Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant in Wales


BLM provides an 'excellent service across the board' to defendants in the context of both personal injury and clinical negligence claims. The six-partner personal injury team is the larger of the two groups and has the critical mass to allocate resources to key sub-sectors. The 'professional and friendly' Kerris Dale heads up the motor unit group and is 'vastly experienced and knowledgeable' in defending insurers in claims ranging from the relatively commoditised, through to those of the utmost severity. John Roberts leads the public sector offering which continues to represent numerous Wales-based local authorities across a myriad claims relating to highways, abuse, stress, public liability and employment liability. The team is rounded out by Craig Hevicon, who specialises in the defence of occupational disease cases, particularly those involving asbestos-related illnesses. The 'tenacious and dedicatedJane Lang  heads a 'fantastic healthcare group' which has a 'wealth of knowledge and experience' defending healthcare professionals in regulatory/disciplinary proceedings, as well as in any attendant inquests and clinical negligence proceedings. In September 2021 the firm announced that it would not be renewing the lease on its Cardiff office, and that the firm's lawyers in the region would now work remotely on a permanent basis.

Practice head(s):

Kerris Dale; John Roberts; Craig Hevicon (Personal Injury) Jane Lang (Clinical Negligence)

Other key lawyers:

Simon Cradick; Matthew Harrington; Victoria Garvey; Holly Miles


‘The Cardiff team has a strong knowledge of all aspects of industrial disease work: eg asbestos claims, noise induced hearing loss, upper limb injuries. They have embraced new technology to get through the Covid period with aplomb.’

‘Professional, friendly, vastly knowledgeable and experienced in defendant personal injury claims.’

‘Kerris Dale is professional, friendly, vastly experienced and knowledgeable. Always available to discuss a claim or provide advice.’

Jane Lang is tenacious and dedicated and is exceptionally good at dealing with difficult and at times very nervous clients.’

Jane Lang is a stand out star in healthcare-orientated work. Her capacity for work is prodigious, her judgement is superb and she is able to be both tough and empathetic where required.’

Key clients

Sedgwick UK



Tata Steel UK

QBE Insurance

Liberty Mutual



Welsh Water

Pro Global

Armour Risk

Signature Aviation

Resolute Management

Medical Protection

Dental Protection

National Pharmacy Association

All Med Pro

Abbey Legal Protection (Markel)

Specsavers Optical Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Specsavers in an inquest and potential claim following death of patient after visiting the optician.
  • Defending Caerphilly County Borough Council in a claim arising out of claimant being the witness to the aftermath of a notorious murder and act of cannibalism.
  • Representing the former employer of an accounts clerk who claims he developed mesothelioma as a consequence of alleged transient exposure to asbestos.


Dolmans'very experienced and knowledgeable' six-partner team provides an 'exceptional level of service' to a public sector-focused client base, including local authorities across Wales and England, in the defence of a wide range of personal injury claims. A 'top-tier forward-thinking litigator, who combines tactical nous with a strong sense of pragmatism', Justin Harris is appreciated not only by local authority clients but also by a growing number of insurers, including Aegeas, in relation to the defence of motor claims. Peter Bennett  is 'tremendously helpful' on behalf of local authorities, as well as some private sector companies (through their insurers), in employers' liability claims, relating to both industrial accidents and industrial disease. Team head Adrian Oliver has a particular focus on defending police forces across a multitude of claims made against them; notably, he continues to represent West Midlands Police in ongoing high-profile litigation arising out of the Hillsborough disaster. The team also continues to develop a market-leading offering in the defence of institutional child abuse claims, with numerous practitioners at the firm having developed considerable experience of claims concerning historical abuse, vicarious liability and limitation. The 'meticulousNicola Edwards  has been pivotal to the firm's success in this area and has developed 'unparalleled experience and expertise representing local authorities in child abuse claims.' Other recommended practitioners in this niche area include Melanie Standley, who has 'considerable expertise in the complex duty of care issues' related to these social services negligence claims, and Clare Hoskins , who is well-versed in handling cases 'concerning children with neurodevelopmental conditions resulting from childhood abuse, and the complex interplay between inherited conditions and environmental childhood adversity.'

Practice head(s):

Adrian Oliver

Other key lawyers:

Justin Harris; Peter Bennett; Simon Evans; Clare Hoskins; Melanie Standley; Nicola Edwards; David Cullen


‘The very experienced and knowledgeable team is top-tier for defendant personal injury work.’

