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BLM

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BLM - London
  • Salisbury House
  • London Wall
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2M 5QN
  • Tel:(020) 7638 2811
  • Fax:(020) 7920 0361
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • National Senior Partner Michael Brown
  • Number of partner s 166
  • Other fee-earners 793
  • Total staff 1,300

THE FIRM Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP (BLM) is a leading insurance and dispute resolution law firm specialising in advising insurers, Lloyd’s syndicates, underwriters, MGAs, brokers, corporate policyholders, public sector organisations, professional indemnifiers and other market organisations. The firm’s National Senior Partner, Michael Brown, has 26 years experience in the profession and leads a capable and experienced team of partners and lawyers. BLM’s breadth and depth of expertise in dispute resolution and insurance law is preeminent in these areas and is recognised by clients, competitors and the judiciary. With over 1,300 people and ten offices in the UK and Ireland, the firm promises to deliver clear, concise advice and a stellar service to all of its clients, through building long term partnerships with them. This means putting clients’ interests at the very heart of their process, delivering value for money at every stage to assist in controlling costs and indemnity spend, sharing knowledge and protecting brand and reputation. In addition, BLM is part of an international network of litigation specialists that enables the firm to advise and assist on litigation arising in all EU jurisdictions, Africa, the Middle East, Asia/Pacific and the Americas.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK BLM is instructed on a broad spectrum of legal issues and acts for clients in key sectors such as construction and property, healthcare, leisure and retail, transport and logistics, professional services, education, the public sector, manufacturing and in the London market. The firm also has extensive experience in advising in relation to corporate risks involving regulatory issues, employment, environment, reputation management, intellectual property and commercial litigation. Dispute resolution and insurance law are the firm’s main activities and BLM has an established reputation for its superb record in handling EL/PL and motor liability, fraudulent claims, public sector claims, catastrophic injury, occupational disease, clinical negligence, professional indemnity, D&O, property insurance, contractors’ risks and construction claims, environmental damage, regulatory investigations and prosecutions, reputation management, product liability and product recall. The firm also frequently advises on Judicial Reviews, Coroner’s inquests and safety, health and environment cases and prosecutions.
BLM is relied upon by corporate and public sector clients to deliver contentious and non-contentious legal services in the areas of healthcare law, information law, construction, employment and HR and education. BLM is regularly involved in test cases and high profile litigation on behalf of its clients, including Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Ltd & ors (the first noise induced hearing loss claim to reach the Supreme Court), as well as the Supreme Court case of EL Trigger Litigation whereby BLM acted for policyholders Derby City Council, Middlesbrough Borough Council and AMEC plc (resolving disputes concerning the definition of the ‘trigger’ event in employers’ liability policies relating to mesothelioma claims).
The firm acted for the defendant in the Supreme Court case of Summers v Fairclough Homes, (determining whether a substantially fraudulent personal injury claim could be struck out in its entirety for procedural abuse) and the professional negligence Supreme Court case of Jones v Kaney (in which the court abolished the immunity afforded to expert witnesses from claims for negligence arising out of evidence prepared for the purposes of legal proceedings). The firm takes a high level and active role in ongoing debates and consultations about legal and procedural reforms. BLM’s policy development department engages with Government, the Civil Justice Council, The Law Society, FOIL and other bodies on emerging legal developments.

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance & Indemnity 40%
  • Public Sector 14%
  • Business Services 9%
  • Construction & Property 10%
  • Retail 5%
  • Leisure 5%
  • Media & Technology 4%
  • Transport 5%
  • Healthcare 8%
    Contacts
  • Birmingham Christopher Wiggin
  • Bristol Matthew Harrington
  • Matthew Harrington
  • Leeds Christopher Coughlin
  • Liverpool Rodney Wilson
  • London Jennette Newman
  • Manchester Jonathan Clay
  • Southampton Andrew Hibbert
  • International Jim Sherwood

