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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Insurance > Professional negligence > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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The team at BLM is β€˜ably led’ by Jason Nash who is a β€˜very experienced and shrewd practitioner’. Nash β€˜knows the sector backwards’ and the β€˜pragmatic’ Ben Parks has β€˜excellent judgement’. The large regional team has a β€˜good range of skills at appropriate PQE levels’, among them associate Heather Mitchell, who provides β€˜clear, focused and commercial advice and has the ability to deal calmly and commercially with even the most assertive solicitors on the other side’. The practice can β€˜handle the full range of professional indemnity matters for various professionals such as accountants, surveyors and other emerging professions’. Clients include QBE, Zurich, Hiscox, RSA and Barbican.

Clyde & Co LLP’s professional liability team in Manchester has β€˜a very good reputation in the market, especially with the major insurers; the whole team has a high degree of specialist knowledge, an extensive familiarity with the professional indemnity insurance market and real commercial sophistication’. James Preece and Louisa Robbins are both β€˜extremely able and excellent with clients’. The β€˜charming’ Preece is a β€˜solid black letter lawyer with a very good eye on detail and a very good strategic overview of each case’. Robbins is β€˜effervescent and incredibly hardworking, always on top of every last detail and tireless in her ability to run a case exactly as it should be’. Anne-Marie Morgan-Barrett is a senior associate with β€˜great experience and a varied caseload; she is technically very good as well as being an extremely tough litigator’. The team is well placed to service the insurance market at all levels and for all types of claims, with lawyers focusing on each of the major professions in addition to the emerging professions. It also offers insurance products such as cyber, libel and crime cover and has recently successfully arbitrated a number of disputes. The team successfully defended arbitration proceedings that challenged the insurers’ refusal to cover solicitors who had acted as escrow agents in connection with a complex overseas investment. Key clients include AIG, Axis and Libra.


FS Legal

FS Legal has a national reputation for high-profile, multi-million pound β€˜big ticket’ litigation, in particular tax negligence claims having recovered seven-figure settlements. With offices in Manchester, London and Birmingham, the Firm boasts a nationally renowned team of litigators. FS Legal don’t act for Banks or Insurers and are uniquely conflict-free.

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Hill Dickinson LLP provides a β€˜top-quality service; the team is very thorough and particularly strong on policy coverage and investigations into recovery/subrogation’. With the β€˜sharp and very knowledgeable’ Christopher Stanton β€˜you know that you are in a safe pair of hands’. The β€˜very pragmatic’ Sarah Naylor β€˜has excellent communication skills and does not crack under pressure; she has a real ability to get to the heart of the dispute and to steer you through it with a sure hand’. Other key members of the β€˜well-resourced and experienced team’ include Jonathan Anslow, who is β€˜very highly respected among his insurer clients and pulls no punches in tough negotiations’; and Ruth Lawrence, who heads insurance and has a key focus on construction claims. Legal director Tom Handley is an β€˜incredibly hardworking and no-nonsense lawyer who is wonderfully efficient and is just brilliant at drafting robust defence arguments’. The team continues to defend heavyweight claims concerning construction professionals and solicitors and has been increasingly advising on claims relating to pensions advice and film finance schemes.

Kennedys provides β€˜solid, reliable and swift advice, and is very good when a dispute involves an overseas element or proceedings in another jurisdiction as it can call upon its extensive office network’. Jeremy Riley, who heads the professional liability and financial institutions group, is β€˜extremely knowledgeable and also exceptionally client-focused’. The β€˜bright, astute and very reassuring’ Claire Bushen has a particular focus on accountants, auditors, insurance brokers, estate agents and solicitors and is β€˜totally committed to a case’. Tom Pelham β€˜really understands our business and works with us to deliver a favourable outcome’; he is recommended for his work in defending solicitors and accountants in high-value professional negligence claims. The team is also active in defending claims relating to directors and officers insurance, with an enviable client base including many of the market’s leading insurers. It also has extensive links with both the Northern and London broking and underwriting community.

Legal Risk LLP β€˜knows its subject inside out; its response times are immediate, technically correct and very commercial’. Frank Maher and his team are praised for providing β€˜an exceptional and affordable service’; Maher β€˜gives consistently very high-quality advice, absorbing the issues and background quickly and effectively and demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of the law’. He has an extensive track record in defending many of the largest law firms and handles fraud issues in the UK and elsewhere, as well as consumer credit matters. