Gerard Stilliard has accumulated some 20 years’ experience of successful personal injury litigation.

As Thompsons Solicitors’ London-based head of personal injury strategy, his job involves developing policy in his specialism and ensuring best practice throughout the firm’s national network of offices.

Although Gerard largely concentrates on serious injury claims and inquiries for union clients, he has considerable experience of having acted for private individuals.

Gerard works closely with industrial organisations and with Thompsons’ highly committed solicitors who specialise in accident and disease cases.

Before taking his current strategic role, Gerard was involved in a wide range of successful workplace accident claims and disease claims, based in a series of Thompsons' centres throughout the country.

Gerard led legal action in many high compensation accident cases for those suffering serious injuries and for bereaved families. He achieved success in many industrial disease claims, acting on behalf of those suffering industrial deafness, vibration injuries, work-related upper limb disorders, skin diseases, respiratory conditions and work-related stress.

Gerard trained at Thompsons Solicitors before joining in 1998 and working from the organisation’s offices in Sheffield, Stoke, Gants Hill in Essex and Congress House.

He has been at the heart of litigation in all kinds of personal injury claims, especially legal action involving serious and fatal incidents and occupational disease.

Gerard specialises in complicated employers’ liability cases, taking a particular interest in those involving uniformed workers including paramedics, firefighters and prison officers.

He has acted in many cases which involved life-changing trauma. This has ranged from injuries caused by hand and arm vibration in the workplace (HAVs) to work-related neck and upper limb disorders (WRULDs). Some of Gerard’s clients have suffered amputations, others spinal and brain injuries. Other cases involved psychiatric illnesses including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and work-related stress.

In his senior role at Thompsons Solicitors, Gerard is dedicated to ensuring that the organisation consistently matches up to its founding philosophy which involves the maintenance of the highest possible standards in representing the victims of injury at work or elsewhere.

In order to achieve this degree of professionalism, Gerard liaises with colleagues both within Thompsons and outside the organisation, to guide Thompsons’ personal injury strategy to make sure the firm delivers unbeatable standards to the victims of injury or disease. Gerard ensures that the firm is aware of all the latest developments and is a leader in its chosen fields. His role includes developing strategy as a claimant-side director of the Claims Portal.

Gerard believes that Thompsons Solicitors is always on the “right side of the argument!” He adds: “Unlike other firms, we refuse to compromise on our principles and we work only for those injured or mistreated at work. That allows you to feel that you are contributing to something special.”

In his spare time Gerard goes to the theatre, enjoys literature and supporting Everton FC. He likes to spend as much time as possible with his partner and three young sons.

GERARD’S CASE EXPERIENCE

Gerard has significant experience in successfully concluding a range of personal injury claims.

Gerard was involved in three major cases involving the deaths of firefighters. A particularly important victory was the case of Wembridge and others v ESFRS (2013), a claim for several injured firefighters and the widow of one fatally injured fire service worker which arose from the Marlie Farm explosives incident of 2006 (Wembridge and others v East Sussex FRS (“Marlie Farm”)).

He was also heavily involved in Shears and Bannon v Hampshire FRS (“Shirley Towers”). This case involved the deaths in 2010 of firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears who died tackling a tower block blaze.

The case of Faust v LFEPA (“Bethnal Green Road”) involved the death of Bill Faust in 2004, one of two firefighters who died fighting a basement fire at a commercial/residential building.

In the case of Marrion and others (“The London 3” – firefighter pension judicial review case), the Court of Appeal ruled in 2009 that changes to guidance to the Firefighters Pension Scheme that enabled fire brigades to sack disabled and badly injured firefighters without a pension or redundancy payment, were unfair.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

He is recognised as a senior litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).