Branches

  • Salisbury House,
  • London Wall,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2M 5QN
  • Tel (020) 7638 2811
  • Fax (020) 7920 0361
  • DX 33861 Finsbury Sq.
  • Email : info@blm-law.com
  • Website : www.blm-law.com
  • King's House,
  • 42 King Street West,
  • Manchester,
  • Lancashire
  • UK
  • M3 2NU
  • Tel (0161) 236 2002
  • Fax (0161) 832 7956
  • DX 14302 Manchester 1
  • Email : info@blm-law.com
  • Castle Chambers,
  • 43 Castle Street,
  • Liverpool,
  • Merseyside
  • UK
  • L2 9SU
  • Tel (0151) 236 2002
  • Fax (0151) 236 2585
  • DX 14159 Liverpool 1
  • Email : info@blm-law.com

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Handles contentious environment work on behalf of insurers. Represents clients prosecuted by the Environment Agency and defends civil claims, including group actions.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Salau is the lead partner in the practice and, according to sources, he is "the real McCoy" when it comes to environmental litigation. He is particularly noted for his work on nuisance cases and the defence of class actions. Sources say: "He has a very good grasp of the legal issues and a very good grasp of the commercial realities for the clients and the insurers, and he manages to hold them all in balance."

Zita Mansi is an associate in the London environment team. Sources say: "She has good environmental knowledge and she is always quick to get back to us."

Significant clients Viridor, Aviva, Pennon Group, Questgates, XL Insurance.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 44 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for Offers wide-ranging expertise, and is particularly strong on disputes involving property and construction professionals. Also carries out specialist work for unions and local authorities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Berrymans is very responsive. They are very keen people who take care to understand technical issues and provide accurate legal advice."

Clarity: "We can contact them without fear of being treated unfairly or being made to feel inferior when we put forward our own points of view. They have a way of getting things over in plain English."

Notable practitioners  

Charlotte Capstick has "considerable breadth of experience and expertise and superb wisdom and judgement." Described as a highly able lawyer, peers "can't rate her highly enough."

Keith Lonsdale specialises in construction negligence claims and "has a mind like an engineer" which allows him to understand and get to the heart of a matter quickly.

Significant clients Zurich, Savills, RSA, Unison, Avivs.

Professional Negligence - Midlands

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

What the team is known for A strong firm with numerous sector specialisms, solid market presence, and an impressive roster of regional and multinational clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team is excellent in terms of communication. They offer assistance for conference calls, they always deliver, and are pleasant and professional."

Work highlights Represented Craigcrook Management Services in relation to the collapse of a broker that the client had invested funds with.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees say the "highly able" Julian Smart "has established a very convincing market presence." Sources observe that he is "very calm and very clear in terms of thinking and articulating. He is able to summarise, and he deals with issues realistically, telling you the best and the worst outcomes."

Lucy Tolond is particularly active in the financial sector and is increasingly recommended for her expertise in handling claims against emerging professions. A client commented: "I was very impressed by her work; she is highly intelligent and thorough, with good lateral thinking."

Significant clients Zurich Financial Lines, QBE, Allianz, Liberty Mutual, Aviva.

Litigation - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester 

What the team is known for Ably handles high-quality commercial litigation. Noted for particular strength in environmental claims and complex insurance matters.

Notable practitioners

Robert Steele is a key contact here.

Significant clients Zurich, Aviva, Allianz, Ecclesiastical, QBE.

Professional Negligence - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 32 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Predominantly acts for insurers and solicitors, in addition to its work in other professions, including claims stemming from emerging industries.

Work highlights Represented Davisons Solicitors in a delicate fraud-related claim.

Notable practitioners  

Jason Nash is very active in the market and is recognised for his ability to win clients and tackle a variety of cases. He is praised for his "excellent managerial skills" and for leading a "very prominent team."

Significant clients Capita, Aviva, Aspen, Allianz, AXA.

Social Housing - North West

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

What the team is known for Comprehensive services across the gamut of housing management matters. Further expertise in anti-social behaviour, boundary disputes, neighbour trespass and nuisance claims.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team came to me and stuck by me, keeping me calm and comfortable. It really had my best interests at heart."

Market standing: "Berrymans Law Mawer has a compact but effective litigation team working in and around Merseyside."

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Mansfield heads the social housing department at the firm. Described by clients as "quick to respond" and "very customer-focused," she has significant experience in housing management issues.

Significant clients Sheffield City Council, Golden Gates Housing Trust, East Midlands Housing Group, Symphony Group.

