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Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derry, Dublin and 8 more

West Midlands: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3


BLM is recognised for its fraud expertise in the insurance sector. Head of the fraud practice group Sarah Hill handles a diverse range of matters from large-scale organised fraud to high-value exaggerated fraud cases. Daniel Thomas is also well regarded for his work on fraudulent employers’ liability/public liability claims as well as motor claims. Simon Hammond left in January 2019 to join NHS Resolution as director of claims.

Practice head(s):Sarah Hill

Other key lawyers:Daniel Thomas


'The specialist team is good at representing insurance companies in relation to potentially fraudulent civil claims'.

Key Clients




Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for QBE in a large loss – personal injury/fraud claim.

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4


BLM has a strong commercial disputes practice which has particularly expertise in commercial fraud recovery and property disputes. Julian Smart leads the team and handles claims of deceit, misappropriated assets, as well as conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty. Other notable names include commercial fraud recovery specialist Caroline Kane and property disputes expert Jagdeep Hayre .

Practice head(s):Julian Smart

Other key lawyers:Caroline Kane; Jagdeep Hayre

Key Clients

Compass Group Plc

Affinity Water

Fujitsu Plc

European Risk Insurance Company

Birmingham City Council

Towergate Financial Group Ltd


AS Watson plc

Glen Dimplex Group

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West Midlands: Human resources

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2


BLM is best known for its work in complex fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests. It is strong in HSE and regulatory cases with a criminal background. The team has particular expertise in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors and offers a cross-sector regulatory service to private and public sector clients. It routinely acts in the most serious cases involving corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter. Robert Davies in Birmingham is well-regarded.

Practice head(s):Robert Davies; Helen Devery (national head based in Manchester)


'Robert Davies is immensely experienced and knows what he is talking about'.

Key Clients

Allianz Insurance

QBE Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for Great Bear Distribution from day one of a fatal workplace accident at its Desborough warehouse, when an employee fell to his death from a height in excess of nine metres, as a consequence of a collision between two very narrow aisle trucks.
  • Acting for the operating company in the Four Seasons Health Care group of companies since the outset of a health and safety investigation undertaken by Ashfield District Council.
  • Advised N.C.B. Motors Ltd on the  management of the defence of an HSE investigation following a fatal workplace accident involving a long standing employee and in dealing with the coronial investigation and the inquest.
  • Advised M V Kelly Limited since the early stages on an HSE investigation arising out of an accident on a haul road on a construction site at which it was principal contractor, as a consequence of which an employee sustained a life changing injury.
  • Advised B & W Waste Management Services since a few days after an explosion and fire at its hazardous waste storage and processing building, which resulted in two employees being badly burned, with one ending up in an induced coma and life support for 10 days.

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West Midlands: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 1


BLM has a full-service insurance practice, which services local and national insurer and corporate clients. It has a general liability unit, which is active in employers’ liability, motor, public liability and health and safety claims. It also has specialist occupational disease and fraud units. James Harvey heads up the department, which includes Mike Dobson. Dobson's work includes complex claims involving serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as cases with a foreign law element. Adrian Marston joined from Weightmans LLP, while Henry Bermingham moved in the opposite direction.

Practice head(s):James Harvey

Other key lawyers:Mike Dobson; Adrian Marston

Key Clients



AXA xl

Affinity Water



Bloor Homes

National Express

Work highlights

  • Defended a case where the claimant claimed damages for personal injury following a road traffic accident.
  • Acted in a claim from a third party driver, who was involved in a minor road traffic accident on a roundabout.
Leading individuals

James Harvey - BLM

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2


BLM generates work from a wide range of insurers and corporates in high-value and complex claims. It represents professionals of all disciplines, and has witnessed a significant increase in fraud-related claims recently. Team head Julian Smart is frequently instructed by professional indemnity insurers to defend negligence claims against various professionals, such as surveyors, accountants, engineers and brokers.

Practice head(s):Julian Smart

Other key lawyers:Lucy Tolond


'A top-notch insurance practice'.

'The team has a broad base of experience and expertise in various areas of professional negligence. It is an approachable and user-friendly team'.

'Julian Smart  is excellent, very calm and collected and is very good at diffusing difficult situations'.

'Julian Smart is quietly assured and reassuring for insureds and insurers alike. Julian really knows his stuff and is able to robustly defend an insured's position in an understated and non-confrontational way'.

'Julian Smart is excellent with clients and sees the 'big picture' when it comes to high value/complex litigation'.

'Lucy Tolond is an outstanding litigator'.

'Lucy Tolond is excellent - hands on and with impressive knowledge of the insurance market'.

Key Clients


Everest Syndicate 2786

European Risk Insurance Company


NFU Mutual


Leading individuals

Julian Smart - BLM

Next Generation Partners

Lucy Tolond - BLM

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Further information on BLM

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about BLM in other jurisdictions.


Offices in Dublin


Offices in London EC3M and London EC3V

Northern Ireland

Offices in Derry and Belfast

North West

Offices in Liverpool and Manchester


Offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

Offices in Bristol


Offices in Cardiff

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
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  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
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    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.