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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Insurance > Personal injury: defendant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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BLM has a ‘strong team with real strength in depth that provides expert knowledge, insight and support on a timely, commercial and professional basis’. Jonathan Clay has ‘great technical and insurance market knowledge, which he delivers in a very hands-on way’. Also recommended are Joanne Francis, who provides ‘high-quality advice on time’; Val Jones and Donna Rawding, who are both ‘very experienced and build up a great rapport with clients’; the ‘pragmaticStuart Hardy; and the ‘very capable and eruditeAndrew Kerr. Other key figures include the ‘very ableStuart Furniss, who is recommended for catastrophic injury work, and Ruth Graham, who oversees the transport team and is a ‘conscientious and calming presence on the really big cases’. Nicholas Thorne brings a ‘balance of pragmatism and intelligence to cases and is good on complex liability disputes’; he is particularly experienced in brain injury claims. Lauren Gosnell is an ‘up-and-coming associate who already has the feel for the big-game litigation’. The team has significant expertise in retail, leisure, construction, manufacturing and utilities claims. Key clients include Zurich, Allianz, QBE and Direct Line Group. It recently successfully represented the Ministry of Defence in a claim for damages for personal injury that was brought by a former Gurkha soldier injured in an adventure training exercise in Canada. The team negotiated a favourable settlement.

Clyde & Co LLP is among ‘the most impressive of the defendant insurer firms’. Peter Walmsley is ‘very experienced in serious injury claims and takes a sensible and collaborative approach, which is very effective in resolving complex disputes’. He heads the catastrophic injury and large-loss team in Manchester and specialises in claims with a value in excess of £5m. Hugh Mullins is very experienced in group litigation and Mark Hemsted provides a ‘personal and detailed service on higher-value injury claims and complex indemnity cases’. Hemsted’s clients include a number of composite motor insurers and major corporations. David Wynn is a ‘pragmatic and tenacious advocate who fights hard to protect his clients’. Wynn’s primary practice is in asbestos related, carcinogenic and chemical poisoning claims for composite insurers and multinational companies. He also handles complex, multi-track employers’ and public liability matters. James Dadge acts exclusively for road traffic, employers’ liability and public liability insurers and their insureds. The practice has a broad range of specialist teams dedicated to areas as diverse as abuse, costs issues as well as fraudulent claims, with a particular speciality in cases involving brain injury, spinal cord damage and amputations. It also deals with low-value/low-complexity personal injury cases and has a specialist volume disease team that deals with pre-litigation noise induced hearing loss and mesothelioma claims.

DWF is a ‘major national player with expertise at every level’; ‘many of its solicitors are very highly regarded and it has an impressive commitment to training up its juniors well’. Dave Young does a ‘really great job for his insurer clients, while also being fair and pragmatic’. Philip D’Netto has ‘many years of personal injury claims experience; he is an excellent negotiator who can cut to the chase to resolve issues quickly’. The ‘hardworkingCarl Graham is an ‘excellent litigator who is fair and sympathetic when dealing with claims brought by claimants with catastrophic injuries’. Director Jamie Taylor, who is recommended for his excellent work on fraud claims and telematics, has ‘time and time again delivered outstanding results’. The ‘very thoroughIan Slater is ‘completely client-focused’. Paul Berry and Rob McKee are also recommended. Clients include major insurers such as Aviva, QBE, Quinn and Zurich. The large practice has a number of specialist teams in catastrophic injuries and large loss, as well as areas such as occupational health and industrial disease. In addition it has considerable expertise in motor traffic accidents and counter fraud work.

Kennedys has ‘one of the pre-eminent teams in the region’, which is praised for its ‘clear understanding of the most complex cases’. Head of department Richard McKeown has ‘great commercial vision and is tactically astute’. He is ably assisted by senior associates Ian Ford, who is ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ and is praised for his ‘very clear advice’; and Katherine Totty, who is ‘hugely experienced’. The practice recruited Gordon Davidson, who specialises in liability claims and is described as a ‘legal colossus who adds considerably to the team’. It also recruited Paula Garvey, who is experienced in claims in the transport, manufacturing, hospitality and care sectors. Both Davidson and Garvey joined from Hill Dickinson LLP. It has an impressive roster of clients such as Hilton Hotels, JD Weatherspoon and Merseyrail in addition to acting for a number of market leading insurers.

