Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant in West Midlands
Browne Jacobson LLP has one of the largest national defendant practices in the UK supporting clients in the public and private sectors. The excellent team specialises in complex and high-value cases where there are serious brain injuries and spinal injuries as well as group litigation and wrongful birth cases. Complex employer's liability claims, novel vicarious liability claims and disease claims are all at the cornerstone of its practice. Sports is another rapidly growing claims area for the practice and Kevin Lawson is a known name for his work in this area. The practice has an enviable reputation for its work in the health and social care sector and also in the adult social care sector. Bridget Tatham has been working with a growing number of care home providers. In addition the practice has been on the panel of Resolution since its inception and represents other bodies such as independent healthcare providers and medical malpractice insurers. In addition the nimble team has specialists who deal with inquests. Sarah White is another notable practitioner who is highly recommended for her work in the defence of clinical negligence claims. Newly promoted partner Matthew Harpin and rising star Emma Rees are also well-regarded.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very strong team where all bases are covered. Excellent at providing support at short notice. Very strong technical and strategic advice and first-class customer support. Matthew Harpin’s enthusiasm shines through in all of our dealings with him and he combines this with a sharp legal mind‘.
‘The team has unrvivalled experience in the area of local authority tort liability. The firm has an impressive list of local authority and insurer clients’.
‘Cynthia Watts provides key support and advice in the tricky area of social services claims where tact and diplomacy are necessary whilst still providing first-class legal advice‘.
‘Kevin Lawson is an outstanding lawyer who has the ability to handle claims swiftly and economically‘.
‘Paul Wainwright proved highly conscientious and determined. Great eye for detail and consistently correctly second-guessed a tricky and dishonest claimant so that he was unable to exploit either the court process or his litigant-in-person status‘.
‘Sarah White is a leading light. She has vast experience in the clinical negligence field and provides gravitas and calm solutions in difficult and complex cases‘.
‘James Arrowsmith is a thoughtful and reflective lawyer who combines a strong understanding of the developing and increasingly complex law of social care negligence, limitation and vicarious liability with a measured and pragmatic approach to resolution‘.
‘The team is knowledgeable and friendly. Always willing to assist even when not formally instructed on a case. The lawyers have excellent experience in dealing with local authority work and are very willing to challenge third parties where necessary.‘
Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd
Marble Arch and Lexham Insurance Services
Medical Protection Society
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust
Southend University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Advising NHS Resolution on committal proceedings in a case about attempting to defraud the NHS.
- Acted for NHS Resolution and the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust in securing the strike out of two secondary victim claims.
- Successfully defended an ophthalmic surgeon who had allegedly delayed in diagnosing the claimant’s retinal detachment, allegedly leading to loss of peripheral field vision and colour vision.
- Advised on a claim concerning an alleged delay in diagnosing breast cancer.
- Successfully defended a claim involving failure to refer to a cardiologist following a trial fibrillation / chest pain, resulting in an allegedly avoidable heart attack.
Weightmans LLP is one of only four firms that has been appointed to all types of work on the NHS Resolution panel. The agile team specialises in high-value and complex cases and is also well-regarded for its work in mediation and ADR. It has many excellent practitioners, among them Deborah Bannister who frequently leads on healthcare claims matters. Tony Yeaman, an NHS Resolution nominated partner, is vastly experienced in clinical negligence and healthcare law. Jasmine Armstrong is adept at managing periodical payment claims following brain injury at birth. Navdip Wilson has particular expertise in chronic pain claims. David Tuck is a key name for his work on disease claims. Henry Bermingham is recommended for social care claims and other areas such as stress, public rights of way and highways actions as well as employers’ liability and occupiers’ liability cases.
‘A wide range of expertise and the ability to rapidly recruit and ensure that the continuity of the team is maintained. Accessible and knowledgeable. Understands the pressures of the job and supports the client as well as managing the issue‘.
‘The team at Weightmans is excellent – Catherine Ainsworth is a name to note‘.
