Firm Profile > BLM > Manchester, England

BLM
KING'S HOUSE
42 KING STREET WEST
MANCHESTER
M3 2NU
England

Health and safety Tier 1

BLM is particularly active on complex fatal accident investigations, gross negligence and corporate manslaughter cases, and high-profile inquests, in both the public and private space, with particular strength in the manufacturing, construction and care sectors. Practice head Helen Devery heads a 'cohesive' and 'committed' department which also includes a prison regulatory team, led by Michelle Flint and Lucy Ryder, who act on behalf of major providers of prison services across the UK on civil claims, allegations of negligence and misfeasance, assault, prison healthcare medical negligence, wrongful death, and deaths in custody. David Rainey and Nick Gianferrari are further names to note.

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Testimonials

‘Each and every member of the team is personable, professional, committed and always displays sensible judgement. They listen to advice, but do not simply accept it at face value – rather appropriately challenging for clarification if necessary. They deal with their lay clients particularly well and seek to manage expectations from an early stage.’ 

‘Nick Gianferrari is diligent, personable with excellent judgement. He does not shy away from the difficulties of a case, approaching them head-on.’ 

‘Excels at all aspects of health and safety in prisons.’ 

‘Michelle Flint knows prisons inside out and gets great results because of her industry knowledge.’ 

‘A cohesive team that always works in a very client-centric way, but never being worried about delivering bad news to a client, but doing it in a way that brings all people around the table together.’ 

‘Helen Devery is fantastic in bringing the team together and working with her team, but also working along with client and other partners.’ 

‘David Rainey is a safe pair of hands; knowledgeable and dynamic, he takes you through the process with ease.’ 

‘An excellent team and a real team ethos that is extremely helpful.’ 

‘David Rainey has superb judgement, prepares cases fully and is a pleasure to work with; his comments are spot on and inevitably lead to excellent results for the client. In fact, his work is so good it often leaves little for counsel to do other than present it. Nick Gianferrari is quite brilliant with clients, has a lovely manner and is fantastic at keeping channels of communication open.’ 

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Ecclesiastical

Travelers

Liberty

Aviva

Chubb

Warburtons Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Oldham Council

Stockport Council

QBE

Thomas Cook

CNA Hardy

Barbican

AIG

Ageas

Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company

Persimmon

Travelodge

Sainsburys

Protector

Professional negligence Tier 1

The BLM professional negligence team acts for professionals from all disciplines, and specialises in professional indemnity legislation. Another key area of work is claims relating to fraud, particularly for solicitors; experience ranges from seller fraud cases to phishing and email modification. Jason Nash leads the practice, and has represented a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, accountants, surveyors and construction professionals.  Jennie Bebbington specialises in professional indemnity claims, primarily against solicitors, and also represents insurers in subrogated claims against banks.

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Testimonials

‘The associates and partners are extremely able both for technical and legal analysis, as well as seeing the commercial imperatives of the position.’

‘Their juniors are exceptional.’

Key clients

QBE

Zurich

Barbican

RSA

Hiscox

HDI

Manchester Underwriting

AXA

Local government Tier 2

The team at BLM is particularly known for its advice on development, site acquisitions and funding, social housing, governance and regulatory matters. Other key areas of work include projects and procurements, social care, education, planning and environment, misfeasance, employment and abuse and child sexual exploitation claims. Paul Tarne, who acts for local authorities and emergency services in civil and regulatory matters, jointly heads the practice with Matthew Hyam, who concentrates on acting for stock-owning local authorities and registered providers of social housing. Associate Nicholas Leigh is noted for his 'impressive knowledge' which 'inspires confidence'.

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Testimonials

‘Nicholas Leigh has impressive knowledge of his area of work, which inspires confidence.’

Key clients

Sheffield City Council

Crown Commercial Services

Surrey Administrators and Solicitors Property Legal Panel

Stockport MBC Legal Panel

North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO)

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

At BLM, the growing team of private wealth specialists advises ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trustees and family businesses on intricate inheritance tax and estate planning measures; wills, LPAs, asset protection and probate are other areas of focus. The firm's instructions in this space are increasingly underpinned by complex cross-border estates. Headed up by James Beresford, who has an 'excellent grasp of the law', the team is also particularly active in advising families with disabled children and vulnerable individuals.

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Testimonials

‘Dealt with two of the team and found them to be approachable and easy to contact. The service I have received has been exceptional whenever I have dealt with them.’ 

‘James Beresford and Charlotte Pritchard are both huge assets to the private client department – their services levels are the best I have dealt with!’ 

‘The depth of knowledge appropriate to our needs far outweighed that of other firms we have used in the past. James Beresford was not only very approachable but also willing to give of his time to become fully conversant without needs. Our confidence in James was such that we asked for his personal involvement as a trustee.’ 

‘The process was very easy and quick. It was great to get everything done quickly and efficiently.’ 

‘James Beresford was excellent at answering my questions and showing me a solution to my concerns that had never been explained before. I felt confident he had an excellent grasp of the law, and explained it simply to me, in a language that any layman could understand.’

Social housing Tier 2

BLM's practice is 'second to none when it comes to client commitment and overall case preparation.' The team is jointly led by Stephen Lintott and Matthew Hyam; Linott advises on development, planning and funding agreements for housing providers, and Hyam has a broad practice spanning social housing matters, housing management issues and litigation. Tessa Leonard is also a key figure with experience acting on development and regeneration projects as well as handling work for local councils on housing renewal schemes.

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Testimonials

‘The team at BLM are second to none when it comes to client commitment and overall case preparation, management and progression.’

‘I hold BLM in the highest regard. They are the third solicitors I have dealt with in relation to disrepair cases. Their service is exceptional, and based on current performance I would not move away from them.’

‘The team is headed up by Matthew Hyam. Matthew is highly skilled litigator who exhumes an infectious confidence which permeates through the whole team. Having spoken with clients over the years, without exception all speak highly of Matthew and his team leadership. Alongside his leadership role he has his own caseload of complex and technical cases of significant value and complexity. Collette McCauley (Associate) has a long background in non-contentious housing matters, but has developed her practice into litigation specialising in leasehold and housing management disputes. She is particularly strong when she can drawn on her impressive knowledge on cases involving land dispute matters and allegations of nuisance.’

‘All of the individuals I have dealt with have been very professional, knowledgeable and helpful. They are very good at explaining any legal jargon so myself and colleagues fully understand each case.’

