Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant in North

Armstrong Foulkes LLP

Claimant clinical negligence boutique Armstrong Foulkes LLP fields a highly specialised team, noted particularly for its proven track record representing clients in complex and high value matters. Some of the firm's key areas of expertise include medical misdiagnoses, consent issues, and surgical complications. Practice head Hilton Armstrong is noted particularly for his 'huge experience of maximum severity claims'. The other core team members are Joanne Davies, whose workload involves a significant number of post-issue cases in a High Court setting; Kathryn Watson, who has extensive trial experience; and recommended practitioner Ashleigh Holt.

Practice head(s):

Hilton Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Davies; Kathryn Watson; Ashleigh Holt


‘Highly specialised and highly committed team with high professional standards.’

‘Hilton Armstrong has huge experience of maximum severity claims. Ashleigh Holt, Joanne Davies and Kathryn Watson are other partners who all work tirelessly to provide their clients with a premium service. All are very easy to work collaboratively with.’

‘This is a team of highly motivated individuals, who go the extra mile for their clients. Every claim is thoroughly well thought out, there are no corners cut.’

‘Joanne Davies is the solicitor working for my case. I was very impressed by her professional knowledge about medical negligence, creative thinking about building an evidence chain, patience for listening to my concerns, excellent communication across various parties, and honest and helpful advice.’

‘They were totally diligent in their dealings with me and their experts. Always available to assist and guide throughout the case.’

‘Joanne Davies pays great attention to detail, provides a first class service. Kathryn Watson really cares about her clients.’

‘The team is very helpful and experienced in clinical negligence cases. Their service is 5-star. They are always reachable by email or phone call.’

‘Joanne Davies was my main contact. It was a long case and through it all she was so experienced with her handling of the different aspects of the case.’

Work highlights

  • Pursued a clinical negligence claim arising out of delay in diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer which resulted in premature death to court.
  • Acted in a cerebral palsy claim which settled for £3m plus PPOs.
  • Acting in a claim for child who is suffering from Erb’s palsy.


'Star performerSpencer Knaggs oversees the joint medical negligence and serious injury offering at Burnetts, and is himself an acknowledged expert on severe spinal injury cases. Senior associate Paul Brown is another key contact for life-changing brain and spinal injuries. Dual-qualified solicitor and midwife Michelle Armstrong is the name to note for complex birth injury matters; according to one client, she 'takes on cases that other firms turn away and makes a success of them'. Senior associates Lynne Hall and Jayne McCluskey are also noted - the former's particular area of expertise is delayed and missed cancer diagnoses while the latter's broad practice encompasses fatal accidents, surgical issues and instructions from stroke victims.

Practice head(s):

Spencer Knaggs

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Armstrong; Lynne Hall; Jayne McCluskey; Paul Brown


‘Very good client care. A fearless approach to difficult cases.’

‘Michelle Armstrong stands out as an exceptional clinical negligence practitioner. She has a background in medicine but is also an extremely astute lawyer. She takes on cases that other firms turn away and makes a success of them. She combines care for her traumatised clients with an enormous level of persistence in pursuing their cases to get the best possible result.’

‘The thing that makes this team special is how they investigate every detail and gather ALL the facts before making the decisions that matter, meanwhile they kept me, as a client, informed of everything that was happening and advised on what we could or could not do going forward. They gave me confidence and belief in the decisions that had to be made.’

‘The team is friendly, approachable and efficient. Its members exude calm competence. In my experience, they demonstrate attention to detail and a willingness to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the optimal outcome for all clients.’

‘Spencer Knaggs is a star performer.’

‘Throughout the stressful and difficult time I felt listened to, acknowledged, supported and comfortable. I felt that I was kept updated and informed as to the progress of my claim. They delivered difficult feedback in a measured, understandable and reassuring way that I was able to process and take on board. Everyone from the team was compassionate and took the time to make sure I felt in control and able to raise questions and voice my opinions and thoughts. I received regular emails and telephone calls and I always felt that information was handled and shared appropriately and in a timely manner. I grew to trust and value the support and feedback and believed they had my best interest at heart. AMAZING and I was grateful for each and every member of the team.’