National Health Service Resolution
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust
Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS FT
Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS FT
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS FT
West Midlands Ambulance Service
Weight to Go Ltd
Royal Sun Alliance
Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS FT
- Settled more than 150 historic abuse claims under a scheme framework – these claims dated back to the 1960s.
- Successfully defended Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust on the basis of evidence from Facebook and the claimant’s own evidence, which meant she was proven to be fundamentally dishonest; her claim for damages (even the aspect which had been proven) was dismissed and she is obliged to pay the defendant’s costs.
- Advised Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on a case which centred on a decision on how best to quantify future losses which will be paid to a claimant who lives outside the UK.
- Defended an extremely complicated case with over 40 allegations of breach of duty that was brought by a litigant in person with borderline personality disorder (a serious psychiatric condition).
At Bevan Brittan LLP Tim Hodgetts has succeeded Joanne Easterbrook as the head of the clinical risk department. Hodgetts has acted on behalf of NHS Resolution and NHS trusts in the defence of clinical negligence cases for a long period of time – he also acts for leading insurers advising on medical malpractice cases. Adrian Dagnall is another prominent figure who is an NHS Resolution nominated partner and is best known for his work on high-profile indexation, periodical payment and high-value quantum cases. Dagnall is now running a quasi-group action for a client. Julie Charlton manages the complete range of clinical negligence cases including spinal and brain injury cases and has a particular expertise in cases involving the Human Rights Act and mental health. Senior associate Penelope Radcliffe is a medical law practitioner who has a particular focus on representing defendants in high-value medical cases where the claimants have sustained extensive brain or neurological damage following obstetric or neurosurgical treatment. Nicola Pegg has been promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is excellent, approachable and hardworking. The lawyers demonstrate good judgement, intellectual weight and establish a good rapport with clients. Adrian Dagnall has great technical know-how; has a good understanding of NHS operational context as well as being a first-class litigator‘.
NHS Resolution – CNST
NHS Resolution – CNSGP
University Hospitals Birmingham
Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham Women’s and Childrens’ NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Allied World Assurance Company
Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Successfully defended Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on a matter whereby the claimant who had suffered a double amputation due to a very rare vascular condition (arterial thrombo-embolisation due to showers of micro-embolization) brought allegations against the trust regarding three visits to the Emergency Department and three visits to a GP practice.
- Successfully defended Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust in a trial on the preliminary issue of breach of duty at the High Court.
- Successfully defended a trial on the issue of liability in a contribution claim against Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
- Successfully defended University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust in a bariatric surgery claim where the claimant underwent a sleeve gastrectomy and subsequently developed a leak from the staple line (an acknowledged risk of the procedure).
- Represented Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in a complicated case arising from the death of a 40-year-old woman three weeks after giving birth to her first child.
BLM’s personal injury department is outstanding and advises major national and local clients. It has an extensive range of insurer and corporate clients. The practice has a whole raft of specialisms. Its general liability unit is led by Mike Dobson and deals with employers’ liability and other health and safety claims. James Harvey heads up the corporate risk team. Paul Owston leads the public sector unit. The public sector team is adept at protecting its local authority clients against a wide range of claims which are predominantly personal injury claims. Such claims include disease claims as well as claims that arise from the negligence of social services and historical abuse claims. The occupational disease unit is led by Val Hughes and deals with areas such as asbestos-related diseases, noise-induced hearing loss and short tail disease claims. Sarah Hill heads up its national fraud team, which is based in Birmingham, and assists clients in achieving successful outcomes when faced with fraudulent claims. David Thompson takes on employers' liability, public liability and motor claims. Khalid Mahmood joined the team from Kennedys.
‘What stands out is the capacity to clearly understand the insurer clients’ needs and objectives, then the knowledge, experience and ability to set a strategy to achieve and deliver on those needs and objectives, and finally to stick with that strategy to deliver the desired, successful outcome‘.
‘One of the best heavyweight defendant PI outfits around. Reliably well organised and able to handle cases of any size and complexity in an unruffled and effective manner‘.
‘A firm of strong defendant insurance lawyers who closely align themselves with their clients’ needs and strategies. BLM fee earners are approachable, personable, knowledgeable and client focused‘.
