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Next Generation Partners: Personal Injury

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant in North West


BLM's defendant clinical negligence practice is known for its expertise in delay of diagnosis of cancer claims, surgical claims (particularly neurosurgery), wrongful birth, brain injury claims, dental negligence and ophthalmic treatments. Sarah Woodwark heads the practice. Chris Dexter is particularly recommended for claims in a prison healthcare context. The firm's personal injury department handles occupational disease claims, catastrophic injury, abuse claims, and employers’ liability claims. The department has a dedicated motor practice. Jonathan Clay, Joanne Francis, Simon Jones and Stuart Furniss head the team, which also includes Ruth Graham, Andrew Kerr, David Spencer and Lauren Gosnell, as well as 'thorough and clever' associate Nicola Overmire.


‘Unrivalled depth of experience in the field.’

‘BLM have outstanding strength and depth acting for insurers and institutional clients in personal injury, disease and clinical negligence.’

‘The team at BLM is very experienced and knowledgeable in large loss personal injury work. The preparation of briefs is first class and it is clear that all angles have been considered in most cases before counsel is even involved. Equally, the team take a robust yet pragmatic approach to litigation, allowing sensible, and often early, resolutions to cases where possible.’

‘David Spencer, Andrew Kerr and Lauren Gosnell are at the head of the field in catastrophic injury work. Andrew is super bright and able to give a case real in-depth thought. David is as good as it gets with clients. Lauren is also very clever and incredibly conscientious. They are also really nice people.’

‘Simon Jones gets to the heart of a case quickly and is dogged in pursuit of the right result for his client.’

‘Stuart Furniss is strategically and tactically astute as well as being personable and engaging with their opponents.’

‘Andrew Kerr is easy to get on with, hardworking, knows what he is talking about and is not afraid to be reasonable.’

‘David Spencer is hard working, ever present and has the focus of an Exocet missile.’

Key clients

Medical Protection

Dental Protection









WR Berkley

Care UK

Axis Capital

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP’s clinical negligence defence practice acts for major public sector organisations, such as NHS Resolution and the Medical Protection Society, as well as for a range of private sector clients. Key areas of expertise include cerebral palsy cases and claims involving brain damage and catastrophic injury. Amanda Callaghan heads the team. Andrew Peel is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Peel; Rebecca Fitzpatrick


‘The team are very thorough, organised and knowledgeable. They are consistently on the ball. They have depth of specialism and vast experience.’

‘Browne Jacobson was a real find, worth the wait.  Excellent service.’

‘Amanda Callaghan was fabulous. She was always ready to speak with me and understood some of the calls would be very complex. Amanda made phone appointments for the complex calls ensuring time was set aside by me to hear what needed to be said. This gave me time to process the information. She was very reassuring on the phone. Amanda went over and above what she needed to do for her job. I believe she saw me as a person and not just the next case’.


Key clients

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT

Stockport NHS FT

Manchester Mental Health FT

Manchester University Hospitals

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

The Christie NHS FT

North West Ambulance Trust


Dental Protection Limited

NHS Resolution

Wigan MBC

Municipal Mutual Insurance Limited

Clyde & Co LLP

Key areas of expertise at Clyde & Co LLP include industrial disease, catastrophic injury and road traffic accident claims. David Wynn heads the legacy disease team, focusing on asbestos-related, carcinogenic and chemical poisoning claims, and on employer’s and public liability matters. Mark Hemstead leads the practice’s volume motor offering; Damian Rourke leads the casualty volume fraud department. Peter Whitehead, Chris Murray, Robert Muttock, Siobhan Mullins and Mel Mooney all lead specialist sub-teams within the group. James Dadge and Chris Eccles focus on cases of severe and catastrophic injury.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Eccles; James Dadge


‘Clyde & Co have a well-structured team with good solicitors. They have a good reputation for a strong attention to detail and a great depth of knowledge in defendant personal injury work.’

‘Chris Eccles is a standout individual. His friendly and approachable manner conceals a fantastic forensic approach to cases. He gets fantastic results every time and has a client centred approach to his work. ‘

‘The sheer resources available to Clydes attract top quality work and people.’

‘A firm that has risen to ever greater prominence by winning more insurance panel work in the industrial disease arena.’

