Many firms like to say they punch above their weight, but in Goodmans Law’s case it is probably true.
The practice, a limited company since January 2009 when it spun out of 10-partner firm Goodmans Solicitors, is a focused, claimant-side medical negligence and serious personal injury boutique.
Unusually for a firm of its size the five-director practice, which includes one non-lawyer director in the shape of operations head Lynne Evans, also maintains a line in healthcare regulatory work.
One director, head of medical negligence Ian Cohen, is representing 365 clients against Liverpool gynaecologist Dr George Rowland, who was investigated by the General Medical Council over concerns including misdiagnosis and inappropriate procedures. The case is expected to be one of the largest group actions in UK medical history.
It also paved the way for Cohen, along with Hill Dickinson associate David Locke, to design an innovative alternative dispute resolution protocol, with the solicitors acting on behalf of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, one of the places Rowland practised. Under the protocol the lawyers have agreed not to claim any success fees, while the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has agreed not to recover its costs in cases it wins.
It is the kind of high-profile matter in which Goodmans – and Cohen – specialise. The lawyer was the lead solicitor in the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital litigation, also known as the Alder Hey organ retention scandal, in which he secured the highest-ever mediated settlement with the NHSLA.
But Cohen also keeps a sharp eye on the business.
“Lynne became a partner because we recognised the importance of non-lawyers to firms like ours,” he says. “Making them a partner allows them parity not just in pay, but also in recognising that they have a fundamental part in moving the business forward.”
Head of medical negligence:Ian Cohen
Number of directors:Five
Number of lawyers:18
Number of fee-earners:38
Number of offices:One
Main practice areas:Healthcare regulation, medical negligence, personal injury
Key clients: Private individuals, Royal College of Nursing