Stewarts are happy to have collaborated with STEPS Rehabilitation and Outer Temple Chambers in hosting the 2023 Sheffield Spinal Injuries Conference, which took place on 20 April 2023. Partners Chris Smith and Warren Maxwell from the firm’s Personal Injury department both spoke at the event.

This year’s event provided experts from various disciplines with an opportunity to discuss and share the latest practices, techniques and current thinking for all those involved in supporting individuals affected by spinal injury.


The event programme

Warren Maxwell introduced the conference, welcoming 150 delegates to the in-person event. For many this was the first opportunity following Covid-19 to meet in-person with other clinicians, case managers, insurers and lawyers who work with spinal cord injured individuals.

Setting the scene for the conference, Warren introduced Chris Smith and Ben Bradley from Outer Temple Chambers. Their discussion centred around real life case studies and drew attention to fundamental issues that frequently arise in legal cases where the claimant has a spinal cord injury. Chris and Ben detailed how service providers can come together to ensure that litigation proceeds smoothly, whilst clearing up some legal myths.

Other speakers included Pradeep Thumbikat, who led attendees through the national framework for treatment of spinal cord injury, and Dr Liz Iveson, who explored the use of medical marijuana in relieving pain.

Matthew Phillips KC from Outer Temple Chambers opened the afternoon session, where the team from STEPS Rehabilitation and Thor Assistive Technologies demonstrated the innovative new technology allowing providers to reinvent the way rehabilitation looks. Demonstrations included the ExoMotus, ReWalk and ABLE Human Motion exoskeletons, and the MindMotion GO, a first-of-its-kind digital based neurorehabilitation system designed to keep patients training for longer across the continuum-of-care.

The ExoMotus is a lower limb exoskeleton and weight support device that provides assistive walking training. The ReWalk is another wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright, walk and climb stairs. Finally there was a first look at the ABLE Human Motion exoskeleton, the first super lightweight wearable exoskeleton.

The day concluded with a talk from Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, former Paralympic athlete Kevan Baker OBE, and Commonwealth Games wheelchair racing champion Nathan Maguire. The three athletes provided an insight into the emotional, social and physical benefits that spinal cord injured individuals can get from sport.


Key takeaways

Ultimately the Spinal Injury Conference made clear that there is more legal professionals, rehab providers and clinicians can do to collaborate and maximise rehabilitation potential for injuries affected by spinal cord injury.

The discussions held throughout the day highlighted areas where work is still to be done, particularly in relation to the implementation of bowel management programmes and the ethics of medical marijuana prescription in practice. A proper address of these areas, as well as a review of the national pathway as discussed by Pradeep Thumbikat, is necessary in order to allow providers to meaningfully impact the lives of those living with spinal cord injuries.



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury page.

If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.



Subscribe – In order to receive our news straight to your inbox, subscribe here. Our newsletters are sent no more than once a month.

Key Contacts

See all people