Firm Profile > Leigh Day > London, England

Leigh Day
PRIORY HOUSE
25 ST JOHN'S LANE
LONDON
EC1M 4LB
England

Administrative and public law Tier 1

Leigh Day is a prominent firm in the public law space, having acted on some of the most high-profile and wide-ranging recent judicial review claims. Jamie Beagent is a leading figure in the fields of planning and environmental law and immigration detention issues. He recently handled a number of successful judicial review applications into grants of planning permission and is currently bringing a challenge against the Home Office's treatment of immigration detainees (new recruit Stephanie Hill and Waleed Sheikh are also developing practices in this field) and victims of sex trafficking. Rosa Curling is acting for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in its challenge to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ decision to license the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. Tessa Gregory leads on refugee rights and domestic human rights challenges, including successfully challenging numerous elements of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' roll-out of universal credit. Associate Benjamin Burrows acts exclusively in the field of prisoner rights, including in judicial reviews into the treatment of trans prisoners. Sean Humber has a wide-ranging practice which includes data protection and Freedom of Information applications.

Testimonials

The team has an enthusiasm for the law and for what it can do to hold the powerful to account

Leigh Day’s multi-disciplinary public law team is made up of committed and skilled individuals who are well resourced and have a great deal of corporate experience to draw down on

The firm has vast experience acting for the widest range of clients on innovative and cutting-edge legal challenges

Leigh Day has a fantastic public law team. Extremely creative, thoughtful, courageous and diligent

Jamie Beagent and Sean Humber are both well known and respected in the field of public law

Waleed Sheikh is conscientious, thorough, knowledgeable and committed to speaking truth to power

Rosa Curling is supremely clever and a tactical expert with huge emotional intelligence

Rosa Curling’s energy and dynamism makes the Leigh Day public law team one of the strongest in the country

Rowan Smith is a clever, courageous lawyer who is building a strong practice in public, planning and environmental law

Tessa Gregory is a stand-out public lawyer who brings tenacity, intelligence and a wealth of experience to her cases

Tom Short is bright, efficient and hardworking, and is building a really interesting practice in public and environmental law

Key clients

Reprieve

Privacy International

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Help Refugees

Mencap

Prison Reform Trust

Amnesty International

Campaign Against the Arms Trade

RSPB

WWF

Civil liberties and human rights Tier 1

A 'standout firm' for civil liberties and human rights, Leigh Day handles an arsenal of big-ticket international human rights matters, which include illegal rendition and torture and actions against the state, as well as domestic claims involving prison reform and immigration. Sapna Malik is undertaking an array of high-profile cross-border matters, including a case against the UK government, and practice head Sean Humber is working on a privacy law matter. Core members of the team include Richard Meeran, who heads the international team; Daniel Leader, who has a focus on environmental litigation; Jamie Beagent; and Rosa Curling.

Testimonials

‘Rosa Curling is a great solicitor, easy to work with and very able.’

‘The team is full of great lawyers who are able and passionate about the work that they do. Sapna Malik is obviously very good, and Rosa Curling is a creative lawyer who is also strategic.’

‘Daniel Leader combines a remarkable work ethic with a highly tuned legal brain.  He sees the “big picture” and has first-rate legal analysis. At the same time, his attention to detail is second to none. ‘

‘Martyn Day masterminds cases – he has been at the forefront of cutting-edge cases for decades.’

Key clients

Mr Abdul Hakim Belhaj

Kamil Najim

Abdullah Alseran. Abd Ali

Hameed Ali. Al- Waleed

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

The 'exceptionally meticulous team' at Leigh Day draws on a wealth of experience in complex medical cases involving life-changing injuries, such as amputations, spinal and brain injuries, as well as fatal claims. The department has seen a shift in leadership, when dual-qualified Suzanne White, whose specialist knowledge encompasses birth injury claims, succeeded the now retired Russell LevyClaire Fazan has recently been active handling high value claims for children who suffer from cerebral palsy due to midwifery and/or obstetric negligence. Maternal birth injuries involving perineal tears and misdiagnosis of cancer are also among the team's service offering.

Testimonials

‘From top to bottom, quality runs through Leigh Day’s clinical negligence team. They have a huge wealth of experience and have been involved in some of the most complex and valuable claims that I have encountered. They are extremely good with client care and fight tirelessly for the clients’ interests.’