‘Chris Murray is an excellent leader.’

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The Manchester clinical risk practice at DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for a varied portfolio of NHS and private clients, including health insurers and self-insured corporates. Simon Wortley heads the practice and has extensive experience in complex, high value legislation in the independent health sector. Associate Claire Fitzgerald is noted for her expertise in mental health litigation. Craig Godding and Corinne Sinker head the personal injury team, which handles large loss and personal injury claims, accident and disease work, and complex road traffic claims. Associate Naomi Marshall is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Claire Fitzgerald; Naomi Marshall


‘The team is fantastic . All very knowledgeable, approachable and efficient.’

‘Simon Wortley is an outstanding client relationship partner. He really cares for the client, provides useful updates and notes, takes an interest in the work, can fix any problem, find a solution for any area of law, and has a lovely personality.’

‘Simon Wortley’s team are very commercially minded, which is very important for insurers. The team advise at the outset whether they think a claim is ultimately defensible. On occasion, it becomes necessary to make commercial offers in order to buy off the litigation costs risk – they are very alive to this. The team are friendly, and very easy to deal with. They go above and beyond for the client and investigate all potential avenues of recovery.’


DWF’s personal injury practice handles catastrophic injury claims, employers’ and public liability matters and motor traffic accidents. Paul Berry leads the practice; Jamie Taylor heads a dedicated counter-fraud team. Ian Slater is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Paul Berry

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Taylor; Ian Slater

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors handles matters including casualty claims on behalf of local authorities, defence and investigation of fraudulent claims for insurance sector clients, inquest management and representation claims and complex construction claims. Other key areas of work lie in dealing with historic abuse and social care claims for the public sector, housing-related claims, disease claims and casualty claims handling. Paul Geldard, Kella Bowers, Elizabeth Bower  and Ridwaan Omar all lead specialised teams within the personal injury department, which Andrew Ellis and Chris Booth head.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ellis; Chris Booth


‘The practice has a fabulous understanding of the law and how this applies to the public sector market. They balance this with an excellent understanding of their clients working practices and procedures.’

‘Forbes Solicitors are very highly regarded and a leading light in defendant insurance work within the public sector particularly in the region of the North West.’

‘Chris Booth has significant depth of knowledge in disease litigation, allied to a strong client commitment which is self evident from the dealings I have had with clients. Definitely goes the extra mile.’

‘Andrew Ellis is so approachable, warm and reassuring and professional at all times. He is so helpful and will always go the extra mile to assist us. He really is a super person to have in our corner.’

‘Kella Bowers has an unrivalled, in-depth knowledge of the law concerning social work practice.’

‘Ridwaan Omar is highly skilled, super informative and very approachable’

‘Paul Geldard, is pragmatic and consistently delivers excellent outcomes on high value cases.’

Key clients

Co-operative Group Ltd

Galliford Try Plc

Rochdale Borough Council

Sportscover Europe

AXA Liabilities Managers

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

Riverside Housing

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

Work highlights

  • Represented Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in a fundamental dishonesty case, successfully defending a claim in excess of £1m.
  • Defended Wigan Council in an injury claim with potential impact on future McGeown defences.
  • Represented Galliford Try in civil proceedings for an accident sustained to a subcontractor’s employee whilst working at the client’s premises.


Hempsons has expertise across the full remit of clinical negligence work, including dental and mental health claims. Key areas of work include birth injury cases, wrongful birth claims, cerebral palsy, surgical claims and obstetric claims. Anne Ball, who has specialist experience of inquests involving patient suicides, jointly heads the practice with Kirsten Blohm, who is the firm’s GP lead for NHS Resolution. Jennie Chapman  handles a range of complex and high value claims. Associate Hayley Neill is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anne Ball; Kirsten Blohm


‘One of the best defendant firms in the business, known for its clear-headed and commercial approach.’

‘Jennie Chapman has great judgment and a keen eye for the right expert.’

