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The service from Mills & Reeve LLP‚Äės defendant practice is ‚Äėprofessional and comprehensive with timely responses‚Äė. One client notes that 'it is¬†one of the leading firms in the country for professional negligence with¬†unrivalled experience across the range of professions'. Insurance disputes specialist¬†Stephen King, who frequently handles claims against¬†solicitors and clinicians, and¬†Neil Davies, whose work includes matters involving the construction industry, surveyors and insurance brokers, are co-heads of the practice. Davies and¬†principal associate¬†Clare Howard¬†are¬†known for 'pragmatic advice and successful outcomes'. Clients also recommend 'extremely able' senior associate¬†Matthew Wilson¬†and associate¬†Sophie Howard. The firm counts Countrywide plc, Sompo Canopius, CNA Hardy, Travelers and Pen Underwriting among its clients. Consultant¬†Guy Hodgson, who previously led the insurance disputes practice, remains keenly involved in matters involving¬†policy and coverage advice, and handles claims against solicitors. The firm's highlights included a high-value claim against a contractor who failed to identify and remove asbestos from a commercial building, causing delay to a major refurbishment project.

Birketts LLP has a strong claimant practice that services clients both in East Anglia and nationwide. It regularly handles claims against a variety of professionals but with a particular focus on solicitors and accountants, and it deals with many cases concerning negligent probate advice. Experienced litigator and member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers’ Association (PNLA)  Max Roessler leads the practice and advises both business and private clients on claims against a wide range of professionals, though many of his cases focus on matters involving other law firms. Partners Paul Matthews and PNLA member Laurence Weeks also play key roles in the practice, in which senior associates Bernadette Baker and Robert Tiffen and associate Susannah Catchpole are also recommended. Roessler recently acted for a client bringing a claim against financial advisers for poor investment advice affecting beneficiaries. Highlights for Matthews included acting in a claim against solicitors for the negligent management of a potential claim.

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough regularly handles complex and high-value professional negligence claims, predominantly for claimants but the practice is seeing an increasing number of cases for uninsured defendants. A key strand of its workload arises from the mis-selling of financial products, with cases brought against financial institutions, financial advisers and lawyers who have failed to deal with initial claims effectively. Solicitor advocates James Maxey and Paul Branch  have broad litigation practices that include a substantial amount of professional negligence matters, and senior associate Nick Porter has more than 15 years' experience in this field. The firm's highlights included acting for a large business in the veterinary sector that purchased interest rate derivatives from a leading UK bank. The claim arose from the resulting financial losses the business suffered, after which it was discovered that the products had been mis-sold. The multimillion-pound claim is currently in the Court of Appeal.

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds joins the ranking thanks to its highly-rated litigation practice, which acts for both corporate clients and individuals in professional negligence cases against solicitors, accountants and surveyors, as well as other professions. 'Measured, considered, realistic and professional' head of dispute resolution Michael Batty calls on senior solicitor Andrea Nicholls, solicitor Ben Fox and assistant Kate Struthers to handle complex cases, which last year included a £100,000 claim against solicitors for a residential conveyancing matter in which defects in a newly built home were discovered not to have been covered by guarantees the purchasers believed to be in place. Batty also pursued a £200,000 claim against solicitors for failure to ensure that the estate of an elderly man with significant assets was executed before his death.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Professional negligence

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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