BLM remains the 'firm of choice for some of the biggest personal injury defendant clients', in sectors as diverse as transport, construction, healthcare and financial services. The team's 'wide-ranging knowledge and expertise' is evidenced by its specialised departments. The occupation disease team is headed by Michelle Penn, whilst 'excellent personal injury lawyer' Matthew Ford leads the London casualty team. The public sector group is under the leadership of Michael Pether, who focuses on the defence of high profile sexual and physical abuse and bullying claims, including group litigation. London office head Paula Jefferson leads the abuse and neglect practice group. For catastrophic injuries, the key contacts are team head Antony French and subtle brain damage expert Claire Collins. The firm has also benefited from the arrival of Deirdre Burgess and Anthony Rawlins, both formerly of DWF.
Personal injury: defendant in London
Other key lawyers:
‘Firm of choice for some of the biggest personal injury defendant clients.‘
‘Michelle Penn is a joy to work with.‘
‘BLM is outstanding at dealing with personal injury claims and is really the best of the bunch.‘
‘Matthew Ford is an excellent personal injury lawyer.‘
‘Excellent, with wide-ranging knowledge and expertise.‘
‘BLM has strong credentials as a long-standing and well-resourced player in the insurance litigation market.‘
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
The Arcadia Group
British Car Auctions
The Davies Group
European Risk Insurance Company hf.
Grosvenor Casinos Limited
InterContinental Hotels Group
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liverpool Victoria Insurance
Marshall of Cambridge
Mecca Bingo Limited
New India Assurance
The Rank Group
Willis Towers Watson
Whitbread (Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater)
Thomas Cook Travel Operations Ltd
Barry Nilsson Lawyers
Red Sea Holidays
- Successfully defended Network Rail following a fatality involving a 16-year-old at a pedestrian level crossing at night.
- Representing Whitbread against a claim following a slipping incident at work resulting in Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome.
- Defending against a claim by a member of The Royal Opera House Orchestra for Acoustic Shock following a rehearsal despite the wearing of hearing protection.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
The personal injury team at DAC BEACHCROFT LLP brings its 'professionalism and expertise' to an enviable roster of diverse clients, including major and niche insurers, as well as individual public sector and corporate entities. For abuse claims, the key practitioners are Tom Walshaw, David Knapp and Andrew Sheppard. The dedicated public sector department is headed by John Goodman, and receives direct instruction from more than 30 public authorities. Andrew Parker takes the lead on strategic litigation, and Tania Sless has particular expertise in high-value motor claims. The motor injury team also includes Michelle Traxler, who handles maximum severity claims, including catastrophic brain and spinal damage, amputations and chronic pain. Another notable catastrophic injury specialist within the team is Adrian Cottam.
‘Their professionalism and expertise is second to none in this field.‘
‘David Knapp is highly informed and a pleasure to work with.‘
‘DAC Beachcroft runs a highly professional and sophisticated service for its insurer clients.‘
‘Tom Walshaw is highly experienced in a huge range of personal injury work.‘
‘John Goodman has excellent expertise on local authority claims.‘
Ministry of Defence
Royal and Sun Alliance
Tokio Marine Kiln
Aspen Insurance UK Ltd
Marks & Spencer plc
- Defended against a claim for damages brought following a tragic incident where an employee was killed by a member of her team.
- Acting for the defendant in an injury claim raising HRA issues and procedural issues regarding litigation estoppell.
- Defending against an injury claim resulting from alleged discrimination.
DWF is described by one client as operating at 'the very pinnacle of defendant personal injury work', with a particular focus on complex liability claims including fatal accidents, severe brain and spinal injuries, amputations, and international matters. The team provides 'a quality and breadth of service that is unrivalled' to a range of insurers, adjusters, brokers and self-insureds, including work for more than half of the London Boroughs. The occupational health department is led by Mark Whittaker, who handles a wide range of contentious cases for county and district councils, as well as advising on the establishment of insurance-based funds. The catastrophic personal injury team is headed up by Steven King and also includes the 'outstanding' Rhys Sanchez. Also notable is Claire Bowler, who acts for a number of UK and European insurers across the entire spectrum of large loss and catastrophic claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have been at the very pinnacle of defendant personal injury work for many years, giving their clients a quality and breadth of service that is unrivalled in this sector.‘
‘DWF are extremely experienced, efficient and robust personal injury lawyers.‘
‘Rhys Sanchez is an outstanding individual who brings a calm and measured approach while remaining extremely personable and easy to do business with.‘
‘They bring experience, tactical nous and top quality preparation to each and every case that they handle.‘
The Markerstudy Group
Direct Line Group
Tokio Marine Kiln
Van Ameyde (UK)
Mannheimer Versicherung AG
Wuerttemburgische Versicherung AG
Zurich Rechtschutzversicherung AG
- Acting for the defendant insurance company in an appeal concerning the legal costs of 426 claimants who successfully sued a medical group for the supply of defective silicone breast implants.
