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Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year (Claimant)!

When I learned in September that I had been short listed for the Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year (Claimant) award, I was bowled over. 

I have worked in Personal Injury for over 20 years; I find it very fulfilling to make a difference to the lives of my clients by providing them with the means to, for example, purchase a bungalow or state of the art prosthesis.  Often, particularly when the main breadwinner has died in an accident, it is good to be able to help  their dependants obtain some financial security which contributes to getting on with their life.

So finally, 10 November came along and I found myself and my guests enjoying a fabulous evening at The London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.  The recently retired Master of the Rolls gave an opening address extolling the virtues of settling personal injury claims by mediation rather than battling through the courts.  Having experienced some excellent results through mediation and settlement meetings, I acknowledged the merit of what he had to say.

After a super meal top comedian Sean Lock, from 8 out of 10 Cats fame gave some entertaining observations on the world of personal injury lawyers.  I can just hear his next gig "You'll never guess where I was Tuesday night........."

Sean then hosted the awards ceremony.  I had been short listed along with John McQuater, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and Warren Collins Assessor for the Law Society's Panels of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Solicitors.  Both nominees had excellent credentials and experience.

I was both surprised and shocked to hear my name announced as the winner.  I was very proud to accept the award. Walking up to receive my trophy was surreal, it really has been a once in a lifetime experience.

Over the years I have had the privilege to first meet and then act for many super people.  Often I meet them when they are at the very lowest point of their lives, having just suffered traumatic injuries.  I always remember my grandmother’s words, she said "Neil just do your best".  This is all I have ever tried to do, that and to treat people, whether they have suffered a brain injury, an amputation or have lost a loved one, as I would wish to be treated myself.

It would have been impossible to have obtained this award without the support and patience of my family; it was great to have my wife Karen present at the awards, together with the efficient and hardworking team who are behind me all the way at the office.  I am so fortunate to have a top secretary and litigation assistant in Tania Carter and Phyllis Smith who have worked with me on my personal cases.for many years, together with recent addition solicitor Gayle Kinsey who is an up and coming star  In addition I am proud to have a team of dedicated, motivated individuals in our Department who, work to attain the very best results they can for their clients.

There were some highly worthy recipients last night, particularly the legal team who acted for the group of Claimants who suffered birth defects, who were recovered damages in the toxic tort cases against Corby Council.  It was flattering to read complimentary testimonials from clients, counsel and expert witnesses and I am very honoured to have been chosen by such an esteemed panel of judges including a recently retired Court of Appeal Lord Justice, eminent QCs and many other leaders in their field.

A fantastic evening all in all and thanks to Paula Nash who is Head of Clinical Negligence and a partner at Lanyon Bowdler, and to highly skilled counsel Richard Davison from 12 KBW and Stephen Campbell from No5 Chambers for joining me in celebrating at the awards evening.