Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners: Personal Injury

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant in North West


The clinical negligence team at BLM deals with a full range of claims involving alleged delay in diagnosis of cancer, surgical claims, wrongful birth and brain and spinal injury claims. Manchester healthcare head Sarah Woodwark heads the clinical negligence practice group, other specialisms of which include opthalmic treatments, cosmetic procedures and dental claims, where Chris Dexter is noted. Jonathan Clay, Joanne Francis and Stuart Furniss head the personal injury team, which has a uniformly strong offering across occupational illness and disease, catastrophic injury, abuse, employers’ and public liability and motor claims. Ruth Graham, Andrew Kerr, David Spencer and Lauren Gosnell are all noted, as is associate Nicola Overmire.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Woodwark; Jonathan Clay; Joanne Francis; Stuart Furniss

Other key lawyers:

Chris Dexter; Ruth Graham; Andrew Kerr; David Spencer; Lauren Gosnell; Nicola Overmire; Elizabeth Wallace


‘All the solicitors we speak to are extremely knowledgeable but also very personable. They make you feel comfortable to ask questions and will also go above and beyond in terms of the guidance and advice they are able to provide.’

‘Chris Dexter is possibly one of the hardest working lawyers I know. He is totally committed to his job and consequently gets excellent results for his clients. Sarah Woodwark is a very experienced lawyer who has impeccable judgement and a natural ability to put clients at ease.’

‘Highly skilled team with extensive expertise. The team are helpful, understand and importantly, listen to the business to obtain information to support the matter in which they are engaged. The BLM team have taken the time to understand our billing processes and ensure they follow the appropriate steps so the billing process runs smoothly. The advice and reports are excellent and our business is extremely happy with advice and support provided by the whole team.’

‘Jonathan Clay is an absolute pleasure to work with. Jonathan is a master of his area of work, an expert who is hardworking, has a complete grasp of his subject, very focused yet can view the wider picture and strategise how to achieve objectives. He is the best I have encountered in his field.’

‘Friendly, responsive, easy to work with. Dedicated. Jo Francis and her team have done excellent work in providing client service on high value injury claims.’

‘Elizabeth Wallace and Stuart Furniss exhibit all the best attributes of a solicitor acting for defendant insurers, maintaining close contact, giving clear and comprehensive advice in complex and high value claims, standing their ground even when the advice is not always likely to be palatable. Each has a clear eye to commerciality but also to principle. They are prepared open to innovative solutions to cases and prepared to stand their ground to achieve a fair result.’

‘David Spencer – the consummate insurance lawyer. Andrew Kerr – usually the cleverest person in the room. Lauren Gosnell – fantastic judgement and incredibly hard-working.’

‘Andrew Kerr: a skilled and quietly efficient solicitor with the gift of seeing the broader picture and appreciating the tactical implications involved in any particular case. Nicola Overmire: fiercely determined and dogged in her pursuit of an advantage for the client.’

Key clients






Balfour Beatty

















Karro Food Group






National Trust

Network Rail

Northern Rail


Peel Ports





Ringway Jacobs




Thames Valley Police




Travis Perkins/Wickes




Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's health sector litigation team draws on firmwide expertise in national NHS policy, governance, regulation, clinical negligence, social care, inquests and staffing. The practice houses a dedicated risk management team. Amanda Callaghan  heads the Manchester office, and has a strong record defending clinicians in the private sector. Senior associate Louise Jackson is noted for her record of work for Medical Protection Society and Dental Protection. Andrew Peel has handled numerous complex and high-profile claims.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Peel; Louise Jackson


‘We feel they are on our side and fighting to obtain the right result in all circumstances.’

‘Amanda Callaghan is extremely knowledgeable, adaptable, diplomatic, professional and she is a great team player. I am proud to work alongside Amanda and I would recommend her to anyone looking for delivery of sound legal services.’

‘The team is well connected and cohesive.’

‘A team with strength in depth in complex clinical negligence work.’

‘A leader in field of defending trusts and doctors in civil claims. Very strong and capable team with excellent client relationships.’

‘Louise Jackson definitely goes above and beyond for each and every one of her clients. she is fearless, bright and completely on the ball.’