- Represented the defendant against a claimant who was seriously injured when he fell from a six-foot locked gate which had been installed at the entranced to the mews where he lived, and brought a claim against Savills as his landlady’s letting agent.
- Acting on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in defending personal injury actions arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.
Under the 'strong and innovative leadership' of Mark Burton, the liability division of Kennedys remains 'one of the go-to insurance firms in the country for heavyweight personal injury litigation'. The 'exceptionally strong' team also includes the 'impressive ' Joe McManus, who handles catastrophic injury claims, and whose frequent involvement with coverage and jurisdiction issues exemplifies the firm's 'excellent handling of complex international litigation'. Senior associate Stephen Foster regularly acts in cases involving severe internal injury, multiple orthopaedic injury, functional neurological disorder and complex regional pain syndrome. Also recommended is Joanne Kelly, whose particular specialism lies in the defence of exaggerated or fraudulent high-value claims, including in the fast developing areas of social media screening and fundamental dishonesty.
‘Excellent handling of complex international litigation.‘
‘Mark Burton is a giant of an opponent.‘
‘Strong and innovative leadership from the material partners permeates through their approach to all of their cases, and really does make them stand head and shoulders above their peers.‘
‘Kennedys are one of the go-to insurance firms in the country for heavyweight personal injury litigation, with an exceptionally strong team.‘
‘Joe McManus is an impressive lawyer who combines high intellectual ability with pragmatism and excellent communication skills.‘
PSV Claims Bureau/Stagecoach
- Defending against a £10m claim brought after a claimant was rendered tetraplegic when a tree fell crushing her car.
- Acting for the defendant in a claim following a severe arm injury at work when the claimant’s arm was pulled into a machine.
- Representing the Four Seasons Hotel Group following an accident abroad in which Sir Professor Ian Brownlie QC CBE was killed in a traffic accident whilst on a tour organised by the defendant.
Clyde & Co LLP fields a 'strong team at all levels', which handles the full range of matters relating to serious injury and disease litigation. Jennette Newman specialises in dealing with complex and multi-party bodily injury litigation for insurers, re-insurers and risk carriers, as well as advising on health and safety regulatory investigations and prosecutions against local authorities. Newman leads the team along with Jonathan Edwards and Tony Cawley, the latter of whom acts in catastrophic injury claims alongside complex occupational stress, harassment and bullying in the workplace cases. For employers' and public liability claims, Leanne Conisbee is a key name to note.
‘A strong team at all levels with partners providing good leadership and developing the able associates well.‘
‘Tony Cawley is an excellent people-person who is very popular with clients and counsel alike.‘
‘An able team who maintain good client relationships and cultivate loyal client following over many years.‘
‘Paul Smith has excellent client handling skills and a good nose for the issues that matter in difficult cases.‘
Alongside its work on maximum severity injuries and large loss claims, the Plexus Law personal injury team is 'especially adept at handling catastrophic workplace accidents and high value quantum claims'. The firm also fields a significant public sector division, which undertakes work for more than 60 public sector bodies nationally, including all the major police forces, many local authorities and the Ministry of Defence. Practice head Andrew Caplan's key area of focus is representing high profile individuals, charities and organisations facing sensitive allegations, often of a sexual or physical nature. Joanne Pizzala acts for major UK motor insurers in large claims where significant exaggeration is considered.
‘Plexus is a true specialist in personal injury defendant work.‘
‘They are especially adept at handling catastrophic workplace accidents and high value quantum claims.‘
‘A real team who work together really well, which is reflected in the service they offer.‘
‘They combine strong legal knowledge with a commercial approach.‘
- Acted for Balfour Beatty in a high profile multi-party fatal accident claim worth in excess of £500,000.
