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Chambers and Partners UK guide to the legal profession

Chambers and Partners 2021

Leigh Day has once more received a glowing recommendation from the Chambers and Partners UK guide to the legal profession 2021, with a top-band ranking in eight areas of practice. In addition, thirty-one Leigh Day partners have been recognised as leading individuals in their fields of expertise, three of whom, Martyn DaySally Moore and Stephen Jones, have been ranked as ‘Star Individuals’.

Administrative and public law

Department ranked Band 1

“They are real trailblazers in public law and you can’t help but be impressed with their footprint."

Individuals: Jamie Beagent (band 2), Rosa Curling (band 3).

What the team is known for
Represents claimants and campaigning groups in the full range of domestic and international administrative and public law cases. A notable emphasis on access to justice, including securing funding for legal proceedings and remedies for victims. Additional areas of expertise include human rights law, environmental law, prison law, healthcare and data protection. Active working with NGOs and charities on campaigning and litigation strategy.
 
Strengths
"They are the best of the best, which is illustrated by their meticulous attention to detail and their complete dedication and professionalism," says a source, adding: "They work all hours of the day and leave no stone unturned."
 
Jamie Beagent specialises in judicial review matters concerning planning and the environment, as well as immigration detention. An interviewee remarks: "Jamie was accessible and able to do the necessary work on a tight timescale." Another source comments: "He is very specialist and very collaborative."
 
Rosa Curling has extensive experience representing clients in matters concerning immigration, international human rights, modern slavery and a broad array of other significant areas. A source comments: "She is incredible. She is super clever and cares deeply about her clients."

Civil Liberties

Department ranked Band 1
 
 "They are completely and utterly dedicated to their work."

Individuals: Martyn Day (eminent practitioner), Jamie Beagent and Sapna Malik (band 2); Daniel Leader (band 3); Merry Varney and Rosa Curling (band 4); Sean Humber and Benjamin Burrows (band 3 prison law); Sean Humber (band 4 data protection and information law).
 
What the team is known for
Serves an international client base of charities, NGOs and individuals in human rights cases within UK borders and around the world. The firm's practice is comprehensive in scope, with areas of focus ranging from the rights of protestors to trafficking. Areas of strength include matters related to the 'war on terror' and corporate complicity in human rights abuses. Also demonstrates expertise in information and data protection law with involvement in high-profile cases of this kind.
 
Strengths
Sources say: "They are really good with clients across the board."
 
"They genuinely care about the issues we’re working on and are never dismissive of my feelings and thoughts as a claimant," says a client.
 
Benjamin Burrows maintains a solid reputation in the prison law space. He heads the firm's prison law team, and frequently acts across a broad range of claims such as accusations of discrimination, assault and wrongful imprisonment.

"He combs through every detail to get what you need." "He always remains on top of everything."
 
Daniel Leader has a well-regarded international practice, particularly for his work in African jurisdictions. He frequently represents groups in actions such as mass torts, and is knowledgeable on cases where human rights and environmental law cross over.
 
Jamie Beagent is highly experienced across a varied range of human rights and public law challenges. He is notably skilled in handling immigration and environmental cases.

"If he's your lawyer you get the result you want."
 
A renowned claimant lawyer, Martyn Day brings an unmatched level of expertise to his broad domestic and international practice. He frequently represents marginalised workers who have suffered human rights abuses.

"He's an absolute force of nature, a superb tactician and a very dedicated practitioner."
 
Merry Varney is well regarded for her representation of the families of vulnerable individuals and children bringing Article 2 claims.
 
Skilled in domestic and cross-border matters, Rosa Curling is experienced in bringing a large variety of human rights and civil liberties claims. She has handled significant human rights challenges concerning the right to die.
 
Sapna Malik is a highly skilled claimant human rights practitioner, representing individuals bringing claims against public bodies in cross-border disputes.
"I'm struck by the conscientious intelligence she employs on all cases she works on."
 
Experienced in disability discrimination and prison law, Sean Humber is also notably adept in bringing privacy and data breach claims, and is a go-to choice for consumers and pressure groups across a variety of sectors. 