‘Louise Jackson’s understanding of complex issues and her ability to simplify the complexities, problem solve and innovate is outstanding. No stone is left unturned in understanding and researching cases. A pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT

Stockport NHS FT

Manchester Mental Health NHS FT

Manchester University Hospitals NHS FT

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

The Christie NHS FT

North West Ambulance Trust NHS Trust

Medical Protection Society

Dental Protection Limited

NHS Resolution

Work highlights

  • Successfully appealed a lower court decision to allow the claimant relief from sanctions to rely upon expert evidence served after the deadline had passed for exchange.
  • Obtained a finding of fundamental dishonesty and an award for costs pursuant to CPR 44.16 (1) in excess of £100,000.
  • Successfully defended an Equality Act claim on behalf of a GP practice at trial.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP fields strong teams in both clinical negligence and personal injury defence. On the personal injury side, the casualty team has significant strengths in industrial disease, catastrophic injury and road traffic accident claims. David Wynn heads the legacy and industrial team, Chris Murray the catastrophic injury team and Mark Hemsted the motor team. Other sub-groups encompassing fraud, costs, local authority and credit hire cases are led by Damian Rourke, Robert Muttock, Siobhan Mullins and Mel Mooney respectively. Chris Eccles and James Dadge are also noted. Vanessa Splaine now heads the Manchester clinical negligence practice after joining from Weightmans LLP in mid-2020; she is supported by a number of other recent recruits, including senior associate Beverley Smith. The team focuses on complex cases involving brain injuries in newborns and adults, claims involving serious spinal injuries and cases involving the delayed diagnosis of cancer.

Practice head(s):

David Wynn; Chris Murray; Mark Hemsted; Damian Rourke; Robert Muttock; Siobhan Mullins; Mel Mooney; Vanessa Splaine

Other key lawyers:

Kate Duffy; Chris Eccles; Neil Southern; Judith Martin


‘Vanessa Splaine is a stand-out lawyer with vast experience of handling and supervising the most complex NHS claims. Exceptionally skilled at building relationships with all involved in a case, she is extremely popular for her combination of good humour and nerves of steel.’

‘Claire Petts is a tough and capable litigator with an excellent nose for the case to fight.’

‘Chris Murray: commercially very astute, providing exceptional client service; justly loved by his insurer clients.’

‘Siobhan Mullins is an outstanding individual. Her expertise and knowledge are complemented by her exceptional commitment to customer care.’

‘Kate Duffy has impressed for her humanity and her professionalism in dealing with complex life-changing injuries claims. Her communication skills and collaborative approach to identifying and narrowing issues in dispute make her stand out amongst her peers. She brings a perspective and understanding of the often complex issues in life changing injuries claims that secures the trust and confidence of those involved in the litigation on the other side. It should not be underestimated how important that is in resolving often difficult disputes.’

‘Neil Southern is on top of the detail, as well as having an excellent strategic view and understanding of what the insurer client is seeking to achieve.’

‘Chris Eccles is a thorough and effective lawyer who understands both what is achievable and what the client wants, and can sail that difficult course to maximise outcomes.’

‘Judith Martin is an expert in difficult matters of work-related stress, abuse and bullying and harassment.  She is approachable and delivers on client expectations.’

Key clients

Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance

Medical Protection Society


Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust

NHS Resolution


Premium Medical Protection



Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP combines 'quality advice and expertise' with 'a down-to-earth approach', acting for both NHS and private clients, with a particular niche in fertility claims. Manchester clinical risk head Simon Wortley has strong client relationships with insurers, private sector clients and self-insured corporates. Senior associate Claire Fitzgerald has extensive experience of mental health litigation. Craig Godding and Corinne Sinker head the personal injury team, which defends large loss and personal injury claims, accident and disease work, and complex road traffic claims. Associate Naomi Marshall is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Simon Wortley; Craig Godding; Corinne Sinker

Other key lawyers:

Sean Doherty; Claire Fitzgerald; Naomi Marshall; Jonathan Bonser


‘Simon Wortley has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his cases and leads the team with skill and empathy; choosing the right cases to fight and knowing when to switch to a collaborative approach.’

