John has been at the firm his entire legal career, including his training contract, and is now responsible for the firm’s personal injury, clinical negligence and dispute resolution teams
A personal injury lawyer for 35 of his 40 years at Atherton Godfrey, John is highly regarded as one of the best litigation lawyers in the region. As well as being a high-profile lawyer in both personal injury and clinical negligence, he’s a sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the current secretary of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). He has written extensively on his specialisms and is the author of several books. He is also proud to have received accredited status as a senior fellow of APIL: the only lawyer in Yorkshire to hold this accolade and one of only eleven people nationally.
John is passionate about the legal industry’s role in levelling up. John says: “It’s important that the legal system remains accessible, treating everyone fairly whatever their background and wherever they are from. People who have suffered injury must be able to access an open and fair justice system which recognises the difficulties faced by an individual tackling well-resourced financial institution.
“I am proud to help people in Doncaster, across Yorkshire and beyond, secure compensation to help get their lives back on track following serious injury or bereavement. I hope this, in turn, encourages people to take better care of others.”
Atherton Godfrey became part of the Switalskis group in January 2021 in a move that put the combined business into the top 150 law firms in the country and created one of the largest law firms in Yorkshire with offices solely in the region. John says: “A year on we are still enormously excited about this positive step for our business. We are a like-minded team of quality lawyers and we are determined to provide the best services, with satisfactory conclusions, for all our clients. There have been many changes in the industry over the years but being part of a forward looking and flexible business that has accommodated these changes has meant we have continued to move forward and thrive.”
Looking to the future, John says: “I still learn something every day and strive to become a better lawyer and mentor. I hope to do so for many years to come. The last 40 years have flown by. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I feel fortunate to work with excellent colleagues and to have had the privilege of helping clients when they most need support.”
Congratulating John on his 40-year milestone, Switalskis MD John Durkan says: “John is a tremendous credit to Atherton Godfrey and the Switalskis Group and also to the entire legal profession. His work has changed the lives of many people by giving access to outstanding legal counsel. He has also helped develop the law through cases he has led that have gone to the Court of Appeal. He has an enviable skill set and industry knowledge combined with empathy, integrity and determination to do the right thing for clients. As a growing group we have a strong reputation in claimant services and John’s contribution to the business and his generosity in the support he gives our up-and-coming lawyers is invaluable.”