Personal injury: defendant in London

Clyde & Co

Following its 2022 merger with BLM, Clyde & Co has further cemented a reputation for fielding a team of ‘national leaders in the field’ with a ‘robust and determined litigation style’. Tony Cawley, Michelle Penn and Matthew Ford oversee the work, which falls into three focused categories: catastrophic injury and large loss, abuse and neglect, and disease. The catastrophic injury and large loss group includes ‘fantastic’ Claire Collins, and is experienced in claims involving a range of complex injuries including brain, spinal, amputations and fatalities. Paula Jefferson  leads the abuse and neglect team nationally, and has expertise in cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse claims both historical and contemporary – with particular experience advising on responses to disclosure, redress, and compensation. The disease team acts for high-profile clients on issues including work-related stress and bullying, carbon monoxide exposure, and asbestosis.

Practice head(s):

Tony Cawley; Michelle Penn; Matthew Ford

Other key lawyers:

Paul Smith; Leanne Given; Paul Charter; Nigel Lock, Claire Collins, Paula Jefferson, Sharon MacArthur-Powell, Peter James; Sharon Moohan, Sarah Murray-Smith, Phillip Carney; Ian Walker; Edward Sainsbury; Emily List; Paul Smith; Ben Jones


‘Claire Collins is a fantastic partner, very personable, good at leadership and managing her team. Excels at client care.’

‘A firm that is growing fast and becoming a market leader following the acquisition of BLM. Strength in breadth – nationwide – and depth with high class practitioners at all levels. Excellent case management systems too.’

‘Claire Collins is someone who knows her mind and is valued by her clients. She is not afraid to back herself and is taken seriously by her opponents. She is also well supported by her team.’

Key clients

Admiral Insurance

Affinity Water



Akzo Nobel Group

Allianz (Fraud)

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Allianz Insurance

Arch Insurance




AXA Group


Balfour Beatty

Barclays Bank

Barry Nilsson Lawyers

Berkshire Hathaway Group


Berkley Homes

Bloor Homes



Bradford MBC

British Car Auctions

British Land

Broadspire (Crawfords)

Builders Direct

CapitaCare UK



Center Parcs


City of Wolverhampton Council

CNA Hardy

Coca Cola Europacific Partners




Derby City Council

Direct Line Group

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council


European Risk Insurance Company hf.

Fairmead Insurance (formerly  L&G)


First Port

Gallagher Bassett


Glen Dimplex

Grosvenor Casinos Limited

Hamilton Managing Agency Ltd


HCA International


Herefordshire Council



Honeywell Group


Insurance London Consortium (9 London Boroughs)

InterContinental Hotels Group




Jet2 Holidays

Karro Food Group

Kent County Council

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Liberty Mutual Insurance



Manchester Underwriting


Marshall of Cambridge


Mecca Bingo Limited




MS Amlin

National Express

National Trust

New India Assurance

New Line

NFU Mutual

North Somerset Council

Northern Rail


Olympic Holidays

One Insurance Limited

Peel Ports

Pen Underwriting plc


Plum Underwriting

Pro Global




Red Sea Holidays



Ringway Jacobs


Royal Opera House






Shropshire Council

Sompo International


Telford & Wrekin Council


Thames Valley Police

The Arcadia Group

The Davies Group

The Rank Group

TK Maxx

Tokio Marine





Travis Perkins / Wickes


Vero Insurers

Vista Brokers

Wakefield MBC

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council


Whitbread (Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater)


Willis Towers Watson

Woodgate & Clark

XL Catlin Group



DWF fields a ‘simply outstanding team who leave no stone unturned when investigating cases‘. The team specialises in complex injury litigation, and is experienced in defending claims arising out of motor, employers’, public and product liability. In addition, it has experience dealing with group actions, and the firm’s international reach means that the team is well placed to deal with international cross-border claims; this is an area in which Claire Bowler and Michelle Knapp have notable expertise. The practice acts for both insurers and self-insured clients, the latter including a number of local authorities, such as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for whom the team act in relation to claims arising out of the Grenfell Tower Fire. Mark Whittaker and Steven King, who jointly the team, are experts in local authority work and liability claims, respectively. Rhys Sanchez  has a particular focus on complex brain injury cases. Graham Dickinson and senior associate Adela Carrasco round out the roster of recommended practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Steven King; Mark Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Seema Bains; Rhys Sanchez; Dan Mitchell; Paul Greaves; Adela Carrasco; Graham Dickinson; John Lezemore; Daniel Jordan; Emma Clarke; Claire Bowler; Sara-Jane Eaton; Michelle Knapp; Alastair Homan; Hollie Bartley; Thomas Magee; Camellia Khorshid


‘In the field of personal injury they have excellent relationships with a variety of experts and are adept at matching the right expert to the case. This also applies to counsel. As such, their ability to assemble the right team at an early stage and then work collaboratively with them leads to the best results for clients.’

