Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP
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Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

The ‘remarkable’ Caroline Klage, specialist in birth and child injury, leads the ‘absolutely outstanding’ offering at Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP. The sizable team is separated into sub-divisions, which focus on specialised areas including child injury, brain injury and spinal injury. Particularly notable and niche areas of expertise include the new Women’s Health team - which is currently leading the charge on issues such as racial inequality within maternity care, menstruation and menopause - and the specialist military claims team, led by partner Ahmed Al-Nahhas. A standout feature of the firm is its annual client care training programme, co-delivered by Caroline Klage and recently appointed partner Amanda Garner, which is dedicated to improving the practitioners' ability to support clients through the traumas they may experience as a result of their claims. Claudia Hillemand is singled out as a ‘stellar partner’, while Alex Dabek is noted at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Klage

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Hillemand; Hannah Travis; Alex Dabek; Hema Wanza; Jo Chapman; Rhiannon Daniel; Tom Lax; Olivia Boschat; Deepti Patel; Kate O’Brien; Ipek Tugcu


‘Claudia Hillemand is a stellar partner in clinical negligence – she has a deep understanding of the medicine surrounding brain injury, but most importantly the impact upon claimants. Ipek Tugcu is a determined and dogged litigator with a growing reputation. She manages to bring a smile to even the toughest of negotiations. Kate O’Brien is a rising star with a natural touch for the more complex clinical negligence cases; her client care is wonderful and she is a dream to have on the team.’

‘An absolutely outstanding team, with a particular sub-speciality in child birth brain injuries. The level of dedication, determination and ability they demonstrate in each case is exceptional. There are no weak links at the firm and I have recommended them on a number of occasions to trusted friends and family members.’

‘For me, Caroline Klage is the best birth brain injury solicitor in the country. I have never come across another solicitor so hardworking, passionate, knowledgeable and caring. She is absolutely remarkable and would always be my first recommendation in this field. Her team members are also outstanding. Claudia Hillemand is brilliant and her experience is this field is second to none.’

‘Tom Lax is an excellent associate who is thorough, thoughtful and absolutely on top of his cases. He builds really solid relationships with his clients and will leave no stone unturned order to get the best possible outcome for them. Rhiannon Daniel is a very capable, no-nonsense lawyer who works with dynamism and energy. She balances this really well with empathy for her clients and gets great results for them.’

‘Alex Dabek is a lawyer who is fastidious with detail and really thinks through her cases but also pragmatic. She is easy to work with and has a kind and empathetic manner with clients.’

‘The solicitors I have worked with at Bolt Burdon Kemp are dynamic, empathetic, caring and prepared to go that extra mile for the clients and professionals working with them. The solicitors take a genuine interest in the client and family and have an excellent bedside manner.’

‘Claudia Hillemand, Alex Dabek, Hema Wanza and Jo Chapman are particularly dedicated and professional members of the team.’

‘Hannah Travis was the person who dealt with my case, she was professional and always made me feel comfortable and was reassuring and patient if I had any questions. Hannah and everyone who dealt with me made it easy for me to deal with my claim. I would definitely recommend Bolt Burdon Kemp.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a child who suffered severe brain injury at birth, securing a large multi-million pound settlement.
  • Acted for a man who suffered a stroke as a result of negligent anaesthetic care during surgery, and secured a seven-figure settlement for his life-changing injuries.
  • Acting for a woman in a highly complex clinical negligence claim, where she suffered a spinal cord injury during spinal decompression surgery carried out by a private surgeon.

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Jonathan Wheeler leads the personal injury offering at Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP; it functions as a cross-departmental group spanning adult brain injury, child brain injury, spinal injury, military claims, abuse and complex injury. The sub-division of specialisms allows team members an increased focus on their own area of expertise. In addition, the team has been expanding into more niche areas, with women’s health becoming a particular focus in recent years. Ahmed Al-Nahhas leads the military sub-team, working on cases involving such complex issues as PTSD, and is described as ‘one of the best lawyers in the market for military personal injury work’. The has recently campaigned around the impact of Covid-19 on child abuse, inequality in Britain’s legal aid system and the safety of e-scooters – Joshua Hughes has done impressive work on the last of these. The team also offers early therapy and trauma support to its clients. Child abuse lead David McClenaghan has led on multiple recent cases which are being considered by the Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Wheeler

Other key lawyers:

David McClenaghan, Cheryl Abrahams, Ahmed Al-Nahhas, Joshua Hughes, Victoria Oliver, Ipek Tugcu; Gaggan Mawi; Caroline Klage; Rhiannon Daniel; Ben Pepper; Rebecca Sherriff; Jessica Standley


‘Joshua Hughes is an energetic, motivated and highly astute claimant solicitor who always ensures that his clients’ cases are presented persuasively and realistically. He is always willing to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Cheryl Abrahams is excellent, knowledgeable and highly personable.’

