The Lawyer UK 200 Rank74

Capsticks was founded in 1980 by Brian Capstick, who spotted a niche in clinical negligence and built a practice from there. The firm won the NHS as its main client and for many years stuck with what it knew: acting for hundreds of NHS trusts and primary healthcare trusts, with a handful of private sector healthcare organisations for good measure. Capstick himself believed it is the only law firm ever to reach the UK top 100 in the working life

Capsticks was founded in 1980 by Brian Capstick, who spotted a niche in clinical negligence and built a practice from there. The firm won the NHS as its main client and for many years stuck with what it knew: acting for hundreds of NHS trusts and primary healthcare trusts, with a handful of private sector healthcare organisations for good measure. Capstick himself believed it is the only law firm ever to reach the UK top 100 in the working life of its founder.

This state of affairs continued until 2008 – the year Brian Capstick departed the firm, and also the year of the great financial crash. This was the moment when the rates for public sector work stopped going up.

The firm, now under the leadership of managing partner Alison Morley and senior partner Peter Edwards, made the decision to diversify. Previously around 95 per cent of its work was healthcare, but it moved into new areas of practice, particularly the housing arena. It also expanded geographically, opening its first office outside London in Birmingham in 2009.
Another followed on the South Coast with the hire of a social housing team from Coffin Mew, while the Leeds office, set up in 2011, was boosted with the hire of five partners from DAC Beachcroft in 2014. One of those who came over was Rachael Heenan, who would become senior partner in 2017.

Unusually, Capsticks has no board, with power largely residing in the figures of the managing and senior partners.

Capsticks’ leadership 1980 to present

Managing partner Senior partner
1980 Brian Capstick
2007 Alison Morley
2008 Peter Edwards
2017 Rachael Heenan
2018 Martin Hamilton