‘The chronic pain team is particularly strong, John Lezemore and Adela Carrasco stand out. They each have the right balance of forensic attention to detail and the ability to zoom out and look at the big picture commercially.’

‘Michelle Knapp is an up-and-comer for whom I have the highest regard. She is hard-working, sensible, and doesn’t miss anything.’

Key clients





















GEFION AS (in administration)








Mark Burton leads the London liability and serious and catastrophic injury teams at Kennedys; defined as ‘a thought leader’, he is behind the firm’s technologically innovative Serious Injury Suite of products, which involves computer forensics. The team acts for a number of high-profile insurer clients on reputationally sensitive, high-value cases. Notably, it is currently acting for World Rugby in a number of ongoing claims by former professional rugby players regarding concussions sustained while playing – Ben Appleton is involved in this matter, bringing his expertise in sports concussion claims to the fore. Joe McManus ‘is a tremendous asset in every case’, with particular strength in cases which have coverage and jurisdictional issues. Stephen Foster specialises in amputation claims, and as part of the firm’s wider Serious Injury Suite of products focuses on the impact technology can have on traditional care models within catastrophic injury claims. Joanne Kelly has standout experience with exaggerated or fraudulent high-value claims, including expertise in social media screening and fundamental dishonesty. Senior associate Andrew Purdie is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Burton

Other key lawyers:

Richard West; Stephen Foster; Andrew Purdie; Joe McManus; Antony French; Joanne Kelly; Alexandra Riley; Ben Appleton; Amber Jenner; Rachel Moore; Tracey Perry; Robert Corrigan


‘Antony French is a major catch. A commercial operator who knows how to cut to the meat of a case quickly.’

‘Richard West is a truly innovative thinker who just gets how insurers work and what they need. He is a pioneer.’

‘Joanne Kelly and her team strike an excellent balance between legal and commercial and economic considerations of a claim. Their strategic advice is as impressive as their legal advice and I would thoroughly recommend them to anybody looking for a defendant personal injury lawyer.’

Key clients



Allied World







CNA Hardy



PSV Claims Bureau/Stagecoach


World Rugby

Work highlights

  • Defending test cases by a group of nine former international rugby players who are suing governing bodies for failing to take adequate steps to prevent concussion.
  • Instructed by the Four Seasons Hotel Group in defence of a lead case in personal injury jurisdiction law.
  • Successful defence at trial of high-value claims arising from a multi-vehicle motorway pile-up.

Weightmans LLP

The practitioners comprising Weightmans LLP‘s large loss and technical team are singled out as ‘leaders in their field for innovation’, working across nine offices with expertise in the areas of casualty, disease, motor, public authority and large loss. ‘Great tacticianElaine Chapman leads the team, and is experienced in severe brain injury cases, as well as paraplegia, tetraplegia and other severe limb injury cases. Catherine Kearney specialises in motor, public and employers’ liability claims, as well as injuries leading to the development of pain disorders. ‘Hugely dedicated and intellectually impressive’ associate Shaun Lavery is particularly experienced in catastrophic brain injury, as well as fatal accident claims. The team has notable expertise regarding cross-border litigation, with Nicholas Richards standing out as a particular specialist on the ongoing effects of Brexit on applicable law in international claims.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Chapman

Other key lawyers:

Seva Singh; Nicholas Richards; Catherine Kearney; Patricia Williams; Kathryn Hinchey; Shaun Lavery


‘Patricia Williams is extremely thorough and tenacious.’

‘Catherine Kearney is excellent. Her pragmatism, efficiency, commercial acumen and client-friendly approach stand out.’

‘Leaders in their field for innovation. Sensible strategists and always working extremely hard to provide excellent customer service.’

‘Elaine Chapman is a well-known and highly experienced partner. Excellent with clients and a great tactician. She has a deep knowledge of catastrophic personal injury claims and how to run them. Extremely highly rated. Patricia Williams is an associate who I have been very highly impressed by.’

‘This is one of the best defendant insurance businesses in England and Wales. They provide comprehensive cover for their insurer clients with a pragmatic approach to investigation so as to focus on the identification of the issues and then their swift and economical resolution.’

‘Weightmans are an insurance law powerhouse with expertise in all personal injury matters, including cases of the highest value and complexity.’

‘What stands out is the focus that individuals have on their clients and their needs, not simply the case in hand. Elaine Chapman has led the way for years in client care, really knowing and understanding the needs of clients, and she has been superbly supported by the likes of Catherine Kearney and Kathryn Hinchey.’

