mind, she knows the medicine inside out and really pushes to achieve the very best result for her clients.’
- Acting for the claimant in a landmark clinical negligence case brought under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976, wherein a GP was found to have been negligent regarding potential conditions a child may develop, pre-conception.
- Represented the claimant in a seven-figure settlement arising from delay in treatment of autoimmune encephalitis, which was achieved with input from the UK’s leading medical authority on this condition.
- Acting for mother and child in a claim arising from catastrophic birth injury and serious psychiatric harm.
‘Fount of experience’ John Kyriacou leads the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. The team deals with complex cases including those involving delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses; gynaecological and brain injury; general and maxillofacial surgery; orthopaedic complication; amputation; and cauda equina. In addition, the team’s workload includes sensitive matters involving psychiatric injury. Described as a ‘solicitor with a bright future in clinical negligence’, Rosie Nelson, who specialises in cerebral palsy, birth injury, orthopaedic and sepsis cases, is one to watch in the team.
Other key lawyers:
Rosie Nelson; Lyndsey Banthorpe; Emily Reville
‘Rosie Nelson is outstanding in all aspects of her work. Throughout my claim Rosie was professional, understanding, compassionate and thorough.’
‘The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper is one of friendly, loyal lawyers. Nothing is too much trouble and they always update me and try and make me feel as relaxed as they can. Rosie Nelson is very good at keeping me in the loop and keeping me calm. It’s not just about her legal advice, it’s also about the high-quality experience she provides.’
‘The team is hardworking, focused and organised.’
‘The standouts in the team are: Lyndsey Banthorpe, who is driven, hard-working, clever and strategic and Emily Reville, who is shrewd, sensible and extremely driven.’
‘The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP enjoys a solid reputation in the market. The associates are invariably well prepared, detailed and efficient.’
‘Rosie Nelson is a solicitor with a bright future in clinical negligence. She is very bright and knows her cases extremely well.’
‘The breadth of knowledge and depth of experience held by the team is a joy to behold. The cases are always well prepared, and the best experts instructed.’
‘Rosie Nelson is fantastic with clients and extremely bright. Her cases are brilliantly prepared. John Kyriacou is a fount of experience and guides the junior members of his team well. Emily Reville is highly intelligent and a tactical genius.’
Slater and Gordon
The team at Slater and Gordon is led by ‘standout lawyer’ Emma Doughty, who specialises in birth and obstetric claims. The team deals with a broad variety of complex, multi-factor cases, often of significant value, including such issues as catastrophic brain and spinal injury, amputation, hypoxia, cardiac issues and psychiatric illness, with misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose often having led to these issues. Its charity involvement has increased in recent years; in 2021 the team became The Brain Charity’s exclusive sponsor at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, as well as reconnecting with Silverlining and joining the panel for Bladder and Bowel UK. There has also been considerable growth in the team, with four new lawyers joining the London office in 2021, including Emily Welstead from Hodge Jones & Allen. Madeline Seibert and Laura Preston are acting on some of the team’s most standout cases.
Other key lawyers:
Joanne Warren; Heather Moore; Rosaline Wong; Sam Morton; Madeline Seibert; Laura Preston
‘Professional and caring and they have helped us through a very difficult time. They have kept us up to date with the case as it proceeds and advised us on what to expect at each stage going forward.’
‘The associate dealing with my case, Heather Moore, is attentive, courteous, helpful and caring.’
‘Emma Doughty as head of department does an excellent job.’
- Advised on the setting up of and managing of the Ian Paterson Litigation Compensation Fund 2021 in conjunction with Spire Healthcare and Thompsons.
- Represented the claimant in a very complex, heavily defended, and high-value catastrophic clinical negligence claim that the defendant had failed to treat Vitamin B12 deficiency, as a result of which the client sustained severe neurological injury including spinal degeneration and visual loss.
- Successfully settled a complex claim, including allegations of fraud against the defendant health board, for £3.4m.
The ‘tenacious’ team at Devonshires Claims is co-headed by Nick Grant, Justin Glenister and ‘force of nature’ Karen Cathcart, who specialises in misdiagnosis, surgical error and birth injury cases and is currently leading a sub-team representing a significant number of children who have suffered harm either before, during or shortly after birth. The team’s caseload often includes such complex matters as hypoxic injury, oncology, amputation and cerebral palsy in children and adults, as well as psychiatric issues and behavioural challenges resulting from negligence. Jeanette Van Cauter has an expansive caseload, and is described as having ‘expertise well beyond most associates’.
