The highly influential charity Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) has awarded a coveted accreditation to a Hull solicitor.
Wayne Walker, who works as a clinical negligence specialist at Williamsons Solicitors, has been accepted on to the charity’s panel of experts following a tough verification process over a period of nearly two years.
He joins his colleague Simon Ramshaw who gained a place on the prestigious panel in 2015, and they are currently the only solicitors within a 35-mile radius recommended by AvMA as experts.
AvMA is the sole UK patients’ charity specialising in patient safety and has succeeded in bringing about huge changes to the way that the legal system deals with clinical negligence. It actively supports people affected by avoidable harm in healthcare and campaigns for patient safety and justice.
Mr Walker said that, to be accepted by AvMA, proof of ability and expertise needed to be chronicled in great detail backed up by a rigorous interview process.
“There has to be no doubt about your credentials which must be evidenced to a very high standard,” he said.
“It is vital that people understand the difference between a personal injury compensation service and working with a competent medical negligence solicitor, the latter being a complex area of law which requires both legal and medical knowledge.
“AvMA’s panel of solicitors aims to help people make an appropriate choice of professional when seeking justice for serious medical mistakes or mismanagement.”
The charity also requires the applicant to have “an empathy with the feelings and needs of people who have been harmed by negligent treatment” and adds that it has seen “many claimants badly let down by solicitors who take on clinical negligence cases they are not able to handle”.
Solicitors must be reaccredited after five years and are required to sign a code of conduct.
Mr Ramshaw is also a member of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel along with department head Nick Gray who said that the combined experience of the firm’s clinical negligence experience exceeded 75 years.
“I want to congratulate Wayne for his achievement, which further strengthens Williamsons’ reputation for unmatched clinical negligence expertise in East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.”
Mr Walker has represented patients in a number of high-profile cases, including those involving victims of birth injury such as cerebral palsy, avoidable amputations and instances of death that may, or may not, result in an inquest.
Williamsons Solicitors has offices in Hull, Beverley, Driffield and Bridlington, and its clinical negligence team comprises five solicitors, three paralegals and a chartered legal executive.