‘Shaun Lavery is a hugely able and industrious defence lawyer. He works very hard for his professional and insurer clients and does so delivering realistic and sensible advice timeously. He is fair-minded in his approach to defending claims and has the knowledge and capability of a seasoned lawyer well beyond his years. He is an undoubted rising star. He is hugely dedicated and intellectually impressive.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance Plc

Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)

Armour Risk Management

Premia Re

Direct Commercial Limited

Haven Insurance

Catalyst Insurance

Prometheus Insurance Company Limited

Tradex Insurance Company Ltd

AIG Europe


Van Ameyde

Cornwall Council

TUiR Warta

Work highlights

  • Settled a £25m brain damaged tetraplegic claim, including a reverse indemnity.
  • Representing Cornwall Council in Court of Appeal and ongoing High Court litigation arising out of a fatal road traffic accident.
  • Settled a £900,000 traumatic brain injury claim within four months of instruction.

Browne Jacobson LLP

The insurance and public risk team at Browne Jacobson LLP , which operates across Nottingham, Birmingham and London, is headed up by James Fawcett and Sarah Erwin-Jones, the firm’s heads of technical claims and social care, respectively. The team offers expertise in catastrophic injuries, including brain and spinal injuries, which are typically handled by ‘top class catastrophic lawyerKevin Lawson. Additionally, the team is experienced in social care claims for both children and adults; Erwin-Jones and Helen Rideout are key names here. The team also has specialist knowledge of claims in healthcare, sporting and education settings.

Practice head(s):

James Fawcett; Sarah Erwin-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Lawson; Helen Rideout


‘The team have all bases covered when it comes to legal knowledge and experience.’

‘Browne Jacobson’s injury team has strength and depth in handling complex and technical large loss injury claims, including brain injury, paralysis claims, chronic pain and fatalities. They are one of the go-to firms for the defence of personal injury claims.’

‘Kevin Lawson is a stand-out individual and is a top class catastrophic lawyer. He is forensic, tactically astute and an expert negotiator. He excels in high-value, multi-million pound litigation. His client service is second to none.’

‘Browne Jacobson are a solid reliable defendant firm for public liability, employers’ liability and disease work. They give their insurers remarkably accurate risk and value information very early in litigation.’

‘Very good specialist local government team. Good depth of solicitors with varying levels of experience.’

Key clients


NHS Resolution

Municipal Mutual Insurance Limited

Marble Arch and Lexham Insurance Services


Gallagher Bassett

Davies Group


Work highlights

  • Settled a claim for a complex brain injury which had been pleaded at £24m for £12m.
  • Successfully overturned a judgment in the High Court in relation to a personal injury claim following an alleged negligent tackle during a professional football match.
  • Defended a fatal accident claim with cross-border issues at trial.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s personal injury team is led by Howard Watson, who has particular experience defending large and sensitive stress at work claims. The expertise of the team lies in large, complex group litigation claims, and it continues to act in regards to long-term thalidomide claims across multiple jurisdictions, with David Bennett taking the lead on such work. Acting for major self-insuring corporates is another notable specialism of the team.

Practice head(s):

Howard Watson

Other key lawyers:

David Bennett

Key clients






Post Office


Work highlights

  • Acting for Diageo in relation to claims for injuries arising from the alleged ingestion of thalidomide in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
  • Acting for Chevron following the explosion at its refinery in June 2011, which resulted in four fatalities, a serious personal injury and a number of stress and related claims.
  • Acting for the Post Office in relation to personal injury issues raised by former sub-postmasters and postmistresses who are bringing claims against the client in connection with its internal computer system.

Keoghs LLP

Catherine Kober established Keoghs LLP‘s London defendant personal injury practice when she joined the firm in 2021 from DWF . The team is characterised by its ‘superb business relationships with key claim handlers’, and has notable expertise in cases involving complex causation issues. The firm's ‘longstanding knowledge of the insurance sector’ is bolstered by a number of team members who have experience acting on the claimant side in personal injury work. Catherine Brewington and Katie Lacey are also recommended. In recent team news, Phillip Bratt joined the team from Weightmans LLP in June 2023.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Kober

Other key lawyers:

Phillip Bratt; Katie Lacey; Catherine Brewington


‘The beauty with Keoghs is having superb business relationships with key claim handlers which enables open and honest discussions regarding tactics, rehabilitation and ultimately settlement. Both Catherine Kober and Catherine Brewington have been key in facilitating great outcomes of claims. Their agile and positive approach to claims is refreshing.’

‘Keoghs are major players in the insurance market. Big national presence with talent across the country.’

‘The London Keoghs PI team is a small but quality outfit. They are particularly strong on high-value motor claims, claims involving allegations of exaggeration or fraud, and claims involving motor insurance indemnity issues.’

Key clients

Travelers Insurance

Tesco Insurance

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

Aviva Plc

Liverpool Victoria Insurance Limited

Faraday Insurance

Direct Line Group

ERS Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting on a matter involving a fatality following a collision between two vehicles.

