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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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Clinical negligence: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: claimant clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The 'knowledgeable' clinical negligence team of Boyes Turner 'handles a broad range of cases with the same skill and determination' and provides 'excellent client care'. It has particular expertise in child brain injury and cerebral palsy matters, and is also able to work with claimants residing abroad. Other focus areas include amputation and surgical and cancer negligence. In 2017, the 'superb, compassionate and unflappable' Richard Money-Kyrle, who is 'highly effective at generating creative solutions', and 'thorough' associate Sita Soni settled a £1.4m Erb's palsy case for a 20-year-old claimant. 'Tough and experienced tactician' Susan Brown and associate solicitor Julie Marsh, who 'is a credit to her team', 'inspires confidence in her clients' and 'leaves no stone unturned', represented a middle-aged claimant in a matter worth £550,000 concerning negligent hip (and later knee) replacement surgery, which caused a permanent shortening of her leg, reduced mobility, lower back pain and depression. Clients also recommend 'clever and dynamic' senior associate Vanessa Wand, who focuses on complex birth injuries.

The 'competent and efficient' BL Claims Solicitors has 'one of the very best' clinical negligence departments and a 'strong presence' in the South East. The practice focuses on high-value catastrophic claims, including birth injuries, cerebral palsy and brain injuries, as well as orthopaedic, surgical, emergency medicine, delayed cancer diagnosis and fatal cases. In a recent highlight, senior associate Patricia Wakeford, 'a former midwife with a formidable knowledge of obstetric matters and a very good manner with clients and opponents alike', represented an elderly client in a claim against a local trust involving the amputation of her lower leg and full-time care needs after she re-broke her leg post-surgery due to staff members not helping her to move around. Clients also recommend 'intelligent and hard-working' former doctor John White, 'determined and tenacious litigator' Kym Provan, who also heads the Southampton team, and 'sensible, intelligent and focused' senior associate Gemma Osgood. Osgood also handles lower-value claims such as dental, cosmetic surgery and misdiagnosis claims.

Coffin Mew LLP's clinical negligence department is 'professional and caring, with a good local reputation and strong commitment to high standards of client care'. It engages in children's brain injury, cerebral palsy and other birth and pre-term delivery injuries, as well as catastrophic injuries affecting adults. 'Conscientious, determined and dedicated' practice lead Douglas Miller represented a claimant suffering from cerebral palsy following her delivery and late-diagnosed bradycardia in a £6m case, while solicitor Chris Unsworth acted in a £145,000 claim involving a patient with a perforated bowel that was not detected during surgery, causing her severe disability, constant care needs and inability to work. The 'analytical, careful and hardworking' Sue Bowler continued to represent a former Royal Marine who contracted Q fever in Afghanistan in his £5m claim against the Ministry of Defence for failing to provide a vaccination and the right medical treatment after contraction.

The clinical negligence practice at Freeths LLP consists of 'high-quality advisers' handling high-value brain, birth, cerebral palsy, obstetric and orthopaedic cases, as well as matters concerning stillbirth and neonatal death. The latter types of cases are a specialism of 'hugely respected, approachable and very able' team lead Carolyn Lowe. Clients further recommend 'clear but subtle' solicitor Lucy Habgood and senior associate Lynne Foster , who 'understands cases from a personal perspective'. Another key member in the team is brain injury lawyer Catherine Bell. Leading lawyer Cecily Cameron retired at the end of 2016.

'Dedicated and thorough' Irwin Mitchell is 'one of the leading firms in the geographical area'. The clinical negligence team has a particular specialism in birth injury, stillbirth and neonatal death matters, while also focusing on negligent oncology, brain and spinal injury cases. The practice can further offer ancillary services to clients, such as public law, education, Court of Protection, family and investment management advice. 'Talented and compassionate' practice lead Justine Spencer , who is 'a sharp legal mind' and 'obtains superb results for her clients', and 'tactically astute' associate Rebecca Brown are recommended. Solicitors Matthew Gascoyne and Eleanor Phipp joined from Wixted & Co Limited in February 2017 and from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2018, respectively.

The 'thriving' clinical negligence practice of Moore Blatch LLP meets a 'consistently high standard with thorough and thoughtful work' and consists of 'highly qualified and experienced individuals'. Its range of expertise includes obstetrics, cauda equina, cerebral palsy, infectious brain diseases, neurosurgery, amputations and endocrinological conditions. The team can also refer individuals to the integrated healthcare, community care and education law teams concerning catastrophically injured children matters. Noted members include 'efficient' practice lead Tim Spring , 'intelligent and organised' cauda equina solicitor Maya Sushila and 'outstanding' partner Paula Barnes, who is 'in a league of her own in terms of the affection of her clients, her ability to turn around the most difficult cases and her ability to engage with experts'. In Richmond, clients further recommend partner Sarah Stanton, who 'is an excellent representative and leaves no stone unturned', as well as senior solicitor and 'safe pair of hands' Sarmad Gassoub and associate Mala Sidebottom, who 'has great empathy with clients and a good medical background'.

The 'accessible' clinical negligence department at Nockolds Solicitors is 'very well respected' and 'provides excellent support to clients'. The lawyers cover complex brain and spinal injury, including cerebral palsy, birth injuries, tumour misdiagnosis, severe burns, MRSA infection, strokes and gender realignment negligence. Apart from joint settlement meetings, practice lead Jennie Jones also champions alternative dispute resolution in regulated healthcare sectors, with one example being the firm's Optical Consumer Complaints Service. In a recent highlight, the 'supremely able and vastly experienced' Yasmin Ameer represented an 11-year-old claimant in their £20m claim for a brain injury which was due to a nine-hour delay in their delivery as a baby. In a claim of a similarly high value, she acted for a toddler who suffered cerebral palsy and a brachial plexus injury because the midwife did not follow the correct procedure at birth.

Penningtons Manches Cooper's clinical negligence team delivers an 'impeccable level of service within excellent response times'. Brain and birth injuries, as well as amputation, oncological, sepsis, cauda equina and orthopaedic claims, are some of the multi-track areas which are handled on a national and cross-border level, while the team also engages in lower-value cosmetic surgery and product liability matters. A highlight from 2017 was Alison Appelboam-Meadows' settlement of a matter in which the claimant suffered a placental abruption and lost her baby following the negligent treatment of her unusual CTG tracing results. The 'knowledgeable, professional and caring' practice co-lead Philippa Luscombe and associate Emma Beeson are recommended. Associate director Alison Johnson heads the maternal and gynaecological injuries team.

Royds Withy King in Oxford is a 'powerhouse clinical negligence firm with expertise across the board', with a team of 'high-quality, talented and client-oriented lawyers'. The team focuses on catastrophic injuries, notably claims related to cerebral palsy and obstetric brachial plexus, spinal injuries, fatalities, gastrointestinal necrosis, limb amputation, weight-loss surgery and stroke management. Clients recommend 'shrewd tactician and tough negotiator' Richard Coleman, 'mature' fatal accident specialist Lucy Crawford, and associate Lucy Norton, who 'turns difficult claims into winners', as well as 'excellent' lawyers Judith Leech and Rosie Hodgetts. The 'skillful and empathetic' Tracy Norris-Evans also leads the firm's Court of Protection department.

The 'dedicated, organised, attentive and well-trained' clinical negligence team at 'leading firm' Shoosmiths LLP 'brilliantly runs claims of the utmost complexity and severity', including cerebral palsy, brain and spinal injury, amputation, delayed diagnosis, orthopaedic and bowel injury, failed heart treatment and fatal cases. In a recent highlight, senior associate Susan Prior and 'outstanding' associate Helen MacKenzie represented a man in a fatal claim against a GP regarding his wife, who received a delayed diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma of the caecum. Another major, seven-figure claim, which Prior and 'smart and hardworking' associate Ruth Hewitt worked on, concerned a below-knee amputation due to incorrect treatment of a wound infection. The 'methodical and persistent' Denise Stephens, who 'gets fantastic results', heads the team.