‘Highly experienced in dealing with the most complex of clinical negligence cases. Particularly strong in the field of in birth injury.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution


Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended NHS Resolution & East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in a high value complex clinical negligence trial.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP’s health litigation group holds places on a range of major healthcare panels. The team also works for private healthcare providers, handling claims arising within the prison service and walk-in centres. Andrew Craggs heads the group and specialises in complex clinical negligence, stress and bullying and assault claims involving the NHS. David Locke is recommended for complex catastrophic injury claims for NHS and private clients. Joanne Hughes has significant experience in GP and dental claims. Senior associate Claire Christopholus  is noted for her knowledge of commissioning claims and non-delegable duty of care claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Craggs


‘This team has an abundance of extremely talented and dedicated lawyers who are able to run cases from start to finish seamlessly.’

‘Very high quality and knowledgeable advice from experienced lawyers.’

‘David Locke is an experienced and charismatic lawyer.’

‘Joanne Hughes is an outstanding partner.’

‘David Locke is a very good litigator. He is bright and incisive in his thinking.’

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 NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Managed health sector group claims on behalf of NHS Resolution.
  • Acted in an NHS claim in which the court struck out the claimant’s case entirely on the basis of fundamental dishonesty.
  • Acted in various NHS Commissioning claims.

Horwich Cohen Coghlan

The personal injury practice at Horwich Cohen Coghlan handles road traffic accident claims and employers’ liability and public liability claims. The team also has a strong offering in credit hire claims and a specialism in public transport-related claims. Mark Woodall heads the team and has experience acting for foreign insurers in defending claims brought by UK nationals.

Practice head(s):

Mark Woodall


‘A very strong, commercially minded team which provides a good service to foreign insurers. The team is small but specialised, giving it greater depth of knowledge than teams at larger firms.’

‘Mark Woodall has a very firm grasp on commercial reality of insurance litigation. He is strong across all areas of foreign applicable law and jurisdiction.’


Gordon Davidson heads the Manchester and North West personal injury practice at Kennedys, which is known for its work across sectors including manufacturing, transport and logistics, leisure and hospitality, construction and sport, and for its work on behalf of local authorities. Other strengths include the office’s counter-fraud and occupational disease practices. Richard McKeown has extensive experience handling claims in the leisure and hospitality, retail and transport sector; Christopher Oldfield is recommended for employers’ liability and public liability claims on behalf of insurer and corporate claims. Senior associate Ian Ford is noted for defending complex and serious injury claims.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Davidson


‘A really first class team dealing with sports related injury especially competitive cycling.’

‘Their collaborative and pragmatic approach, underpinned by sound legal knowledge, is a significant strength.’

‘Gordon Davidson is the stand-out and legendary partner who heads up the team. He is one of the last real ‘gentleman lawyers’, hugely respected and has unrivalled experience in the serious injury field. Utterly charming and unfailingly kind to all he encounters. But underneath the charm is a steely lawyer, willing to find creative solutions and work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for his clients.’

‘Richard McKeown – the first choice of any corporate or insurer who needs someone with industry-wide knowledge of the hospitality industry whilst being a master tactician.’

‘They remain at the forefront of the market for AI technology and remain committed to helping their clients to use lawyers less, especially in the pre-litigation stages. This sets them apart from the competition. No one else is doing this.’

‘Christopher Oldfield and Richard McKeown always adopt a pragmatic approach and display a willingness to act in accordance with the objectives of the insurer.’

‘This team has a strongly collegiate atmosphere, led by Gordon Davidson. It provides a superb and diligent service for its range of blue-chip insurance clients across the spectrum of serious injury work.’

Key clients

Hilton Hotels

JD Wetherspoon Plc


Abellio Transport Holdings Limited

MJ Gleeson

British Cycling

Marston’s Plc

TCS Claims (Endsleigh)

UK Athletics

Virgin West Coast Trains

The Go Ahead Group

Atalian Servest Ltd

Revolution Bars Group Plc

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP acts for a wide range of general insurers and self-insured clients, commercial companies and public sector organisations. The practice handles claims including motor, liability, disease, abuse, catastrophic injury, marine, professional negligence and insurance fraud. Its abuse team has acted on behalf of insurers, religious organisations, independent schools, professional and amateur sporting clubs and associations, local authorities and charities. Damian Ward manages the department’s counter-fraud strategy; Peter Kenworthy heads the occupational disease team; Alastair Gillespie leads the abuse team; and Andrew Evans leads the corporate and sector risk practice.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Swan; Emma Spencer; Mark Whalley


‘The quality of the established partners, given their experience and expertise, is second to none. They have an understanding of routes to market, strategies and motivations of insurance fraudsters, and their absolutely unparalleled intelligence section ensures that they remain up to date with new frauds and strategies as they develop.’

