Firm Profile > BLM > Manchester , North West

M3 2NU
North West

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

BLM's defendant clinical negligence team is well-versed in handling high value and complex litigation brought against healthcare professionals and organisations providing healthcare services. Areas of specialism include dental negligence, ophthalmic treatments, cosmetic procedures and cases arising out of nursing homes and prisons. Sarah Woodwark leads the practice while 'outstanding solicitor' Chris Dexter is also recommended.

Health and safety Tier 1

BLM has strength in sectors including manufacturing, construction and care, handling complex fatal accident investigations and high profile inquests for public and private sector clients alike. The team also offers a 24-hour helpline for immediate post-incident advice, encompassing attendance at site and legal advice representation. Practice head Helen Devery focuses on defending companies and individuals in investigations and prosecutions. David Rainey was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

BLM's substantial personal injury defence team has considerable expertise across the whole spectrum of cases. Jonathan Clay and Joanne Francis jointly lead the practice, which acts for a wide range of clients in the public sector, as well as charities, SMEs and multinational companies across sectors including retail, leisure, construction, manufacturing and the motor industry. Key team members include Andrew Kerr, Ruth Graham, David Spencer, while four lawyers were promoted to the partnership in the team during 2018 - Lauren GosnellLouise Stubbs, Steven Lynch and David Rainey. Associate Nicola Overmire is also recommended.

Professional negligence Tier 1

The BLM professional negligence team is led by Jason Nash - 'one of the most experienced and best-connected partners in the country in this area.' The practice acts for professionals from all disciplines and has particular expertise in professional indemnity claims and in handling claims relating to fraud, especially where solicitors are involved. On the non-contentious side the team assists clients with the drafting of policy wordings and terms and conditions. Nash works alongside Ben Parks, who specialises in defending high value claims brought against surveyors, brokers, accountants and construction professionals.

Local government Tier 2

BLM handles a range of work for local government clients and boasts experience across development work, site acquisitions and funding, governance, abuse and child sexual exploitation, social care, misfeasance, regulatory matters, social housing, personal injury, IP, media and communications instructions. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott specialises in real estate mandates. Paul Tarne, who is experienced in civil claims, and Matthew Hyam, who is noted for his social housing expertise, jointly head the team.

Social housing Tier 2

BLM regularly represents social landlords in housing management matters, and it stands out for its litigation expertise. The team handles a range of mandates involving anti-social behaviour, disrepair, housing fraud, inquests and regulatory matters. The practice has recently broadened and is also able to offer property and commercial advice to social housing clients, which includes advising on development and regeneration projects, acquisitions, finance and governance matters. Matthew Hyam in Liverpool leads the housing management and litigation team and commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott is experienced in housing projects.

Transport Tier 2

BLM handles personal injury and recovery claims with a focus on the bus, coach, rail, tram and air sectors. Areas of expertise include pre-litigation claims, personal injury litigation, driving prosecutions, public enquiries, health and safety prosecutions and inquests. The 'hugely experienced, pragmatic and results orientedRuth Graham leads the Manchester motor team.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

The newly established private wealth team at BLM , which was launched in 2018 with the hire of practice head James Bereford from Slater and Gordon , provides advice to ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trustees and family businesses on matters including wills, estate planning, inheritance tax planning, LPAs, asset protection and probate. The firm has particular expertise in advising families with disabled children and vulnerable individuals.

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 4

BLM handles the full gamut of commercial litigation matters, including disputes relating to insolvency, breach of contract, contracts, debt recovery, fraud and injunctive relief. Clients include insurers, multinational corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and high-net-worth individuals. Craig McAdam, Nick Gee and Steve Kuncewicz head the team, which has continued to build on the the formation of its commercial advisory department, which was launched in late 2017 on the back of a 33-lawyer team hire from Slater and Gordon.

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 4

BLM handles a range of commercial, residential and public sector development mandates, and is also active on a number of regeneration projects. The education, charities, industrial, hotels, retail and leisure sector are key areas of focus, while property investment and finance work is a growing area of expertise for the department. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook, who is experienced in portfolio management mandates, head the team.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 4

BLM advises property owners, developers, local authorities and funders on development, regeneration and infrastructure joint ventures. Other areas of expertise include M&A, venture capital and high-net-worth investments and restructuring. Other key client sectors include retail and e-commerce, medical, manufacturing, travel and professional services. The firm also advises on commercial matters including contracts, data protection and outsourcing contracts. The team is headed by Daniel Varney, Steve Kuncewicz and Jonathan Askin, who joined as partner from Weightmans LLP.

Employment Tier 4

The employment department at BLM, which is led by Jim Lister, has diverse expertise across a range of sectors including healthcare, where the team advises some of the largest care home groups - as well as retail, travel, hospitality and technology. The team also acts for most major insurers in relation to employment tribunal claims, regulatory prosecutions and investigations.

Construction Tier 6

At BLM team head Jahanara Hussain is experienced in construction and engineering projects and is instructed by private and public sector clients such as developers, contractors, funders and local authorities. The team is particularly noted for its education sector expertise.

BLM is an ambitious business and seen as one of the largest and most expert suppliers to the UK legal insurance market. The firm has made considerable progress through key strategic appointments and hires, growth of our international offering and operational improvements through investments in areas such as data analytics and technology.