Clinical negligence - claimant

Department ranked Band 1
 
"They are an excellent and highly professional team." (London)
 
"I received excellent care, they are very supportive, helpful, empathetic and accessible." (Manchester)

Individuals: Stephen Jones (star individuals); Suzanne White  (band 1), Olive Lewin  and Brendan Hope (band 2); Henry Dyson (band 3), Sally Jean Nicholes (band 4)
  
What the team is known for
Superb specialist clinical negligence team with an outstanding reputation for the quality of its advice and client service skills. Offers market-leading expertise on a variety of serious claims including spinal and brain injury cases. Additionally noted for its campaigning on access to justice and patient safety issues. Represents claimants affected by delays in diagnosis or treatment, as well as mishandled surgical procedures. Accomplished practice advising clients in relation to psychiatric injuries.
 
Strengths
One source states: "It is an outstanding team of lawyers and its strength lies in the depth of experience and talent. No stone is left unturned for its clients."
 
A market commentator reports: "They are a very good firm with longstanding strength. They very strongly represent clients' rights and protect their interests."
 
Henry Dyson focuses his practice on birth injury cases as well as adult brain injury following strokes and surgical negligence. He also advises on fatal claims involving failings in psychiatric care.
 
"He is hard-working and thorough in his efforts for his clients."
 
Olive Lewin brings to bear her previous experience as a registered nurse to support clients in a range of matters, with a particular focus on brain injury and fatal claims, including those arising from obstetric care, anaesthetic errors and delayed diagnosis. She also advises on spinal cord injury cases.
 
"She is very clear, focused, knowledgeable and very supportive of us as clients." "She is a formidable litigator and utterly committed to her clients."
 
Sally Jean Nicholes advises on disability and fatality claims surrounding misdiagnosis and negligence in paramedic care. She has further experience handling brain injury cases.
 
"She is dedicated, energetic and she goes the extra mile for clients." "She displays 100% commitment to her clients, a mastery of the detail of her cases and a professional and courteous manner."
 
Suzanne White offers substantial expertise in claims stemming from obstetric care, including cerebral palsy and maternal injury cases. She has further strength advising on delayed diagnosis matters, drawing on her previous experience as a radiographer.
 
"She is always available to answer our questions, is precise and clear and gave us great confidence in difficult moments." "She is incredibly passionate about her cases." "She is hugely experienced across a whole range of clinical negligence work. She makes sure that the case is thoroughly prepared and all the facts and experts issues are covered."
 
Manchester
What the team is known for
Dynamic group of well-established solicitors with a noteworthy presence in the Manchester area. Possesses expertise in claims arising from delayed diagnosis, brain injuries and birth traumas, including cerebral palsy. Also handles fatal claims due to sepsis and amputation cases stemming from delays in treatment. Additionally well equipped to deal with severe spinal cord injuries and complex inquests.
 
Strengths
An interviewee adds: "My overall impression of the lawyers is that they are extremely accommodating to their clients, and make every effort to keep them well informed and up-to-date."
 
Brendan Hope is adept at dealing with cases arising from delays and errors in diagnosis leading to brain injury and amputation. Commentators praise him for "being very thorough and making clients comfortable."
 
Stephen Jones has wide-ranging expertise that encompasses fatal claims, as well as high-value spinal, brain and birth injures. He is a "very thoughtful solicitor who is always immaculately well prepared and very good with clients," according to interviewees. One client reports that he is "constantly supportive and has lots of knowledge."

Employment - Employee & Trade Union

Department ranked Band 1
 
"The employment team there is just unparalleled."

Individuals: Chris Benson + Kiran Daurka (band 1); Elizabeth George, Nigel Mackay, Michael Newman, Emma Satyamurti (band 2); Annie Powell (associates to watch).
 
What the team is known for
Market-leading employment team noted for its capabilities in representing group claimants. Praised by interviewees for its representation of individuals against large businesses. Adept at handling all types of discrimination claims, particularly sex and disability. The team has been at the forefront of attempts by individuals employed in the 'gig economy' to claim employment status.
 
Strengths
Sources characterise it as an "excellent firm that fights fearlessly for its clients."
 
Others note that "the employment team there is just unparalleled."
 
Interviewees state that the lawyers are "a cut above in terms of their employment law experience and expertise acting for claimants."
 
Chris Benson is a leading claimant solicitor who is regularly called upon to handle major disputes involving trade union, equal pay and discrimination matters. He is experienced in cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
 
"He is an excellent lawyer; he's very good on equal pay and discrimination cases." "He is very focused and has a mastery of the law." "He works on an amazing array of equal pay cases and other group litigation."
 
Elizabeth George is highly experienced in advising on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues. She regularly assists clients with claims involving equal pay, discrimination, harassment and breach of contract.
 
