Who? Jenny Kennedy, 56, personal injury and clinical negligence partner at London firm Anthony Gold.
Why is she in the news? Won £7m in damages for a newly-wed Brazilian woman who, although wearing a crash helmet, suffered severe brain injuries when knocked off a motorbike in London by an uninsured driver.
Barbara Oliva spent months in a coma at Charing Cross hospital while her mother, who spoke no English, refused doctors permission to switch off the life support.
Kennedy chartered a Learjet to fly Oliva back to Brazil and arranged for the family home to be adapted for her long-term 24-hour care. Following surgery, Oliva can now talk a little and walk with assistance.
The £5m awarded by the High Court comprises a lump sum of £2m for chartering the aeroplane, taking a care team to Brazil and building work on the family home. The balance is the estimated cost of 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
Thoughts on the case: ‘The young woman was left in a hospital in London with just her mother, who was crying all day, and with nobody to do anything to help them. I was able to repatriate her and win what is believed to be the first reported currency-denominated periodic payment case – annual payments for life linked to the Brazilian inflationary table, so that her compensation package retains its value.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘A passion for seeing people treated fairly.’
Career high: ‘I can’t undo the uninsured driver’s carelessness, but I was privileged to be part of the Olivas’ lives and make a difference.’
Career low: ‘The Jackson changes to costs budgeting which allow defendant lawyers to see how you are structuring your case from the very beginning and potentially deprive families of justice.’