Rising Stars

Personal injury: defendant in South West

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP’s personal injury team has a diverse client base consisting of both NHS trusts and insurers, with particular strengths pertaining to handling indemnity issues in motor claims as well as acting on behalf of buildings and contents insurers. The group is also well versed in the Animals Act and handles a large number of claims relating to injuries caused by pets. Head and spinal injury cases are an area of focus for practice head Paul Taverner, who is commended for ‘taking complex scenarios and condensing them to a straightforward decision’. At associate level, Adrian Neale is adept at disease claims, particularly those caused by asbestos exposure, while Claire Jones demonstrates ‘high levels of adaptability’ and is a go-to adviser for both public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Taverner

Other key lawyers:

Claire Jones; Adrian Neale


‘Excellent knowledge levels and willingness to adapt to client preferences. Excellent collaborators and willing to provide training tailored to all levels of expertise.’

‘Paul Taverner is excellent at taking complex scenarios and condensing them to a straightforward decision.’

‘Claire Jones has an excellent ‘feel’ for individual cases, their likely outcome and shows high levels of adaptability as a result.’

Key clients

Covea Insurance

Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty

Nottinghamshire County Council

CNA Europe

Nottingham City Council

ISG Pearce

Canal & River Trust

Environment Agency

NHS Resolution

London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co’s Bristol-based team specialises in representing major insurers in large loss and catastrophic injury cases, with strengths in a broad range of matters including RTAs and occupational disease cases. Other areas of expertise augmenting the core practice encompass cross-border claims as well as police and HSE investigations. Andrew Lawson, who specialises in claims involving brain injuries, amputations, and paralysis, leads the practice together with Rebecca Shafto, who handles a range of catastrophic injury cases for insurer clients. Spinal and brain injury matters form part of the advisory portfolio of associate Emma Palmer.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Shafto; Andrew Lawson

Other key lawyers:

Emma Palmer; Vanessa Brooks


‘Very good team. Hardworking, efficient and take good care of their clients getting good results.’

‘A number of very consistent, approachable and practical fee earners with real focus on achieving the end goal of a successful outcome to litigation either in terms of liability or a restrained quantum.’

‘Rebecca Shafto demonstrates a real attention to detail particularly in document-heavy cases and a thorough grasp of the issues, and is always focused on delivering commercial outcomes for her clients.’

Key clients



Hastings Direct



Gallagher Bassett

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has a strong insurance and public risk practice in the South West and combines longstanding experience in healthcare with wide-ranging knowledge of the social care sector. Mark Barnett is well versed in cases relating to mental health capacity and mental health law; he leads the team together with head of technical claims and social care Joanne Pruden. Director Angela Williams is noted for her focus on claims pertaining to bullying and harassment.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Pruden; Mark Barnett

Other key lawyers:

Angela Williams


‘Always provided with a specialist solicitor with the right experience to manage specific issues.’

‘The Browne Jacobson team have a deep knowledge of the healthcare sector which enables them to utilise their experience and unique expertise to thoroughly examine the merits of a claim and defence. Individual lawyers provide a personal service which enables successful long term relationships.’

‘Angela Williams is a very competent lawyer who is not afraid to test the merits of a legal case at trial and has numerous trial wins for us.’

Key clients

Municipal Mutual Insurance Limited


Gallagher Bassett

Aspire Academy Trust


DWF’s team represents insurers and local authorities in claims across the South West and South Wales, and collaborates with the firm’s regulatory and compliance group in both civil claims and the defense of criminal prosecutions. Fatal accidents, catastrophic injuries, and work-related stress claims form part of the practice’s work portfolio. Mark Fowles frequently handles cases relating to abuse and psychiatric injury and heads the team from Bristol. Former practice head Claire Gribben left the firm in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fowles

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Southwood


‘We deal with key people who have good technical knowledge and understand us as a business and the operating model we have.’

‘They go out of their way to assist.’

‘They are knowledgeable and tenacious and see the job through to the end.’

Key clients

Direct Line Group

Covea Insurance Plc

Devon County Council

Somerset County Council

Torbay Council

Plymouth City Council

NFU Mutual Insurance

Cornwall Mutual Insurance Company


Based in Taunton, Kennedys‘ personal injury practice is renowned for its adept team that specialises in representing managing general agents, loss adjusters, and syndicates in a wide range of personal injury claims. The team possesses particular expertise in claims related to the leisure, logistics, construction and service industries. Praised for his ‘technical knowledge‘, Mark Skinner is the key contact and is noted for his expertise in public liability cases.

Practice head(s):

Mark Skinner

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Canham


‘Decent, honest advice and assistance provided at reasonable costs.’

‘The team are very experienced and thorough, providing a consistently good service across many involved and varied litigated cases.’

‘The individuals are all able to provide in-depth analysis and recommendations and deliver a very timely service with an acute awareness of the relevant procedural and service level time scales.’

Key clients



QIC Global


Acromas Insurance

Pen Underwriting

Davies Group Ltd

Kelly Adjusters

GHG Chartered Loss Adjusters

Crawford and Co

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP‘s personal injury practice is noted for its work dealing with cross-border claims and matters relating to injuries caused by animals, where the firm is regularly instructed by large insurers. Lead partner Kelvin Farmaner is a ‘level-headed but determined litigator’ and specialises in RTAs alongside animal cases. Another key figure in the practice is Bethany Blamire, whose experience includes acting in liability cases for multinational and domestic insurers.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Farmaner

Other key lawyers:

Bethany Blamire


‘An established firm with a very strong regional corporate following in the SW. A very client-focused ethos enables them to provide an efficient and effective service to their loyal following.’

‘Kelvin Farmaner – a level-headed but determined litigator ready to shape a case in whatever way makes best commercial and legal sense to ensure the best possible outcome. A tough opponent.’

‘The team takes the time to understand the business, and is skilled in asking the right questions to gain a full picture.’

‘Kelvin Farmaner knows our business well. He responds to us in the way that we need, which sometimes might be taking the appropriate time to review the detail of a situation, but at other times, to respond quickly and effectively to our needs.’

‘The strength of the team at Trethowans is that all members have experience of dealing with the whole range of Defendant insurer work, from road traffic collisions and Occupiers Liability claims, to cross-border claims and complex worksite accidents.’

‘Bethany Blamire delivers better results for her clients than anyone I have worked with in the last 20 years.’

‘Kelvin Farmaner is able to draw on his extensive experience as a solicitor advocate to realistically advise clients of the risks and benefits involved at all stages of court proceedings. He is in his element managing catastrophic injury claims involving expert reports in their dozens.’

‘Kelvin Farmaner is a very experienced and effective practitioner in personal injury cases, particularly those involving animal accidents and farming accidents. He has good knowledge of the law and is pragmatic. He has a good strategic approach to cases.’

Key clients

Van Ameyde UK Ltd

Cornish Mutual Assurance Co Ltd

Go Ahead Group


Saint Gobain Building Distribution Ltd

Appleby Westward Group Ltd

Flyct B.V.

Jewson Ltd

Farm and General Insurance Ltd

Arch Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised on a £10.5m spinal injury claim arising out of a farming accident.
  • Advising a foreign insurer in relation to a cross-border claim arising from an accident in Italy.
  • Successfully defended a claim at trial, which was brought against a tractor driver by an injured party who said the tractor spooked her horse leading to her sustaining serious injuries.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The casualty litigation team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is well regarded for its work pertaining to the transport sector, particularly in regard to accidents on buses. Spearheaded by David Brown, a personal injury heavyweight with a wealth of experience in defending catastrophic claims, the team handles matters on behalf of both private and public sector clients.

Practice head(s):

David Brown

Other key lawyers:

David Armstrong; Sally Brock

Key clients

RATP Group

Historic England (The English Heritage Trust)

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd

Ministry of Justice

SPX Corporation

Synthite Limited

Vertellus Specialities UK Ltd

C&J Clark

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)

Work highlights

  • Acting for RATP Group (London United Busways Ltd) in a claim by an employee who failed to better the Part 36 offer which had been made two years previously.
  • Defending RATP Dev UK (London United Busways Limited) in a claim for mesothelioma arising from exposure to asbestos when the claimant was employed by London Transport.
  • Acting on behalf of a large UK engineering contractor whose employee suffered fatal injuries when he was crushed by a military vehicle during the course of his employment.