Thomson Snell & Passmore's 'excellent' clinical negligence practice 'punches well above its weight and manages substantial, complex cases very competently'. The team focuses on brain injury, cerebral palsy and amputation, as well as surgical errors in post-operative treatment and delayed cancer diagnosis matters. Clients recommend practice lead Fiona Follis, who 'combines extensive experience and a tough fighting spirit with a lovely personality', as well as partner Graham Bell and senior associate Oliver Chapman, who are both 'responsive and sensitive to their clients' distress'. James Cahan was promoted to partner in June 2017.

The 'excellent' Trethowans LLP is a 'premiership regional firm' whose 'highly competent litigators deal with high-quality claims of the very severe type', using a 'very client-caring' approach. Typical cases concern birth injuries, stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and gynaecological, paedriatric, spinal, orthopaedic, cardiac and oncological issues, as well as  negligence relating to pharmaceutics, A&E treatments or amputations. The 'knowledgeable, fiercely intelligent and hardworking' Clare Carter leads the team; Gavin Lane, who has 'great attention to detail and the ability to find the right expert witness', and Chris Whiteley, who stands out for his 'common sense and good client care', are also noted.

The 'competent and personable' clinical negligence department at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors has an 'excellent regional reputation' and 'works on many high-quality cases without losing its local presence in the community'. Its areas of activity include injuries arising out of negligence during pregnancy and labour, orthopaedic injuries and cases concerning the suicide of psychiatric patients. Clients recommend 'firm negotiator' Madeline Seibert, who leads the team and 'brings huge experience, professionalism and empathy', as well as 'determined litigator' James Sherwin and 'very committed' solicitor Nadia Qadri. Ivan Moody handles surgical error, misdiagnosis and psychiatric injury claims. David Kerry retired in 2017.

'Regional and dedicated firm' Barlow Robbins LLP's 'efficient and supportive' clinical negligence practice 'litigates a wide range of good-quality work to the highest standard' and is 'down-to-earth and easy to work with'. The members' workload covers brain injuries such as cerebral palsy and viral encephalitis and spinal injuries such as cauda equina, as well as opththalmic, orthopaedic, oncological, paediatric, obstetric and gynaecological claims. In a recent highlight, practice lead and 'formidable negotiator' Caroline Flashman and 'calm and insightful' senior associate Victoria Jones represented a woman who received a delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome, while the 'well-organised and focused' Helen Goatley and 'effective' Deborah Powlesland acted for a claimant whose collapse with acute renal failure was caused by the delayed diagnosis of a urinary condition. Powlesland is particularly recommended for her expertise in medical product liability. Emma Potter made partner in June 2017.

'Excellent regional firm'¬†Dean Wilson LLP¬†has an 'efficient, reliable and supportive team' which 'tackles the full range of clinical negligence work' and 'punches above its weight'. It engages in birth, brain, spinal and orthopaedic injuries, as well as fatal, amputation and cancer misdiagnosis claims. In a recent highlight, the ‚Äėinformative, knowledgeable and sensitive‚Äô¬†Ben Davey, who ‚Äėhas a warm approach and a good eye for the important issues‚Äô,¬†represented the family of a man with an eating disorder who deteriorated and died after he was refused by the local community mental health team. Clients also recommend the ‚Äėhardworking, well-prepared and thorough‚Äô Alex Brown, who is renowned for his ‚Äėexcellent expectation management and argumentation skills‚Äô.¬†Frances Pierce¬†heads the practice and supervises on most matters.

Hart Brown¬†is ‚Äėa good firm with dedicated lawyers‚Äô and ‚Äėcontinues to have strength and depth in its clinical negligence department‚Äô by ‚Äėattracting high-value claims which are handled with consummate skill and professionalism‚Äô. Focus areas include cosmetic and laser eye surgery, birth injury, delayed cancer diagnosis and fatal cases. ‚ÄėExcellent, first-rate lawyer‚Äô Gerard Sanders¬†is ‚Äėcapable of pushing the boundaries of the law‚Äô. Also noted is the ‚Äėskilled and meticulous‚Äô associate Isabel Bathurst, who joined from Pierre Thomas & Partners¬†in June 2017.¬†Marek Bednarczyk¬†retired in 2017.

The clinical negligence department of Holmes & Hills¬†has ‚Äėan outstanding track record for assisting clients and strong expertise in complex cases and is well regarded‚Äô. The team handles claims involving fatal misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical error, amputation, spinal injury (including cauda equina syndrome), and brain and birth injury (such as cerebral palsy). A recent highlight was the representation of a family who lost their husband and father after he suffered a cardiac arrest as his thoracic aortic aneurysm was misdiagnosed by A&E the day before. The ‚Äėhands-on, thorough and sensitive‚Äô partner¬†Jason Brady¬†and senior solicitor¬†Dominic Graham¬†are the key contacts, while senior chartered legal executive Anna Watson¬† and litigation executive Kamila Jaskula¬†take on lower-value surgical error, failed beauty treatment and skin disease misdiagnosis cases.

The clinical negligence team at Knights plc is led by Helen Niebuhr, who is most renowned for her experience in brain injury, cerebral palsy and fatal injury claims, while Jonathan Phillips additionally covers inquest matters, misdiagnosis and spinal injury. Other key practitioners include partner Kay Taylor and senior associate Laura Cook. Brain injury specialist Matthew Heap joined from Serious Law LLP in May 2017.

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP's clinical negligence practice is best known for its work on birth and neonatal brain injury, neurological, neurosurgical and orthopaedic claims. In a highlight of 2017, department head Melanie Minter and solicitor Magdalene Zimnicki argued a case worth £210,000 concerning a negligent orthopaedic treatment by the NHS for hypersensitivity, reduced grip, numbness and pain in the client's hand. Birth and brain injury specialist and professional deputy John Lingwood, obstetric and orthopaedic claims partner Nick Garrish and senior associate Caroline Godfrey make up the core team.

McMillan Williams' clinical negligence team is based in various locations across the South East.  Practice lead Lauren Phillips in Surrey advises on obstetric, gynaecological, birth injury, surgery, spinal injury and cardiology claims, while recently promoted partner Nisha Sharma in Brighton specialises in oncology negligence. Birth injury experts Nicola Mooney and Jacqui Hayat are also key individuals, along with solicitor Andrew Bentham. Recent highlights include the £2.65m settlement of a cerebral palsy matter and a £9m claim concerning a negligent haemophilia screening which, years later, caused the claimant's son to be born with the condition, which the client had wanted to prevent by having the respective blood tests.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP's clinical negligence department handles brain, birth injury, orthopaedic, surgical error and gynaecological claims. In a highlight of 2017, the team represented a claimant whose facial bone fracture went unrecognised by A&E, leading to his collapsing on the street and fracturing his cervical spine; the final settlement was £60,000. Partner Kathy Fitzgerald is the key contact, while former in-house NHS solicitor James Fitzpatrick joined in 2017, and now focuses on pharmaceutical claims.

The clinical negligence department of Thompson Smith and Puxon impresses with its 'strong teamwork, prompt response times and appropriate advice', as well as by 'keeping clients fully informed throughout the process'. It represents claimants in A&E, birth injury and cerebral palsy, paediatric, psychiatric, fatal and orthopaedic matters. A recent highlight was the £1.4m settlement of a claim against an NHS Trust concerning the negligent drainage of a cyst via a shunt, which led to the claimant suffering a cardiac arrest and catastrophic brain damage. Birth injury specialist Julian Wilson, brain injury partner and department lead Steve Webb, whose 'strength is listening to clients and giving them time to understand', associate Clare Sheeran and 'excellent and professional' solicitor Sam Welham are the key contacts.

Birkett Long LLP's Chelmsford-based clinical negligence department covers orthopaedic surgery, stroke management, dental care, cosmetic surgery, obstetric, gynaecological and fatal claims against hospitals, ambulance services, dentists, GPs and care homes. Associate Nadina Edmondson is the sole practitioner.

The clinical negligence team at BTMK Solicitors in Southend-on-Sea covers the whole range of settlement values, from fast-track work to catastrophic claims, including maternity and brain injury, as well as surgical error and fatal claims. Co-director Johanne Turner, senior solicitor Ruth Hemingway and fast-track solicitor Shefa Begum are the key practitioners.

The two-partner clinical negligence team of Clarkson Wright & Jakes takes on a variety of multi-track matters, including brain damage, birth injury and surgical error, as well as misdiagnosis, gynaecological, urological and bowel-related claims. Highlights from 2017 included the settlement of a £1m claim involving a negligent laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy which caused the need for a colostomy, as well as brain damage, contracture of the claimant's limbs after being bedridden for a year, and psychiatric issues. A different matter focused on a six-figure claim concerning a psychiatric patient who was allowed off site without a warden and suffered brain and physical damage after their attempt to commit suicide by jumping from a three-storey building. Partners David Greenhalgh and Alexander Wormald, as well as associate Michelle Easton, are the main practitioners.

The clinical negligence department of 'extremely competent and client-oriented firm' DMH Stallard LLP 'has a good range of expertise in clinical negligence' and 'responds swiftly to queries'. It handles claims concerning birth injuries, misdiagnosis, oncology, surgical errors, fatal cases, pressure sores, undiagnosed fractures, informed consent and defective medical products against hospitals, cosmetic surgeons, GPs, dentists, opticians, mental health departments and various other practitioners. Partner Lucienne Westbrook is the key contact, while personal injury lawyer Tessa Grayson leads the overall team.

The 'dedicated and hardworking clinical negligence team' at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is 'a safe bet and gets good results'. It is best known for its work on brain, spinal and neurological injury claims for both children and adults against NHS and private hospitals, while also covering obstetric, neonatal, cerebral palsy, anaesthetic, cardiac, organ damage, surgical, emergency care and prescription matters. 'First-class lawyer' and department lead Rebecca Thomas is recommended.

Gardner Leader LLP's clinical negligence team is 'very professional and has good communication'; it is particularly experienced in handling birth asphyxia claims. The 'excellent' team lead Alastair Goggins represented a child, who was starved of oxygen during labour and was delivered by emergency caesarean section with no heartbeat or respirations, in a claim against a hospital trust involving delay and miscommunication in proceedings, as well as a lack of swift action upon CTG traces, which caused the baby to suffer life-changing injuries.

Griffith Smith LLP is 'an example of how a smaller firm can undertake specialist clinical negligence work to a high standard'; it is best known for handling fatality and brain injury claims. Other focus areas include surgical negligence and delay in diagnosis cases. In a recent highlight, 'competent' department lead Jennifer Ray acted for a young claimant who had an unnecessary biopsy of a tumour, which resulted in bilateral third nerve palsy. Ray is recommended for 'combining technical knowledge with a good eye for detail, high levels of efficiency and excellent client care skills'.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)'s 'good' clinical negligence department 'puts the client's interests at the forefront of every decision'. Its particular specialism is brain injury claims. In a recent highlight, the team handled a fatal claim concerning the suicide of an individual after a brain tumour caused their mental health issues, with little support being received from local mental health services. Senior solicitor Simon Pimlott has 'a real eye for detail and works incredibly hard to get the best result for each client'. Malcolm Underhill heads the practice.

Pinney Talfourd LLP's 'small, but well thought of' clinical negligence team provides 'services to the highest standards, with prompt response times, excellent advice and very professional, friendly communication'. A major focus area is oncology claims, and the team further covers orthopaedic, brain injury, fatality, gynaecological, obstetric, neonatal, cardiac, cosmetic surgery, spinal and ophthalmic injury cases. In a recent highlight, the practice represented an elderly client who suffered an infection from a negligent hip replacement, which was not treated properly and caused knee pain and reduced mobility as well as the need for an exchange arthroplasty. 'Approachable and hardworking' senior associate Kim Huggins, who 'combines encyclopaedic medical knowledge with a fantastic bed-side manner', is the key contact. Assistant solicitor Helen Keefe joined from an East London firm in May 2017.

Clinical negligence: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: defendant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: defendant clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


With 'excellent defendant firm' Brachers, clients 'always know that the case will be well prepared and thought through'. The team is renowned for its case work with the Medical and Dental Defence Unions, Specsavers Optical Group, Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Newline Insurance Company, especially on brain injury, cerebral palsy, psychiatric, dental, oncology and ophthalmic claims. Clients recommend 'fantastic and hugely experienced' practice lead Scott Alexander, as well as 'efficient and tireless' associate Harriet Humphrey, the 'hardworking' Frances Cutler and the 'competent' Dana Ellis. Another key team member is experienced healthcare law partner and mediator John Sheath.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's clinical negligence team is best known for its experience in brain injury, cerebral palsy and other birth and catastrophic injury cases. Recent highlights include the representation of NHS Resolution against a £14m birth injury claim involving major brain damage caused by inadequate management of labour, as well as defending the same client in trial proceedings concerning the treatment of a child in an A&E department. The Medical Defence Union and various local NHS Foundation Trusts make up the majority of the client base. Head of the clinical risk cluster Matthew McGrath, Winchester clinical risk group leader Heather Durston-Hillyer and birth injury and dental claim specialist Anthea Lane are the key contacts.

The clinical negligence department at Gordons Partnership LLP represents medical organisations, corporate bodies and individual healthcare professionals against catastrophic brain and spinal injury, paediatric, obstetric and neurosurgical claims. Charles Atkins and Iain Pickering head the practice. GP, neurosurgical and psychiatric claims specialist Alison Harden is the third long-standing partner in the team. Partner Rachel Margetts and consultant Richard Creamer joined from BLM and Hill Dickinson LLP, respectively,  in August 2017, while solicitor Leigh Taylor left for an in-house legal adviser position at the Medical Protection Society. Louise Ball was promoted to associate in 2017.

The clinical negligence practice at BLM 'provides an informed and experienced service', defending insurers, medical defence organisations, care homes and individual healthcare professionals. The Southampton team consists of catastrophic injury lawyer Joe Wakeford and Stephanie Castell, who handles birth, spinal, brain injury and amputation claims, as well as associate Gemma Parker, who works on misdiagnosis, fatal and cerebral palsy cases.

Personal injury: claimant

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: claimant clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The 'highly competent and client-centered' asb law LLP is 'the pre-eminent firm in the South of England for catastrophic brain injury work', of which the 'close-knit, multi-disciplinary team' has an 'excellent understanding'; it 'offers an impressive standard of service for vulnerable and challenging clients', with 'each case being treated with the utmost respect and dedication, no matter its size'. Other focus areas include fatalities, road traffic accidents, employment liability and injuries caused by defective products. Clients recommend 'highly experienced, knowledgeable and friendly' practice lead Francis Lacy Scott and 'driven and capable' partner Jonathan Clement , as well as 'highly supportive' solicitor Victoria Hubbert . Associate and 'fantastic negotiator' Dominique Parker joined from Thomson Snell & Passmore in November 2017.

