Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant in Yorkshire And The Humber

BC Legal

BC Legal is a boutique firm which specialises in defendant occupational disease litigation. The team is led by Gary Brankin and Darren Goldthorpe, who act for insurers, corporate bodies and local authorities and reinsurers in cases relating to catastrophic injuries and cancers arising from occupational exposures. The firm has developed software for assessing the defence of claims that is used to develop strategies that can be set in place at the earliest stage by clients. Following the firm’s appointment as lead supplier to Municipal Mutual Insurance, it now acts for most of the nation’s local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Gary Brankin; Darren Goldthorpe


‘Highly skilled in industrial disease with a strength in depth and understanding of the market.’

‘Liam Bedford and Gary Brankin are particularly skilled in asbestos claims.’


'Excellent and extremely knowledgeable' Leeds office head Henry Kirkup heads up the team at BLM, handling cases relating to serious spinal injuries, serious brain injuries, subtle brain injuries, orthopaedic injuries and fatalities. The firm has strong connections with underwriters, authorities, insurance brokers, resulting in a varied client roster. The team is praised for 'going above and beyond in terms of the support and services that they provide.'

Practice head(s):

Henry Kirkup

Other key lawyers:

Arion Jones; Richard Adams


‘The BLM team performs consistently well, are easy to contact and work with and always strive to exceed agreed service levels. They are receptive to our needs and always willing go the extra mile to provide support, which they have done on several occasions, over a prolonged period of time. They are technically strong and provide sound advice, competing well within a very competitive environment.’

‘Henry Kirkup’s desire to provide exceptional service is always apparent and it’s the speed and depth of response from him that always impresses me. He will ensure any issues that arise, however small are dealt with promptly and effectively and has on several occasions gone over and beyond to provide support to assist our business. I consider him a valued business partner and enjoy working with him.’

‘The team offer a personalised service and are extremely knowledgeable and easy to deal with. We’ve had some excellent results in tandem with the team on a range of casualty cases.’

‘Henry Kirkup is excellent and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘The team work closely with us as a client to ensure we get the service that is required. They go above and beyond in terms of their support and additional services that they provide beyond just billable hours. Have taken time to get to know us as a client, how we work, reserving philosophy etc.’

‘Two individuals in particular stand out, Henry Kirkup and Richard Adams. They have excellent technical skills but are tenacious in their approach to claims.’

‘A good technical team that has a great relationship management through their offices in Leeds and Manchester. Good technical team covering all liabilities and HSE work.’

‘Henry Kirkup is a standout partner of the firm. Henry not only has great expertise in handling HSE cases, he is a key relationship contact over the last 10 years.’

Key clients

Fusion Insurance Services

Towergate Commercial Underwriting


Zurich Insurance plc

Pen Underwriting plc


One Insurance Limited

Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Sompo International


Builders Direct

Capsticks LLP

David Roberts , Ian Cooper, Emily Senior and Adam Hartrick lead the clinical law department at Capsticks LLP. The Leeds office delivers specialist legal services in all aspects of clinical law, including claims, advisory work, Court of Protection matters and inquests. The firm’s clinical negligence work encompasses advice to NHS Trusts, community and mental health providers, ambulance trusts, government departments, health and social care regulators, private healthcare providers and GP practices. In 2019 the firm was appointed to NHS Resolution’s panel for the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice alongside its existing portfolio of GP work.


‘Innovative thinkers and solutions-focused. Bright collaborators.’

‘Excellent firm for defendant clinical negligence.’

‘Very strong, easily equivalent to any London office handling clinical negligence. Excellent legal skills, sensitivity and commercial awareness, responsive and sensible. Have been very good to work with.’

‘Charlotte North and David Roberts: excellent legal skills, sensitivity and commercial awareness, responsive and sensible.’

‘Solicitors with great judgement.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust

West Hertfordshire Acute Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Northampton General Hospitals NHS Trust


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust at trial in a complex clinical negligence case concerning the diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome.
  • Represented NHS Resolution and Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust at a high-profile inquest and in connection with a potential claim arising from the death of a 22 year old student following a collapse after a night out with friends in a club causing a head injury.
  • Supported and represented NHS Resolution on behalf of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in relation to both an inquest and subsequent claims, where the deceased took his life in police custody following allegations of rape and murder.


The Sheffield-based team at CMS has strong experience in group actions, collective redress and representative actions, and handles civil claims for across a wide range of industries. Carl Dray - described as 'a doyen of industrial disease litigation' - heads the personal injury team and acts for both national and multinational self-insured corporates and public bodies, including the UK Government. Chris Horsefield is the key partner for clinical negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Carl Dray


‘Carl Dray is a man of very considerable ability and excellent judgement. He has a highly experienced team under him. I know Jeremy Fletcher and Judith Ingham well and commend them.’