Health & Safety - Scotland

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 2 qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for A strong insurance practice, with associated synergies with high-stakes health and safety matters. Represents clients from a range of sectors, including construction, transport and retail, in contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "It has been thoroughly professional and provided excellent client service."

What's new? On 1st May 2014 HBM Sayers combined with Berrymans Lace Mawer to become BLM.

The firm was reappointed to a number of insurance panels, including that of Aviva.

Work highlights Advised Nether Dysart Farms following an injury sustained by a digger operator.

Acted for a transport sector client and its directors on an initial corporate manslaughter investigation.

Notable practitioners 

Department chair John Morrison is well known for road traffic work but also has an active health and safety practice. His key clients include manufacturers and hospitality entities. Clients admire his "very good approach, perspective and excellent knowledge of the subject area."

George Moore QC is a consultant and solicitor advocate who remains respected for his court skills. He advises on matters ranging from insurance litigation to fraud.

Jamie Varney is a younger yet key partner in this field, and acted on the Nether Dysart Farms matter. He calls on years of court experience to advise clients effectively. Clients speak of his "very quick response – he is very concise and efficient in his approach."

Significant clients Aviva, Allianz, QBE.

Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Glasgow

What the team is known for Recognised as a major force in Scotland, this firm deals with high-value cases for insurance firms across the range of defendant litigation, including complex product liability, employers' liability and catastrophic injury claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Clients get a good service – the solicitors there are highly experienced, highly motivated and sensible."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, HBM Sayers combined with Berrymans Lace Mawer to become BLM.

Notable practitioners  

Highly experienced consultant George Moore QC is qualified as a solicitor advocate and QC, and has over 35 years' experience in personal injury matters.

Key partner Karen Dance is described as "a good lawyer with a very sensible outlook – very client-focused." She handles catastrophic claims, and EL/PL matters.

John Morrison deals with a range of cases, with particular expertise in fatal claims and complex, catastrophic RTA work.

David Taylor is a partner and solicitor advocate, with particular expertise in industrial disease matters, especially those involving asbestos-related disease.

Professional Negligence - Scotland

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Acts for professionals across a wide range of industries. Noteworthy expertise in property damage litigation, as well as commercial and insurance disputes.

What's new? On 1st May 2014, HBM Sayers combined with Berrymans Lace Mawer to become BLM.

David Taylor is now head of department.

Notable practitioners  

David Taylor is a key contact.

Clinical Negligence - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations recommended: Cardiff, London, Southampton, Manchester

What the team is known for Acts on a broad range of clinical negligence claims for numerous well-known defence organisations. Noted strength in inquest work, and offers training and workshops to clients in the latest market developments in clinical negligence.

What's new? In May 2013, the firm won a place on the NHS Litigation Authority's clinical liability panel following a competitive tender.

Notable practitioners  

Claire Batchelor is a respected clinical negligence lawyer in the firm's Manchester office. She has recently been active on numerous significant matters such as delayed diagnosis of cancer claims.

Gary Allison heads the department in London and remains an active figure in the clinical negligence market. He has extensive experience in a wide range of healthcare matters.

Vicki Swanton receives wide-ranging positive feedback from interviewees for her clinical negligence practice. Sources state: "She is incredibly hard-working and experienced, and has good judgement."

Sarah Woodwark has acted on an array of substantial defence cases recently, in areas such as delayed diagnosis and surgical negligence.

Significant clients MPS, Dental Protection Society, Royal College of Nursing.

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Acts for the leading consultants in the construction industry as well as some contractors and subcontractors. Experienced in handling high-profile disputes both in the UK and those with an international element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Very keen people who take care to understand technical issues and provide accurate legal advice."  

Notable practitioners  

Keith Lonsdale is "refreshingly open to innovative ways of handling a claim," according to sources. He mainly acts on the supplier side in the full range of construction and engineering-related disputes in both the domestic and international arenas. 

Michael Salau is described as "highly approachable, with a mind like an engineer." He runs a comprehensive construction practice, handling non-contentious matters and all manner of construction-related disputes.

Clients place their trust in Peter Stockill on account of his "well-informed approach, immediate grasp of the issues involved and advice he has given." A newly promoted partner, he acts chiefly for supplier-side clients. 