Karen Cathcart; Nick Grant; Justin Glenister
Other key lawyers:
William Collins; Kim Huggins; Jeanette Van Cauter; Sandra Wheeler; Katie Hughes
‘Karen Cathcart is an absolute force; extremely knowledgeable and doesn’t take any nonsense, she makes things happen and clients are very grateful to have her on side. William Collins is very proactive and excellent at cutting through the chaff to get conclusions. Nick Grant is organised, forward-thinking and practical. Kim Huggins is hugely knowledgeable, passionate and a lawyer whom opponents fear.’
‘Devonshires has found the knack of retaining the feel of a small firm whilst having the critical mass of the big firms. The team has all the knowledge and skills to work on the biggest, most complex claims, whilst still keeping the individual attention to detail and client care that is so important in clinical negligence claimant work. The team also has an ethos of working with the client, counsel and experts to create a coherent team that works together to get the best results for injured victims of clinical negligence.’
‘Jeanette Van Cauter has expertise well beyond most associates. Fantastic attention to detail; builds really great relationships with her clients; efficient and good tactician.’
The team at Hugh James, described as being ‘at the top of its game’, is headed by Action Against Medical Accidents panellist Ruth Powell. It deals with a broad range of claims with values often rising into the millions, including maximum severity cases, fatal births, failures to diagnose, cerebral palsy, neurological injuries, debilitating obstetric injuries, orthopaedic issues and general surgerical negligence. Fran Moore specialises in the complex and sensitive area of mental health-related deaths. In addition, the firm has a focused clinical negligence inquest sub-team, led by ‘force to be reckoned with’ Lynda Reynolds. Significant growth has occurred recently, including the recruitment of senior associate Ivan Moody from Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors in July 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Fran Moore; Lynda Reynolds; Ivan Moody; Mala Patel; Sophie Jones; Carys Lewis
‘I worked with solicitor Fran Moore on my case and was very happy with the service provided. Fran was well informed regarding the professionals and agencies available to work with in support of the case.’
‘A team at the top of their game. Simply exceptional.’
‘Ruth Powell was supportive, caring, knowledgeable and exceptionally professional. Ruth helped us navigate a difficult process, was accessible when we needed her and delivered a result beyond our expectations. I cannot speak highly enough of her.’
‘The team is extremely experienced and knowledgeable. Their dedication to the work is second to none but, perhaps most importantly of all, they are supportive of their clients. Rarely have I come across a firm of solicitors that place their clients’ best interests so much to the forefront.’
‘Lynda Reynolds is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to her work, fierce in her pursuit of her clients’ claims but also very personable and sympathetic. Fran Moore is kind, considerate, compassionate and intelligent, combined with an unwavering dedication to the work.’
‘Hugh James have put together a strong team of individuals over recent years. They are the leading team for inquests and have used this as a vehicle to increase their work and profile in this area, along with some key recruits at partner level.’
‘Lynda Reynolds is a force to be reckoned with in the area of inquests. Fran Moore is growing her reputation in this area. Ivan Moody is a has a long history of obtaining excellent results for his clients. Mala Patel and Sophie Jones are ones to watch in the London team over the next few years.’
‘This is a very good team. Ruth Powell is excellent.’
JMW Solicitors LLP‘s ‘extremely driven’ clinical negligence offering in London was established in 2020 by Nicola Wainwright, formerly of Leigh Day, who now leads the team. The team’s workload involves claims of significant value, some of which have cross-border elements. The matters typically involve complex brain injury in adults and children, birth injury and DNRs; the high profile case of the Crohn’s disease patient at Surrey Hospital who suffered neglect was a standout recent highlight.
Other key lawyers:
‘Nicola Wainwright has significantly bolstered the medical negligence team at JMW and they are fortunate that she has joined them, with her expertise, knowledge and contacts, they will excel. They have a fabulous team of professionals supporting her in the medical negligence team, but also more widely within JMW.’
‘The standout individual is Nicola Wainwright. Nicola knows the intricate details regarding our case. She is exceptional with regard to drawing the most appropriate medical experts in their field to opine and utilised other legal professionals in her firm, and externally, as required. Nicola went well above and beyond what I would normally expect to support us. She is driven to help and to change practice to prevent avoidable adverse events from recurring. She also does this with a genuine care, empathy and compassion. I am not able to give her a higher commendation and rate her as simply the best.’