‘Jeremy Fletcher is a solid and utterly reliable lawyer – a sure and steady hand who handles a lot of the heavyweight coal mining-related litigation.’

‘All members of the team work extremely effectively together. Some major tasks and others at short notice require collective working to tight deadlines which are always completed with to high degree of professionalism and dedication by all involved. There really is a one for all and all for one attitude.’

‘Chris Horsefield – a real experienced old hand at clinical negligence. He knows the subject inside out and has really very sound judgement.’

‘All team members are customer focused and demonstrate a clear knowledge of all aspects of the relevant legal and claims process, whilst providing all necessary advice. Team members clearly demonstrate a high degree of understanding to the corporate history and complexity to our business and claims handling from individual cases through to major group litigation. We appreciate CMS’ strong strategic approach to group litigation and the lead taken by senior members.’

‘Carl Dray – a doyen of industrial disease litigation; he has unique experience of leading the defence to very high value, expert-heavy litigation. Very highly experienced; excellent judgement and a superb team leader.’

Key clients



Legal & General


Imperial Chemical Industries PLC

Electrical Contractors’ Insurance Company

National Museums Scotland



Scottish Agricultural Industries

Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

UK Coal Mining (now in administration)

GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control Limited




Tarmac Group

GE Aviation

Electric Insurance

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Qatar Airways

Coal Products Limited


MS Amlin

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and Coal Products Limited in Defence of a group action arising out of employment at various coke works spanning a period of up to 50 years.
  • Represented Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Claims have been intimated by 80 workers from a fuel plant in the Midlands.
  • Represented Tarmac on a historical noise induced claim pursued by former quarry supervisor.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's Leeds office is home to market-leading offerings for both defendant clinical negligence and defendant personal injury. The clinical risk department is headed by Sean Doherty, Paul Taylor and Joanne Neale; the team is highly regarded for its work on claims involving general practice indemnity, and helped design the NHS General Practice Indemnity scheme for NHS Resolution. Similarly, the team is also a leading supplier of legal services to the UK’s largest and most high-profile independent healthcare providers. On the personal injury front, key figures include Vicki Hilton, William Potts and claims handling head James Tallant. The firm has a specialist abuse team which handles sexual abuse claims involving minors and abuse and neglect claims in the care sector; the Leeds office has developed a specialist team dealing with claims for community care from both carers and service users. The team also deals with a substantial volume of motor cases on both catastrophic claims and indemnity related issues, as well as claims in other emerging areas, such as those involving animals, amputations, chronic pain and subtle brain injuries.

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Davies; Elizabeth Anderson


‘DAC Beachcroft has gone above and beyond in its focus on improving patient safety and learning in the NHS, bridging the gap between the need to defend the NHS against unmeritorious claims, and the need to ensure the NHS is doing all it can to learn from patient safety incidents, claims and complaints. The firm has facilitated collaborative work on these important objectives with NHS Trusts, national health system partners and government.’

‘Vast knowledge in their individual subject areas. They provide support and training for our employees.’

‘Sean Doherty and Elizabeth Anderson have demonstrated a significant commitment to patient safety learning and response to harm through collaborative work with NHS Trusts and government.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

MDU and Dental Defence Union Ltd

NHS England

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospitals

NHS Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Digital











DWF's Leeds team has strong capacity to deal with an array of claims and is widely recognised as a leading law firm for this line of work among its peers in the Yorkshire market. Richard Parker head up the occupational health team, while David Rogers is head of catastrophic injury.

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors has a full-service defendant personal injury offering that handles, amongst others, casualty claims for both local authorities as well as large retailers, complex construction injury claims and disease claims across all sectors, both pre and post litigation. Chris Booth, Kella Bowers and Siobhan Hardy head the insurance department, with the Siobhan Hardy also heading the Leeds office. The firm has an in-house investigations team providing specialist investigation services to clients across all sectors. The casualty team represents over 50 local authorities, with a specialism in highway claims.


‘Forbes are professional and are proactive in their approach to matters.’

‘Siobhan Hardy responds quickly to queries, is friendly, approachable and very professional and happy to give robust advice when asked.

‘A dedicated anti-fraud team take over the running of claims if there are any fraud concerns.’

‘The individuals are approachable and willing to assist with any issues that arise. The individuals are efficient and professional in how they deal with matters.’

‘A small team that is responsive and understand clients. Competitively priced.’

‘Very quick to respond to questions and provide additional help and guidance when required. Keep us fully updated on the progress of our cases. Good written and verbal communication, pitched at a level that is easy to understand. Offer clear guidance with regards to settling or defending claims. Offer training on specific issues.’

‘The team at Forbes are prepared to listen and act on our view of potential settlement proposals but will suggest and advise on alternative arrangements if they believe there is a better way forward.’