Key clients

Urban Splash

First Choice Homes

The Riverside Group

Halton Housing Trust

Places for People Group

Peaks & Plains Housing Trust

Wolverhampton Homes

Clarion Housing Group

Sanctuary Housing Group

Phoenix Community Housing Group

Lancaster City Council

Transport Tier 2

BLM specialises in personal injury, commercial, environmental and recovery claims in the coach, rail, tram, air and haulage sectors. The team handles matters including pre-litigation claims, driving prosecutions, public enquiries, credit hire, health and safety prosecutions, inquests, fraud and cost claims. Ruth Graham heads the team and specialises in catastrophic injury claims arising out of bus and coach accidents at home and abroad.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

AJG

Allianz

Brakes

DX

Expert Logistics

Hoyer

Manchester Airport

Marsh

Mersey Rail

Metroline

Metrolink

National Express

Network Rail

Northern Rail

QBE

RATP

Sainsburys

Shearings

Protector Insurance

Transdev

Warburtons

Wilis

Wolsley

XPO

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 4

Recognised traditionally for its strong insurance sector expertise, BLM's dispute resolution practice is also highlighted for its broad commercial litigation experience and counts corporate, public sector organisations, SMEs and high-net-worth individuals among its clients. Craig McAdam, who has particular experience in shareholder and partnership disputes, leads the general commercial litigation practice, while Catherine Mangham leads the insurance-related litigation practice.

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Testimonials

I found their team to be thoroughly professional in its approach. Furthermore, they met their deadlines whilst extending the courtesy of extra time to us when required.

The experienced Nick Gee and Claire Durkin give a quality service to their clients that is very results orientated. Their advice focuses on the client’s specific objectives and achieving them in an efficient, speedy and cost-effective way.

BLM are professional and experienced in dealing with various matters.

Nick Gee has many years of experience as a litigator under his belt: and it shows the assured and targeted advice he gives. Very tactically accurate.’

Claire Durkin handles complex matters, including difficult partnership disputes, in a confident and intelligent way.

The individuals keep us well informed and provide appropriate advice when needed.

Key clients

Sainsbury’s

Travelodge

Mission Mars

Urban Splash

Schuh Ltd

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Winlink

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 4

BLM provide an 'efficient service' with 'excellent communication', undertaking a range of public sector development and regeneration work. Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook jointly lead the team; Lintott advises individuals and charitable bodies while Crook represents local authorities and public bodies. Tessa Leonard specialises in regeneration and infrastructure projects.

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Testimonials

‘Very efficient service – communication is excellent.’

‘Stephen Lintott the principal partner, is a wealth of information, is always at hand to offer advise and gives the personal touch.’

Key clients

Urban Splash

Schuh Limited

86TR Limited

Realty Estates Limited/Deansgate Securities LLP

Ellis Brigham Limited

Evonik UK Holdings Limited

Dwell

Developments/Dwell Properties

Redwater Group

McCaul Group Limited

GW Developments Northern Limited

The Caravan Club

University of Central Lancashire

Domis

Heatley Developments

Scarisbrick Hall School

Employment Tier 4

With notable strength in the healthcare sector, BLM advises some of the UK’s largest care home groups and private medical practices on employment issues. The department, headed by Jim Lister, is also instructed by major insurers in relation to employment tribunal claims, regulatory prosecutions, and investigations. Construction, retail, and hospitality are other key client sectors.

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Testimonials

‘This practice is highly qualified. We find this practice can give us anything we need with a very well qualified service and professional and friendly.’ 

‘I have worked with Laura D’Arcy for a long time. She always responds to us very quickly, with a friendly professional service, and has huge knowledge of employment law changes.’ 

Key clients

Rezidor Hotels Group

Slater and Gordon LLP

Halliwell Jones Group

JLG EMEA B.V.

Black and Decker

Healthcare Management Solutions Group

Bank of England

Lubrizol Inc

GGR Group

London International School of Performing Arts

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers Limited

Kalibrate Technologies plc

 

Russell Hobbs

Park Inn Hotels

PRGX UK

Eclerx Group

Metrolink

Harley Medical Group

HCA Group

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 5

BLM’s specialist sectors span commercial property, digital, TMT, retail, e-commerce, medical, manufacturing, travel and professional services. Under the leadership of Steve Kuncewicz and the ‘very knowledgeableDaniel Varney, the team also routinely advises on public sector contracts. The workload is spread across M&A, venture capital, investments, reorganisations, restructuring and a wide range of commercial agreements, particularly outsourcing contracts.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Daniel Varney acts commercially. He is very knowledgeable but does not over-complicate matters and swiftly finds a solution to the issue. He is pragmatic and does not unnecessarily drag matters out.’

Key clients

Oliver James Associates Limited

St Helens Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Tameside Council

Ridge & Partners LLP

Integro Insurance Brokers t/a Tysers

Ellis Brigham Moutain Sports

Ferguson Plc

Hardroad (Builders Supply (North West)

MTC Novo

ItsGoneViral

Persimmon Homes

Interpublic Group

The Ardonagh Group Limited

J Parker Dutch Bulbs Limited

University of Central Lancashire

Saks Medical & Cosmetic Limited

Santander UK Plc

Cert Property Group

Salford City Council

Jam-Pan Learning Limited

Ehouse

Avensure Limited

Bugler Smith Limited

Builtvisible Limited

Landscape Institute

Tangerine Limited

Raised Floor Limited

Sputnik Digital

Construction Tier 6

BLM's construction practice is led by Jahanara Hussain, who has two decades of experience acting for a range of clients, including developers, local authorities, universities and contractors. She handles construction and engineering projects and is active in both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Domis Construction Limited

Langtree Property

Partners Limited

Prime Transport

Planning Limited

Interior Motives

International Limited

Barton PM Limited

Schuh Limited

City Mews Limited

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant

BLM's defendant clinical negligence practice is known for its expertise in delay of diagnosis of cancer claims, surgical claims (particularly neurosurgery), wrongful birth, brain injury claims, dental negligence and ophthalmic treatments. Sarah Woodwark heads the practice. Chris Dexter is particularly recommended for claims in a prison healthcare context. The firm's personal injury department handles occupational disease claims, catastrophic injury, abuse claims, and employers’ liability claims. The department has a dedicated motor practice. Jonathan Clay, Joanne Francis, Simon Jones and Stuart Furniss head the team, which also includes Ruth Graham, Andrew Kerr, David Spencer and Lauren Gosnell, as well as 'thorough and clever' associate Nicola Overmire.

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled depth of experience in the field.’

‘BLM have outstanding strength and depth acting for insurers and institutional clients in personal injury, disease and clinical negligence.’

‘The team at BLM is very experienced and knowledgeable in large loss personal injury work. The preparation of briefs is first class and it is clear that all angles have been considered in most cases before counsel is even involved. Equally, the team take a robust yet pragmatic approach to litigation, allowing sensible, and often early, resolutions to cases where possible.’

‘David Spencer, Andrew Kerr and Lauren Gosnell are at the head of the field in catastrophic injury work. Andrew is super bright and able to give a case real in-depth thought. David is as good as it gets with clients. Lauren is also very clever and incredibly conscientious. They are also really nice people.’

‘Simon Jones gets to the heart of a case quickly and is dogged in pursuit of the right result for his client.’

‘Stuart Furniss is strategically and tactically astute as well as being personable and engaging with their opponents.’

‘Andrew Kerr is easy to get on with, hardworking, knows what he is talking about and is not afraid to be reasonable.’