‘Jonathan Bonser is a thinker and a really first-rate lawyer with an excellent knowledge of the law, huge experience as well as being a really effective performer. He has great judgement.’

‘The DACB team combine quality advice and expertise with a style of engagement that further differentiates their approach and the value that they bring. There is a down-to-earth approach, a genuine interest in understanding and learning that again serves to bring additional value to the trusted relationship.’

‘I have met and worked with several partners, all of whom have been engaging and user-friendly. Put quite simply, I’d say they have all been ‘people’ people. I would make special mention of Simon Wortley, who is a trusted contact of mine. Simon will respond professionally always as would be expected, but will also go above and beyond and help in other ways, which has the effect of me wanting to return the value on a reciprocal basis. Simon will help navigate to the right contacts both within DACB and also externally to other third parties including introductions to clients.’

Simon Wortley always makes you feel fully supported. His understanding in what is needed both from a cost perspective and delivery is second to none.’

‘The team are responsive, practical, grasp the issues and the support needed very quickly. They are client focused and are collaborative in their approach. Their ability to step up when needed is excellent.’

‘Simon Wortley and Jonathan Bonser are first class.  They have excellent knowledge of the law and are robust negotiators and litigators. They always strive to get the client the best outcome.’

‘The team are very friendly and easy to deal with. They are commercially minded and greatly assist in bringing claims to an efficient resolution in the client’s best interests.’

Key clients

Circle Healthcare Group (BMI Healthcare)

HCA International Limited

Medical Defence Union

Dental Defence Union

Schoen Clinic UK

Elysium Healthcare Ltd

Florence Nightingale Hospital

NHS Resolution

Insurance Corporation of the Channel Islands

MS Amlin

Allied World Assurance Company



Royal Sun Alliance

CNA Hardy

Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth


AMMA Assurance (Belgium)

Medical Professional Liability Company (MPLC)

Intereurope AG

Forbes Solicitors

The complex and catastrophic injury claims team at Forbes Solicitors stands out for its handling of high-value construction industry claims. Paul Geldard and Elizabeth Bower are the key contacts for large loss and casualty claims respectively. Ridwaan Omar acts as regulatory lead, advising on CQC investigations, inquests and sentencing hearings. The practice includes a specialised abuse and social care team led by Kella Bowers, which has handled large CSE group claims as well as negligent social care cases, failure to remove claims, adult care, and complex inquests involving civil claims. Bowers, Omar, Bower and Geldard are based in Blackburn. Chris Booth and Andrew Ellis in Manchester head the department.

Practice head(s):

Chris Booth; Paul Geldard; Kella Bowers; Elizabeth Bower; Ridwaan Omar; Andrew Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Harris; David Mayor


‘We have always found the Forbes team to be extremely responsive, available with their expertise and advice whenever we need them. They understand our culture and way of working, and the advice and service they provide is aligned to this. They offer practical and realistic solutions, promptly and clearly.’

‘Though a national firm dealing with bluechip insurers, they always bring a personal touch to each case and put the clients interests at heart.’

‘The team at Forbes have built longstanding relationships with North West based public sector clients. The team work collaboratively with all stakeholders in the process to achieve the best possible outcomes.’

‘Ridwaan Omar is an exceptional solicitor. He is so responsive, and his advice is always concise and cogent. He has supported us through many challenging times, and has never steered us wrong. He completely understands our way of working, and his advices always reflect that. He is reliable, extremely competent, conscientious, organised and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Liz Bower is always at the and of a phone, to give immediate advice and help to myself and my colleagues. The support of Liz over many years has been brilliant.’

‘Kella Bowers is someone I trust on all complex child related matters’.

‘Chris Booth is extremely diligent on fraudulent related matters.’

‘Elizabeth Bower – very personable and approachable. Puts clients at ease. Very good on highway law.’