Key clients

Calderdale MBC

Leeds City Council

Thirteen Group

Hull City Council

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Durham County Council

Zurich Insurance

Scarborough Council

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Lloyds Syndicate 2525

Oldham MBC

South Kesteven Council

North Lincolnshire Council

North East Lincolnshire Council

Livin Housing Ltd

Gallagher Bassett



Yorkshire Housing


Sitex Orbis


Symphony Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Newcastle City Council against a fraudulently exaggerated six figure claim for damages following a tripping accident. Damages and costs stood to total up to £500,000.
  • Successfully defended Sunderland City Council against a claim for damages for Asbestosis alleged to have been contracted during the claimant’s employment with the council.
  • Successfully defended a claim for East Riding of Yorkshire Council for a potentially serious head injury caused as a result of a falling branch from a tree owned by the council.

Gordons LLP

Gordons LLP handles all types of defendant personal injury matters, including employer and public liability, occupational disease, chronic pain and catastrophic injury. Rachel Hudson is the key partner in the firm's Bradford base.


Adrienne D’Arcy heads the healthcare litigation department at Hempsons in Harrogate. The team handles complex litigation and catastrophic injury cases with specialisms in, amongst others, spinal injuries or cases involving brain damaged babies. The firm recently secured a place on NHS Resolution’s panel for general practice claims. When possible, the team utilises alternative dispute resolution methods, displaying strong credentials in mediation and joint settlement meetings, both with and without counsel. Kathleen Wilson is praised for 'going the extra mile for clients'.

Practice head(s):

Adrienne D’Arcy

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Wilson; Helen Freeman


‘The team is well led – they are friendly, happy and relaxed and yet very professional and committed.’

‘Excellent teamwork coupled with first-rate client skills using long established local knowledge. Legal skills and well-resourced office back-up are a given.’

‘Kathleen Wilson’s knowledge of the local healthcare sector and the clinicians and administrators is second to none. Her clients know that she will go that extra mile for them and they reciprocate to assist her.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford District Care Trust

South West Yorkshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust


Work highlights

  • Successfully represented NHS Trust at trial in a clinical negligence claim relating to alleged negligent orthopaedic care.

Hill Dickinson LLP

The health litigation team at Hill Dickinson LLP is led by Joanne Hughes and Andrew Craggs from Leeds and Liverpool. The Leeds practitioners, which include senior associate Amy Lewis Clark, has a specialism in the niche area of dental clinical negligence claims. NHS Resolution is Hill Dickinson’s largest client; the firm was recently appointed to its new GP Indemnity Panel and assists in managing claims brought against those in general practice. The firm is also one of only two firms on the national panel of the Medical Protection Society.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Hughes; Andrew Craggs

Other key lawyers:

Amy Lewis Clark


‘Excellent strength in depth – very large team across the country.’

‘Joanne Hughes is excellent.’

‘This is a highly knowledgeable team that comprises lawyers who are dedicated with a great insight and instincts about the law.’

‘Amy Lewis Clark is a delight to work with.’

Key clients

Medical Protection Society

NHS Resolution

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a GP at trial on allegations regarding an alleged delay in diagnosing and referring for suspected bowel perforation. The claim was dismissed at trial.
  • Represent a client to Court of Appeal in a case which raised issues of causation and in particular, the application of general statistics in a case where the court has already made a determination on matters of causation, in the defendant’s favour.


The Sheffield team at Kennedys, led by office head Helen Snowball, offers a range of expertise covering disease, motor, child abuse and neglect or emergency services claims, and also specialises in advising large corporates in relation to employers' liability and public liability claims. The firm services a broad client base which includes composite insurers, corporates and public bodies. Clients can benefit from the firm's 'KLAiM' online litigation management system, which enables them to take claims from court proceedings to settlement via a straightforward, step-by-step workflow. Suzanne Liversidge was recently appointed as the firm's first global managing partner but continues to help manage a number of major client relationships. The firm also opened an office in Leeds in 2021 with the acquisition of Langleys Solicitors LLP's insurance law practice. The base is is headed up by David Thompson. The team has particular expertise in casualty claims, acting for a number of insurers and local authorities in defence of employer’s liability and public liability claims, including claims relating to personal injury as well as a range of disease claims, such as occupational cancer, hard metal disease and asbestosis.

Practice head(s):

Helen Snowball


“The team is well led. They are friendly, happy and relaxed and yet very professional and committed.”

‘Niall Edwards is a standout partner with excellent client skills and an ability to cut through legal verbiage to the heart of the matter. Excellent judgement and a really nice guy.’

‘There is strength in depth in the team and a flexible structure which makes sure certain tasks are completed by the most appropriate lawyer. This provides an efficient approach to the handling of claims. They are always contactable and responsive to any queries we may have.’

‘They took the time to get to know us and understand what is important to us and our approach to claims. They are excellent when investigating claims and requesting evidence.’