'Excellent regional firm' Boyes Turner's 'talented and motivated' personal injury department 'has a strong presence and deserved national reputation, particularly in asbestos and other industrial disease claims'. Other specialisms include head and spinal injuries arising from road traffic and cycle accidents, and fatal cases, as well as other physical injuries sustained during accidents at work and in public places or via the use of defective products. The practice lead, 'fearless litigator and astute tactician' Kim Smerdon, settled a £750,000 case for a claimant who fell into a life-threatening coma and suffered a severe brain injury after their car was hit by the defendant's vehicle. Another highlight was a fatal mesothelioma matter, in which Smerdon successfully represented a family in its £1.1m loss-of-dependency claim. 'Thorough, professional and compassionate' senior associate Laura Magson is also highly recommended by clients for her 'long-standing reputation for achieving success in difficult asbestos cases'. Other noted individuals are partner Claire Roantree, who has 'great judgement and a brilliant manner with clients', and 'organised and client-focused' associate Peter Olszewski.

The 'professional, knowledgeable and pragmatic' personal injury practice of 'well-established firm' BL Claims Solicitors 'maintains its strong regional presence well in a challenging market' and 'increases its geographical spread'. The team covers life-changing brain and spinal cord injury, industrial disease and fatal cases, with special expertise in military, cycling accident and employment liability claims, as well as injuries involving animals. Clients recommend 'committed' senior associate and practice head James Wood, who has 'a calm and measured approach, but with a cutting-edge intellect' and is renowned for his 'specialist knowledge of industrial diseases and work-related upper-limb disorders', associate Julia Prior, who is 'calm and fights hard for her clients', and senior legal executive Julie Donovan, who is a 'real talent'. Associate Deborah Lewis is another name to note, while clinical negligence partner John White acts as supervising partner. The previous team lead David Healy left for Stewarts Law LLP at the end of 2017.

Coffin Mew LLP is 'a regional firm with the expertise of any national player in top-end personal injury work', with 'high levels of client support, knowledge and commitment' shown by the team. It consists of 'meticulous and easy-to-talk-to' partner Sue Bowler and solicitor Chris Unsworth, who specialise, respectively, in catastrophic injury and asbestos disease matters. A 'leading authority on catastrophic personal injury matters', Bowler continued to represent a Royal Marine in his multi-million-pound claim against the Ministry of Defence, brought after he contracted Q fever while serving in Afghanistan and became wheelchair-bound and in need of constant care. Unsworth, who is recommended for his 'efficient case preparation and a sensible, practical approach to litigation', successfully handled a £600,000 mesothelioma claim for the widow of the deceased in a four-day trial.

The personal injury department at Hertfordshire boutique firm Collins Solicitors covers road traffic accident, industrial disease, employers' liability, general transport and group claims. Recent highlights include the representation of the family of a pensioner who was knocked down on the road by an uninsured scooter rider, sustaining brain damage (including memory problems), respiratory failure, rib fractures and a laceration to the liver, and subsequently needed to move into a care home; the case resulted in a £205,000 settlement. In a different matter, the team acted for a machinist who lost two fingers in a work accident and suffered PTSD and anxiety, settling the claim against his employer for £785,000. Partners Des Collins and Danielle Holliday, as well as solicitor Anna Murduck, are the key contacts.

The 'first-rate' personal injury department of 'excellent regional firm' Dean Wilson LLP 'has a good team ethic, goes the extra mile for every client' and 'punches above its weight with good quality work, including heavy brain injury cases and rehabilitative support, both of which it excels in'. Other areas of expertise include spinal cord injuries, amputations and severe eye injuries. In a recent highlight, 'very bright, friendly and hardworking star associate' Alex Brown, 'tenacious and shrewd tactician' Frances Pierce, who also offers alternative dispute resolution and provides 'excellent client care', and associate Pardeep Gill settled a long-running amputation claim, which had arisen out of the claimant's involvement in a road traffic accident, for a sum of £2m. Consultant Sam Elsby , who brings experience concerning brain injuries in children and adolescents, accidents abroad and work accidents in the construction industry, and solicitor Katie Tizzard joined from Elsby Solicitors in February 2018.

The 'excellent' personal injury team at IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) impresses with its 'attention to detail, client-focused approach, above-average commitment, decisive and timely communication and organisation', with special emphasis on brain and spinal injury, child abuse, chronic pain conditions, industrial diseases, psychological damage and product liability class actions. Partner Malcolm Underhill and senior solicitor Simon Pimlott, who both 'appear methodical, experienced and efficient, as well as having an empathic understanding of the client's situation', represented a claimant who suffered from severe brain and orthopaedic injuries as a passenger in a car accident.

The personal injury department at the 'excellent' Irwin Mitchell is 'always professional, proactive and well liked by clients, case managers and therapy teams'. It is best known for handling brain, spinal cord and orthopaedic injury claims, as well as industrial disease, military and fatal accident cases. On the partner level, asbestos disease lawyer Guy Darlaston, serious injury solicitor Claire Howard and 'approachable, fair-but-firm' military injuries adviser Andrew Buckham are the key contacts. Other names to note are associates Ruth Johnson and Nicola Maier. The team can refer clients to other experts within the firm, such as the Court of Protection, client liaison management, trust and probate, asset management, employment, community care, education, immigration and family practices; the firm can also provide forensic road traffic advice.

The 'exceptional' Moore Blatch LLP is 'one of the best firms in the region dealing with spinal cord injury work, achieving some outstanding results in this area'. Other key areas of activity are brain, eye and brachial plexus injuries, as well as severe burns, amputation, loss of limb and fatal claims. In a highlight of 2017, senior partner Damian Horan, who has 'exceptional professional knowledge, competence and compassion', represented a claimant who sustained severe brain, orthopaedic and facial injuries after being hit by a car when she was crossing the road via a pedestrian crossing. Clients further recommend head of major trauma Trevor Sterling, who stands out for his 'good judgement and ability to immediately identify the necessities of a claim', partner Matthew Claxson, who is noted for his 'great attention to detail', and 'good communicator' James Glasper . Associate solicitor Martin Usher joined from BL Claims Solicitors in May 2017.

The 'deeply knowledgeable and experienced' personal injury practice of Royds Withy King 'is a leader in its field', uses a 'forward-thinking approach' and has gained 'an exceptional reputation in the local area'. Its team is 'one of the best to work with', as 'clients get access to a depth of lawyers across a large geographical area' and 'papers are handed in on time and put together very well'. The team's areas of expertise include brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as claims regarding asbestos-related diseases, fatal accidents, chronic pain syndrome, cycling, travel and foreign accidents, and injuries involving animals. Neurological and paediatric claims partner Tracy Norris-Evans is also responsible for deputyship matters.  She heads the team together with 'dedicated' spinal injury lawyer Ian Carrier. In a recent highlight, Richard Brooks represented a claimant in a county court trial and appeal to the High Court concerning compensation of £1m for the memory and concentration problems he sustained while working as a stable boy and falling from a spooked horse. 'Savvy asbestos litigation star' Helen Childs and 'thorough and knowledgeable' associate Rachel James are acting for a claimant who was exposed to asbestos in the 1980s before emigrating to Australia, and was recently diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.

The 'professional, supportive and empathic' department at 'outstanding firm' Thomson Snell & Passmore 'makes each client feel like its number-one priority' and is 'a safe pair of hands in high-value personal injury matters', providing 'specialist knowledge and realistic advice'. The team is renowned for its brain injury case work, while also handling orthopaedic, industrial disease and neurological matters. 'Superb' partner Graham Bell is recommended for his 'excellent client care, responsiveness and sound assessment'. 'Erudite' senior associate Jonathan Herbert has 'a strong client focus'. Oliver Chapman, who is also a senior associate, is the third key member of the practice.

'One of the best all-round firms in the South', Trethowans LLP fields a 'top-tier' personal injury practice that is still 'small enough to offer a personal service'. It handles complex head, spinal and orthopaedic injury cases, as well as industrial disease matters and fatal claims resulting from accidents at work, in public places and road traffic. The 'hugely experienced' Gavin Lane leads the team. Partner Chris Whiteley is recommended for his 'experience, common sense and good client care' in employers' liability and asbestos-related claims, while partner Tom Hartigan has 'good specialist knowledge in head and spinal injury matters' and James Braund offers 'broad experience and persistent support'. 'Outstandingly good' solicitor Rhiannon Daniel is 'committed to achieving the best for clients'.

