Heather Petrie, Senior Solicitor, Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Heather is a Senior Solicitor, specialising in personal injury claims, in the firm’s Adult Brain Injury team.  She joined Bolt Burdon Kemp in January 2018 after gaining a number of years’ experience at another specialist firm.

Heather has been described by clients, colleagues and barristers as passionate and tenacious.  She is dedicated to obtaining the best possible results for all of her clients, whilst maintaining the highest possible standards of service.  She takes pride in truly listening to, and understanding, her clients’ individual needs.  This is particularly pertinent when acting for adults who have suffered brain injury, as Heather knows each person’s injury manifests in very individual ways.  Therefore her working relationships with her clients are adapted to suit their individual and differing needs.

Heather works in a team with Hokman Wong and Eilish Barry who assist Suzanne Trask, partner and Head of the Adult Brain Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, with a broad variety of complex and high value adult brain injury cases.

Some of the successful cases that Heather has worked at Bolt Burdon Kemp include representing:

  • An adult pedestrian who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a road traffic collision which tragically left them in a minimally conscious state, with no prospect of ever regaining consciousness.  The claim was successfully settled against the defendant’s motor insurer, despite their prolonged refusal to accept responsibility for the collision.  The claim settled for a significant six- figure sum, providing our client’s family with some comfort that their loved one will be able to receive appropriate palliative care.
  • An adult who suffered a subtle brain injury in a tripping accident, which left them with lifelong, significant injuries including memory loss and personality change.  Their claim was successfully settled against the local authority, who were responsible for maintaining the site where the accident occurred, despite them never formally admitting any wrong-doing on their part.
  • An adult who suffered a severe brain injury in an accident at work, which involved them falling from a ladder at height.  Their employer accepted responsibility for the accident at an early stage.  However the extent of their injuries, and the value of the claim, were heavily disputed by their employer all the way up through the court process, until a few weeks before trial.  The claim was successfully settled out of court for a six-figure sum; an amount that reflected the awful and lifelong injuries they sustained.
  • An adult pedestrian who suffered brain injury in a road traffic collision, which resulted in facial and rib fractures and two bleeds on the brain. Our client could not recall the accident and their first memory was waking up in hospital. The claim was successfully settled against the road user’s insurer outside of court and very swiftly, within nine months of Bolt Burdon Kemp being instructed.
  • An adult who suffered catastrophic brain injuries in an accident at work, on a construction site, where a metal beam fell from height landing on their head. The claim involved three Defendants, each of whom denied responsibility despite a corresponding HSE claim being brought against them. The claim settled for a seven-figure sum, allowing our client to purchase a fully adapted property and a top of the range wheelchair (with assisted up-right standing technology) within a few months of the claim settling.
  • A pedestrian who suffered severe and lifelong brain injuries in a road traffic collision, where they were a child at the time of the accident and an adult in their twenties by the time the claim settled. The defendant insurer denied responsibility for many years. However, the court held the defendant responsible at a “liability only” trial in the High Court of Justice in London. The claim then went on to settle for a substantial six-figure sum, allowing our client to move on with their life after many years of fighting for the compensation they needed.
  • An adult working as a teaching assistant who suffered concussion, audio-vestibular injury and later developed Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), following an accident at work which occurred when a special education needs pupil, in crisis, struck them in the head. The claim settled outside of court for a six-figure sum, allowing our client to put the accident behind them, focus on getting better and gaining some financial independence; something taken away from them because of the injuries they suffered.

Heather has extensive experience in cases involving road traffic collisions, accidents at work, public liability cases and occupier’s liability cases.  She is particularly interested in, and passionate about, motorcycling claims where motorcyclists have fallen victim to other road user’s negligence, having obtained her own full motorcycling licence in 2015 and ridden ever since.  Heather has dealt with a variety of motorcycling claims including:

  • Motorcyclists injured by negligent lorry drivers
  • Motorcyclists injured by negligent car drivers
  • Motorcyclists injured because of defective and negligent road surface
  • Motorcyclists injured because of defective and negligent motorcycle parts.

Heather is a member of, and an accredited Litigator at, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), a body dedicated to representing the interests of claimants who have suffered injury.

Heather completed her law degree at the University of Surrey in 2012 and her Legal Practice Course at the Guildford College of Law in 2013, where she passed with distinction; she has represented seriously injured people ever since.

Professional memberships

  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers – Accredited Litigator
  • Acquired Brain Injury London member (ABIL)
  • UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF)
  • The Law Society of England & Wales
  • It has been an emotional rollercoaster but I would like to thank the team for making this journey worth it. I genuinely believe I could not have succeeded with any other team, let alone made it this far. The teams expertise, kindness, empathy throughout made the tough times with the…
    H L

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