"She's incredibly experienced, able to interpret complex legislation for non-lawyers and very personable, approachable and empathetic." "She's a very pragmatic lawyer who goes the extra mile for clients." "She's excellent and very clear in her advice."
 
Emma Satyamurti is frequently called upon to handle a variety of contentious employee-side work, including harassment, discrimination, whistle-blowing, unfair dismissal and equal pay matters. She offers experience acting in the Employment Tribunal and High Court.
 
"She's great at managing her team; she's so engaged, available and helpful." "She's very experienced in discrimination work and equal pay litigation." "She is very technically knowledgeable, strategic, detailed and always a pleasure to work with."
 
Kiran Daurka draws praise for her representation of employees bringing equal pay, whistle-blowing and discrimination claims. She has experience acting on cases up to the Supreme Court.
 
"She is a joy to work with and makes sure her clients get the best results; she's the best employment lawyer in London." "She is completely tireless in getting a great result for her clients." "She's fantastic - really brilliant and very good to work with."
 
Michael Newman is experienced in advising employees on a wide range of issues including discrimination and whistle-blowing. He is noted for his work on major worker status and equal pay disputes.

"He is an excellent lawyer. His focus and attention to the legal principles is pretty amazing; he's a very good, creative lawyer." "He has such a brilliant knowledge of the law."
 
Nigel Mackay is well known for his expertise in high-profile employment cases including employment status and equal pay claims. He is also adept at handling discrimination and whistle-blowing matters.
 
"He is very responsive, always gives clear and pragmatic advice, and is exceptionally empathetic and easy to talk to." "He's fantastic to work with - tactically shrewd with a very good grasp of the detail." "He fights to the end for his clients and is a brilliant lawyer."
 
Annie Powell assists employees with a range of employment disputes, including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. She has notable experience in employment status cases in the so-called 'gig economy'.
 
"She's phenomenal; she has tactical acumen, is dedicated to her clients, thinks strategically about all her cases, her judgement is spot-on and she's a delight to work with." "She's extremely enthusiastic with a very, very astute mind." "She's absolutely outstanding in every respect; she's extremely supportive."

Environment - claimant

Department ranked Band 1
 
 "The team is top-drawer and carries out strategic litigation work."

Individuals: Martyn Day (band 1), Daniel Leader (band 2), Carol Day, Rosa Curling & Tessa Gregory (band 3); Rowan Smith (associate to watch).
 
What the team is known for
Leading claimant-side practice with an excellent track record in major environmental claims. Calls upon an impressive breadth of experience in areas including human rights, climate change and planning. Offers niche expertise handling damage claims in developing countries. Frequently advises on multiparty actions.
 
Strengths
One interviewee says: "They are incredibly committed and work extremely hard."
 
"They're very hard-working, good at what they do and completely committed to the clients they represent," notes one source.
 
Carol Day is well regarded in the market, with extensive experience in environment law. She regularly advises claimants on a wide range of matters including wildlife, infrastructure development and climate change-related issues. She is particularly noted for her expertise in biodiversity matters.
 
"She has got brilliantly deep knowledge on biodiversity." "Carol brings a wealth of contacts, knowledge and experience." "She is a really good and strategic lawyer."
 
Daniel Leader is experienced in representing clients in large-scale group actions and mass tort claims. He regularly acts on cross-border cases and is adept at advising communities in the developing world.
 
"He is really cerebral and a lateral thinker."
 
Martyn Day is widely acclaimed for his expert handling of multiparty actions against major corporations. He has a wealth of experience representing foreign nationals in environmental cases.
 
Rosa Curling has a respected environmental practice and regularly acts on behalf of campaigners. She has wide-ranging environmental expertise, with experience handling air pollution, climate change and fracking related matters.
 
"She is an excellent lawyer." "She is fantastic in every respect: highly intelligent, strategically brilliant, totally committed and wonderful to work with."
 
Rowan Smith's environment practice includes judicial reviews and planning law matters. He counts environmental campaigners among his client base, and has experience in matters concerning air pollution and fracking issues.
 
"He's very good at spotting the key points for clients early on and thinking outside the box." "He is an excellent claimant litigator."
 
Tessa Gregory has a particular focus on matters pertaining to wildlife and habitats. Her clients include NGOs and campaigners, in addition to local residents' groups.
 
"Tessa is incredibly dedicated to cases and clients and is extraordinarily intelligent."  "She is detailed, creative in her legal thinking and a real asset to any team in the way she deals with legal issues. She is strategic and able to look at the bigger picture."