The firm is focused on driving its business towards its vision to be the leader in its chosen markets of insurance and commerce.

BLM’s purpose is to have a positive impact upon its clients’ businesses.  Fundamentally, it is helping them to reduce the time and money they spend on managing risk and resolving disputes.  Described in client surveys and legal directories as a firm with “its finger on the pulse of the market” and as a “technical powerhouse”, it presently represents 18 of the top 20 UK insurers, and many corporate clients, both in the UK and worldwide

The firm’s ambition to diversify led to the creation of a commercial advisory and private wealth business stream in 2017, which added to the breadth of services and expertise available to BLM clients in the UK and beyond.

BLM has an existing strong remit of international work and contacts, representing UK companies operating abroad, acting for a breadth of international organisations and handling high profile multijurisdictional cases.  In 2017 the firm created, along with several other founder members, Global Insurance Law Connect; a network which comprises like-minded risk and insurance law businesses. Global Insurance Law Connect comprises specialist insurance lawyers across more classes of business in more countries than many other similar networks. Global Insurance Law Connect was inspired by client demand and was established to support clients to confidently receive solutions to insurance and legal challenges around the globe.

The firm offers clients the best of both worlds: the experience of an established law firm, and the smart solutions of innovative technology and consultancy services.   A key aspect of BLM’s strategic ambition is to provide an innovative offering around its advanced analytics capability. The firm’s partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science empowered it to grow this capability, developing prediction models to guide BLM’s advice to clients, as well as more sophisticated approaches to value litigation risk, improve decision-making and better manage portfolios of litigation risk. BLM Innovations, which the firm launched in 2019, comprises seven tools combining cutting-edge case management, communication and analytics tools to improve client outcomes and help with their business challenges.

The firm also launched consultancy offering, BLM Consult in 2019. The BLM Consult team has been created from a combination of lawyers, change consultants and lean practitioners, from a wide range of industry sectors who can work collaboratively with clients to help their own change journeys.

BLM’s team of over 200 partners and more than 900 legal specialists, focused upon the insurance and risk and commercial markets, is recognised for having the capability, creativity and energy to provide the right support to clients in a rapidly changing environment.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Matthew Harrington
Managing partner Vivienne Williams
Belfast Cormac Fitzpatrick
Birmingham James Harvey
Bristol Joe Wakeford
Cardiff Kerris Dale
Derry Cormac Fitzpatrick
Dublin Gavin Campbell
Edinburgh Ian Leach
Glasgow Frank Hughes
Leeds Henry Kirkup
Liverpool Joanne Francis
London Paula Jefferson
Manchester Luisa Lamb
Southampton Joe Wakeford
Global insurance law network Jim Sherwood
Photo Name Position Profile
 Stuart Hardy  photo Stuart Hardy
 Claire Opacic  photo Claire Opacic
 Andrew Millen  photo Andrew Millen
 Katie Costello  photo Katie Costello
 Lisa Jones  photo Lisa Jones
 Trish Taylor  photo Trish Taylor
 Jonathan Clay  photo Jonathan Clay
 Ruth Graham  photo Ruth Graham
 Jason Nash  photo Jason Nash
 Michael Parr  photo Michael Parr
 Valerie Jones  photo Valerie Jones
 Simon Morrow  photo Simon Morrow
 Lucy Ryder  photo Lucy Ryder
 Michelle Flint  photo Michelle Flint
 Simon Jones  photo Simon Jones
 Michael Cairns  photo Michael Cairns
 Catherine Mangham  photo Catherine Mangham
 Sarah Woodwark  photo Sarah Woodwark
 Andrew Kerr  photo Andrew Kerr
 Cathie Mortimer Rae  photo Cathie Mortimer Rae
 Sarah Elderton  photo Sarah Elderton
 Ben Parks  photo Ben Parks
 Nicholas Thorne  photo Nicholas Thorne
 John Collins  photo John Collins
 Naomi Grant  photo Naomi Grant
 Paul Tarne  photo Paul Tarne
 Claire Lawlor  photo Claire Lawlor
 Tim Large  photo Tim Large
 Michael Appleby  photo Michael Appleby
 David Caswell  photo David Caswell
 Garry Dover  photo Garry Dover
 Claire Dinoff  photo Claire Dinoff
 Chris Fletcher  photo Chris Fletcher
 Sally Whalley  photo Sally Whalley
 Helen Devery  photo Helen Devery
 Natalie Puce  photo Natalie Puce
 Sally Hancock  photo Sally Hancock
 Clare Chapman  photo Clare Chapman
 Elizabeth Wallace  photo Elizabeth Wallace
 Luisa Lamb  photo Luisa Lamb
 Gill Rothwell  photo Gill Rothwell
 Naomi McMaster  photo Naomi McMaster
 Vivienne Williams  photo Vivienne Williams
 Sarah Cartlidge  photo Sarah Cartlidge
 Paul Wainwright  photo Paul Wainwright
 David Spencer  photo David Spencer
 Donna Rawding  photo Donna Rawding
Number of UK partners : 203
Number of other UK fee-earners : 907
Total staff : 1494