- Defeated a claim for £3.7m arising from a road traffic accident in which costs awarded against the claimant are in excess of £300,000.
- Defended Shrewsbury Rugby Club against a claim for £1.4m following an alleged brain injury and secured an award of £300,000.
The personal injury team at Weightmans LLP handles maximum value and severity injury cases across the full spectrum of injury and accident circumstances. The arrival of Catherine Kearney, formerly of DAC BEACHCROFT LLP, has further strengthened the firm's offering in brain injury claim work, including those involving children, where significant issues arise in respect of both liability and quantum. Elaine Chapman, who heads the practice, specialises in large loss and technical claims, including severe paraplegia and tetraplegia cases, amputations and other severe limb injury cases - she is described as 'a phenomenon'. For cross-border litigation, Nick Richards is a key contact, who regularly acts for European and English insurers in matters involving accidents abroad, and represents foreign nationals who have accidents in the UK.
‘Thorough in their client care and explanations.’
‘Phillip Bratt took the time to ensure I fully understood the procedure every step of the way. Clearly knew exactly what he was doing at all times.’
‘Weightmans provide the highest quality of work and instruct us at all levels. The London team is one of the best in the market. They are technically very strong along with a commercial approach.’
‘Elaine Chapman is in charge of the team and she is highly recommended and very experienced in all areas. She is very highly regarded across the marketplace and is equal to anyone else at the top of the market.’
‘Phillip Bratt is one of the leading young lawyers in the market and manages the highest value case load with ease despite his young age. He is definitely a partner of the future and already has wide market recognition. He is always on top of his cases.’
‘Seva Singh has particular reputation in the Gibraltar insurance market.’
‘The whole team is dynamic.’
‘The team is excellent from top to bottom – hey have exceptional relationships with insurers. They do not have a “one-size fits all” approach to litigation and implicitly know which cases to fight and which to settle.’
‘Elaine Chapman is a phenomenon; brilliant to work for, with an unrivalled understanding of large loss PI litigation. She and Phillip Bratt complement each other wonderfully. They are simply top of their game, and conducting some of the most important PI litigation going.’
Zurich Insurance Plc
Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
Armour Risk Management
Direct Commercial Limited
Horizon (formally Octagon) Insurance
Tradex Insurance Company Ltd
Developing London Ltd
Enterprise Rent A Car
Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Advised on a £28m innocent-party traumatic brain injury claim arising out of a serious road traffic accident where liability is disputed between the co-defendants.
- Successfully defended a £2m building site accident where liability was disputed and fundamental dishonesty was alleged.
- Advised on a £12m claim involving complex orthopaedic injuries to a young man with very troubled pre-existing lifestyle involving alcohol, drugs and criminal activity.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Major corporates, particularly those from the energy sector, frequently instruct the team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP to handle complex claims, sensitive stress and bullying at work matters, and group litigation. Practice head Howard Watson has extensive experience in handling quadriplegia and paraplegia claims, as well as severe head injury claims. Watson also regularly litigates in foreign jurisdictions, and recently acted for BP in relation to numerous claims arising from the terrorist attack on its gas plant in Algeria. Senior associate David Bennett is also a key team member.
- Acting on behalf of Diageo in relation to claims for injuries arising from the alleged ingestion of thalidomide by the claimant’s mother during pregnancy.
- Represented BP in multi-party proceedings in the UK brought by the families of those killed and injured as a consequence of a terrorist attack on the gas plant at In Amenas, Algeria.
- Acting for Chevron following an explosion at their refinery which resulted in four fatalities, a serious personal injury and a number of stress and related claims.
RPC fields a 'formidable team' which is 'extremely adept at concluding large loss claims quickly and economically'. The practice is jointly headed by Gavin Reese, who has significant expertise in catastrophic injury, stress claims and chronic pain cases; industrial disease expert Nick McMahon, whose workload also includes group actions; and medical malpractice specialist Dorothy Flower, who regularly acts for manufacturers and suppliers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals involved in product liability claims, and defends chief risk officers involved in injury claims connected with clinical trials. Senior associate Steven Aitken is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘RPC has a formidable team based in London and Bristol.‘
‘Gavin Reese is a very savvy player in a competitive market.‘
‘A first rate insurance firm, with a hard working team who are extremely adept at concluding large loss claims quickly and economically.‘
‘Steven Aitken is commercially focused and skilled in claims with a cross-border element.‘
- Secured the discontinuance of a claim challenged as fundamentally dishonest on behalf of an electrical engineering company.
