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Clinical negligence and personal injury: claimant in South West

Ashfords LLP

At Ashfords LLP, personal injury work is led by civil litigation expert Stephen  Walker, whose practice includes representing claimants following workplace and traffic accidents. Another area in which the firm is noted is injury claims involving children and babies.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Walker

Barcan+Kirby LLP

The clinical negligence department at claimant-focused Barcan+Kirby LLP is instructed in cases involving a wide variety of medical injuries, including cerebral palsy, maximum severity birth injuries, head and spinal injuries, amputations and spinal accidents, as well as representations at inquest. The group is led by Richard Harries, who has expertise in delayed cancer diagnoses, brain injuries, and GP, surgical and A&E negligence cases. Consultant, founding partner and former practice head Richard Barcan handles high-value and complex cases. Claire Hurrell specialises in cases arising from negligent obstetric care, while Helen Franklin, promoted to senior associate in March 2019, is developing strong experience in amputation and compartment syndrome claims, as well as claims involving delay in diagnosing and treating cancer. On the personal injury side, the firm assists clients with claims arising from fatal injuries, brain and spinal injuries, amputations and workplace accidents. The group also has experience in road traffic accident and Animal Act cases. The team includes Samantha Castle, who has a particular focus on cycling accident claims.

Practice head(s):

Richard Harries


Personal attention, plus attention to detail, plus great fighters for their clients.’

Friendly, highly competent and a very positive experience of lawyers. Expert handling of a wide and diverse range of claims. Tactically on the ball.’

Helen Franklin is super smart and has absolute dedication to a case. To be honest, I’m not sure solicitors get any better. The kind of solicitor you would want if your mum got injured.’

From the start, Richard Barcan left no stone unturned. I always felt reassured and he would tell me exactly how things were going and keep me abreast of everything. Coming to the end of the case before settlement, he was always there with me when seeing our barrister. The outcome was exceptional and he fought with negotiations right until the bitter end. I cannot recommend or thank him enough.’

Approachable to clients but hard-nosed in negotiations. Genuine specialism and experience.’

The care, and compassion was above all levels.

The firm’s size is one that allows it to have strength in depth, but it is by no means too big for them to offer a tailored client service.’

Battens Solicitors Limited

Battens Solicitors Limited's personal injury team has well-established experience in claims spanning all types of accident and industrial disease. The group, which is led by Kate Golding, regularly handles mesothelioma-related claims. Michelle Green is another name to note, with significant personal injury and industrial disease expertise.

Practice head(s):

Kate Golding

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Green


Battens boasts a strong team with a focus; good communications and attention to detail.’

The team is extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned. They are also all very approachable and care deeply for their clients.’

Kate Golding knows her job inside out.’

Work highlights

  • Concluded a satisfactory settlement for a client who was injured falling down some stairs at his place of work. A compromise settlement was reached, although liability remained vehemently denied.
  • Concluded a settlement for a client who was seriously injured in a road traffic accident in 2017.
  • Concluded a settlement for a client who was seriously injured in a road traffic accident in 2016.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP has particular expertise in birth injury claims, while the team also has a strong track record of work on meningitis cases and claims involving brain tumours and encephalitis. Additionally, the group has developed a niche in cryogenic failures, IVF and male fertility issues. Taunton office head Chris Thorne leads the national personal injury and medical negligence team and is supported by birth injury and meningitis expert Kerry Fifield and Marguarita Tyne, whose practice includes cases relating to delayed diagnoses of stroke and cancer, as well as amputations. On the personal injury side, the team focuses on brain and spinal injuries, and draws on support from the wider firm's Court of Protection and private client specialists. The group has also developed a specialism in animal and agriculture related cases. Lee Hart leads the serious injury group, focusing on brain and spinal injury claims.

Practice head(s):

Chris Thorne


Individual attention and round-the-clock care. Shrewd, experienced solicitors who can spot the wood from the trees a mile off.

