Parklane Plowden Tops Chambers & Partners Again
1 November 2013

Parklane Plowden Tops Chambers & Partners Again

Parklane Plowden has once again been ranked top in the North East after being described as "the singular standout chambers".

The rankings, released on 31st October maintains Parklane Plowden's position firmly at the top in Personal Injury and Employment Law, whilst individual members were also highly praised in Family Law.

Parklane Plowden barristers accounted for all of the entries in the directory under Clinical Negligence for the North East circuit.

Recognition was also given to the hard work of the clerking team who are described as "particularly efficient and accommodating", and "as helpful as they can possibly be".

The full rankings as published by Chambers & Partners 2014 are listed below:


Personal Injury - North East Circuit                      

Acknowledged as the singular standout chambers for personal injury litigation across the North East, this set occupies an enviable position in terms of strength, depth and recognition among practitioners. Its members practise across the full range of personal injury work, and its clerking is noted as being particularly efficient and accommodating.

Client service: "The clerks are as helpful as they can possibly be - we have a good relationship with them."

Stuart Brown QC (Band 1)
He is among the most experienced practitioners in personal injury litigation on the North Eastern circuit. He deals primarily with catastrophic injury claims, and has significant expertise in claims involving children.
Expertise: "He is good technically and very academic."
Recent work: He acted in a claim concerning a baby affected by botulism, allegedly contracted from a powdered milk formula.

Andrew Axon (Band 1)
Handles a wide range of high-value and high-complexity cases. In particular, he is recommended for his expertise in spinal and brain injury claims, while also being noted for his experience with inquests. Axon is the head of chambers.
Expertise: "Clients absolutely adore him. Very few barristers have his all-round qualities: client care, good on paper, fast, efficient, good at negotiating, responsive, and good in court."
Recent work:Axon recently acted in a claim relating to the delayed diagnosis and management of cervical discitis, resulting in tetraparesis.

Stephen Friday (Band 1)
Specialises in complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases, acting for both claimants and defendants. He is noted both for his technical ability with particularly difficult cases and for his client manner.
Expertise: "He has a gravitas about him. He exudes experience and confidence, and he's excellent with clients." "He's very good both for his courtroom skills and his ability to grasp a number of complex issues in a very short period of time."
Recent work:Friday acted for the claimant following a motorcycle accident that resulted in serious multiple injuries and significantly reduced earning capacity. The case settled for £400,000.

James Murphy (Band 1)
Acts primarily in cases relating to industrial disease and asbestos exposure, and is known for the breadth of his specialist expertise in the field. He also has significant experience with complex catastrophic injury claims.
Expertise: "His court skills are second to none - his ability to think on his feet is quite remarkable. His demeanour with clients is excellent; he's always well prepared and he puts clients at ease."
Recent work:He represented the victim of a building site accident whose leg was amputated after a dumper truck overturned. The case was settled after liability was denied by the construction company.

Steven Turner (Band 2)
Acts for both claimants and defendants in a variety of highly complex areas. He is particularly noted for his expertise in costs and employers' liability cases.
Expertise: "He is technically excellent and has good insight and a very good knowledge of the issues." "His attention to detail is second to none. He's very approachable."
Recent work:Turner acted for Chartis Insurance in defence of a complex fraud and credit hire case, successfully bringing the claimant to abandon her hire claim during trial.

Christopher Williams (Band 2)
Offers a wide range of experience in personal injury litigation, acting for both claimants and defendants, including complex industrial disease claims.
Expertise: "He's well known - he works very hard."
Recent work:Williams acted for the respondents in Gonsalves v Redcar and Cleveland, a much talked-about Court of Appeal case concerning the alleged negligence of a school after a child suffered serious facial injuries during a golf lesson.

Richard Copnall (Band 1)
Handles high-value catastrophic claims, in addition to offering niche expertise in inquests and fatal claims, particularly in relation to deaths in hospital.
Expertise: "He's very clever and very dogged; he prepares very well. He's methodical and persistent, and he gets very good results."
Recent work: Copnall acted in the inquest into the death of Emma Stones, a 12-year-old with cerebral palsy who died from septicaemia while in hospital.

Howard Elgot (Band 2)
Frequently handles extremely high-value complex catastrophic work, with particular expertise in industrial disease litigation and brain injury cases relating to infants.
Expertise: "He is extremely thorough and very good with clients."
Recent work: He acted for the claimants in a group action against British Coal by coal miners who suffered VWF as a result of using vibratory tools.

