Parklane Plowden

Personal Injury Department

North Eastern (Bar)
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The leading set on the North Eastern circuit for personal injury matters. Parklane Plowden draws market-wide praise from instructing solicitors, who describe the set as "consistently excellent" and draw attention to the team's "strength and depth." Members are frequently called upon to represent both claimant and defendant clients in a wide range of high-value catastrophic and fatal injury claims, and also offer expertise in industrial disease matters and cases involving complex elements of fraud. The set's barristers are also adept at handling employers' and public liability claims, and regularly appear before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

Client service: "The clerks are very knowledgeable and will work hard to ensure that the right counsel is available whenever possible, even at short notice." "The clerks are a credit to the chambers. They are friendly, helpful and efficient."  "The clerks in both Leeds and Newcastle are excellent - they're all really friendly, helpful and go out of their way to make you and your clients feel welcome and valued." Director of clerking Mike Stubbs is praised by instructing solicitors as "a fantastic and very personable clerk." Mark Williams is the senior practice director for the personal injury group.

Andrew Axon
Combines his outstanding personal injury practice with his work in clinical negligence. He is instructed by both the defence and the prosecution in serious, high-value cases, and excels in those relating to brain and spinal injury as well as amputations. He regularly appears in cases before the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "Andrew has the rare combination of real intellectual clout and a fabulous bedside manner. He is particularly impressive when it comes to the tactics around settling cases involving clients who are on the borderline of mental capacity." "Able to unpick complex liability and quantum issues and then outline a clear plan and strategy. He's also great with clients and able to articulate difficult concepts in a way they can understand."
Recent work: Instructed in a case in which a claimant sustained severe head injuries as a consequence of an RTA.

Catherine Souter
Represents claimants and defendants in multi-track as well as fast-track cases. She has a broad range of experience but is particularly knowledgeable about personal injury arising out of health and safety breaches, and is well versed in employment, occupiers' and public liability cases. She also handles claims involving fatal accidents, psychiatric injury and chronic pain conditions. Her clients include local authorities, NHS trusts, manufacturers and insurers.
Strengths: "Robust and excellent with clients. She's determined to get the client the best possible outcome." "Pragmatic, thorough and helpful."

Christopher Williams
Has a broad practice that combines expertise in personal injury and professional negligence. He acts in a wide range of cases, representing both claimants and defendants in employers' liability matters, including those concerning industrial disease and injuries in the workplace. He has particular expertise in cases concerning upper limb disorders, hand-arm vibration syndrome and industrial deafness. 
Strengths: "He is knowledgeable, exceptionally helpful, excellent with clients and always reliable."
Recent work: Instructed in Brickley and 23 others v Cleveland Potash, a case in which over 20 employees at the defendant's potash mine claimed damages for HAVS after having worked in various occupations underground at the mine at Saltburn.

Corin Furness
Very well versed in employment and public liability, and also noted for his fraud expertise. He also regularly handles claims concerning serious injuries and fatalities caused by RTAs. He acts for both claimants and defendants, and is particularly adept at handling multi-track claims.
Strengths: "He has incredible attention to detail, and is excellent tactically and in conference with medical experts. He's always very calm and able to reassure clients." "Takes a very analytical approach to cases which helps to quickly cut through complex issues and get to the heart of the matter."
Recent work: Acted in a claim brought by a claimant who suffered a severe injury after trapping her hand in a door at a police station.

Elizabeth Hodgson
Represents defendants in personal injury cases related to employers' liability as well as public liability claims. She also acts for claimants in claims arising from allegations of childhood abuse. Her clients include insurers, local authorities, trade unions and NHS Resolution. She is also well versed in issues of limitation in industrial disease cases.
Strengths: "She's very straightforward and takes a no-nonsense approach." "She's approachable, accessible and very good both in court and on paper."
Recent work: Advised a defendant in relation to a claim brought by a disabled teaching assistant who claimed he had sustained injury as a result of the unsuitability of a self-closing door in the defendant's school.

Howard Elgot
Senior junior known for his superb grasp of claims involving serious spinal and brain injuries. He often acts in complex, high-value paralysis cases, representing both claimants and defendants. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on personal injury law. He is experienced appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "Clever, determined and sharp." "He's absolutely top drawer; his attention to detail is superb and he has the ability to turn his hand to almost anything."

