Having already been recognised by the prestigious Legal 500, dog bite solicitor James McNally has now been shortlisted by DASLS  in the category Best Solicitor.

The Judging Panel were looking for someone who demonstrated involvement at a responsible level in interesting, challenging or new areas of law; showing a dedication to clients and with involvement in projects with a  significant impact on the community.

It was felt that James’ work for dog bite victims, particularly child dog bite victims made him eligible for the best solicitor award. It was noted that James shows a huge amount of understanding, compassion and empathy for his young clients and offers considerable support and assistance to them and their parents (who also find themselves having to cope with some extreme and unfamiliar problems during this time).

It was also noted that James’ expertise in the area means that he is often able to secure an early admission of liability and thereby get his clients the medical treatment they so desperately require without delay.  It was commented upon that James works tirelessly to ensure that his client’s have the very best experts on their side and that he has built up a network of contacts, including some of the very best plastic surgeons and psychologists in the country.

One developing resource often overlooked is the use of cosmetic camouflage make up. Scarring can often take years to mature and dog bite victims must wait to be ready for the next procedure. By using cosmetic camouflage consultants James has been able to ensure that his clients (both male and female) are taught how to use makeup effectively to give them some of their confidence back.

As well as using specialist barristers when required, James has sourced and instructed specialist experts in canine behaviour and police dog training. He has also studied specialist books on canine behaviour to give him a better understanding of the issues that may be raised.

Of interest to the judges of the best solicitor award was a project which James is particularly passionate about and involves working alongside charity Changing Faces. This is a charity for people and families who are living with conditions, marks or scars that affect their appearance. Their work is divided into helping individuals lead full, confident and satisfying lives by giving practical and emotional support to adults, children and their families and also transforming public attitudes towards people with an unusual appearance. Their goal is ‘face equality’. James is looking to work with the charity to develop literature and guidance for both parents and children affected by facial scarring. The charity has access to a network of experts and resources.

James has written to MPs to raise awareness of the inadequacies of the current Dangerous Dogs Act and the need for tighter controls to ensure responsible dog ownership. One issue which James has become acutely aware of is the huge number of dog owners without adequate insurance. Insurance is not compulsory and dog bite victims rarely qualify for CICA awards. James has made this a key issue and seeks to raise awareness of this in his dealings with the press and on this website.

Noting that the vast majority of parcel deliveries are now made not by the post office (whose employees often have the benefit of CWU membership and who receive SSP during any absence) but by self-employed drivers, James has developed a special scheme for the huge number of delivery drivers who are bitten each day. His aim is to work alongside delivery companies to raise awareness of their workers’ rights and the law.

James is also involved in several on-going claims for innocent bystanders who have suffered injury following bites from Police Dogs who have attacked while in pursuit or while being exercised. This is a complex and specialist area of an already niche practice, in which James has already had considerable success. Quite remarkably at the time of writing James has a 100% success rate in respect of claims against insured dog owners. This includes several claims where the client had already instructed other solicitors only to be told that their prospects of success were too low for the claim to continue. James has been able to recover compensation for each and every client who has approached him following such a denial of liability. His reputation seems to be such in this specialised area that he was even recently instructed by the partner of a defendant lawyer whose colleagues had previous dealings with him.

If you would like James to review your dog bite claim, he can be contacted on 0333 888 0435 or via email [email protected]

Dog bite solicitor nominated for Best Solicitor Award
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