'Very good firm' Barlow Robbins LLP's 'first-rate' personal injury practice 'deserves recognition for its quality of work', 'thorough case preparation' and 'excellent level of client care'. Its major focus lies on catastrophic injuries to the brain and spine, as well as musculoskeletal conditions and amputations which were the result of road traffic or employment accidents or transport disasters. 'Very experienced' department lead Caroline Flashman 'constantly achieves settlements above expectations' and recently acted for an elderly man who suffered a brain injury and multiple fractures after the bus on which he was a passenger collided with a car. Chronic pain specialist Emma Potter, who 'goes the extra mile for clients', became a partner in 2017 and represented a claimant who developed CRPS through a soft-tissue injury on her thumb which was sustained at work. Clients further note key partner and 'good team player' Helen Goatley, as well as 'calm, exceptionally bright and insightful' senior associate Victoria Jones. Solicitor Natalie Hirst is recommended for her 'impressive grasp of claim details'.

'Top-class firm' Blaser Mills Law is 'one of the very best for personal injury in the South East', with a team of 'specialist lawyers' who provide 'great service'. Focus areas include head, brain and spinal injury claims. Clients recommend 'hardworking, precise and realistic' practice lead David Matthews and consultant Nicola Heales. Partner Julian Monk, chartered legal executive Andrew Castle and associate Kulvinder Bal are other names to note. While Tony Tillinton retired in March 2017, solicitor Victoria Harvey joined from Pattinson & Brewer later that year.

'One of the more organised, prepared and competent firms in the South East', Freeths LLP has a 'very efficient and client-focused' personal injury team which 'achieves good outcomes even in the riskier claims'. It handles brain injury, fatal, employers' liability and cycling matters. The core practice consists of 'very able, tactically savvy and easy-to-work-with' senior associate Irvin Thobourne, who is best known for cases involving the Motor Insurers' Bureau and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, and associate Amy Barnett, who specialises in liability claims.

The 'experienced and client-focused' personal injury department at Holmes & Hills delivers 'a tailored service that is nothing short of excellent' and is especially recommended for 'arranging quality rehabilitation for clients who were injured in no-fault accidents'. It 'handles a wide variety of claims', including road traffic accident, industrial disease, brain and spinal injury, and amputation cases. Niche expertise exists in claims concerning accidents that happened abroad and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a recent highlight,  'exceptional, competent and efficient' practice lead Jason Brady secured a settlement sum of £1.175m for a claimant who had a head-on car collision, which she later had no memory of, and thus sustained a traumatic brain injury, several fractures and surgery scars. The multi-track team also includes senior solicitor Dominic Graham and 'polite, responsive and understanding' senior chartered legal executive Anna Watson . Litigation executive Kamila Jaskula deals with a range of less complex cases.

Clients consider 'specialist law firm' Larcomes' 'knowledgeable and highly motivated' industrial disease practice to be 'first class'. Outstanding strengths include 'good case preparation' and the team members' 'great attentiveness and sympathy towards claimants who are often elderly and unwell'. In a recent highlight, Michael Osborne handled an employment mesothelioma claim for a 58-year-old woman who was exposed between the years 2000 and 2016, during which time it was her task to load plastic sheets into an oven lined with broken asbestos sheets. 'Experienced' partner Richard Hopgood, who has 'excellent client-handling skills', heads the department.

The  personal injury department at Nockolds Solicitors is 'vastly experienced and knowledgeable, with excellent client skills', especially concerning brain and spinal injuries. Recent highlights include a young girl's £28m to £30m claim for severe brain and orthopaedic injuries after she was hit by a car, resulting in the need for constant care for the foreseeable future, as well as a £12m claim brought by a cyclist following a motor accident with a delivery driver which led to life-changing brain and orthopaedic injuries. Key team member and Court of Protection professional deputy Yasmin Ameer is recommended. Practice lead Jennie Jones also engages in alternative dispute resolution in the healthcare sector.

Penningtons Manches Cooper's personal injury team 'provides a very good, proactive service and achieves appropriate settlements', with particular expertise in brain injury, fatal accident, product liability, cosmetic treatment and foreign travel cases, as well as group litigation matters. A highlight of 2017 was an occupiers' liability claim, handled by department lead Philippa Luscombe, against a hospital trust concerning a catastrophic brain injury that the cognitively impaired claimant sustained when they attempted to leave hospital and consequently suffered a fall due to unsecured accesses and furniture placed adjacent to safety rails. Senior associates Lucie Prothero and Charles O'Brien make up the rest of the core team, while partner Mark Lee heads the international travel claims department.

The personal injury department of 'nationwide firm' Shoosmiths LLP is a 'reliable performer' with a 'deserved and excellent market reputation', consisting of 'experienced practitioners with solid risk assessment, a proven record of success and a sympathetic understanding of their clients' needs'. It is best known for its work on cases involving brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as skeletal fracture, amputation, chronic pain condition, scarring, industrial disease, workplace cancer, dermatitis and noise-induced hearing loss claims. In a recent highlight, 'bright, capable and shrewd tactician' Rose Donoghue, who 'takes a no-nonsense approach with defendants', secured a settlement sum of over £3m for a claimant who lost his ability to walk due to brain, spinal and multiple fracture injuries sustained in a road traffic accident when his stationary vehicle was hit by a lorry. Other notable individuals include Garret Spring, senior associate Paul Ashurst and solicitor Anjali Kanish, 'a formidable force who quickly gets to grips with her claims'.

'Leading firm' White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors' 'competent and experienced personal injury staff puts the interests of injured motorcyclists at the forefront of its business' and provides an 'unmatched, exemplary service' with 'in-depth knowledge of motoring law and related injuries, as well as strong connections to top medical experts and surgeons who help to promote the client's recovery'. The team has specialist expertise in areas including damage to soft-skinned vehicles, sliding motorcycle friction co-efficient and variables, pedestrian throw, helmet ejection, and impact of brakes and tyres, as well as details of the physics of motorcycle collisions. The team typically handles whiplash, amputation, paraplegic and fatal cases, as well as heavy brain, orthopaedic and spinal cord injury work, on both a national and international level. 'Highly experienced, realistic and pragmatic' senior partner Andrew Dalton leads the team. Clients also recommend 'professional' partner Andrew Prendergast, who 'has very good interpersonal skills, empathy and understanding'.  Martyn Dey and Gavin Grewal made partner in 2017.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is an 'extremely able, experienced and approachable firm for claimant clients in personal injury cases'. The department covers workplace injury, industrial disease, noise-induced hearing loss and fatal cases, and has further niche experience in child and adult abuse, stress and bullying, product liability, actions against the police and international matters. Partner Joanne Westbrook, who is 'sensitive to clients' concerns while providing an excellent service', is recommended. Catastrophic injury partner Sheenagh Parsons heads the team, which also comprises fluent Polish, Russian, Panjabi, Urdu and Hindi speakers who assist native speakers resident in the UK with their claims.

The personal injury department at Birkett Long LLP covers employers' and public liability, road traffic accident, occupational disease and fatality claims. Niche experience exists in stress at work and child abuse matters. In 2017, Chelmsford-based associate Nadina Edmondson settled a £100,000 claim for a pensioner who sustained multiple orthopaedic fractures in a head-on road traffic collision. Associate Tracy England is the key contact in Colchester.

BTMK Solicitors' personal injury department in Southend handles both multi- and fast-track matters, including work and road traffic accident and public liability claims, as well as cases concerning criminal abuse and fatalities. The practice also offers rehabilitation and Court of Protection support. Director Johanne Turner and senior solicitor Ruth Hemingway are the key practitioners for complex injury cases, while solicitor Shefa Begum works on fast-track matters. Managing director Alan Bacon is continuing to support the team in his new counsel role from April 2018 onwards.

