An expert in cerebral palsy, brain injury and death caused by mistakes made in medical treatment by the NHS or private practitioners.
Helen has recovered tens of millions of pounds in compensation for clients who have suffered due to negligence in clinical care. For children and those clients who have received compensation for permanent brain damage or long-term disability, Helen acts as a trustee or court-appointed deputy to support families in decisions about future care, how compensation ought to be spent or invested. She is also a specialist in equine accidents.
Helen advises in cases of professional negligence by other solicitors who have mishandled cases involving personal injury or clinical negligence.
Recent examples of how Helen has helped clients include:
- HJR v Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, recovering in excess of £9 million lump sum plus annual care payments for life for a girl born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy (a capitalised award of approximately £15 million)
- XYZ v ABC, £4 million lump sum for 49 year old man injured in a road traffic accident
- TBE v Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, £4,920,000 lump sum plus annual care payments for life for a boy with athetoid cerebral palsy (a capitalised award of approximately £10 million)
- JMH v Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust, £5,573,000 lump sum plus annual care payments for life for a boy with athetoid cerebral palsy (a capitalised award of approximately £12 million)
Helen is always willing to go the extra mile to pursue clients’ interests vigorously and has a client friendly approach. Helen has also developed a niche specialism in equine law through her interest in horses and handles many injury cases involving equine activities for both claimant and Defendant often involving serious brain or spinal injuries. Helen also acts as Deputy in Court of Protection matters involving personal injury awards and supports and assists injured claimants in management of their financial awards.
“Helen Niebuhr is simply brilliant. She displays a great grasp of her specialist area and puts you at ease and comfortable in asking any questions. She is patient, supportive and empathetic which is a perfect combination when having to support upset parents and talk about painful memories. The smallest thing was never too much trouble and the speed of replies always made you feel that the case was progressing. Her grasp of the situation was outstanding and she was able to give legal advice and wise counsel to us as a family as to what to expect” – Mr MR, father of HJR
Helen qualified in 1994 and has an MBA in Management of Legal Practice. She has been a speaker on courses for CLT, LexisNexis and other organisations and has regularly published articles in journals including Solicitors Journal, British Horse, Horse magazine and been Lawyer of the Week in the Law Society Gazette. Outside interests include horses, dogs, children and travel – often all together.
Matthew’s practice encompasses a wide range of complex clinical negligence and catastrophic personal injury cases.
He has particular expertise brain injury cases, particularly those involving children who have cerebral palsy arising from the mismanagement of their mother’s pregnancy and labour, their birth or their neonatal care;
Matthew has also acted in a number of high value fatal cases arising from both road accidents or delayed cancer diagnoses, and cases involving both upper and lower limb amputation;
He acts for clients throughout the UK, often referred to him by former clients, charities or other organisations. Matthew’s cases have regularly involved challenging or unusual accident circumstances, some of which have been rejected by, abandoned by, or transferred away from other law firms.
Matthew is a member of the Manchester Arena Attack Pro Bono Legal Panel and is actively assisting the victims of the May 2017 attack.
Examples of how Matthew’s advice and representation has benefited our clients include:
- 2020: LAX -v- York Hospitals NHS Trust a lump sum of £3.8million and annual payments of £319,000 for a young man left with Cerebral Palsy having suffered severe brain damage due to the negligent management of his birth;
- 2020: a lump sum of £3.292 million and annual payments of £100,000 for a young lady who suffered a brain injury in utero as a consequence of a road traffic accident;
- 2020: securing £675,000 for the wife and son left behind by a husband and father who died from a rare and aggressive cancer that developed as a result of clinical failings in the treatment of earlier testicular cancer;
- 2019: IXZ -v- Bedford NHS Hospital Trust: securing substantial damages (£2.625 million lump sum and annual payments of £160,000 to age 11, £180,000 to age 19, £240,000 thereafter) in a case involving severe dystonic cerebral palsy arising from mismanagement of labour and an alleged failure by the Defendant’s midwives to detect fetal hypoxia prior to birth;
- Recovering £7.75 million for a child with a brain injury, in a RTA pedestrian case the mother and other solicitors thought had little prospect of success;
- Securing £2.75 million for the dependents of a cyclist following a fatal accident;
- Obtaining a settlement of £775,000 for a gentleman in his seventies, following amputation of his leg above the knee after his motorcycle was hit by a car.
A specialist with over 20 years’ experience in obtaining compensation for victims of clinical negligence by the NHS and private medical clinics.
Kay particularly specialises in claims involving brain injuries, including those incurred at birth resulting in cerebral palsy. Kay acts for clients with long term disabilities including brain injuries, spinal injuries, amputations and injuries arising from a failure to diagnose or properly treat meningitis. She also acts for families whose loved ones have died while under the care of a medical professional.
Kay is a member of The Law Society clinical negligence accreditation scheme.
Examples of how Kay’s advice has benefited clients include:
- successfully pursuing multi-million pound claims for children and adults left with cerebral palsy and brain injuries due to mistakes made during birth and the neonatal period;
- securing substantial compensation in amputation claims to include the provision of high specification prosthetic limbs as well as alternative accommodation, life-long care and support through rehabilitation;
- negotiating a six figure settlement for a terminally ill patient after an NHS Trust failed to diagnose and treat thyroid cancer; and
- assisting many families who have lost a loved one due to negligence in achieving compensation and support for the future.
A clinical negligence solicitor specialising in advising clients and their families who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of failures in medical care.
Jonathan acts for clients who have suffered brain and spinal injuries, had a cancer misdiagnosis or whose loved ones have died while under the care of a medical professional. He is also experienced in cerebral palsy claims for children who suffered brain damage at birth.
Jonathan has also handled many claims following a fatal accident and often represents families at inquests across the country.
Examples of how Jonathan’s advice has benefited clients include:
- a multi-million-pound settlement for a PhD student who suffered permanent damage to his spinal cord when a hospital failed to properly treat his brain tumor;
- six figure compensation for someone who suffered complete blindness after delay in diagnosing a stroke;
- compensation for the dependents of a young mother who passed away when her GP failed to recognise and treat a heart condition;
- a substantial settlement for a young mother who had her womb and lymph nodes removed when incorrectly diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer; and
- compensation of over £500,000 for the widow of a 75-year-old businessman, admitted to hospital with a fractured hip, who died when the hospital failed to treat a deep vein thrombosis.
“I received an excellent service. Jonathan Phillips was very approachable, dependable and he answered questions in detail to assist my understanding of the case. He listened to my explanation of events and offered advice on how to progress. I felt totally supported when I presented my anxieties and concerns to him.” DB, Executor of the Estate of the Late NP
“In all the years I’ve been in business, Jonathan Phillips is the most professional, honest and reliable person I’ve ever worked with.” CB
A clinical negligence lawyer specialising in brain injury and catastrophic injury claims.
Laura advises individuals and families affected by the negligence of medical practitioners. Her expertise lies in securing compensation for the mismanagement of pregnancy, failing to spot genetic or other abnormalities during pregnancy, birth injuries resulting in brain damage and cerebral palsy, and patients who have died as a result of medical malpractice and often where an inquest is required.
Laura also advises on complex personal injury claims involving brain damage, serious spinal damage or other life-changing injuries which occur as a result of road traffic accidents, accidents at work or while on private land or in public spaces.
Most of Laura’s cases are for children who have been left with disabilities as a result of mistakes made during their birth, and for parents pursuing wrongful birth claims in cases where a termination should have been offered due to fetal abnormalities.
Examples of how Laura has helped clients include:
- Recovering over £6 million from Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust to cover the 24-hour care needs of a child due to genetic abnormalities that should have been identified during the mother’s pregnancy;
- A multi-million pound settlement for a little boy that suffered profound brain damage at birth due to negligent delays in his delivery;
- Recovering substantial compensation from an NHS Trust for failing to prevent an avoidable post-birth haemorrhage that resulted in a new mum required a life-saving hysterectomy at the age of 25;
- Recovering compensation for bereaved parents from the Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for failing to advise them on the increased risks of giving birth to a large baby and allowing the pregnancy to go significantly overdue;
“In our initial discussion with Laura we were immediately impressed with not only her knowledge and professionalism but also her compassion during what was a very difficult time for all our family. In our dealings with Laura over a two-year period we viewed her as a friend who has been totally supportive, whilst also dealing with our claim in a very professional manner. We cannot praise her enough and would certainly recommend the team to anyone” – Mr P and family
An experienced solicitor specialising in obtaining compensation for people who have suffered negligent medical treatment by NHS hospitals, GPs or private doctors.
