The UK and Ireland’s leading risk and insurance law business, BLM has announced the appointment of abuse claims expert Paula Jefferson as a partner.
Paula joins BLM from DAC Beachcroft where she led the firm’s National Disease Unit with a particular focus on advising customers facing increasing numbers of issues and claims as a result of historic sexual abuse allegations. Also joining BLM’s specialist abuse team are Sarah Wright and Catherine Davey, who transfer from DAC Beachcroft.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Pether, head of BLM’s public sector group, said: “The addition of Paula to the team is a major coup for the business and one that will only serve to improve our depth of experience and customer offering across the many sectors where historic and, all too sadly, more recent abuse arises. Her long track record of sensitively advising in high profile matters, including representing the BBC in connection with the Jimmy Savile claims, speaks for itself and we look forward to sharing the benefits of Paula’s experience with our customers.”
The appointments add significantly to BLM’s already impressive abuse offering, particularly in relation to cases arising in the faith sector. Jefferson, Wright and Davey have many years of experience acting for faith organisations including the Church of England, Baptist and Methodist churches. Jefferson has also acted in highly sensitive cases for insurers, the MOD, independent schools, public bodies and charities.
Jefferson and Wright’s experience of dealing with international injury claims (including examples linked to the Mumbai terrorist attack) have become increasingly helpful in advising clients facing claims in the UK in connection with sexual abuse occurring in overseas jurisdictions. To date this has included Zimbabwe, USA, Indonesia and Sierra Leone.
As well as strengthening BLM’s expertise in abuse law, the appointments further enhance its capacity to defend disease claims. Jefferson and Davey have advised on a variety of claims for stress, bullying and harassment at work made by high achieving professionals in the legal, management, accounting and financial sectors.
BLM senior partner Mike Brown, added: “BLM’s expertise in supporting its clients when they face difficult and sensitive issues is one of the many facets that contributes to our standing as the UK and Ireland’s leading risk and insurance law business. Paula’s appointment is testament to the quality of our work, as well as the calibre of experience and talent we are able to attract. I have no doubt that she and the rest of the team will continue to demonstrate the knowledge our reputation is based on and secure successful outcomes for our customers.”