Personal injury: defendant in Yorkshire And The Humber


Operating from Sheffield, CMS boasts strong capabilities across a range of specialisms in personal injury, namely industrial disease, data breaches, and matters concerning the oil and gas industry. As a part of a broader firm with both international reach and a strong corporate practice, the team is particularly well placed to advise corporate clients on their liabilities, in addition to a range of insurers. Gregor Woods heads the team, being both highly experienced in litigation relating to all manner of injury claims, and having a special interest in the needs of large corporate clients in this space. Tim Riordan is noted for his activity in relation to claims arising from data breaches.

Practice head(s):

Gregor Woods; Tim Riordan

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Fletcher


‘CMS impressed us with their handling of a matter which involved severe and potentially catastrophic injuries emanating from a road traffic accident in the UAE. They dealt appropriately with jurisdictional issues.’

‘No other defendant firm has been involved in as much high profile, high value, heavy PI litigation (with a particular emphasis on industrial disease) as CMS. That’s reflected in the high quality of the staff, led by the effective combination of Tim Riordan and Jeremy Fletcher.’

‘Jeremy Fletcher in particular combines high intelligence with strategic nous. He’s able to master the detail, but not get lost, while keeping a clear eye on the client’s strategic objectives.’

Key clients


Serco Limited

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Tarmac Trading Limited

Coal Products Limited



Qatar Airways

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control Ltd


GE Aviation


Legal & General


Imperial Chemicals Industries Ltd


Electric Insurance


Work highlights

  • Defending Tarmac up to the Supreme Court, clarifying the scope of an employer’s duty of care in respect of harm from practical jokes.
  • Defending the Government in the British Coal Respiratory Disease litigation.
  • Representing international insurer Canopius in a case concerning a complex and catastrophic accident in the UAE.


DWF is instructed by all of the major insurers in relation to the full range of claims, distinguishing itself through the technical expertise of its team, its national and international coverage, and the strength of its business services offering. The Leeds team is able to draw upon the expertise of Richard Parker, who leads on work concerning occupational injury, with a specialism in disease litigation and a focus on the manufacturing and construction sectors. David Rogers heads the major injury work, where he works alongside notable lawyers Owen Rees and Lisa Collins. Paul Holmes is active in relation to fraudulent claims within this space, much like Mark Robson, who is active more specifically in relation to fraudulent motor accidents. Global head of fraud and complex motor volume Lorraine Carolan provides further support from the Birmingham office.

Practice head(s):

David Rogers; Richard Parker; Paul Holmes; Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:

Mark Robson; Owen Rees; Lisa Collins


‘A well-organised team which is up to date with all relevant changes in the sector.’

David Rogers is the go-to partner for cases of multi-million pound value, particularly those which have press sensitivity. He deals with the full range of employers’ and public liability cases, and is particularly known for his expertise in neurological injuries in and outside the sports sector.’

‘Owen Rees really cares about his clients. He goes the extra mile for them. He combines that with a sound grasp of what makes his cases tick. Lisa Collins is a really safe pair of hands whatever the nature of the litigation’

Key clients








NFU Mutual


Gallagher Bassett


Department of Transport

British Telecommunications Plc






Enterprise Rent a Car




First Central



Inspire Claims



Medical Protection Society

Insure the Box

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Enterprise by dismissing a claim arising from a suspected staged accident, recovering costs and making savings in excess of £95,000.
  • Successfully struck out a claim against Covea concerning a motorcycle accident in which it was suspected that the claim was fraudulent, recovering costs in excess of £20,000.
  • Represented Aviva in a claim concerning significant injury in a vehicle collision, successfully having the claim struck out due to the claimant’s dishonest account.


Kennedys acts for insurers and direct clients across a range of sectors, including local authorities, construction, retail, sports, agriculture, and entertainment. Helen Snowball operates from Sheffield and heads the firm’s local authority and abuse work, working alongside Niall Edwards, who leads on the motor-related claims. David Thompson has moved to lead the firm’s new Leeds practice, focussing on catastrophic injury work. The firm has a number of individuals to draw upon with a range of specialisms, such as Tom Holbrook, Heidi Swales, and Paul Bedford, who specialise in employment and public liability, and Cameron Clark, Darren Goldthorpe, and Gary Brankin, who focus on disease claims.

Practice head(s):

Helen Snowball; David Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Niall Edwards; Tim Holbrook; Heidi Swales; Paul Bedford; Cameron Clark; Darren Goldthorpe; Gary Brankin


‘Kennedys have excellent strength in depth. They have dedicated fee earners, who take time to get to know the client. They have a variety of skills and delegate tasks appropriately. They provide useful support and training and are very approachable and helpful.’

‘The Kennedys team really value getting to know their client and providing the service that the client wants. They have a range of skills and specialisms they can call on.’

