Firm Profile > DAC Beachcroft LLP > Leeds, England

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP's well established clinical negligence team has a firm grip on its position at the top of the market, acting for both public and private clients including blue chip insurers and an array of NHS trusts. Leeds clinical negligence head Paul Taylor's talent in catastrophic injury work, especially spinal and birth injury claims, is universally recognised. He leads the department with the equally highly regarded Sean Doherty, who also has experience of complex metal hip claims. As well as high-profile national work, the practice also advises a regional client base on matters relating to patient safety, risk management and governance.


‘This team has unique and complete expertise in NHS hip claims, especially those arising from failed ‘metal-on-metal’ implants.’

‘Excellent lawyers, all of whom are experts in the field, very approachable and easy to work with.’

‘Great ability to understand our needs and to work collaboratively towards just and fair outcomes.’

‘They provide a thorough review of the risk of litigation and the strengths and weaknesses of a claim. They keep us fully informed.’

‘Sean Doherty runs the team with military efficiency. He is incredibly hardworking and committed to getting the best results. Nicola Perrott is absolutely in control of her cases and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the field. Mikaler Cutts has the same work ethic and excellent grasp of the work.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

MDU and Dental Defence Union Ltd

NHS England

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Digital

Health Tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP's public law and health projects team handles the full spectrum of health work with notable expertise in care systems, partnerships, policy development, procurement matters and integrated services contracts. The group is also highly regarded for its mental health advice to public and private sector clients, and works closely with the real estate team to assist with property portfolio management and property purchases. Team head Charlotte Burnett advises on commercial, integration and primary care issues; healthcare regulatory team head Tracey Longfield handles criminal, health and safety and regulatory work; Sean Doherty is the key contact for clinical negligence matters, Peter Merchant handles mental health work, and James Rhodes focuses on employment issues.


DAC Beachcroft fields a strong personable team, which is able to respond to a broad range of questions and concerns. It has a good ability to quickly understand the context of the issue and provide relevant and timely advice‘.

The group has expert knowledge of mental health related issues, fields friendly individuals, and provides easy-to-understand advice‘.

Peter Merchant has a wealth of experience and knowledge. He is always thorough to ensure that the best representation is provided and comes up with innovative ways to consider cases‘.

Key clients

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust


NHS North Kirklees and NHS Huddersfield CCG

NHS Wakefield CCG

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Health Research Agency

Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Harrogate NHS Foundation Trust


Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England)

NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG

NHS Calderdale CCG


Babylon Healthcare Services

City Health Care Partnership CIC

Health and safety Tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP's safety health and environment practice is noted for its impressive client roster of top insurers; it also assists private corporates with a range of health and safety matters. The groups also acts in a range of investigations, and has substantial expertise in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, leisure, rail and transport sectors. Practice head Chris Baranowski focuses primarily on corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigations, Tracey Longfield is a key name for healthcare sector clients, and Matthew Breakell assists a range of companies from SMEs to large corporates.


DAC Beachcroft LLP boasts an insurance-focused but particularly strong health and safety team based in Leeds.

The health and safety team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has strong depth of talent and resources, covers a wide geographical area and has good legal and market awareness.

DAC Beachcroft LLP‘s health and safety team provides clear and concise updates and deals with client’s questions in a thoughtful, precise manner.

Practice head Chris Baranowski is very client focused, has an excellent unflappable manner and is very popular with clients.

Associate Matthew Breakell is a very shrewd operator with an excellent depth of knowledge of the law and very good client skills.

Associate Matthew Breakell impresses clients with the clear and sympathetic way that he guides them through the whole process, and invokes confidence that they are in good hands.

Key clients

Aviva Insurance

AXA Insurance

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Zurich Insurance

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Dimensions UK Ltd

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Henderson Insurance Brokers

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a large and evolving presence in Leeds, with heavy volumes of work and a breadth of expertise marking it out as a top player in the regional market. The firm undertakes work across the whole spectrum, from severe and catastrophic injuries to motor cases, as well as claims in emerging areas such as accidents involving animals, amputations and chronic pain. The latter is an area of expertise for Andrea Drew, who was promoted to partner in mid-2018. Catastrophic injury specialist Owen Rees left to join DWF later in the year.

