Firm Profile > BLM > Dublin , Ireland
St Stevens Green House
- Go to...
- Firm Profile
- Main Contacts
- Lawyer Profiles
- Notable Cases
- Client Testimonials
BLM > The Legal 500 Rankings
Insurance Tier 3
BLM is highly engaged in the defence of personal injury claims; in a recent highlight, Anne Staunton successfully acted for Aviva in disproving a claimant's allegations that he had sustained a serious back injury while lifting heavy objects at work. Senior associate Garrett Cormican is very adept at defending professional indemnity claims, especially in the construction space. Rhona McGrath and senior associate Sinead Connolly are the other names to note. Gavin Campbell is the practice head.
BLM > Firm Profile
The firm: BLM is an insurance risk and commercial law firm with both a domestic and international focus. It now works with an increasing number of customers, across more lines of business, in more locations throughout the UK and Ireland as well as across the world, than ever before. Its philosophy is to deliver positive outcomes for its customers and help them make their businesses more successful. Fundamentally, the firm is helping them to reduce the time and money spent on managing risk and resolving disputes, while offering a practical, commercial and solutions-driven approach to non-contentious business law. In Ireland, BLM advises a large number of both Irish and UK-based insurers, as well as Irish state bodies and brokers. It holds a very strong position in the sector and has an enviable reputation for dispute resolution throughout Ireland – it has firmly established its place in the Irish insurance market.
The firm has a deep-rooted presence in the general insurance sector, the London market and among brokers. It also has a significant presence among corporate businesses many of whom are multinational, the public sector and the healthcare industry.
BLM’s transparency of purpose, flexible approach and teamwork has allowed the firm to grow, while keeping its customers at the heart of what it does.
Notably, the team represents QBE in Ireland and is appointed as legal advisor to the State Claims Agency to provide healthcare and EL/PL advice. In addition, BLM continues to maintain its longstanding relationships with insurer customers such as Aviva, Zurich and many others in the Irish and London markets.
In September 2017 BLM celebrated its significant growth in Dublin and moved to new premises in the heart of Dublin 2. This comes as the team has experienced solid growth due to an ever-growing customer base and to opportunities linked with Global Insurance Law Connect. The move has more than doubled its office space in the city.
Areas of practice: BLM is widely recognised as a major force in the field of defendant personal injury, occupying an enviable market position in terms of coverage and customer base and is described as a ‘technical powerhouse’.
BLM offers a comprehensive defendant personal injury service, providing a wealth of specialist expertise in areas including catastrophic injury, industrial disease, employers’ and public liability, RTA, fraud, equine claims and cases relating to abuse. The team in Dublin represents a number of Irish corporate bodies in respects of personal injury and property damage liability claims.
The firm also has an established reputation for its excellent record in handling a full range of commercial disputes, healthcare disputes, liability claims, marine insurance claims, property damage claims, professional liability, public service risks and regulatory matters. BLM’s depth of expertise is pre-eminent in these areas and the firm is acknowledged by customers, competitors and the judiciary.
In September 2017, BLM launched a new commercial advisory offering. In total, 33 lawyers joined the firm focusing on business advisory services including corporate law, intellectual property and information communication technology. The firm was also joined by 15 commercial real estate lawyers specialising in non-contentious expertise, broadening the existing construction and property damage offering. The firm also added four employment and ten commercial litigation lawyers, complementing existing practice groups.
BLM has worked alongside its customers to assess how it can make a difference to the way insurance claims are managed in Ireland and is making significant headway. It is utilising memberships to professional associations to identify ways to reduce indemnity spend, ensuring fees are more transparent and speeding up the claims process for both plaintiffs and defendants. BLM is one of the few firms in Dublin to offer the services of an in-house legal costs accountant, an initiative which has contributed significantly to reducing customers’ legal spend.
The firm is regularly involved in test cases and high-profile litigation. The team has represented the insurer in significant noteworthy Irish case law. Additionally, the fraud team in Dublin represented the insurer before Judge Aylmer at Buncrana Circuit Court. This notable case, which was ultimately dismissed, saw Judge Aylmer provide a blanket message to all plaintiffs that ‘if he comes across a case such as this again, with such gross exaggeration that he would have no difficulty in invoking the Statute (2004 Civil Liability and Courts Act) in the future.’ These cases demonstrate BLM’s continued commitment to the industry to help tackle fraud in Ireland. In Wray v Ward, a significant series of cases arose when 24 passengers on a coach alleged injury when their coach was involved in a minor collision. The coach had just crossed the border from NI into ROI at Brigend, Co Donegal. The second vehicle was driven by the first named defendant who was based in Northern Ireland. Some passengers issued in The Circuit Court in Letterkenny, where the accident happened, and some in Northern Ireland, where the defendant was resident. In the Circuit Court BLM made successful Rome II applications which resulted in the court accepting that damages should be awarded in accordance with NI damages guidelines. This was a first point of the defence strategy. Two of the passengers, Mr and Mrs Wray issued in the county court in NI, and the cases were successfully contested and dismissed. The judge commented that he did not believe that any of the passengers could have been injured in this accident. This allowed the firm to negotiate robustly with the outstanding 22 plaintiffs and all withdrew their claims, or discontinued if they had issued, with no compensation paid to any of the claimants.
