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



Clinical negligence: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: claimant clients in South West 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


Barcan+Kirby LLP acts for local and national clients on all manner of clinical negligence issues including mental health, spinal injuries, birth injuries and fatal injuries. The tenacious Richard Harries heads the team and is ‘excellent with clients’. Claire Hurrell focuses on acting in cases involving children with cerebral palsy resulting from negligence at or around the time of birth. Senior associate Jay Nathwani has ‘real expertise in birth injury/neonatal cases’, and also handles brain injury, amputee and ophthalmic injuries. Adrian Stone specialises in brain and cauda equina injury, product liability-related cases and fatal accidents. Myfanwy Buckeridge focuses on serious injury claims and fatal accidents.

Foot Anstey launched standalone medical negligence practice Enable Law in 2017 under the leadership of Robert Antrobus, who has 'a nice blend of intellect and good client-care skills'. Other key figures include Andrew Hannam , who is 'a recognised leader in the field; intelligent, perceptive and thorough'. He specialises in cases of birth injury and cerebral palsy and has experience of settling high-value claims. Laurence Vick  deals with child cardiac surgery claims, he represents families across the country. Claire Stoneman ('intelligent, sensible, pleasant to work with and effective') focuses on birth injury matters and acts in cases involving stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injury. Mike Bird deals with a variety of complex medical issues including children with brain injuries. 'Highly efficient and effective' Paul Sankey specialises in claims that relate to stroke, sepsis, haemorrhage, meningitis and raised intracranial pressure and amputations. Alex Mcknight, Bernadette McGhie and Angie Maxwell are also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell  Bristol handles a broad range of clinical negligence issues including negligent gynaecological treatment, delay in cancer diagnosis, delay in meningitis diagnosis, brain injury, high-profile fatalities, child and elder abuse, and mental health cases. The team works with national charities and support organisations and is a panel member of Action against Medical Accidents. It is also supported by the Bristol-based Court of Protection team, which advises on damages management and provides financial deputyships. Julie Lewis heads the team and handles claims against hospitals, GPs and health professionals, with a focus on birth injury and brain injury cases. She also handles fatal cases and represents clients in inquests. Senior associate Kate Easy specialises in obstetric cases, delay in diagnosis leading to spinal or brain damage, and child abuse matters. Associate Luke Trevorrow deals with claims against the NHS and private providers and specialises in cases involving spinal and orthopaedic injury and wound infection.

‘Premier clinical negligence practice’ Royds Withy King is ‘the go-to firm for really large and demanding claims or strategic issues’. The practice provides advice on all areas of clinical negligence including catastrophic injury cases, birth injury, Erb’s palsy, bariatric cases, spinal injury and is also noted for its dental negligence work. Simon Elliman  heads the practice and specialises in cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, wrongful birth and spinal injury cases. Paul Rumley is ‘highly intelligent, passionate for his clients and the master of all detail’; he focuses on cerebral palsy, fatal, cardiology and cancer cases and also genetic conditions. Kerstin Kubiak  deals with high-value claims, particularly in relation to obstetric, gynaecology and fertility cases. Ali Cloak  focuses on inquests and fatal claims and Hannah Blackwell deals with maternal birth injury claims. Recent work includes acting for a claimant who suffered brain damage and cerebral palsy as a result of delay in birth and also representing at inquest the family of a mental health patient who committed suicide due to the negligence of the mental health trust whose care she was under. Associate Katie Reid  joined from Metcalfes Solicitors and Tracy Furminger left the firm.

Clarke Willmott LLP deals with complex high-value injury, spinal injury, delay in diagnosis of meningitis and encephalitis, and surgical negligence cases, in addition to representing clients in inquests. PartnerChris Thorne  (‘very knowledgeable and strong on strategy’) heads the team and focuses on birth injury and claims of maximum severity. Kerry Fifield specialises in complex paediatric claims, meningitis claims and inquest representation. Marguarita Tyne  works on ‘difficult causation cases of high value with complex expert evidence’ and is adept at handling neurological claims, stroke cases, meningitis claims and amputation cases. John Boyle  has ‘an excellent client manner, is very thorough and tactically astute’. The team has links with local charities such as Limbless, Headway and the Encephalitis Society.

Tozers Solicitors LLP is adept at handling catastrophic injury claims, especially those relating to brain injury. It also specialises in advising on cerebral palsy claims caused during birth, autism caused by negligence and high-value Erb’s palsy cases. Other areas of expertise include cauda equina, spinal injury claims and child abuse claims. Endurance Arthur  and Stuart Bramley  who is ‘highly experienced in the field of medical negligence’ and ‘a fantastic communicator’ head the team. Endurance Arthur  focuses on Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, delay in diagnosis of cancer and negligent surgery claims. Stuart Bramley  specialises in fatal accident claims and acts for clients at inquests, he is also an expert in Streptococcus Type B infections. Clair Hemming  ‘extremely intelligent, professional, effective, compassionate and personable’ and is adept at handling vulnerable clients such as children and young adults with neurological injuries inflicted at birth. She also deals with gynaecological injury, ophthalmology, diabetes and orthopaedic injuries. Recent highlights include acting for a claimant against a GP who failed to diagnose cauda equina syndrome, this led to a delay in surgery and post-surgery problems, the matter was settled for £600,000.

Trethowans LLP  advises on the full range of clinical negligence work including cerebral palsy, birth injury cases, spinal injury, brain damage, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis negligently performed surgery, and negligently treated medical conditions. It acts against NHS trusts, NHS hospitals, private hospitals, consultants, GPs and dentists, nationally. Partner and head of team Clare Carter  is ‘indomitable, very experienced, fiercely clever and realistic to boot’. She specialises in high-value, complex matters including neonatal, still birth, gynaecological, paediatric, cancer, cardiac, orthopaedic, radiological, surgical, vascular, ophthalmological, pharmaceutical and amputation cases. Partner Chris Whiteley  has ‘experience, common sense and good client care’, he deals with catastrophic injury cases and negligence cases such as birth injuries. Partner Gavin Lane has ‘very considerable clinical negligence experience’ and ‘the ability to find the right expert witness’. He also deals with catastrophic injury cases such as head injuries, spinal injuries and amputation cases.

Ashfords LLP represents claimants in cases involving antenatal complications, child death, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis, dental negligence and negligent eye surgeries. It often operates under conditional fee agreements. Practice head Jason Squire ‘fights his client’s corner all the way’ and is ‘disarmingly tough whilst also warm and engaging’. He is supported by associate Clare Boucher, who specialises in negligent antennal care, child birth issues and gynaecological issues. Recent work includes acting in a dental negligence claim against a private dentist, in which the claimant suffered pain and required significant dental rectification work. It also settled a negligence claim against an NHS hospital for leaving medical gauze inside a patient’s perineum after the birth of her daughter.

Coles Miller Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of clinical negligence issues including cauda equina claims, spinal injuries, strokes, mismanaged labour, vascular problems leading to amputation, misdiagnosis and ectopic pregnancy. The firm is ‘very client focused, very on the ball, efficient and well prepared’. David Simpson  heads the team and specialises in complex high-value cases. Christopher Whittle  advises on all aspects of clinical negligence and particularly dental negligence. Lydia Barnett  is ‘a very shrewd negotiator’ and has ‘an excellent manner with clients’. She specialises in Tension-Free Vaginal Tape (TVT) claims, cerebral palsy, kidney failure, brain haemorrhages, bladder and bowel issues. The team is ‘excellent in the field and can be trusted to handle complex litigation with real expertise’.

Coodes Solicitors in birth injury, obstetrics, gynaecology, fatal claims and inquests. It also advises on surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delays in diagnosis and treatment, and mental health failures that have led to injury or death. It is adept in representing clients at inquests in relation to preventable suicides of mental health patients. The firm deals with high-value and maximum severity claims and also a variety of low-value claims. It previously settled the case of a woman who was injured during the birth of her child for £635,000. Partner and practice head Tim Goldburn has ‘vast experience’ and is ‘very able and good with clients’. He often settles disputes through alternative dispute resolutions.

Dutton Gregory LLP provides ‘a very good service’ and ‘enjoys a warm and friendly relationship with clients’. Partner Carol Maunder heads the department and specialises in high-value catastrophic injury cases, she is ‘an excellent team leader, managing and supporting her staff with great skill’ and is ‘likeable and popular with clients’. Senior associate Melanie Reynolds focuses on challenging cases and is ‘hard working, taking on complex cases with a great volume of paperwork involved’. Michael Kingman was promoted to senior associate, he specialises in multi-party and fatal claims and has also represented many families in HIV haemophiliac litigation cases against the Department of Health. Phillip Needham  joined the team from acquired firm Needhams Solicitors. Rebecca Watkins left the practice.

NewLaw Solicitors advises on a wide array of clinical negligence matters and specialises in brain injury, oncology, spinal injury and amputation claims. It also provides advice in relation to dental, obstetric, gynaecological, and GP negligence, delay in cancer diagnosis, surgery negligence, birth injury and fatal claims. New Cardiff-based head of department Angelina Rigby   joined from Geldards LLP , she is ‘very experienced’ and has ‘a superb client manner’. Associate Frances Wright ‘gets cases very well organised, with appropriate expert input’. Tina Ashley specialises in oncology, cancer misdiagnosis, orthoaedic, spinal injury and cerebral palsy claims. The team provides ‘a great level of service to clients who get best practice in terms of efficiency and depth of experience’.

Slee Blackwell specialises in acting for claimants against cosmetic surgery negligence and has extensive experience in PIP breast implant claims. It also advises on cases of brain injury, obstetrics, vaginal mesh and amputation. Partner and practice head Oliver Thorne is ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ and has recently represented over one hundred women in a cross-border matter with France in relation to compensation claims around the PIP breast implant scandal. Another highlight includes settling a claim for an individual who underwent an unsatisfactory rhionoplasty procedure which resulted in breathing problems. The team is ‘very efficient, easy to work with and very supportive and effective for their clients’.

‘User friendly’ Thompsons Solicitors LLP acts for claimants in relation to a broad range of clinical negligence matters including cerebral palsy, cauda equina, amputations, fatalities and delay in diagnosing cancer. It takes on high-value cases of the upmost severity and also low-value claims. Senior solicitor Madeleine Pinschof is ‘straightforward, approachable and kind’ and ‘great with clients, particularly when discussing personal issues’. Recent highlights include acting against surgeon Anthony Dixon in a case of colorectal treatment in relation to rectopexy and STARR procedures. Partner Cathryn Davies heads the practice and specialises in spinal injury cases, failure to treat vascular conditions leading to amputation, abdominal surgery complications and also fatal cases involving Court of Protection. Clients include trade unions such as Unite the Union, Unison and the Fire Brigades Union.

‘Very competent’ Wards Solicitors LLP advises on a range of clinical negligence issues including failure to diagnose injuries leading to incapacity. It has also advised on surgical errors leading to incontinence and negligent bowel surgery which resulted in death. Another area of expertise is delays in diagnosis of cancer where the firm has acted in cases of a delay in throat cancer diagnosis which led to the patient’s death and delay in tumour diagnosis which led to premature death. It also acts in cases of inadequate care in nursing homes. Partner and head of team Alison Underhill has ‘extensive experience and is intelligent, perceptive and thorough’, she specialises in claims relating to antenatal care, birth injury, prescription errors and surgical negligence.

Clinical negligence: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: defendant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Clinical negligence: defendant clients in South West 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


DAC Beachcroft LLP's team is ‘very impressive, with expertise at all levels and a deep understanding of the complexities of cases’. It acts for the NHS in relation to negligence cases involving individual surgeons, particularly in relation to breast surgery and orthopaedics. It also deals with orthopaedic product liability claims and catastrophic injury claims. The firm also acts for independent healthcare providers such as Nuffield and Care UK, and for insurers such as Allied World, RSA, QBE, Zurich, MS Amlin and CNA Hardy. Rachel Roberts-Jenkins leads the department and is ‘a sharp, punchy, lawyer, who takes a no-nonsense approach to her cases, whilst maintaining a cool head to determine the right strategy’. Hannah Volpe specialises in catastrophic claims and hospital acquired infection cases. The ‘calm, knowledgeable and commercial’ Simon Perkins focuses on ophthalmology and plastic surgery claims. Nigel Montgomery specialises in group actions and catastrophic injury cases.

‘Excellent in all areas’ Bevan Brittan LLP sepcialises in group actions and clinical negligence litigation. It acts for the NHS in relation negligence matters and has also represented the organization in test cases involving legal parenthood and do not resuscitate orders. It also advises on cerebral palsy claims, brain injury, spinal injury, mental health, infections relating to negligence and surgical negligence. Joanne Lloyd heads the Bristol team and specialises in complex high-value brain injury cases and high profile group actions. She also advises UK Advisory Panel for Healthcare Workers Infected with Bloodborne Viruses and works with the safety and learning team at NHS Resolution. The firm also acts for private medical malpractice insurers such as CNA Hardy and Neon. Other clients include Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Recent highlights include acting for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust in relation to a claim in which the patient obtained a differential diagnosis of CRPS, expert evidence was used to disprove the claim and costs were recovered.

Personal injury: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: claimant clients in South West 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


Irwin Mitchell is ‘a real powerhouse of a firm’ and ‘a very strong performer and market leader’. The practice handles cases involving serious injuries such as brain and spinal cord injury and fatal accidents, in addition to asbestos and mesothelioma claims. The firm works with local charities, support groups and the medical community providing advice for asbestos victims. James Davies heads the practice and is ‘a very shrewd tactician who is well respected in the profession’. He concentrates on catastrophic brain injury, spinal injury, amputations and orthopaedic injuries acting for children, teenagers and adults, especially those who lack the capacity to manage their own affairs. The ‘truly excellent’ Virginia Chalmers leads the team dealing mainly with asbestos disease claims. Deborah Rose (‘pragmatic, hardworking and brilliant with clients') handles claims involving serious injuries. Isabelle Selley focuses on asbestos claims. Recent work includes acting in several mesothelioma claims and also in relation to serious injuries sustained from road traffic accidents.

Royds Withy King handles claims involving, brain injury, spinal injury, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome and amputations. It also deals with asbestos claims and industrial disease, cycle accidents, equine and animal cases, and fatal accidents. The team is ‘outstanding’ and ‘the depth of knowledge and experience shown by all the solicitors is impressive’. Partners Stuart Brazington and Louise Hart head the team. Brazington specialises in severe brain injury and spinal cord injury cases. Hart is ‘caring, competent, well-organised and highly effective’, and focuses on amputation, complex orthopaedic injuries, facial injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain, in particular Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Senior associate Mark Hambleton who is ‘punctilious in case preparation’ specialises in claims involving cycling and motorcycle accidents, defective products and animals. Recent highlights include representing a client injured at work with a circular saw, the client had part of his hand amputated, the defendant admitted liability and interim payments were agreed to fund prostheses and other treatment.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP handles claims arising from workplace accidents, industrial disease and catastrophic injuries involving brain injury, amputation, spinal cord injury and fatal accidents. It also handles claims concerning upper limb disorder, deafness and vibration related injuries. Lisa Gunner heads the team and conducts her work with ‘skill, knowledge and tactical nous’. Nicholas Seymour specialises in high-value accident claims and industrial disease cases and is noted for his ‘experience, expertise, professionalism and the ability to resolve issues as and when these arise’. The firm also acts in sexual abuse claims and recently represented a client in relation to a historical claim of abuse against a leading football club. Other recent work includes representing a warehouseman in relation to a workplace accident whereby the claimant was knocked over by a defective forklift truck. Unite the Union, Unison, The Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, The Public and Commercial Services Union, The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and the Fire Brigades Union are all clients.

The ‘highly professional and well-respected' practice at Clarke Willmott LLP specialises in serious injuries such as child and adult brain injuries, brachial plexus and shoulder injuries, spinal cord, amputation injuries and fatalities. Chris Thorne replaced Martin Pettingell as head of the serious injury and medical negligence department. Pettingell is ‘a highly professional person’ with ‘an in-depth knowledge of his area of expertise and always offers his clients extreme courtesy and respect’. Partner Lee Hart specialises in spinal and brain injuries and also has experience in the niche area of claims involving animals, horses in particular. Hart is ‘calm, measured, intelligent, unflappable and client focussed’. The ‘personable and approachable’ Stephen Trump focuses on paediatric and adult severe brain injuries and amputations.

Enable Law represents clients across the UK in personal injury claims involving spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputee and multiple injuries. Juliette Clarke heads the personal injury team from the Plymouth office, she specialises in claims with life-changing injuries and attempts to ensure early rehabilitation, she also deals with military-related claims. The firm is corporate partners with the Child Brain Injury Trust through which it receives referrals. It also acts on behalf of patients abused in nursing or care homes in group litigation cases. The firm led on Cornwall NHS Trust group litigation and the Winterbourne View group litigation, representing many clients who lack mental capacity. Recent cases include claims involving dangerous driving, road traffic accidents, assault, asbestos and workplace accidents. Robert Antrobus is also recommended.

