News Release


Elizabeth Leedom, Margaret Byrnes Named Recipients of the 2020 MPL Industry Defender Award

(Rockville, MD, May 11, 2020)—The Medical Professional Liability (MPL) Association has announced it will award Elizabeth A. Leedom and Margaret Byrnes with its MPL Industry Defender Award. Leedom and Byrnes are being recognized for outstanding lifelong contributions to defending physicians, other healthcare professionals, hospitals, and clinics, and their exceptional work on behalf of medical liability insurers. The MPL Association is the leading international organization representing the medical professional liability insurance community.

Elizabeth Leedom is an experienced trial attorney who has represented hospitals, physicians, and other providers in medical liability cases for more than 30 years. Currently a shareholder at Bennett Bigelow & Leedom in Seattle, she has special expertise in cases involving obstetrics, neurosurgery, anesthesia, and emergency medicine. Leedom has tried over 75 malpractice cases to verdict, receiving a defense verdict over 90% of the time. She was selected as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and as the first woman member from her state in the International Society of Barristers. Leedom has also been active as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, serving as Washington state chapter president, national board member, and, in 2013, its Trial Lawyer of the Year. She has been named her state’s Lawyer of the Year, Defense Medical Malpractice by Best Lawyers four times.

A consultant to Wallmans Lawyers in Adelaide, Australia, Margaret Byrnes specializes in medical and clinical negligence, professional liability, and risk management. She has represented and advised health professionals and facilities, medical indemnity insurers,and medical defense organizations. She also provides risk management advice to medical defense organizations and individual health professionals. Byrnes was a participant in the first concurrent evidence trial in the Supreme Court of South Australia and she has defended many catastrophic birth injury cases. In 2011, 2017, and 2019, Byrnes was given the Lawyer of the Year award (Adelaide) for her work in the health law sector.Additionally, in 2018 and 2019 Byrnes was listed as “the market leader” in Doyles Guide to Leading Medical Defence Lawyers

“We are honored to recognize the significant accomplishments of these two remarkable legal practitioners,” said Brian K. Atchinson, president and CEO, MPL Association. “Our legal colleagues play a key role in the defense of care delivery. Through their diligent work with medical professional liability companies and indemnifiers, Elizabeth Leedom and Margaret Byrnes have been valuable partners through their effective representation of physicians, healthcare practices, and hospitals. Both recipients personify excellence in the field. On behalf of our members and those they insure,the MPL Association is pleased to honor their work.”


The MPL Association is the leading international association representing medical professional liability insurance companies, risk retention groups, captives, trusts, and other entities with a commitment to the quality delivery of healthcare. MPL Association members insure nearly 2 million healthcare professionals around the world—doctors, dentists, nurses and nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers—including more than two-thirds of America’s private practicing physicians. MPL Association members also insure 2,500 hospitals and 9,000 medical facilities globally.

Susan Beach

Vice President of Marketing & Communications

301.947.9000, ext. 1212