‘Jessica Standley has excellent people skills – nothing was ever too much trouble and she made me feel at ease throughout the whole process of my claim.’

‘It is their extensive knowledge of the subject area that makes Bolt Burdon Kemp unique, along with their ability to really listen and take the time to understand the impact an injury may have on their client. The firm communicates very well, I am never left wondering what is going on. Truly exceptional.’

‘Ahmed Al-Nahhas is a true gentleman, who put me at ease from the outset. There was so much uncertainty with my injury when we first made contact but he has been there as a support through it all. I have supreme confidence in Ahmed’s ability to make the right decisions at the right time. He goes the extra mile.’

‘Ahmed Al-Nahhas is one of the best lawyers in the market for military personal injury work. He is urbane, charming and affable, whilst also being ruthless with defendants. His knowledge of all things military is peerless and he has a great combination of sensitivity and hard work.’

‘Victoria Oliver runs high-value and complex spinal claims. She is vastly experienced and with a great client manner – especially with younger claimants. She’s diligent, empathetic and I’d highly recommend her.’

‘Victoria Oliver and Rhiannon Daniel are both excellent, with great client handling skills.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a group of clients who suffered racist abuse whilst training at Chelsea Football Club in the 1990s, securing apologies and damages for those affected.
  • Acted for a man who sustained a serious brain injury after being involved in a road traffic accident, securing interim funds to set up a rehabilitation and treatment package whilst the claim progressed, before settling the case for a seven-figure sum.
  • Acting for a female officer in the Forces who has experienced assault, racial harassment, victimisation and career fouling during her service, and has developed PTSD as a result.

Dispute resolution > Costs lawyers Tier 2

Praised by clients as being ‘at the forefront of the costs industry’, the team of costs lawyers at serious injury claims firm Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP is singled out as ‘outstanding from top to bottom’. The ‘very knowledgeable, dynamic and strategic’ team is ‘willing to take bold and innovative points and run them all the way’. With notable expertise in personal injury and clinical negligence costs claims, the group also receives instructions arising from professional negligence, commercial litigation and Court of Protection litigation. Group head Sam Hayman is a ‘market-leading costs lawyer’ who is ‘completely on top of the law and procedure and adopts a commercial approach’. Clients also praise senior associate Tom Jenkinson, who, with Hayman, forms ‘a formidable team with a clear passion for pursuing important points’.

Practice head(s):

Sam Hayman

Other key lawyers:

Tom Jenkinson; Sarah Holden; Jack Ridgway


‘The Bolt Burdon Kemp cost team are at the forefront of the costs industry. Their enthusiasm to costs individually and as a team is infectious and tops off the advice and results they seem to deliver consistently.’

‘Sam Hayman is one of the most talented costs lawyers I have met. The depth of knowledge that Sam has is unprecedented and he has proven himself time and again with the most complex cases in the highest courts. He is at the leading edge of the costs industry.’

‘Sam Hayman: Market-leading costs lawyer. Strong advocate. Not afraid to run difficult cases to the highest courts.’

‘Tom Jenkinson: Up and coming junior costs lawyer. Effective advocate. Highly knowledgeable on costs. Understands the nuances of the market.’

‘Jack Ridgway: Well respected costs lawyer whose presence in the market has been bolstered by his leadership of the ACL.’

‘BBK’s cost team is very much at the cutting edge of costs law. They are willing to take bold and innovative points and run them all the way.’

‘This practice is outstanding from top to bottom – the various departments liaise with each other seamlessly. I couldn’t have asked for better care.’

‘Bolt Burden Kemp have eminent expertise in personal injury litigation, and can be seen to really care about the reality of the claims for their clients. Costs are critically important for PI claims, and so BBK’s expertise in costs go hand in hand.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in a landmark Supreme Court costs case, judgment of which has a significant effect on all personal injury litigation subject to QOCS, restricting a defendant’s ability to recover its costs from claimants who are subject to an adverse costs order.
  • Securing over £2m in costs in a long-running child brain injury clinical negligence case.
  • Advised a group of clients against a London Borough Council which enacted a compensation scheme for those who had suffered child abuse in its care homes and successfully challenged the fact that the scheme restricted the claimants’ costs to those assessed by a panel, instead of being assessed by court.

Bolt Burdon Kemp specialises in only representing claimants in the fields of serious personal injury and clinical negligence, with dedicated teams focusing on adult and child brain injury, spinal injury, abuse and military claims.