Catherine Souter (Band 2)
Has a wide-ranging practice, and is known for her experience in employers' and public liability claims. She acts for both defendant and claimant clients, including trade unions, local authorities, insurers and private individuals.
Expertise: "She's highly thought of by local authorities."
Recent work: In Shoesmith v West Yorkshire Police she acted for the claimant, a student injured by the police response to a 'riot' at a house party.

Corin Furness (Band 2)
He is noted for his expertise in criminal injuries compensation claims, as well as RTAs, fraudulent claims, employers' liability, and general personal injury litigation. He acts for claimants and defendants.
Expertise: "He's very responsive. He's easy to contact and very good at doing the work on time." "He has the ear of the court."
Recent work: He represented Hull City Council in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in a leading case on the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992.

Susan Shakespeare (Band 2)
Her prior experience as a solicitor in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence adds to her expertise in a wide range of work, including RTAs, occupiers' liability, and serious injury claims.
Recent work:She acted in Tompkins v Premier Waste, a case concerning multiple severe injuries.


Clinical Negligence - North East Circuit

Andrew Axon (Band 1)
Was appointed head of chambers in February 2012, and he rises to the top of the rankings following excellent market feedback. He has a particular focus on head injury claims, and wins praise for his work on oncology cases and inquests.
Expertise: "He is able to communicate with people from all walks of life." "He has a certain gravitas and can hold his own in medical conversations, while at the same time having a very good manner with clients."

Stuart Brown QC (Band 1 - on both Northern Circuit and North East Circuit)
Has focused his practice on cases concerning catastrophic injuries, although he is particularly highly regarded for his expertise in paediatric cerebral palsy cases.
Expertise: "He is technically excellent and very academic. A safe pair of hands." "He is super clever but also displays impressive client skills."

Howard Elgot (Band 2)
Receives instructions from defendant and claimant solicitors on a broad range of matters, including brain damage and spinal injury cases. He also does a lot of defence work for foreign doctors.

David Wilby QC (Band 2)
Specialises in severe disabilities, tetraplegia, paraplegia and catastrophic brain damage. He also has considerable experience of handling work in the Court of Appeal.
Expertise: "He is pleasant and welcoming." "He is adept at handling complex cases and really gets to the bottom of things. He also has very good judgement and takes on cases others wouldn't be so keen on."


Employment - North East Circuit

Dominic Bayne (Band 1)
Focuses his practice on employment disputes, and is widely recognised for his work on behalf of large employers such as local authorities.
Expertise: "He impresses with his excellent preparation, detailed knowledge of the law and thorough advocacy style in factually complicated cases. He very quickly gets to grips with the key issues of the case, and is always willing to discuss tactics and the next steps as the case progresses."

Roger Quickfall (Up and Coming)
A rising star who has a broad practice covering employment, product liability and clinical negligence work.

Andrew Sugarman (Band 1) 
An experienced employment advocate who is instructed by a wide range of clients, and is recognised as being equally adept at acting for claimants and respondents.
Expertise: "He is a skilled barrister, but also straight-talking and down-to-earth. He is very good with clients, and can cut to the main issues quickly and explain difficult legal concepts clearly and concisely."

Seamus Sweeney (Star Individual)
Focuses his practice entirely on employment law. He is widely recognised for his work with public sector clients, and has particular expertise in advising local authorities on equal pay claims.
Expertise: "He is a real expert in equal pay matters. He's very responsive and approachable, non-stuffy and very client-friendly. A pleasure to work with."


Family - North Eastern Circuit

Joanne Astbury (Band 2) 
Head of the family team at Parklane Plowden, concentrating her practice on complicated, high-level public law and care work. She regularly represents vulnerable clients in complex care proceedings, and has a particular focus on directly representing children.
Expertise: "She has a number of high-level cases that stand out."

Guy Swiffen (Band 3)
Praised for his work in complex childcare proceedings, and particularly well regarded for his work representing local authorities across the region. He is regularly instructed in complex care proceedings, often involving allegations of substantial harm to the child.


Sports Law -The Regions

Craig Moore (Band 1)
He has advised and acted for sports organisations on commercial disputes. He has also acted for individual sportsmen and women in disciplinary and integrity cases in swimming, rowing and football.

Steven Turner (Band 1)
Regularly acts for individuals, agents and clubs on contract disputes, primarily on football-related matters but also in connection with cricket and darts.