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Chambers and Partners UK guide to the legal profession

Chambers and Partners 2019

Leigh Day has once more received a glowing recommendation from the Chambers and Partners UK guide to the legal profession 2019, with a top-band ranking in eight areas of practice. In addition, twenty-eight Leigh Day partners have been recognised as leading individuals in their fields of expertise, four of whom, Martyn Day, Claire Fazan, Sally Moore and Stephen Jones, have been ranked as ‘Star Individuals’.

Administrative and public law

"They have the courage and tenacity to take on the most important cases."

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 and data protection. Active working with NGOs and charities on campaigning and litigation strategy.
Jamie Beagent has a broad public law practice, with a depth of experience in judicial review proceedings. "He is knowledgeable and astute," says a source, going on to praise his "procedure, preparation and excellent judgement."
Market commentators say that Rosa Curling is "a fantastic public lawyer." Her broad practice encompasses all aspects of public law, regularly handling human rights and immigration matters among others.

Civil Liberties

Commentators say that the team possesses "fantastic lawyers who are totally efficient and good at tactical thinking."

"They do excellent work in terms of wider public law and civil liberties."

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 protesters to trafficking. Areas of strength include matters related to the war on terror, corporate complicity in human rights abuses and death penalty cases. Also demonstrates expertise in information and data protection law with recent involvement in several high-profile cases of this kind.
Jamie Beagent is a highly respected civil liberties and public law solicitor with significant experience representing prisoners and detained immigrants. Sources describe him as a "really experienced and very savvy operator."
Head of the human rights department Sean Humber acts for a range of clients on immigration detention and environmental rights as part of a broad practice. Sources say he is "wonderful to work with – he is highly intelligent and produces brilliant and concise briefs and arguments."
Benjamin Burrows is a prison law specialist with considerable experience in judicial review challenges, compensation claims and inquests.
Merry Varney is a civil liberties practitioner with experience in judicial review challenges, inquests and other claims. She often acts for bereaved families and vulnerable individuals.
Rosa Curling handles a range of domestic and international civil liberties matters including freedom of information, data protection and whistle-blowing claims. Sources say: "Rosa has exceptional legal judgement and a real talent for juggling the practicalities of a case with strategy."

Clinical Negligence - claimant

Client's comment: "They really give their heart and souls to their clients. They are meticulous, compassionate, very diligent and extremely committed to getting the best result for their client." 

“The lawyers "adapted to us and tailored their support and engagement with us accordingly," and going on to describe the team as "very impressive and reassuring."” (Manchester)

Interviewees say: "They are very accessible, very thorough in their preparation and determined to achieve the very best outcome for their clients. They are objective about key issues, immensely hard-working and very knowledgeable."

Claire Fazan is praised by industry experts for her extensive experience and knowledge of the clinical negligence market. Her practice concentrates on fatal injury matters, as well as child brain injury cases. One source remarks that she "really has an eye for detail and is very thorough," while another interviewee says: "She is superb in terms of her knowledge and her handling of clients."

Sources are impressed by Henry Dyson, noting that he is "thorough, highly experienced and objective about what can be achieved." He concentrates his practice on child brain injury cases, as well as claims regarding brain injuries suffered by adults due to strokes or surgical errors.

Olive Lewin draws on her experience as a nurse to navigate a range of clinical negligence claims, including cases involving brain injuries, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. Sources say: "She is completely committed to her clients and is highly experienced."

Nicola Wainwright is sought after for her experience across a wide range of clinical negligence matters. Her specialisms include claims regarding infectious diseases which cause brain damage, as well as fatal injury and delay in diagnosis cases. Interviewees say: "She is very committed to her clients, very pragmatic and sensible."

Suzanne White is the head of the firm's clinical negligence team. She is experienced in handling high-value birth and neonatal injury claims, as well as psychiatric and brain injury cases. Market sources highlight her for her "forensic ability and commitment to clients," while one client highlights her for her "ability to communicate diligently to clients in difficult circumstances."

