Shropshire law firm Lanyon Bowdler has expanded its award-winning clinical negligence team with the appointment of three new staff members – and a dog.

Solicitors Martin Hood and Sophie Bridges have joined legal support assistant Nicole Smith as the latest additions to the firm, along with Nicole’s sight assistance dog Shai – Lanyon Bowdler’s first four-legged member of the clinical negligence team.

The expansion comes at a very busy time for the clinical negligence team and is necessary to meet an increase in the ongoing demand for the firm’s services.

Beth Heath, a partner and head of the clinical negligence team, said: “I would like to welcome Martin, Sophie and Nicole to Lanyon Bowdler who are all valuable additions to the team.

“Lanyon Bowdler has a proud reputation to maintain within the field of clinical negligence and it is important to ensure we are always able to meet the needs of our clients – people who are going through some of the most difficult times of their lives.

“We are receiving more enquiries for our services all the time and are particularly busy at present as clients seek the justice they deserve.

“Our latest appointments to the team will help us deliver on our client-first commitment and ensure we are always able to provide the highest level of service expected of us.”

Martin Hood joined the firm in May and was previously deputy head of clinical negligence at a Liverpool law firm for a number of years. He has extensive experience in cases involving brain and spinal cord injury, as well as fatal cases.

He is accredited on the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel, and was the chief assessor of that panel for three years from 2015.

Martin also sits part-time as a judge in the First-Tier Tribunal, where he is assigned to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber.

Sophie Bridges joined in April and is based in Shrewsbury. She studied criminology and sociology at the University of Liverpool before completing the Graduate Law Conversion at the University of Birmingham. 

Following completion of the Legal Practice Course, Sophie qualified as a solicitor in 2015.

She deals with a variety of cases including delays in diagnosis and missed or wrongful diagnosis, surgical errors, fatal claims including stillbirths and neonatal deaths, spinal injuries, obstetric claims, brain injuries, psychiatric cases and cancer cases – including delay in diagnosis.

Sophie was previously chairperson of Wolverhampton and Black Country Junior Lawyers Division.

For advice about any clinical negligence or personal injury case, contact Lanyon Bowdler by visiting the website at