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Leigh Day


Leigh Day - London
  • Priory House
  • 25 St John's Lane
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1M 4LB
  • Senior Partner Martyn Day
  • Managing Partner Frances Swaine
  • Partners 31
  • Assistants  84
  • Number of other UK fee-earners  89
  • Total number of fee-earners  204

The Firm Leigh Day is a leading human rights and personal injury claimant firm based in London. Leigh Day specialises in many aspects of national and international personal injury and accident work, human rights, clinical negligence and multi-party actions. Lawyers at Leigh Day are committed to offering an exceptionally high-quality service to all clients. The firm was set up by Sarah Leigh OBE and Martyn Day in June 1987 to represent individual claimants and their families. This remains the firm’s core value as it continues to grow across all departments. In 2014 Leigh Day opened a new office in Manchester, providing a service for clients referred by British Cycling, which will form the basis for future growth of the firm.

Principal Areas of Work
Accident & Personal Injury: The firm deals with a full range of personal injury claims, including road traffic accidents, accidents at work and transport disasters. The firm has specialist legal expertise in injuries to sportsmen, in particular cyclists and actions against the MoD, asbestos-related disease and latex allergies.
Administrative & Public: This department undertakes a large number of high profile judicial reviews of decisions taken by public bodies. Its clients include individuals, non-governmental groups and objectors to local authority decisions.
Clinical Negligence: The firm has a leading and excellent reputation for specialist clinical negligence work, concentrating on cases involving serious disabilities and death.
Employment: The Employment and Discrimination department is made up of recognised leading experts in employment, equal pay and discrimination law. The firm is a member of the Equality and Human Rights litigation panel and only provide specialist advice and representation to employees and individuals.
Environment: The firm is at the cutting edge of environmental law, specialising in claims as a result of exposure to pollution (radiation, chemicals, pesticides, sewage in the sea) together with industrial disease and nuisance claims.
Healthcare: Healthcare is a specialist focus within human rights. The team has an outstanding reputation for its work on medical ethical issues and ‘best interests’ cases. The firm often challenges decisions made by health service bodies, including NHS trusts and the GMC, and has been ground-breaking in its consideration of the impact of human rights on health and social care law.
Human Rights: The Human Rights Department offers expertise in areas where human rights are of growing importance, such as health and community care, medical ethics, special needs education, child abuse, nuisance, confidentiality and planning.
Multi-party Actions: Under Martyn Day, the firm has pioneered legal developments in multi-party cases on behalf of claimants in the UK and overseas. Issues include asbestos-related disease, claims against the Ministry of Defence, the disposal of toxic waste, the involvement of the British army in the Mau Mau uprising and more recently, with Iraqi interpreters.
Product Liability: Leigh Day has extensive experience in handling product liability cases, many of which are undertaken as class actions. Leigh Day is currently the lead firm on failed hip replacement components. The firm has been concerned with products such as medical devices, latex and pharmaceutical products.

  • Accident & PI Sally Moore
  • Administrative Richard Stein
  • Clinical Negligence Russell Levy
  • Education Alison Miller
  • Employment Discriminatiion Chris Benson
  • Environment Martyn Day
  • Healthcare Frances Swaine
  • Human Rights Sean Humber
  • Multi-party Actions Martyn Day
  • Product Liability Martyn Day, Boz Michalowska Howells


Clinical Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 1 consultant
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Long-standing experience in handling the full spectrum of high-value, complex clinical negligence claims for individuals. Specialisms include birth injuries, misdiagnosis and negligent surgery claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They understand the issues - what's relevant to win a claim - and they've got people who really know the game. I know they go the extra mile and really do try their very utmost for their clients."

"I was really pleased that we found Leigh Day. They're a marvellous firm. For anything to do with medical negligence, I would definitely say don't look any further - this firm will look after you."

Notable practitioners  

Claire Fazan is singled out as a "class act" and commands praise from all sides, with one market source stating: "If I had a claim, that's where I'd want it to go." Fazan is noted for her wealth of experience in handling neurological injury claims. 

Henry Dyson's areas of focus include cardiology and neurosurgery claims. One satisfied client states: "He was very patient and calming, and I believed in him," while peers note that he is "somebody you can have a dialogue with."

Olive Lewin "goes above and beyond the call of duty," according to sources. She is commended for the medical expertise that she brings to bear in a broad range of clinical negligence matters, including cauda equina, cerebral palsy and birth injury cases.

Nicola Wainwright has far-reaching experience in the area of clinical negligence, extending from infectious diseases and delayed diagnosis through to the representation of bereaved families at inquests. "She's a great fighter but she also displays great empathy with her clients," one commentator observes.

