RJW review sparks medical negligence exit

Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) has lost head
of medical negligence Rosamund Rhodes-Kent and two assistants as the firm continues a major firmwide review.

Rhodes-Kent has joined Bolt Burdon as head of its medical team, replacing Fiona Mills, who has joined Bedford firm Pictons.

RJW managing partner Neil Kinsella said the firm would continue to have a medical negligence practice, although it would not be a main focus for the firm. The department will now be run by Gillian Solly out of the Bristol office. It is thought that the firm will retain a small team to act for institutional clients.

“I think it’s fair to say that she [Rhodes-Kemp] wanted to move to a smaller firm, where clinical negligence was a larger proportion of the practice,” said Kinsella.

Rhodes-Kent agreed. “They [RJW] did have a national department, but they have dramatically changed direction,” she said.

In November, RJW brought in its union, the GMB, to help it undertake a major strategic review and restructuring of the firm. This was instigated because of increasing competition in the personal injury market and regulatory changes that allow for the external funding of law firms. The review is expected to take between nine and 12 months.