Lester Aldridge LLP is ‘an established regional firm with a solid practice’. It represents clients in claims involving serious and life-changing injuries including spinal injuries, brain injuries, clinical negligence, amputation and military personnel claims. Practice head Tim Blackwell is ‘extremely efficient, well prepared, has sound judgement and gives the client a great sense of reassurance’. He specialises in catastrophic injury cases and also acts as a professional deputy. The multi-lingual team is ‘very highly rated’ and provides ‘a focused personal service that the bigger firms do not match’. Associate Stephen Norris ‘explores every detail for his clients’ and is ‘willing to go the extra step’. Recent claims have included a severe traumatic brain injury following a road accident and a mesothelioma case.

NewLaw Solicitors specialises in catastrophic personal injuries such as brain injury, spinal injury, orthopaedic injury and amputation, it also deals with road traffic accident claims and fatalities. Another area of expertise is psychological injuries such as trauma, PTSD and depression. Jo Darlington is a lead brain injury specialist and deals with catastrophic injuries representing adults, children and those who lack capacity. She is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ and has ‘a huge reservoir of experience and knowledge’. Associate Richard Wargent specialises in road traffic accident claims and high-value catastrophic injury claims. He is ‘exceptionally client focused’ and ‘a determined litigator’. The firm operates ABS law firms such as Carol Nash Legal Services, FMG Legal, BMA Law and Your Law. Clients include the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and National Accident Helpline. Recent highlights include acting for a client involved in a complex motorcycle accident which resulted in a fatality, the claim was settled for £750k.

Slee Blackwell specialises in advising clients on Animal Act cases, particularly dog bites and also road traffic accidents and sexual abuse claims. Recent cases include recovering £30,000 for a dog bite victim who had had the tip off his nose bitten off by a neighbours dog. Another highlight includes successfully recovering compensation for a vet who was attacked and bitten on the face and arm whilst undertaking an examination of a dog at work. The firm has also dealt with historic abuse cases against schools, local authorities, churches and the Scouting Association. It also advises on cases against care homes involving substandard care, suffering and injury. Partner and practice head James McNally is highly ‘responsive’, providing ‘expert legal advice around the area of animal law in the UK’ with ‘genuine concern for the welfare of his clients’.

VWV advises on serious injuries, road traffic accidents, industrial diseases, workplace accidents, fatal accident claims and professional negligence claims involving personal injury. The firm ‘ensures that their client’s needs are truly at the heart of what they do’. Jan Markland  heads the practice and specialises in cases involving marine and air accidents, stress and pain disorders and fatalities. Jon Webster  focuses on head injury and spinal injury work.Jonathon Peacock  is regarded nationally for high-value catastrophic injury work. His areas of specialism are ‘numerous’ and ‘his strategic and innovative approach to cases benefits all clients he works for’. Recent highlights include settling a claim for a client with a serious brain injury sustained as a baby in a road traffic accident, the claim was settled for over £6m. The firm has ‘a collection of extremely high calibre lawyers who each bring something different to the team’.

The ‘exceptionally good’ practice at Ashfords LLP handles a range of claims including personal injury, road traffic accidents, accidents abroad, accidents involving animals, aviation accidents, employers, public and product liability, occupational and industrial disease and fatal accidents. Stephen Walker  heads the practice and specialises in high-value personal injury and Court of Protection cases. Flora Wood  is ‘highly professional’ and ‘applies herself assiduously to obtain the best possible outcome for the client’. Elizabeth Johnson is ‘very experienced’ and ‘a sensible and effective negotiator’. Jason Squire  is also recommended.

Barcan+Kirby LLP fields a team of ‘approachable and hardworking’ lawyers who represent clients in complex injury claims such as severe traumatic brain injury, back and neck injuries, amputation, road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, psychiatric injuries and fatal accidents. Head of department Bill Willcocks  has ‘a wealth of experience and fantastic client care’. The ‘knowledgeable and approachable’ Adrian Stone specialises in brain and cauda equina injury, product liability and fatalities. Myfanwy Buckeridge  (‘very clever, hardworking and gets good results’) focuses on brain injury, spinal injury and fatal accident claims. Samantha Castle  (‘thorough, sensible at making decisions and great to work with’) deals with accidents at work, road traffic accidents and public liability.

‘Experts in the field’ Coles Miller Solicitors LLP advises on brain and spinal injuries, road traffic accidents that occur abroad, sporting injuries, amputation, dental negligence and CICA claims. Managing partner and head of department Adrian Cormack specialises in complex brain injury cases and catastrophic injuries such as tetraplegia. He is ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ and ‘deals with matters in an expedient fashion’. Partner Christopher Whittle deals with personal injury litigation and has a particular focus on dental treatment, sports injuries and accidents at work. The department supports clients by helping them maintain a lifelong income through personal injury trusts. The firm provides ‘clear and thorough instructions’ and has ‘professional and experienced office staff’.

Humphreys & Co. acts for national and international clients, specialising in industrial disease and in particular asbestos and mesothelioma claims. It deals with mostly terminal claims but also damages in relation to asbestos-related cancer claims, asbestosis and pleural thickening on both a provisional and final damages basis. Partner Stephen Burbidge  heads the department, he ‘puts a considerable personal effort into each client’s case and to helping clients to cope with their terminal illnesses’. Consultant Peter Montgomery is also recommended. The firm offers a ‘fantastic, efficient, friendly and professional service’.

Simpson Millar LLP acts for private clients and trade unions in personal injury and industrial disease claims involving asbestos, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occupational cancer, hand arm vibration/ vibration white finger, dermatitis, industrial deafness, repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Gavin Evans heads the department and has ‘substantial asbestos experience’. Partner Helen Grady is ‘superb with clients and really knows her stuff'; she specialises in asbestos, mesothelioma, lung cancer and pleural thickening claims. Recent work includes concluding a mesothelioma claim for a woman who was exposed to asbestos in the 1970s and 1980s in her workplace. Emma Costin left the firm.

Trethowans LLP specialises in complex high-value catastrophic injury cases such as head and spinal injury, orthopaedic injury and multiple injury claims. It deals with accidents at work, occupiers' liability, fatal accidents, public liability, industrial disease claims and road traffic accidents. Gavin Lane heads the team and specialises in employer’s liability cases and asbestos-related claims; he has ‘huge experience and technical expertise’. Partner Chris Whitely specialises in catastrophic injury cases and is ‘very experienced’ with ‘a reassuring gravitas’. Workplace injury specialist Rhiannon Daniel is ‘outstandingly good’ and ‘committed to achieving the best for clients’.

Wards Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of personal injury matters such as road traffic accidents, accidents at work, CICA claims, product liability claims, accidents caused by animals and accidents abroad. It also acts in claims involving the police, local authorities, sexual abuse claims, occupational stress, harassment and catastrophic injury. The 'diligent'  Alison Underhill heads the team and is praised for her ‘excellent eye for detail’. She is supported by 'very experienced' partner Helen Boyd and associate Angela Carnell, who joined the team.

The ‘very professional and capable’ practice at Battens Solicitors Limited handles a broad range of personal injury claims such as workplace accidents, industrial disease, road traffic accidents, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric injuries and fatal accidents. The firm also assists with the establishment of personal injury trusts. Senior associate and team head Kate Golding focuses on claims involving brain injuries, spinal injuries and severe lower limb injuries. She is ‘thorough, conscientious and works hard for her clients’. Recent work includes acting for a client who was injured in a road traffic accident, sustaining a back injury, fibromyalgia and psychological injuries; the case was settled for a six-figure sum.

Coodes Solicitors' expertise covers road traffic accidents, accidents at work and public liability claims, handling cases varying in severity from slips and trips to fatal accidents. The firm often words under Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs). Tim Goldburn heads the practice.

Dutton Gregory LLP handles personal injury claims ranging from road traffic accidents, brain injury, spinal injury, orthopaedic injury and psychiatric trauma, to public liability cases and fatal accidents. Team head Joanna Gatehouse specialises in catastrophic injuries and has dealt with many claims for children. Recent cases include acting for a client who had an accident at work and sustained severe facial injuries, loss of sight and as a result suffered from depression and PTSD, which required extensive rehabilitation and occupational assistance.

Festival Law (Cheltenham) Limited  Cheltenham is a niche practice specialising in personal injury such as road traffic accidents, accidents on holiday, assaults, animal injury claims and fatal accidents. It also focuses on medical negligence matters such as injuries at birth, dental negligence, cosmetic surgery and GP compensation. Another area of expertise is industrial disease, It is particularly adept at handling asbestos-related claims. Ann Marie Whelan specialises in multi-track cases. Julia Briano focuses on high-value industrial disease cases.

GA Solicitors  provides advice on a broad range of personal injury matters including asbestos and mesothelioma cases, brain injury, cycling and motorcycle accidents, chronic pain disorder injuries, product liability, dental negligence, psychological injury and fatal accidents. It acts against local authorities in public liability cases, the MoD in cases involving injured servicemen and employers in negligence cases. The team is led by partner Matthew Sheather who focuses on high-value personal injury litigation, he is ‘very experienced, capable and efficient’. Partner James Walsh specialises in multi-track personal injury litigation, in particular in relation to industrial disease, he is ‘a sound tactician and procedurally astute’.

Nash & Co has a small team dealing with personal injury claims focusing on road traffic accidents, neurological injury, workplace accidents, noise and vibration claims, work-related neck and upper limb disorders, and fatal accidents. Other areas of expertise include industrial disease, particularly asbestos-related cases, environmental claims and claims arising from poisoning. Mike Sheirs heads the practice, he is ‘a good lawyer’ and ‘progresses his cases to conclusion confidently and properly’. The firm is ‘well respected for personal injury work’, it often acts against the MoD and has ‘a great niche in military claims’.

‘Well known and well regarded’ Trowers & Hamlins LLP advises on a range of personal injury claims such as road traffic collisions, public liability, employers' liability, claims involving animals, product liability and fatal accidents. Partner James Browne heads the team and specialises in catastrophic injuries, he is ‘Intelligent, sensible, and hard-working’ and ‘does the very best for his clients’. He has recently advised on cases involving amputation, brain injury, psychological injury and anosmia. The team is ‘extremely professional’ and ‘deals promptly with all aspects of requests’.

Personal injury: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Personal injury: defendant clients in South West 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


DAC Beachcroft LLP has a large team specialising in personal injury defendant work, it acts for major insurers and individual corporate clients. It advises on catastrophic injury claims such as road traffic accidents, amputation, spinal injuries, brain injuries, chronic pain and fatalities. The firm also advises on claims of employer liability and public liability. Clients include AXA, NFU, Zurich, Aviva and Allianz. Sally Yuill heads the Bristol team and specialises in high-value motor and casualty claims. Mark Bailey handles catastrophic injury claims, Paul Parke focuses on high-value brain and spinal injury claims and is experienced in handling cases involving children. Deborah Bradley  also deals with catastrophic injuries and deals with high-value motor claims. Caroline Hall , Robert Williams and Cassandra Mitchell are also recommended. The team ‘provides a good level of service’ and ‘identifies and meets the needs of their clients’.

‘Very thorough in its approach to all cases’, Ashfords LLP's practice handles high-value defendant work involving catastrophic injuries, road traffic accidents, fatal accidents and product liability. It also provides advice to clients on how to use the Ministry of Justice claims portal. Department head Flora Wood is ‘highly professional’ and ‘applies herself assiduously to obtain the best possible outcome for the client’. She is supported by associate Liz Johnson, who is ‘friendly, approachable and efficient’ and ‘a sensible and effective negotiator’. The firm recently acted for Cornish Mutual in a case involving a brain injury sustained from a motoring accident; a settlement was reached which drastically reduced the initial claim value. The team provides ‘a slick and efficient service’ and is ‘experienced, willing and tactically very aware’.