‘Leigh Day is the pre-eminent claimant clinical negligence firm not only in London but in the whole of the UK.  The team has great strength in its cross-section of people, with a vast depth of experience.The team is driven by a desire for the underdog patient to achieve justice against the establishment.’

‘They are thorough in investigating potential claims, knowledgeable in their assessment of strengths and weaknesses of those claims and fearless when pursuing cases assessed to have genuine merit.’

‘Suzanne White exemplifies the firm’s commitment to achieve the best possible results for its clients. She has great tactical acumen and is able to step back and look at the bigger picture of a catastrophic case.’

‘Claire Fazan is head and shoulders above the field, with an unrivalled caseload of high profile, complex clinical negligence cases for catastrophic injuries. Her judgement is second to none.’

Employment: employees/unions Tier 1

Leigh Day's employment team is 'at the forefront of important test cases affecting the UK workforce' and its expertise includes equal pay and complex group claims as well as solely acting for claimants and unions. Practice head Chris Benson is renowned for acting in high-profile and challenging employment and discrimination matters, with sector strengths in financial services, technology and health care. The team has acted on a number of landmark cases that have redefined the employment landscape; Nigel Mackay and associate and 'future starAnnie Powell led the high-value challenge for Uber drivers. Other noteworthy members of the team include Kiran Daurka, who has considerable experience in the sector and is currently advising Tesco.

Testimonials

‘Chris Benson sees the whole field. He is pragmatic to his fingertips and impossible to unsettle.’

‘Annie Powell is an exceptional legal mind and strategist. She will leave no stone unturned and her commitment to her clients is admirable. Her skill wins cases long before they ever need to see the inside of an employment tribunal.’

Nigel Mackay is absolutely amazing. He was caring and compassionate, and expressed the necessary outrage when needed, but was also a top-notch lawyer. His advice was always very practical and he did an excellent job of keeping me, as the client, involved.

Kiran Daurka is fiercely committed to her clients and the causes she champions.

Key clients

Uber Drivers

Addison Lee Drivers

Deliveroo Riders

Over 120 part-time judges

Simon Henry

Over 230 judges including District, Employment, Circuit, Upper and First Tier Tribunal Judges and High Court Masters

Kay Collins

Over 30,000 shop workers in the largest private-sector equal pay claim against Asda

Over 13,000 police officers in the largest discrimination claim against the government and the police commissioners

Protect

Tesco Equal Pay

Cherie Rogers, Sandra Darby & Muhamet Osmani

DPD Drivers

Environment Tier 1

Leigh Day advises claimants domestically as well as internationally on contentious and non-contentious environmental matters. The practice assists with class-action lawsuits concerning chronic land and water contamination caused by oil and gas companies. Martyn Day is experienced in advising on the right to access water and claims arising from toxic waste dumping. Other areas of expertise involve wildlife and nature conservation as well as environment-related advice on infrastructure planning. Clients include local farming and fishing communities as well as indigenous communities living in proximity to mines and oil fields.

Key clients

Dominic Lungowe & Ors

The Ogale Community, Nigeria

The Bille Community, Nigeria

The Bodo Community clean-up claim, Nigeria

Cerrejon coal mine victims group action, Colombia

Friends of the Earth

Talk Fracking and Harthill Against Fracking

Emily Shirley v Canterbury City Council

Dr Mark Avery

Wild Justice

Personal injury: claimant Tier 1

Leigh Day is 'a leading light in the PI industry'and offers advice and legal 'guidance to claimants at every stage' of litigation. The department works across the complete range of personal injury, combining traditional high-value severe injury and disease cases with the international group claims' caseload, which brings corporations and governments to account for injury and abuse in foreign jurisdictions. Richard Meeran leads on this type of work, which frequently intersects with human rights issues and encompasses ground-breaking cases against UK-domiciled multinationals. Martyn Day is a specialist in international multi-party claims. Department head Sally Moore's expertise spans brain, spinal, amputation and fatal accident claims; she is also the main point of contact within the specialist cycling injury team. The firm also fields one of the largest asbestos and industrial disease groups, where Harminder Bains stands out for her work in precedent-setting mesothelioma cases.

Testimonials

‘The cycling team at Leigh Day is extremely well versed in cycling claims and applies this knowledge consistently well to support its clients from British Cycling.’

‘They are all trained in putting the client’s needs first and pride themselves on achieving positive and speedy outcomes on claims.’

‘The compassion and determination of its key individuals and the depth of their specialist knowledge make it the stand-out claimant asbestos litigation firm in England.’

‘This is a superlative firm responsible for some of the most groundbreaking work in the fields of personal injury, civil liberties and human rights. The team of lawyers are hugely capable, dedicated, ethical practitioners.’

‘Extremely professional team that always made me feel that I was their number one client and treated me as a person not just another case, with my own interests very much at the top of their list of priorities.’

‘Without Martyn Day’s exceptional judgement and risk taking, some of the most important cases that have changed the face of litigation in this country over the last twenty years would never have been taken. He alone is responsible for taking claims that hold multinational corporations to account for abuses perpetrated by their subsidiaries on vulnerable and impoverished populations in the global south.’

‘Sally Moore and her team came into our family in the early stages of recovery and were immediately highly professional, sensitive and most of all respectful of the complexities of trauma.’

‘Harminder Bains is known throughout the industry as someone who will never be intimidated or back away from a fight.’

‘Dan Easton has a phenomenal depth of knowledge and puts his client’s interests above all else.’

‘Grant Incles was careful to explain points of law and the process, which I wasn’t familiar with. With incredible attention to detail, he was very quick to move my case forward and to secure outcomes which were always in my best interest.’

Key clients

British Cycling Federation

British Triathlon Association

Product liability: claimant Tier 1

Leigh Day stands out for its ability to handle claims relating to medical devices, pharmaceutical products, household appliances and electronics as well as toys, among others. The team saw an increase in demand to handle food and allergy-related matters following its involvement in high-profile work relating to fatalities pertaining to inadequately labelled food from Pret A Manger. The team is led by the highly regarded Bozena Michalowska-Howells and also includes Jill PatersonMichelle Victor and Gene MatthewsThomas JervisSarah MooreChris Haan and Tina Patel are the names to note at associate level.

Testimonials

A great team from top to bottom, knows the area inside out and has a great feel for where a case’s strengths or weaknesses lie, and is absolutely on top of the law.

Leigh Day is almost unique in shouldering the burden of group action claimants taking on giant pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers and regularly goes beyond the call of duty on behalf of its clients.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells has good overall management of the relevant claims and is very knowledgeable in this area.’

Jill Paterson is incredibly down to earth, and is always completely in control of every aspect of her cases. She is able to cut directly to the heart of a case, and knows exactly what needs to be done for her clients.’

Thomas Jervis approaches cases in a highly thorough and methodical way, and he is always able to spot the best way to move a case forward.’

Chris Haan is an exceptional senior associate, who displays independent and creative thinking, strong mastery of detail, and is easy to work with.’

Tina Patel is a rising star.’

Court of protection Tier 2

Leigh Day’s human rights department includes its specialist Court of Protection team that has an established practice in 'best interest' cases. The work ranges from advising on the withdrawal of treatment, DNR, deprivation of liberty cases through to care matters. The team has been receiving an increased number of referrals from the Official Solicitor in matters relating to deprivation of liberty, contact, residence and sexual relations. Key clients include the Official Solicitor, professional property and affairs deputies, relatives of protected individuals and charities (as interveners). Sean Humber heads the team. Managing partner Frances Swaine is recommended and Anna Moore is 'highly professional and very competent'.

Testimonials

Leigh Day offers a formidable blend of expertise in health and welfare cases in the Court of Protection coupled with a broader understanding of the public law issues that crop up in the health and social care sector‘.

Anna Moore is a highly professional and very competent Court of Protection practitioner, able to handle a busy caseload and who approaches cases in a thoughtful and practical way‘.

Anna Moore has exceptional maturity and judgement that belies her relatively junior status. She is very good at building a rapport with vulnerable adults, particularly adults with a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder‘.

Key clients

Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

Penningtons Manches LLP

Employment: senior executives Tier 3

The team at Leigh Day frequently acts on behalf of executives and senior professional clients in relation to a variety of matters including equal pay, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, whistleblowing, and all aspects of discrimination. High-profile recent work has included advising more than 230 judges on their discrimination claims against the Government over changes to their pensions. The department is active in a wide range of sectors, advising large private sector commercial enterprises, banks, law firms and industrial corporations, to public and government authorities. The experienced Chris Benson leads the team and focuses on discrimination claims and high-value multi-party litigation relating to pay and pensions.