‘Kennedys are passionate about the work and always strive to get the right result for me as a client. The personalities in the team are a joy to work with which results in a great relationship whilst always maintaining their professionalism. Everyone single member of the team shares the same ethos and by working with them for many years and seeing the growth of team members, it is clear that staff development is at the very core of Kennedys.  Having worked with many legal firms over the years, I can honestly say that Kennedys set the gold standard and no other firms have been able to match them.’

‘Helen Snowball is an excellent leader and sets a high standard which others follow.’

‘David Thompson leads a very strong team. Results-driven, proactive, high quality work and very client-friendly. Whether it is a low value personal injury or a high-value complex personal injury or property damage claim, you know insurers and clients are in safe hands. We have had some excellent results and the team are highly respected.’

‘A first rate defendant personal injury practice. The team has strength throughout and no weak links. It regularly handles claims involving very high losses and claims based upon complex medical evidence in multiple fields. They know their field inside out.’

‘Once insurers start using them they very rarely go elsewhere.’

‘An excellent team with strength and depth. I work with many firms of solicitors in the sector and this team undoubtedly has the most knowledgeable individuals and the greatest collective intellect.’

Key clients


Endsleigh Insurance Services

Mitie Group Plc

Veolia Environmental Services Ltd

Arcadia Group Ltd

Cleveland Potash Limited

Gallagher Bassett

Plexus Law

The casualty department at Plexus Law is led by Anthony Baker, Jarrod Parker, Philippa Bell and Simon Hills. The firm has a significant public sector offering, undertaking personal injury work for over 60 public sector bodies nationally, including all the major police forces, many local authorities and the Ministry of Defence. The firm also acts for eight of the top 10 insurers and has added new clients to its portfolio through a mix of lateral hires, new offices, panel wins and preferred supplier status. The firm is expanding its offering to include pre-claim assistance and wording services for its insurer clients.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Foulkes; Sally Richmond


‘This firm is particularly good at spotting and getting its teeth into difficult liability issues which could often be overlooked or sidestepped by others.’

‘Anthony Baker is always responsive to clients’ needs and exudes competence and a calm unflappability.’

‘Plexus are an accommodating firm who flex well to meet client requirements and needs. Technical and legal knowledge is strong, as is the operational set up. Plexus often go over and above to offer valuable analysis into trends and horizon scanning.’

‘Plexus have a desire to really understand their insurer clients, and their policyholders business needs. This granular level of understanding, matched to expert legal advice and a holistic approach to problem solving gives them a unique offering to the market place.’

‘Anthony Baker is a first class lawyer. He has an ability to give clear, succinct expert advice on a plethora of complicated legal matters across the insurance sector. Anthony has built excellent relationships across the legal and supply chain networks which he used to his clients’ benefit, ensuring that the best team are available to him and the client. Anthony has excellent personal skills, making significant efforts to get to know and understand his clients wants and needs driving consistently excellent results for them.’

Key clients



Tesco Stores Ltd



The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis





Whirlpool UK appliance Ltd

UK power network


Bolton CC


Galliford Try

Dyer & Butler

XL Catlin

WR Berkley Offshore

Work highlights

  • Nuisance contribution to settlement of high-profile multi-party fatal accident claim worth in excess of £500k.
  • Successfully persuaded the HSE that admitted breaches of health and safety duties were not causative of a fatal accident and convinced the HSE not to prosecute.
  • Successfully appealed against a decision denying a company a full one third discount against a sentence after entering a guilty plea at first opportunity and opposed HSE’s cross-appeal against the overall sentence.


Weightmans is well-known for its defendant personal Injury department, which specialises in casualty, motor, disease and abuse claims. The firm also has a market affairs group, which advises insurer clients on regulatory, strategic and political issues. Blaise Smith acts exclusively for insurers, principally defending claims for a major motor and household insurer. Helen Brown is the regional head of the Leeds office and the head of the casualty team, which acts for a growing number of local authorities and social welfare insurers.

Practice head(s):

Blaise Smith; Helen Brown

Other key lawyers:

Jim Byard; Lindsay Staddon


‘Blaise Smith is a top insurer’s PI lawyer. Very astute and knowledgeable.’

Key clients


East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Durham County Council

Leeds City Council Over

Markel Over


Ageas 5+ years as Ageas

Newcastle City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised a local authority on a claim for sexual exploitation of a child in care, who, as a result, turned to prostitution and became dependent on drugs.
  • Acted for the three interveners on a pro bono basis in the Court of Appeal. At first instance the High Court had found in favour of the claimant, a professional musician on his claim for noise induced hearing loss.  The appeal successfully overturned the decision of the High Court.
  • Instructed by a major motor insurer to defend a polytrauma claim involving a traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries in a case where the claimant had pre-existing psychiatric problems.