The Legal 500 2012 has awarded Leigh Day top rankings in four main areas of its practice, with an impressive twenty solicitors recommended and five (managing partner Martyn Day along with Richard Stein, Claire Fazan, Russell Levy and Sally Moore) marked out as ‘leading individuals’.
Administrative and public law
This ‘absolutely first rate claimant practice’ has maintained its band 1 rating from last year, gaining praise from all quarters regarding its rigorous approach to cases and ‘commitment to ensuring justice for clients’. With an expertise spanning several areas, including civil liberties, healthcare and planning, the department enjoys the benefit of leading individual Richard Stein’s ‘fearless approach to the law’. Frances Swain, Alison Millar and Sean Humber were all recommended by the Legal 500 as well, with Alison especially described by sources as ‘intelligent, sensitive, committed and efficient’.
This year the Civil Liberties department has had its rating improved to the top band by the Legal 500, confirming its reputation as ‘particularly skilled in identifying issues, fighting hard for the client whilst remaining realistic’. Led by the recommended Richard Stein, the firm covers a broad scope of cases and is described as ‘excellent in this area’. Jamie Beagent’s reputation as a solicitor Is both ‘growing and well-deserved’, with Sean Humber also displaying ‘expert knowledge’ in his practice. Frances Swain and Alison Millar also received recommendations.
Clinical negligence- claimant
Head of department Russell Levy and ‘consummate professional’ Claire Fazan have been identified as ‘leading individuals’ in the top-ranked clinical negligence practice, which contains a ‘cohesive team of experienced solicitors’. The department covers a wide range of cases and produces excellent results for all levels of claim, with a particular emphasis put on those instances where a client’s quality of life can be significantly improved. The diversity regarding areas of practice moves from genetics and cancer to brain and spinal injuries, with Anne Winyard, Sally-Jean Nicholes and Sarah Campbell all standing out.
Alison Millar leads the education practice within Leigh Day, advising on admissions, exclusions and acting within SEND Tribunal cases. She is backed up by Richard Stein, who covers areas such as school transport issues and the liability of academic institutions under the Disability Discrimination Act.
Employment: employee/union firms
Leigh Day has a reputation as a prominent authority in employment cases, with Camilla Palmer recognised by many as a ‘leader in the field’. Also recommended as an ‘outstanding lawyer’ is Chris Benson, and the department’s sheer amount of work speaks volumes for its capability in such cases as claims against the MoD, trade union and multi-party claims, and women’s rights.
With an increased ranking this year from the Legal 500, the Environmental team at Leigh Day has garnered respect as ‘one of the best firms bringing environmental challenges’. Martyn Day is head of practice, and has been highlighted as a ‘leading individual’ in such cases as the Bodo oil spill in Nigeria. As well as representing a large number of NGOs, the department has a particular expertise in the field of judicial review; the recommended Richard Stein is well-known as ‘the best tactician around’.
This ‘extremely knowledgeable’ team has moved up the rankings this year, with Frances Swain, Richard Stein, Merry Varney and Rosa Curling all recommended. Areas such as ‘do not resuscitate’ orders and judicial review are covered by the ‘leader in his field’ Richard Stein and the ‘excellent’ Frances Swaine. Rosa Curling and Merry Varney also have excellent reputations within the practice.
Personal injury- claimant
The department has maintained a band 1 ranking this year, and sources state that managing partner Martyn Day’s international claims department represents the ‘gold standard’. Joining Martyn as a leading individual in Sally Moore, who heads the domestic team. She enjoys excellent support from key individuals Anne Winyard and Claire Fazan, and the ‘superb’ Richard Meeran enjoys an extensive practice. The ‘brilliant’ Daniel Easton and ‘feisty’ Harminder Bains act on the asbestos team, and Penny Knight runs a cycling team that benefits from her ‘tenacious and tactical’ approach to cases.
Private client- Court of Protection
A new entry at rank 2 for 2012, the department is excellently run by Frances Swain and Richard Stein. Leigh Day and Co is noted for the best interests work that is carried out on behalf of families, covering such issues as ‘right to life’, ‘right to die’, and withdrawal of treatment.
Product Liability- claimant
Leigh Day again occupies the top position in the Legal 500 for its product liability practice, with Martyn Day identified as a leading individual. The practice covers such cases as claims relating to Thalidomide and the DePuy hip replacement action, and contains a team of ‘robust negotiators who are not intimidated by bullying tactics’. The department’s key figures aside from Martyn are Bozena Michalowska and Jill Paterson, who displays ‘a clear head and balanced judgement’.