For and against in injury claim cases

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The Sheffield offices of law firms Irwin Mitchell and DLA Piper lead the way when it comes to personal injury claims.

But, while Irwin Mitchell heads the rankings when it comes to representing claimants, DLA Piper is pre-eminent for defending insurers against bogus bids to secure cash.

Irwin Mitchell is noted for its experience handling spinal and brain injury claims and its Sheffield practice, led by Adrian Budgen, includes a specialist armed forces injury team and advised on asbestos and road traffic claims during the past year.

DLA Piper, on the other hand, is known for providing a high level of advice on risk and liability.

The team, lead by Alan Dury and including Alison Moss and Tracey Hulme, has an impressive roster of clients that includes Barclays, Deloitte, Zurich and Yorkshire Water, says the Legal 500.

The Sheffield offices of two firms - Kennedys and Nabarro – secure equal ranking behind DLA Piper for firms outside West Yorkshire that handle personal injury claims on behalf of defendants, while Russell Jones & Walker and Thompsons are ranked equally, behind Irwin Mitchell, when it comes to firms across Yorkshire representing claimants.

Kennedys’ team, led by office managing partner and recently elected Sheffield Chamber of Commerce president, Suzanne Liversidge, transferred from Halliwells in 2010 and is split into a number of specialist areas including motor and fleet, costs and retail.

The team has been joined by Peter Crossland from Greenwoods, the insurance dispute resolution specialist which has offices in London, Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Southampton.

Nabarro’s department, led by Carl Dray, includes GE Aviation and Electric Insurance among its clients and acted on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, when it was the defendant in the Miners’ Knee Group litigation, in addition to working on a £30 million disease case.

Russell Jones & Walker recently won a number of significant clients, and its team, led by Simon Allen, advises on occupational illness, employers’ liability and maximum severity cases. Meanwhile, Thompsons Solicitors’ industrial disease practice, led by Samantha Hemsley, is highly rated and has been increasingly focusing on asbestos cases recently, in addition to working on numerous deafness cases.

Keeble Hawson’s work on behalf of defendants has secured it a place in the third rank, ahead of Atherton Godfrey of Doncaster and Wake Smith & Tofields of Sheffield, who in turn come out ahead of Sheffield firms Howells and Taylor & Emmet.

Keeble Hawson’s team, headed by David Jones, continues to work for a range of trade union clients, and specialises in employers’ liability and occupiers’ and public liability matters.

Atherton Godfrey deals with claims ranging from employers’ liability to slips and trips, while Wake Smith & Tofields handles accidents involving children and sports or recreational accidents as well as mainstream personal injury claims.