Personal injury: defendant in Wales


The 'knowledgeable and client-centric' team at BLM have a strong track-record across the spectrum of personal injury defendant work, from lower-value claims through to highly complex matters of the utmost severity. Based out of Cardiff, but also able to leverage the expertise of practitioners across the firm's national network of offices should the need arise, the firm has the critical mass to resource matters utilising practitioners with particular sub-specialisms, including Kerris Dale, who leads on motor claims; the 'very professionalJohn Roberts on public sector defence; and the 'vastly experiencedMatthew Harrington, who heads up the general liability and occupational disease sub-group.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Harrington (head of general liability and occupational disease); Kerris Dale (head of motor claims); John Roberts (head of public sector) and Craig Hevicon (head of volume disease team)

Other key lawyers:

Simon Cradick


‘Excellent at industrial disease work.’

Key clients

Cunningham Lindsey

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Capita Insurance Services

Tata Steel UK


BBA Aviation


DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides a comprehensive defence service across personal injury motor claims handling, motor injury and casualty claims and litigation from first notification of loss until trial. Spearheaded by Nick Mahoney, the Newport office is a centre of excellence for motor work and has the scale and resources to manage a high volume of motor claims on behalf of the majority of leading motor insurers, regardless of value or complexity. Sally Roff  handles personal injury defence matters within a health and safety context - work which regularly sees her brought into advise corporate boards of directors on crisis management in the aftermath of major incidents.

Practice head(s):

Sally Roff, Faye Fishlock, Nick Mahoney and Emma Fuller

Other key lawyers:

Sean Harris; Tim Rees; Melanie Lewis


‘The scope of the related services provided across claims of all values and complexity and the extensive knowledge and experience of the individuals making up the team was fantastic.’

‘The credit hire team has a truly in-depth understanding of their area of the law and a tremendous esprit de corps.’

‘Emma Fuller is a power player in the area of credit hire.’

‘The tactically very sound Sally Roff has a wonderful way with clients.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

AXA insurance


NFU Mutual

HDI Gerling


Co-operative (CIS)

NPS Wales

Work highlights

  • Emergency post-incident advice and support following a fatal incident involving large plant machinery at a recycling plant.
  • Immediate post-incident advice and support of company following two separate and serious incidents involving trapped limbs in machinery (one incident involving amputation of a finger) within a relatively short period of time.
  • Upon securing a pleading of fundamental dishonest, the firm successfully secured a much lower damages settlement (from £1.4m to £50,000) for the insurer in relation to injuries suffered by a claimant as a consequence of a major road traffic collision.
  • The firm successfully secured the striking out of a substantial credit hire claim as a result of non-compliance of a court order by the claimant.
  • Successfully defended a claim for diminution of vehicle value submitted by the claimant.


In the 'premier league for defendant personal injury in south Wales', Dolmans has 'particular experience in acting for the police and public authorities in high value and complex personal injury claims'. Although the team is active across the gamut of personal injury matters, spearheaded by Adrian Oliver, it has recently picked up a significant increase in child exploitation and social services matters. On the private sector front, led by 'wily tacticianJustin Harris, the team is increasingly active for national insurers in relation to catastrophic and large loss motor work. The 'pragmatic and commercialNicola Edwards excels in complex claims against social services for alleged failure to protect children from abuse and neglect.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Oliver

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The firm has a large number of high-quality defendant instructions.’

‘Excellent and comprehensive service.’

‘Justin Harris is a quiet, calm, efficient and wily tactician who is quite capable of landing a well-placed body blow when required.’

‘Clare Hoskins is thorough, tenacious and personable.’

Key clients

Ageas Insurance

Travelers Insurance

AXA XL Insurance

Aspen Insurance

Municipal Mutual Insurance (run-off)

Sompo Canopius

HCC Insurance

Specialist Liability Services

Kudos Loss Adjusters

Gallagher Bassett International


Carmarthenshire County Council

Zurich Insurance

Tesco Bank

Southampton City Council

Central Bedfordshire County Council

Newport City Council

Dorset County Council

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cardiff Council

Work highlights

  • The firm is defending the West Midlands police force against a group litigation brought by various claimants who are survivors of Hillsborough or are relatives of the deceased alleging  psychological damage as a result of an alleged “cover-up” by police forces resulting in damaged reputations of Liverpool supporters
  • Claim for damages on behalf of 11-day old baby who sustained a catastrophic brain injury in a RTA settled in the sum of £14.85m, being the largest settlement by Ageas in 2018, notwithstanding the claimant is only 4 years of age.
  • The firm represents the Local Authority in coronial proceedings relating to the death of a 15-year-old schoolboy who took his own life on school grounds during school time in December 2013.
  • In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, the firm represented BMW UK  in an application to strike out a claim, before trial, on the basis of fundamental dishonesty.
  • The firm is defending the Council against claims made by the Official Solicitor, on behalf of three siblings, alleging that the Council was negligent in failing to remove them from their mother’s care, sooner, which would have avoided them suffering an assault at the hands of their mother, when the oldest child’s throat was cut by her.

Geldards LLP

Led by Donna Makin Geldards LLP's corporate risk and insurance team provides a cradle-to-grave claims and risk management service to insurers, corporates and public sector clients. Although it is active across the spectrum of defence work, it has recently witnessed an influx of employer liability and public liability claims from a number of public sector organisations, since the firm's appointment to the National Procurement Service litigation panel in September 2015.

Practice head(s):

Donna Makin

Key clients

Schneider Electric

National Museum Wales

National Library of Wales

Maxfort Insurance



Work highlights

  • Advising the defendant in a claim brought by a secondary victim who alleges she was exposed to asbestos whilst washing her father’s overalls.
  • Acting for the client in the defence of a claim for damages for asbestosis made by a former employee of the company.
  • Defending the company against a claim for damages for mesothelioma.

Hugh James

Although it is best-known for its excellent claimant offering, Hugh James has a considerable capability for defendant work on behalf of insurers, as well as its corporate and public sector client base. Work ranges from low-value cases, to those of utmost severity - including industrial disease.

Practice head(s):

Alun Tobias and Stephanie Eedy

Key clients

Calsonic Kansei UK

Work highlights

  • The firm successfully secured a significantly reduced settlement figure for the defendant in a personal injury claim brought against it for a work-related upper limb disorder.