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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  ‘brings excellent technical knowledge as well as great experience and insight into each case. Not only is the firm progressive and constructive in its approach it also has a highly qualified team that has a good business understanding of the key issues’. Key members of the team include Jonathan Clay  who has a ‘strong understanding of the major issues’ and Ruth Graham  who is ‘vastly experienced and a tough negotiator in the motor insurance sector’. The ‘very thorough’ Stuart Furniss  and the ‘outstandingly hard worker’ David Spencer  are recommended along with the ‘cerebral’ Andrew Kerr . Nicholas Thorne  ‘combines intellect with common sense and gets great results for his clients especially on complex matters’. Liverpool-based consultant David Evans  is praised for his ‘extremely in-depth knowledge and his very good client care skills’. Also in Liverpool Joanne Francis  manages the casualty team. Key clients include Allianz, Zurich Insurance, Sainsburys and QBE.

Clyde & Co LLP  is ‘reliable and provides sound legal advice in a timely way’. David Wynn  concentrates on resolving asbestos related, carcinogenic and chemical poisoning claims for composite insurers and multinational companies and also handles complex multi-track employers’ and public liability claims. Chris Murray is praised for his ‘very effective strategy in high-value claims’ and the ‘very fair’ Peter Whitehead ‘always extracts the best outcome for his insurer clients’.  James Dadge leads the claims validation offering for third party motor, employers' and public liability. The group is vastly experienced at handling the full range of catastrophic injury claims with a particular specialism in cases involving brain injury, spinal cord damage and amputations. It acted for the defendant in a case where the claimant claimed to have sustained a cauda equina injury at the defendant’s premises. Liability was disputed as the defendant argued that the accident did not happen as alleged or at all. Ultimately the claimant was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs. Other key clients include AIG.

DWF  provides ‘very commercial, pragmatic and reliable advice to its insurance clients. It is a well organised firm with high calibre fee earners’ under the leadership of Paul Berry. Ian Slater is an ‘opponent who really knows what he is doing; he adopts a collaborative approach to litigation which benefits all parties’. Jamie Taylor  is a counter fraud director at the firm and leads the Manchester based fraud team and a niche team of telematics specialists. Highlights included acting in a case where a claimant tripped and fell on an allegedly defective staircase at a public house sustaining a severe brain injury. The claim was successfully defended at trial. Active clients include Groupama, QBE, Markerstudy Group and Aviva. Philip D’Netto  joined Plexus Law

Kennedys  fields a ‘very thorough team that is robust but fair and is always looking for the right outcome for its clients’. Key individuals include the ‘client-focused, pragmatic’ Richard McKeown and the ‘strategic’ Christopher Oldfield  who ‘never loses sight of the bigger picture and has a calm and reassuring manner with his clients’. Oldfield has wide-ranging experience of handling EL/PL claims for insurer and corporate clients with a particular emphasis on construction, leisure and sporting bodies. Martin Stockdale  who heads the cross-sector fraud offering is also recommended for his skill on ‘large-scale matters’. At a more junior level ‘strong’ senior associate Scott Nightingale, who joined the team from Keoghs LLP, has a ‘good eye for detail’ and the ‘technically gifted’ solicitor Ian Ford is ‘very methodical on every point’. It has an impressive roster of clients including Hilton Hotels, JD Wetherspoon, Martson’s, British Cycling, UK Athletics as well as Merseyrail.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  is a ‘major player’. Its team provides ‘clear and comprehensive advice’. The group continues to flourish and acts for many of the leading UK insurers with key specialisms in the defence of disease claims (especially deafness claims). It also handles a significant volume of motor claims at all levels regularly acting for both large composite insurers and mono-line motor specialists.  Iain Moore handles the full range of substantial employers, product and general liability claims. Craig Godding  heads a solid motor injury team and has vast experience of dealing with complex road traffic, employers' liability and public liability claims. Corrine Sinker is recommended for her work on accident and asbestos-related claims.