Key clients

Co-operative Group Ltd

Galliford Try Plc

Rochdale Borough Council

Sportscover Europe

AXA Liabilities Managers (Insurer)

Cunningham Lindsay International t/a Sedgwick

Zurich Insurance

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Lloyds Syndicate 2525

Charles Taylor Adjusters

Morgan Sindall Plc

Salford Council

Gallagher Bassett



Wigan Council


Guinness Partnership

Kepak Group


Calico Homes

Carlisle Council

Conwy Council

Cumbria Council

Cumbria Fire and Rescue

Flintshire Council

Gwynedd Council

Lancaster City Council

Manchester City Council

Preston City Council

Symphony Housing Group

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Warrington Borough Council

Doncaster Council

Highways Wales


Salix Housing

Work highlights

  • Handled a case for Wigan Council which considered whether a path was considered highway maintainable at the public expenses if it was not built by the council acting in the course of its capacity as Highways Authority. The Court of Appeal accepted the defendant’s submissions that, for the purposes of S36(2)(a) Highways Act 1980, the path was required to have been built by the local authority acting in its capacity as highway authority for liability for it to attach.
  • Advised Rotherham Council on a claim for alleged loss of personal data, premature destruction of data, misuse of private information, breach of DPA, breach of confidence, loss of chance to secure sole custody, loss of chance to secure the conviction of an ex-partner, vicarious liability and consequential personal injury including aggravated damages due to claimant’s inability to rely on lost personal data in sensitive criminal and family proceedings resulting in a recognised psychiatric condition.
  • Advised Rochdale Council on a personal injury claim that the firm proved to be linked to three other near identical claims from members of the claimant’s family and linked to circa 20 other similar fact claims indicative of a coordinated and concerted efforts to defraud the public purse.


Hempsons has a strong reputation across the full spectrum of defendant clinical negligence work, including dental and mental health claims. Anne Ball has a strong healthcare criminal and regulatory practice and represents NHS Trusts at inquests, including particularly sensitive cases involving patient suicides. Ball, who was appointed as the firm’s senior partner at the beginning of 2021, jointly leads the practice with Kirsten Blohm, who handles complex claims including wrongful births, brain damage following TB meningitis and cauda equina. Up-and-coming partner Jennie Chapman is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Anne Ball; Kirsten Blohm

Other key lawyers:

Jennie Chapman; Patricia Roe; Simeon Bower; Stephen Maratos; Jessica Neary; Nigel Wood


‘Hempsons are, in my view, the best defendant clinical negligence team in the North West.’

‘They have unrivalled experience in depth, perhaps because they do not seem to have a high turnover of people.’

‘Nigel Wood is unbelievably hardworking and conscientious. At the same time, he is pragmatic and sees the bigger picture. He has his clients’ best interests at the centre of his decision-making at all times. He has an immense breadth and depth of knowledge and uses it to his best advantage.’

‘Stephen Maratos is experienced, sensible, calm with good judgement.’

‘Patricia Roe is a very experienced partner with a cool head, an instinctive sense of the issues and a safe pair of hands.’

‘Jessica Neary combines a sound sense of judgement and a close attention to detail with great enthusiasm and healthy pragmatism.’

‘Simeon Bower takes a very sensible, non-confrontational approach to his cases and the conduct of litigation. He is articulate and has an excellent attention to detail.’

‘Nigel Wood is a highly capable and pragmatic defendant solicitor; he settles the cases which need to be settled and he fights the cases which need to be fought. I fully expect to see big things from Nigel in the coming years – he is one to watch.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Work highlights

  • Defended a clinical negligence matter in which the claimant blamed a hospital trust for causing his life changing above knee amputation.
  • Successfully defended a dental claim alleging negligence to trial.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP‘s health litigation group handles numerous claims for NHS Resolution and the Medical Protection Society. The practice also represents private healthcare providers, including in claims arising from inquests within the prison service and walk-in centres. Department head Andrew Craggs has extensive experience in stress, bullying and sexual assault claims involving the NHS. David Locke is noted for his specialism in non-delegable duty of care arguments and NHS commissioning claims; he works alongside senior associate Claire Christopholus in the management of major group actions. Liverpool-based Joanne Hughes has significant experience in GP and dental claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Craggs

Other key lawyers:

David Locke; Joanne Hughes; Claire Christopholus; Phil Bradbury; Jonathan Heap


‘One of a relative few firms which does work for both the NHS and for an individual defence organisation (the Medical Protection Society). In my opinion this gives then a particular advantage in knowing and understanding how the different elements of healthcare knit together and the pressures and responsibilities facing those working in healthcare.’