Guy Lane has particular expertise in intellectual property issues relating to the construction industry, in addition to his strong professional negligence and contract advisory practice. 

Significant clients Griffiths & Armour, Aviva, Arup, Opus International Consultants, Hoare Lea. 

Education - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strong in dispute resolution and litigation, particularly in handling the most sensitive matters. Common concerns handled by the team include academic judgement, equality issues, employment law, clinical matters and freedom of information. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "I feel confident that, whatever the outcome, the very best legal representation was achieved."

Client service: "Regular and detailed updates on the case were provided."

Efficiency: "Personable staff who work well as a team."  

Work highlights Acted for Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine on a breach of contract claim brought by a former student.

Representing the University of the Arts London in sensitive student disciplinary issues. 

Notable practitioners  

Charlotte Capstick and Roy Woollard are key education contacts.

Significant clients King's College London, St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of Leeds, Kent County Council, Drayton Manor High School Academy Trust. 

Health & Safety - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 15 partners
- 17 qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A geographically dispersed team working from offices in many regional centres as well as London. The practice has a sound footing derived from the firm's respected insurance client base, although it also defends companies and third sector organisations.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "It is proactive and has a great understanding of the issues at stake."

Market standing: "It has an intense volume of high-quality work. The whole team at BLM is excellent."

Work highlights Successfully defended Malden Plumbing & Heating in a high-profile Old Bailey prosecution following a death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Acted for Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and Zurich in connection with the death of two fire fighters in a tower block fire.

Notable practitioners 

Jennette Newman wins plaudits for her keen service ethos, with sources describing her as "great with clients." She also stands out for her experience and legal know-how, with one source noting that "she was spot-on with her interpretation of the regulations." She has provided advice in connection with the inquest into the Lakanal House fire.

Jonathan Edwards has an impressive profile for advising on police investigations and inquests. His key clients include Princes Sporting Club.  

Matthew Harrington is a key partner based in Cardiff. His practice includes occupational injury and disease work as well as broader health and safety counselling. Clients are consistently delighted with his service, describing him as "a vastly experienced lawyer who provides a high level of service and has great understanding of all the issues in any given case." He advised Tata Steel following an instance of an employee suffering fatal burns.

Significant clients Aviva, Yusen Logistics, Wolseley, Dairy Crest, South West Care Homes.

Insurance - UK-wide

What the team is known for Strong national presence, with an established London office. Highly proficient in high-value property claims and other complex coverage issues, including professional indemnity, disease and motor claims. Acts for insurers, underwriters, brokers and Lloyd's syndicates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They always go above and beyond. If I have any issues, they step into the breach at short notice."

Bench strength: "They have a plethora of smart, up-to-date lawyers who always offer an excellent service."

Notable practitioners  

Catherine Hawkins focuses her practice on property damage and related insurance litigation. Sources are quick to praise her, with one stating: "She has a reputation which is well deserved. She does the whole range of property matters.

Significant clients Ageas, Zurich, Allianz, QBE, RSA.

Personal Injury - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 101 partners
- 373 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton, Leeds

What the team is known for Widely recognised as a major force in the field of defendant personal injury, occupying an enviable market position in terms of nationwide coverage and client base. Offers a comprehensive defendant personal injury service, providing a wealth of specialist expertise in areas including catastrophic injury work, industrial disease, equine claims, and cases relating to abuse.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "Their responses are appropriate, progressive and helpful."

Technical ability: "They know their stuff and they're not afraid of a fight."

What's new? Nick Rogers joined the Southampton office as a partner.

Notable practitioners  

Manchester-based Roger Brooks is known for his specialism in catastrophic injury claims, handling cases including brain and spinal injury, and amputations. Sources highlight his "technical expertise, commercial acumen and practicality."

In the Southampton office, Andrew Hibbert is adept in dealing with catastrophic claims arising from RTAs and sports-related injuries, as well as claims for severe psychiatric injuries. Sources describe him as "very logical and sensible to deal with," and a "really impressive opponent."

Nicholas Pargeter is a recognised specialist in industrial and occupational disease claims based in the London office. Sources note that "he's on top of the disease market."