Charlotte has secured compensation, and funding for ongoing care, adapted accommodation, loss of earnings, aids and equipment and therapies, for clients who have suffered as a result of negligence on the part of their medical practitioner and the families of children and adults who have died during clinical treatment. Acting against the NHS hospitals, GPs and private doctors, her experience includes the following types of cases: amputation, visual loss, orthopaedic, stillbirth, fatal, gynaecological, colorectal, developmental dysplasia of the hip, cancer (bowel, rectal, breast, cervical, vulval and lung) and general medical. Charlotte also works on behalf of clients with severe brain injury.
Examples of how Charlotte has helped include:
- obtaining £700,000 for a child who has mobility problems following a delay in diagnosing septic arthritis of the hip;
- a payment of £675,000 for the family of a patient who died due to a delay in diagnosing rectal cancer;
- compensation for reduced life expectancy and restricted mobility of £500,000 following the negligent transplant of an infected kidney;
- negotiating a payment of £300,000 when a delay in diagnosing vulval cancer lead to death;
- compensation for visual loss of £164,000 due to a delay in diagnosing glaucoma; and
- obtaining £65,000 for lady who suffered a fourth degree vaginal tear during child birth.
Francis Lacy Scott
Francis has dealt with a significant number of high value claims, many resulting in seven-figure settlements for his clients. Most recently he was involved in a catastrophic child injury case which secured the highest personal injury compensation award in UK history. Francis’ interest extends far beyond maximising final compensation awards with early and effective rehabilitation and support for clients and their families a paramount concern.
Having developed an network of professionals in the south east to support his clients in their recovery and improve their quality of life, Francis founded the Brain Injury Group (BIG), a national organisation for brain injury lawyers which was launched in 2011, where he remains actively involved as Director of Training.
He was formerly Chair of Headway East Sussex (previously Headway Hurstwood Park), a charity providing care, rehabilitation and support services at both a day centre and in the local community to those affected by brain injury He is also a founder and Chair of the Sussex Acquired Brain Injury Forum (SABIF), an active organisation promoting awareness and services for brain injury in the Sussex community.
Francis is an accredited member of the Head Injury Solicitors List, and a qualified mediator. Francis was also selected by Legal 500, as the UK’s leading individual (outside London) for 2020 in his field of practice, which includes personal injury law
Examples of cases in which Francis’ advice has benefitted his clients include:
- Secured a settlement with a capitalised value of £48 million for a 6 year child who was severely injured in a road traffic accident, believed to be the highest ever personal injury award in English legal history.
- A £1.6m settlement for a foreign national who was hit by a car on the Seafront and taken back to her home country by air ambulance.
- A £1.1m settlement for a passenger who was seriously injured in a Road Traffic Accident, sustaining a brain injury.
- £9m settlement for a child who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident as an infant.
- A £multi-million settlement following one of the largest international air crashes in aviation history
What his client’s say
“Francis supported me through the good and the bad and I feel I couldn’t have had a better lawyer who genuinely cares and wants what’s best for the client. He also helped me on a personal note when he could. Talking with Francis in person or by telephone was always a pleasure.”
“The words ‘Thank you’ are too small to express our gratitude to Francis and his team for what they have done.
Francis is a remarkable man with such understanding of head injuries, and his knowledge and insight has undoubtedly changed our life.”
Jonathan is a Partner in the Serious Injury team.
Jonathan is passionate about his work and the rights of his clients. His focus is on ensuring that they are sufficiently compensated for their injuries to facilitate their rehabilitation and provide security in the long-term. He regularly provides expert opinion and comments to the media.