‘The practice provides an exceptional service to insurers and other defendants. The lawyers are well resourced, receive very good training and deliver high quality legal services to clients. The practice recruits well, adding strength and depth to its already experienced team.’

Key clients


Endsleigh Insurance Services

Mitie Group Plc

Veolia Environmental Services Ltd

Cleveland Potash Limited

Gallagher Bassett


Beko PLC

Government Legal Department



Probitas 1492

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Brit Global Specialty

Tokio Marine HCC

RiverStone Insurance (UK) Limited

DTW1991 Underwriting Limited

Markerstudy Insurance Services

North Yorkshire County Council

Syndicate 2525

Everest Insurance

Pen Underwriting

Tokio Marine Kiln


Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors acts for a number of local authorities and insurers, with a specialism in complex construction injury claims such as hearing loss, electrocution, and burns, as well as issues around contracting and sub-contracting. The team also has experience in handling abuse in social care, fraud, fast-track casualty cases, and disease claims arising from historic, occupational, and public liability. Chris Booth heads both the insurance team and the firm’s anti-fraud and disease work, while Kella Bowers takes the lead in relation to inquests, social services, and abuse claims. Paul Geldard heads the complex injury offering.

Practice head(s):

Chris Booth; Paul Geldard; Kella Bowers

Other key lawyers:

Siobhan Hardy


‘Approachable, knowledgeable and give sound advice.’

‘Forbes are approachable and friendly, professional and efficient, and provide information in a format which is easily understandable.’

‘Siobhan Hardy is professional and approachable and her advice and expertise is really valued.’

Key clients

Calderdale MBC

Leeds City Council

Thirteen Housing Group Ltd

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


Maven Insurance


Yorkshire Housing


Sitex Orbis


Protector Insurance

Sunderland Council

Sheffield City Council

Newcastle City Council

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a large housing provider defending a claim following a tenant’s death from burns from a bath which lacked a temperature limiter valve.
  • Acted on behalf of a large construction company in a claim brought alleging that excessive lifting and manoeuvring of heavy equipment had caused arterial thoracic outlet syndrome.
  • Acted for a local authority in a claim on behalf of a deceased former teacher who alleged that he was exposed to asbestos in his classroom.


Weightmans draws upon the strengths of the broader national practice to provide comprehensive assistance for clients across a range of sectors. Charles Heppenstall is the regional practice head for Leeds, bringing his particular specialisms in serious injury with chronic pain and invisible injury claims to the group. Heppenstall works alongside national head for local authorities, Helen Brown, whose expertise is in social care, bullying, harassment, and stress, and technical lead for large loss, Lindsay Staddon, who has extensive experience relating to the full spectrum of claims. Blaise Smith is also of note, working exclusively for insurers in catastrophic injury claims and with a track record in fatal accidents and major product liability mandates. National insurance practice head Rob Williams oversees matters from the Liverpool office.

Practice head(s):

Rob Williams; Charles Heppenstall

Other key lawyers:

Helen Brown; Lindsay Staddon; Blaise Smith


‘The team led by Charles Heppenstall in insurance defendant PI is a standout team who work brilliantly together to provide a top quality service to the insurance sector.’

‘Charles Heppenstall is the stand-out individual. Responsive, effective and charming, he gives excellent practical advice and is great to work with.’

‘Weightmans have a very strong personal injury defendant team. Their approach to claims work is very good and they provide excellent legal advice.’

‘Blaise Smith is excellent: providing advice on particularly difficult and unique issues whilst maintaining an eye on the commercial outcome.’

‘Well known firm in the insurance PI market.’

‘Blaise Smith is a most experienced partner in catastrophic PI, with a particularly strong forensic knowledge of the law and a creative brain.’

‘Lindsay Staddon is a really strong performer in the catastrophic PI insurance sector. Quietly spoken, she has real judgment and gets things done.’

Key clients


Motor Insurers Bureau

AIG Europe

AXAXL Insurance


Municipal Mutual Insurance

Ageas Insurance

Tesco Underwriting

First Central Insurance

InterEurope AG Insurance

Covea Insurance

Octagon Insurance

Travellers Insurance Co

HDI Global

Hiscox Insurance

Esure Insurance

Prometheus Insurance

Hastings Direct

Markerstudy Insurance

Berkshire Hathaway Speciality Insurance

Liberty Mutual

Markel Insurance

DCL Insurance


Protector Insurance


Rolls Royce

Jaguar Land Rover

Lidl Stores



DHL Logistics

Severn Trent

Gallagher Bassett

Hundreds of Local Authorities and Police Authorities

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ageas insurance in the defence of multi-party fatal and brain injury cases.
  • Acted for Ageas insurance on a claim arising out of a motor accident where the claimant developed a regional pain syndrome.
  • Acted for Zurich insurance and a university on a claim for stress, bullying and harassment by an employee caused by excessive work.