Bevan Brittan LLP is adept at handling personal injury defendant litigation particularly in relation to road traffic accidents, injuries caused by animals, hand/arm vibration syndrome, employer's liability and public liability claims. It works for buildings and contents insurers in relation to personal liability cover, particularly in relation to falls, serious injuries and fatalities. It also advises construction clients on industrial disease cases such as asbestos-related illnesses. Birmingham-based Adam Kendall heads the litigation, advisory and regulatory department. Partner Paul Taverner heads the insurance team, he is ‘excellent in all areas’ and provides ‘a personal and detailed service especially in relation to complex and higher value injury claims’. He has experience of maximum severity cases often involving head and spinal injuries. The team provides an ‘excellent bespoke service for household and motor insurers’. Clients include Covea Insurance, Nottingham County Council, Neon (formerly Marketform), Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Costain, CNA Europe and Praxair.

‘Excellent defendant insurance firm’ BLM handles a wide range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injury, industrial disease, casualty claims, health and safety, fast and small track litigation, and public liability claims. It also has specialist teams dedicated to marine and abuse claims, and also catastrophic injury and local authority claims. The firm regularly acts in multimillion-pound cases and cases involving seriously injured children and babies. Joe Wakeford heads the team and acts for large insurers and in non-clinical claims for the NHS Litigation Authority, in addition to handling inquests. Andrew Lawson is adept at defending catastrophic injury claims particularly in relation to road traffic accidents, he is ‘professional’ and ‘achieves outstanding results’. Rebecca Shafto has ‘good judgement’ and defends catastrophic injury claims involving brain injuries, amputations and multiple traumatic injuries. Clients include Direct Line Group, QBE, Gallagher Bassett, North Somerset Council and FirstPort. Recent work includes acting for Liverpool Victoria in a road traffic accident case in which an individual became paraplegic, involving defending the garage which undertook an MOT of the vehicle shortly before the crash.

DWF's defendant personal injury practice handles a range of matters including work related stress, somatoform disorder, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, spinal injury, brain injury, road traffic accidents and fatal accidents. Clients include insurers and local authorities and the practice regularly handles Health and Safety Executive investigations. Claire Gribben heads the team and specialises in insurance litigation including employer’s liability, public liability, industrial disease and product liability matters. Peter Barnes, who expertise includes product liability and multi-jurisdictional claims, is ‘dedicated, hardworking, easy to work with, thorough and very talented’. The practice recently acted for Direct Line Group in a catastrophic injury claim relating to a road traffic accident; the claimant was found to be exaggerating injuries after surveillance was undertaken and the claim was reduced by £750,000. Other clients include Aviva, Surrey County Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council and Cornish Mutual Assurance Company.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  acts for insurers, self-insured entities and corporate clients in the transport, retail and manufacturing sectors. It provides advice in relation to employers' and public liability claims, motor claims, product liability claims and catastrophic injury claims such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations and fatalities. ‘Sensible and personable’ David Brown heads the team and specialises in catastrophic injury and high-value claims and public liability cases such as noise induced hearing loss, asbestos, chronic pain, stress at work and travel claims. Clients include RATP (including London United Busways), AIG, Transdev, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, CNA Hardy and Tokio Marine Kiln.

Browne Jacobson LLP specialises complex employer liability and public liability claims, it acts for insurers, NHS resolution and local authorities. Areas of expertise include industrial disease claims including asbestos related illnesses, HAVS, occupational stress, deafness, WRULD and road traffic accidents. Joanne Pruden heads up the technical claims and social care team, she focuses on high-value occupier liability claims and cases involving sexual abuse, social care including claims for false imprisonment under the Mental Health Act, and bullying and harassment claims. Recent highlights include acting for the insurers of a driver who caused a motoring accident, the claimant argued for loss of career and loss of earnings and after complex medical evidence was given the claim was settled for a significantly reduced amount. Clients include Ageas insurance, Devon County Council, Covea Insurance, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, Travelers and Tesco.

Wansbroughs acts for local authorities, schools and insurers on personal injury cases in relation to Human Rights, Equality Act, harassment, stress, sexual abuse, highways, misfeasance, wrongful arrest and fatal accident claims. It advises on occupiers’ liability, employers’ liability, public liability claims and also inquest work. Partner and team leader Robert Hams is ‘a very good tactician and case planner’ and is ‘a robust negotiator’. Cynthia Watts is ‘very adept at handling the sensitivities and emotions around social service and abuse claims’. The team provides ‘exceptional level of quality and service from a boutique regional firm’.

Professional negligence

Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
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    • Rachael Healey - RPC

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CMS acts in professional negligence claims and disputes in relation to directors and officers liability insurance (D&O), cyber, construction, financial, physical risks, and reinsurance. Although mainly acting as defendant it also undertakes some claimant work in relation to recovery actions on insurers. London-based  Ed Foss and Cheryl Gibson head the team. Gibson specialises in resolving high-profile cases through adjudication and mediation, her clients include brokers, engineers, architects and surveyors. Zoe Burge  focuses on insurance coverage disputes and solicitors professional indemnity. Simon Garrett splits time between the London and Bristol offices and specialises in financial negligence cases often with an international element. Senior associate Nicholas Medniuk  joined from Clyde & Co LLP . Clients include QBE, Channel Syndicate, Chubb, Axis, Pembroke, CNA Hardy, Liberty and WR Berkley.

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for businesses in the legal, surveying, financial services, insurance broking and construction sectors in D&O insurance and title indemnity insurance claims. Marcus Campbell and Helen Faulkner head the Bristol team, which includes Caroline Cherry, who was promoted to partner and heads the claims handling team. Helen Staines led on defending claims of under-settlement of miners' vibration white finger (VWF) claims. Another highlight includes acting for Zurich Insurance in defence of a discrimination and defamation claim brought against a university students’ union by a student. The firm also acted for Aviva in relation to a restrictive covenant indemnity policy, successfully applying to the Upper Chamber Lands Tribunal to alter covenants on a development site. Other clients include QBE Europe, Markel International Insurance Company, XL Catlin Insurance, AmTrust Europe, Libra Managers and Cushman & Wakefield.

