Diane Rostron is one of the country’s top medical lawyers, winning cases worth up to £15million. She told us how growing up in Blackburn as the youngest in a family of 10 taught her how to win arguments.

SHARING a bedroom with her two sisters and seven brothers, Diane Rostron was used to making herself heard.

Now the 45-year-old is a fierce advocate for children’s health and a passionate legal champion for injured patients and their families.

“I learned long ago how to shout the loudest. We were the largest family I knew and it is fair to say that I am always up for a fight. It’s in my nature,” said Diane, who grew up in an end of terrace in St Stephen Road, Little Harwood.

Attending secondary school in Blackpool after the family moved to the Fylde coast, the former St Stephen’s Infant School pupil knew from a young age that she wanted a job which made a difference to society.

The daughter of a scrap metal dealer, Diane was the only one of the family’s 10 children to go to university after ignoring career advice which amounted to two options for females; a hairdresser or an air hostess.

Now, with more than 20 years’ experience in clinical negligence claims, including running her own firm in Lytham, where she lives with her husband and 21-year-old daughter, Diane has gained a reputation for winning against the odds.

She said: “When a baby is damaged by somebody’s negligence then a whole family becomes affected.

Unfortunately, I can’t make any child better but I can help make the lives of their family a bit easier with financial help.

“These sorts of cases are never straightforward and some can go on for years and years. But when I win, my job does have a very rewarding outcome.”

Now a partner at leading North West law firm Linder Myers, Diane has recently been appointed head of the medical negligence department in Lancashire, a sector she has made exclusively her own.

With the Manchester-based firm, Diane specialises in claims surrounding birth injuries, leading to brain damage, amputation or paralysis, fighting battles in the High Court against the NHS, medical authorities or even the Government.

In the last few years alone she has fought and won many high-profile legal battles, with claims settled in excess of £15 million in damages and compensation.

Her most recent East Lancashire cases have included a settlement of more than £7million for a young boy brain damaged as a result of mismanagement at his birth; a £4million settlement for a child who developed profound brain damage as a result of the mismanagement of his illness; and a million pound settlement for a man in his 40s who was brain damaged at birth as a consequence of the misuse of forceps.

“It doesn’t matter how complicated the case is, the devil is always in the detail,” said Diane, a member of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.

“That’s my skill — to scour the detail over and over again to find the key to unlocking a specific case.

"It is detective work really.”

Unfortunately, Diane’s dedication to helping families receive compensation for clinical negligence is under threat from proposed changes to the Legal Aid system.

If legislation is passed by the government later this year, injured patients and their families will not be able to access any financial help to make a claim for damages.

Diane said: “It is a truly appalling situation. The current government proposals will prevent the most vulnerable and needy in this region and throughout the country from recovering compensation for catastrophic injuries caused by the negligence of health care professionals.”

“Each case needs up to £40,000 for medical experts' fees.

"No law firm can afford to put up that amount of cash for every case and if legal aid is removed then normal families won’t ever be able to have access to justice.”