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The Legal 500

The Legal 500 2021

The total number of Leigh Day lawyers mentioned in the Legal 500 2021 is 55, one up from last year. The travel injury team rose one place to rank 2.

Clinical negligence – rank 1
Personal injury – rank 1
Employment – rank 1
Senior executive – rank 3
Court of Protection – rank 2
Product liability – rank 1
Administrative and public law – rank 1
Civil liberties – rank 1
Environment – rank 1
Travel – rank 2

Hall of fame: Richard Stein, Claire Fazan, Russell Levy, Martyn Day, Sally Moore, Frances Swaine
Leading individuals: Jamie Beagent, Sean Humber, Suzanne White, Steve Jones, Chris Benson,           Bozena Michalowska-Howells, Jill Paterson, Clare Campbell, Andrew Bradley, and Helen Ashton
Next generation: Rosa Curling, Tessa Gregory, Sapna Malik, Sanja Strkljevic, Kiran Daurka, Harminder Bains, Tom Jervis and Lauren Lougheed
Rising stars: Benjamin Burrows, Annie Powell, Tina Patel, Anna Moore, Joe Dawson, Ryan Bradshaw and Mike Cain
Key lawyers: Richard Meeran, Daniel Leader, Daniel Easton, Stephanie Hill, Waleed Sheikh, Emma Jones, Yvonne Kestler, Rowan Smith, Merry Varney, Kate Egerton, Olive Lewin, Sally Jean Nicholes, Nigel Mackay, Oliver Holland, Matt Renshaw, Carol Day, Grant Incles, Michelle Victor, Gene Matthews, Emma Satyamurti, Paula Lee, Michael Newman, Linda Wong and Brendan Hope.

Administrative and public law

Leigh Day is frequently engaged by non-commercial public law claimants in cutting-edge judicial review challenges against government bodies. Prison law team head Benjamin Burrows is heavily invested in representing the rights of transgender prisoners, while Stephanie Hill and Waleed Sheikh handle challenges concerning immigration detention. Practice head Jamie Beagent has a notable practice in planning and environmental law; Tessa Gregory has brought numerous challenges to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’ implementation of universal credit; Rosa Curling has a diverse practice ranging from arms trade challenges to protestors’ rights; and Sean Humber gained a successful ruling regarding voting arrangements for blind and partially sighted people. Public inquiry and inquest work is handled by Emma Jones and Yvonne Kestler.

Civil Liberties

Described as 'synonymous with human rights', the practice at Leigh Day stands at the forefront of civil liberties and acts in landmark cases pertaining to international human rights, sexual violence issues, actions against the state, and immigration mandates. Jamie Beagent oversees the group, which is skilled in undertaking a range of domestic human rights work and representing NGO's. Core members of the group include Daniel Leader. who is experienced in complex multi-party actions; privacy law expert Sean Humber, and Rosa Curling. On the international side, co-head Richard Meeran and Sapna Malik are the key contacts for cross-border human rights matters; the team has a specialism in acting in international abuse cases that cut across the fields of personal injury and human rights issues. Founder and senior partner Martyn Day is also a recommended contact.

Clinical negligence - claimant

The 'premier team of clinical negligence lawyers' at Leigh Day bring their 'unrivalled breadth and depth of experience' to an 'exceptional caseload', which spans birth, brain and spinal injuries, as well as fatal claims. In recent highlights, the firm was successful in obtaining the largest known settlement for a child suffering from cerebral palsy. Suzanne White is the 'brilliant ' head of the practice, and is also the firm’s inquest partner, and has extensive experience representing families at inquests. Olive Lewin's dual qualification sees her taking on the most complex medical cases, including cardiac surgery cases where patients have become brain damaged. Also notable is 'excellent tactical thinker' Sanja Strkljevic, whose work covers obstetric and surgical care, as well as delayed diagnoses and amputations.

The team at Leigh Day is well-known for handling serious injury and maximum injury cases. The team has significant experience in serious matters including acting for children with cerebral palsy who were injured at birth; spinal claims; neonatal death; acquired brain injury; and amputation claims. 'Tactically astute' Stephen Jones heads the team.

Employment: employee/union firms

The employee and trade union team at Leigh Day is headed by Chris Benson , who is hailed as a 'truly inspirational leader'. The team only acts for claimants, and regularly takes on cases turned down by other firms, working with unions and supporting regional and national officers. The team also acts for union members on individual claims and complex group actions, frequently representing thousands of claimants. Particular areas of expertise are equal pay cases, as well as cases concerning the gig economy, representing drivers and couriers challenging their exploitation by large tech companies. The team has been very successful in pension discrimination claims, paving the way for other public sector employees to challenge discriminatory changes to their pensions. Kiran Daurka chairs Leigh Day’s BAME Network and has contributed to a number of government consultations including race pay reporting. Nigel Mackay and Annie Powell are also recommended.