Department head Russell Levy is described by peers as an "exceptional lawyer." He has vast experience in representing claimants in connection with a variety of clinical negligence matters, including brain, spinal and birth injury claims.

Anne Winyard "remains absolutely pre-eminent as a clinical negligence litigator." Clients appreciate her resoluteness and determination, as well as her empathy. One source states: "She was utterly brilliant. She was able to offer sensible, clever advice to protect us and ensure we got the best possible settlement."

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Leads the market in discrimination cases, working on numerous matters at the appellate level. Often handles cases with a national profile.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced, and utterly committed to the case."

"They have unparalleled experience running mass cases."

Work highlights Acted for Katie Tantum in her partially successful sex discrimination claim against City law firm Travers Smith.

Acted on a group claim against Sports Direct over the use of zero-hour contracts.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Benson is "not only reassuringly knowledgeable but genuinely engaged and committed to my case," reports an impressed client. He has additional strength in trade union work and discrimination claims.

Significant clients GMB, Unison.

Personal Injury - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for spearheading multi-jurisdictional group claims involving the violation of human rights in a range of countries. Demonstrates strength in industrial disease and catastrophic injury, including complex brain, spinal and fatal accident claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide high-quality legal advice, are experienced in dealing with legally and factually complex cases, and are committed to their clients' needs." 

"Highly professional, competent and caring." 

What's new? New client wins include Condor Cycles.

Work highlights Counsel to two seriously injured soldiers and a widow of a soldier killed during a friendly fire incident in Iraq.

Advised a group of miners on an industrial disease action relating to silicosis and silico-tubercolisis caused by exposure to dust.

Notable practitioners  

Martyn Day is renowned for his cutting-edge work in the personal injury field, advising on torture claims on behalf of victims in Kenya. He is praised as "a tenacious fighter for his client's cause" and " a pioneer."

Sally Moore remains one of the firm's leading catastrophic injury solicitors. She places a strong emphasis on rehabilitation and is praised for her client care: "She understands the realities of her clients' lives, can clearly explain complex issues and is a sensible negotiator." In addition, she is "a force to be reckoned with – she commands respect in the profession."

Sapna Malik is sought after for her experience in foreign unlawful detention and treatment claims. Commentators say she has "an exceptionally keen legal mind and a very strong strategic instinct."

Industrial disease specialist Daniel Easton devotes a significant portion of his practice to asbestos claims. According to sources, he has a "reassuring and determined competence, and is very efficient." 

Penny Knight has extensive experience in handling cycle and other sports-related claims, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Sources say she "is empathetic and really understands what drives claimants."

Harminder Bains has a broad practice that covers asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as well as claims arising from catastrophic injuries. She is described as "extremely dedicated and persistent."

Significant clients British Cycling Federation, British Triathlon Federation.

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 10 other lawyers

What the team is known for Offers high-quality representation and advice to individuals, charities and NGOs across the full span of public law issues. Outstanding expertise in a number of areas, including health and social care, prisoners' rights and matters connected to terrorism legislation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have extraordinary insight and the ability to identify novel and creative challenges arising out of human rights crises."

"I was particularly happy with their client skills: they were very friendly and didn't talk in jargon."

Work highlights Acted for Lindsay Sandiford in her challenge to the decision of the Secretary of State to provide legal funding for her fight against her death sentence in Indonesia.

Represented an intervening coalition of media and free-speech interests in the Miranda case in the Supreme Court, addressing the ambit of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Stein enjoys an outstanding reputation in public law, with great experience in bringing judicial reviews relating to education, human rights, healthcare and hospital closures. Sources describe him as "an extremely creative public lawyer" who combines "an unwaning passion with a very sophisticated approach."

Clients report that Rosa Curling is "incredibly hard-working, bright, and shows a legal acumen well beyond what you'd associate with someone of her experience." She maintains a broad practice in public law, acting in domestic and international matters touching on terrorism, health, education and detention.

Jamie Beagent focuses his practice on public law challenges relating to immigration, unlawful detention, environmental and housing issues. Peers and clients both are effusive in their praise, describing him as "an absolute star. He is so good tactically and is at the top of his game." 

Sean Humber heads the human rights department at the firm, and has particular expertise in prison law, and issues arising in the environmental and discrimination spheres. Sources compliment his strategic insight, saying that "from day one of a case, he sees the end of it." 

Significant clients Reprieve, Article 19, UK Uncut, Redress, Global Witness.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly instructed in major domestic and international cases involving deaths in custody, unlawful detention and torture. Well versed in claims involving discrimination and healthcare. Pre-eminent inquests practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"An outstanding firm both in terms of the work they do and also in the way they do it. They properly put the clients' interests first."

"They are absolutely top quality in terms of attention to detail. They prepare to a really high level."