Personal injury - claimant

Department ranked Band 1
 
"outstanding experience"

Individuals: Martyn Day & Sally Moore (star individuals); Kevin Johnson (band 2), Daniel Easton & Sapna Malik (band 3); Grant Incles (band 4), Bethany Sanders (associates to watch)
 
What the team is known for
Illustrious claimant team regularly instructed to act in catastrophic personal injury cases against a range of parties, including governments, public bodies and large corporations. Areas of expertise include unlawful detention and torture, as well as high-level cycling injuries. Regularly instructed on international mandates. Particular expertise in cases concerning the mining industry, including claims related to industrial disease, pollution and police violence. Highly experienced in taking cases to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
 
Strengths
An interviewee reports on their "outstanding experience" with Leigh Day, reporting that the team "makes me feel supported and valued."
 
A client says the lawyers are "very professional and always keep me updated," adding: "Their aftercare is excellent."
 
Bethany Sanders is frequently called upon to act for claimants in serious injury claims. She is especially experienced in advising on cases involving brain and spinal injuries, often as a result of cycling accidents and other RTAs.
 
"Thorough and meticulous. She did an impressive job of helping to quantify and compound the various elements of the claim."
 
Daniel Easton serves as joint head of the asbestos and mesothelioma team, and his specialist area of expertise is in claims involving the former. He is also adept at handling catastrophic spinal injury litigation.
 
"Absolutely tremendous." "Very highly regarded in asbestos work."
 
Grant Incles heads the cycling and sports injuries team. He is well known for specialising in high-value, life-changing and fatal cycling accident claims.
 
"Great expertise in cycling-related cases."
 
Martyn Day is celebrated for his pioneering personal injury claims against corporations and the UK government, arising out of injuries sustained both at home and overseas. His areas of expertise include misconduct by the military, environmental pollution and historic rights violations.
 
"A leading force at Leigh Day - he will take on cases no one else has the appetite for. "Incomparable - Martyn has done so much good for so many people." “A leading light in terms of strategic litigation and multiparty action."
 
Sally Moore leads the firm's personal injury department. She is among the country's standout practitioners for high-value personal injury accident claims, and is frequently sought out to handle brain, spinal, amputation and fatal accident cases. She is also noted in the market for her niche expertise in bringing cycling-related claims.
 
"Thorough and very experienced. She responded promptly to any queries and helped explain anything I asked." "Sensible and passionate about her clients." "Incredibly well regarded - known for her technical detail and exceptional preparation for cases."
 
Sapna Malik dedicates her personal injury practice to civil liberties and human rights claims. She is known for assisting clients with personal injury claims against UK government departments, including the Ministry of Defence.
 
"An incredibly talented PI practitioner.

Personal injury - industrial disease

Department ranked Band 1

Sources highlight the firm as a "market leader in claimant asbestos cases."

Individuals: Daniel Easton, Kevin Johnson and Harminder Bains (band 1); Patrick Walsh & Vijay Ganapathy (band 2).
 
What the team is known for 
Highly respected industrial disease practice offering first-rate representation to claimants suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Features prominently in headline disease cases and retains strong links to support groups and non-profits catering for those with mesothelioma. Well versed in handling large international group claims, particularly those concerning claimants in developing countries. Extensive national platform, with offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. Highly experienced in taking cases to the Court of Appeal and in making judicial review challenges.
 
Strengths
An interviewee comments: "The firm has strength and depth when it comes to asbestos."
 
Daniel Easton is best known for his handling of complex and high-value catastrophic injury and asbestos disease-related claims, offering proven expertise in cross-border cases. He frequently represents young asbestos victims. He is noted for his expertise on working on high-value and cross-border claims.
 
"Fantastically hard-working, extremely tenacious and very committed to each and every case." "There is simply no one better at dealing with the most difficult litigation. Daniel is universally well respected by his opponents and a leading figure in the industry."
 
Harminder Bains fields extensive experience in taking catastrophic injury and asbestos-related claims to trial, including up to the Supreme Court.
 
"Harminder is very experienced, has great expertise and is efficient in the speedy resolution of claims. She is willing to take on difficult cases and empathises with clients."
 
Kevin Johnson stands out for his experience in handling occupational disease claims, asbestos-related disease cases in particular. He has represented claimants exposed to asbestos in all manner of industry sectors, and also via work attire and equipment brought home by family members.
 
