Midlands Offices Praised
The Midlands' offices of law firm Irwin Mitchell are the subject of unstinting praise in Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession. This annual guide independently evaluates and ranks the nation's law firms. Irwin Mitchell was ranked number one in the Midlands for clinical negligence and also for personal injury, while the firm's International Travel Litigation Group (ITLG) was ranked number one nationally.
Clive Garner, Partner and Head of the International Travel Litigation Group was recognised for his "cutting-edge strategies, proven trial techniques and compassionate nature". Other key lawyers in this practice which earned praise for its understanding of foreign legal systems and specialist industry knowledge include the "incredibly sensible and switched on" Sukie Chhokar, the "pragmatic and reliable" Philip Banks and Katherine Allen, described as "well-informed and driven". Recognition was also accorded to Demetrius Danas' "extremely successful negotiating style and sound appreciation of travel clients' business" and to Michael Zurbrugg for his "empathetic nature and considerable experience".
Irwin Mitchell has the largest clinical negligence team in the Midlands and Chambers notes that some of the most effective and highly experienced lawyers in the game are here". The Birmingham practice is headed by Lisa Jordan, best known for her work on cerebral palsy claims.
Among her colleagues are the "down to earth and approachable" Sara Burns, Jonathan Peacock, who specialises in clinical negligence cases involving neurological injury and Mandy Luckman who won praise for her "meticulous preparation, commitment and incredibly empathetic manner towards claimants".
Stuart Henderson, Managing Partner of the Midlands' offices, heads the Personal Injury practice, which receives praise for its high-volume and high quality work. Stuart draws praise from the market and his colleague Jonathan Peacock enjoys a high profile for his personal injury work.
The Irwin Mitchell Business & Private Client practices in Birmingham also came out well in the survey. Acting for high-profile and high net-worth individuals, the Family team regularly handles heavyweight financial matters with international aspects. "Bold negotiator" Kevin Harris James spearheads the department and Nicola Walker, who is known for her conciliatory approach, is one "to watch".
Fergal Dowling leads the Midlands' Employment practice. He has established a good reputation for dealing with complex tribunal matters and advising on all aspects of employment law, including his recent work assisting a number of high-net worth individuals with complex severance arrangements.
At the helm of the Midlands' all-round regulatory practice, covering licensing, health and safety, trading standards and environmental law, is David Egan. His focus and level-headedness is respected with Chambers reporting him as "balanced in his approach and clear in the objectives".
Andrew Taylor, described as "a dynamic, proactive and commercial lawyer" leads the Restructuring/Insolvency team, which was recently involved in the acquisition and restructuring of a media group. Andrew and colleagues handle a full range of insolvency and restructuring matters, with a leaning towards contentious issues.
Chambers reports that Paul Wakefield, who heads the Corporate and M&A practice, has a strong reputation. Peers in the legal profession respect Paul's "excellent interpersonal skills and strong leadership".
Irwin Mitchell Managing Partner for the Midlands' region, Stuart Henderson, comments: "I am particularly pleased that we have achieved these rankings not only because they reflect feedback from peers and clients but also because we have retained those number one slots for yet another year. Our expertise on the clinical negligence, personal injury and international travel litigation fronts has long been acknowledged and I am pleased that we continue to maintain the high levels of success we demand of ourselves.
"It is also very satisfying that other practices within the Midlands' offices are flourishing and being recognised for the expertise they offer to businesses and individuals on a regional, national and international footing as required. It is our objective to build on these results throughout 2010 as we wish to hold onto or improve upon our rankings. This will benefit the firm, our clients and the overall reputation of the legal expertise available from the Midlands' region."