10 October 2019
Parklane Plowden dominates the North Eastern Circuit in newly released Chambers & Partners Guide to the Bar, 2020
Parklane Plowden Chambers has further strengthened its position as a leading set in the latest edition of Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Bar, 2020. Chambers dominates the North Eastern Circuit, with 40 individual barrister recommendations across 8 practice areas, up on last years’ 34 barrister accolades. Key results include the promotion of the Family and Matrimonial team from Band 3 to Band 2, and the addition of Julia Nelson, John Jackson and Natalia Levine to the 8 barrister recommendations in this practice area. Chambers remains the only ranked set on circuit for Clinical Negligence expertise and this year sees the inclusion of Michael Hill as a recommended barrister in the team for his specialism in dental negligence claims. Michael Ditchfield is identified nationally in Chambers & Partners new ‘Spotlight Table’ for his expertise in industrial disease work. Steven Turner is recognised nationally for his expertise in motor insurance work. Within ‘the regions’, Craig Moore receives an accolade for his sports law practice. TEAM RANKINGS AND ACCOLADES CHANCERY (BAND 1) “Parklane Plowden is "a force to be reckoned with" in the chancery space. Members act in disputed trusts and contentious probate cases and are also well equipped to deal with a wide range of non-contentious trust matters. Barristers at the set act in high-value commercial chancery cases, including claims against company directors. Client service: "The clerks are excellent at linking barristers to the right job. They're very approachable and all have a 'can do' approach to their work." "Practice director Stephen Render and practice manager Claire Shephard are proactive and keen to build long-term relationships and introduce us to their younger crowd of barristers." CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE (BAND 1 AND ONLY RANKED CHAMBERS) “The set is involved in significant, complex cases arising from a wide range of claims. The barristers are highly experienced in birth injury claims, including cerebral palsy, as well as surgical negligence, failure to diagnose and care and medicine mismanagement cases, often involving high quantum negotiations. The set complements its claimant representation with experience acting for defendant trusts. Clients say: "All counsel instructed have been meticulous in the assessment of cases." EMPLOYMENT (BAND 1) “Parklane Plowden remains a leading set for employment law on the North Eastern Circuit. Its expertise covers a variety of employment matters including discrimination, sexual misconduct, equal pay and victimisation claims. Members boast an impressive roster of clients from both the public and private sectors and primarily act for respondents, although they are also well equipped to handle cases for claimants. "The barristers are knowledgeable of the law, easy to work with and excellent with my clients," says one instructing solicitor. Client service: "I am very impressed by the operation of the chambers. The clerks are friendly, approachable and most importantly very efficient." "Sharon Robson, senior practice director for the employment team, is quick to respond, happy to help and will come up with sensible solutions to issues." FAMILY/MATRIMONIAL (BAND 2) “Parklane Plowden possesses a family team as robust in its handling of matrimonial finance instructions as in its work in public and private law children matters. Its members display acumen in high-value financial remedy proceedings, often with business and farming assets at stake, in addition to TOLATA and cohabitation cases. From international relocations to care proceedings over sexual exploitation, the practice is also prolific in its childcare work on behalf of parents, local authorities and children. Client service: "It is wonderful clerking. They look after you and will drop things last minute to make sure things are done for you." "Mark Williams, head of the family clerking team, is excellent and always happy to have a chat and able to twist someone's arm to get them to call us back!" PERSONAL INJURY (BAND 1) “The leading set on the North Eastern circuit for personal injury matters. Parklane Plowden draws market-wide praise from instructing solicitors, who describe the set as "consistently excellent" and draw attention to the team's "strength and depth." Members are frequently called upon to represent both claimant and defendant clients in a wide range of high-value catastrophic and fatal injury claims, and also offer expertise in industrial disease matters and cases involving complex elements of fraud. The set's barristers are also adept at handling employers' and public liability claims, and regularly appear before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Client service: "The clerks are very knowledgeable and will work hard to ensure that the right counsel is available whenever possible, even at short notice." "The clerks are a credit to the chambers. They are friendly, helpful and efficient." "The clerks in both Leeds and Newcastle are excellent - they're all really friendly, helpful and go out of their way to make you and your clients feel welcome and valued." Director of clerking Mike Stubbs is praised by instructing solicitors as "a fantastic and very personable clerk." Mark Williams is the senior practice director for the personal injury group. BARRISTER RECOMMENDATIONS CHANCERY Sarah Harrison Highly regarded chancery practitioner with a strong reputation in the North Eastern Bar. She focuses on contentious probate and disputed trust cases. She also has experience working on professional negligence claims, Court of Protection applications