‘The team delivers an excellent service. The lawyers always provide detailed advice in a timely manner and in a way that can be easily understood. Equally, they are always approachable‘.
‘James Harvey is head and shoulders above other PI partners in the region on EL and PL work. He has an exceptional work ethic, combining forensic attention to detail with tactical acumen. Achieves fantastic results in the most difficult of cases and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of PI issues‘.
‘Martin Smith and Khalid Mahmood run their cases exactly as they should be run‘.
‘David Thompson is truly brilliant, his ability, knowledge and tactical nous extends far beyond his years. He achieves this with the application of hard work, application and determination‘.
‘David Thompson has the ability to be on top of both the detail and the big picture of his cases and has excellent judgement. He also has a very detailed knowledge of aviation claims‘.
20 or so smaller district and borough councils
Birmingham City Council
City of Wolverhampton Council
Derby City Council
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Insurance London Consortium (9 London Boroughs)
Kent County Council
Nationwide Accident Repairs
Telford & Wrekin Council
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
Zurich Insurance (principally Municipal)
- Advised its corporate client on a claim from an employee for over £250,000 in relation to post-concessional syndrome sustained at work resulting in ill health retirement.
- Advised its client on a claim where the schedule of loss was pleaded at £3m and settled for £40,000.
- Defended a hotel whereby the claimant brought a claim for up to £50,000 for an aggravation/recurrence of her tennis elbow condition which she alleged had been caused by the defendant’s system of room cleaning.
- Represented the defendant local authority in an occupier’s liability personal injury claim that was dismissed at trial.
- Won on behalf of its client a fundamental dishonesty case against an opportunistic fraudster.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
The Birmingham office of DAC Beachcroft LLP is an integral part of a strong national offering and is one of the largest defendant personal injury offices locally with a number of excellent practitioners. The overall team is made up of nearly 375 lawyers. The main focus of the Birmingham office is around high-level multi-track and catastrophic injury work which is led by Sara May. Helen Bates leads the volume motor and credit hire work. The counter-fraud unit specialises in detecting insurance fraud and is led by Newcastle-based Catherine Burt. Other niche areas of expertise include specialist motor claims management, motor prosecutions and coverage advice. Paul Cox specialises in cases of catastrophic brain injury in children. Associate Richard Rowe is rated for his expertise on sports liability matters. Jasminka O’Hora is another name to note. O’Hora represents foreign insurers when their drivers are involved in accidents in the UK. She also advises on more complex cases where UK nationals are injured abroad and routinely advises on the quantification of damages where foreign laws have to be considered. Rhodri Richards is a highly regarded practitioner. Richard Stallard handles a catastrophic injury caseload which includes spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries arising out of motor, employer's liability and public liability claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘Jasminka O’Hora is an absolute delight to deal with but does not lose sight of her clients’ interests, she sets a pragmatic example which is refreshing‘.
BAE Systems plc
Ministry of Defence
- Advised on a case which was the subject of an anonymity order due to the size of damages awarded and which involved a claimant who was under the age of one at the time of the road traffic accident.
- Advised on a serious road traffic accident in which the claimant suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
- Advised on a case whereby the claimant made a claim for personal injury, but during his prognosis period took part in a boxing bout – the team was able to amend the defence to allege that the claim was fundamentally dishonest.
- Successfully advised on claims that were brought on behalf of two children said to have been involved in a road traffic collision by their mother, their litigation friend – the primary defence was that there had been no collision.
- Advising on a claim that arose out of a road traffic accident in Hungary which has been complicated by the fact that the driver of the other vehicle was insured by a Romanian insurer which is now insolvent.