Jonathan is a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), an APIL accredited Brain Injury Specialist and an assessor for the scheme. He was the former South East co-ordinator for APIL for close to 10 years and is a member of the Law Society Accredited Scheme for Personal Injury. He is currently a Trustee for Headway East Sussex who focus on assisting and rehabilitating those with brain injuries.
Examples of cases where Jonathan’s advice has benefitted his clients include:
- A £1m settlement for a client who had suffered a brain injury after being struck by a drunk driver and was only to return to work but in a much reduced capacity.
- A £4m settlement for a client who sustained a massive brain injury following a road traffic accident, leaving him permanently disabled and requiring a significant level of care.
- Representing the claimant in the widely reported case of Sinclair v Joyner  EWHC 1800 (QB). The claimant suffered an ABI and was in a minimally conscious state. This case demonstrates the importance of good experts.
- Representing the claimant in the widely reported case of Reynolds v Strutt & Partner  EWHC 2263 (QB). The claimant sustained a traumatic brain injury whilst participating in a work organised cycle event. The case shed light on whether events organised by an employer outside of normal work hours would attract liability.
A Partner specialising in obtaining compensation for victims of clinical negligence and catastrophic personal injury.
Tim acts on behalf of people who have suffered because of negligence by a GP, a surgeon or any medical staff in the NHS or private healthcare, securing compensation to help them cope with healthcare needs, adaptations to their home and loss of earnings. Types of negligence include mis-diagnosis, delays in diagnosis or surgical errors which result in avoidable complications, life-changing injuries including brain and spinal injuries or death. Tim has a great deal of experience in helping people who have suffered due to a delayed diagnosis including cancer, heart problems and sepsis. Tim is also experienced in assisting people who have suffered brain injuries whether through a birth injury or a delay in diagnosis or treatment of sepsis.
Tim’s personal injury work includes injuries suffered as a result of serious and fatal road traffic accidents, accidents at work, defective products as well as claims against social services.
Tim acts for both adult and child victims of medical negligence and catastrophic personal injury, including those with severe brain injuries, their families who must manage care, and the bereaved families in the case of fatal injury.
Recent examples of how Tim has helped clients include:
- obtaining a lump sum of £1.5 million and an annual index-linked payment of £115,000 to cover the 24-hour care costs for a child who suffered serious brain injury when a hospital failed to recognise an infection;
- negotiating compensation of £520,000 for a lady who suffered from permanent incontinence and bowel damage following radio-therapy, a treatment which was only required because pre-cancerous changes had not been identified on historical smear tests;
- assisting with an inquest for the family of a patient who had committed suicide while an inpatient of a mental health unit. The trust had failed to take appropriate measures to take in to account the patient’s autism in the management of her treatment leading to her otherwise avoidable suicide;
- securing a six figure settlement against social services for failing to protect a child from a major assault by his biological father which led to a life changing brain injury and his premature death some 20 years later; and
- obtaining a substantial settlement for a client who will now require a heart transplant due to a simple failure by A&E to carry out an ECG when he attended following a collapse at work.
A specialist in clinical negligence and personal injury, particularly birth injury.
Jenny’s expertise in clinical negligence covers a wide range of claims from mistakes in general surgery including bile duct injuries, orthopedic injuries and delayed diagnosis of cancer to birth injuries, as well as fatal accidents, coroner’s inquests and claims under the Fatal Accidents Act.
Jenny’s specialist area is brain and birth injury, catastrophic and acquired, and cerebral palsy, supporting families at a difficult time through initial investigation and gathering of expert reports, securing interim payments to improve quality of life.
Recent examples of how Jenny has helped clients include:
- securing an interim payment to cover living costs and rehabilitation for a victim with brain injury after being struck by a lorry, in a case that ultimately settled for £1.7million;
- assisting the family of a mother who died through medical negligence in instituting mandatory changes in procedure to prevent the same mistake, and securing compensation on behalf of the victim’s estate; and
- securing compensation for a patient with prostate cancer, after being negligently diagnosed too late to prevent the illness becoming terminal.
A specialist in financial welfare and Court of Protection work.