James Murphy
A well-respected junior and head of the personal injury team at Parklane Plowden. He handles both industrial disease and catastrophic injury claims, and also has a specialist focus on employers' liability. He is particularly well regarded for his expertise in asbestos-related matters. He represents claimants and defendants, both at first instance and on appeal. He is praised for his creative drafting and down-to-earth manner.
Strengths: "An excellent trial barrister who is able to present cases clearly and positively to maximise the prospects of a successful outcome." "Calm, thorough and very good in conference."
Recent work: Instructed in a case concerning a child who suffered a serious injury while exploring a derelict site earmarked for demolition.

Michael Ditchfield
A specialist in industrial disease, including claims concerning asbestos, hand-arm vibration and noise-induced hearing loss. He regularly acts for defendant parties in cases that involve complex questions of causation and liability. He also counts several claimant firms among his clients. He is adept at dealing with technical procedural issues.
Strengths: "Very thorough and a solid junior."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Plumb v Mainline Transport, a noise-induced hearing loss claim.

Richard Copnall
Known for his commanding presence at trial and in negotiations, making him a powerful representative for clients. He principally acts in high-value catastrophic injury cases, though he also represents clients during inquests, and has additional experience in human rights issues. He is able to draw on his scientific background when advising on cases with complex technical elements.
Strengths: "He's very empathetic and puts the client at ease when explaining the next steps." "He's diligent, considered, methodical and very reassuring." "A very bright barrister with excellent analytical skills. He's superb at cross-examinations."
Recent work: Instructed in a case in which the claimant, a miner, suffered VWF as a consequence of using vibrating tools.

Stephen Friday
Offers a broad practice representing defendants and claimants alike. He is particularly experienced in cases concerning chronic pain, brain injury and amputation, as well as others arising in a clinical setting. He also takes on claims relating to fatal traffic accidents. 
Strengths: "Absolutely brilliant. He's great with clients and puts them at ease, speaking to them in a language they understand."
Recent work: Instructed in a case concerning a claimant who fell from a ladder at work and suffered displaced fractures to his left tibia and fibula. Liability was agreed but quantum was disputed.

Steven Turner
Highly regarded senior junior who acts for both claimants and defendants in high-value personal injury claims. He has an excellent reputation for his handling of high-profile test case litigation. His cases involve complex medical and legal evidence.
Strengths: "He's extremely knowledgeable and has a subtle and profoundly effective advocacy style."
Recent work: Instructed in a case involving a claimant who suffered life-threatening and life-changing injuries when struck by a vehicle which had been knocked off course by the first defendant's negligent driving. The claim was settled at JSM for £3 million.

Stuart Jamieson
Junior who continues to represent both claimants and defendants in complex personal injury cases. He regularly acts for clients with life-altering injuries arising from accidents at work as well as serious traffic accidents. He is noted for his exceptional ability when it comes to costs issues and claims under the Animals Act. He is also adept at handling complex industrial disease claims involving hand-arm vibration syndrome and noise-induced hearing loss.
Strengths: "He has an excellent manner with clients and is extremely tenacious when dealing with opposing counsel."
Recent work: Instructed in a fatal accident claim concerning an elderly woodsman who was killed in an RTA. The case was settled at JSM for £300,000.

Tom Nossiter
Receives high praise for his exceptional client care skills, which lend strength to his claimant-focused practice. He acts in high-value occupiers' and public liability claims as well as complex employment liability cases. He is also experienced in the handling of industrial disease claims. 
Strengths: "He's very hard-working and prepared to go that extra mile. He's excellent tactically in JSMs and is very popular with clients." "Very approachable and pragmatic."
Recent work: Acted for a claimant in an employers' liability claim valued at over £1 million. The claimant had suffered the amputation of his lower leg above the ankle.

Tom Vonberg
A respected junior, well known for his handling of high-value personal injury claims and insurance coverage disputes. He has experience appearing in multiparty litigation, and has appeared unled before the Court of Appeal. He is also adept at handling product liability cases.
Strengths: "He's organised, meticulous in his attention to detail and has an impeccable manner with clients. He's able to simplify complex technical issues to provide clear and sound advice."
Recent work: Acted for a claimant who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following an RTA.