‘David Spencer is hard working, ever present and has the focus of an Exocet missile.’

Key clients

Medical Protection

Dental Protection

G4S

RCN

Ecclesiastical

Zurich

Hiscox

Beazley

AllMedPro

MPIG

WR Berkley

Care UK

Axis Capital

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

BLM has an excellent reputation in the defendant personal injury space for its track record of work on high-value cases and complex clinical negligence matters. Overseen by Joe Wakeford, who has over twenty-five years of experience, the practice is skilled in acting for clients across the healthcare sector, including insurers, healthcare defence organisations, care homes, and individual healthcare professionals. Andrew Hibbert heads up the catastrophic injury practice group which has an extensive caseload pertaining to brain and spinal injuries, amputations and fatal accidents. Elsewhere, Stephanie Castell is a key figure in the large loss team and handles liability and quantum catastrophic injury work. Associates Lucy Pragnell and Emma Palmer are also recommended.

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Testimonials

‘BLM are a firm of strong defendant insurance lawyers who closely align themselves with their client’s needs and strategies.’

Great breadth and depth in the team. Really knowledgeable and good tactical and practical approach to litigation.’

‘Lucy Pragnell, in particular, is a formidable lawyer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of highway claims and the Animals Act 1971. She gets straight to the heart of the claim and gives the client quick and accurate advice about what they need to do and what evidence they need to obtain. She also has a fantastic ability to value claims accurately.

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

BLM remains the 'firm of choice for some of the biggest personal injury defendant clients', in sectors as diverse as transport, construction, healthcare and financial services. The team's 'wide-ranging knowledge and expertise' is evidenced by its specialised departments. The occupation disease team is headed by Michelle Penn, whilst 'excellent personal injury lawyerMatthew Ford leads the London casualty team. The public sector group is under the leadership of Michael Pether, who focuses on the defence of high profile sexual and physical abuse and bullying claims, including group litigation. London office head Paula Jefferson leads the abuse and neglect practice group. For catastrophic injuries, the key contacts are team head Antony French and subtle brain damage expert Claire Collins. The firm has also benefited from the arrival of Deirdre Burgess and Anthony Rawlins, both formerly of DWF.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Firm of choice for some of the biggest personal injury defendant clients.

Michelle Penn is a joy to work with.

BLM is outstanding at dealing with personal injury claims and is really the best of the bunch.

Matthew Ford is an excellent personal injury lawyer.

Excellent, with wide-ranging knowledge and expertise.

BLM has strong credentials as a long-standing and well-resourced player in the insurance litigation market.

Key clients

AIM Mutual

Allianz Insurance

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

The Arcadia Group

AIG

Aspen

AVIVA

AXA

Barclays Bank

Berkley Homes

British Land

British Car Auctions

Broadspire (Crawfords)

Center Parcs

CHUBB

CNA Hardy

Coca-Cola Enterprises

Costa

The Davies Group

European Risk Insurance Company hf.

Faraday

Gallagher Bassett

Grosvenor Casinos Limited

HCA International

HDI

Hiscox

Honeywell Group

Ikea

Intu

InterContinental Hotels Group

Ironshore

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Liverpool Victoria Insurance

Marshall of Cambridge

Marsh

Mecca Bingo Limited

New India Assurance

QBE Insurance

QuestGates

The Rank Group

Regis

Subway

TK Maxx

Tokio Marine

Towergate

TSB

Sedgwick

Willis Towers Watson

Whitbread (Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater)

Zurich

Thomas Cook Travel Operations Ltd

Jet2 Holidays

MS Amlin

Sandals

Lastminute.com

QBE

Olympic Holidays

AXA

Vero Insurers

Barry Nilsson Lawyers

Red Sea Holidays

Professional discipline Tier 1

BLM has 'a long history of providing assistance to professionals facing disciplinary procedures before their regulator'. The experienced team has a leading reputation for advice to healthcare clients (among others) throughout the UK and Ireland. Complementing its professional discipline expertise, the firm offers support in related areas, such as inquests, inquiries, criminal investigations, clinical negligence claims, defamation, product liability and general healthcare advice. In Manchester, Clare Chapman heads up the firm’s professional discipline and regulatory practice group. Katie Costello has over 25 years of experience acting for healthcare professionals. Also recommended is Cardiff-based Jane Lang, who leads the healthcare advice and inquest practice group. In London, Rosie Shapiro's practice spans clinical negligence claims, professional discipline and regulatory and judicial reviews. Medical crime team head Adam Weston is another key name. Associate-level support is provided by individuals such as Lee Biddle and Ewan Bright, among others. Lisa Jones joined the Medical Protection Society.

Testimonials

They are a very united and friendly team that always remain utterly professional whilst at the same time never losing the human touch with clients, indemnifiers and the team as a whole.’

Clare Chapman is totally on top of the brief, superbly prepared and has excellent judgment. Excellent client care without being afraid of broaching difficult issues. Very much on top of what is happening at the MPTS/GMC and has great insight. A real star. Rebecca Gowling is excellent -it’s like working with a partner.’

This is a strong multi-disciplinary team who can draw from individual expertise in relation to insurance, healthcare, construction and wider regulatory matters. Lay clients have the benefit of a readily accessible fee earner and work is always carried out in an efficient and economic manner.

Max Ekstein continues to be the leading expert on the regulation of mental health and talking therapists. He goes far beyond the minimum for his clients and is unfailingly caring and sympathetic even with the most challenging of clients. He has excellent links with the Bar and is always a joy to work with.’

The team at BLM is small but perfectly formed with key talents in the administration of medical and dental regulatory and disciplinary cases as well as matters before HM Coroner. The team is extremely well led and this leadership continues to be an enabler to the production rising new talent too. They are able to take cases at a moments notice and never fail to impress with the ability to analyze a case quickly and efficiently so providing exceptional advocacy. The whole team has a ‘can do’ attitude and I have never had cause to doubt their advice and wise counsel.’

Adam Weston is highly regarded by his clients, is exceptionally well organized and has a wonderful knack of delivering complex advice in a form which is easily understood without compromising on detail.’

Very thorough and detailed investigations in order to support our members and insureds to get the best results possible

Clare Chapman and Adam Weston are both down to earth, compassionate and able to explain difficult legal concepts to our members and insureds in simple terms.’

Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant Tier 2

Praised for its 'total commitment to customer service', insurance and dispute resolution firm BLM has a significant focus from Cardiff across both personal injury and clinical negligence defence work. The personal injury team is the larger of the two groups and has the critical mass to allocate resources to key sub-sectors. 'First-class' litigator Kerris Dale leads the team's efforts in relation to the defence of motor claims and is instructed by many major insurers across the gamut of claims, from relatively straightforward and commoditised ones through to those of the utmost severity. 'Totally unflappable and with an astute tactical brain', John Roberts focuses on defence work for public sector clients, and Matthew Harrington leads the office's efforts in relation to general liability and occupational disease work. Jane Lang  is national head of the firm's healthcare advisory group and as part of this remit has expertise not only across clinical negligence matters but also most importantly in relation to defending professionals in the sector in disciplinary hearings before the relevant regulatory bodies.

