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The Legal 500 is a well-respected, independent ‘users guide’ to law firms in the UK. The only way a law firm can get mentioned in its ranking tables and commentary is on merit.
The ringing endorsement came from clients as part of Legal 500’s Private Client practice rankings. The report highlighted Access Legal Solicitors’ ‘first-class service’ clinical negligence team in Birmingham which was ranked in tier one. The directory praised the work of department head and partner Phil Barnes, as well as private client partner Nick Tubb for his ‘particular expertise in cases involving surgical errors, spinal injuries, and brain injury’.
Partner Kashmir Uppal, ‘who represented a young mother suffering from serious permanent neurological impairment due to a substandard surgical intervention’ and head of Access Legal Solicitors and partner Richard Follis, who ‘acted for a woman whose husband died during cardiac surgery performed by a doctor who had lost 15 patients in the period of a year’, also received special mentions. In the team, the directory also made reference to senior associate Richard Bannister, who had handled a case involving cerebral palsy and senior associate Sarah Corser who had advised on a multiple amputation case following improper diagnosing of meningitis. It also recommended senior associate Victoria Blankstone, who was described by clients as ‘a complete pleasure to work with’, ‘always go[ing[ the extra mile’, and ‘well-trained, knowledgeable and diligent’ senior associate Michael Burrell.
The clinical negligence department in Basingstoke was also ranked tier one and described as ‘outstanding’ with ‘a well-earned reputation’ with lawyers who are ‘passionate about the right outcome for the client’. Partner Denise Stephens - who represents clients in brain and spinal injury matters, especially in regard to birth injuries - leads the team and is described as a ‘star performer’, ‘utterly dedicated and a formidable litigator’ with ‘exceptional intelligence and technical knowledge’. Denise Stephens is listed as a leading individual and senior associate Sue Prior in Denise’s team is listed as a ‘next generation lawyer’.
The story is the same in Northampton where the clinical negligence team and Personal Injury teams received a commendable tier two ranking and is described as ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ providing ‘exceptional’ advice, ‘second-to-none expertise’ and a ‘personal touch’. Partner Chris McKinney ‘instils confidence’, and partner Andrea Rusbridge and senior associate Sarah Harper also receive special mentions for cases including representing the wife of a patient who died following the hospital’s failure to diagnose an infected aortic fistula.
The private client practice received impressive rankings across the board, entering into the London market for the first time for family work and climbed to tier two in Scotland in the category of medical negligence: pursuer. Personal injury, education (which entered the table for the first time at tier three), tax, trusts and probate and court of protection work also received a great showing across all UK locations.
Head of the private client practice group, Richard Follis, said:
‘We are delighted to be regarded as the leading specialist clinical negligence firm in the country by our clients in this independent directory. It really is testament to the fantastic work the entire team does in dealing with very complex, difficult and highly sensitive cases.
‘As well as being committed to achieving the best results for our clients, the team’s role goes beyond expert legal advice. Seriously injured clients and their families need and deserve support as they navigate the legal system after a medical accident they would rather had never happened. That is why some clients ask to have their cases highlighted in the public arena so that their experiences go some way to ensuring future best practice by organisations and individuals alike, as well as setting legal precedents along the way.’
Note to Editors
Access Legal Solicitors
Access Legal Solicitors is the consumer legal advice arm of national law firm Shoosmiths LLP, which has been established for over 165 years. The firm has offices in Birmingham, Basingstoke, Manchester, London, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Reading, Southampton, Edinburgh and Belfast. A wide range of legal services is delivered online via the website. This gives a direct link to lawyers who strive to simplify the law for their clients. Services for individuals and their families range from education law, claiming compensation for serious personal injury and writing or challenging the provisions in a Will to handling legal disputes, gaining compensation for medical negligence and advice concerning injuries at work or through industrial disease.