Wolferstans > Plymouth, England > Firm Profile


Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

Elizabeth Smith leads the team at Wolferstans, which specialises in complex medical negligence cases, often involving patients with severe injuries to the spine and brain, including those sustained at birth. With ‘great courage in taking on challenging cases‘, Simon Parford sports in-depth experience in cases relating to cerebral palsy as well as catastrophic injuries. Holly Bowditch was promoted to partner in 2022 and is a go-to contact for brain injury claims in adults and children.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Smith

Other key lawyers:


‘Always a pleasure to receive instructions from Wolferstans as they are inevitably well-prepared, and have fulfilled all of the important stages before coming to you with nothing missed.’

‘Elizabeth Smith – a delight to work with. Friendly, intelligent and always a step ahead when it comes to preparation.’

‘This is a small but excellent team led by Elizabeth Smith.’

‘Simon Parford is a longstanding partner with great experience and great courage in taking on challenging cases and succeeding when others would not.’

‘Simon Parford is hugely experienced, very caring and a really good solicitor’

‘Elizabeth Smith has been wonderful through out the entire experience.’

‘Wolferstans are one of the stand out firms in the Southwest for clinical negligence work. Their strength lies in combining an approachable and down-to-earth attitude with a high standard of service across the breadth of the department.’

‘Elizabeth Smith is very bright, capable and pragmatic.’

Work highlights

  • Represented two people in a secondary victim claim relating to the death of their 7 year old daughter.
  • Represented a client in a surgical negligence claim.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

The team at Wolferstans is well versed in advising both employers and employees across a wide range of industry sectors. The practice specialises in advising clients on restrictive covenants, directors’ duties, relevant competition law issues, and TUPE transfers. Practice head James Twine is a seasoned tribunal advocate, and also has extensive experience delivering employment law support to businesses and schools throughout Devon and Cornwall.

Practice head(s):

James Twine

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Sargeant; Steph Marsh; Mara Cunha


‘The team responds extremely quickly, efficiently and has a superb, fast grasp of all the issues. Their advice is sound, clear and thorough. They have been flexible in providing support over the phone, via video conferencing where necessary, and also face-to-face.’

‘We have worked directly with James Twine and Steph Marsh. Both have been exceptional in their support for some tricky issues and their advice is provided with a clarity and a “layman’s simplicity”, meaning that we are able to understand straightaway what it is we are being told.’

‘Wolferstans have a very client-centered approach to legal issues. They have provided us with employment support for a number of years and have always given us sound legal advice whilst having an understanding of the constraints and needs of our business.’

‘The employment team at Wolferstans are very approachable and friendly; they offer advice and guidance on any legal matter however big or small providing the best solution for us. All the team is accessible and ready to assist with any questions we may have.’

‘Victoria Sargeant is exceptional – she has taken the time to understand the complexities of our business with the many different sectors we service. The advice and guidance we receive is always clear, concise and easy to follow, nothing is ever too much trouble.’

‘James Twine is always honest and offers good advice and with a sense of humor and understanding on how difficult it can be for our members. Victoria Sargeant is great with the HR advice and helps to create that great team approach that Wolferstans gives.’

‘The team is approachable and will listen, understand and communicate with me in a language I can interpret. Their response is always timely and the support they have provided us with goes above and beyond.’

‘Mara Cunha is always upbeat, prompt, supportive and organised.’

Key clients

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Tor Bridge High School

Work highlights

  • Assisting Theatre Royal Plymouth with employment issues on an ongoing basis for over 10 years, with recent work including advising on the implications of the Harpur v Brazel decision on holiday pay.
  • Advising Tor Bridge High School on a range of employment law matters, including various performance management issues, attendance management procedures, and implementation of a change to terms and conditions for some staff.

Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

Wolferstans‘ commercial property team has a strong focus on acting for business clients and SME developers, with site acquisitions, strategic land assemblies, and school conversions among the unit’s strengths. Development specialist Arash Dinari leads the Plymouth team. His colleague Paul Bramall draws praise for his ability to complete lease reassignments ‘at very short notice’, while Pippa Tanner Wood is well versed in managing leasehold portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Arash Dinari

Other key lawyers:


‘Paul Bramall has been excellent to work with. We had a lease reassignment to complete at very short notice, and he led his team to ensure that all the timeframes were met.’

‘Very knowledgeable on subject matter. Able to co-ordinate with other members within the firm in specialist areas. Advice is clear and provided in a timely manner.’

‘Subject knowledge, practical approach to resolving issues, and clear explanation of complex areas.’


Key clients

Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Pro-Direct Sports Group

Hemming Group Limited

Education South West

Westcountry Schools Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for Harrington Homes (SW) Limited in their conditional purchase of a multiphased, 240 house residential development.
  • Acted for the Pro-Direct Sports Group in connection with their acquisition of the 200,000 sq ft warehouse.
  • Acted for Hemming Group Limited in connection with the sale and leaseback of their London premises.

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 4

Hailed as a ‘local leader in personal injury’, Wolferstans‘ claimant-side personal injury practice specialises in claims arising out of fatal accidents and sports additional experience in matters brought by veterans against the Ministry of Defence. Headed up by Jill Burrows, the group counts ‘fantastic lawyer’ Linda Woollams and senior associate Paul White among its key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Jill Burrows

Other key lawyers:


‘A local leader in personal injury. They offer unparalleled service in the Plymouth area with a good breadth knowledge throughout the firm.’

‘The practice is supportive of their clients and provides them with realistic expectations of the legal process, both in time and costs.’

‘Paul White is a fantastic member of the firm.’

‘Linda Woollams stands out as an exceptional solicitor.’

‘The firm is long established in Plymouth and in my experience can be relied on to do a high quality and timely job.’

‘Linda Woollams – A fantastic lawyer who fiercely pursues her client’s cause. An expert when it comes to claims involving the military.’

‘The team has an outstanding breadth and depth of expertise in personal injury claimant work.’

‘Paul White is a very able and experienced practitioner; an excellent lawyer with intuitive people skills.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a settlement of £145,000 plus GIP benefits for life for an Able Seaman injured in an accident involving two RIB powerboats.
  • Represented a client in a settlement of £25,000 for a traumatic head injury caused by a lamppost whilst on private land.
  • Acted as personal representatives of the Estate of a deceased individual in a settlement of £225,000 for a fatal RTA involving 34 separate vehicles.

Private client > Family Tier 4

The team at Wolferstans has a ‘wealth of experience and employs it to full advantage for clients’ on a range of family law matters, including financial remedy proceedings and complex children law cases. Vikki Martin - who heads the practice - is praised for her ‘excellent judgment and very good client handling.’ Alison Challacombe - 'a very skilled and powerful advocate' - serves as head of the firm’s child care team.  

Practice head(s):

Vikki Martin

Other key lawyers:

Alison Challacombe; Andrew Dodd; Rebecca Moloney; Angela Parsons; Catherine Wadland; Phil Thorneycroft


‘The Wolferstans team are always highly supportive and act promptly to any concerns. They are highly skilled in all areas of family law and very personable.’

‘Vikki Martin delivers exceptional legal advice. Her explanation is always well received and understood and delivery is concise and to the point. She is very reassuring and always supportive.’

‘I work frequently with Andrew Dodd, who is meticulous and considered in all that he does. Working with Andrew fills me with confidence that everything that needs to be done for the client will be done, and more.’

‘A very responsive team of a sufficient size – there is always someone available to respond to enquiries. Solicitors who are always prepared to arrange conferences and ensure all matters are properly prepared prior to a hearing.’

‘Catherine Wadland is very committed to preparing comprehensive briefs to ensure that her client’s advocate fully understands the background to the case. Phil Thorneycroft is a very experienced and respected partner, whose voice carries significant sway. The same is true of both Vicky Martin and Angela Parsons.’