The firm: With over 30 years’ experience, this innovative firm is dedicated to progressing complex and serious injury claims swiftly and tenaciously while providing the highest levels of client care. Direct access to solicitors and meetings at times and places to suit the client are standard features of the service. Its approach is holistic, with interim payments being sought at an early stage to alleviate financial hardship and to enable clients to access the professional support and specialist targeted intervention they need at the very earliest opportunity. The firm seeks to support clients in all aspects, from welfare benefits through to special education needs advice. It has a track record in groundbreaking cases and in successfully fighting high-risk claims.

Types of work undertaken: The abuse team is led by partner and solicitor-advocate David McClenaghan; it is the UK’s largest group of solicitors exclusively acting for survivors of abuse seeking compensation. It is renowned for pursuing landmark cases to improve the law in this area, and brings actions against individual abusers, their employers, foster parents, operators of children’s homes and schools, social services departments which placed children in care or failed to protect children from being abused at home, religious organisations, sporting clubs and charitable foundations.

The firm has a dedicated military team, led by Ahmed Al-Nahhas, with experience of advising on the often complex and uniquely challenging needs of claims for injuries arising from bullying through to providing defective equipment and inadequate medical care. Its client base is composed of serving and retired armed services personnel and their families, as well as members of the civilian services linked to the Ministry of Defence. It is currently bringing a test case for individuals who experienced psychiatric symptoms due to Lariam, an anti-malarial drug prescribed by MoD doctors.

The child brain injury department, led by Caroline Klage, continues to grow, and represents many families with birth injury claims. The team’s dedication to its clients is evidenced through its developing expertise in the area of special education needs. Members have successfully appealed a number of education, health and care plan decisions made by local authorities to ensure clients are educated at the most appropriate local specialist schools. Real emphasis is placed on the needs of the whole family, obtaining the support needed to ensure an injured child’s future is secure.

Suzanne Trask heads the firm’s adult brain injury department, which specialises in acting for individuals who have sustained a brain injury through an accident or negligent care. This experience extends to those affected by brain infections or stroke. The team is committed to working closely with groups which support these individuals. The team works swiftly to put appropriate multi-disciplinary care packages in place to ensure a client’s needs are met as a priority and to restore as much independence as possible.

The spinal injury department is headed by Victoria Oliver, and has seen some exceptional successes, including a £5.3m settlement for negligent treatment in respect of scoliosis. The team continues to campaign for improved awareness of the issues faced by those who have mobility issues.

The complex injury team, led by Joshua Hughes, undertakes the full range of personal injury and clinical negligence work and has particular expertise in claims involving catastrophic injuries, psychiatric injuries, disfigurement claims, amputations, the late diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cancer, obstetric and gynaecological injuries, women’s health matters, orthopaedic injuries and amputations, pressure ulcers, and fatal injuries. Members of the team have had particular success in developing experience in group actions against rogue doctors.

Bolt Burdon Kemp aims to further develop its expertise in its specialist areas and is committed to expansion through investment in excellent staff.

Managing partner Jonathan Wheeler
Child brain injury Caroline Klage
Adult brain injury Suzanne Trask
Abuse David McClenaghan
Military Claims Ahmed Al-Nahhas
Complex Injury Joshua Hughes
Spinal Injury Victoria Oliver
Cheryl Abrahams photo Cheryl AbrahamsCheryl is a partner in the child brain injury team at Bolt…
Ahmed Al-Nahhas photo Ahmed Al-NahhasAhmed is Head of the Military Claims Team and a Partner and…
Lynne Burdon photo Lynne BurdonAfter education at a Quaker school in North Yorkshire and a Maths…
Joanna Chapman photo Joanna ChapmanJo is a partner in the child brain injury team, and acts exclusively…
Alex Dabek photo Alex DabekAlex is a Senior Associate in the Spinal Injury team at Bolt…
Claudia Hillemand photo Claudia HillemandClaudia is a Partner in the Child Brain Injury team. She acts exclusively…
Joshua Hughes photo Joshua HughesJosh is a Partner and Head of the Complex Injury team at…
Rhicha Kapila photo Rhicha KapilaRhicha is the Chief Operations Officer and a partner at Bolt Burdon…
Caroline Klage photo Caroline KlageCaroline is a specialist in cases involving child brain injury and heads…
David McClenaghan photo David McClenaghanDavid joined Bolt Burdon Kemp in 2010. He became partner in 2015…
Luke Nicholls photo Luke NichollsLuke is the Finance Partner in the Financial Operations team at Bolt…
Suzanne Trask photo Suzanne TraskSuzanne is head of the Adult Brain Injury team at Bolt Burdon…
Jonathan Wheeler photo Jonathan WheelerJonathan was formerly head of both the injury and abuse teams at…
Number of UK partners : 15
Number of other UK fee-earners : 66
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)
Law Society
Chambers & Partners