FFW swoops for Charles Russell’s med neg team

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has hired Charles Russell’s London-based medical negligence team as it looks ahead to a period ofconsolidation in the market.

The five-strong team, which is made up of partners Richard Vallance and Edwina Rawson, associates Chista Kermani and Claire Howeson and barrister Jonathan Zimmern, joined FFW on 1 May.

The departures will be a blow to Charles Russell, which maintains a large volume personal injury (PI) division. The firm said it wished the team well.

The hires take FFW’s PI and clinical negligence team to eight partners and six fee-earners.

The new-look medical negligence team, headed by Paul McNeil, will focus on high-value, complex cases covering antenatal care, paediatric care, surgery and clinical trials.

“We have a very strong clinical negligence and personal injury group and have a very good reputation with clients, experts and barristers,” said McNeil. “This is an effort to build on that reputation, which we see as a once-in-a-generation merger between two very strong personal injury and clinical negligence teams.”

McNeil believes the next few years will see a wave of consolidation in the sector in response to radical reforms recommended in the Jackson review, which include capping success fees and a shake-up of conditional fee arrangements.

McNeil believes this will reduce access to justice, adding: “I think our team will overcome the threats imposed by the Jackson reforms.

Only teams with size and quality will be able to pursue cases for victims.”