‘Andrew Craggs is an energetic and innovative leader. He always has his ear to the ground and is up to speed in a developing market.’

‘Jonathan Heap is a charismatic and confident litigator who is prepared to challenge assumptions.’

‘Phil Bradbury is strong on detail but retains perspective and judgement.’

‘David Locke is vastly experienced, calm and efficient.’

‘David Locke is very experienced, with an impressive ability to think strategically about difficult cases, as well as being a great team leader.’

‘Claire Christopholus is very impressive all round; she has a great forensic eye for detail, manages cases through the various stages of litigation with skill and efficiency, and has an excellent rapport with clients.

‘David Locke and Philip Bradbury both have a deep legal understanding of medico-legal issues.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Medical Protection Society

CNA Hardy

Beazley Group

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Care Alliance (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)

Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust

NHS England

St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Defended a clinical negligence claim which was dismissed upon the claimant being found to be “fundamentally dishonest” within the meaning of Section 57 of the Criminal Courts and Justice Act 2015.
  • Handled a cohort of claims arising from the hugely controversial neonatal deaths scandal at Countess of Chester Hospital.
  • Resolved an historic claim (pleaded at £10 million) concerning internationally pioneering paediatric cardiology surgery which had taken place in 1993.

Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors

Manchester-based Horwich Cohen Coghlan acts for defendant clients across the UK insurance industry. Key strengths include international disputes, complex or unusual circumstances and specialist area claims including credit hire and public transport. Mark Woodall, who is regularly instructed in motor, employers’ liability and public liability claims, heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Woodall


‘Mark Woodall is highly experienced, supremely diligent, thorough and organised but also a joy to work with. He has a natural eye for case strategy and real expertise in technical cases, especially those involving foreign insurers.’

‘Mark Woodall is extremely knowledgeable, always respectful and polite and trustworthy, as well as experienced in his field.Y ou know the advice being received is top notch.’

‘A niche group of individuals providing unrivalled client service and sector leading expertise.’

‘The team at HCC are extremely knowledgeable, offering unbeatable advice. Always polite and respectful, the team are a delight to work with.’


Kennedys' Manchester injury team has extensive expertise across the personal injury litigation field, from serious catastrophic injuries to volume claims. The group also houses a specialist fraud group, and has developed a particular specialism in the corporate risk market. Gordon Davidson and Martin Stockdale jointly head the department. Richard McKeown is noted for his expertise handing claims in the leisure and hospitality, retail and transport industries, while Christopher Oldfield has a strong reputation in the constructions, leisure and sports sectors. Senior associate Ian Ford is recommended for high value and technical cases.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Davidson; Martin Stockdale

Other key lawyers:

Richard McKeown; Christopher Oldfield; Ian Ford


‘The quality of advice is very good and level of communication is excellent.’

‘All legal firms say they will communicate, keep interested parties up to date and act in a timely manner. Not all practices actually act in this manner but Kennedys do.’

‘Despite Chris Oldfield being a partner, he is always happy to discuss cases in detail and will readily answer any questions I have. He is very quick to respond to emails and calls which is always appreciated.’

‘Ian Ford is meticulous in his defence of claims, recognises the commercial realities and also provides his client with pragmatic advice when appropriate.’

‘Chris Oldfield and Richard McKeown have worked closely with myself to ensure our needs are fully understood and thereafter delivered by their team.’

‘Christopher Oldfield is a first-class tactician who always achieves a good result for the client.’

‘Richard McKeown has the best nose in the business for litigation outcomes.  He knows his sectors like the back of his hand and is always up for a fight.  Tenacious and business-savvy.  No better tactician in the business with the corporate client front and centre.’

‘Martin Stockdale is a leader from the front of his team.’

