Through a series of new office openings, law firm Slater and Gordon is investing in widening access to its expertise for people across the country.
NR Times visits its latest opening, having relocated its office in Newcastle, and speaks to the team about its commitment to the region, building its existing reputation further, and how its wide-ranging capability can prove crucial for clients in accessing the support they need
As a well-known and trusted name nationally, Slater and Gordon’s expansion into growing numbers of localities across the country is bringing the expertise of its lawyers even closer to those who need their support. The firm has always had a presence in Newcastle but has recently relocated to the new and improved premises.
Regarded as a leader in its field in serious injury work – particularly in life-changing brain and spinal cord injury claims – and in supporting clients through distressing cases of clinical negligence, Slater and Gordon’s expansion is seeing it become even more accessible on a local level.
With an ethos of client-centred service, and a commitment to building the strongest possible relationships with both clients and fellow professionals, the growth of its office network gives greater opportunities for in-person contact with its team of experts.
Alongside this, clients are able to tap into the expertise of lawyers based elsewhere in the Slater and Gordon network, many of whom are national leaders in their field.
The latest relocation in Newcastle, builds on a long track record of success for Slater and Gordon in the city and wider North East. With years of trust amassed from its work in industrial disease, enabling countless clients from across the once heavily industrialised region to access life-changing support, the new office concentrates on industrial disease, serious injury and clinical negligence work.
Responding to the growing demand for its services from across the region, its team – which continues to recruit – is building on its existing client base and relationships with professionals and support organisations, to offer the best possible service from its new home in central Newcastle.
Key names in the team include John Davis, a well-known figure nationally who this year marks 40 years in law, who is hailed in independent legal publication Chambers and Partners as “probably the leading lawyer in the North East on neurological trauma”; ‘rising star’ neurotrauma lawyer Kate Nickin; and Ben Gent, a specialist medical negligence lawyer top-rated by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.
And through its new presence on the ground in Newcastle, Slater and Gordon is keen to build its footprint in the North East even further.
“We already have a strong reputation in this region, and we have always had work from the North East, but I think being local and present in the area is very important for everyone,” says John Lowther, a clinical negligence lawyer with over 10 years’ experience of working in the North East.
“We have a strong network, which we are keen to grow even further, and have built relationships with some really key organisations which can be of benefit to our clients. Charities like Heel and Toe, organisations like Healthwatch – I am chair of Healthwatch South Tyneside – are great local resources, and add to the relationships we have nationally too.”
“There is such a deep vein of expertise running through the firm, both locally and nationally, which is so important for our clients,” says John Davis, one of only a handful of lawyers nationally to be accredited in both brain and spinal injury work.
“Our opening in Newcastle shows our commitment to this region, and the fact we are there for our clients. But importantly, we can offer access to exceptional people within the Slater and Gordon network for advice, in addition to the expertise of our team locally.”
“It’s important when acting for clients in a particular area that you know the local experts, so which therapists you’d go to, where to signpost people, where is best to find the support they need,” says Josephine Hall, who previously worked in Slater and Gordon’s London office before returning to her native North East.
“It’s also easier to see clients, which we know they really value, and to see the circumstances they face. You can disguise a certain amount on video calls, but when you see them in their own surroundings, you get a much better idea of their situation. There are things they may not tell you, but when you see it with your own eyes, you better understand how you can help them and get a fuller picture of their needs.
“Our priority is to do absolutely everything we can to support our clients, and to find every way we can to make their lives better after a distressing event.”
While locally the networks may be different, the commitment to supporting clients is consistent throughout the Slater and Gordon group. With a reputation for fighting hard for its clients, in cases that can routinely take many years, its North East team share the determination of their colleagues around the country in delivering the best possible outcomes.
“There is a genuine commitment to putting the client at the centre of everything, which is something you hear a lot, but Slater and Gordon really do,” says John Davis.
“Our ethos is absolutely uncompromising on this and we’ll do everything we can to get the best outcome for our client and their particular circumstances, however long that takes.”
With a track record of securing significant settlements for claimants in both serious injury and clinical negligence work – and, crucially, in enabling people to rebuild their lives through accessing bespoke support and securing justice – the team’s expertise can be a key factor in determining the end result.
“It’s absolutely vital that you go to a lawyer who is a specialist in their respective field, you’ve got to be really careful about that,” says John Lowther.
“There was one case which came to me, where previously it was being looked at in the region of £5,000, but the previous lawyer wasn’t a clinical negligence specialist. With proper investigation and after establishing the full circumstances, we actually settled for over £1million.
“We will leave no stone unturned in investigating a claim, to ensure our clients get the support and the justice they deserve. We will unpick everything and give them the answers they need and so they can access what they are entitled to.
“For many clients, it is very important to them that they are making a claim to make sure positive change happens, that procedures are changed as a result of what has happened to them. That is something we are very pleased to support with – mistakes do happen, and that is very unfortunate, but it is important that lessons are learned and preventative measures are taken that could stop the same thing happening to someone else.”
“The fact we are part of a national network adds so much more, too, and enables us to offer a holistic service,” says Josephine.
“We have a specialist midwifery and nursing team, who are such a valuable resource. We also have specialists who offer advice on welfare benefits, which is a service not everyone offers but which can be a lifeline for many clients.
“For those who unfortunately may not have claims, our in-house expertise means we can signpost them to the right places, we’ll always do everything we can.”
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