‘The team has a wealth of experience and employs it to full advantage for clients.’

‘Alison Challacombe is a very skilled and powerful advocate.’

‘Andrew Dodd is the go-to children lawyer in the South West. He is knowledgeable, empathetic, and has a laser focus on the important issues in any case.’

Work highlights

Wolferstans is a major Plymouth law firm with a history going back to 1812. Based in North Hill, with satellite offices in Plympton and Plymstock, we provide a wide range of legal services to meet the needs of individuals, families, SME’s, public sector and voluntary organisations based throughout Devon and Cornwall.

Wolferstans’ commitment to and integration with the local community, has been a permanent fixture throughout its 200 year history. The firm has strong links with Plymouth Raiders, whilst its Partners sit as Trustees, Directors and School Governors throughout Plymouth and the drive to work area.

Our clients include private individuals – in many cases acting for successive generations of the same families; young, entrepreneurial businesses and also those which have developed from early beginnings into sizeable organisations; public sector organisations including Plymouth University, government agencies, and a number of local schools; and voluntary organisations such as charities.

Our people are second to none and our clients tell us they appreciate the powerful combination of outstanding legal knowledge with confidence delivered in plain English so that it is easily understood.

As you would expect for a firm the size of Wolferstans, we offer a wide range of services. For private individuals we provide services which help in times of change, such as moving home or making a will; or in periods of difficulty such as a bereavement, family breakdown, problems at work, or making a claim for an injury sustained. For our business, public and voluntary sector clients we can help with commercial property transactions, dispute resolution, employment law, corporate restructuring and commercial contracts.

Wolferstans has a nationally recognised reputation as a specialist practice in respect of personal injury and medical negligence. The firm acts for individuals based throughout the United Kingdom and has systems in place to ensure advice can be delivered in a timely and expert fashion.

Wolferstans is a LawNet member firm, a national network of law firms committed to excellence. Each member firm is independently audited to ensure they continue to deliver the highest standards in client care and professional service, to give you peace of mind that your case will be handled expertly, and that your interests will come first.

Independent client satisfaction surveys of more than 30,000 customers show that 90% of LawNet clients gave the highest ranking of ‘very satisfied’ with their experience and 98% rate firms highly for their understanding of needs and the clear communications. 96% say they will use their LawNet firm the next time.

LawNet was established in 1989 to enable a collaborative, national network where independent law firms could share knowledge, best practice and expertise.

Better service – quality assured law firms; independently audited
A good lawyer must be expert in the law; that goes without saying. But they also need to show a firm commitment to providing a clear, practical legal service with the highest quality procedures in place, giving you peace of mind that your case will be handled expertly. You can be confident that LawNet firms provide this, as every LawNet member is hand-picked, giving you confidence that you will receive only the best advice and services – quickly, efficiently, and at the right cost.

Every LawNet member must secure and maintain the LawNet ISO9001 quality assurance standard – which includes regular independent evaluation, providing in-depth analysis of their performance and recommendations for continuous improvement to ensure customers receive the best possible service.

Better resources – local service, national resources
The combined income of the firms comprising LawNet is currently in excess of £300m – equivalent to a UK Top 15 law firm – with members ranging from £2m to £25m turnover. It enables the network to provide LawNet firms with access to the types of resources normally only available in the largest firms. This means that customers benefit from a superior legal service combining local knowledge and personal detail backed by a depth and breadth of expertise comparable with the biggest law firms in the country.

Better connected – network of over 2,000 solicitors
As a LawNet member firm we are part of a network of over 2,000 lawyers across the UK, and with links across Europe through the Eurojuris network. Everyone in the network is committed to sharing expertise, knowledge and best practice – which ensures that you benefit from the experience and resources of not just your solicitor but the entire network.

LawNet does not seek to profit from its members, only to see them grow and be successful in their local market. Visit www.lawnet.co.uk for more information.

Department Name Email Telephone
Client Services clientservices@wolferstans.com 01752 292212