"His empathetic and client-focused approach shines through, as he goes the extra mile to find a legal remedy for victims of asbestos. "He will miss nothing in preparing a case in a way that maximises his clients’ chances of success."
 
Patrick Walsh is recommended for his extensive experience handling asbestos-related claims, including those involving mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.
 
"He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the issues that matter in asbestos litigation and uses that to great effect in the handling of his cases."
 
Vijay Ganapathy is well known for his advice on asbestos-related matters, especially those concerning mesothelioma. He is also skilled in representing clients in multi-jurisdictional matters.
 
"An industrial disease expert who knows his way around the system and legislation."

Product Liability - claimant

Department ranked Band 1
 
"They are first rate. They have incredible levels of preparation, drive and focus on their clients."

Individuals: Bozena Michalowska Howells & Jill Paterson (band 1); Gene Matthews and Michelle Victor (band 2), Tom Jervis (up and coming)

What the team is known for
Deep bench of claimant lawyers handling significant product liability work, including major multiparty and cross-jurisdictional litigation. Equipped to handle a wide range of product-related matters, from litigation arising from faulty medical devices and consumer goods to claims regarding injuries suffered as a result of clinical trials for pharmaceutical products. Equally adept at representing large groups of claimants, including families in defective product inquests, as well as individuals pursuing high-value claims. Increasingly sought out for representation in proceedings and inquests involving food products.
 
Strengths
One source notes: "They are very committed to their cases and always go the extra mile."
 
Clients reveal: "They give great attention to detail and are dedicated to getting the best outcome for their clients. They provide excellent service and respond in a timely fashion."
 
Bozena Michalowska Howells is highly sought after for her extensive expertise relating to defective medical devices. She deftly handles group actions and individual claims involving a broad array of products, including high-profile automotive matters.
 
Gene Matthews concentrates his practice on the pursuit of claims arising out medical devices and pharmaceuticals, with considerable experience handling claims involving clinical trials.
 
"He's smart, impressive and easy to deal with."
 
Jill Paterson's multifaceted product liability practice incorporates the representation of claimants in proceedings involving an impressive scope of products. She brings skill and expertise to claims and inquests involving food and drink, consumer goods and medical products.
 
"She gets to the point very quickly, has great rapport with the team around her and can work under tight timetables and pressure."
 
Michelle Victor is adept at handling substantial group claims involving defective medical devices and consumer products. She offers considerable expertise in matters relating to food safety, including advising on inquests and legislative change.
 
Tom Jervis offers clients wide-ranging expertise in product liability matters involving medical devices and white and consumer goods. He has further notable experience advising on significant food and drink matters.

"He is dynamic and committed and goes the extra mile for his clients."

Travel - claimant

Department ranked Band 2
 
"The team did all that they could to make sure I was taken care of and that all avenues of the case were explored thoroughly."

Individuals: Clare Campbell (band 2); Joseph Dawson (associates to watch)
 
What the team is known for
Exclusively represents claimants and regularly advises on complex travel cases involving jurisdiction and applicable law issues. Covers a broad spectrum of cases, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities arising from road traffic accidents and employment abroad as well as package holiday claims. Typically acts for clients against major insurers and corporations.

Clare Campbell is a well-reputed travel lawyer who routinely handles fatal and catastrophic injury cases on behalf of a range of claimants. Her expertise covers road traffic accidents and injuries sustained through employment abroad. Interviewees remark that she "has a fantastic eye for detail, impeccable legal knowledge and very strong tactical awareness."

Joseph Dawson advises claimants on catastrophic injury and fatality claims. Sources note that he is "very considerate of his clients, supportive and very helpful," in addition to highlighting his "huge knowledge of international travel law."

Professional discipline

Individuals: Gideon Habel (up and coming); Emma Walker (associate to watch)
 
Gideon Habel possesses a growing reputation due to his noteworthy experience in regulatory and disciplinary matters. He regularly assists solicitors and law firms with SRA investigations and proceedings before the SDT.
 
"He is a thorough and proactive lawyer." "He is very thorough both on the substance of the case and on case management and strategy." "He is extremely knowledgeable, quick to respond and efficient in his time spent with us."
 
Emma Walker is an associate who focuses on defending solicitors facing criminal and professional disciplinary actions before their regulators. She regularly advises on SRA investigations into allegations of dishonesty, harassment and financial misconduct.
 
"Clients appreciate her straightforward explanations of the key issues and her sound judgement regarding what to do next."

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