and tax matters. Strengths: "She is a formidable opponent; she always knows more than you do and she's a very good, technical lawyer." "She is very to the point, pragmatic and effective in cross-examination." Recent work: Acted in a dispute regarding the validity of the severance of a joint tenancy due to incapacity. Sean Kelly Experienced barrister recognised for his broad-based expertise on chancery and commercial matters. He advises on partnership disputes, professional negligence and insolvency cases. Kelly also handles non-contentious work and advises on transactional matters touching upon partnership and company law. Strengths: "He has a detailed grasp of the law and the ability to meet challenges by judges with a detailed response." "He has an encyclopaedic knowledge and a very calm manner." Recent work: Acted in a claim for the winding-up of a partnership, which included an allegation that significant assets were transferred out of the partnership by proprietary estoppel. Stuart Roberts Has a wide-ranging chancery practice which encompasses both traditional and commercial law. He is often instructed in contentious probate matters. Strengths: "Stuart is excellent in conference with clients and particularly skilled at explaining complex issues. His experience really shines through." "He's very good at negotiating on behalf of clients and very pragmatic." Recent work: Successfully defended a challenge to a will, which was brought on the grounds of undue influence, lack of capacity and lack of knowledge and approval. Anna Metcalfe “Has particular expertise in trust and probate litigation, including Inheritance Act claims, Part 64 applications and will challenges. She also represents clients involved in Court of Protection proceedings and handles property disputes. Strengths: "She is very good and very practical. Her written work and advocacy skills are excellent." "She is really knowledgeable and good with clients." Recent work: Acted for the defendant in an Inheritance Act claim made by a spouse of 42 years for a £100,000 estate in its entirety. The deceased and the claimant had separated, but not divorced, 10 months before the death and the deceased had begun a relationship with the defendant and left his estate to her.” CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE Howard Elgot “Assists with long-running and typically high-value claims on behalf of both claimants and defendants. He has demonstrated expertise in child brain injury including cerebral palsy, as well as failings in psychiatric care and claims against GPs. Strengths: "He thinks outside the box and is not afraid to look into the little details." "He really knows how to argue for his clients." Richard Copnall “Earns considerable praise for his work in clinical inquests that lead to civil claims. His matters include cases concerning failures of hospital staff to provide appropriate care, as well as failures to properly monitor patients with mental health issues. He possesses a strong command of surgical negligence issues. Strengths: "He is good in dealings with clients: he's reassuring and good at guiding them through the process." Andrew Axon “Acts on both the claimant and defendant side of heavyweight serious injury claims including those arising from surgical negligence, delayed diagnosis of diseases and a failure to supervise those at risk of suicide. He is widely renowned for his handling of cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury claims. He also displays expertise in cauda equina cases. Strengths: "He has a sharp analytical brain and is able to see the wood for the trees." "Good with witnesses and good on his feet." "Clients love him and judges love him: he's a really accomplished advocate." Elizabeth Hodgson “Active across a broad range of clinical matters for both claimants and defendant hospitals. She has notable experience in areas including psychiatric injury, failures to diagnose cancer and surgical negligence cases. She demonstrates expertise in catastrophic child brain injury claims. Strengths: "She is always well prepared for conferences, and has a good manner with clients and experts." "A really solid pair of hands, and has good instincts." Stephen Friday “Handles a range of issues, with a focus on delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose. His caseload includes complex claims concerning brain injuries and fatalities, and he boasts strong expertise covering issues surrounding informed consent. Strengths: "He will expedite work where I need him to and is always available by email should I have quick questions." "He is always well prepared, very thorough, and delivers high-quality paperwork quickly." Recent work: Represented Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, in a case arising from the failure to perform a full neurological examination or spinal x-ray when the claimant attended A&E after a fall. The defendant admitted breach of duty, but contested causation and quantum.” Hylton Armstrong “Has an established presence in clinical negligence and receives instructions in a broad range of matters. His expertise encompasses inquests into psychiatric and hospital care, as well as failures to diagnose, extending to cases of patient fatality. His practice features claims relating to cauda equina syndrome, among other conditions. Strengths: "He has a good attention to detail and is good with clients." Michael Hill “Has a well-established reputation as a key clinical negligence barrister with a particular focus on dental claims, boasting strong expertise informed by his previous occupation as a dentist. He represents both claimants and defendants. His capabilities in the medical field extend to other core areas such as orthopaedic and anaesthetic negligence. Strengths: "Extremely good with clients, very clear, and able to explain in easy to understand manner." Recent work: Acted in Hollywood v Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a claim arising from an allegation of lack of consent and technical execution failures, in relation to a right inferior alveolar nerve injury. The claim settled for £12,000.” EMPLOYMENT Dominic Bayne “A well-trusted litigator with an impressive track record in all facets of employment law including discrimination and equal pay claims. He is highly experienced in claims for unfair dismissal and unfair redundancy. He has a broad and diverse practice representing both private and public sector clients, ranging from large-scale organisations to individuals. Strengths: "He is extremely approachable and his advice is very clear." "A very detail-oriented barrister who is fantastic with witnesses and really puts them at ease." Recent work: Acted for a spinal surgeon in a victimisation, age discrimination and unfair dismissal claim against Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust.” Andrew Sugarman “An established presence in employment litigation who commands considerable respect for his representation of claimants and respondents. His client base includes both public and private sector clients, from universities to individuals. He also offers vast expertise acting for NHS trusts in claims such as victimisation, race and sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Strengths: "He impresses with his ability to get to the heart of the matter through a mass of potentially obscuring detail and to develop very quickly a thorough understanding of the specifics of the case in the context of the relevant case law." "He is a very strong advocate, supportive, detailed in his preparation and great with clients." Recent work: Acted for the defendant employer in Thomas v Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a high-value sex discrimination, whistle-blowing and constructive unfair dismissal claim brought by a consultant surgeon.” Tariq Sadiq “Operates a wide employment law practice, and has extensive experience of handling matters involving restrictive covenants, whistle-blowing claims and complex discrimination allegations. He has also established a niche expertise in national security employment disputes. Sadiq regularly acts for large public and governmental bodies. Strengths: "He's very hard-working, with a good attention to detail. He's an effective practitioner." Andrew Webster “Has an impressive local practice but also attracts instructions from clients across the country. Primarily called upon to act for respondents in the public sector including local authorities, NHS trusts and other government bodies. He offers expertise advising on a range of employment matters including those relating to discrimination, unfair dismissal and statutory annual leave. Strengths: "Andrew is a formidable advocate with forensic attention to detail and is creative with legal arguments." "He is very down to earth, practical and able to cut through documentation and distil the key problems very quickly and he is very good with cross-examination." Recent work: Acted for the respondent in Downs v Academy Enterprise Trust, a disability discrimination case involving a teacher with various disabilities. FAMILY/MATRIMONIAL Joanne Astbury “Head of the family team at Parklane Plowden, Astbury focuses her practice on public children law and care proceedings. She is highly skilled in cases involving serious abuse and medical technicalities. She has particular experience representing children as well as clients of all ages with disabilities. Strengths: "An incredible advocate." "Joanne is highly respected in the field of Children Act proceedings. She is respected for her technical attention to the law and caring approach to client care." Julia Nelson “With a long-standing practice focused on matrimonial finance and private child law, Julia Nelson is equipped to take on an array of instructions in family law. She regularly undertakes financial relief applications of significant value in addition to child care cases concerning relocation as well as alleged domestic abuse. Strengths: "She's direct and to the point; she doesn't waffle with legal jargon and immediately gains clients' confidence." "An excellent barrister for children cases. She relates well to clients and quickly grasps the issues. She is practical and not scared to use common sense!" Sara Anning “A specialist in children work, who acts for local authorities, children and guardians, and has particular experience in cases concerning allegations of severe harm, including physical and sexual abuse. Also takes on cases concerning same-sex parenting, artificial insemination and adoption. Strengths: "Her work is of a consistently high level." "She is approachable, highly contactable and has a sympathetic and friendly approach to client care." Elizabeth Darlington “Highly regarded for her expertise in property and chancery law, she is frequently the top choice for solicitors handling TOLATA and cohabitation disputes arising from separations. She is also well-versed in inheritance claims. Strengths: "A gem at cohabitation disputes, she is very competent in her advice and very client-focused." "Elizabeth is simply brilliant in TOLATA cases. Her knowledge is second to none." "Her knowledge and intellect are outstanding." John Jackson “A former solicitor and children law expert with extensive knowledge of serious abuse allegation cases, among a range of other public and private children law issues. His work includes complex cases with international aspects. Strengths: "John has an excellent bedside manner with clients and displays high