RPC defends insurers and their insureds in the full range of claims from high-volume, low-value to complex cross-border, high-value matters. It also conducts regulatory and disciplinary work, acting for a large number of professional firms. Another area of expertise is policy coverage issues, specifically in relation to design and construct policies. Simon Laird heads the department, which includes Jeremy Barnes, who specialises in financial services matters; Peter Mansfield, who specialises in defending construction professionals, solicitors and surveyors; Robert Morris, who focuses on policy coverage issues; and Will Sefton, who specialises in representing directors facing liquidator claims and unfair prejudice matters. Alan Stone recently defended surveyors Watts Group against the Bank of Ireland in a negligence and breach of contract claim. Legal Director Rachel Healey has a particular focus on claims against pensions professionals such as trustees, administrators and actuaries.

Burges Salmon LLP acts mainly for claimants in professional negligence cases. It is particularly adept making claims for lenders and has experience advising in various sectors such as financial services, legal, pensions, construction, environmental, energy, accountancy, tax, actuarial, IT and fund management. It also advises on cases of cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions. The ‘highly recommended’ Andrew Burnette heads the team; he is ‘in complete control of his cases’ with ‘a strategic overview and an eye on the client’s commercial imperatives’. Partner Kari McCormick focuses on financial services disputes and in particular negligence claims against FS regulated firms. Justin Briggs focuses on disputes and litigation in relation to pensions, trusts and tax. He recently advised HR Trustees in a claim against Aon Consulting which related to errors in the closure of a defined benefit pension scheme. This led to an increase in liabilities for the client, the value of the case is estimated to be £30m. Other clients include Co-operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Nomura International, Volvo Group UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Clarke Willmott LLP advises corporate clients, private client’s insurers and trustees on a range of professional negligence issues. It mainly acts for claimants but also undertakes defendant work. It acts in claims against professionals such as solicitors, barristers, financial advisers, financial planners, banks, architects, surveyors, valuers, auditors, land agents and tax advisors. Recent highlights include acting for RQ Capital against Robert Simpson in relation to a case of a property that was overvalued by around £12m. Another highlight includes acting for Great Lakes Reinsurance and Burford Capital in a negligence claim against Penningtons Manches, this related to negligent advice given during litigation. Philippa Hann gives ‘consistently clear and correct strategic and technical advice’. She focuses on financial litigation and is experienced in the High Court claims and alternative dispute resolutions (ADRs). Alex Jakubowski heads the team and specialises in contractual disputes, financial services disputes, commercial agency disputes and IT disputes. He has ‘a good level of knowledge’ and is ‘tactically aware’. Clients include Arbuthnot Latham, Lloyds Bank, Julian Hodge Bank, West Bromwich Building Society and NFU.

Kennedys is adept at defending professional negligence claims against professionals such as solicitors, barristers, accountants and construction professionals. It also deals with D&O claims, professional indemnity claims, property, fire-related claims and negligence in relation to food product testing. It acts for UMAL, advising universities on claims and regulatory matters. Other clients include Pen Underwriting, Bar Mutual, Towergate, Aqueous, RSA, IGI and Allied World. Sarah Cornish heads the team and specialises in representing solicitors and other professionals. Simon Combe focuses on the construction sector, Andrew Crocombe deals with accountants and financial advisers. Angela Horne specialises in claims against barristers and medical professionals. Senior associate Laura Mellstrom is ‘especially good on coverage’ and ‘easy to deal with’. Joanna Makin joined the firm as senior associate. Highlights include representing a property developer in relation to a negligence claim which involved fire-related fatality. The firms has ‘a good skill level’ and ‘a wide variety of experience’.

Osborne Clarke advises on negligence cases for accountancy practices, pension providers and construction companies. It conducts claimant and defendant work for accountancy firms with a bias toward the defendant side. With regards to pension providers it advises on high-profile and high-value claims for trustees and companies, usually against investment advisers, pension providers, solicitors and actuaries. In relation to construction and property-related negligence the firm conducts litigation and advises on claims against surveyors, valuers, engineers, architects and contractors. Leona Briggs heads the team and has a commercial approach to resolving disputes. Tom Ellis is experienced at defendant and claimant work and has a client focus in the accountancy sector. Clare Robinson specialises in claimant work against solicitors, accountants and surveyors. Charles Crowne deals with claims against accountants and financial advisers and Paul Matthews deals with complex high-value pension’s litigation. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Wincanton, Harrods Bank, Midas Retail, VocaLink, Manitou, Sotheby's Grant Thornton.

TLT is 'a very strong performer' that handles a broad range of professional negligence matters including those relating to fraud, insurance coverage disputes and regulatory issues. The practice specialises in claims in the financial services, corporate, pension and construction sectors. Neil Franklin  jointly heads the team and is ‘intellectually incisive, inspiring complete confidence in clients’. He is assisted by co-head Richard Hall , who specialises in high-value claims against solicitors, valuers, surveyors, accountants and IFAs. The ‘excellent’ team delivers ‘great customer service’ and is ‘very easy to deal with’. Recent highlights include taking over 76 professional negligence claims from a city firm, these were in relation to solicitors and surveyors who acted for a lender in retail mortgage transactions, the claims were valued at around £7m. Another highlight includes acting for a high-net-worth individual in a claim against two firms of solicitors whom the client alleges did not carry out the necessary work in order to achieve a fair settlement in her divorce. Clients include Royal Bank of Scotland Group, UPS, Lloyds Bank, WHSmith, Fitness First, Northview Group and Avon Rubber plc.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP focuses on defending accountants, barristers, brokers, construction contractors, engineers, estate agents and IFAs in professional negligence claims. The Bristol-based practice is led by partner James Robins, who is particularly adept at handling high-value complex cases that involve property professionals. Ian Peacock left the firm for Clyde & Co LLP and Gary Oldroyd left for Browne Jacobson LLP. Clients include AIG Europe (UK), Liberty Mutual Insurance and Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund.

