Personal injury: defendant in South East


The personal injury group at BLM has a stellar reputation for handling a wide range of high-value and complex matters. Jointly headed by Andrew Hibbert and Joe Wakeford, the practice group has expertise in the areas of health and safety and construction. The ten-partner team has a variety of specialisms ranging from loss and catastrophic injury to occupational disease claims, and also handles regulatory matters. Stephen Hazleton retired, but Bilal Mirza joined the team from DWF.

Practice head(s):

Joe Wakeford

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hibbert, Stephen Hazleton; Clare Garnett; Andrew Williamson


‘Andrew Hibbert remains the standout defendant personal injury solicitor in the region.’

Clare Garnett’s knowledge is fantastic and her service levels are very very good.’

Key clients












Dorset County Council

Through Transport

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP handles the full scope of personal injury matters. Leveraging over 20 years of experience, Winchester-based Lea Brocklebank is skilled in defending high-value and complex personal injury claims involving traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and spinal injuries. Other members include Heather Durston-Hillyer, who focuses on defending clinical negligence claims, and senior associate Sheryl Gearing.

Keoghs LLP

At Keoghs LLP, the 'highly skilled and knowledgeable team' advises clients on the full range of matters related to personal injury claims including liability and catastrophic injury. Acting in conjunction with the commercial litigation practice, the team also has niche capabilities in marine-related matters. Team members include 'excellent' practice head Michael Renshaw, 'rising star' and large loss specialist Matthew Perkins, 'standout partnerMatthew Burfield, and Sarah Parker.

Practice head(s):

Michael Renshaw

Other key lawyers:

Mathew Perkins, Sarah Parker; Matthew Burfield; Paul Baxter; Louise Abbott; Dan Oldroyd


The team brings an impressive crossover knowledge of technical cost law and substantive catastrophic injury litigation.

‘This is a really strong team headed by Mike Renshaw. They are particularly forward thinking and have successfully pursued a strategy of building their insurer client base which is impressive.’

‘Matt Perkins is heading for the stars; he is highly personable, hardworking, superb at analysing cases and has a fantastic ability to communicate with clients.’

‘Matthew Burfield has outstanding tactical nous and a real eye for a winning case. Heading an excellent team of litigators he is a formidable opponent.’

Key clients



Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's personal injury team undertakes a broad range of work for its strong corporate client base, with a particular expertise in the automotive sector. Led by Paul Chadder (who is noted for his 'clarity and superb client service') the group is renowned for handling high-value and high-profile public liability, employers liability, and industrial injury matters. Associate Matthew Bacon is recommended for his expertise in industrial disease claims.

Practice head(s):

Paul Chadder

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Bacon


‘Paul Chadder takes a very hands-on role in his caseload, and the client gets far more partner-led input than might be true of comparable firms.’

‘Matthew Bacon has an excellent eye for detail, and is robust in his approach both to negotiations and trial.’

‘This is a small but dedicated team that is tightly run and well managed; there is detailed attention to cases in a way that larger firms often find difficult.’

Key clients


Axis Capital



Jaguar Land Rover

Faraday Underwriting

Starstone Underwriting

Armour Risk Management

Sompo International

Vesuvius UK

Work highlights

  • The team represented BMW in the successful defence of an Employers Liability claim at trial following an alleged trip on stairs.
  • The team represented the defendant insurer in relation to a high-value RTA matter pleaded at over £2m involving complex spinal injuries and contributory negligence arguments.
  • The team is representing an uninsured client in a complex multi-party construction matter involving duties arising under the CDM Regulations 2015.
  • The team represented the defendant RTA Insurer settling a claim for £60,000 which was pleaded at £250,000.
  • We represent an EL Insurer in a claim pleaded at over £1m, which was settled for £377,000 gross.


The personal injury team at Kennedys is led by the 'commercially astute' Richard West, who remains at the 'forefront of personal injury defendant work.' The group has a particular focus on complex catastrophic injury claims including liability matters as well as motor accidents. Joy Middleton is 'a joy to work with' and handles cases in a 'calm and expertly' manner. Other core team members include Jennifer Harris, who has experience defending liability claims. In summer 2019 a large team led by Andrew Caplan left to launch a Chelmsford office for Plexus Law.

Practice head(s):

Richard West

Other key lawyers:

Joy Middleton; Jennifer Harris


Richard West is a fine legal mind and an incomparable team leader; these characteristics make him one of the real standout individuals in the sector for insurance clients.’

Jennifer Harris is technically and procedurally quite brilliant. Insurance clients instructing Jenny are never in doubt that they are in the very safest pair of hands.’

This is a team led by very strong partners, who provide sensible and realistic advice to insurer clients; it is real no-nonsense service.’

Key clients

UI Group

MS Amlin

Brit Insurance


Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP's personal injury team offers clients an 'excellent bespoke service' with dedicated expertise ranging from liability matters to international claims. Led by Kelvin Farmaner, the group handles high-value and complex work, and also has experience in cross-border matters. Other key figures include Sarah Wheadon, who has niche experience in animal liability matters, and Bethany Blamire, who has acted for regional and international insurers.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Farmaner

Other key lawyers:

Bethany Blamire; Sarah Wheadon


‘Trethowans provides a high-level of knowledge that one can rely on. Their sound advice and support, attention to detail and pragmatic advice on what can be done in complex issues is what makes them stand out.’

They are approachable, efficient, commercially aware, and they consistently take sensible litigation decisions. They have clear strategic direction and are prepared to provide ad-hoc advice and training on legal and industry developments whenever required.

Kevin Farmaner is robust but tactically very astute.

Bethany Blamire is meticulous and always ahead of her opponents.

Key clients



Van Ameyde UK

Animal Friends Insurance

Farm and General Insurance

Appleby Westward Group

Cornish Mutual Assurance Co

Saint Gobain Building Distribution

Work highlights

  • Representing the Cornish Mutual in relation to an injuries claim pertaining to a complex cycle race which used The Animals Act 1971.
  • Representing Cornish Mutual and successfully defending a high-value fatal accident claim arising out of an accident on a farm.
  • Acting for Saint Gobain and repudiating a hire claim entirely on discovering the Claimant’s vehicle had no valid MOT.
  • Acting for Van Ameyde in relation to claims brought in the UK involving an accident in France.
  • Acting for a foreign insurer in relation to a high-value UK accident claim.

Pitmans LLP

BDB Pitmans' personal injury defence team handles industrial disease claims and public liability matters. Ferhat Choudri focuses on catastrophic claims and road traffic accidents, and also has experience in significant cross-border claims, having worked across France, Italy, and Mexico.

Ellisons Solicitors

At Ellisons Solicitors, personal injury matters are handled seamlessly across the insurance litigation department and the small claims department, led by Robert Jones and Edward Weaver respectively. The group acts for high-profile clients in significant matters from contentious liability disputes to road traffic accidents. The 'highly efficientNatalie Simpkins handles high-value injury claims and has expertise in motor liability.

Practice head(s):

Robert Jones, Edward Weaver

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Simpkins


The team diligently handles an immense volume of work including many high-value complicated cases

Punches far above its weight and outdoes many London based peers

‘Excellent value for money

Robert Jones is largely responsible for driving the team forward

Key clients

AXIS Capital

Liberty Specialty Markets


Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP specialises in acting for local authorities and emergency services in the region on all manners of personal injury claims, ranging from public liability matters to class actions. Led by Lee Hills, who also heads the travel team, the group has recently been involved in cross-border insurance claims. Also recommended is Beth Garrod, who has medical negligence experience.

Practice head(s):

Lee Hills

Other key lawyers:

Beth Garrod