Marguarita Tyne is a superb solicitor. She listens, she prepares, she strikes and she wins.’

Kerry Fifield is a trusted pair of hands – clever and dedicated.’

A very professional team providing excellent client service to a high standard.

Coles Miller Solicitors LLP

Adrian Cormack leads the personal injury department at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP. The group handles claims relating to fatal and road traffic accidents as well as accidents at work. Accidents abroad are another area of expertise, as are sports injuries. The clinical negligence group, meanwhile, is led by David Simpson. Key focuses include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and treatment claims, nerve injuries, surgical errors, mismanaged labour and failed cosmetic surgery. Christopher Whittle is another name to note, specialising in negligent dental treatment, while Lydia Barnett handles cases involving brain injuries.


‘This team have great strategic nouse. Highly effective negotiators and excellent at bringing claims to timely and realistic conclusion.’

‘Professional and organised team. Always on the ball with cases. They are very committed to their clients and tenacious. They are not afraid to take on difficult cases.’

‘Lydia Barnett is a true delight to work with. She is fully on top of the detail of her cases and fully involved in actively furthering her clients’ best interests.

‘David Simpson is very knowledgeable, calm and measured. Clients seem to really take to him.’

‘Lydia Barnett is very organised and professional.’

‘David Simpson is excellent in every respect.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client who was left with a neurological deficit and lumbar canal stenosis following a cauda epidural, in a successful claim that resulted in an admission that the radiologist was in breach of duty.

Coodes Solicitors

Based in Falmouth, the team at Coodes Solicitors is led by Rachel Pearce, whose practice includes birth injury cases, surgical error, misdiagnoses, as well as substandard midwifery, nursing care and fatal claims. Julie Hatton has developed a strong practice in obstetrics and gynaecology and cases arising from brain and spinal injuries. In 2019, Tim Goldburn retired from full-time practice to become a consultant, although he continues to act for clients in a variety of fatal injury cases.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Pearce

Other key lawyers:

Julie Hatton; Tim Goldburn


Rachel Pearce is intelligent and able to cut straight through to the issues.’

Julie Hatton is a very able and experienced clinical negligence lawyer. She prepares thoroughly, is great with clients and works hard on their behalf.’

Very experienced and knowledgeable team. The pre-eminent legal firm for clinical negligence in the south west.’

Work highlights

  • Representing at inquest, advising and obtaining compensation for the parents and the estate of a baby boy who died of sepsis at one day old.
  • Advising a client and obtaining substantial compensation after she suffered life changing incontinence and radiation colitis following a failure to properly obtain her consent to radiotherapy treatment, which she would not have proceeded with had she been aware of the risks.
  • Advising and obtaining compensation for the estate of the deceased, who had suffered a number of preventable falls while in hospital, which resulted in a fractured hip and caused her death.

Dutton Gregory LLP

The Bournemouth-based Carol Maunder heads the clinical negligence department at Dutton Gregory LLP, handling cases involving birth injuries, head injuries, amputations and spinal injuries. Melanie Reynolds is another individual of note, with experience in claims arising from still births and cerebral palsy. Michael Kingman is praised for his 'skill with tricky cases'.

Practice head(s):

Carol Maunder

Other key lawyers:

Melanie Reynolds; Michael Kingman


‘Michael Kingman has particular skill with tricky cases, and helping clients understand the complexities of litigation. His manner is very professional and reassuring to those going through the stressful experience of litigation, often for the first time.’

‘Dutton Gregory employs personable approachable individuals, and consequently the aloof distant attitude sometimes found in larger firms is not present. This makes it much more pleasurable to interact with the team.’

‘Carol Maunder is a first-rate leader of the department, managing her team in a way that commands loyalty and dedication. She has an excellent manner with clients, being always sympathetic and understanding. She gets extremely satisfactory results, particularly in the large claims.’

