Pair top the league in personal injury cases

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Leading Sheffield law firms Irwin Mitchell and DLA Piper find themselves at the top of the league and on opposite sides of the courtroom when it comes to personal injury claims.

Irwin Mitchell’s team, headed by Adrian Budgen, handles a full range of personal injury claims and includes Helen Ashton, who advised on the Employers’ Liability Policy Trigger litigation, which this year led to a landmark ruling on liability in mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

Other members of the Irwin Mitchell personal injury team include Neil Whiteley, who heads the serious injury team, and Louise Jenkins, who was promoted to partner last year.

DLA Piper’s expertise, exercised on behalf of defendants, includes risk and liability compliance, and employers’ insured and uninsured liability claims.

The practice, which acts for ACE Insurance and Serco Group, among others, is overseen by Alan Dury and includes Peter Anson, whose expertise on insurance and historic corporate liability issues is highlighted in the Legal 500.

Four Sheffield firms secure second tier places, with Russell Jones & Walker and Thompsons Solicitors on the claimants’ side of the court and Kennedys and Nabarro acting for defendants.

Russell Jones & Walker, which became part of Australian law firm Slater & Gordon Lawyers in April, handles cases ranging from repetitive strain injury to major road accidents and fatal injury claims.

The personal injury team is led by Simon Allen and includes Jonathan Reid, who is experienced in dealing with maximum-severity claims and Matthew Tomlinson, who is regularly instructed in cases involving foreign accidents.

Meanwhile, Thompsons has close ties with a number of trade unions, and is well known for its disease claims practice, in addition to its expertise in cases involving serious injuries, road traffic accidents, and stress-related claims.

Kennedys’ team, led by Suzanne Liversidge, is described as a ‘standout choice’ for high-value claims, with team member Peter Crossland being praised for his “superb awareness of what clients want” and Niall Edwards being hailed as one of the lead solicitors in the motor defendant market.

Nabarro acts for large corporations and public bodies in occupational liability claims. Recent cases have included practice head Carl Dray representing the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which is responsible for the liabilities of the former nationalised coal industry and is fighting claims from people who worked at a Phurnacite smokeless fuel plant in South Wales who have suffered a range of lung, skin and bladder cancers as well as respiratory diseases.

Sheffield firms noted for their work on behalf of claimants include Hlw Keeble Hawson, which focuses on employers’ liability claims, followed by Atherton Godfrey, which advises on workplace accident and occupiers’ liability claims and Wake Smith, with experience in motor accident claims and employers’ liability cases.