Testimonials

Total commitment to customer service.

Good awareness of the particular needs of the local authority sector.

Kerris Dale is a first-class litigator.

John Roberts is totally unflappable with an astute tactical brain and is always looking out for his client’s best interests.

Key clients

Cunningham Lindsey

Blaenau Gwent County

Borough Council

Capita Insurance Services

Tata Steel UK

ECIC

BBA Aviation

Stagecoach/PSV

Medical Protection

Dental Protection

National Pharmacy Association

Education: institutions Tier 2

BLM's higher education practice is skilled in handling a wide range of issues relating to freedom of speech on campus and academic disputes. In addition, it is also particularly noted in discrimination claims. Team head Elliot Pound has over two decades of experience advising colleges and universities on a broad cross-section of student and staff issues. Richard Wilkins is a key contact for litigation and contentious matters concerning universities.

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Key clients

RSA

Ecclesiastical

Zurich

Cambridge University

Exeter University

Imperial College London

King’s College London

The Royal Veterinary College

University College London

University of Central Lancashire

University of East Anglia

University of East London

University of Roehampton London

University of Surrey

Birkbeck, University of London

Brunel University London

Goldsmiths, University of London

Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education

Lancaster University

London Metropolitan University

Newcastle University

Portsmouth University

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Nottingham

University of Portsmouth

University of Reading

Bridgwater & Taunton College

Dover Technical College

Kingston College

Somerset College

Yeovil College

Health and safety Tier 2

BLM is best known for its work on complex fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests. The department has a strong presence in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors. Several of its lawyers specialise in care home-related cases including deaths and serious injuries in care facilities for the elderly, vulnerable children and young adults. It also has a strong motor defence offering that acts for commercial fleet drivers charged with death or serious injury by dangerous or careless driving. Robert Davies leads the criminal regulatory team in Birmingham and specialises exclusively in criminal regulatory work and in coronial proceedings.

Testimonials

Bob Davies gave us every confidence. He listened to everything we had to say and made himself available to us. We felt that we were his only clients and nothing was too much trouble‘.

Bob Davies is very thorough‘.

Bob Davies : thorough, enjoys the “technical side of things” ; a safe pair of hands who will go the extra mile for his client‘.

Key clients

Allianz Insurance

QBE Insurance

Health and safety Tier 2

Led out of Cardiff by Jane Lang  and also forming an integral national network that includes key offices in London and Manchester, BLM's healthcare advisory group has a very strong reputation on behalf of individual practitioners and trusts/health boards across a range of professional discipline matters, in particular. As well as regularly defending practitioners in investigations undertaken by a myriad of relevant bodies, including the General Medical Council, the team is also adept at handling tangential matters including criminal investigations and disputes involving clinical trials and medical devices.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Exceptional advice, always detailed and pragmatic in approach. Respond to all queries rapidly, take the time to walk the clients though complex matters.’

‘Exceptional advice, incredibly clear and well reasoned explanations. Responds exceptionally quickly to all matters. A pleasure to work with the individuals involved.’

Key clients

Medical Protection

Dental Protection

National Pharmacy Association

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 2

BLM’s personal injury department is outstanding and advises major national and local clients. It has an extensive range of insurer and corporate clients. The practice has a whole raft of specialisms. Its general liability unit is led by Mike Dobson and deals with employers’ liability and other health and safety claims. James Harvey heads up the corporate risk team. Paul Owston leads the public sector unit. The public sector team is adept at protecting its local authority clients against a wide range of claims which are predominantly personal injury claims. Such claims include disease claims as well as claims that arise from the negligence of social services and historical abuse claims. The occupational disease unit is led by Val Hughes and deals with areas such as asbestos-related diseases, noise-induced hearing loss and short tail disease claims. Sarah Hill heads up its national fraud team, which is based in Birmingham, and assists clients in achieving successful outcomes when faced with fraudulent claims. David Thompson takes on employers' liability, public liability and motor claims. Khalid Mahmood joined the team from Kennedys.

Testimonials

What stands out is the capacity to clearly understand the insurer clients’ needs and objectives, then the knowledge, experience and ability to set a strategy to achieve and deliver on those needs and objectives, and finally to stick with that strategy to deliver the desired, successful outcome‘.

One of the best heavyweight defendant PI outfits around. Reliably well organised and able to handle cases of any size and complexity in an unruffled and effective manner‘.

A firm of strong defendant insurance lawyers who closely align themselves with their clients’ needs and strategies. BLM fee earners are approachable, personable, knowledgeable and client focused‘.

The team delivers an excellent service. The lawyers always provide detailed advice in a timely manner and in a way that can be easily understood. Equally, they are always approachable‘.

James Harvey is head and shoulders above other PI partners in the region on EL and PL work. He has an exceptional work ethic, combining forensic attention to detail with tactical acumen. Achieves fantastic results in the most difficult of cases and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of PI issues‘.

Martin Smith and Khalid Mahmood run their cases exactly as they should be run‘.

David Thompson is truly brilliant, his ability, knowledge and tactical nous extends far beyond his years. He achieves this with the application of hard work, application and determination‘.

David Thompson has the ability to be on top of both the detail and the big picture of his cases and has excellent judgement. He also has a very detailed knowledge of aviation claims‘.

Key clients

20 or so smaller district and borough councils

Affinity Water

Ageas

Allianz

Allianz (Fraud)

Argenta

Aviva

AXA xl

Birmingham City Council

Bloor Homes

City of Wolverhampton Council

Derby City Council

DLG

DLG (Fraud)

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Glen Dimplex

Insurance London Consortium (9 London Boroughs)

Jet2

Kent County Council

MIB

Moto

National Express

Nationwide Accident Repairs

NFU

QBE

Shropshire Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

Tesco

Thomas Cook

Travelodge

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Zurich

Zurich Insurance (principally Municipal)

Professional negligence Tier 2

BLM continues to be instructed by a wide range of insurers and corporates to deal with high-value and complex claims. The practice represents professionals of all disciplines and is recognised for its expertise in professional indemnity litigation. In 2019/20 the group noticed an increase in claims against accountants and tax advisers arising out of tax mitigation schemes and disguised remuneration schemes. It has also been busy advising on claims about mortgage advice. Julian Smart heads the department. Smart has particular expertise in cases involving fraud and the recovery of misappropriated funds on behalf of clients. He is recommended for his considerable expertise in freezing and tracing assets. Lucy Tolond specialises in handling professional indemnity and financial claims and is instructed by professional indemnity insurers and directly by financial services institutions. Alison Siniver is also highly regarded.

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Testimonials

The team is a strong group with wide-ranging experience in handling claims against various types of professions. The lawyers are measured and assured in their advice and take a collaborative approach to claim and litigation management, engaging with insureds, insurers and experts at all points‘.