‘Dutton Gregory provides a very effective service in the south west, catering for clients with a range of injuries, including catastrophic brain damage. They are a friendly team, popular with their clients, and sympathetic to the clients’ needs.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a clinical negligence claim against his former GP, concerning delayed diagnosis of cancer, recovering £330,000 damages following a trial.

Enable Law

Established in 2017, Enable Law is the standalone medical negligence arm of the Foot Anstey Group. Led by Robert Antrobus, the team focuses on maximum severity injury cases, with many involving complex brain or spinal injuries. The team is spread across a number of offices in the South West; in Taunton, Claire Stoneman is highly regarded for her work on stillbirth and birth injury claims. Mike Bird is the key name for clinical negligence in Truro, while in Exeter, Bernadette McGhie draws on her experience as a former paediatric nurse. Legal director Juliette Clarke leads on the personal injury side, with significant experience in spinal cord, acquired brain injury and amputee claims, as well as cases involving multiple injuries. The group has also developed a reputation for assisting with group litigation arising from patients abused by care home staff.


‘The team have a keen commercial awareness whilst retaining the common touch with their clients, which is hard to manage in what is a highly competitive legal market. They have a large and well-resourced team, which stands them in great stead to cope with larger cases both quickly and economically.’

‘Tim Jones has a great legal brain and has always demonstrated an excellent work ethic. He is also dogged in maximising the value of claims for his clients.’

‘Paul Sankey has great legal and procedural knowledge, and his conduct of trickier areas is impressive.’

‘Jackie Linehan is a very experienced clinical negligence lawyer. Considerable expertise and attention to detail ensure she achieves excellent results in high value complex clinical negligence cases.’

‘Claire Stoneman is highly specialised, empathetic and a good strategic thinker in the most complex of cases. She brings a particular skill to stillbirth and obstetric cases.’

‘The team is highly specialised in clinical negligence with a sharp focus on getting the right result for their clients. There is a good range of experience in the team, meaning that they can take on cases from the lower value to the most complex.’

‘Strong and well established team. Capable of dealing with all types and sizes of clinical negligence claim.’


‘Anna-Claire Marks is an experienced, clever and exceptionally able solicitor. She works her cases very hard. She goes the extra mile for her clients.’

‘Alex McKnight is always helpful and knowledgeable and considerate.’

‘Claire Stoneman is, in my opinion, the finest lawyer in the area of stillbirth and perinatal death. She has a tenacious approach to complex cases and she has an authoritative grasp of some very contentious legal matters.’

‘The firm has an excellent support infrastructure with legal assistants, PAs and accounts teams of the highest quality..’

‘The clinical negligence team is well balanced in expertise and expertise with many of the members having had previous careers in health-related professions. Each member has a firm understanding of both the medical and legal issues in any of the claims that are undertaken.’


GA Solicitors

At GA Solicitors, the team of 'exceptional litigators' handle a range of personal injury cases relating to brain injuries, injuries at work, and road traffic claims, particularly in relation to motorcycle and cycling accidents. The department is led by veteran personal injury lawyer Matthew Sheather and includes industrial disease expert James Walsh.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Sheather

Other key lawyers:

James Walsh


‘A specialist team of experienced individuals, who are exceptional litigators with an eye for detail. There is little doubt that in Devon and Cornwall this firm is a market leader with talented lawyers.’

‘James Walsh – a local industrial disease specialist, who in that line of work locally is peerless.’

Humphreys & Co.

'An effective disease litigator with a clear grasp of the legal principles'Stephen Burbidge leads the team at Humphreys & Co., which focuses almost entirely on mesothelioma asbestos-related claims. The firm  represents individuals and their estates and has experience achieving settlements in and outside of court, often securing indemnity for future medical treatment. Fabio Seccatore is another name to note. The firm receives notable praise for its client care skills, with many citing examples of how Burbidge and his team go above and beyond.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burbidge

Other key lawyers:

Fabio Seccatore


Stephen Burbidge leads by example – patients recommend this firm to each other.’