- Acted for the defendant at trial, during which the claimant failed to achieve an award better than offers made, with adverse costs consequences.
- Representing the defendant in a claim involving international elements and jurisdictional issues.
Complex employers' and public liability claims epitomise the work profile of the 'resourceful' personal injury team at Browne Jacobson LLP. The firm focuses particularly on the education sector, and regularly acts on behalf of the Department for Education in respect of their Risk Protection Arrangement for schools scheme. Practice head David Maggs deals principally with novel and high-profile claims on behalf of local government.
‘Responsive and resourceful.‘
‘Handle difficult claims with sensitivity and direction.‘
‘Whilst they deal with a wide variety of claims, they have particular expertise in abuse claims of all types.‘
‘The team are responsive and professional at all times.‘
Markel (UK) Ltd
Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd
London borough of Lambeth Insurance team
Department for Education
London borough of Wandsworth Insurance team
Gallagher Bassett International Ltd
London borough of Southwark
TopMark Claims Management Ltd
London borough of Enfield Insurance team
Insurance London Consortium
- Acting for the Department of Education in multiple school-based personal injury claims.
- Retained by Municipal Mutual Insurance to act in historical abuse claims, both group and individual.
- Retained on the Insurance London Consortium legal panel.
Hill Dickinson LLP fields a team of specialist personal injury lawyers dealing with crew and passenger accidents, sexual assault, class actions and fatalities throughout the marine sector, from oil majors to container ships, bulk carriers, yachts and fishing vessels. The firm is also instructed on the vast majority of industrial disease claims brought in the marine and port industry, and practice head John Caddies has 'exceptional knowledge of asbestos-related matters'.
‘This team has a quiet efficiency which stands it in good stead when handling high value and high profile claims.‘
‘John Caddies has exceptional knowledge of asbestos-related matters.‘
‘Extremely reliable and thorough in their knowledge and advice.‘
‘John Caddies is a specialist in personal injury and occupational disease claims, who knows his subject inside-out and is always extremely thorough in his advice and the handling of our claims.‘
Associated British Ports
BP Shipping Limited
Royal Caribbean Cruises
UK P&I Club
West of England P&I Club
Maersk Shipping Company
Maersk Offshore (Guernsey) Limited
Skuld P & I Club
Viking Ocean Cruises
Shipowners Mutual P&I Club
Gard P&I Club
Steamship P&I Club
London P&I Club
- Successfully defended Camomile Lines against a claimant’s application for a declaration in relation to future immunotherapy treatment.
The team at Ince has extensive experience resolving personal injury claims in the aviation, shipping and construction industries. Practice head John McGowan has gained particular expertise in defending public liability claims against one of the world’s leading people movement specialists arising out of lift, escalator, travellator and automatic door accidents.
John Laing Construction
- Defended a food processing company after an inspector sustained a serious knife wound when visiting its abattoir, requiring emergency surgery.
- Represented a foreign national who caused serious injuries to a motorcyclist whilst driving uninsured in the UK.
- Acting for a client in defence of a claim for physical, neurological and psychological injuries allegedly sustained when a passenger was extracted from a defective lift.
At Keystone Law, Steven Conway has particular experience defending insurers and local authorities against a wide variety of liability claims brought against them. The team also includes Cordelia Rushby, who is 'completely on top of her game' when acting for income protection providers, manufacturers, and employers on a whole range of claims, including employers' and occupiers' liability.
‘Key strengths of the practice are professionalism, expertise in personal injury liability claims and a tailored approach to individual cases.‘
‘Cordelia Rushby is completely on top of her game.‘
‘Steven Conway has an in-depth knowledge of personal injury law and is a ‘go-to’ when it comes to highways regulations.‘
Ipswich Borough Council
Top Mark Claims Management Limited
HDI Gerling SE
- Successfully brought a long-running historical abuse case against a London Borough Council to an end by applying to the High Court for a declaration that legal proceedings had not been validly served.
- Succeeded in an application to strike out a claim brought by a pedestrian who sustained serious injuries when she was hit by a London bus.
- Defended an employers’ liability claim in which the claimant allegedly sustained a serious back injury when a chair collapsed, but was shown to have lied to his medical expert.