Work highlights Acted on an inquest into the death of a ranger in the Royal Irish Regiment during a training exercise in Pembrokeshire. The inquest resulted in a verdict of unlawful killing.

Acted for a Yemeni human rights activist on a challenge to his Schedule 7 detention at Gatwick airport.

Notable practitioners  

Jamie Beagent's practice incorporates formidable strength in unlawful detention and immigration-related work. Sources say he is "very experienced, strategic and bright."

Benjamin Burrows receives frequent instruction in a wide range of prison law work, including cases involving healthcare and unlawful detention. "He's very determined, he knows the law extremely well, he's procedurally very shrewd and experienced, and he's got very good judgement," say interviewees.

Sources report that Sean Humber is "hugely skilled tactically, and his strategic ability is excellent. From day one of a case he sees the end of it." His expertise covers the full range of prison law, including cases relating to healthcare.

Richard Stein is experienced in discrimination, right to die and political protest cases. He is also instructed in high-profile claims involving the military and international law. Sources comment that "he's obviously extremely experienced and he often pulls the clever card out of the pack."

Managing partner Frances Swaine has extensive experience in cases involving abuse, mental health and social care. She is well versed in representing bereaved families in inquests.

Rosa Curling handles cases involving international law, healthcare and the death penalty. Sources say she "is fantastically bright and brilliant at presenting cases, and demonstrates incredible organisation of the caseload."

Alison Millar maintains an impressive reputation for her skill in cases involving healthcare. She is also well versed in claims relating to social care, abuse and discrimination, receiving frequent instruction in high-profile inquests.

Merry Varney has notable experience in healthcare and discrimination issues. She regularly represents bereaved families in inquests.

Education - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Well versed in education law, particularly in advising clients on challenges to the decisions of education providers and disability and religious discrimination matters. Experienced in appearing before the SEND tribunal and associated appeals.

Notable practitioners  

Alison Millar is praised by sources for her diligence in looking after the rights of her clients, with one individual describing her skill in this field as "a real asset." Her areas of expertise include SEN appeals, discrimination claims and human rights matters.

Significant clients British Humanist Association, Anti-Academies Alliance, Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign.

Environment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Purely claimant-focused practice with expertise on a wide range of environmental matters including domestic and international claims. Recommended for difficult and precedent-setting cases. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They will surmount whatever obstacles they come across." 

"They are a force to be reckoned with." 

Notable practitioners  

Senior partner Martyn Day "is absolutely at the forefront of international environment claims," sources say. He is head of the firm's environmental class action group and is recognised for his considerable experience in acting on high-profile and controversial cases. He receives emphatic praise from interviewees, who describe him as "a brilliant, strategic operator who has seen it all. He will fight anything if it is right to do so - a case you think you can't possibly win, he does."

Richard Stein frequently acts for campaigning and community groups on a range of environmental matters. 

Daniel Leader "is a brilliant solicitor with a first-class legal mind" and "goes the extra mile for his clients," sources say. He has particular skill acting for group claimants in developing countries.

Richard Meeran "takes a really international approach" and is "a very effective litigator," market sources report. He is well respected for his work on a number of high-profile cases.

Personal Injury - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Formidable expertise in a range of work across the sector coupled with a notable track record handling international claims and multiparty litigation. Experienced in areas including occupational stress, mesothelioma and carcinoma.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their performance is excellent. They're very efficient and knowledgeable, and they get good results. They're one of the best in the field."

"They caring and they provide a very good service - very happy with them."

Notable practitioners 

Daniel Easton heads the industrial disease department and is a key contact.

Product Liability - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Has taken a leading role in a series of marquee cases in contention of late on behalf of claimants. Offers particular strength in matters relating to medical devices, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and consumer cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"My overall impression of the firm is that they are professional, informed and compassionate at all times. They take time to listen and understand what I am trying to put over."

"They are very intelligent, assiduous and well resourced, and they will push forward litigation, striking the right balance between being aggressive when needed, while at the same time being mindful of the overall strategy."

Work highlights Acting for more than 500 clients who, following DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip component implants, have undergone early revision.

Representing the families of six individuals who were killed by house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning allegedly caused by Beko products that were recalled.

Notable practitioners  

Market commentators praise Bozena Michalowska Howells as "a legend of the product liability world." She is renowned as an active and hands-on leader of the biggest medical device and pharmaceutical litigations.

Senior partner Martyn Day is highly respected for his international corporate accountability and product liability practice. An interviewee said: "He is one of the most senior group action lawyers in the country – a fighter of difficult cases who has achieved some amazing results."

Michelle Victor focuses her practice on medical device and cosmetic claims. Sources say: "She combines knowledge of personal injury with her product liability skills, so can think in terms of maximising damages as well as thinking of the product liability issues of a particular product."