Hugh Mullins, David Fisher and First4Lawyers were the big winners at the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards, which took place at The Grange St. Paul’s hotel in London on 26 November.
Mullins, a partner at law firm Clyde & Co, was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award for his work in the Sonae chipboard-plant fire case.
Mullins and his colleagues at Clyde & Co successfully defended the damages claims of 16,626 claimants alleging personal injuries and other losses from smoke exposure following a fire in June 2011 at the premises of Sonae Industria in Kirkby, Merseyside. Mullins made use of social media to highlight the dishonesty of some claimants and also presented highly complicated scientific evidence to support the defence.
Fisher, the Catastrophic & Injury Technical Claims Manager at AXA, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the judges for his efforts to bring claimant and defendant camps closer together.
Laurence Besemer, the CEO of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) and chair of the judging panel for the awards, said that Fisher had been chosen due to his “fantastic work and dedication to improving the state of the entire claims sector”.
“He has been an influential and fair voice in the movement to bring transparency into the sector and to increase collaboration between warring camps and to encourage trust and dialogue,” said Besemer.
First4Lawyers, the marketing collective, picked up two awards on the night, for Best Marketing Campaign and Best Claims Management Company.
The awards were hosted by comedian Stephen K Amos and organised by Barker Brooks Communications, the publishing and events company that owns Claims Media.
Besemer was joined on the judging panel by Adrian Furness (claims director at Covéa Insurance); Donna Scully (a partner at Carpenters and winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at last year’s event); Andrew Pemberton (chair of the UK Rehabilitation Council); Gordon Exall (a barrister with Zenith Chambers); Amanda Stevens (a partner at Irwin Mitchell); Deborah Evans (chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)); and Mark Stobbs, the former director of legal policy at the Law Society.
Full list of winners
Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year
David Greenwood – Switalskis
Defendent Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year
Sean McGahan – McKinty & Wright
Claimant Personal Injury Team of the Year
Defendent Personal Injury Team of the Year
Barristers’ Chambers of the Year
Mediation Achiever of the Year
Frances McCarthy – Pattison & Brewer
Rehab Provider of the Year
Claims Management Company of the Year
Medico-legal Provider of the Year
Insurance Provider of the Year
Associated Industries Award
Trevor Gilbert & Associates
Young Achiever of the Year
John McKie – Hill Dickinson
Practice/Operations Manager of the Year
Sally Swift – Browne Jacobson
Marketing Campaign of the Year
Outstanding Case of the Year
All representatives of the Claimant and the Personal Injury Bar Association in the JXMX Case
Hugh Mullins, Clyde & Co
David Fisher, AXA Insurance