The "tactically minded" Stephen Jones garners praise for his expertise in the field. He demonstrates extensive experience in matters relating to cerebral palsy and cauda equina syndrome. He also handles fatal claims involving delays in treatment and failings in care. Sources underline: "Nothing passes him by, he doesn't get bogged down. He is rapier sharp." Another adds:"His understanding of the medical facts is unwavering and his attention to detail is second to none."

Brendan Hope is "very astute and tenacious," according to one interviewee, while another highlights him as "very thorough, on top of every detail, readily available and proactive." He offers experience in claims arising from cerebral palsy and delays in treatment.

Employment - Employee & Trade Union

A client says: "Leigh Day made sure that we received not only the best outcome, but an extraordinary one," adding that "all its staff are highly motivated, professional and lovely to work with."

"They're top of their game and 100% hands-on," adds another source, continuing: "Everyone gave us their full attention and were available beyond regular hours."

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.

Head of department Chris Benson is one of the premier employment and trade union lawyers in London. He regularly acts on discrimination and harassment cases. Sources say: "He's an outstanding lawyer; there are very few people practising in employment law with his level of creative thinking and innovation."

Kiran Daurka advises on a broad spectrum of workplace disputes and discrimination matters. An impressed client says: "Kiran has been extraordinarily supportive, well informed and diligent in handling any of my requests as well as in guiding me through the process."

Emma Satyamurti "has an extensive profile of complex employment cases, particularly regarding discrimination," says one interviewee, adding: "She's extremely astute, on the ball and well respected in the area." As well as advising on discrimination, she regularly assists claimants with whistle-blowing actions.

Michael Newman advises employees on a range of matters, with recent work including advice on employment status and equal pay.

Shubha Banerjee has experience advising both individuals and trade unions. Clients describe her as "responsive, intelligent, analytical and robust."

Environment - claimant

Interviewees say: "They're high-quality people with a lot of experience."

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.

Sources report: "They are incredibly dedicated because they believe in the causes their clients are advocating, and that feeds through into the way they approach everything. There is always a willingness to explore options to help the client."

Senior partner Martyn Day is hugely respected by fellow practitioners, who note his illustrious reputation in claimant-side environmental work. He offers well-honed strengths in a broad spectrum of high-profile group actions, with a strong track record of success in bringing claims against major corporate entities.

Daniel Leader is highlighted for his expertise in the mass tort claims area, where he regularly represents claimants in complex cases. He is particularly well-versed in advising claimants from developing countries. 

Personal Injury - claimant

"The whole team couldn't do enough for us. They were completely understanding and empathetic to our situation. We were put at ease as soon as we met them, which was a hugely difficult time for our family," adding: "Hopefully I won't ever have to call on them, but if I do, I know I'll be in the best hands possible."

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. Routinely instructed on multiparty and 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.

One impressed interviewee says: "They're excellent. They're very professional and willing to fight difficult points."

Martyn Day has substantial experience in bringing personal injury cases and multiparty claims against large corporations as well as the UK government. He is well versed in representing claimants who have been injured both at home and in overseas locations. Sources say that he is a "brilliant lawyer" with a "great reputation."

Head of the firm's personal injury team Sally Moore has huge experience in representing clients who have suffered life-changing injuries, including severe injury claims involving cyclists. She is also highly adept at handling fatal accident claims. Sources describe her as an "enormously experienced and very committed" lawyer who "gets good results for her clients."

Daniel Easton excels in complex asbestos claims, and also handles sizeable catastrophic personal injury claims.

Sapna Malik offers substantial experience in handling international civil liberty and personal injury claims. She is well versed in assisting claimants in bringing cases against the UK government.

Bethany Sanders frequently advises claimants on serious injury matters, including brain and spinal injury, as well as fatal accidents. One client appreciates that "she was patient with all our questions and I could call her at any point for help or to explain things." 

Personal Injury - industrial disease

“They were brilliant and the client service was absolutely marvellous," adding: "I couldn't have asked for more. The claim was complex and they couldn't have handled it better."”

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. Frequently appointed on large international group claims, particularly those concerning claimants in developing countries. Offers regional strength, with offices in London, Manchester and Liverpool. Highly experienced in taking cases to the Court of Appeal and in making judicial review challenges.