Clarkson Wright & Jakes' 'impressive' personal injury department is characterised by 'an interesting and diverse stream of work', 'a dedicated service', 'good value for money' and 'excellent quality throughout'. Focus areas include serious brain, spinal, loss-of-limb and chronic pain injuries sustained at work or in road traffic accidents, public places or accidents abroad. The team further handles claims involving tripping injuries, fatal accidents, stress at work and harassment, as well as actions against the police. In 2017, the team acted on a £1m traffic collision claim against an uninsured driver involving a claimant who was a pillion passenger on a motorcycle and sustained severe brain injuries and post-traumatic amnesia. 'Thorough and extremely experienced' practice lead David Greenhalgh, 'diligent and pragmatic' partner Alex Wormald and 'well-prepared' associate Michelle Easton are recommended.

The 'small, but well-run and competent' personal injury practice of 'long-established firm' Debenhams Ottaway 'has a good reputation', particularly for its 'consistently excellent service, quality of care and level of attention paid to cases'. The team's major focus area is employment-related accidents, including manual handling and work at heights, resulting in complex orthopaedic injuries or amputations; it also covers slips, trips and falls, occupiers' and public liability, road traffic accidents and fatal cases. 'Very experienced, committed and reliable' key practitioner Howard Kent represented a claimant who suffered a spinal injury while working in production on a film set, and further acted for a construction worker who suffered pelvic, hip, leg, ankle, abdominal and psychiatric injuries in a £150,000 claim against his employer and the main contractor company on site.

A 'market-leading team in the South East', DMH Stallard LLP fields a 'highly professional and knowledgeable' personal injury practice which 'delivers an excellent, bespoke service, with great understanding of its claimants'. It handles spinal injuries, industrial diseases, fatal claims and accidents happening at work, in public, abroad or in relation to road traffic, sport or faulty products. In 2017, the practice was instructed by a claimant who suffered life-changing injuries, leading to ongoing recovery needs, in a road traffic accident. 'Phenomenally effective adviser' and 'canny litigator' Tessa Grayson is the key contact.

The 'highly competent, hardworking and continually improving' personal injury department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors 'makes clients feel at ease' and 'fights hard for them', applying 'great tactical astuteness'. The team specialises in workplace, public liability, road traffic accident and disease claims involving serious injuries or fatalities. Practice lead Rebecca Thomas and Dalston-based partner Julie Leslie are recommended.

The 'excellent' Furley Page Solicitors' personal injury department is renowned for its 'level of communication, attention to detail, legal knowledge and client care'. It receives instructions for industrial disease, road traffic accident, slip and trip, sports injury, work accident, and product, occupiers' and public liability claims, as well as matters involving animals, accidents at sea and the Human Rights Act. Recent highlights include the representation of a former professional cricketer who suffered a severe knee injury, and is now in need of a knee replacement, in their £120,000 claim, as well as the £98,000 settlement of a mesothelioma case for the estate of the deceased, who worked as a miner. Team lead Neille Ryan, senior associate Robert Harvey and chartered legal executive Ross Rowland are recommended.

Gardner Leader LLP's personal injury team has niche expertise in transport accidents and disasters, road traffic collisions and various aviation accidents. The practice also handles claims involving physical and psychological workplace injuries. Associate Andrew Shipp acted for a claimant who damaged their wrist and shoulder after falling over a box at work, leading to surgery and other treatments, as well as representing a man who was hit by a car, suffered internal bleeding and had to be brought back to life twice on his way to the hospital. Partner Alastair Goggins serves as head of dispute resolution.

The personal injury team at Griffith Smith LLP is best known for handling fatal accident, brain injury, historic abuse and children claims. Partner Jennifer Ray is the key contact. In 2017, she settled a six-figure claim for a woman who was injured by a collapsing parasol at work, resulting in a head injury which caused post-concussional headaches, positional vertigo and hyperacusis.

Hart Brown is 'first-class in personal injury' and 'attracts high-value claims that are handled with measure and skill', thus 'putting clients at ease'. 'Excellent and highly professional' key partner Gerard Sanders has experience in occupiers', employers' and public liability claims, as well as road traffic accidents. The team also handles Court of Protection deputyships in relation to past case settlements. Recommended associate Isabel Bathurst  joined from Pierre Thomas & Partners in June 2017. Consultant Marek Bednarczyk retired in 2017.

'Vigorous and well-led Brighton firm' Healys 'is a growing and meaningful force in the personal injury market', with a special focus on industrial disease, cyclist and fatal accident claims. Clients recommend partner Trevor Henley, who is 'beyond compare as a litigator: fast, sharp as a knife and successful', as well as 'resourceful and capable' managing partner Dino Skinner. Motorcyclist accident and traumatic brain injury lawyer Jonathan Austen-Jones is the third key team member.

The 'amazing' personal injury team at Lennons Solicitors 'tirelessly' provides 'simply excellent, smooth and client-focused services, with second-to-none knowledge, regular updates and exceptional attention to detail'. Particular expertise exists in employers', occupiers' and public liability matters, as well as road traffic accident claims. In a recent highlight, 'strong negotiator' and key contact Andrew King , who 'controls each case to the client's best advantage', settled a six-figure claim for a young man who was a passenger in a high-speed car collision, resulting in multiple physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another important case was the representation of a woman whose partner was fatally injured at work in her six-figure schedule-of-loss claim. King is further recommended for his 'nerves of steel, judgement and the ability to construct a case out of very little'. Solicitor Katarina Morgan engages in fast-track matters, as well as supporting King on high-value claims.

Marsons Solicitors' personal injury practice 'delivers services to a very high, effective standard, clear advice and robust representation'. It mainly handles employers' liability claims concerning manual handling, tripping and slipping accidents at work, work at heights, defective equipment, repetitive strain injuries and product liability. Other areas of focus include public liability and road traffic accidents. In 2017, 'forceful, professional and concise' partner Beth King acted in a product liability claim for a client who needed eye removal surgery after they injured it with a defective orbital sander bought from a DIY retailer. Another current highlight is the representation of a former gas engineer, who worked with Asbestolux in the 1960s, in his pleural plaques claim. Tamsin Day left in July 2017 in order to practice on a freelance basis.

The personal injury team at Morrisons Solicitors LLP is best known for handling liability, road traffic accident and schedule-of-loss claims, especially in connection with acquired brain injuries. Partner Kathy Fitzgerald and solicitor James Fitzpatrick, who joined from his previous NHS in-house position in 2017, are the key practitioners.

Pinney Talfourd LLP's personal injury practice specialises in motorcycle accidents and industrial disease matters, as well as covering general road traffic accidents and employers' and public liability claims involving life-changing or fatal injuries. Recent highlights include the representation of a deceased claimant who was diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during his railway employment in the 1950s, as well as a motorcycle accident claim for an elderly pedestrian who was knocked down while crossing a road at night, sustaining multiple fractures and a possible head injury. 'Real heavyweight' Stephen Green, who brings 'exceptional professionalism, outstanding performance under a time restraint, simple explanations and good legal knowledge', and litigation partner Stephen Eccles are the lead members of the team.

'Go-to firm' Tees Law fields a 'first-rate, organised, efficient and client-driven' personal injury practice which 'manages to blend traditional values with a modern approach' and 'provides an excellent and dedicated service'. The team typically handles claims relating to employers', public and product liability, historic sexual abuse, fatalities, and industrial diseases, as well as military and road traffic accident cases. The highlights of 2017 included a social worker's work-related stress and psychiatric injury claim, which was settled for £152,500, as well as the representation of a claimant who suffered from a head injury, vertigo, dizziness and post-traumatic amnesia after a head-on car collision. Clients recommend 'extremely experienced and capable' partner David Jacobs , who 'has a reassuring manner and a good understanding of the merits and risks of settlement terms', and paralegal Nicola Holtham .

