These promotions conclude a successful end to the 2018/19 financial year where we were awarded Law Firm of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards in March.
The firm see five new Associates - Caitlyn Maccabe, Laura Wilson, Carrie-Anne Mackenzie, Lisa Byrne and Melissa Christodoulou - and three new Senior Solicitors - Theresa Mutapi, Jordan McCarter and Joy Bell.
Ashleigh-Jane Mitchell also becomes Professional Support and Compliance Officer within the Glasgow office and Claire Bartholomew is now Marketing Executive within the Marketing department at Digby Brown.
Carrie-Anne Mackenzie’s appointment reflects the ongoing the growth of the firm’s Aberdeen office. Laura Wilson is based in Edinburgh and specialises in assisting clients injured either at work or on the road.
Pictured (L-R): Caitlyn Maccabe, Laura Wilson, Carrie-Anne Mackenzie, Lisa Byrne and Melissa Christodoulou
Of the three new Senior Solicitors, Theresa Mutapi is part of the firm’s Network team in Edinburgh, Jordan McCarter sits within Digby Brown’s Insurance Litigation team in Glasgow and Joy Bell is part of the firm’s Network department in Glasgow.
Pictured (L-R): Theresa Mutapi, Jordan McCarter and Joy Bell
Digby Brown chief executive Fraser Oliver said: “These are an important set of promotions which reflect the further growth of the business across Scotland and across different areas of personal injury practice.
“Helping clients is what we do. It matters to us. Investing and developing our staff ensures we continue to lead in the field of Scottish personal injury litigation.”
After the success of last year, our Ayr office decided again to take on the Five Ferry Challenge at the weekend for their new local mental health charity Beautiful Inside & Out (Scio).
The team managed to raise an outstanding £2,450.
The Five Ferries challenge is over 52 miles of cycling in less than ten hours and catching five ferries to various locations across Scotland: Ardrossan to Brodick, Lochranza to Cloanag, Tarbet to Portavadie, Colintraive to Rhubodach on Isle of Bute, Rothesay to Wyms Bay.
This year the team taking part were Damian White, Partner and Head of the Ayr Office, Colin Moffat, Associate, Lee Murray, Senior Solicitor, Saima Ali, Solicitor and Chantelle Robertson, Trainee Solicitor.
The team managed to finish the challenge within the 10 hour window and managed to make each ferry on time.
Damian White, Partner and Head of the Ayr office said: “We are delighted to have been able to raise such a fantastic amount for Beautiful Inside & Out – it makes all the hours of training very much worthwhile.
The amount raised will help the charity fund new mental health counsellors who will be able to deliver much needed help and support to vulnerable young people not only in Ayrshire but elsewhere in the country.
“So a huge thanks to everyone who supported us and made a donation, your generosity is greatly appreciated.”
Beautiful Inside & Out (Scio) is a charity that support bereaved parents and siblings of suicide victims through counselling, different types of interactive therapy and drop-in sessions.
Pauline Moriarty, Founder of Beautiful Inside & Out (Scio) said: “We are extremely grateful to the staff at the Ayr branch of Digby Brown for taking part in such adventurous pursuits in order to raise funds for the services of Beautiful Inside & Out (Scio). After the tragic suicide of our wonderful daughter Jenna, we found that there were many gaps in the system in terms of support for troubled people and for bereaved families of suicide victims.
“Beautiful Inside & Out (Scio) provides and funds counselling, play therapy, drama therapy, music therapy and art therapy. All of our services are funded by the charity so that there is no barrier to anyone receiving support. We also provide drop in sessions for troubled or bereaved people.
“Thanks so much to the Ayr office for raising such an amazing amount and to all those who have donated!”
Ian McDonald had his hand amputated after he was injured by faulty cutting gear.
The 37-year-old firefighter from Bishopbriggs, Glasgow needed 40 operations after a high-pressure jet of hydraulic fluid pierced through his leather safety gloves and poisoned him.
Although the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) offered great emotional support, Ian refused their legal assistance - something not all union members are aware they can do.
Instead, Ian turned to Digby Brown Solicitors and thanks to our expertise in personal injury and loss-of-limb cases our Glasgow-based Partner David Nellaney secured rightful compensation as well as access to the best possible prosthetic experts.
Ian said: “I understand the NHS can’t afford fancy prosthetics but the hook has limited uses while my new arm restores more normality to my life.
“I can hold mugs, phones, change my daughter’s nappy and after adapting my steering wheel the DVLA confirmed I could still drive.
“I’m glad had the support of the FBU but I’m even happier about the decision I made to seek independent legal advice - just because you’re a union member doesn’t mean you have to use their legal agents and I’d strongly urge others to ask around like I did.”
Thanks to Digby Brown’s ability to access the right experts, we learned the hose pipe connecting the generator to the cutting gear was covered with tiny punctures which can appear as a result of the hose pipe being dragged over broken glass or metal shards at incidents.
One of these punctures then caused a fine jet of hydraulic fluid to escape and pierce Ian’s leather safety gloves - this in turn caused toxic hydraulic fluid to enter his body and over time it broke down the tissue of Ian’s hand.
The married father-of-four was in agonising pain and underwent more than 40 operations in an attempt to ‘flush out’ the toxins - but in the end medics were forced to amputate.
Ian added: “When I heard the full hand had to go the idea of being pain-free made it easier to accept.
“It got to the point where the surgeons were saying ‘It’s the hand or your life’ so it was an easy trade.
“I’ve still a way to go but after the support of my family, the doctors and colleagues I finally feel like the dark days are behind me.”
Employers - no matter the sector - have a duty to provide employees with: the right training; a safe working environment; and the right safety equipment.
However our legal experts found the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service had an inadequate system of inspection and maintenance for equipment despite knowing about the risks of punctures to the hose pipe.
We also found there were protective coverings for the hose which would have prevented Ian’s injury but they were not used.
David Nellaney said: “The SFRS is undoubtedly a safety-conscious organisation that provides an invaluable service but on this occasion it failed in its duty of care to an employee.
“Ian has shown courage throughout his recovery but he and his family suffered physically, emotionally and financially through no fault of their own.
“No settlement can alter the past, but it can improve the future and in Ian’s case, it will provide access to ongoing medical treatment and ease the financial implications of this workplace injury.
“Additionally, I’d hope this case has resulted in SFRS personnel benefiting from improvements to the safety of their equipment and procedures.”