Helen is the head of our Sheffield office and leads Kennedys’ Local Authority and Abuse team. She qualified in England and Wales in 1999 and has been with Kennedys since 2010.

Helen is a dispute resolution and defendant personal injury lawyer. Her specialism is handling high-value and complex risk litigation involving allegations of historic child sexual abuse and neglect.

Helen’s expertise in this area of risk involves a number of high-profile Court of Appeal and High Court cases, and she works closely with clients to provide crisis management in respect of press and media interest.

She has a specialist focus on local authority work, including employers’ and public liability claims. She is actively involved with numerous public sector clients across the north of England.

Helen is an active participant with ALARM, the forum for local authority risk and insurance managers. She regularly writes articles and seminars for their members and has recently contributed to the “Children’s Services, Alarm Guide to Managing Risk” and the launch of the document.

She frequently delivers training to clients and regularly writes for our Personal Injury Brief. She is also is an author of Kennedys’ Claims Handling Law and Practice Guide, the fourth edition of which was published in February 2021.

Helen is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL).



  • Qualified in England and Wales in 1999



Market recognition

  • Recommended lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (Yorkshire and the Humber)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2021
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (Yorkshire and the Humber)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19 

Work Highlights

  • Pierce v DMBC [2008] Failure to remove/abuse/neglect. Liability of local authority for failure to remove child from birth parents, limits to scope of duty of care in light of conflicting statutory functions and role of juvenile courts.
  • Stark v X Council – Abuse and neglect. The claimant was placed into foster care as a result of concerns over neglect at home. The claimant alleged that she was sexually assaulted by her foster carers. The claimant discontinued proceedings against the defendant council.
  • Currently providing strategic advice on 500 claims arising from a historic child abuse scandal with reserve of £4m.
  • Settled vicarious liability claim for £900,000 in relation to the acts of an employee who was accused of child abuse over many years.
  • Managed a £500,000 action from sibling claimants who alleged that poor social work practice resulted in them suffering years of abuse and neglect at the hands of their birth parents.
Market recognition
  • Legal-500-UK-2021-recommended-lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2021

  • Recommended_lawyer_2019.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 UK 2019