Lucy Tolond and Julian Smart are both truly excellent partners, with great attention to detail and experience’.

Lucy Tolond is calm and experienced‘.

Lucy Tolond – technically excellent, very strategic, very robust, great with clients. Julian Smart – also very bright, excellent communicator with clients, great management style‘.

Key clients

Zurich Financial Lines

QBE

RSA

Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Financial (Group) Ltd / Towergate Insurance Ltd)

Everest Syndicate 2786

European Risk Insurance Company

Aviva

Hiscox

NFU Mutual

Collegiate

Shipping Tier 2

Marine litigation specialist BLM advises on a range of disputes, wet work and indemnity matters. The firm’s experience includes collisions, unsafe ports, environmental incidents, bailment, goods in transit and fatal accidents. ‘Very capable advocate and litigatorGemma Pearce leads the team and has expertise handling pre-litigated and litigated matters, as well as advising on personal injury and loss of life cases.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team are flexible and can turn their knowledge to anything shipping related’

‘The team are able to deal with serious and catastrophic PI cases arising out of accidents related to shipping as well as commercial shipping cases’

‘Gemma Pearce is a standout individual. She is as astute and clever as they come. A superb strategic operator who leaves no stone unturned in fighting a case’

‘The BLM marine team led by Gemma Pearce have a high level of expertise and knowledge in this specialised area of litigation’

‘Gemma Pearce keeps her clients well informed and updated in relation to litigation trends in this area. She has her finger on the pulse of changes and issues and assists her clients to respond to these issues’ 

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 3

The 'very cleverBLM clinical negligence team is instructed by a range of clients across the healthcare sector, including insurers, medical defence organisations, clinics, care homes and individual healthcare professionals. The firm 'gets into the detail and understands very complex areas of law and medicine' in relation to malpractice claims, as well as handling any associated inquest, regulatory or disciplinary proceedings, along with risk and reputation management.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team is extremely efficient, very clever, gets into the detail and understands very complex areas of law and medicine.’

A firm with strong and deep human and other resources and excellent knowledge management, which continues to keep itself at the cutting edge.

 

 

Key clients

Royal College of Nursing

Hiscox

Harley Medical Group

Zurich

Specsavers

RSA

HCA

FODO

General crime and fraud Tier 3

The fraud practice group at BLM has a wealth of experience in handling claims in the insurance sector. It has also been developing niche expertise in advising tour operators on unconfirmed sickness claims and has been dealing with a significant number of potentially fraudulent cavity wall insulation claims. Head of the practice group Sarah Hill is adept at dealing with large-scale organised fraud and high-value exaggerated fraud cases. Daniel Thomas represents insurance companies dealing with staged and contrived accident and fraudulent exaggeration cases while Naomi Grant covers all aspects of motor claims fraud.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team really understands its clients’ needs. Always one step ahead in terms of developments – (Sarah Hill and Dan Thomas)‘.

Sarah Hill is experienced in all aspects of motor fraud‘.

It specialises in representing insurance companies in relation to potentially fraudulent civil claims‘.

Key clients

DLG

NFU

QBE

Generali

Jet2

Allianz

Ageas

MIB

Tesco

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 3

Alongside its strength in property damage claims, BLM's insurance litigation practices covers matters involving professional indemnity, personal injury and public liability claims. The team, which is jointly led by John O’Shea, Mark Aitken and Damian Cleary, acts for insurers, reinsurers and brokers. O'Shea, who is praised as an 'incisive and no-nonsense lawyer', focuses on property damage claims, while Aitken is a 'formidable litigator' with a specialism in claims with fraud elements. Ross Baker, Elizabeth Whittingham and Edwin Millburn are other key partners in the team.

Testimonials

‘They are true experts with long-standing and extensive experience of advising on and litigating insurance claims,’

‘Ross Baker (Partner) knows insurance law and practice inside-out, has excellent judgement, and is commercial and user-friendly – the complete package.’

‘BLM’s insurance practice has real strength in major coverage litigation, especially related to property and commercial liability insurance, in which areas it is market-leading. It is particularly impressive how the team will become involved in a coverage dispute from an early stage and will follow avenues of inquiry exhaustively, working closely with insurers.’

‘John O’Shea (partner) is an expert in high-value coverage disputes and has exceptional judgement. Mark Aitken (partner) is a formidable litigator and terrier-like in pursuing investigations for insurers. Hanna Platt (associate) is a rising star, with skills and experience well beyond her years. She is a fine lawyer.’

‘Ross Baker: superb tactician and strategist; Ross gets to grips with issues very quickly and distils the key points down to their essence. Always keeps an eye on the client’s commercial aims and objectives.’

‘Sensible and solid advice drawing from deep experience and understanding of the field.’

‘Mark Aitken, Partner and one of the best fraud lawyers in the UK. Very engaging, tough and resilient when he needs to be, and results driven.’

Key clients

AGEAS

Allianz

Amtrust

Aspen

Aviva

AXA

Direct Line Group

Ecclesiastical

Generali

IGI

HDI Global Specialty

LV=

Munich RE

WRB

Zurich

Product liability: defendant Tier 3

BLM is a go-to practice for international insurers in claims relating to food and drink, property damage, construction and medical device issues. The team's offering in product recall matters was enhanced with the arrival of specialist and new practice head Jason McNerlin, who joined from Clyde & Co LLP in early 2020. Michael Harvey is well versed in coverage work, policy issues and recoveries, while recently promoted partner Daniel West also handles personal injury cases. Former practice lead Jim Sherwood now focuses his practice on developing the firm's GILC network.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘My experience of this practice is that it is responsive, effective in its defence of the case and dealing with it is as pleasant and reassuring an experience as it can be in the circumstances.’

‘All of the lawyers that we dealt with are of the same breed: friendly, pragmatic and sharp litigators with a modern approach. We also like their in-depth understanding of our strategic considerations. They are there for you when you need them – but they don’t rack up costs when there is no movement in a case. Their approach to costs is sensible and we have developed a great working relationship with the firm over the years.’

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

Aspen Risk Management Ltd

Aviva

Coca Cola

Direct Line Group

Generali

HDI Global

Ironshore

Mitchells and Butler

QBE

Sunseeker International

XL Catlin

Zurich

Professional negligence Tier 3

BLM’s ‘highly qualified, experienced and approachable’ practice advises major insurance firms and their insureds defending claims from the legal, education, financial services and property sectors. Practice head Elliot Pound is a solicitor-advocate and has acted for numerous universities in relation to claims brought by students relating to lost teaching time caused by mass strike action. Martin Jensen works closely with insurers on policy coverage issues, including notification and aggregation of claims, and the impact of suspected dishonesty on coverage. Alexander Traill handles claims involving insurance intermediaries.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘They are true experts with long-standing and extensive experience of advising on and defending claims against professionals.’