Stephen Burbidge is an effective disease litigator with a clear grasp of the applicable legal principles. He is prepared to undertake difficult claims and to push for the best settlement for his clients with whom he has a first-rate relationship – they rightly have complete confidence in him.’

They were very quick to get the claim started and covered every aspect, including getting benefits which I was entitled to. They never once failed to pass on a message and always.

The practice was first class, I found them to be supportive, helpful. Their advice was insighful, proving to be valid and leading to a successful conclusion for us.

They have an excellent appreciation of the client’s situation once a diagnosis has been received. They are very approachable and communicate in a clear way that enables me to fully understand.’

Ince Metcalfes

The personal injury and accident claims department at Ince Metcalfes is led by Kay McCluskey, who has built a solid reputation for head injury claims. Consultant Hugh Balchin is an employers' liability expert, and regularly handles cases involving accidents at work, stress and workplace harassment, as well as industrial injury and disease. The clinical negligence team is led by Gillian Clark, who works with experienced managing associate Frances Wright; both are Law Society accredited specialists.

Practice head(s):

Kay McCluskey; Gillian Clark

Other key lawyers:

Hugh Balchin; Frances Wright


This is an experienced team of good solicitors who look after their clients well.’

Kay McCluskey has a wonderful personal touch, as well as the professional aspect; she really cares about the individual and will do anything to get justice.

Hugh Balchin has years of experience. Great manner with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a claimant cyclist involved in a road traffic accident; they were awarded by a district judge almost three times the amount that had been offered by the defendant.
  • Advised a claimant on an accident at work claim involving a tipper lorry.
  • Advised a claimant on a public liability claim caused by a lack of pathway, eroded surfaces and an uncovered drain.

Irwin Mitchell

Led by Bristol managing partner Julie Lewis, the clinical negligence team at Irwin Mitchell handles cases across Bristol, the south west and south Wales. Areas of expertise include negligent obstetric treatment, delayed cancer diagnoses and delayed meningitis diagnoses that led to significant brain injury. The group is also noted for cases involving brain and spinal injuries. Senior associate Kate Easy has a focus on obstetric cases and late diagnoses, while associate Luke Trevorrow's experience encompasses claims against NHS and private healthcare providers, including group action litigation. The personal injury department is jointly led by James Davies, who heads the serious injury team, and Virginia Chalmers, who leads on industrial disease. Core areas of expertise for the serious injury group are brain and spinal cord claims, while the industrial disease lawyers focus on asbestos-related claims, advising both individuals and the charities that support them. Senior associate Isabelle Selley is noted for solid experience in asbestos claims.


‘Julie Lewis has an enviable depth of knowledge and experience that gives her clients and her team confidence that their cases are in safe hands.’

‘Julie Lewis is very experienced and able – I recommend her if I have a friend or family member who needs advice. Luke Trevorrow is also very able, experienced and good with clients. Kate Easy is also very good.’
‘I have completed a number of multimillion-pound claims with members of this office. Stand out performers, for their litigation skills and their ability to focus on the rehabilitation and other needs of their clients, include James Davies.’
‘James Davies is a truly standout solicitor in terms of legal knowledge, client care, tactical nous and knowledge of how to run a case from start to finish.’
‘James Davies is a well-established leader in his field. Leads a powerhouse of a team with calm authority. Attracts the biggest cases and is a fearless advocate for his seriously injured clients.’
‘Virginia Chalmers is excellent and at the top of her game.’
‘Isabelle Selley is extremely kind and understanding with clients and very knowledgeable with asbestos related claims.’
‘Virginia Chalmers is a wonderful partner who provides exceptional leadership.’

‘Isabelle Selley and Virginia Chalmers are fantastic litigators who really know what they are doing.’

Lester Aldridge LLP

At Lester Aldridge LLPTim Blackwell leads on catastrophic injury litigation, with a focus on acquired and traumatic brain injury. The group also has experience in securing out of court settlements for injured parties, drawing on its expertise in mediation.