Headed by Chris Benson, the employment team at Leigh Day has considerable expertise in advising union members in claims for equal pay against both public and private sector employers, occasionally supporting union causes in high-stakes litigation. The team also acts for non-union clients, including senior executives and high-level employees, who approach the firm on an individual basis. The 'formidable' pairing of Lauren Lougheed and Linda Wong, who have been spearheading the team’s high-profile equal pay claims against Asda and Sainsbury’s, were both promoted to partner in April 2020. Associate solicitors Mike Cain and Ryan Bradshaw are also highly regarded.

Employment: senior executives

Specialist claimant firm Leigh Day undertakes a wide range of work for senior executives, including complex injunction proceedings and high-value discrimination cases. Recent work has included an increasing number of sexual harassment and equal pay cases. Team head Chris Benson has a specialism in cases involving breaches of performance targets and professional standards. Nigel Mackay and Emma Satyamurti are other notable names in the team.


Focusing exclusively on representing claimants, Leigh Day has 'unparalleled expertise in pursuing large group claims concerning mass pollution events such as oil spills and leaks of toxic chemicals from industrial facilities in developing countries'. The team specialises in class action lawsuits against oil and gas companies, as well as other international multi-party actions arising from environmental damage and domestic applications opposing planning decisions. Clients include local farming, fishing and indigenous communities living in proximity to mines, oil fields and toxic water supplies. A key name in the department is the experienced Martyn Day, who was instructed by over 1800 individuals in Zambia who allege that their lands and waterways have been seriously polluted by a copper mine owned by Vedanta PLC. Richard Meeran and Jamie Beagent jointly lead the practice.

Personal injury - claimant

Leigh Day fields a 'very committed team who take on difficult and unusual cases with great courage and success' and whose 'strength in depth is extraordinary'. Highly specialised departments complement the firm's work on amputations, brain injuries and fatal accidents. Richard Meeran leads on international work, including ground-breaking cases against UK-domiciled multinationals, and abuse claims brought in foreign jurisdictions. Martyn Day is also a key name to note for this type of work. Daniel Easton and Harminder Bains jointly head up an industrial disease team which has assembled 'the most experienced team of asbestos lawyers anywhere in the UK', and takes cases up to the Supreme Court. Grant Incles is at the helm of the specialist cycling and sports injuries department, and Sally Moore receives frequent instruction from the British Cycling Federation.

Andrew Bradley handles cycling and sports personal injury claims; Clare Campbell heads the travel team and acts for claimants injured abroad. Helen Ashton is recommended for claims related to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Private client - Court of Protection

The human rights department at Leigh Day includes a specialist Court of Protection team with an established practice in 'best interests' cases. The team receives regular referrals from the Official Solicitor in matters relating to deprivation of liberty, contact, residence and sexual relations. Jamie Beagent leads the practice. Another key contact is associate Anna Moore, who acts in a variety of health and welfare cases before the Court of Protection and is instructed both by family members and by the Official Solicitor on behalf of protected parties. In addition, she is an accredited legal representative under the Law Society’s mental capacity accreditation scheme. Frances Swaine is another recognised practitioner in this area.

Product Liability - claimant

Leigh Day is one of the leading claimant practices in the market with a strong reputation in cases relating to medical devices and pharmaceuticals products. The team has also seen increasing activity in the consumer goods and food and drinks space, across civil and group litigation. Bozena Michalowska-Howells heads up the practice; she has more than 20 years of experience spanning a variety of disputes. Jill Paterson is well versed in consumer rights issues, while Gene Matthews is a key name for clinical trials and product safety matters. Other prominent practitioners are Michelle Victor, recently promoted partner Thomas Jervis and associates Sarah Moore and Tina Patel.

Travel - Personal Injury

Headed up by 'very experienced' cross-border personal injury lawyer Clare Campbell, the 'tenacious and creative' Manchester-based team at Leigh Day acts exclusively for claimants, handling a range of international injury claims. Fielding specialists in the field of cycle accidents, the team’s workload also comprises claims involving road traffic accidents abroad with complex jurisdiction and applicable law issues, claims under the Package Travel Regulations, workplace accidents abroad, and maritime and aviation accidents. Associate solicitor Joseph Dawson, who clients claim 'lives and breathes international travel law', is a key name to note.

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