Key clients

Hilton Hotels

JD Wetherspoon Plc


Abellio Transport Holdings Limited

MJ Gleeson

Marston’s Plc

The Innovation Group

UK Athletics

Virgin West Coast Trains

The Go Ahead Group

Atalian Servest Ltd

Revolution Bars Group Plc

British Cycling

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP advises a wide range of insurers, particularly motor insurers, as well as a range of self-insured clients, commercial companies and public sector organisations. Core areas of work include disease, abuse, marine, catastrophic injury claims and liability. Guy Fitzpatrick and Don Clarke in Bolton act as technical director and director of strategy at the practice. Damian Ward, Peter Kenworthy, Ken Young and Andrew Evans head the counter-fraud, disease, complex and catastrophic loss and corporate risks sub-teams respectively.

Practice head(s):

Gary Fitzpatrick; Don Clarke; Damian Ward; Peter Kenworthy; Ken Young; Andrew Evans


‘Keoghs is in my view the leading civil fraud (motor insurance) team in the country.’

‘We have been working with the team for nearly 30 years, they have an excellent understanding of our business and are a fantastic team to work with. We would not consider using any other firm.’

‘Keoghs are always prepared to go the extra step. They provide training and a service that quite often outperforms their competitors.’

‘The strength and depth of the abuse team is unparalleled.’

‘The specialist claims we use Keoghs for require compassion and understanding. They meet that criteria. They understand our reputation; however, are robust in defending spurious claims.’

‘The members of the Keoghs abuse team are unique for their specialist experience and capability in this area and are at the forefront of the development of the law. They have wide-ranging sector expertise and the whole team have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of abuse claims and how they are best dealt with.’

‘Very knowledgeable team of abuse specialist lawyers. Very strong on the abuse side on case strategy for both individual claims and wider issues.’

‘The solicitors handling our cases are extremely knowledgeable but also very friendly and approachable. They make you feel comfortable to ask questions regarding the cases and at ease when wanting to discuss them.’

Key clients

Direct Line Group

AXA Insurance

Hastings Direct



First Central


Tesco Underwriting


Addison Lee



Work highlights

  • Handled a catastrophic injury claim valued at approximately £10m involving an intoxicated claimant who had taken their seatbelt off as a passenger in a car subsequently involved in a serious (100mph) head on collision.

Plexus Law

Plexus Law's personal injury department acts for insurers, major public sector clients, government departments and local authorities. The team's core areas of focus include defending casualty, motor, disease, fraud and large loss claims. Anthony Baker heads the team, and has a specialism in dealing with work-related stress claims.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Baker

Other key lawyers:

Tim Short; Gary Petterson; Philip D’Netto; Louise Shaw; Andrew Steel; Matthew Smith; Lorien Helm


‘The Plexus team are probably the most helpful team I have come across. It is very clear that they have a very strong team ethic and all members of that team will drop their own work to help others.’

‘Great client relationship. Small group of high quality practitioners. The firm is completely up to speed with remote working and electronic instructions. Insurer clients love the very personal client care and the bespoke working methods. ’

‘Phil D’Netto is the lead for catastrophic injury and a wealth of knowledge in all areas of liability and quantum issues.’

‘A fantastic team, who are always ready to assist. Advice provided is clear and covers all aspects. Prepared to do whatever it takes to investigate, clarify and establish risk, liability and quantum.’

‘Lorien Helm is a pleasure to work with. She is very understanding of all parties and roles. Lorien is always on point with her advice. She’s not afraid of a challenge and rolls her sleeves up to investigate and establish issues and risks. Lorien’s investment in cases is demonstrated by her knowledge and attention to detail. ’

Phil D’Netto has a vast array of experience in catastrophic cases. He is very approachable and responds in a very timely fashion.’

‘The whole team provide sound, sensible advice which totally assists with our decision making process’

‘All members of staff are available, approachable and very knowledgeable in their area of expertise.’

Key clients



Tesco Stores Ltd


Swiss Re

Balfour Beatty

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Greater Manchester Police

Cumbria Police

Lancashire Police

Work highlights

  • For Southern Rock/Somerset Bridge, successfully negotiating a settlement within 18 months from instruction on a claim reserved in excess of £3m for less than 10% of the reserve.
  • For AIG, successfully defended to trial a claim from a consumer against a high profile supermarket.
  • Advised QBE and successfully defended a fraudulent RTA claim.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP defends a broad range of clinical claims, including organ transplant and blood donor cases, birth injury cases, obstetric and neurological claims. Richard Jolly, Rachel Kneale and Vicky Morris jointly head the practice. Ian Critchley is noted for his handling of complex and sensitive claims; principal associate Lisa Spencer defends claims on behalf of NHS trusts. Principal associate Sam Harland is also well-regarded. On the personal injury side, Peter Wake, Liam McGuire, Graham Dean, Charlie Williams and Tracy Smyth lead sub-groups within the practice. Associate Louise Mutch is experienced in catastrophic injury claims, while David Holt is noted for his motor claims expertise.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jolly; Rachel Kneale; Vicky Morris; Peter Wake; Liam McGuire