|Catastrophic injury||Gavin Campbell|
|Catastrophic injury||Rhona McGrath|
|Claims management||Gavin Campbell|
|Claims management||Rhona McGrath|
|Occupational disease||Gavin Campbell|
|Policy coverage||Gavin Campbell|
|Property damage and recovery||Gavin Campbell|
|Professional indemnity||Garrett Cormican|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 800+ at this office : 15
MembershipsGlobal Insurance Law Network
OtherOther offices : Belfast Other offices : Birmingham Other offices : Bristol Other offices : Cardiff Other offices : Derry Other offices : Edinburgh Other offices : Glasgow Other offices : Leeds Other offices : Liverpool Other offices : London Other offices : Manchester Other offices : Southampton
Perry v Raleys Solicitors
The Supreme Court handed down judgment in Perry v Raleys Solicitors  UKSC 5, a much anticipated decision on the courts approach to causation and quantum where the claimants claim is that the breach of duty has caused him to lose an opportunity he would allegedly otherwise have had. Jason Nash and Richard Gould of BLM acted for the successful solicitor defendants Raleys Solicitors (in administration).
Goldscheider, C v Royal Opera House
BLM, representing the Royal Opera House, has been granted permission to take the case of Goldscheider v Royal Opera House to the Court of Appeal. Following an eight day High Court trial in March 2018, the court rejected the defendants contention that the wearing of ear protection by the claimant during loud sections of a musical performance was sufficient to discharge their duty of care to the claimant. This was despite the fact that the music peaked at a volume well below that specified under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. The case attracted widespread media coverage at the time. BLM partner Nigel Lock is the lead lawyer.
QBE Insurance v Liam Jones
Roofer sentenced following Private Criminal Prosecution for fraud. A two year custodial sentence was handed down to roofer, Liam Jones, who was found guilty of fraud in a private criminal prosecution brought by BLM on behalf of QBE Insurance. The custodial sentence, which has been suspended for two years, followed significant costs penalties in the earlier civil claim. Mr Jones suffered genuine and potentially serious injuries when he fell approximately 40 feet to the ground from a roof, whilst in the employment of an insured of QBE, a roofing contractor. In a claim for damages likely to have exceeded £700,000, he alleged significant ongoing incapacity and financial loss as a result. Working with QBE, BLM obtained surveillance evidence that demonstrated that Mr Jones had grossly exaggerated the level of injury and capacity. At the hearing on 29 October 2018 in Liverpool Crown Court, Her Honour Judge Smith told Mr Jones that Your offences are not victimless offences. Fraud causes losses that affect society at large.
Bond v Tom Croft
BLM successfully defended work equipment regulations appeal. The claimant sustained a head injury as a result of falling from a ladder. The claimant was a self-employed electrician who had been working on a sub-contract basis for the defendant, a local electrical contractor. The claimant alleged that the defendant was in breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and in particular had breached regulation 5 of the work equipment regulations by failing to ensure that the ladder was maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. The defendant denied liability arguing that the ladder was well maintained and in proper working order. It was found that the ladder was perfectly suitable for intermittent and light electrical work.
Clarke v John Kerwin (t/a Dirtbikeaction), Carlisle County Court
BLM successfully defends claim pursued against organiser of sports event. This is an interesting case where the judge was required to consider the nature and extent of the duty of care owed to participants by the organiser of a sporting event, and to what extent participants accept the risk of injury by taking part in such an activity.
CLIENT: Michelle Dixon
COMPANY/FIRM: Tata Steel
TESTIMONIAL: We appoint BLM because of their professionalism, their knowledge and their experience. Some of the partners have handled our cases for a number of years. They therefore have a very good knowledge and experience of our sites and our people. You know youre going to get a good result, and the right result, because of that.
CLIENT: Martin Milliner
TESTIMONIAL: BLM do not want to let us down, they always want to give it their best.
CLIENT: David Frost
COMPANY/FIRM: Direct Line Group
TESTIMONIAL: They have a solid base of expertise and a track record of delivering proven services over a whole range of things.
CLIENT: Chris Cox
COMPANY/FIRM: Royal College of Nursing
TESTIMONIAL: I find them very friendly the partners. They adapt very well to our approach of referring matters to them
CLIENT: Mike Gardiner
TESTIMONIAL: Clearly on practical level if we had to use a different firm in say, Ireland, there would now be an option to use BLM. [It is] an indicator of the seriousness of the firm in order to move on and provide a national and wider-territorial level service.
We aim to be a firm which is accessible to all and are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the clients and communities we serve in order to secure the widest pool of talent possible. We want to attract, develop, retain and engage high calibre employees in a clear, concise and connected manner regardless of their age, disability, race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national origin), sex, gender reassignment, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religious or political belief, sexual orientation, socio-economic circumstances or caring responsibilities. We appreciate that by creating an environment in which equality and diversity is positively embraced ensures that the people who work for us and with us feel valued, engaged and included.