NHSLA revamps panel in straitened times

After several false starts, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) finally unveiled its new-look panel this week.

Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) was the big winner, picking up a spot on both the clinical negligence and non-clinical negligence rosters. DAC Beachcroft also secured a spot on the non-clinical negligence panel, but Clyde & Co and Ward Hadaway both missed out on keeping their places.

The NHSLA has also created a whole new panel, with 11 firms appointed to act for 15 Department of Health organisations.

The news comes amidst reports that claims against the NHSLA soared by almost 20 per cent in the last year pushing the negligence claims bill up to £19m.

Last year’s inquiry into failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, some suggest, has been encouraged more people to make claims against healthcare professionals.

The NHS has also been drawn into the ongoing row over legal aid cuts with justice secretary Chris Grayling warning that spending on criminal cases needs to drop to protect NHS spending.

These are tough times, and while those firms to have won places on the NHSLA panel will be celebrating picking up a piece of a £400m contract, they will have to work harder than ever for their fees.

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Elsewhere in litigation:

  • The Employment Tribunal has decided partnerships can justify age discrimination
  • Dispute resolution provider Jams has hired former Ince senior partner Peter Rogan
  • The head of newly-merged Dentons’ Paris litigation team has quit for Bryan Cave