‘Ross Baker knows professional negligence insideout, has excellent judgement, and is commercial and user-friendly – the complete package. He also has real insurance law expertise.’

‘A terrific team with experience of defending claims across a broad spectrum of professions.’

The unflappable Ross Baker would be an asset in any firm of solicitors – he brings great experience to to the table combined with an ease of manner which makes him a joy to work with.’

‘Alex Traill is polished and competent – a class act.’

‘Highly qualified, experienced and approachable. You can trust their advice and they will work hard for you.’

‘Martin Jensen – I value his responsiveness, dedication and his judgement. He is a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The team is able and responsive; good at developing strong relationships with clients (both insurers and insureds) and providers (e.g. barristers). There is an open and receptive atmosphere which is respectful yet confident.’

‘Martin Jensen is responsive and able quickly to grasp the real issues in a case.’

Key clients

Zurich

RSA

Travelers

RIBA

UNISON

CNA Hardy

HDI Global Specialty (formerly Inter Hannover)

QBE

ACCA

Royal Veterinary College

Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 4

BLM is praised for its strong insurance sector expertise and also handles disputes for corporates, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The group has been increasingly active in fraud and recovery claims with a focus on asset tracking and injunctive relief issues. Julian Smart has particular experience in this area and jointly heads up the team alongside Caroline Kane, who specialises in property damage litigation, and payment disputes expert Jagdeep Hayre.

Testimonials

They have done a wonderful job for us and come up with unique ways of solving very complex problems. The team is easily accessible, on call whenever the need has arisen. They have great insights and knowledge and I couldn’t be happier with them.

I would like to highlight Caroline Kane for her wonderful work ethic, her in-depth knowledge of the law and of the subject mater each time. She has provided fantastic results based on simply working harder and knowing more than her opponents.

Julian Smart is an excellent lawyer that has done very well for us.

Key clients

Compass Group Plc

Affinity Water

Fujitsu Plc

European Risk Insurance Company hf

Birmingham City Council

Towergate Financial Group Ltd

Travelodge

AS Watson plc

Glen Dimplex Group

Allianz

Legal & General

Construction: contentious Tier 4

BLM acts for a range of clients including consulting engineers, building surveyors, architects and design and build contractors. The team is co-lead by a group of lawyers, including Robert Stevenson, a chartered arbitrator and an accredited adjudicator with decades of construction experience. Gary Wicks has pursued claims against architects and engineers including claims for damages. Gary Thwaites has managed disputes for design consultants and structural engineers while Dileep Pisharody handles professional indemnity claims. The firm is also active across the Middle East and Africa.

Key clients

Aviva

Network Rail

RSA

Adam Architecture

Adjaye Associates

Fanshawe LLP

Health and safety Tier 4

BLM has a great deal of sector knowledge in manufacturing, construction and social care, and handles complex fatal accident investigations and inquests. The practice is recommended for insurers and brokers with national practice head Helen Devery  also heading the firm's brokerage group. Bob Davies specialises in criminal regulatory work and coronial proceedings.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The great strength of the BLM London team is that for a City firm they are remarkably approachable and incredibly un-stuffy. They have great communication skills with clients that range from major PLCs to one-man traders. They treat each and every client the same no matter how big or how small’

‘Extremely good at putting clients at ease and explaining complex issues in a clear, concise and easy to understand manner. Client care is at the very heart of all that they do’

‘Peter James is a doyen of the Health and Safety insurers world. Charming, easy to work with and there’s very little about Health and Safety that he doesn’t know! Tactically astute, he has a quiet and confident calm in his approach to all his cases’

‘The BLM team enjoys great strength and depth and quality experience throughout. The work ethic of their regulatory team is second to none and their attention to detail absolutely uncompromising. Because of their experience, they are consistently able to identify the key issues to ensure the best outcome for their clients’

‘Helen Devery is a field leader in every respect, with a singular tactical grasp of her cases’

‘The team is consistently strong, with wide-ranging expertise and BLM are one of the leading firms for insurance-funded health and safety work.

‘I was particularly impressed by Diana Goldstein. She was able to help the client understand what was needed, keep them on board despite their frustration with the situation they found themselves in, and build a good working relationship, all of which paid off in an excellent result in the end’

Key clients

Allianz Insurance

QBE Insurance

Reputation management Tier 4

BLM 's media client base includes publishers, insurers, local authorities, as well as police forces, educational institutions and sports bodies. Head of department Tim Smith focuses on matters involving defamation, breach of confidence and malicious falsehood. Acting mainly for corporates, Steve Kuncewicz is experienced in defamation proceedings. Associate Hannah Pilkington specialises in reputation protection issues within the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Tom Double is a future star. He is very bright and easy to deal with and has a cool, calm approach to litigation.’

Key clients

Hiscox

QBE

RSA

Aviva

Zurich Insurance

CNA

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Medical Protection Society

Manchester Underwriting

Crime: general Tier 5

The general crime team at BLM handles ill-treatment/wilful neglect offences, NHS prescription fraud and contraventions of law pertaining to the Mental Health and Medicines Acts. It is jointly led by 'supremely dedicated' healthcare specialist Adam Weston  and Ian Walker , a partner with more than 20 years’ experience in road traffic claims. Ella Partner  and Iskander Fernandez  are additional names to note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

BLM is fast becoming a serious contender in the financial crime and regulatory spheres’

BLM is one of very few firms that has a long-standing and deep experience of criminal work as it particularly relates to the professional and to the healthcare sector. This is particularly important in this specialised area of criminal work’ 

A firm with a growing presence in criminal law, particularly in the defence of professionals who need lawyers who have the experience to handle a regulatory inquiry which may be conducted in parallel with, or after, any criminal case

Iskander Fernandez is a committed and passionate lawyer. He is a pleasure to work with, very clever and extremely hard working. Clients adore him. He has terrific judgement. He is always calm and confident, highly capable with an in-depth knowledge of the law‘.

Adam Weston has huge experience in the most serious types of healthcare cases i.e. those where there is a police investigation as well as a regulatory investigation. One of the go-to-lawyers of his generation in this field

Employers Tier 7

BLM's employment practice benefits from the wider firm's strengths in insurance, with much work deriving from major clients in that area. The experienced Andrew McDonald, who heads up the team, works with clients including EPL insurers and members of parliament. The practice has a strong track record of work on Employment Tribunal claims and is also known for non-contentious advice on change management.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Great work, reasonable prices and clear, practical and commercial advice.’

‘Andrew MacDonald is superb. He handles a very large, high-profile and difficult account for us with great aplomb meaning the need for our involvement is very small and the clients really appreciate his detailed and clear advice. The clients are all very unique yet he manages to be a chameleon and tailor his style to suit all.’

‘BLM’s employment service has good insight, clever strategy and gets the job done.’

‘Vanessa Latham is very pleasant to deal with, personable, clever and works hard.’