‘Lynne Hall is my representative and she is brilliant. Lynne sets you at ease with her mannerisms and professionalism and knowledge. Lynne has a broad breadth of knowledge and knows every twist and turn to take to get to the right place to obtain the right answers.’

‘Jayne McClusky helped rebuild my broken trust issues through her consistent compassionate and reassuring approach when delivering both positive and difficult feedback. Jayne actively listened and was able to articulate what I was trying to say and express. Jayne held her empathetic approach from my first contact to the last and I was to feel at the centre of events, empowered and in control.’


Work highlights

  • Settled a claim for £2m after the client suffered a brain injury having been knocked off his bicycle in a road accident.
  • Acting in a case where liability was admitted with regard to the client’s loss of sight in her one remaining good eye, due to the mismanagement of glaucoma.
  • Handling a serious injury case in which judgment was entered on liability and quantum remains to be determined, but is currently valued at £13m.

Hay & Kilner

The much lauded specialists at Hay & Kilner are known for tackling a wide range of maximum severity claims, including cerebral palsy, spinal surgery, meningitis, and amputation cases. Practice head Clare Thompson 'combines first-rate legal and medical knowledge with a fighting spirit that produces super results', particularly when handling birth injury matters. Noted practitioner David Bradshaw brings a 'lifetime of experience' to complex brain and spinal injury cases, while Helen Morland 'tackles catastrophic cases showing great sympathy for her clients'. Solicitor Lauren Hall and associate Sophie Moss are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Clare Thompson

Other key lawyers:

David Bradshaw; Helen Morland; Sophie Moss; Lauren Hall


‘Hay & Kilner is a very long established firm with a first rate reputation in clinical negligence work. The clinical negligence team provides an excellent service whilst being happy and approachable.’

‘Clare Thompson is always on the ball and has an impressive grasp of complex medical concepts. Helen Morland shows excellent client handling and is very dedicated. Lauren Hall is very detailed and thorough in her approach.’

‘Incredibly thorough and professional.’

‘David Bradshaw has a wealth of experience of maximum severity claims and maintains contact with his clients even after settlement of their cases. Clare Thompson has succeeded David Bradshaw as head of clinical negligence and she is continuing David Bradshaw’s inspirational leadership. Helen Morland is a skilled junior partner. Lauren Hall has particularly good client skills.’

‘The whole team that we have met at Hay & Kilner are very approachable – they make you feel very much at ease and offer professional assistance that fills you with confidence.’

‘David Bradshaw has a lifetime of experience in clinical negligence work with an instinctive feel for his cases. His pragmatic approach results in good and early settlements for his clients. Clare Thompson combines first-rate legal and medical knowledge with a fighting spirit that produces super results for her clients. Helen Morland has many years of experience in clinical negligence work and tackles catastrophic cases showing great sympathy for her clients. Sophie Moss has a varied caseload which she tackles with enthusiasm and efficiency.’

‘The clinical negligence team is focused on the individual client and each member is prepared to go the extra mile to provide the best service.’

‘Clare Thompson leads the team. I think that she is superb. She fights really hard for her clients. Very efficient. Always comes back to me quickly.’

Irwin Mitchell

The widely recognised offering at Irwin Mitchell is divided into three distinct sub-groups; ‘exceptionally good leader‘ Francesca Mayes oversees the personal injury work, focusing particularly on catastrophic brain and spinal cord matters; Angela Kirtley heads up a ‘highly respected team of clinical negligence practitioners who have many years of experience under their belts‘; and Roger Maddocks brings his ‘unrivalled experience‘ to occupational disease claims, including those concerning a wide range of lung conditions. These practice heads are well supported by a group of more junior practitioners, including senior associate Jane Pyrah and associates Rebecca Maddock and Jennifer Craven.