Key clients

Jon Brown v Colt Technology Services

Over 230 full-time judges

About 120 part time judges

Chief Client Officer of Global Insurance firm

Ram Venuprasad

Travel

Acting exclusively for claimants, Leigh Day handles a range of complex international injury claims. It advised the families of two girls who drowned in the sea whilst volunteering for an English company in South Africa. It also stands out for its expertise in cross-border claims involving cycling accidents. Manchester-based Clare Campbell is a 'very experienced partner'.

Testimonials

Sally Moore is an absolutely top-quality lawyer and a delight to work with.

Clare Campbell has excellent knowledge of the industry and is really prepared to fight for her clients.

Colin Murphy is an up and coming associate with a razor sharp intellect.

Leigh Day is a leading human rights and personal injury claimant firm based in London.

The firm: Leigh Day specialises in many aspects of national and international personal injury and accident work, human rights, clinical negligence, and multi-party actions. Lawyers at Leigh Day are committed to offering an exceptionally high-quality service to all clients. The firm was set up by Sarah Leigh OBE and Martyn Day in June 1987 to represent individual claimants and their families. This remains the firm’s core value as it continues to grow across all departments.

Types of work undertaken

Personal Injury: The team acts for clients who have suffered severe and often life changing injuries. This includes cases of severe orthopaedic fractures, life changing injuries such as limb loss and brain and spinal injuries and representing a very large number of bereaved families. The cycling team handles hundreds of claims every year and is the exclusive provider of legal support to British Cycling and British Triathlon members.

Industrial Disease: The industrial disease team at Leigh Day not only represent clients who have developed an illness, usually from negligent exposure to asbestos in the workplace, but they also have shaped the law through landmark rulings, including from the Supreme Court, which improve the rights of all negligence victims.

Administrative & Public Law: The firm undertakes a large number of high-profile judicial reviews. The team has successfully challenged the Government over the implementation of Universal Credit and it represented The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in its successful challenge against the UK Government for granting licences for arms to Saudi Arabia.

Clinical Negligence: The firm has 30 lawyers representing clients who have been injured, or the families of the deceased, through negligence in a healthcare setting. New head of department Suzanne White is a trustee of the Patients Association and the team works with many other organisations campaigning for patient safety across the NHS and in private practice.

Employment: the employment team at Leigh Day is currently acting for over 40,000 supermarket workers in one of the largest equal pay group claims in history, against the big four supermarkets. The team has also pioneered legal challenges to discriminatory pension schemes in the public sector and is acting for thousands of police officers and hundreds of judges. The team is also involved in claims against Uber and most of the other gig economy employers.

Environment: The firm specialises in claims as a result of exposure to pollution, including radiation, chemicals, pesticides and sewage in the sea. On behalf of Wild Justice, a group led by the naturalist and broadcaster, Chris Packham, the team brought a successful challenge against Natural England over general licences allowing for the mass killing of several species of birds.
The team is at the forefront of the legal fight against climate change on behalf of its clients. It is currently instructed in a challenge to Heathrow’s third runway on grounds that the government failed to consider the Paris Agreement, as well as in a direct action against the Council for the European Union in respect of the damaging CO2 impact of the burning of forests as biomass. They continue to bring judicial reviews of grants of planning permission on air pollution grounds, and we are at the cutting edge of scrutinising the lawfulness of the UK government’s subsidies for fossil fuel projects abroad.

Human Rights: The human rights department offers expertise in special needs education, child abuse, confidentiality and planning. The firm represents the family of Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl who took her own life in 2017 and the human rights team has been representing Molly’s father in his battle against the social media networks for more disclosure following Molly’s death. The team has an outstanding reputation for its work on medical ethical issues and ‘best interests’ cases. The firm has been ground-breaking in its consideration of the impact of human rights on health and social care law.

International: The firm has pioneered legal developments in multi-party cases on behalf of claimants in the UK and overseas, ensuring that large corporations based in the UK face justice in the UK over the actions of their subsidiaries in developing countries. The firm has also been at the forefront of litigation against the UK Government for alleged human rights breaches arising from the UK’s involvement in overseas military operations and the global ‘war on terror’. In addition, the firm has been at the vanguard of modern slavery litigation. The department’s cases emanate from across globe, in particular Africa, Asia, South America and Europe, with the team providing access to justice to thousands of people who would otherwise go without redress.