levels of sensitivity and empathy. He is able to explain legal terms to lay clients in easy to understand language and is very approachable." "Extremely experienced private children law advocate." Natalia Levine “A strong advocate with a focus on complex child care cases. Her caseload comprises alleged non-accidental injuries, usually accompanied by extensive medical evidence, and contested adoption cases on behalf of parents and relatives. Strengths: "She puts people at ease as soon as she walks in the room." "An accomplished advocate specialising in children matters." "Natalia is sensible and pragmatic in her approach but is also highly robust as a litigator which is warmly received by the clients and solicitors she advocates for." Alex Taylor “A child law specialist, he has vast experience in handling complex public law children cases. He regularly acts in cases concerning such matters as adoption, non-accidental injuries and fabricated or induced injuries, sometimes with a cross-border aspect. Strengths: "Good in child care work." PERSONAL INJURY Christopher Williams “Has a broad practice that combines expertise in personal injury and professional negligence. He acts in a wide range of cases, representing both claimants and defendants in employers' liability matters, including those concerning industrial disease and injuries in the workplace. He has particular expertise in cases concerning upper limb disorders, hand-arm vibration syndrome and industrial deafness. Strengths: "He is knowledgeable, exceptionally helpful, excellent with clients and always reliable." Recent work: Instructed in Brickley and 23 others v Cleveland Potash, a case in which over 20 employees at the defendant's potash mine claimed damages for HAVS after having worked in various occupations underground at the mine at Saltburn.” Howard Elgot “Senior junior known for his superb grasp of claims involving serious spinal and brain injuries. He often acts in complex, high-value paralysis cases, representing both claimants and defendants. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on personal injury law. He is experienced appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Strengths: "Clever, determined and sharp." "He's absolutely top drawer; his attention to detail is superb and he has the ability to turn his hand to almost anything." Richard Copnall “Known for his commanding presence at trial and in negotiations, making him a powerful representative for clients. He principally acts in high-value catastrophic injury cases, though he also represents clients during inquests, and has additional experience in human rights issues. He is able to draw on his scientific background when advising on cases with complex technical elements. Strengths: "He's very empathetic and puts the client at ease when explaining the next steps." "He's diligent, considered, methodical and very reassuring." "A very bright barrister with excellent analytical skills. He's superb at cross-examinations." Recent work: Instructed in a case in which the claimant, a miner, suffered VWF as a consequence of using vibrating tools.” Andrew Axon “Combines his outstanding personal injury practice with his work in clinical negligence. He is instructed by both the defence and the prosecution in serious, high-value cases, and excels in those relating to brain and spinal injury as well as amputations. He regularly appears in cases before the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Strengths: "Andrew has the rare combination of real intellectual clout and a fabulous bedside manner. He is particularly impressive when it comes to the tactics around settling cases involving clients who are on the borderline of mental capacity." "Able to unpick complex liability and quantum issues and then outline a clear plan and strategy. He's also great with clients and able to articulate difficult concepts in a way they can understand." Recent work: Instructed in a case in which a claimant sustained severe head injuries as a consequence of an RTA. Elizabeth Hodgson “Represents defendants in personal injury cases related to employers' liability as well as public liability claims. She also acts for claimants in claims arising from allegations of childhood abuse. Her clients include insurers, local authorities, trade unions and NHS Resolution. She is also well versed in issues of limitation in industrial disease cases. Strengths: "She's very straightforward and takes a no-nonsense approach." "She's approachable, accessible and very good both in court and on paper." Recent work: Advised a defendant in relation to a claim brought by a disabled teaching assistant who claimed he had sustained injury as a result of the unsuitability of a self-closing door in the defendant's school.” James Murphy “A well-respected junior and head of the personal injury team at Parklane Plowden. He handles both industrial disease and catastrophic injury claims, and also has a specialist focus on employers' liability. He is particularly well regarded for his expertise in asbestos-related matters. He represents claimants and defendants, both at first instance and on appeal. He is praised for his creative drafting and down-to-earth manner. Strengths: "An excellent trial barrister who is able to present cases clearly and positively to maximise the prospects of a successful outcome." "Calm, thorough and very good in conference." Recent work: Instructed in a case concerning a child who suffered a serious injury while exploring a derelict site earmarked for demolition.” Steven Turner “Highly regarded senior junior who acts for both claimants and defendants in high-value personal injury claims. He has an excellent reputation for his handling of high-profile test case litigation. His