Sources note Jennette Newman's expertise and reputation for "top-end work." Based in the London office, she handles major catastrophic and psychiatric injury claims, and has particular experience in those relating to employers' liability.

Jenny Moates heads the London office's catastrophic injury team and is described by sources as "very high quality. She really can add value to cases – she thinks about them very carefully and gives good instructions."

London-based partner Michael Pether is experienced across a range of complex areas of personal injury litigation, including catastrophic injury and disease. He is particularly noted as a specialist in defending abuse claims.

Based in the Liverpool office, David Evans handles a variety of serious and catastrophic injury claims, specialising particularly in cases involving public or employers' liability and those with an element of fraud.

Operating out of the Leeds office, Christopher Gannon is recognised for his extensive experience in claims involving industrial disease, particularly those relating to asbestos exposure.

Southampton-based partner Michael Renshaw is known for his deft handling of high-value catastrophic injury claims, including cases involving spinal cord and brain injuries, and amputations. He is particularly experienced in claims arising from RTAs.

Henry Bermingham operates out of the Birmingham office and is known for his ability in a range of particularly complex areas of personal injury work, including high-profile disease litigation, claims involving psychiatric injury, and cases relating to abuse.

Valerie Jones is a partner in the Manchester office focusing on claims for psychiatric injuries. She is also highly experienced in catastrophic brain injury claims and cases involving disease work.

London-based national senior partner Terry Renouf receives widespread acclaim for the depth of his experience throughout the personal injury sphere. He handles cases across the spectrum of complex personal injury claims, particularly those relating to disease. 

In the Birmingham office, Stephen Hazelton concentrates his practice on serious and catastrophic claims. Sources describe him as a "sharp lawyer; we've had some extremely good successes due to his tenacity and ability to spot the interesting points of law. He's fantastic for the client."

Significant clients Aviva, Barclays, Corporation of London, Gallagher Bassett, Zurich.

Police Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department:
- 6 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London, Liverpool. 

What the team is known for A long-established reputation working for police forces across England and North Wales. Areas of focus include insurance and protests work as well as day-to-day civil actions defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services:"They have an impressive breadth of experience and are very aware of what is going on in other forces. They employ many specialists so you can get someone with the knowledge you need in very specific areas."

Technical ability: "On high-profile demonstrations work they know how to manage the media side of things."

Work highlights Advised Bedfordshire Police in relation to proceedings brought against it following a quashed murder conviction in the Court of Appeal.

Represented the City of London Police in claims brought by eight protesters relating to the G20 riots in April 2009.

Notable practitioners  

David Hill is described by one client as "first-class and a thoroughly safe pair of hands. He is immensely knowledgeable and very well prepared." Areas of expertise include police disciplinary work and regulatory matters.

Orla Scanlan is a key partner in the team and clients praise her ability to handle the "high-profile and complex cases with considerable protests experience." Clients include the Chief Constable of Kent Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Jim Sherwood is an expert in professional indemnity work, and is described as someone who "can tackle issues of complexity and the really cutting-edge claims."

Significant clients City of London Police, North Wales Police, Zurich, Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Product Liability - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Continues to act for an array of insurer clients and their insureds. Expertise spans many different sectors, including healthcare, property and retail.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I find it to be a competent, well-managed and friendly firm to deal with."

What's new? The firm gained a raft of new clients, including Chartis, HDI Gerling, Maclaren and Sunseeker International.

Work highlights Acted for Transform Medical Group on the high-profile PIP breast implant litigation, representing two clinics that supplied the implants, as well as their insurers.

Acted for Thompson & Morgan and its insurers Aviva on claims relating to an E. coli outbreak in France allegedly caused by fenugreek sprouts imported from Egypt by the client.

Notable practitioners 

Jim Sherwood is a key contact here.

Significant clients Zurich Global, Direct Line Group, QBE, Travelers, AXA.

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Manchester, London, Cardiff, Southampton

What the team is known for One of the largest teams in the market. Offers expertise within the healthcare sector. Handles both disciplinary and regulatory work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "We really trust the work they do and they bring a lot of specialist skills from the healthcare perspective."

Efficiency: "They work very closely together and share knowledge, which is good for us and our members."