DWF has an excellent full-service defendant personal injury practice that spans motor, casualty, disease and catastrophic injury in addition to public sector and abuse claims. It is part of a superb national offering. The firm also has one of the largest fraud teams in the UK. Derek Adamson and Lorraine Carolan are first-class practitioners. The catastrophic injury team is led by Charles Ashmore. The practice has various specialist teams that cover the full spectrum of catastrophic injury and large loss (including fatalities, serious brain and spinal injury, amputation and complex orthopaedic injury) in addition to fraud and financial crime. Other core areas of expertise include motor traffic accidents (both volume and high-value). The team is also skilled at advising on complex policy coverage issues particularly in relation to asbestos/mesothelioma cases as well as breast implant litigation. It also has considerable expertise in other niche areas such as occupational deafness and work-related upper limb disorders. Miles Hepworth is another known name and has extensive experience in counter fraud and claims validation. Hepworth regularly defends suspected fraudulent insurance claims as well as first-party fraud cases. Paul Donnelly deals with high-value and sensitive cases involving children (including child deaths), sexual abuse and chronic neglect cases. Michael Henman joined the team in February 2020.
‘This is a very competent and intelligence-led team that puts its clients before profits. It has a good understanding of the sector which enables it to concentrate its client’s resources in the right areas for fighting the right cases‘.
‘Miles Hepworth has a depth of experience and knowledge which has led to a very fine instinct in both identifying fraud and also identifying the best strategy to defeat it. He has a determined commitment to getting the best for his client backed by excellent strategic and tactical instincts‘.
‘Michael Henman has a depth of experience and a detailed technical knowledge‘.
‘Very professional, extremely knowledgeable, able to provide a full service to clients. Charles Ashmore – very experienced, highly skilled, fantastic negotiator, good judgement‘.
‘Derek Adamson is a credit to the legal and professional services – excellent and very proactive‘.
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group
- Advising on a claim that relates to alleged professional negligence over a 15-year period by its client’s social services department in failing to take a family of nine children into care sooner resulting in chronic neglect (and physical and sexual abuse).
- Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with the personal injury claims (and indeed the public enquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
- Instructed by the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in relation to a scandal involving sexual abuse of numerous children by members of the clergy (including three bishops) in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and in one instance the alleged murder of an abused child by hand grenade.
- Telematics data was used in litigation to uncover a fraudulent claim with savings of £170,000 achieved for the client.
Kennedys represents global brands and major insurance companies with notable expertise in leisure industry claims and also asbestos-related litigation, catastrophic and fatal accident claims. It does a lot of volume motor claims as well as high-profile claims for insurers and corporates. Ian Davies is the firm’s product head of motor claims and advises some of the UK’s largest insurers. James Shrimpton leads a team that specialises in employers' and public liability. Philippa Craven co-heads the occupational disease unit and advises an impressive array of insurer and corporate clients while Mark Walsh specialises in high-value and catastrophic injury claims. The Birmingham clinical negligence team is led by Christopher Malla who divides his time between Birmingham and London. Recent highlights for this team include its appointment in April 2019 to NHS Resolution’s new panel – the clinical negligence scheme for general practice. Significantly the team undertakes all types of NHS Resolution claims from the Birmingham office, such as clinical negligence claims involving hospitals and general practice as well as early notification scheme claims.
‘Ian Davies – stands out as a leader and forward-thinking partner. Mark Walsh – experienced professional solicitor who specialises in our large loss claims. Sandip Sidhu – an experienced professional.’
‘From an economic view the team gives a very competitive rate in comparison to other market users. It’s a credit to James Shrimpton that he has established a very competent litigation team that meets our business expectations‘.
‘Simply the best (defendant insurer team) in the Midlands. Top-tier quality without top-tier prices – the team deservedly attracts top-tier work. Mark Walsh – sheer class when it comes to litigation‘.
‘A formidable team. Mark Walsh is first and foremost a highly skilled CAT loss lawyer. You know that Mark will have a complete understanding of your claim. He is relentless in his pursuit of a fair settlement and he will leave no stone unturned if faced with exaggeration and fraud’.
‘Mark Walsh: a national big-hitter, carrying a phenomenal case load from several insurer clients. His only problem is that there is only one of him. A tenacious fighter, with a real instinct for the heart of a case. Once he’s in a fight, there’s only one winner‘.
‘Great knowledge of intricate details, the team is friendly, approachable and professional. Philippa Craven has excellent knowledge of disease matters and is an extremely competent negotiator’.
