Chambers and Partners
Following extensive independent research, the Chambers & Partners Guide to the legal profession has consistently ranked Irwin Mitchell’s International Travel Litigation Group as the U.K.’s leading lawyers for pursuing claims arising overseas. As well as heading Irwin Mitchell’s Foreign Claims team, Clive Garner is also ranked as the leading individual lawyer in this field.
Below are the entries in the Chambers and Partners’ Directory:
Irwin Mitchell’s International Personal Injury team is a “market-leading travel group that represents group and individual claimants in accident and illness litigation.” It’s “known for its capabilities in high-value cross-border claims” and “regularly acts in catastrophic injury claims.”
Key individuals: Sources say that Philip Banks is "well known and well respected, and knows his stuff in the claimant personal injury field." The “very impressive” Clive Garner is known for doing a "fantastic job on the claimant side," with “particular expertise in group claims.” Michael Zurbrugg is described as an "extremely charming and polished" solicitor, whose "judgement is spot on." Market sources comment that he is "very shrewd, with good client skills." Demetrius Danas is described as having “a very good grasp of strategy and tactics; he sees the bigger picture but he is also hot on the detail." “Suki Chhokar is a well-regarded practitioner with expertise in complex cross-border group illness claims.”
Lauded as “really innovative”, Irwin Mitchell’s travel team “doesn’t rest on its laurels.” The group “has so many contacts with foreign insurers and so many people with foreign languages that it is miles ahead of others.” Amongst many other cases, they recently represented 20 passengers who were aboard the Costa Concordia cruise liner which ran aground in January 2012.
Key individuals: Clients describe practice head Clive Garner in glowing terms as “one of those individuals that has a huge brain”. “He’s caring, very personable and approachable: if I need to speak to him I can,” one client says. Philip Banks is similarly praised by commentators, who say that the "thing that sums him up most is that, even with very aggressive opponents, he maintains a complete calm under fire.”
Irwin Mitchell is distinguished as one of the largest travel practices in the UK by solicitor headcount, handling a "huge volume of high-quality claimant personal injury work," particularly from the firm's London and Birmingham offices. Sources speak of its long history in the travel sphere. Indeed, it has the manpower to handle large multi-party claims on a regular basis. The practice advised on the widely reported Homawoo matter that reached the ECJ.
Key Individuals - Clive Garner divides his time between Birmingham and London, heading up the dedicated international travel litigation practice. He calls on extensive experience of handling high-value personal injury and wrongful death claims. Sources are quick to point to his deft management and legal skills as pivotal to the success of the practice, describing him as a "demi-god of travel law." He advised on the Homawoo case.
Philip Banks practises out of the Birmingham office. He wins plaudits from sources as "very genial, with extremely good judgement." He advised a group of claimants who were injured on the Alexsey Maryshev cruise liner off the coast of Norway.
London partner Demetrius Danas recently led on a high-value claim arising from a road traffic accident in Malta. Sources adjudge him "efficient and bright," and agree he does "a great job for clients."
Suki Chhokar is a travel litigator who enjoys an impressive profile, particularly in managing large group personal injury claims. Recent examples of his work include advising 599 claimants concerning gastric illnesses at Holiday Village Turkey. Sources admire his tenacity and keen eye for a commercial settlement.
Elizabeth Tetzner is an associate solicitor in the Birmingham office. She wins plaudits for her efficient and timely work style, as well as her well-developed case management skills.
Irwin Mitchell's ample travel team wins applause for its "legal expertise, language skills and knowledge of overseas jurisdictions." The claimant travel litigation group is spread throughout offices in London, Birmingham and Málaga and it offers vast experience of handling injury and fatal accident cases, as well as holiday illness claims. Recent work includes representing a client who suffered severe injuries in a road traffic accident in Italy and now requires 24 hour care.
Key individuals: Clive Garner heads the department and is widely respected among peers. He is said to be "stratospherically amazing" and offers long-standing expertise in all manner of travel litigation.
The "professional and accessible" Demetrius Danas is "an extremely competent lawyer who gets on with people" and is an "expert in his field." He is particularly experienced in representing clients who have suffered severe injuries abroad and whilst travelling.
Philip Banks wins praise as a "charismatic and very talented" individual. He focuses on injuries abroad, as well as acting for groups of clients who sustain illnesses whilst on holiday.
"This large, impressive claimant team is based in Birmingham and principally deals with personal injury work overseas. The team boasts vast experience and knowledge of the sector, and acts on mass claims such as representing the passengers injured in a coach crash in Bulgaria. Clive Garner is 'the godfather of claimant travel personal injury.' He heads the international travel litigation group at Irwin Mitchell."
Clive Garner is praised for his "cutting-edge strategies, proven trial techniques and compassionate nature" and Demetrius Danas for his "extremely successful negotiating style and sound appreciation of travel clients' business".
With huge resources, an impressive track record and a constant flow of cases, this firm is one of the recognised leaders in claimant work.
Lawyers at this "eminent and highly motivated practice" are applauded for their wide-ranging experience, and for "always responding extremely quickly to clients’ needs."
"This team is rated as the best international PI claimant group in the country, having built an 'established and high-quality practice' that 'commands respect throughout the industry.'"
"The group is a recognised force in handling both mass class actions and individual claims against operators and suppliers in more than 80 jurisdictions across the world. The team is often involved in securing damages and compensation for those involved in mass outbreaks of illness or injury abroad, and due to the size of the team is able to allocate solicitors to individual cases depending on their particular circumstance."
"Fifty-three lawyers litigate on claims ranging from several thousand pounds to those of seven figures. The firm also has offices in Madrid and Marbella."
Head of practice Clive Garner is championed by sources as a lawyer “at the very top of his game,” and whose involvement on behalf of plaintiffs is seen as the “kiss of death for defendants.” Garner has acted on securing millions of pounds in damages for illnesses and injuries suffered abroad in 90 mass class actions over the past year.
“A wily operator” who is a “great public speaker” and has a good deal of experience in litigating multiparty actions, Stuart Henderson is also highly recommended by commentators. Henderson heads up the personal injury department at the firm’s Birmingham office.
The team has fostered a niche practice in litigating on behalf of claimants injured in coach crashes abroad: approximately 50 claimants have had liability established in their favour in accidents across Europe over the past year. The group has also successfully recovered damages for more than 2,500 plaintiffs who suffered illness abroad, including mass class actions involving holidaymakers at hotels in southern Spain and Majorca."
"A firm that is home to the crème de la crème of claimant lawyers."
"You cannot help but be impressed by them… the amount of work it handles is extraordinary”, observed sources. Renowned for its skills on multi party claims, the group is perceived as the expert on all aspects of illness, PI and serious injury abroad, it is especially praised for its work across America and in Europe".
"The UK’s number one claimant firm."
"Excellent media profile and acknowledged as market leaders. The heavyweight champion of travel claimant work."