Rich pickings in the regions

Daniel Holden finds that while there is plenty of regional talent for PI, medical negligence cases are still referred to London

The regional Bar hosts a wealth of personal injury specialists which solicitors are happy to instruct, but medical negligence cases are almost invariably referred to London counsel.

In Wales, Cardiff and Swansea sets are highly regarded. The “very specialist” Ian Murphy QC is “a safe pair of hands” at 9 Park Place, Cardiff. Peter Griffiths QC and Patrick Curran QC, both at 30 Park Place, are solid personal injury practitioners. Two recent silks – Neil Bidder QC of 33 Park Place and Nicholas Cooke QC 9 Park Place – are “very competent and capable”.

Wyn Williams QC heads 33 Park Place and his “excellent advocacy seems much liked by judges”. The same set includes the “intellectually dashing” John Rees QC.

Robert O'Leary at 33 Park Place is “bright”, while Graham Walters and Jonathan Walters are also recommended.

For juniors, Lloyd Williams at 30 Park Place is very highly regarded for his knowledge and all-round good service, as are Peter Brooks and Sarah Jones, both at 9 Park Place.

Top-tier juniors in Swansea, Lawrence Griffiths of Iscoed Chambers and Christopher Vosper of Angel Chambers, are hard to beat.

Silks who stand out on the Leeds circuit include Martin Bethel QC and Christopher Storey QC, both at Park Lane Chambers. Stuart Brown QC at the set stands out as “very good”. The “top quality” Robert Smith QC at Park Court Chambers is another favoured choice.

As senior juniors, Andrew William Lewis at Sovereign Chambers, Julian Goose at 10 Park Square and Simon Thorp at Park Lane Chambers stand “head and shoulders above” the others. Paul Kirtley at 37 Park Square has a “good approach to pleadings”.

Paul Greaney at Park Court Chambers has a solid reputation as a rising junior. At the same set, Simon Jackson and Alistair MacDonald get a mention as does Elizabeth O'Hare at Park Lane Chambers.

In Birmingham, Gareth Evans QC at 5 Fountain Court is “very good on his feet”. David Stembridge QC is “good on disease cases”. Paul Bleasdale is “exceptionally good”. Ralph Lewis is “intellectually streets ahead”. Satinder Hunjan at the same set is noted. Jennifer Jones (also well regarded for employment law) and Mark Radburn are highly rated. Nicholas Xydias is “very able”. Stephen Oliver-Jones QC is best known for personal injury work and William Wood QC is also recommended.

At 4 Fountain Court, Richard Moat is “very competent” and “good on his feet”, while at 3 Fountain Court, Peter Andrews QC is highly regarded.

Priory Chambers has completed a merger with 7 Fountain Court to form St Philip's Chambers. Head of the merged chambers Rex Tedd QC is recommended, as is Lance Ashworth, a senior junior there.

Solicitors on circuit in Derby admire 9 Bedford Row. Julian Matthews, Nigel Godsmark and Simon King are favourites for their “quality of advice” and “performance in court”.

At the highly rated Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham, Simon Gash and Jayne Adams are praised. The senior junior, Alison Hampton is “very good with clients”, “very experienced” and “authoritative”. Hampton also attracts instructions from Sheffield solicitors.

In Manchester, the personal injury Bar thrives, with 28 St John Street at the helm. Philip Grundy, John Phillips and Graham Platts are the anchormen. Winston Hunter is also well regarded.

The reputation of 9 St John Street is well-known. Nicholas Hinchliffe is “very experienced”, as is Ian Little. Nigel Grundy and Timothy Horlock QC are also well thought of. Rachel Wedderspoon and Tariq Sadiq, tenants at the set since 1993, are both prized.

Gerard McDermott at 8 King Street Chambers is “the best”. Simon Vaughan at Manchester House Chambers is another popular choice.

In Liverpool William Braithwaite QC at Exchange Chambers is “consistently good”, while Gerard Martin continues to win plaudits.

On the north-eastern circuit, Newcastle weighs in with a number of good-quality personal injury specialists. Roger Thorn QC at New Court Chambers is “very good”. At the same chambers, Jeremy Freedman and the more junior William Brodrick both get the thumbs up. The “very helpful” Plowden Buildings has a heavy personal injury workload. Bruce McIntyre wins particular kudos.

In York, York Chambers' Mark Grenyer stands out for personal injury work. For medical negligence work, David Gripton is “excellent”.