Who? Nicola Bailey-Gibbs, 32, personal and criminal injury team leader at the Leeds office of national firm Neil Hudgell.
Why is she in the news? She is acting for the mother of a child who fell from a 30-year-old playground slide in Stockport and fractured her skull.
In September 2012, five-year-old Ella Reger fell from the top of a 2m-high slide on to a hard surface. Two years later, alleges her mother Rebecca Farndell, the girl still suffers from headaches and has been experiencing behavioural difficulties.
Farndell is suing Stockport Council for failing to maintain safety standards at the playground. She has commissioned a report from an independent playground safety consultant that reveals the council has repeatedly failed to act on recommendations to install impact-absorbing surfacing and higher handrails.
The council has now removed play equipment from 16 parks and play areas across Stockport. A council spokesman said it is aware of the case, but cannot comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.
Thoughts on the case: ‘The local council allowed children to continue playing on a playground that they had been repeatedly warned was unsafe. Despite recommendations to install the softer surfacing from as long ago as 2008, and a campaign by local residents, it took a nasty fall by this young girl to force the council into any form of action. Sadly, it’s hard to imagine that Stockport is the only council allowing children to play on unsafe equipment.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘Variety. Lawyers deal with varied cases and never know what is coming through the door next.’
Career high: ‘Moving from being a fee-earner to managing a team of eight lawyers, including trainees.’
Career low: ‘Injustice, when truly deserving clients’ cases fail and they do not receive the much-needed compensation they deserve.’