Thompson Smith and Puxon is 'a top firm for personal injury claims in this geographical area and beyond'; its 'competent and pleasant' personal injury team provides 'excellent service'. The lawyers cover claims involving road traffic accidents, employment liability, trips and slips, defective products and accidents on private premises. Special expertise exists in work environment diseases, repetitive strain injuries and psychiatric shock matters. Clients recommend 'experienced and sensible' partner Steve Webb, associate solicitor Clare Sheeran and solicitor Sam Welham, all of whom are considered 'hardworking'.

Personal injury: defendant

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: defendant clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


BLM 'remains a law firm of choice for insurers for complex defendant motor work'; its personal injury team provides 'exceptional service' and has 'particular strength regarding attention to detail, quality of advice and commercial acumen'. The team handles a range of cases, including brain and spinal injuries, amputations, fatalities, road traffic accidents, work-related diseases, bullying and stress, in addition to various types of liability claims. In a recent highlight, catastrophic injury lawyer Clare Garnett, who also handles equestrian and canine accidents, as well as claims involving insurance fraud, represented QBE as insurer of Network Rail concerning an accident-at-work claim from a former employee, which was successfully defended using video evidence. Another significant matter was head of disease team Andrew West's work for Pro Global as insurer of Thanet Earth Marketing in a four-day trial regarding a claim from a former employee who allegedly sustained a repetitive strain injury and further attempted to challenge the training provided to the workforce. The team also counts Direct Line, Allianz, Aviva and Hastings among its regular clients. Clients recommend 'innovative' practice lead and catastrophic injury specialist Andrew Hibbert and 'calm and down-to-earth' public authorities and occupiers' liability partner Andrew Williamson, while head of the motor practice Nick Rogers, brain and birth injury specialists Joe Wakeford and Stephanie Atkinson, and associates Scott Insley and Gus Peake are other notable practitioners. Partner Richard Grayson joined from Minster Law Limited in January 2017, bringing expertise in subtle brain injury and amputation matters.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's personal injury team is renowned for its work on matters involving catastrophic brain and spinal injuries resulting from road traffic and other accidents falling under employers' or public liability. Consultant Duncan Rutter and partner Lea Brocklebank make up the core team. In 2017, Brocklebank settled a claim for Insure the Box brought by a self-employed hairdresser who was a passenger in a car during a road traffic accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury, having worn no seatbelt and travelled with an intoxicated, uninsured driver. Another highlight was the defence of Mitsui against a whiplash claim from an employee factory worker, after he had an accident with a hydraulic press and plastic components. Allianz Insurance, the Ministry of Defence and AXA are some of the department's key clients.

In personal injury, 'top-of-the-league firm' Kennedys stands out for its 'wide range of expertise, legal and commercial understanding of insurance companies, prompt advice and work to the highest standard'. Its major focus areas include motor accidents, employers' and public liability, and crisis management after tragedies, as well as disease, historic abuse, military and product liability claims. In 2017, 'approachable' practice lead Richard West, who has 'outstanding legal knowledge and an excellent reputation in the market', represented Esure in a claim by an insurance customer for losses in connection with a motorcycle accident and consequent life-changing spinal cord injuries. TUI Group, MS Amlin, Brit Insurance and Chubb also form part of the client roster. Motor liability partner Joy Middleton 'is in touch with the realities of litigation'. Other notable individuals from the team include head of employers' public liability and abuse claims Andrew Caplan, local authority claims team lead Ron Ruston, motor and casualty claims partner Jennifer Harris and senior associate Thom Lumley .

As 'one of the market leaders in personal injury defendant work', Keoghs LLP 'has great strength in depth in its impressive Southampton office'. The team's work ranges from complex injury and abuse claims to motor, liability, occupational disease, suspect fraudulent and criminal cases. Practice lead Michael Renshaw represented AXA in a seven-figure claim from a person who fell from a ladder when inspecting an aerial and was rendered paraplegic and in need of a robotic exoskeleton. Another highlight was representing LV= in a high-value brain injury claim from a motorcyclist who also suffered a coma and loss of cognitive function. Clients further recommend loss defence specialist Matthew Perkins, catastrophic injury partner Rachel Coombs, and brain injury expert Sarah Parker, as well as fatal and large-loss partner Matthew Burfield, all of whom are considered 'dedicated, hardworking and client-friendly'.

'Premier league firm' DWF's 'young and diverse team' forms a 'dynamic and go-getting personal injury practice' which 'goes from strength to strength with a portfolio of big insurer clients'. It is especially recommended for its expertise in motor traffic claims, while also handling fatality, occupational disease, catastrophic brain, spinal, orthopaedic and loss-of-limb injury, cross-border travel, public sector and abuse cases. Other areas of expertise include organised, credit hire or casualty fraud, as well as late claims. The 'effective' practice lead, 'rigorous thinker' and 'major star' Charles Ashmore, acted for Aviva in a long-running claim concerning a road traffic accident in which the defendant driver died and the claimant allegedly sustained severe leg injuries, which were proven during the trial to be far less serious than had been claimed; the claimant was found guilty of multiple contempts. Another highlight was Sara-Jane Eaton's representation of German insurer ERGO Versicherung in a claim involving the death of a cyclist who was hit by a car, which was driven by a resident of Germany. Other key individuals include associate Simon Frith, 'technically superb' partner Tanja Neuhoff, crime solicitor Tim Ingram and head of international claims Claire Bowler.

The 'approachable, reliable and professional' defendant personal injury practice at Freeths LLP is renowned for its 'thorough preparation, effective operation, insightful advice and cost-efficient outcomes', often acting for companies in the automotive sector. Its range of experience covers employers', public and product liability and industrial injury and disease, as well as motor and HSE claims. In a recent highlight, 'vastly experienced' team lead Paul Chadder and 'extremely diligent' solicitor Matthew Bacon represented engineering ceramics company Vesuvius as one of the defendants in a £4m claim concerning the claimant's psychiatric and respiratory injuries inflicted by their negligent exposure to cement dust and welding fumes while working in a cement factory. Other long-standing clients include XL Catlin, BMW, Faraday and Zurich Insurance. Chadder is 'technically excellent and operationally practical'. Associate Amy Barnett is another key member in the department.

The 'excellent, efficient and successful' practice at 'user-friendly firm' Trethowans LLP is 'in one of the top tranches for personal injury work' and 'can be relied upon to go the extra mile', with 'special competence in defending cross-border claims'. Other niche experience exists in equine and general animal matters and road traffic accidents, as well as health and safety and employers' and public liability. Recent highlights include defending Generali Poistovna as insurer of a foreign driver against a road traffic collision claim which involved the claimant's alleged diagnosis with fibromyalgia, as well as the successful defence of Cornish Mutual against a claim from a rider who fell from her horse and sustained medium injuries, allegedly due to the defendant landowner placing a bird scarer near the bridleway, which spooked the horse. Van Ameyde UK, Go South Coast and Endsleigh Insurance Services make up part of the client portfolio. Practice lead and 'robust but sensible negotiator' Kelvin Farmaner, 'thorough and approachable' partner Bethany Blamire , who 'grasps the key issues before her counterparts', and health and safety expert Sarah Wheadon are recommended.

The defendant personal injury team at Pitmans LLP is best known for handling motor, employers' and public liability and industrial disease claims. Other growing areas include claims involving animals and accidents occurring abroad. A recent highlight was the defence of a bus driver in a trial concerning a six-figure 'road rage' claim, which alleged that the driver struck a pedestrian with a bus deliberately, despite the claimant being found guilty in related criminal proceedings. Partner Ferhat Choudri is the key contact.