DAC Beachcroft LLP continues to flourish and acts for many of the leading UK insurers. Craig Godding heads a strong motor injury team and has a wealth of experience in dealing with complex road traffic, employers’ liability and public liability claims. Corrinne Sinker is recommended for her work on accident and asbestos-related claims. Iain Moore is now a consultant. Clients include DHL and Westfield.

Forbes Solicitors provides a ‘superb service and works hard for clients’. The firm is ‘fast becoming one of the major players in abuse work’. Key figures include the ‘experienced’ Kella Bowers and Elizabeth Bower, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable’. Also recommended are Paul Geldard and Martin Crabtree, who are ‘truly excellent for high-value and complex matters’; and Chris Booth, who ‘truly goes the extra mile to secure results for his clients regardless of the overall value of the claim’. The team has substantial experience defending all types of claims but works predominantly in the public sector and retail arenas acting for clients such as ASDA and the Cooperative Group. The practice is particularly known for its work in the defence of historic sex abuse/grooming claims and acts for clients such as Rotherham Councils.

Keoghs LLP has a ‘very strong client-focused team with consummate professionals who are reliable and experienced’. Mike Pope garners praise as a ‘very experienced handler of catastrophic injury cases of the highest complexity; his advice is renowned for being sound, to the point and easily digestible’. Estelle Machell is a ‘tenacious and highly intelligent solicitor who has fantastic tactical awareness and is the go-to partner if the matter is likely to go to trial’. Andrew Underwood is also ‘immensely experienced, with an excellent feel for the value of the case’ and the ‘pragmatic’ Mark Whalley is ‘in tune with his clients’. It acts for eight of the top ten UK general insurers as well as government and public bodies and large corporates across a wide range of sectors including fraud and disease work.

Weightmans LLP is a ‘well-respected and highly professional outfit’, with specialist expertise in occupational stress and bullying work. Key figures include Roddy Macleod, who is a ‘very tough and experienced opponent’, Jim Bryant, who is ‘always calm, clear and at explaining matters from different perspectives’, and David Holt, who heads the large loss and technical claims practice and is the lead legal advisor for MIB. The large team has a number of areas of expertise including handling claims in child sexual exploitation/abuse cases. It works for 16 of the top 20 insurers and numerous FTSE 100 Companies, PLCs and large private and public organisations.

Andrew Evans at Hill Dickinson LLP is ‘very knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra mile’. Kari Hansen is ‘very focused and hardworking; she is determined to serve her clients’ interests well and has a good tactical and strategic overview of cases’. Both partners are particularly strong in the retail sector. Alastair Gillespie heads the abuse and social care team and senior associate Ian Carroll does ‘first-class’ work in this area, especially in religious claims. The team acts for major insurers and a wide range of corporates including Marks & Spencer and Chaucer. Gordon Davidson and Paula Garvey joined Kennedys.

Plexus Law’s lawyers ‘are real players in the market’. Tim Short and Lorien Helm are both ‘excellent litigators’. Short specialises in high-value motor claims, brain injury, spinal injury and multi-party actions in addition to large-scale fraud rings. The team is adept at handling complex personal injury claims in numerous industry sectors including construction, retail and financial services. It is also experienced in multi-jurisdictional litigation. It counts household names such as Tesco, Swiss Re and Aspen as clients.

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Legal Developments in North West for Personal injury: defendant

  • How does insolvency impact employment rights?

    Following the liquidation of a major construction firm, urging the government to aim to take protective measures for all its employees who will be now out of work, this leads to the questioning as to how far the insolvency of a company can impact upon an employee’s rights.
    - Hudson McKenzie

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