Dolmans provides a tailored and top-quality service for defendant insurers, providing nationwide coverage from their base in Cardiff.’

Probably the premier insurance litigation firm in south Wales, it combines a longstanding proven track record with innovative thinking to keep the firm at the top of its game.’

Justin Harris istop-tier forward-thinking litigator, who combines tactical nous with a strong sense of pragmatism and collaboration to achieve fantastic settlements for his clients where possible, on the back of faultless preparation for trial.’

Peter Bennett is tremendously helpful and deals with matters in a professional and succesful manner.’

Simon Evans: one of the toughest litigators around, disguised within a charming and easy going persona. Tactically astute and alive to the big picture.’

Nicola Edwards has unparalleled experience and expertise representing local authorities in child abuse claims. She is meticulous and has a remarkable ability to distil the vast amount of paperwork these cases tend to generate and identify the real issues with great clarity.’

Melanie Standley deals with complex social services negligence claims on behalf of local authorities. She has considerable expertise in the complex duty of care issues to which these claims given rise as well as expertise in the law of limitation and vicarious liability.’

‘Clare Hoskins represents local authorities in cases concerning social care negligence and related human rights violations. She has considerable expertise in cases concerning children with neurodevelopmental conditions resulting from childhood abuse, and the complex interplay between inherited conditions and environmental childhood adversity.’

Key clients

Ageas Insurance Company Limited

Travelers Insurance Company Limited

AXA XL Insurance

Aspen Insurance Ltd

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Europe Limited

Sompo Canopius

HCC Insurance Ltd

Specialist Liability Services

Kudos Loss Adjusters Ltd

Gallagher Bassett International Ltd

BMW UK Limited

Tesco Bank

Cardiff Council

Newport City Council

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Pembrokeshire County Council

Swansea Council

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Bridgend County Borough Council

Vale of Glamorgan County Council

Rhonda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Powys County Council

Torfaen County Borough Council

Monmouthshire County Council

Dorset County Council

Somerset County Council

Central Bedfordshire Council

Southampton City Council

Derbyshire County Council

West Midlands Police

South Wales Police

Dyfed-Powys Police

Mid and West Wales Fire Service

Work highlights

  • Continuing to represent West Midlands Police in relation to over 600 personal injury claims arising out of the Hillsborough tragedy.
  • Represented a major road traffic insurer regarding a claim for substantial damages associated with a traumatic brain injury sustained during a road traffic collision.
  • Represented a firm of industrial cleaners, via their insurers, in respect of a claim for substantial damages arising out of the claimant’s accident at work in July 2016 when he was undertaking abseil cleaning duties on a multistorey building in the City of London.

Geldards LLP

The three-strong corporate risk and insurance team at Geldards LLP shows 'pragmatism in its approach to defending claims', including in the context of public and employers' liability, on behalf of clients which include self insureds and public sector entities. 'A true heavyweight of defendant litigation', team head Donna Makin is 'always willing to go the extra mile to explain the circumstances around a claim and suggest practical solutions'. In addition to the firm's core litigation expertise, it is also noted for its risk management services, including audits and staff training.

Practice head(s):

Donna Makin

Other key lawyers:

Amy Probert


‘The team has an excellent understanding of us as a client and the personal injury area in which we are defending claims. The team shows pragmatism in their approach to defending claims.’

‘Donna Makin is a true heavyweight of defendant litigation.’

‘Donna Makin is always willing to go the extra mile to explain the circumstances around a claim and to suggest practical solutions.’

‘Amy Probert is a rising star who has learned from the best and is increasingly impressive.’

Key clients

Hampden Plc

National Museum Wales

National Resources Wales


Harbisonwalker International, Inc

Gardner Denver, Inc

Maxfort Insurance

Hugh James

Co-headed by Stephanie Eedy and Alun Tobias Hugh James' 'close knit' five-strong insurance and recoveries team is 'very knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims', for a varied mix of insurers, self insureds and public sector clients. Senior associate Leon Lloyd is a 'first-class lawyer and tactician' and is 'vastly experienced and knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims', particularly in the context of high-value employers and public liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Eedy; Alun Tobias

Other key lawyers:

Leon Lloyd


They are a very close-knit team that always strives to get the best results for its clients.’

Professional and very knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims. Always available to discuss a claim or even for some ad-hoc advice.’

Leon Lloyd is a first-class lawyer and tactician.’

Leon Lloyd is vastly experienced and knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims.’