Having qualified in 1989, I have 25 years experience as a solicitor and have worked in personal injury litigation throughout my career. I joined George Ide Phillips (now George Ide LLP) in 1994 and have been a partner in the firm since 2002. I specialise in catastrophic and complex injury claims including brain injury, multiple trauma, spinal, amputee and fatal accident claims.

My driving force is the strong relationships that I am privileged to develop with my clients and their families, and the desire to achieve the best results for them, as soon as possible. I also focus on doing all I can to reduce their stress and support them as appropriate. I take the lead in proactively obtaining interim payments and funds for rehabilitation, and ensuring my clients have access to the best rehabilitation programmes available. I have also been asked to act as trustee for several of my clients’ trust funds. This allows me to maintain ongoing contact with them and ensures I have a continuing interest in their progress.

One of my clients sustained a severe traumatic brain injury when she was 15 years old. I have seen her develop from a terribly damaged person into a confident young woman who is able to manage her on-going condition very well, and now lives independently in her own flat. I have been able to support her in obtaining rehabilitation and medical treatment and the equipment that she needs. The funds obtained through her claim provide the financial security that she needs, including providing for a case manager to support her for life.

I am prepared to take cases to trial when necessary and I have had plenty of trial experience over the years. However I thrive on building a good relationship with insurers and their solicitors where possible, as often a negotiated settlement achieves a better and quicker result for everyone involved.

I have been a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since I qualified in 1989 and am an accredited APIL Senior Litigator. I am a current trustee of the brain injury charity, Headway. I am a previous Chair of Headway, Portsmouth and I Chaired Headway, West Sussex for the maximum 5 year term between 2008 and 2013. I have a keen interest in helping to develop their services and have also taken part in leading support groups and advising on individual problems and challenges. My involvement has often been hands-on, working with a variety of professionals including clinicians, therapists and specialist service providers, and with Headway service users within Sussex and beyond. I am also a member of Sussex Acquired Brain Injury Forum.

Chambers Legal Directory has recognised me as a leading individual solicitor since 2006. It described me as someone who takes “a balanced approach to cases,” and “does not take an adversarial approach unless that is what is wanted”, someone who is “friendly, sensitive and understands how difficult personal injury work can be”, and “hugely talented, with an impressively calm and clear approach”. I am also proud to have been noted for my “extremely conscientious approach” and a “very good insight into vocational rehabilitation.”

Testimonials for Claire Watson