Other key lawyers:

Ian Critchley; Lisa Spencer; David Holt; Louise Mutch: Rachel Fawcett


‘The team has an excellent understanding of the difficult problems which arise in the context of international litigation. They have great knowledge of both the sector and of the practicalities of dealing with cases involving foreign countries – the first choice for an insurer who is taking a foreign claim seriously.’

‘Richard Jolly has extensive knowledge of the law and is a shrewd tactical lawyer. Lisa Spencer is an incredibly capable and pragmatic lawyer.’

‘This team has very significant industrial disease knowledge and can compete across the country.  Efficient, knowledgeable and focused. They cover the spectrum from deafness claims to the most serious and probably are most effective in the serious cases due to the strength and depth available.’

‘Vicky Morris has extensive expertise in all areas of clinical negligence. She is exceptional. Her knowledge is phenomenal. She provides superb support and we feel confident with her on board. Sam Harland is a very practical lawyer; he cuts through a case to reach the heart of it early on. Very sensible. Unflappable and very approachable. Would recommend.’

‘A very experienced team with in-depth knowledge of the insurance sector who also fully understand our requirements. The results we get, from both a commercial and brand protection angle confirm they are a team of people who have considerable experience and skill. Everyone is attentive to our needs, very responsive and they keep us fully appraised and treat every member of our team with the same respect.’

‘Liam McGuire uses all of the tools that are available to him as a defendant solicitor to defeat or reduce high-value claims. Tactically, he is always one step ahead of his opponents and he relies on this successfully in negotiations. Unlike many defendant solicitors, he is proactive rather than reactive, to ensure that he secures the best results for his clients. He obtains evidence that others would simply not even think of. A very impressive solicitor.’

‘This is a dynamic team, with exceptional specialist knowledge and unparalleled commitment to client care.’

‘Weightmans are exceptional at thinking outside the box and providing solutions for insurers in respect of technical claims handling.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution




North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Mersey Care NHS Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Blood & Transplant

Wirral Community NHS FT

Zurich Insurance

Motor Insurer’s Bureau

AIG Europe Ltd Insurance

AXA XL Insurance

PwC (Chester Street Holdings)

Municipal Mutual Insurance

Ageas Insurance

Tesco Underwriting

First Central Insurance

InterEurope AG Insurance


Sabre Insurance

Work highlights

  • Represented the MIB in the Court of Appeal case of Lewis v Tindale and MIB, a case of significant profile and of great significance to claimants, insurers and government in terms of EU Law, and represented the MIB on a number of other multi-million pound technical legal claims.
  • Represented Tesco Underwriting in the case of Roberts v Kesson & Anor, an important High Court appeal case on the issue of fundamental dishonesty which will be of use to many defendants in dubious personal injury claims going forward by determining that dishonesty does not have to persist to be fundamental.
  • Represented Chester Street Insurance/PwC in respect of a claim for mesothelioma potentially worth in the region of £277,000. Successfully secured a discontinuance by raising a robust defence to the claim, contending that the claimant had failed to prove he had been exposed to any or sufficient asbestos with the client.
  • Advised NHS Resolution on a case related to an alleged failure to carry out a CT scan when the claimant attended A&E complaining of headaches. The failure to do so led to a delay in diagnosis and treatment of a subdural haematoma and arachnoid cyst. The claim was valued at £5.6m but settled for 16% of the pleaded value, even though liability was admitted.
  • Advised NHS Resolution on a case related to an alleged failure to appropriately manage the labour of a large baby, resulting in shoulder dystocia. The claim was pleaded at in excess of £2m and settled for £725,000.