Reassurance that you’re in safe hands
We are true specialists in the field of clinical negligence. It is important to realise that there are solicitors holding themselves out as clinical negligence specialists who are not. They may be personal injury lawyers who are “dipping their toes” into clinical negligence work. The best way to tell the difference between a truly specialised firm of clinical negligence lawyers and one which is “dabbling” in the field is to look at the firm’s accreditations.
There are two main independent organisations which give accreditation to clinical negligence lawyers – the Law Society, and Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), a charity which helps those affected by medical negligence.
In order to be on the panel of either the Law Society or AvMA, lawyers need to prove that they have successfully conducted a high number of clinical negligence cases successfully, and understand the medical and legal issues involved. The application process is rigorous, and members are re-accredited every 5 years to ensure that their skills have not grown “rusty”.
The Clinical Negligence Team has 7 such panel memberships, and is therefore accredited to a very high level indeed.
What Legal Directories Say
There are two main Legal Directories who compile national information annually and rank Solicitors in specialist areas after speaking with clients and other professionals.
The Clinical Negligence Team at Royds Withy King are ranked in the top tier by both Chambers and Legal 500 for Claimant Clinical Negligence law demonstrating our considerable expertise. Several Solicitors within the team are also ranked as Leaders in their Field.
Chambers 2018 (Somerset):
“A premier Somerset firm with experience of a broad range of high-value matters, including catastrophic birth injury claims, including those relating to Erb’s palsy. Routinely engaged on cerebral palsy cases and spinal injury claims, and offers expertise in weight loss surgery and dental negligence matters. Boasts further experience in metabolic and genetic brain injury disputes.”
A source notes: “It is certainly a caring firm, and I’m always impressed by the level of analysis they consistently provide on behalf of their clients.”
Another source adds: “The top words that come to mind are thorough, organised, clear and committed. I have found that they are genuinely interested in understanding their clients’ needs so they can be in the best position to advocate for their clients’ welfare.”
Simon Elliman (Band 1) is widely renowned for his capabilities in complex birth and spinal injury claims, including cerebral and Erb’s palsy cases. He draws considerable praise from market observers, who admire his “sound judgement” and describe him as a “very calm individual.”
Sources appreciate that Paul Rumley (Band 1) “is open and personable, and his eagle-eyed attention to detail ensures he extracts maximum value from the experts he instructs. He also brings a high degree of clarity to the cases, and is an enthusiastic, thorough advocate for his clients.” He is highly sought after for high-value birth injury cases, particularly concerning brain damage and cerebral palsy.
The “bright, hard-working and diligent” Kerstin Kubiak (Band 2) focuses on complex obstetric and gynaecology cases. She also possesses significant expertise in cerebral palsy and issues concerning failure to diagnose. Sources highlight her “complete grasp of the legal, medical and practical aspects of the job.”
Chambers 2018 (Oxford & Surrounds)
“Highly commended firm with an excellent reputation across a broad spectrum of clinical negligence matters. Routinely acts on catastrophic cases, including brain and spinal injury claims. Also noted for its handling of matters arising from amputation, delayed diagnosis and weight loss surgery. Stands out for its expertise in niche low-value claims, particularly in the area of dental negligence.”
A source states: “I would focus on empathy as their main strength. The deep knowledge of their subject is also pretty key, they have plenty of practising experience. I’ve also always found their forensic attention to detail to be very good – they don’t let anything slip by.”
Another describes the firm as “very efficient and very good at looking after its clients.”
Richard Coleman (Band 1) receives widespread acclaim for his abilities as a litigator. One commentator lauds his “quietly understated but really effective approach,” while another labels him “canny but sympathetic” and adds: “He has first-rate judgement, great tenacity, a lovely manner with clients and an extraordinary work ethic.” His expertise lies chiefly in cerebral palsy, spinal injury and delayed diagnosis cases.
Tracy Norris-Evans (Band 2) centres her practice on challenging brain injury and cerebral palsy cases, acting for both children and adults. One satisfied client observes: “She has been wonderful to work with; she has a wealth of experience, knows what the claimant is up against legally and personally, and ensures that you are comfortable moving forwards.”
Legal 500 2017 (Tier 1) South West
“Royds Withy King advises on claims from all areas of medical negligence, but has a particularly good reputation for its dental negligence work.
The ‘very high quality’ practice displays ‘good strength in depth across the whole range of claims’, from low-value claims to catastrophic injury cases. Its wide-ranging expertise covers catastrophic birth injury cases, Erb’s palsy, and bariatric as well as spinal surgery claims.
Practice head Simon Elliman is ‘a very experienced lawyer with excellent judgment’ who has ‘an assured touch on difficult cases’. His ‘exceptionally strong team’ includes Kerstin Kubiak, who specialises among other areas in obstetric, gynaecological and fertility cases; the ‘simply first-class’ and ‘absolutely meticulous’ Paul Rumley; ‘highly effective’ ‘rising star’ associate Hannah Blackwell; and associate Ali Cloak, who ‘demonstrates good strategic thinking’.
Highlights included acting in a claim of substandard provision of lingual orthodontic appliances, claiming the entire costs of the orthodontic treatment as well as compensatory damages in negligence; handling a multimillion-pound cerebral palsy claim and representing a client who had suffered brain-injury-causing oxygen deprivation at the time of birth.”
Legal 500 2017 (Tier 1) South East
“The clinical negligence department at Royds Withy King in Oxford ‘combines lots of experience in complex cases with empathy, understanding and expectation management’, ‘fosters excellent teamwork’ and is ‘very competent in cases involving cancer treatment’.
Apart from niche areas such as bariatric surgery (led by the ‘very knowledgeable’ practice head Richard Coleman), the ‘motivated and productive’ team also handles cerebral palsy, obstetric brachial plexus injury, spinal injury, stomach necrosis and limb amputation.
The ‘capable’ co-lead and ‘empathic communicator’ Tracy Norris-Evans provides Court of Protection services and advice on shari’ah law compliance.
Coleman, who provides ‘tremendously sensitive client care’, has ‘a great tactical brain and an excellent grasp of medical issues’, and is also known for representing clients in Erb’s palsy claims.
Further specialty exists through associate Judith Leach’s acute stroke management and fatal injury case expertise and the obstetric brachial plexus injury work of the ‘tenacious’ Lucy Norton. Lucy Crawford was promoted to associate in 2016.”