Practice head(s):

Francesca Mayes; Roger Maddocks; Angela Kirtley

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Craven; Rebecca Maddock; Jane Pyrah


‘The unique qualities that Irwin Mitchell practitioners have are: age-old experience, sheer depth of talent, the highest level of professionalism with which everything is carried out, and their thoroughly thought through and tested practices and systems. Really very impressive.’

‘Francesca Mayes is an exceptionally good leader who has built an excellent department.’

‘There is all round excellence in the team. Cases are managed very efficiently. Client care is outstanding. They understand how to manage complex high value catastrophic injury litigation and deliver a first class service.’

‘Angela Kirtley is an exceptional clinical negligence practitioner. Before joining Irwin Mitchell, she had extensive experience acting for defendant professionals and their insurers. As a result, she has the unique strength of being able to see a case clearly from both sides and to predict the likely stance of the defendant’s representatives. This skill is allied to a compelling humanity and common sense. She unfailingly gets to the truth of a case and protects and promotes her clients’ interests by being realistic in the advice she provides. The end result is that she deservedly has a very large following. Her team reflect her philosophy and are equally assiduous.’

‘The team at Irwin Mitchell in the north is a real pleasure to work with, with huge experience and knowledge.’

‘Roger Maddocks is a leading claimant asbestos disease solicitor. He has a substantial caseload of mesothelioma and asbestosis cases from across the north. He knows every aspect of the cases he manages and has unrivalled experience of the area of law stretching back 40 years.’

‘A highly respected team of clinical negligence practitioners who have many years of experience under their belts.’

‘A really super team led by Angela Kirtley, who is just first-class and highly experienced.’

Browell Smith & Co Solicitors Ltd

At Browell Smith & Co Solicitors Ltd, a highly experienced team which includes key practitioners Dawn Bagley and Philip Browell is equally comfortable tackling complex personal injury, clinical negligence and occupational disease work. Bagley is particularly well regarded by clients, one of whom singled her out as 'vastly experienced and a real fighter'; her broad practice spans the most complex and severe cases, including brain and spinal injuries. The offering was further strengthened by the recent arrival of associate Lindsey Henderson, formerly of Irwin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):

Dawn Bagley; Philip Browell

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Henderson


‘Dawn Bagley is a standout partner. She is vastly experienced and a real fighter for her clients. She never gives up and gets the results. An ace solicitor.’

‘The clinical negligence team is outstanding.’

‘Dawn Bagley is a clinical negligence solicitor with many years of experience who has a varied caseload including catastrophic injury cases. She is both legally astute and empathetic.’

‘As a firm they deliver high quality PI and clinical negligence services. They go the extra mile for their client and really push their case. They have a vast amount of experience in the most complex cases of PI, clinical negligence and inquests (a growing field). Their client care is second to none.’

‘I work mostly with Dawn Bagley who is very experienced and competent in personal injury cases.’

‘They have huge experience over many years.’

Sintons LLP

An exclusive focus on personal injury work, especially the most complex and life changing cases, differentiates the team at Sintons LLP. Brain and spinal cord injuries, polytrauma and amputations cases form the cornerstone of the practice. Phil Davison and Mark Quigley oversee the practice, which is lauded by one client for its 'excellent understanding of how to put the medical and therapeutic side of the case together and structure it towards a settlement'. The firm also fields a number of specialised sub-groups, with Andrew McGowan heading up the neurotrauma work, while Paul Woodford leads the industrial disease practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Quigley; Phil Davison; Andrew McGowan

Other key lawyers:

Paul Woodford


‘The team headed by Mark Quigley is extremely impressive in depth and breadth and are vastly experienced in high value PI claims. They have a wealth of knowledge as to complex medical conditions and their preparation is faultless.’