‘Proactive, positive and seeking to think about their clients’ concerns. Philippa Craven is the stand-out partner. Very knowledgeable about the market (disease and insurance)‘.
‘Philippa Craven: a superstar of the disease world‘.
Merlin Entertainment plc (which includes Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland)
Zenith Marque Insurance Services (formerly Chaucer)
Western Power Distribution
Liberty Insurance /Quinn
Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Keoghs LLP acts for more than two thirds of the insurance market including nine of the top ten UK general insurers. The large defendant personal injury firm is headed by Ken Young. Young has a particular interest in chronic pain cases and those cases involving amputations and brain and spinal cord injuries. The majority of his caseload is now made up of matters over £1m and his expertise in large loss matters is augmented by his experience in a diverse range of regulatory matters. Julie Park is experienced at handling multi-track, high-value motor, employers’ liability and public liability claims. Clients include a range of self-insureds, commercial companies and public sector organisations. The occupational disease team includes David Pugh who is well-regarded in this area. Howard Dean is another name to note particularly for his experience in dealing with catastrophic injury claims arising from road traffic accidents.
‘Ken Young, the partner who handles catastrophic PI claims, is always calm, composed, careful and realistic in his aspirations for a case‘.
‘Very well regarded in the market place. Quite a youthful energy to the company with good legacy planning to move its younger partners into senior positions at the right time but with appropriate support which is going to stand the team very well in the long term‘.
‘The lawyers are especially strong in CAT PI claims and deal with claims in a consensual and proactive manner. Ken Young – very pragmatic approach, needs little direction from barristers, handles matters in a proactive and consensual manner and achieves the right settlement at the right time‘.
‘Highly attuned to the client’s needs. Blue chip from start to finish. Ranking in the top-tier insurance PI defendant work‘.
‘The Coventry team has a lot of stars. I would say that in this sector it has the best concentration of talent that I can think of. Ken Young who leads the office is an excellent solicitor who is both user friendly and sharp. He is supported by Helen White, Julie Park and Julian Dexter. They are all individuals who could be trusted with any defence insurance case‘.
‘Julie Park has a very strong technical understanding of bodily injury claims. A tenacious bur fair negotiator who is very adept in putting forward her views during negotiations. Attention to detail is excellent‘.
‘Daniel Elder – finds practical solutions to complex problems‘.
- Advised on an appeal against a Blamire award.
Plexus Law handles all major personal insurance matters including large loss and policy coverage disputes as well as employers’ liability (EL), public liability (PL), casualty and motor cases. It also has significant expertise in occupational disease, fraud and public sector matters. Its client base includes insurance companies, corporates, self-insureds and local authorities. Head of team Damon Burt has a particular strength in asbestos-related matters. Burt is skilled at defending clients against HSE prosecutions for serious injuries and fatalities that are sustained as a result of exposure to asbestos. Anthony Bushell specialises in employer and public liability claims involving fatal and catastrophic injuries such as head/brain injury, severe injury/paralysis, amputation, pain syndrome and fraudulent claims. Jacqui Kendall has particular expertise in dealing with public sector litigation such as matters under the Highways Act in addition to EL/PL claims and claims against schools.
Sutton Specialist Risk
Sims Metal Management
Wolverhampton City Council
West Midlands Police
Rugby Borough Council
Phoenix Loss Adjusters
- Represented the defendant insurer in a high-value EL case which was successfully defended on the basis that the defendant advanced arguments of fundamental dishonesty and brought a counter-claim for exemplary damages pursuant to the tort of deceit.
- Successfully represented the defendant insurer in a claim in which the claimant alleged he suffered a back injury while undertaking his work.
- Defended a case whereby the claimant was employed by the police and was taking part in a mandatory petrol bomb scenario training course when he slipped and sustained injuries.
- Successfully defended at trial a case where the claimant pursued a claim for personal injury arising out of slipping on surface water while exiting a car park.
- Advised on an application that was made on the basis that the claimant had failed to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules in respect of the correct service of proceedings and had not shown any real prospects of success in his claim.