‘Andrew McDonald was exceptionally brilliant. I could trust that he would always seek to ensure we could find a legal mechanism to support the course of action I wished to pursue and I was always kept well informed of the pitfalls and level of risk.’

 

Key clients

CNA Hardy Insurance Company Ltd

RSA

Jackson Lift Group

Aviva

Cato Music

Lewisham Homes

Drayton Manor High school

University of Portsmouth

Sandals

Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant

BLM's team is instructed by major insurance companies in a variety of cases, with a focus on marine, abuse and catastrophic injury claims. Led from Southampton by Joe Wakeford, the group in Bristol includes Andrew Lawson and Rebecca Shafto, both of who lead on complex catastrophic injury matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Leaders in the defendant PI market. They act for multiple insurers and reinsurers.’

‘Good solid range of solicitors with expertise in most areas of law providing a detailed, comprehensive and efficient service.’

‘Andrew Hibbert has the ability to think outside the box and is a great communicator and negotiator.’

‘The team proves that high-value and complex PI work can be done to a very high standard outside London.’

‘Rebecca Shafto – any client instructing Rebecca knows that they are in the very safest of hands; she has outstanding client care skills.’

Key clients

DLG

LV=

QBE

Gallagher Bassett

North Somerset Council

NSL

First Port

Hastings Direct

Herefordshire Council

Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant

'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):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘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

Asda

Zurich Insurance plc

Pen Underwriting plc

Liberty

One Insurance Limited

Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

Sompo International

Hiscox

Builders Direct

Travel

Considered a 'leading figure in the defendant sphere', BLM’s travel group and casualty practice is led by Matthew Ford and covers 'the whole range of insurance and liability claims where claimants sue tour operators in the UK for accidents and incidents abroad'. The team primarily handles claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) for major tour operators and insurers. As well as acting for many of the UK’s largest tour operators, the team is regularly instructed by niche agents, bespoke specialist operators, leisure and hospitality suppliers and insurers in a range of travel and international claims, including proceedings relating to catastrophic injuries, large losses, fraud, abuse, commercial contracts, regulatory issues and costs. Other names to note include Emily List and associate Deborah Sayers; both have extensive experience in complex international travel claims.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘One of the leading defendant cross-border PI firms.’

‘Thorough preparation and attention to detail. Detailed and incisive assessment of case strategy for the most complex claims.’

‘A coherent and clear team who have expertise in the field.’

‘Matthew Ford – considerable technical expertise in representing tour operators.’

‘The individuals are well versed in the key principles of Travel Law and, as a result of that, are really looking for the best way forwards for their clients, within the parameters of the statutes. Deborah Sayers is a standout associate, who works hard to achieve excellent results. She worked very hard on one of our cases. When receiving my advice following the CCMC, she really challenged my views to check that this was the best approach. I was very impressed with both her knowledge of the area and her commercial awareness.’

‘Emily List (partner) – well established defendant PI lawyer with particular specialism in cross-border claims.’

‘Matthew Ford: heads up the team; a true leader – calm, collected, commercially astute, and able to diffuse the hottest of temperatures. An old head on young shoulders.’

Key clients

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Limited

Sandals/Unique Vacations Ltd

Jet2 Holidays Ltd

Red Sea Holidays

Olympic Holidays

British Airways

Stena Line

Direct Line Group – Travel

Intercontinental Hotels Group

AXA Corporate Solutions

Ryanair

QBE

Allianz UK

Audley Travel

Generali

Chubb

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

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 eight tools combining cutting-edge case management, communication and analytics tools to improve client outcomes and help with their business challenges. In July 2020 BLM added to its Innovations suite with the launch of Fraud Edge – a smart new tool enabling clients to understand potential exposure to those organisations or enablers that are suspected of presenting fraudulent claims. www.blmlaw.com/blminnovations

