Medical negligence practitioners move to Jones Maidment

Manchester niche medical negligence practice, Hatton Scates & Horton is to join 13-partner practice Jones Maidment Wilson.

Olivia Scates and Claire Horton, who co-founded the niche firm in 1993, are now partners in Jones Maidment. They take with them two assistants and a trainee.

Medical negligence practitioners have complained that the wholesale introduction of conditional fees by the Lord Chancellor will put many of them out of work.

However, Scates said there was a greater move towards subject specialisation and standards of medical negligence work could be maintained if fewer people did the work.

She said her firm was looking for a bigger one to join because the 'burden of administration' was becoming too big.

'It will free us up to concentrate on the clients' cases and give them a better quality of service,' she said.

Jones Maidment senior partner Bill Jones said the move would have the dual effect of expanding his firm's litigation practice and providing the smaller practice with extra facilities.

'Medical negligence work is a very specialist area and in Greater Manchester there are only a handful of firms who have the expertise and resources to do this type of work,' he said.

Manchester has been the focus of intense activity in the medical negligence field recently.

Last summer Betesh Fox & Co closed its medical negligence department claiming the work was no longer viable. But a few months later Donns opened a new medical negligence unit.