My Professional Background
I deal with a wide range of medical negligence claims, including orthopaedic injuries, complex bowel perforation cases, ophthalmic cases, fatal claims and delayed cancer diagnosis. My specialism in spinal injury cases mean I have worked on several claims involving Cauda Equina Syndrome. I settled the most recent of these cases for a six-figure sum, and am currently instructed in several cases in which damages are estimated at between £500,000 and £800,000.
I really enjoy the mix of skills needed in this field; part-lawyer, part-medic and part-detective. I also appreciate being able to help clients achieve justice. For example, in fatal claims the financial value of the claim is often relatively minimal compared to the importance to the family in finding out what happened to their loved one and the lessons that can be learned to prevent a recurrence. With the changes to litigation funding being proposed by the Government I fear it may become increasingly difficult to take these cases on. I think it is vital we, as lawyers, do whatever we can to ensure bereaved families continue to have access to our services.
I joined Attwater & Liell (as was) in November 2006. I had previously been working in shipping and logistics, but decided on a change of career and was already studying for my legal qualifications, in addition to working full time. I joined the Medical Negligence department in 2007 and quickly developed my own full caseload.
Achievements / Accreditations
- In Chambers and Partners 2020 I am ranked as an ‘Associate to Watch’, and described as “a real fighter for his clients and a calm head in any circumstance” as well as “a lawyer you want in your corner.”
- In Chambers and Partners 2019 I am ranked as an ‘Associate to watch’, and described as a “a very determined litigator who obtains good results in difficult cases” and “He is easy to understand and makes the whole thing simple.”
- In Legal 500 2018 and I am described as a ‘determined litigator’.
- In Chambers and Partners 2018, I am ranked as an “Associate to watch”, with the following comments: “James Sherwin receives praise for his expertise in claims arising from orthopaedic injuries, cosmetic surgery, ophthalmology and fatal accidents. One client explains: ‘Whenever I asked him to put something to me in a language I understand, he did. If you’re not sure, he will go over everything.’”
- In the 2017 Legal 500, the directory commented that I am a ‘hardworking and conscientious’ solicitor, who has a ‘good grasp of issues and shows great empathy’.
- Admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2012, after six years of study
- Continued studying for a further four years to become dual-qualified as a Solicitor in 2015
- Worked for several years as a volunteer for AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents)
- Graduate Diploma in Law and Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (with merit) – De Montfort University
- Senior Litigator – Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
- Settled a difficult claim involving plagiocephaly, that our paediatric specialist said was the first successful claim of its type he had heard of
- Settled a case that attracted global press coverage, beginning with the UK national press and BBC, and then spread as far as America, South Africa, New Zealand and Singapore
I was born and raised in Harlow, where I still reside with fiancée and our cat. I enjoy eating Chinese food (although now I am on a health drive, I should probably say something boring like salad!) and drinking proper ale like Adnams Broadside. I am a qualified Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver (despite a fear of sharks) and enjoy watching boxing, following Tottenham Hotspur and until recently playing lead guitar in a band. I would love to be a beer taster at the Adnams factory and if I was on a desert island and got to choose a companion, it would be anyone who could build a raft!