Key clients

Allianz Insurance

Aviva Insurance

AXA Insurance



NHS Resolution

Zurich Insurance

Professional negligence: defendant Tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP's North East and Yorkshire professional and financial risks team, which is split across Leeds and Newcastle, acts for all of the major UK PI insurers, as well as financial institutions, construction companies and major players in the property world. Duncan Greenwood specialises in claims against property professionals, solicitors and insurance brokers, while fellow Leeds partner Suzanne Wharton  focuses on high value complex claims against solicitors and financial services professionals.


‘The firm knows what we want and delivers on it. Great subject knowledge.’

‘Excellent client relationships. Legally proficient yet realistic and commercial. Great strength in depth.’

‘A disciplined, honest and very experienced team; very perceptive and commercially astute.’

Key clients

Zurich Professional & Financial Lines

Markel (UK) Limited

Travelers Insurance Company

International Insurance Company of Hannover SE

QBE European Operations FSM

Countrywide Plc


CNA Hardy

Manchester Underwriting Management / IGI


MS Amlin

Tokio Marine HCC

Global Risk Partners

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

The employment team in DAC Beachcroft LLP's Leeds office is one of the largest specialist employment team in the region. The team works with a range of independent health providers - a key area of expertise for the firm - as well as many other household name commercial clients, which it advises on matters including restructurings, complex litigation and industrial relations. Louise Bloomfield, who heads up the practice, advises major corporates including McDonald's, for which the firm acts as sole adviser for all of its employment and immigration issues in the UK. James Rhodes leads on the firm's healthcare sector work, advising on matters including TUPE, senior exits and complex litigation.


‘The team has a good blend of skills and personalities- they are not pushy and I feel they are customer focused in a genuine way.

‘The firm is at par with any other city firm including the ones I have dealt with before in my previous employment. They are professional and have a client-centric service focus.’

Key clients

BT plc

McDonald’s Restaurants Limited


Care UK

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Arcadia Group Ltd

HSS Hire

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dixons Carphone

Royal Mail

IT and telecoms Tier 2

The TMT team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is highlighted for its public sector, healthtech and fintech expertise; it acts for significant healthcare clients on a range of procurement transactions, contracts and disputes, and for financial services providers on large IT projects. The group also counts several telecoms suppliers among its client roster, which it assists with bids to clients in the public sector. Team head Michael Peeters has broad technology, IT and telecoms experience, while Richard Watkinson focuses on national and international systems integration, procurement and outsourcing technology projects. Legal director Emilie Yates is another name to note for IT transactions, particularly for financial services clients. The team benefits from the addition of telecoms expert Luke Maidens, who joined from Shulmans LLP.


DAC Beachcroft LLP is a key name to note for public sector IT work.

Michael Peeters is highly regarded in the region for IT work.

Key clients

NHS Digital

City Hospitals Sunderland


British Business Bank plc

Department of Health and Social Care

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Zurich Insurance plc

Lowell Group

Yorkshire Building Society

Transport for Greater Manchester

Construction Tier 3

With substantial expertise in contentious work and construction-related insurance claims, DAC Beachcroft LLP focuses on the engineering, design and build sectors and counts contractors, architects, engineers and insurers as clients. 'Class actAndrew Marsh leads the team and also heads up the firm's national construction professionals group. Senior associate Laura Clayburn, whose 'technical knowledge is second to none', is another key name to note.


The team at DAC Beachcroft is knowledgeable and approachable in equal measure‘.

The practice is pragmatic and professional. It provides the right answer and the right advice which at times may not be what the client wants to hear. It knows the law and what makes a good case and encourages client engagement to ensure that the best possible position is tested‘.

DAC receives top marks for its preparation of position statements, mediation advocacy and generally looking after the client’s interests‘.

Both Andrew March and Laura Clayburn are experts in their fields. Laura’s technical knowledge is second to none. The speed with which she acquires a deep understanding of the underlying issues in a claim is truly impressive‘.