‘A small but skilled and experienced team.’
‘Nicola Wainwright and Suleikha Ali are exceptional, dealing with the most challenging cases and achieving excellent results for clients.’
‘Nicola Wainwright at JMW always goes above and beyond for her clients. She keeps her clients’ needs firmly at the centre of her vision.’
‘Nicola Wainwright is an impressive partner and real expert in clinical negligence. She has a wealth of experience in the sector. Suleikha Ali is a new senior associate. They are both extremely motivated individuals at the heart of a new and dynamic team.’
‘A new and extremely driven clinical negligence team which is especially attentive to clients’ needs.’
‘The team has a strong, supportive approach with good medical and legal experience and extensive contacts. There is usually hands-on partner involvement in all cases. From my perspective, the team provides an excellent and highly personal service. Without exception, those with whom I have regular contact have outstanding people skills and are very conscientious.’
The clinical negligence team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP, which operates under the business name of Lime Solicitors, is led by the ‘hugely experienced’ Neil Clayton. The team’s caseload involves brain, spinal and complex birth injury cases, oftentimes where negligence during birth has led to the claimant developing cerebral palsy – which is Sharon Lam‘s particular area of expertise – or led to psychiatric harm being caused to the mother. In addition, the team has experience in restorative dentistry cases, diabetes care negligence and complex wrongful birth cases. Victoria Gofton and Josie Robinson are acting on a range of high-value cases, and are likewise recommended.
Neil Clayton; Robert Rose
Other key lawyers:
Josie Robinson; Nichola Fahey
‘The Lime team is a close-knit set of highly intelligent and dedicated lawyers, who have built up a body of expertise at all levels. The senior members are very supportive of the juniors and this ensures the team’s specialism grows organically. There is a wide range of diversity and the zeitgeist of the team is to support and maintain the primacy of the clients’ interests and welfare in order to maximise the settlements in their favour.’
‘Robert Rose has built up a very successful team. Robert is the epitome of quiet, reassuring confidence and expertise, whose combined specialist knowledge and business acumen has built up a formidable clinical negligence team. Neil Clayton is a clinical negligence specialist who competes at the highest level. He undertakes complex and high-value litigation with an expertise that belies his years. He is tactically astute and has an established reputation.’
‘Josie Robinson shines. I trust her judgement 100%.’
‘Nicola Fahey is very hard working, conscientious and very bright. She masters her cases and prepares them immaculately. Neil Clayton really battles for his clients, takes on very difficult cases and often succeeds. He is a very good tactician and negotiator. Robert Rose has wonderful judgment and experience and knows how to win cases. He is very approachable and is a fantastic leader.’
‘There couldn’t be a better person at the helm than Neil Clayton.’
‘They are a highly talented and personable team who work hard to build strong relationships with clients. There is real breadth in their talent, ranging from the most junior members to the partners.’
‘The level of detail, clarity of thought and well-rounded strategic thinking of many individuals makes them really stand out.’
‘Neil Clayton is a hugely experienced and calm litigator. He manages to see past the peripheral and focus upon the heart of every case on his shelves.’
Thompsons Solicitors LLP
The team at Thompsons Solicitors LLP is co-led in London by Samantha Hemsley and Henrietta Phillips. The team’s caseload consists of a broad range of claims, including birth injury; anaesthetic misuse resulting in complex brain injury; mis-operation and surgical error; misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose; and obstetric cases. In addition, the team has experience dealing with mental health matters involving attempted suicide, as well as negligence within residential care homes; Gwen Kirby Dent leads on many of these cases, which often reach millions in value. Other names to watch in the team are the ‘brilliant’ Nicola Saunders and ‘clever operator’ Kam Singh.
Henrietta Phillips; Samantha Hemsley
Other key lawyers:
Linda Milliband; Nicola Saunders; Kam Singh; Gwen Kirby Dent; Christalla Christodouilidou
‘The team are extremely approachable, friendly and professional. They are very good at putting a client at ease. They are also very patient with people.’
‘Kam Singh is incredibly patient and walked me through every aspect and development of the process in a way that anyone could understand. He also made himself available whenever possible so I never felt isolated from proceedings.’
‘Thompsons provided a case worker to help me with all my injuries, this help was important in arranging different appointments and even surgery to help me recover.’