The personal injury department of Ellisons Solicitors handles motor, employers' and public liability claims. Previous clients included Markerstudy Insurance Company, Liberty Syndicate Management, Zenith Insurance and Metroline. Catastrophic injury partner and team lead Robert Jones is known for his expertise in paraplegic, amputation, total blindness and brain injury claims. Natalie Simpkins made partner in May 2017, while Edward Weaver was promoted to associate in the same year. Experienced chartered legal executive Steve Garthwaite specialises in motor liability matters.

The personal injury department at Sussex-based firm Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP represents public sector entities, such as local authorities and emergency services, as well as insurers and private clients. Focus areas include public, employers' and occupiers' liability, traffic accidents, health and safety matters, accidents occurring abroad and subrogation claims. Solicitor Miranda Jenkins, travel claim partner Lee Hills and Eastbourne-based partner Barry Davis are the key contacts. Partner Helen Bell leads the overall litigation team.

Professional negligence

Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Professional negligence clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Clyde & Co LLP's clients are quick to praise the professional negligence practice for its 'top-quality performance; its service regularly exceeds clients' expectations and solutions always take into account technical and pragmatic considerations'. The team in Oxford, which forms part of the firm's industry-leading national practice, handles the full range of professional negligence cases involving all major professions, including financial advisers, construction professionals, and lawyers. Tony Nurse-Marsh ('sharp as a knife and uncannily insightful') heads the regional practice and has wide-ranging expertise in claims involving  solicitors, construction professionals and accountants, among other professionals; he also handles cases involving emerging markets, coverage disputes, and fire-related cases. Other key figures include Clive Brett, who regularly acts for solicitors in regulatory investigations; Jim Taylor, who heads the Oxford team's dedicated claims handling unit; and Katherine Gregory, who has extensive experience in construction-related cases.

Cripps LLP is 'a well-established regional firm adept at handling claims'. The principally claimant-focused professional negligence practice handles claims against solicitors, surveyors, accountants, financial advisers and architects, but also acts for defendants, particularly solicitors in Solicitors Indemnity Fund run-off cases. Russell Simpson heads the practice, which was joined in 2017 by Pradeep Oliver, who brings specialist expertise in financial services negligence cases, with a focus on claims arising from mis-sold or mis-managed financial arrangements including pensions, savings accounts and investments. David Morgan left the firm for an in-house position.

Dentons' well-established team has extensive experience of professional negligence matters, with clients singling out practice head Tim Constable for his 'first-class analytical brain and willingness to go the extra mile on each and every one of his cases'. The practice has more than 20 years' experience acting in professional negligence claims for a wide variety of lenders (including Royal Bank of Scotland and the Co-operative Bank) , and was recently appointed to the professional negligence panel of West Bromwich Building Society, in addition to securing re-appointment to Santander's panel. Recent work includes acting for a financial institution in multiple claims against solicitors arising from imposter fraud; representing the London Borough of Haringey in a £7m professional negligence claim against NPS Property Consultants for negligent design and contract administration services in relation to the extension of a primary school; and acting for the National House-Building Council in a claim against a consultant and architect related to the defective replacement of a five-storey glazed facade in an apartment building suffering from water ingress. Fellow practice head James Fairbairn is also recommended.

Freeths LLP's professional negligence practice is praised for its 'clear understanding of facts and legal issues, sensible legal advice, and well-drafted legal documents'. Practice head Duncan Crine 'clearly knows his stuff in this field; he is attentive to time pressures and deals with matters promptly and effectively'. Crine has more than 25 years' experience handling high-value and complex professional negligence disputes for claimants and defendants, with particular strength in cases where there is a fraud element. He leads a team that includes Sarah Foster, whose track record includes acting for insurers in defending professionals in claims against local authority employees, and Clare Bellis, who handles professional negligence cases alongside her property litigation practice. The team acts for corporates, individuals, insurers and professionals in professional negligence claims and related insurance policy coverage matters.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP combines excellent regional strength with a strong insurance presence nationwide to provide 'the highest standard of service; clients have absolute confidence in the guidance and advice provided by the practice'. The practice has an extensive track record acting for major insurers in professional negligence claims and associated policy coverage issues concerning surveyors, architects, engineers, construction contractors, accountants, barristers, IT professionals, pension professionals and estate agents. It also has a growing reputation handling claims against digital marketing consultants, internet search providers, website designers and outsourced IT service providers. New panel appointments in 2017 included being appointed by Hiscox to handle claims under the nationwide scheme for accountants insured under the ACCA scheme, and being appointed to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund's new panel. The team in Southampton is headed by the 'extremely trustworthy and reliable'  James Robins, who 'can be trusted to provide appropriate guidance'. Justin Tivey is singled out for his expertise in cyber liability issues.

Blake Morgan LLP continues to handles a range of professional negligence matters across an array of professions, including acting on behalf of lenders in claims regarding over-valuation; disputes involving pension schemes and trusts; claims against solicitors and financial advisers; and disputes related to residential property redevelopment. Richard Portlock heads the team and regularly acts for companies, trustees, not-for-profit organisations and individuals in cases involving solicitors, property professionals, financial and pension industry advisers, and insurance brokers. Other key figures include senior associate Dan Geddes, who joined in 2017 from Lester Aldridge LLP, and Stephen Cannell. Karl Cameron joined Trethowans LLP.

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP is 'among the leading claimant firms for professional negligence nationwide', and its team in the South East is singled out for its expertise in claims relating to construction, solicitors, and banking and finance. Karim Mohamed ('very effective at relating to clients, keeping them calm, and making the litigation process as stress-free as possible') has more than 20 years' experience in professional negligence claims; he leads a team with a strong track record in claims involving solicitors, surveyors, architects and financial advisers. Recent work includes acting for a number of SMEs in claims against banks for mis-selling of long-term loans with complex financial arrangements. Helen Bell is also recommended.

Barlow Robbins LLP's professional negligence practice is praised for its ability to 'marshal the relevant issues and evidence in a case quickly and efficiently', as well as for its 'practical and commercial approach to cases, and its attention and responsiveness to clients' needs and risks'. The practice has an extensive track record acting on behalf of individuals in claims against various professionals involving conveyancing, tax advice, and will and trust drafting, among other matters. It has also been involved a number of cases involving  negligent behaviour of trustees. Recent work includes acting on behalf of the parents of a prematurely born baby in a case involving allegations of professional negligence by the hospital's neo natal unit.  Key figures include David Foster, whose experience includes acting as a mediator in professional negligence cases; Scott Taylor, who regularly acts for trustees, executors, beneficiaries, attorneys and court-appointed administrators; Esther Millard, who is noted for her expertise in claims against solicitors;  and Lisa Green, who acts in professional negligence claims arising from contested trust and probate matters.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has established a strong track record representing claimants in actions against solicitors, accountants, financial advisers and construction professionals. David Savage and Stephen Burns are the key figures the firm's Guildford office; Burns focuses on the financial services sector, while Savage has a particular focus on professional negligence claims against construction professionals. Senior associate Andrew Keeley also acts in professional negligence claims against architects, surveyors and engineers, among other construction professionals. Clients include Cancer Research UK, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Zenium Technology Partners.

Moore Blatch LLP is 'an excellent regional firm' which provides 'an overall level of service that is of a very high standard; the practice's depth of knowledge, quality of work and client relationships are very impressive'. Practice head Rob Evans is noted for his 'superb advice - he works exceptionally hard to achieve successful outcomes in complex cases'. Evans has particular expertise in claims arising from tax mitigation schedule, financial mis-selling, and matrimonial proceedings. His recent work includes acting in a claim arising from negligent advice by the client's former solicitors during their divorce proceedings. Also recommended are Mark Osgood ('an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer with a strong litigation capability'), who is noted for his track record in claims with an insolvency element; associate Andrew Reid, who regularly handles financial mis-selling claims; and Marina Clinnick, who handles claims relating to defective tax advice, negligent conveyancing, and acting for lenders in claims relating to defective security.

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