The work of the international team has established numerous legal precedents, including Supreme Court authority, on issues as diverse as parent company liability and jurisdiction, the remit of English courts to adjudicate on the UK’s actions overseas, the interplay of UN Security Council Resolutions and the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the duty of care owed to those serving in the British military abroad. The team’s successes go beyond securing compensation, such as in 2018, obtaining an unprecedented public apology from the UK Government for its role in the ‘detention, rendition and suffering’ of its clients Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar.

Product Liability: The department has been involved in some of the most important product liability cases of the last 25 years. Claims include those against manufacturers of home appliances, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food products. They have also acted on behalf of claimants injured in clinical trials. They acted for the family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died following an allergic reaction. The high-profile case led to a change in the law on ingredient labelling which is now known as “Natasha’s Law”. The team are currently acting as the joint-lead lawyers, in the emissions defeat device group litigation against Volkswagen in the UK believed to be the largest group action in the UK.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Martyn Day
Managing Partner Frances Swaine
Administrative and Public Law Jamie Beagent
Personal Injury: claimant Sally Moore
Clinical Negligence Suzanne White
Employment Chris Benson
Civil Liberties and Human Rights Jamie Beagent
International Group Claims Richard Meeran
Product Liability Boz Michalowska Howells
Environment Carol Day
Travel Clare Campbell
Court of Protection Sean Humber
Photo Name Position Profile
 Harminder Bains  photo Harminder Bains
 Jamie Beagent  photo Jamie Beagent
 Chris Benson  photo Chris Benson
 Emmalene Bushnell  photo Emmalene Bushnell
 Sarah Campbell  photo Sarah Campbell
Mr Martyn Day photo Mr Martyn Day
 Daniel Easton  photo Daniel Easton
 Claire Fazan  photo Claire Fazan
 Vijay Ganapathy  photo Vijay Ganapathy
 Sean Humber  photo Sean Humber
 Sally Jean-Nicholes  photo Sally Jean-Nicholes
 Daniel Leader  photo Daniel Leader
 Olive Lewin  photo Olive Lewin
 Sapna Malik  photo Sapna Malik
 Nichola Marshall  photo Nichola Marshall
 Gene Matthews  photo Gene Matthews
 Richard Meeran  photo Richard Meeran
 Bozena Michalowska-Howells  photo Bozena Michalowska-Howells
 Alison Millar  photo Alison Millar
 Sally Moore  photo Sally Moore
 Maria Panteli  photo Maria Panteli
 Jill Paterson  photo Jill Paterson
 Emma Satyamurti  photo Emma Satyamurti
 Shubhaa Srinivansan  photo Shubhaa Srinivansan
 Frances Swaine  photo Frances Swaine
 Michelle Victor  photo Michelle Victor
 Nicola Wainwright  photo Nicola Wainwright
 Suzanne White  photo Suzanne White
Number of UK partners : 44
Qualified Lawyers (including partners and legal execs) : 168
Fee-earners (including paralegals and qualified fee earners) : 297

The Lex 100 Verdict

Leigh Day is a 'claimant law firm' which is admired for 'acting for people in society who have faced great injustice'. Accordingly, applicants chose the firm for 'its reputation in ensuring justice is not just the preserve of wealthy corporations'. Unlike many other firms, a two-seat training contract is on offer which 'develops individuals' skills to a higher standard'. Conversely, some trainees feel that this hinders their job prospects once they qualify, especially if you 'have  two-year-long seats in areas you do not want to work in'. 'Everyone's motivation to do the best for their clients' stood out to new recruits and many appreciate the 'friendly sociable atmosphere'. Moreover, the 'hours are much better', allowing trainees a decent work/life balance. This is mirrored in the ratings which earned the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal for both social life and work/life balance. In addition to this, Leigh Day is a Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, vacation scheme and inclusiveness. Many respondents were happy with the 'responsibility and wide variety of tasks' which make them 'more invested in [their] work'. On the flip side, one respondent commented that 'there isn't the same level of support services as at larger firms' meaning that at times 'a higher proportion of administrative tasks' need completing. But 'the approachability of all staff' and 'how well organised and structured everything is' appeased trainees. The nature of the work at Leigh Day is very rewarding, as best moments included settling claims for 'really grateful and deserving clients'. If you want to work for a firm that undertakes 'challenging and important cases' all 'for a good cause', investigate Leigh Day.