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. www.blmlaw.com/blmconsult

BLM’s team of over 200 partners and more than 600 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 Sarah Hill
Bristol Joe Wakeford
Cardiff Kerris Dale
Derry Cormac Fitzpatrick
Dublin Sinead Connolly and Olivia Treston
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
 Michael Appleby  photo Michael Appleby Michael is a partner specialising in defending claims against a wide range…
 Jennifer Bebbington photo Jennifer Bebbington Partner
 James Beresford  photo James Beresford Partner
 Judith Bloor  photo Judith Bloor Judith is a partner in BLM’s casualty team. She handles a variety…
 Michael Cairns  photo Michael Cairns I qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and was made partner in…
 Sarah Cartlidge  photo Sarah Cartlidge I have 21 years’ of experience in the personal injury field: eight…
 David Caswell  photo David Caswell I qualified in 2001, having been a trainee with BLM. I became…
 Clare Chapman  photo Clare Chapman Clare is a partner and the head of BLM’s professional discipline and…
 Jonathan Clay  photo Jonathan Clay Jonathan Clay is on BLM’s executive board and is the head of…
 John Collins  photo John Collins John specialises specialises in defending complex and high value liability claims brought…
 Katie Costello  photo Katie Costello Katie is a partner and has over 25 years’ experience of acting…
 Stephen Crook photo Stephen Crook Stephen is a partner with over 20 years’ experience in commercial real…
 Chris Dexter photo Chris Dexter Partner – Defendant Healthcare – specialising in the defence of medical and…
 Claire Dinoff  photo Claire Dinoff Partner
 Garry Dover  photo Garry Dover Garry is a partner, with more than 25 years’ experience in civil…
 Clare Durkin  photo Clare Durkin Partner specialising in breach of contract and warranty claims, coprorate and partnerhsip…
 Laura D’Arcy  photo Laura D’Arcy Partner
Mrs Emma Eccles  photo Mrs Emma Eccles Partner
 Sarah Elderton  photo Sarah Elderton Sarah is a partner in the professional indemnity team, acting for insurers…
 Chris Fletcher  photo Chris Fletcher Chris advises in relation to the full range of disease litigation, both…
 Michelle Flint  photo Michelle Flint Michelle is a partner who has been part of BLM’s specialist Prison…
 Jennifer Forster  photo Jennifer Forster Partner
 Nick Gee photo Nick Gee Partner
 Nick Gianferrari  photo Nick Gianferrari Nick is a partner within the regulatory team specialising in criminal investigations,…
 Lauren Gosnell photo Lauren Gosnell Partner
 Richard Gould  photo Richard Gould Partner
 Ruth Graham  photo Ruth Graham Ruth is a partner and head of BLM’s transport unit. She handles…
 Naomi Grant  photo Naomi Grant Naomi is a partner in the fraud team with expertise in dealing…
 Sally Hancock  photo Sally Hancock Sally is a partner in the Manchester office and heads the Manchester…
 Mark Hanson  photo Mark Hanson Partner dealing primarily with serious and complex claims involving significant and multiple…
 Stuart Hardy  photo Stuart Hardy Specialises in utmost severity injury claims, including amputation, brain and spinal injuries,…
 Valerie Jones  photo Valerie Jones Partner; specialises in policy coverage and liability aspects of RTA, public and…
 Simon Jones  photo Simon Jones Simon Jones specialises in large traumatic injury claims, large traumatic employers and…
 Daniel Jones  photo Daniel Jones Partner
 Andrew Kerr  photo Andrew Kerr Andrew is a partner in the catastrophic injury department specialising in catastrophic…
 Maria Kidd  photo Maria Kidd I lead the Property Volume Recovery team which deals with subrogated recoveries…
 Steve Kuncewicz photo Steve Kuncewicz Partner and Head Of Creative, Digital & Marketing Sector Network
 Luisa Lamb  photo Luisa Lamb Partner.
 Tim Large  photo Tim Large Partner specializing in complex and high-value claims arising primarily out of road…
 Claire Lawlor  photo Claire Lawlor Partner working in short-tail occupational disease team specialising predominantly in defending cumulative…
Ms Katherine Lees  photo Ms Katherine Lees Katherine advises in relation to a wide range of both short and…
 Tessa Leonard  photo Tessa Leonard Tessa is a partner and specialises in real estate and development. She…
 Stephen Lintott photo Stephen Lintott Stephen is a partner head of the commercial real estate team at…
 Jim Lister photo Jim Lister Jim is a partner, business adviser and employment lawyer and, before joining…
 Catherine Mangham  photo Catherine Mangham Catherine leads the Property Damage Team in Manchester as technical manager. She…
 Simon Mattison  photo Simon Mattison Partner
 Craig McAdam photo Craig McAdam Partner
 Andrew Millen  photo Andrew Millen Partner and Head of the Volume Recovery Practice Group. Andrew heads up…
 Simon Morrow  photo Simon Morrow Partner and joint head of BLM’s occupational disease team based at its…
 Cathie Mortimer Rae  photo Cathie Mortimer Rae Manager at fast track motor team.
 Jason Nash  photo Jason Nash Jason has specialised in defending claims against professionals since 1990 and in…
 Alison Noonan  photo Alison Noonan Partner in Catastrophic Injury Team dealing predominantly with cases involving head and…
 Claire Opacic  photo Claire Opacic Claire is a partner specialising in the handling of large value EL/PL…
 Ben Parks  photo Ben Parks
 Michael Parr  photo Michael Parr Partner and head of the employment law division for BLM’s northern offices;…
 Alexandra Payne  photo Alexandra Payne Partner; specialises in claims involving injuries of the utmost severity including serious…
 Natalie Puce  photo Natalie Puce Natalie is a partner in BLM’s regulatory team and represents a broad range…
 David Rainey photo David Rainey David is a Partner at BLM Manchester. He represents a broad and…
 Donna Rawding  photo Donna Rawding Partner and lead lawyer in BLM’s Catastrophic Injury and Large Loss team…
 Gill Rothwell  photo Gill Rothwell Partner 
 Lucy Ryder  photo Lucy Ryder Partner, specialises in a variety of work, most particularly inquests, judicial review…
 David Spencer  photo David Spencer Partner dealing with catastrophic and fatal injury litigation arising from EL, PL,…
 Paul Tarne  photo Paul Tarne Paul is a Partner and is national Head of Public Sector at…
 Trish Taylor  photo Trish Taylor Partner working in personal injury litigation department, specialising in road traffic accident…
 Nicholas Thorne  photo Nicholas Thorne Nicholas is a Partner within the Manchester Catastrophic Injury Team. He handles…
 Laura Topping  photo Laura Topping Laura is a partner with over 5 years experience in pre-litigated and…
 Daniel Varney photo Daniel Varney Partner, Head of Business AdvisoryDaniel specialises in all aspects of corporate and…
 Paul Wainwright  photo Paul Wainwright Partner
 Elizabeth Wallace  photo Elizabeth Wallace Partner and lead lawyer in BLM’s Manchester catastrophic injury team handling complex…
 Sally Whalley  photo Sally Whalley Sally is a partner and specialises in catastrophic injury and large loss…
 Vivienne Williams  photo Vivienne Williams Vivienne is Managing Partner at BLM. She is highly experienced in managing…
 Sarah Woodwark  photo Sarah Woodwark Sarah is a partner and Head of BLM’s national healthcare team .…
Number of UK partners : 222
Number of other UK fee-earners : 643
Total staff : 1481

We are committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for our workforce. We seek to sustain a working, learning and social environment in which all our people can achieve their potential and are valued, recognised, supported and celebrated. In 2019 we were proud to have been ranked in a list of Top 50 UK employers for inclusiveness, a definitive list of UK based organisations that promote inclusion at each level of employment within their organisation. The list represents those companies which promote all strands of diversity including age, disability, gender, LGBT, race, faith and religion.

We were also the first law firm to officially sign up to The Inclusive Behaviours in Insurance Pledge, an initiative set up by Lloyd’s of London and Zurich to demonstrate the insurance industry’s commitment to creating a “culture where inclusive behaviours become the norm and where everyone is accepting of diversity.”

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace which reflects the diverse nature of the communities in which we work. We know that embracing difference contributes positively to a flourishing workforce.

We have completed our 2019 Gender Pay Gap overview, which reflects the required reporting details, including statistics for the firm’s pay and bonus gap, proportionality of male and female employees, as well as an overview of the approach we take to the wellbeing of all our employees. It is encouraging that the percentage of women in our upper quartile has increased this year along with significant improvement to our gender pay gap median, trends we are continuously seeking to maintain and improve. We have a constantly evolving leadership development programme at the firm, and the equality of opportunity provided by this programme can clearly be seen in the positive changes to our Gender Pay Gap year-on-year.

The Lex 100 Verdict

BLM is known for market-leading prowess in the insurance and civil litigation fields, plus experience within the health and public sectors. This attracts trainees keen on a liabilities or tort law focus while offering the opportunity for a 'good variety of contentious seats', industry secondment places and a 'very good reputation in the market' as 'litigation specialists'. BLM is a nationwide full-service firm with a strong presence in Northern Ireland where it has offices in Belfast and Derry. Trainees applaud the firm's 'work/life balance and the approachability and support from partners'. The working atmosphere is described as 'relatively relaxed, yet professional.' As a result, BLM secures a Lex 100 Winner award for its work/life balance, retaining the award from last year. Trainees highlight the 'higher level of responsibility' compared with peers, and comment on the 'hands-on approach from the start. In my team, I am running my own caseload and have a high amount of client contact on a daily basis'. The only downsides reported are the pay and occasional lulls in work that some trainees experienced. A notable highlight included 'attending a Civil Justice Reform Committee meeting chaired by the Master of Rolls, surrounded by a dozen senior judges, QCs, and heads of relevant institutions'. The firm has a major focus on CSR activity and pro-bono support, which trainees applaud: 'there's lots of CSR going on and trainees are actively encouraged to participate'. For trainees looking for contentious civil training, early responsibility and speciality in the insurance and health sectors delivered in a personable and social atmosphere, BLM is an attractive option.