‘As the head of the team, Alastair Gillespie leads from the front with over 25 years’ experience of dealing with abuse claims.’

‘Emma Spencer is the rising star of this firm, handling the most complex cases. She is analytical and tough, but also realistic and practical. Hugely experienced and focused, she is immensely hard-working.’

‘This, to my mind, is the best firm for the preparation and presentation of high value and complex defence cases. Their staff are intuitive and brought on by skilled senior solicitors. The firm has long had a sophisticated documentary archive system which has made working in lockdown extremely straight-forward. ‘

‘The abuse team at Keoghs is the undoubted market leader in this difficult and highly sensitive area. They have unrivalled experience, having been involved in many of the leading cases.’

‘Alastair Gillespie is outstanding as someone dealing with difficult and sensitive historic sex abuse cases – he has a good understanding of the pitfalls and the proper approach to advising on, and responding to, very late claims against parties now said to be vicariously liable for abusers.’

Key clients

Hastings Direct





Plexus Law

Plexus Law's personal injury team handles a broad range of claims covering casualty, motor, disease, fraud, large loss and policy coverage defendant insurance. Other areas of experience include employers' liability, public liability and occupational disease. Anthony Baker heads the team and advises insurers and corporate clients on all types of regulatory issues, as well as dealing with major loss regulatory and casualty claims. Lorien Helm is praised for her 'effective communication and exceptional customer service.'

Practice head(s):

Anthony Baker


‘Plexus has a significant depth and breadth of detailed knowledge in the area of  defendant personal injury work.’

‘Lorien Helm is totally committed to whatever cause she is instructed on. ‘

‘Lorien Helm and Tim Short continue to provide an ‘A Class’ service.’

‘Lorien Helm is highly experienced and has an outstanding ability to pay attention to detail. Lorien is an effective communicator and provides exceptional customer service. Lorien is always happy to help and can be contacted at any time for general advice and guidance.’

‘Trustworthy, honest and friendly.’

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

  • Acting for Direct Line Group, successfully negotiated settlement of a claim from a professional footballer contracted to a Championship football club.
  • On behalf of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, successfully defended a claim for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution of a warrant and misfeasance.
  • Acting for QBE Insurance and their insured Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, successfully settled an employers’ liability claim involving cabin crew.

Weightmans LLP

The personal injury department at Weightmans LLP focuses on casualty, motor, disease and abuse claims. David Holt is client partner for the Motor Insurers' Bureau and specialises in non-indemnity insurance work and catastrophic injury claims. Peter Wake, Peter Forshaw and Liam McGuire head the personal injury team. Louise Mutch is experienced in large loss and technical claims. On the clinical negligence side, the practice is known for organ transplant and blood donor cases, cases against emergency services and representing trusts at inquests. Vicky Morris and Richard Jolly head the team. Ian Critchley and principal associate Lisa Spencer are also noted.


‘They host an excellent legal forum for NHS organisations in the area; a unique forum which enables people to explore problems faced by different NHS organisations. Fees are always very reasonable and feel that we receive exceptional value for money.’

‘A strong team in terms of depth of knowledge and always try and find a practical solution to a problem first before going down the route of expensive litigation.’

‘Vicky Morris is highly esteemed for her experience. Down to earth while remaining tenacious with the opposition. Very highly regarded. Very generous with her time.’

‘Richard Jolly is a very practical lawyer and very approachable.’

Key clients


Motor Insurers Bureau

AIG Europe Insurance

Ageas Insurance

Tesco Underwriting

Sabre Insurance

Collingwood Insurance

First Central Insurance

AXAXL Insurance

InterEurope AG


First Underwriting

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

Work highlights

  • Defended a six-figure credit hire claim which was established to be fraudulent.
  • Defended two personal injury claims on behalf of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
  • On behalf on NHS Resolution, ran a successful fundamental dishonesty argument in a clinical negligence setting.