Client service: "They are very willing and very professional in their approach, and members like them."

What's new? New client wins include NHS Wales. 

Notable practitioners  

Vicki Swanton is a key practitioner for medical organisations and insurers, and is noted for her ability to handle large General Medical Council (GMC) and General Dental Council (GDC) matters. Sources say she possesses "the knowledge and experience to deal with both regulatory and civil cases."

The "dynamic" Clare Chapman is acclaimed for her regulatory knowledge and is rated highly by her peers. Clients characterise her as "excellent," saying she is "easily contactable, providing timely responses with detailed and accurate advice."

Mark Shaw has extensive experience in appearing before the GDC and General Optical Council (GOC). Clients praise his "good legal mind" as well as his responsiveness, and trust him to act on their more complex cases.

London office senior partner Gary Allison is a celebrated practitioner in the field, and is highly regarded for his breadth of knowledge within healthcare.

Cardiff-based Jane Lang is praised for her local knowledge and her reputation with health boards. "I can't fault her," said one client; "she is absolutely superb. She is fantastic with members. She takes on discipline cases with trusts and she won't let go of issues – she won't let them get away with anything."

Juliette Mellman-Jones is commended for running such a successful team, and is very experienced in handling both claims and regulatory work. Sources say she "is hard-working, sees it all and cuts to the point."

Rosie Shapiro appears frequently in fitness to practise hearings at the GMC and GOC. Clients say she is "meticulous," with "a good eye for spotting what's important."

Michael Brown is a senior partner with a wealth of experience in the field, and is highly regarded by defence organisations. Clients say: "Nationally, he is very impressive. He's down-to-earth and gets straight to the point with clients. He doesn't beat about the bush, which is extremely helpful."

Katie Costello is frequently involved with more complex and difficult cases on behalf of the defence organisations.

Rachel Margetts handles high-value healthcare cases and is highly praised for her GMC inquest work. Market sources say: "She is insightful. She picks up on the nuances and knows what can be contested and what cannot."

Associate Judith Duffin handles both regulatory and disciplinary healthcare cases and disputes involving primary care trusts. Clients say she is "very good analytically," and are impressed with her work on complex cases.

Associate Laura Smith is recognised for her regulatory work and client management skills. In the words of one client: "She is excellent – she's responsive and gives sound advice that is reliable."

Associate Andrew Truby is astute in dealing with GMC issues. He is considered to be a strong litigator.  

Significant clients Medical Protection Society, Dental Protection, SMAE Institute, HealthTrust Europe, Ultralese.

Travel - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Manages claims at pre-litigation stage. Defends insurers' clients in package holiday claims and obtains recoveries from suppliers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team is very good. We don't have to chase the lawyers, which is great."

What's new? Appointed by InterContinental Hotels Group to advise on all international work, including package travel regulations and personal injury. 

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Ford heads the practice. Clients say: "He's very insightful and proactive. He's very clear, concise and he gets to the root of the problem."

Significant clients Olympic Holidays, lastminute.com, InterContinental Hotels Group, If P & C, Howell Wild.

Personal Injury - Wales

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong expertise across a broad range of claims including psychiatric injury, catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, and cases involving industrial disease. Represents defendants in Wales and across the UK, forming part of the firm's formidable nationwide personal injury practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They're very approachable, knowledgeable, pragmatic and sensible – they stand out as the best."

Work highlights Represented Caerphilly Borough Council in a successful defence against a claim where it was found that there was a prior fracture to the claimant's femur before a fall in the street.

Notable practitioners

Senior partner Matthew Harrington is highly regarded for his handling of a variety of claims, including severe psychiatric and catastrophic injury work. Sources note that he is "commercially brilliant" and "provides excellent advice for high-value injury and disease cases."

Kerris Dale is known for her expertise in a broad range of catastrophic injury work, including severe brain injuries arising from RTAs. She is acclaimed in particular for her ability to deal with complex issues concerning liability and quantum.

Simon Cradick handles a range of catastrophic injury cases, psychiatric injury claims and complex industrial disease work. He joined the firm from Morgan Cole where he led the case for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and AXA.

Significant clients Aviva, Zurich, Cunningham Lindsey, ECIC, Caerphilly County Borough Council.