While the family and private client teams in Oxford have been highly ranked by the legal directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, for many years, the combined firm has now extended the reach of the top ranked clinical negligence and personal injury teams in Basingstoke, Guildford and London to the Oxford and Reading offices.
The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence and personal injury team, comprising seven partners and more than 20 qualified lawyers, is not only recognised by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a leading firm in the South East but is also one of the UK’s largest teams. With particular expertise in complex and serious injury cases across a wide range of specialisms including brain injury, cerebral palsy, birth injuries, fatal accidents, travel and cosmetic surgery, the firm is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). The reputation of its lawyers as leaders in their field is also recognised by Headway and the Spinal Injuries Association.
Oxford-based clinical negligence partner, Richard Money-Kyrle, grew up in Wallingford where his father was a GP. Specialising in acting for patients injured by medical mistakes, Richard has seen a sea change in the attitude of the NHS to litigation in the last year.
He says: “With the introduction of the statutory duty of candour – where medical staff are required to tell patients when they have been harmed as a result of a medical error – and the determination of successive governments to put the patient first, the NHS is starting to encourage openness when patients are injured by medical mistakes. This recognition that patients deserve answers and should not be made to feel guilty by asking for much needed financial support is a welcome sign of the changing attitudes inside and outside the NHS.
“An exceptionally high-quality department and a standout firm in Oxford. They are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of breadth and experience.”
“The state’s safety net of benefits and support cannot meet the needs of injured people. A severely disabled person who needs 24 hour care can spend over £100,000 a year on carers alone. When the costs of therapies, specialist equipment, adaptations to housing and loss of earnings are added, it’s easy to see how the cost of support to minimise the effects of injury can exceed £10 million over a lifetime.”
The wider personal injury team includes the new chief assessor to the Law Society’s personal injury accreditation scheme, Warren Collins, who specialises in brain and spinal injury cases, however caused, and is a dual qualified US attorney. Strong family law team with international expertise The Oxford family team comprising partners Jane Mitchell and Ruth James, barrister Camini Kumar, and two associates, also goes from strength to strength. In 2015, Jane became the first lawyer in Oxford and the Thames Valley to be awarded a fellowship of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML).
The IAML is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and expert family law specialists in their respective countries. This prestigious appointment is especially noteworthy given that only a small number of UK family lawyers outside London are fellows of the IAML.
According to Chambers UK 2016, the team is an “impressive group of family law specialists with a strong track record in children matters and complex financial cases”. A client interviewed by Chambers UK said: “An exceptionally high-quality department and a standout firm in Oxford. They are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of breadth and experience.”
The third service for individuals offered by the Oxford office is private client where the Penningtons Manches team is primarily focused on wealth succession, estate planning and administration. It has significant expertise in cross-border estates, offshore trust work and contentious probate.