Sharon advises individuals, trustees and Court appointed deputies on the management of the financial affairs and personal welfare needs of clients who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries as a result of clinical negligence or personal injury and who, as a result, lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Her work includes advising on how compensation payments should be used and invested to ensure a client’s needs are met, making applications to the Court of Protection for permission to make specific purchases to aid recovery or improve quality of life. Sharon also assists parents of children who are about to turn 18 to obtain the legal right to continue to be informed and consulted about medical and social care decisions.
Sharon acts for clients throughout the UK, and is particularly experienced in dealing with the financial affairs and lifetime care needs of brain damaged children who have suffered brain damage.
Examples of how Sharon has helped clients includes:
- successfully obtaining permission from the Court of Protection to buy a new property for a child with brain damage where it was impossible for the current family home to be adapted to meet the child’s needs;
- helping parents remain involved in decisions affecting their child after turning 18 when the family GP believed the child had the capacity to make decisions alone;
- supporting a family not used to managing large sums of money to make prudent investment decisions to ensure compensation received by their child would cover all future care costs; and
- securing permission from the Court of Protection to use part of a compensation award to fund the installation of a hydrotherapy pool in the family home of a child with brain damage to aid their rehabilitation and personal comfort.
Dominique is a Senior Associate in the Serious Injury team.
Dominique specialises in complex personal injury claims involving brain damage, or other life-changing injuries which occur as a result of road traffic accidents, accidents at work or while on private land or in public spaces. She also has experience of cases involving defective products.
Dominique is accredited by the Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and is also accredited as a Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
She is treasurer for Kent Brain Injury Forum
Laura is a Senior Associate at CL Medilaw, specialising in serious injury cases.
Laura advises patients, parents of children and relatives of those who have suffered complications after medical misdiagnosis, a delay in diagnosis or treatment or complications which may have arisen in a clinical setting. She also advises personal representatives or executors for the estate of a patient who has died.
By helping clients to obtain compensation for a wide variety of clinical negligence claims against medical practitioners, hospital trusts and GP practices, she gives them a voice and helps them to find answers. She takes a holistic approach to evaluating each client’s needs, commissioning expert reports on prognosis and rehabilitation needs to find a solution to make their life better.
She has experience of complex orthopaedic injuries, affecting the ankle, knee, wrist and spine, brain damage, cerebral palsy claims, delayed diagnosis of cancer, antenatal claims, gynaecological claims including perineal tears and other complications during childbirth, still births and neonatal deaths.
Recent examples of how Laura has helped clients include:
- securing a settlement for the widow of a 45-year-old mother whose life expectancy was drastically shortened after a delay in the diagnosis of bowel cancer by the Hospital ; procuring expert evidence which prompted the Defendant Trust to admit liability and change their internal policies on follow-up appointments;
- representing a 82-year-old gentleman at mediation who had suffered dramatic lifestyle changes after spinal surgery performed on the wrong disc, securing interim payments for adaptations and planning permission to enable the man to stay in his home, and negotiating a substantial final settlement; and
- obtaining a settlement for a lady who was given a steroid injection in the wrong area of her hand, causing nerve damage that left her in ongoing pain and eventually unable to work, comprising compensation for pain, suffering and loss of earnings without going to court.
Rebecca is an associate in the clinical negligence team.
Rebecca predominantly acts for clients who have suffered injuries as a result of the mismanagement of pregnancy and birth. This includes cerebral palsy claims, still births, neonatal deaths and injuries to the mother such as post-partum haemorrhage, perineal tears and psychological injuries.
Rebecca also has experience in dealing with a wide range of clinical negligence claims including delay in diagnosis of cancer, fatal claims, orthopaedic claims and spinal injuries.
Barry is an Associate in the Serious Injury team.
He has specialised in personal injury claims since 1993 and he has represented claimants exclusively since 1998.
He deals with all types of personal injury cases including brain injury, fatal accidents and other serious injuries caused in road traffic accidents, accidents at work, public liability accidents, accidents abroad, and occupiers liability cases.
He also deals with injuries suffered by the victims of crimes of violence via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Barry is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. He is Company Secretary for the Kent Brain Injury Forum (KBIF) and has been actively involved in the launch of Medway Headway (Brain injury charity) and is currently vice Chair.