At Forbes Solicitors  ‘clients receive real personal attention from people who know their stuff. The team is hardworking and knowledgeable and is very comfortable with high-value claims’. Praised for its ‘no-nonsense and cost effective approach’ the team defends all types of claims but has predominantly acted in the public sector and retail arenas. It is renowned for its considerable expertise in historic sex abuse/grooming cases. Andrew Ellis has a ‘calm and patient manner and makes himself very available and approachable’. Kella Bowers  is ‘vastly experienced in social services and abuse claims and has developed an unrivalled expertise in this area’. Lucy Harris  also has a ‘wealth of experience in this area and is able to identify the relevant issues to minimise the client’s exposure’. Elizabeth Bower  pays ‘very keen attention to detail and relates very well to her clients’ andSiobhan Hardy is ‘highly motivated’. Other key members of the ‘extremely strong’ team include the ‘technically very competent’ Chris Booth  who ‘works very collaboratively with clients to achieve a positive outcome for them’, the ‘excellent’ Paul Geldard  and the ‘passionate and solid all-rounder’ Ridwaan Omar  .

Keoghs LLP   is a ‘strong firm with a good breath of expertise in serious injury work’. The practice was further strengthened by the recruitment of a ten-partner team from Hill Dickinson LLP  and Mike Suddards, who joined from DWF . Ben Leech  was made partner. The large team now has some of the ‘best talent around’. The ‘vastly experienced’ Andrew Underwood   garners considerable praise for his ‘pragmatic approach to resolving cases quickly and efficiently. He is prepared to engage with claimant lawyers and to conduct cases in a collaborative way’. Alistair Gillespie  is recommended for his work on ‘large scale sexual abuse cases’ and Damian Ward  is ‘completely focused on getting the ‘right outcome by looking for creative solutions and is an effective negotiator’. The ‘highly experienced’ group acts for nine of the top ten UK general insurers and also acts for a range of self-insured clients, commercial companies and public sector organisations. Active clients include Hastings Direct, esure and new client MS Amlin.

Weightmans LLP   has a ‘vastly knowledgeable team’. David Holt heads the large loss and technical claims practice and is the client partner for the Motor Insurer’s Bureau. Peter Wake is an ‘excellent communicator and an effective negotiator who gives clear and comprehensive advice’. Wake has considerable experience of defending abuse claims against schools, local authorities and other organisations. Roddy MacLeod  deals with employers’ and public liability claims and has particular expertise in workplace stress claims. Jim Bryant  is recommended for his work in occupational disease claims including asbestos-related diseases, asthma, HAVS and stress cases. 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, public limited companies as well as large private and public organisations. Active clients include Zurich, AIG and Markel.

Plexus Law is a ‘very strong defence firm that is proactive in its approach to matters. The team delivers what it says it will and is transparent in its operations’. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Andrew Steel is ‘very easy to communicate with and has an assured communication style, making it easy for clients to make swift decisions about the next steps in a claim’. Tim Short  specialises in high-value motor claims involving brain injury, spinal injury and multi-party actions as well as dealing with large-scale fraud rings. The practice was joined by Daniel Clegg  and the ‘very bright’ Philip D’Netto, both from DWF. Gary Petterson was made partner. The team is skilled at handling complex personal injury claims in numerous industry sectors such as construction, retail and financial services in addition to its experience in multi-jurisdictional litigation. It counts several household names as clients including Tesco, Swiss Re and Balfour Beatty.

Horwich Cohen Coghlan  ‘does a lot of good work and takes a detailed approach to each case’. Mark Woodall heads the personal injury department and is a ‘phenomenally productive lawyer; his technical acumen is second to none’. Woodall deals with complex and high-value claims arising out of road traffic collisions, employer’s liability, public liability and clinical negligence. He has particular expertise in dealing with claims with foreign jurisdiction issues - this includes defending claims on behalf of foreign insurers under the European Communities (Rights Against Insurers) Regulations.

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Legal Developments in North West for Personal injury: defendant

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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