Hill Dickinson LLP

John Caddies leads Hill Dickinson LLP‘s personal injury, travel and regulatory team. The group specialises in marine work and counts many port authorities among its clients, dealing with crew and passenger accidents, sexual assault, class actions and fatalities in both leisure and industrial contexts; this experience compliments the team’s work on overseas personal injury claims. Sarah Barnes has particular experience in class action cases. Associate Grace Skinner and senior associate Laura Wilson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Caddies

Other key lawyers:

Laura Wilson; Sarah Barnes; Grace Skinner


‘The fullest understanding of the travel and tourism sector is evident.’

‘Sarah Barnes has a genuine warmth and eye for every detail.’

‘Good value for money and good knowledge of the sector in which we operate. Excellent legal and strategic knowledge.’

Key clients

Associated British Ports

BP Shipping Limited


Royal Caribbean Cruises

P&O Ferries

Louis Hotels

UK P&I Club

West of England P&I Club


Maersk Shipping Company

Maersk Offshore (Guernsey) Limited

Viking Ocean Cruises

Shipowners Mutual P&I Club


Gard P&I Club

Swedish Club

Steamship P&I Club

London P&I Club

MSC Crociere

The North of England P&I Association and Seatruck Ferries

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association, Inc

Svitzer Marine Limited

Assuranceforeningen SKULD (GJENSIDIG)


Keystone Law

Keystone Law‘s ‘customer-centric, solutions-based’ personal injury offering notably features both Cordelia Rushby and Steven Conway. The group is experienced in acting for not only insurers but also local authorities, self-insured organisations and income protection providers.

Other key lawyers:

Cordelia Rushby; Steven Conway


‘Steven Conway is an absolute expert in his field. He has vast knowledge of the public sector claims genre and seems always to choose the right barrister if the claim proceeds to hearing. Steven is very adept at interviewing witnesses, often skillfully obtaining information that the witness didn’t realise they had within them. Lastly, Steven is very personable, and instils confidence in all those he comes into contact with.’

‘Vast experience, knowledge and expertise. Customer-centric, solutions-based approach.’

‘Cordelia Rushby has always been a pleasure to work with. Her dedication and expertise is second to none. We can always put a great deal of trust in the staff at Keystone.’

Key clients

Allianz Global

HDI Gerling SE

Chaucer Insurance Company Group PLC

Gallagher Bassett

Davies Group

Zurich Municipal

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a claim at trial by a council tenant who claimed water had leaked from a newly-installed shower room to the floor below, causing him to slip and fall.
  • Successfully defended a claim by a school cleaner who was injured when an 80kg smart screen fell off its mounting on to his foot.
  • Successfully defended a claim at trial where a claimant stepped backwards off a bus with her child in a pram and fell in to an open manhole cover, causing a chronic pain condition.


RPC‘s general liability team is led by 'down to earth operator' Gavin Reese, who splits his time between London and Bristol. Mamata Dutta is recommended for her ‘mastery of every case’. The team specialises in difficult and complex cases, often involving life-changing injuries including brain injury and amputation, and has specific sector expertise regarding industrial workplaces, new technological industries and claims from incidents on TV and film sets.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Reese

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Hahlo; Steven Aitken; Mamata Dutta


‘Gavin Reese is quality. A down to earth operator with an easy charm which conceals his market knowledge. Underestimate him at your peril. Fiona Hahlo is hard working and efficient, she gets great results for her clients.’

‘Well respected full-service defendant team. Has the strength and depth to deal with the entire spectrum of litigated cases in this arena – including catastrophic and complex cases.’

‘Mamata Dutta is particularly well known for dealing with cases involving complex medical causation. I’ve benefited from her conscientious case preparation.’

‘Gavin Reese has excellent negotiation skills – always gets favourable results in JSMs and mediations. Well regarded in the insurance sector.’

‘RPC has a strong PI team, which is able to cover the full range of industrial and catastrophic accidents. Outstanding partners lead a strong team of associates in order to provide a premier service to their insurance clients.’

‘Gavin Reese has immense experience and tactical judgment. Always adds real value to every case in which he is instructed. An outstanding lawyer.’

‘Mamata Dutta is brilliant in her mastery of every case and beloved by her clients for always providing the best case strategy.’

‘Steven Aitken is a hugely capable solicitor. Combines forensic attention to detail with clear and cogent advice which keeps him in huge demand by top insurers.’

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Acting for a French cycling organisation and its insurer in connection with the death of a participant in an elite amateur cycle event.
  • Acting for an arboricultural company which had carried out a survey of a tree months before it fell, causing severe injuries.
  • Acted for a contractor, securing a favourable agreement on liability following traumatic injury of an employee while using a tree-stump grinder on a construction site.