Ashfords LLP provides advice on a broad range of professional negligence issues, specialising in claims related to banking, bloodstock, construction, solicitors, accountants and financial advisers. It acts for banks in claims against surveyors, solicitors and project managers in relation to overvaluations, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. In construction the firm advises claims in relation to negligent design, cost advice and project management. It also advises on claims against solicitors including cases of negligent breach of confidence and failure to advise clients. Recent highlights include representing Riva Properties in a high-profile case against a leading architect who failed to design a five-star hotel at Heathrow airport within budget, the matter was valued at £3.6m. Other Clients include Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and Exeter City Council. Rory MacNeice heads the team and is ‘a natural litigator with a flair for strategy’ who ‘approaches claims with a balanced blend of commerciality and pragmatism’. Victoria Bonnet  handles property-related claims.

Beale & Co specialises in acting for insurers and professionals in defence matters across a range of industries, with a focus on non-medical professions such as solicitors, barristers, brokers, accountants, surveyors, construction professionals and independent financial advisers. Recent highlights include successfully acting for respondents in the Supreme Court in the BPE v Hughes-Holland (Gabriel) case. Rhian Howell  heads the team and is ‘a very experienced and tough negotiator’. Partner Joe Eizenberg  is ‘technically first rate’ and ‘very down to earth’. Scott Ashby  was promoted to Partner. Associates Simon Matthews  and Rebecca Blaikley  joined the team. Giles Tagg is also recommended. Clients include RSA, Aviva, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, AmTrust Europe and AmTrust International Underwriters, Aspen Risk Management and CNAHardy.

DWF acts for insurers, insurance brokers and insured professionals in claims against professionals such as accountants, solicitors, surveyors, architects and engineers. It specialises in complex disputes in relation to technical engineering, construction, solicitors’ negligence and claims against accountants and actuaries. The ‘very reliable’ Simon Mason heads the team and is adept at advising on policy disputes and ADRs. He is supported by Peter Barnes who has experience in high-value technical professional indemnity matters. The team is ‘down to earth and approachable’ and ‘takes a pragmatic view considering the whole picture’. Recent highlights include successfully defending Harding Evans in the Court of Appeal against a former client who had not paid his fees and was attempting to claim damages, the matter was valued at around £1m.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys handles claims in the financial services, real estate and probate sectors for private individuals, SMEs and PLCs including banks and insurance companies. Adam Finch heads the team and specialises in complex financial disputes. The firm acted in a case against wealth managers Brewin Dolphin for giving negligent advice in relation to inheritance tax. This resulted in a much higher inheritance tax liablity payable by the client’s estate upon death than was expected. It also advised in a class action lawsuit for 26 claimants against a group of independent financial advisers in relation to the mis-selling of tax mitigation and saving schemes. The practice was joined by Clare Holford, Adam Barrett] and Edward Miller. Clients include Attivo Group, Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, Assured Futures and Paragon Bank.

Michelmores LLP acts in claims for and against professionals such as architects, chartered surveyors, solicitors, valuers and financial services professionals. Clients include SMEs, high-net-worth individuals, private investors and large private companies, for which it handles mis-selling disputes with regulatory implications, agricultural-related negligence and also veterinary negligence such as presale vetting of horses and valuation issues in relation to pedigree livestock. Simon Barnett heads the team, which includes Jonathan Kitchin, who specialises in financial and investment negligence and senior associate Jayne Clemens, who focuses on claims against solicitors and financial services providers. The team provides ‘an outstanding service’ and ‘thinks strategically and commercially’.

VWV handles disputes involving financial issues, business breakdown, contract disputes, corporate insolvency, securitisation and negligent administration of pension funds. Ed Husband heads the team and is supported by partner Ben Holt and senior associate Nick Martindale, who focuses on  insolvency litigation and liquidations. The firm acted for Platform Funding, a subsidiary of the Co-operative Bank in relation to a multi-party claim against solicitors who did not report a fraudulent sale and leaseback scheme. It also acted for Platform funding in relation to a negligent valuation report with regards to a residential mortgage.

Lester Aldridge LLP advises mainly claimants on professional negligence matters against solicitors, accountants, IFAs, property surveyors and marine surveyor’s negligence. The firm specialises in claims against accountants and IFAs with regards to aggressive tax schemes. Michael Giddins heads the team, he is adept at handling complex disputes which sometimes have multi-jurisdictional aspects, he has ‘excellent people skills’. Partner Michael Veal has ‘exceptional intellectual and analytical ability’ and ‘a modern, user-friendly style’. Partner Kate Stewart joined from Moore Blatch LLP.

Meade King LLP acts for private individuals and businesses in claims against conveyancers, insolvency practitioners, accountants, tax advisers and structural engineers. All team members are members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA). John Vasey heads the practice.

Stephens Scown LLP mainly advises claimants on professional negligence claims against barristers, solicitors, legal advisers, surveyors, architects, valuers, project managers, accountants, IFAs, tax advisors, investors, bankers and veterinarians. It recently acted for a law firm in a professional negligence case in the High Court. Catherine Matthews heads the team, she handles all manner of professional negligence claims and has experience of pursuing complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service and other regulatory bodies.

Slee Blackwell acts for claimants in claims against solicitors, and is adept at handling cases of negligent will preparation and estate administration. Another area of expertise is acting in high-value claims against banks and financial institutions in relation to financial irregularities committed by financial professionals. It also deals with claims relating to ground rent issues on leasehold properties. Emma Slade heads the practice.

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