Practice head(s):

Tim Blackwell

Lyons Davidson

With 'a strong reputation which is respected by opponentsLyons Davidson routinely acts for insurance customers who have suffered injuries in road traffic accidents. The group is also regularly instructed in employer's liability claims as well as those relating to occupier's liability. Emma Saville leads the team and has substantial experience in cases arising from road traffic accidents. Laura Merry is head of the brain and spinal injury team and specialises in child brain injury cases. Kerry Dutton and Katie Charlesworth are also praised for their 'first class approach'.

Practice head(s):

Emma Saville; Laura Merry

Other key lawyers:

Katie Charlesworth; Kerry Dutton


‘The firm has a strong reputation which is respected by opponents.’

‘Laura Merry is the standout partner here. She is so empathetic towards clients.’

‘This is a good solid firm in personal injury.’

‘The team know their clients’ social and medical situations well.’

‘Kerry Dutton is a good communicator – she managed our case fairly and honestly. Kerry explained the law surrounding each element of the case clearly and answered all of our queries and questions to help us make our decisions. We were always kept up to date and all decisions were ours.’

‘Kerry Dutton and Katie Charlesworth have provided a first class approach on difficult, complex and high value claims combined with a caring and sympathetic approach.’

‘Laura Merry is very well prepared; has a good relationship with clients; is commercial and straightforward, efficient and pragmatic – a good communicator.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the wife of a 46 year old male who was fatally injured as a result of a road traffic accident which occurred when an HGV lorry crashed through the central reservation on a motorway into direct collision with the claimant’s vehicle.  The claimant died instantly and liability has been admitted.

Nash & Co

Praised for its 'strong all round team', Nash & Co has a solid practice handling brain trauma, spinal injury, fatal accident and amputation claims, as well as claims against the Royal Navy. The 'very knowledgeable and personable' Michael Shiers takes the lead.

Practice head(s):

Michael Shiers

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Carr


Mike Shiers is a very experienced and capable partner with the ability to handle a wide range of complex cases.’

A strong all-round team which is very responsive.’

Mike Shiers is very knowledgeable and personable. Really knows his stuff, especially in relation to construction accidents and clinical risk matters.

Nash & Co are an established firm in Plymouth that have a proven expertise in significant personal injury claims in the West Country. They are a medium-sized firm, not a machine, and will go the extra mile for their clients.’

NewLaw Solicitors

The practice at personal injury firm NewLaw Solicitors is led from Cardiff by Karl Ford and Nicola Edwards; the firm's Bristol team advises clients on road traffic accidents, occupational disease, employer and public liability and fatal accidents. Jo Darlington is a key figure in the department, specialising in serious injury work, including in relation to brain injuries. Richard Wargent, 'a seasoned campaigner who takes his client's cases to heart', is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Karl Ford; Nicola Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Jo Darlington; Richard Wargent


NewLaw have the benefit of being a large personal injury and clinical negligence team located outside London. It is therefore able to provide a local service but with well resourced teams with national standards. Remote working was pioneered by this firm, something which has been thrown into sharp focus with COVID19.’

Richard Wargent is a seasoned campaigner who takes his client’s cases to heart. No stone is left unturned to ensure the maximum level of damages are secured. Unrelenting and wily, Richard is a solicitor to be feared by defendants.’

Key clients

Carole Nash Legal Services

Ageas Law

RCN Legal

Your Law


FMG Legal

H&R Legal

National Accident Helpline

Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King's team has substantial experience handling spinal cord and brain injury claims, as well as representing amputees and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) victims. The brain injury group is led by Stuart Brazington, who is described as 'not afraid to take difficult cases' - he also stands out for spinal injury and paediatric work. Louise Hart is an expert in matters arising from chronic pain and CRPS, while Mark Hambleton's practice spans equine cases, cycle accident claims and representing clients without capacity. Senior associate Jennifer Seavor leads on industrial disease case, often acting for clients with mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. On the personal injury side, the firm has an 'exceptionally strong and dedicated team' which is particularly noted for dental negligence work, but also regularly handles catastrophic birth injury claims. Practice head Simon Elliman has developed a specialism in spinal surgery cases, while Paul Rumley, who is also based in Bath, focuses on birth injury cases, as well as cardiology, and cancer-related claims.