Andrew and Laura know their work and know the market. They are a fantastic team and work together to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved. Their advice is clear, concise and to the point. Everything is done in an easy and friendly way but smacks of nothing but professionalism‘.

Andrew Marsh has a relaxed but firm style of advocacy, is receptive to ideas put forward to enable progress, and is altogether a class act‘.

Local government Tier 3

DAC Beachcroft LLP's national public law group handles a wide range of matters including constitutional and governance issues, regulatory matters, real estate work, health mandates and finance issues. Senior associate Ioan Davies is the key contact in the Leeds office and handles work including PFI and PPP schemes.

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 5

The corporate and commercial litigation team at DAC Beachcroft LLP handles dispute resolution as well as providing risk management advice to its clients, which are predominantly in the healthcare and local authority sectors. Duncan Greenwood heads the practice from Leeds and frequently works alongside the firm's other offices in the North.

Key clients

Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Lynne Young Associates Limited

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Fullers Foods International plc

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Ascribe Limited (part of Emis Group PLC)

Chesterfield Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 5

DAC Beachcroft LLP's real estate team undertakes a variety of commercial property matters, including acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold properties for private and public sector clients. Alison Key leads the firm's northern real estate team.

DAC Beachcroft is a leading international legal business of more than 2,500 people across offices in the UK, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. The firm has one of the most comprehensive legal networks, operating from ten UK locations: Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport and Winchester. Its purpose is to help clients and colleagues succeed, creating sustainable value. The firm is passionate about being a responsible business, doing the right thing for clients, colleagues and the community.

The firm: DAC Beachcroft’s teams of legal experts work across a range of market sectors for international, institutional, private and government clients. The firm combines in-depth sector knowledge with astute commercial awareness and global reach, providing clients with a comprehensive advisory, claims, dispute resolution, regulatory and transactional capability.

The firm is proud to be a founding member of Legalign Global, a closely integrated alliance of four laws firms focused on the requirements of the international insurance market, operating from Australia and New Zealand, Germany, the USA, as well as the UK. The member firms are best in class in their regions and each enjoys a well-earned reputation in insurance law. The firm collaborates closely to provide the industry with uniformly high levels of service, quality and efficiency around the world.

DAC Beachcroft is best known for its market-leading advice in health, insurance and real estate, and has a growing corporate and commercial practice, which serves these sectors as well as a range of others, including construction, financial services, retail, telecoms, technology and utilities.

Types of work undertaken: DAC Beachcroft’s services include:

    • Banking and finance
    • Commercial
    • Competition and procurement
    • Data & privacy
    • Governance
    • Intellectual property
    • Outsourcing
    • Corporate
    • Dispute resolution
    • Employment & pensions
    • Public law
    • Regulatory
    • Tax
Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Virginia Clegg
Managing partner David Pollitt
Claims solutions Craig Dickson
Commercial John Williams
Corporate John Williams
Competition and regulatory Mathew Rutter
Competition and regulatory Stephen Hocking
Dispute resolution John Bramhall
Employment and pensions Alex Lock
Finance Steven Ramsden
Global Wendy Hopkins
Healthcare and clinical risk Nigel Montgomery
Public Stephen Hocking
Tax John Dunlop
Insurance Helen Faulkner
Real estate Michael Bothamley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Chris Baranowski  photo Chris Baranowski
 Sean Doherty  photo Sean Doherty
 Vicki Hilton  photo Vicki Hilton
 Lesley Hughes  photo Lesley Hughes
 Tracey Longfield  photo Tracey Longfield
 Andrew Marsh  photo Andrew Marsh
 Peter Merchant  photo Peter Merchant
 Michael Peeters  photo Michael Peeters
 Will Potts  photo Will Potts
 James Rhodes  photo James Rhodes
 Paul Taylor  photo Paul Taylor
 Suzanne Wharton  photo Suzanne Wharton
 Ruth Winterbottom  photo Ruth Winterbottom
Number of UK partners : 277
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1,978