One client says: "The team's strength was its ultimate experience and expertise in dealing with a sensitive situation at such a stressful time in our lives. They made the whole process stress-free and minimised any delay."

"Dynamic" and "effective" lawyer Harminder Bains is known for her wealth of experience in handling catastrophic injury and asbestos-related claims. Sources describe her as a "leader in her field," adding: "She shows an imaginative and fresh approach to the legal problems facing victims of asbestos diseases."

Daniel Easton frequently represents claimants in complex, high-value asbestos claims. Commentators praise his "encyclopaedic knowledge" and describe him as "very experienced, efficient and empathetic."

Kevin Johnson offers extensive experience in handling occupational disease claim cases. Sources say that "he's really brilliant" and "always ahead of the curve." He specialises in industrial disease claims, with a wealth of experience in handling asbestos-related cases. Clients commend his "compassion, care and efficiency," while others "appreciate the fact that he explains every step of the process and frequently provides updates on where the case stands."

Vijay Ganapathy is known for acting in complex occupational disease and asbestos-related illness cases. He is adept at bringing cases in both the UK and Australia. Clients describe him as "extremely competent, kind and considerate."

Patrick Walsh has a wealth of experience in a range of industrial disease matters. His areas of expertise include mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening. Sources say that he is a "standout lawyer" with "an excellent reputation."

Product Liability - claimant

"They are brilliant. They're very good at providing information, listening, supporting and being incredibly proactive and tenacious."

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 the result of clinical trials for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Equally adept at representing large groups of claimants, including families in defective product inquests, as well as individuals pursuing high-value claims.

One client reports: "I am very impressed with the professional approach, depth of knowledge and attention to detail. I believe Leigh Day work very hard for their clients."

Bozena Michalowska Howells comes recommended as a practitioner "who lives and breathes this area and is completely on top of it." Another source describes her as "very effective, with very good technical knowledge and commercial awareness." She boasts notable experience handling group actions relating to a number of fields, with a particular focus on medical devices.

Jill Paterson is held in high regard for her leading product liability practice, which includes deep expertise in acting for the claimant in significant medical device group actions and claims concerning defective goods. She receives plaudits from her clients for being "very knowledgeable and commercially aware" and "empowering and supportive for the client at all times."

Martyn Day maintains a respected product liability practice which includes a depth of experience in domestic and cross-border multiparty actions against household-name multinationals. He is a co-founder of the firm, and serves as the head of the department.

Gene Matthews comes recommended as "an excellent solicitor who has very good judgement and client-handling skills, and is good tactically and very considered." He offers clients expertise in clinical trial and product safety claims.

The "phenomenally hard-working" Michelle Victor impresses with her ability to "be completely in control" of product liability claims. She has a strong track record of acting in significant medical devices and consumer goods matters.

Associate Chris Haan continues to develop a highly regarded products liability specialism and is regularly engaged in defective consumer goods class actions. One commentator describes him as "an absolute genius and a very good lawyer."

Thomas Jervis stands out to clients as a "very conscientious" associate who "cares greatly about clients and has an excellent bedside manner." He is frequently involved in high-profile medical device claims and consumer goods disputes.

Sarah Moore is a developing force in the market who has been involved in significant litigation involving medical device defects. One client reports: "She's very bright and very good at getting on top of some of the complex detail and literature. She has a very good analytical brain."

Travel - claimant

Another commentator highlights the firm's "pioneering work," adding: "They are not scared to take on tricky cases."

Exclusively represents claimants and frequently advises on complex travel cases involving jurisdiction and applicable law issues. Covers a broad spectrum of cases, including those involving catastrophic injuries and fatalities arising from RTAs, cycling accidents and employment abroad as well as package holiday and illness claims. Typically acts for clients against major insurers and corporations.

One source commends the lawyers' "excellent knowledge of their field," describing them as "very easy to get on with and very good with their clients."

Manchester-based Clare Campbell is a well-regarded practitioner who gains recognition for her "practical and commercial" approach, personable manner and good client care skills. Her extensive claimant practice covers a broad range of international personal injury cases, including RTAs, package holiday claims and accidents at work involving severe injuries and death.

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