They thoroughly deserve their leading position. They have a vast amount of experience, in particular in cases of utmost severity.

Stuart Brazington has high representation for catastrophic injury claims – particularly brain injury. He is not afraid to take difficult cases and challenging clients and is always prepared to push for the maximum achievable results.’

Every member of the team we have spoken with was educated with the relevant details of our case and always able to promptly answer and respond to any questions or queries we had.’

To a person, they are a pleasure to work with – realistic, friendly, sensible, collaborative, with excellent judgement.’

An exceptionally strong and dedicated team.’

Simon Elliman is a standout partner, very experienced, always on top of the detail but sees the big picture; great judgement.

Royds Withy King is a high quality firm, with top lawyers that have a great manner with clients and consistently get good results.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a fatal mesothelioma claim for the family of a man not diagnosed until post mortem. He had been a carer for his wife and was in the process of moving house when he fell ill. A number of novel heads of loss were pursued resulting in a settlement of £200,000.
  • Advised on a mesothelioma claim for a 53 year old Swindon woman. Pursued and obtained judgment at show cause on the basis of secondary exposure from her husband from work and resulting exposure between 2000-2002 – years after asbestos was banned in the UK.
  • Concluded an asbestosis claim for a 84 year old man who is a permeant resident of Chile having lived and been exposed in the UK as a young man whilst working in power stations.

Simpson Millar LLP

The 'fabulous' Helen Grady in Simpson Millar LLP's Bristol office is the name to note for personal injury claims. In addition to her expert knowledge, she is praised for her 'kindness and supportive demeanour.' The group specialises in asbestos disease work, particularly in relation to mesothelioma.

Practice head(s):

Helen Grady


‘Helen Grady has worked tirelessly on our behalf and has left no stone unturned to find conclusive evidence to back our case. She has always kept us informed as to what is happening, and been friendly, personable and yet extremely professional at all times. I am extremely impressed by her attention to detail, and her helpful and supportive demeanour.’

‘Helen Grady was fabulous; attentive, knowledgeable and friendly.’

‘The Simpson Millar team is a tight-knit unit of experienced solicitors, well-run and well-managed. They are good with clients and obtain good results, even in some borderline cases.’

‘I cannot praise Helen Grady enough. Not only is she a very good lawyer, she is a very kind and caring person who considers the feelings of her clients as well as giving good advice. She is extremely knowledgeable. She does not pressure you to do anything and proceeds at your own pace. I have no hesitation in recommending Helen to any potential client and would certainly seek her advice on any other legal matter I may need help with.’

‘Simpson Millar have been excellent in terms of efficiency, thoroughness, attention to detail, and keeping us as clients up to date with what’s happening with our case.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on complex liability issues and investigations for exposures at three companies, securing an early admission of liability against all three.
  • Advised on exposures to asbestos for a BT engineer who was exposed during major factory refurbishments.

Slee Blackwell

Slee Blackwell's personal injury team has a niche in Animals Act, historic abuse and stress at work claims. The department is led by James McNally, who specialises in claims arising from dog bites. Elizabeth Duncan stands out for her work representing victims of historic abuse, as does Rachel Thain. Oliver Thorne takes the lead on clinical negligence cases, handling a variety of high-value claims, including in relation to birth injuries, spinal injuries and acquired brain injuries. The group is also instructed in cases arising from cosmetic surgery, vaginal mesh and missed cancer diagnoses.

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Duncan; Rachel Thain


Approachability, patience and understanding. Everybody from reception staff up are welcoming.’