cases involve complex medical and legal evidence. Strengths: "He's extremely knowledgeable and has a subtle and profoundly effective advocacy style." Recent work: Instructed in a case involving a claimant who suffered life-threatening and life-changing injuries when struck by a vehicle which had been knocked off course by the first defendant's negligent driving. The claim was settled at JSM for £3 million.” Corin Furness “Very well versed in employment and public liability, and also noted for his fraud expertise. He also regularly handles claims concerning serious injuries and fatalities caused by RTAs. He acts for both claimants and defendants, and is particularly adept at handling multi-track claims. Strengths: "He has incredible attention to detail, and is excellent tactically and in conference with medical experts. He's always very calm and able to reassure clients." "Takes a very analytical approach to cases which helps to quickly cut through complex issues and get to the heart of the matter." Recent work: Acted in a claim brought by a claimant who suffered a severe injury after trapping her hand in a door at a police station.” Stephen Friday “Offers a broad practice representing defendants and claimants alike. He is particularly experienced in cases concerning chronic pain, brain injury and amputation, as well as others arising in a clinical setting. He also takes on claims relating to fatal traffic accidents. Strengths: "Absolutely brilliant. He's great with clients and puts them at ease, speaking to them in a language they understand." Recent work: Instructed in a case concerning a claimant who fell from a ladder at work and suffered displaced fractures to his left tibia and fibula. Liability was agreed but quantum was disputed.” Tom Nossiter “Receives high praise for his exceptional client care skills, which lend strength to his claimant-focused practice. He acts in high-value occupiers' and public liability claims as well as complex employment liability cases. He is also experienced in the handling of industrial disease claims. Strengths: "He's very hard-working and prepared to go that extra mile. He's excellent tactically in JSMs and is very popular with clients." "Very approachable and pragmatic." Recent work: Acted for a claimant in an employers' liability claim valued at over £1 million. The claimant had suffered the amputation of his lower leg above the ankle”. Catherine Souter “Represents claimants and defendants in multi-track as well as fast-track cases. She has a broad range of experience but is particularly knowledgeable about personal injury arising out of health and safety breaches, and is well versed in employment, occupiers' and public liability cases. She also handles claims involving fatal accidents, psychiatric injury and chronic pain conditions. Her clients include local authorities, NHS trusts, manufacturers and insurers. Strengths: "Robust and excellent with clients. She's determined to get the client the best possible outcome." "Pragmatic, thorough and helpful." Stuart Jamieson “Junior who continues to represent both claimants and defendants in complex personal injury cases. He regularly acts for clients with life-altering injuries arising from accidents at work as well as serious traffic accidents. He is noted for his exceptional ability when it comes to costs issues and claims under the Animals Act. He is also adept at handling complex industrial disease claims involving hand-arm vibration syndrome and noise-induced hearing loss. Strengths: "He has an excellent manner with clients and is extremely tenacious when dealing with opposing counsel." Recent work: Instructed in a fatal accident claim concerning an elderly woodsman who was killed in an RTA. The case was settled at JSM for £300,000.” Tom Vonberg “A respected junior, well known for his handling of high-value personal injury claims and insurance coverage disputes. He has experience appearing in multiparty litigation, and has appeared unled before the Court of Appeal. He is also adept at handling product liability cases. Strengths: "He's organised, meticulous in his attention to detail and has an impeccable manner with clients. He's able to simplify complex technical issues to provide clear and sound advice." Recent work: Acted for a claimant who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following an RTA.” MOTOR INSURANCE FRAUD – All Circuits Steven Turner “An experienced junior admired for the strength of his motor insurance fraud practice. He brings impressive expertise to credit hire cases and exaggerated injury claims, and offers insurers robust advice on how to effectively combat fraud rings. Strengths: "He's technically very strong" and "an expert in credit hire cases." PERSONAL INJURY: INDUSTRIAL DISEASE – All Circuits Michael Ditchfield - “Spotlight” “An experienced personal injury junior noted for his expertise in a variety of industrial disease matters. He focuses his practice on claims involving dust-based diseases, and is instructed to act on behalf of both claimant and defendant clients. Strengths: "He's thorough and has a lot of knowledge in this area." Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Plumb v Mainline Transport, a noise-induced hearing loss case.” SPORTS LAW – The Regions (Bar) Craig Moore “Specialises in sport-related personal injury and insurance matters, and acts for individuals and governing bodies in the worlds of both football and rugby. He has extensive experience of chairing regulatory tribunals in a range of sports, including football, rowing and swimming. He has been involved in a wide range of cases including those relating to third party ownership, race and ethnicity and match fixing. Strengths: "Highly experienced."
22 November 2023