‘Really hardworking, efficient and first rate. They go the extra mile and nothing is too much trouble. The client comes first.’

‘Phil Davison is a standout partner. He is vastly experienced as well as being approachable. He has handled some really complex and demanding cases. He is never fazed.’

‘Sintons LLP are consistent in their client centred approach, always putting the client first and ensuring that collaboration with those professionals working with them are part of the process in a transparent and inclusive way. They are receptive to new ideas and work closely with partnerships in their local community to provide a best practice service, with the ability to consider and utilise new and innovative strategies.’

‘Andrew McGowan is a standout individual in this team. He is extremely knowledgeable and professional but also friendly and reassuring. He is more than happy to spend time discussing a medico-legal report so that it is the best that it can be for his client yet does not bring pressure to the discussion in an attempt to influence the outcome of the report.’

‘Utter commitment and complete focus on the clients’ best interests. They also have an excellent understanding of how to put the medical and therapeutic side of the case together and structure it towards a settlement.’

‘There is a vast array of experience across the team, even in the more basic of cases. They have a very good serious/catastrophic injury team. Their work is always well prepared and sensible, and they appear to seek counsel’s assistance at the correct time and in the correct cases.’

‘The empathy and communication skills with the client, relatives and members of the MDT really are excellent and stand out for me. Always professional and courteous.’

Work highlights

  • Acting on a claim for personal injuries and losses following an accident at work, in which the claimant sustained life changing injuries when a large piece of metal fell onto his leg from a robotic arm.
  • Representing a 22 year old claimant who sustained traumatic amputations of parts of his left fourth and fifth fingers in an accident at work.
  • Acting on a claim concerning an accident at work in which liability was initially firmly denied, but a 70/30 split on liability in the claimant’s favour was agreed on following commencement of court proceedings.

Beecham Peacock

Practice head Victoria Wanless takes charge of both personal injury and clinical negligence work at Beecham Peacock. Claims against hospital trusts, GP practices and dental surgeries make up Wanless' regular medical malpractice workload. On the injury side, the team handles catastrophic matters, employers' and liability cases, road traffic accidents and occupational diseases. As well as representing private individuals, the firm is also appointed to the legal services panels for the USDAW and Unite.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Wanless


‘The firm has considerable experience in disease work.’

‘Victoria Wanless has great experience and pays attention to detail.’

Key clients



TUC Asbestos Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for the daughter of a deceased mesothelioma victim in Pinnegar v ICI & Kellogs.  
  • Represented a claimant who slipped and fell in the workplace.
  • Acting for a claimant who suffered from birth related psychological issues and whose second-born child was pronounced dead due to a delay in arranging an emergency caesarean section.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP

When working on personal injury and clinical negligence claims, Thompsons Solicitors LLP 'union background shines through'; the team continues to count many national trade unions and leading charities amongst its core clients. On the personal injury side, the offering is split into an asbestos and industrial disease group, headed up by Tony Hood and Andrew Venn, and a serious injuries department, overseen by Fiona BelgianClair Wilson and Trevor Hall. Wilson also leads on the firm's medical malpractice work.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Belgian

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Venn; Tony Hood; Clair Wilson; Trevor Hall


‘Very skilled and well managed team.’

‘Its union background shines through in client care. The service provided is another level. They really go the extra mile.’

‘Andrew Venn has a wealth of experience and excellent judgment. Achieves outstanding results.’

‘Their history and ethos means they are not afraid to go to bat for claimants even in the most difficult of cases. They have good resources and good organisational structures so that knowledge can be shared quickly and applied effectively. They have transitioned to remote working remarkably well.’

‘Andrew Venn’s experience and knowledge are second to none.’

‘Well established personal injury specialists.’

Winn Solicitors

A wide range of personal injury work, including accidents at work and public liability claims, is handled by the experienced team at Winn Solicitors. Seasoned practitioners David Burn and David Dewar are the key contacts.

Other key lawyers:

David Dewar; David Burn