Slee Blackwell are a niche PI team, very astute as to the state of the market, proactive, great at client care and because they are specialists, they know their stuff.

James McNally has the experience and dynamism of a partner who looks after his team and his clients.’

Easy to contact and prompt response to emails.’

Oliver Thorne is very clear thinker.’

Oliver Thorne was exceptional in the time he was willing to spend with us and the efforts he went to on our behalf. As you would expect, he was very thorough and left no stone unturned, but combined with his professionalism was empathy and warmth.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a claimant who attended the the defendant’s premises to collect some drain rods. On entering their courtyard the defendant’s dog bit off her right earlobe, which could not be reattached.
  • Represented a claimant who suffered serious sexual abuse at the hands of her grandmother’s partner.
  • Represented a claimant who was run over as they crossed a supermarket carpark.
  • Advised on successful Fatal Accident Act claim after death of baby.
  • Advised client who suffered a loss of sight in one eye during routine laser eye surgery. A settlement of £350,000 was secured.
  • Advised client who suffered a total and permanent loss of sight in his left eye due to negligent treatment. An out of court settlement of £45,000 was reached.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP

Thompsons Solicitors LLP has a 100% focus on claimant-side work, and has longstanding links with trade unions, the members of which it represents in a variety of personal injury claims. The group has extensive experience in matters involving brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, fatal accidents and asbestos cases, as well as cases concerning hand arm vibration, noise-induced hearing loss and psychiatric injuries. Based in Bristol, the 'outstandingLisa Gunner heads the serious injury and clinical negligence teams. The firm also handles a variety of clinical negligence claims across the south west. In the Bristol office, senior solicitor Madeleine Pinschof is a key member of the team, with an outstanding track record of work on mesh litigation claims. Solicitor Sabeena Pirooz has varied clinical negligence expertise in fatal cases, and claims involving cauda equina, cancer, surgical error, misdiagnosis and gynaecology.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Gunner


‘Lisa Gunner is second to none – she is meticulous in her preparation and always gets the best result for her client, she wouldn’t be out of place in any of the top serious injury teams in the country.’

‘Thompsons are one of the largest and best established firms dealing with claimant PI work. Their trade union links are second to none, such that they have developed particular expertise in litigating claims arising from accidents at work.’

‘A small but very well-formed specialist clinical negligence team. The team is very able and hardworking.’

‘Madeleine Pinschof has considerable experience of handling difficult, complex and high value clinical negligence claims.’

‘Nick Seymour is a very experienced and sensible practitioner who gives realistic advice.’

Key clients

Unite the Union


Prison Officers Association

Public and Commercial Services Union

Rail and Maritime Workers Union

Fire Brigades Union

National Union of Journalists

Musicians’ Union

Royal College of Midwives

Work highlights

  • Acted for a claimant following an road traffic accident. He suffered a number of injuries as a result and went onto develop a serious psychiatric disorder known as Depersonalisation Disorder, which caused him to further injure himself. Those injuries were proved to be linked causally to the initial accident.
  • Acting for a pedestrian struck by a driver who was proceeding through a pedestrian crossing at speed whilst over the drink drive limit and under the influence of drugs.
  • Acted for a firefighter who suffered a worsening lung condition after exposure to diesel fumes at a military airfield and he suffered a back injury as a result of having to lift carbon dioxide cylinders weighing up to 50kgs.

Tozers Solicitors LLP

Based in Exeter, the group at Tozers Solicitors LLP has developed a solid practice acting for Erb's palsy clients and in other claims involving birth injuries. The group also has experience in meningitis claims. The department is co-led by the 'amazingEndurance Arthur, who clients note has 'a strong sense of justice, a need to attain the right outcome', and Stuart Bramley, a former defendant solicitor, whose practice includes fatal accident claims and claims arising from missed cancer diagnoses. Clair Hemming focuses on complex neurological claims, while Simon Mansfield assists with Erb's palsy claims and cases involving spinal injuries.