“Barry is in my opinion an excellent personal injury practitioner, whose commonsensical and straightforward approach allied with very efficient technical skills enable him to obtain excellent results for his clients” Gurion Taussig (Barrister)
Victoria is an Associate in the Serious Injury team.
She has specialised in catastrophic and brain injury cases since qualification as a solicitor.
She recently concluded a high value, complex Brain injury case involving more than ten experts, with a settlement value of just under £1.5 million.
Currently, Victoria handles a number of large complex cases, some of which involve children. She has been described as a lawyer who has compassion and who has a fantastic working relationship with her clients.
Examples of the way in which Victoria’s advice has benefitted or is benefitting clients include:
- Representing a 4-year old who suffered a significant brain injury following a car accident when he was 2 years of age. We are working with a specialist paediatric case manager and have obtain funding under the Rehabilitation code for private therapy, including Speech & Language and Occupational Therapy.
- Representing a client who suffered a complex brain injury, resulting in a loss of capacity, after being knocked down as a pedestrian.
What her clients say
“I cannot praise enough the way Victoria has dealt with our ongoing case and us as people. She is a pleasure to know.”
“There was a lot of legal jargon and medical terminology for us to try and absorb and understand at a very difficult and challenging time in our lives but we were kept informed at every stage of the process. Victoria went above and beyond in her efforts to ensure that we understood all documentation; what had already happened and indeed the next steps. It genuinely felt as if she was virtually holding our hand”
Wendy is an Associate in the Serious Injury team.
She has over 25 years’ experience in personal injury claims and deals with all types of personal injury cases including brain injury and other life changing injuries caused in road traffic accidents, public liability claims, accidents at work, those occurring abroad, occupiers liability cases. She also helps the victims of crimes of violence via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Sarah is an Associate in the Serious injury team.
She is a personal injury specialist with over 11 years’ experience and has a wide range of expertise in serious injury claims arising from road traffic accidents; falls; foreign assault cases; shipping and air accidents. She also has experience in Employer’s liability and Occupiers Liability cases.
Rachel is a solicitor in the clinical negligence team.
Rachel acts for clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence of medical practitioners. She works on a range of claims including birth injury cases, cerebral palsy claims, gynaecological claims such as perineal tears, brain injury cases, fatal claims and cancer cases.
In addition to her work in the clinical negligence team, Rachel also volunteers for the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Helpline, providing support and guidance for patients affected by avoidable harm in healthcare and their families.
Rachel also advises clients on special educational needs issues relating to Education, Health and Care Plans and appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).
Louise is a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence team.
Louise acts for clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence of medical practitioners. She works with senior team members on a wide range of cases including; birth injury cases, meningitis cases, cerebral palsy claims, brain injury cases, delayed diagnosis claims and fatal claims.
Emily is a solicitor in the clinical negligence team.
Emily acts for clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence of medical practitioner. Emily works with leading fee earners on a variety of cases involving wrongful births, birth injury claims, cerebral palsy, misdiagnosed cancer and never events resulting in life changing injuries.
Molly is a solicitor in the clinical negligence team.
Molly acts for clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence of medical practitioners. She works on a range of claims including spinal injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and amputation cases. Types of negligence include a failure to correctly diagnose and treat, or sub-standard surgery, causing significant, life-changing injuries.
Molly also has experience in Court of Protection matters such as Deprivation of Liberty and Statutory Wills, and personal injury claims, specifically serious road traffic accidents.
Lucy is a solicitor in the clinical negligence team.
Lucy acts for clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence of medical practitioners. This includes clients who have suffered injuries as a result of the mismanagement of pregnancy and birth, cerebral palsy claims and acquired brain injury claims.
Lucy also works on a wide range of complex orthopaedic cases, delay in diagnosis of cancer cases, gynaecological claims, cauda equina claims, claims against GPs, and psychological injury claims, including for secondary victims.
Clair is a Paralegal in the Serious Injury team.
Hannah is a Paralegal in the Serious Injury team.
Kristin Van Der Walt
Kristin is a Paralegal in the Serious Injury team.
Clare is a Paralegal in the Serious Injury team.