Other key lawyers:

Clair Hemming; Simon Mansfield


Tozers are strong team players across all aspects of law. Great communication and generally same-day replies to emails .’

Very good clinical negligence team based in Exeter. Experienced and well supervised team. Unparalleled expertise in Erbs Palsy claims. Also very good at running cerebral palsy claims and the full range of other clinical negligence claims.’

Endurance Arthur has a strong sense of justice, a need to attain the right outcome. A steadfast, methodical approach. She cares for her clients. Each case she undertakes she learns something and then uses this knowledge to help other clients.’

Endurance Arthur is an amazing solicitor. Her wealth of knowledge in her field is second to none. Not only does she respond to any queries personally, she keeps you up to date with how things are going. She is very personable whilst being professional. She explains things in layman’s terms and from the outset makes it known that she will do whatever she can to get the best outcome for you.’

Work highlights

  • Obtained damages of £1m for a 26-year-old man who sustained Erb’s Palsy during his birth in 1993.
  • Obtained damages of £1.3m, including periodical payments for loss of earnings and therapies, for a 24-year-old woman who sustained Erb’s Palsy during her birth in 1995.

Trethowans LLP

In Salisbury, Clare Carter heads the medical negligence practice at Trethowans LLP, handling cases involving birth and spinal injuries, delayed diagnoses and brain injury cases. For personal injury, the key contact in the firm's Salisbury office is Tom Hartigan; the team handles head injury and spinal injury claims, as well as fatal accidents and industrial disease.

Practice head(s):

Clare Carter; Tom Hartigan

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The Exeter personal injury team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP specialises in claims involving road traffic collisions, accidents at work and Animal Act cases. The group has particular experience in brain and spinal injury cases. The team is jointly led by insurance expert Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp and Ian Brown, who is often instructed in cross-border road traffic accident claims and claims against tour operators.


Following the departure of Jan Markland to the judiciary, the personal injury team at VWV, which trades as Augustines Injury Law, is led by Nicola Bickham, who has a strong practice in brain injury claims. The group also includes Jonathan Peacock, who has substantial experience in serious injury cases, arising from road traffic accidents. Senior associate Dan Thompson is a specialist in fatal accident claims, as well as disease cases and package holiday cases.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Bickham

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Peacock; Dan Thompson


‘A small but very experienced team of personal injury specialists, capable of conducting complex and high end personal injury work.’

‘Dan Thompson and Nicola Bickham are extremely conscientious and very hard-working. They are very easy to get along with. Clients always seem at their ease.

‘A relatively small team but one comprising several well established and experienced lawyers.’

‘Jonathan Peacock has considerable experience with catastrophic injury claims.’

‘Nicola Bickham is sharp and on the ball in relation to all matters PI-related.’

‘Jonathan Peacock is very passionate about securing the best rehabilitation and settlements for his personal injury clients. He is highly professional and extremely knowledgeable, offering a first rate and personal service to his clients. He is very approachable and a skilled communicator. I would have no hesitation in recommending him and VWV.’

Wards Solicitors LLP

Alison Underhill leads on personal injury work at Wards Solicitors LLP, specialising in road traffic accident claims for motorists, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Workplace injuries are another area of expertise for the group, as are fatal accident claims, occupiers and public liability claims and sexual abuse claims. Helen Boyd is also recommended and is noted as 'a vastly experienced and first-rate lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Alison Underhill

Other key lawyers:

Helen Boyd


An experienced and well regarded group of impressive individuals. They seem determined to provide that extra level of service that is rare in the cut-throat world of PI litigation.’

Helen Boyd is a vastly experienced and first-rate lawyer. She is able to handle the most complex of cases whilst maintaining an excellent relationship with clients from all walks of life.’

Alison Underhill is a meticulous and hugely intelligent litigator. I have been repeatedly impressed with her insight as a lawyer and dedication to her clients. She is someone who I know will have done the work to the highest standard.’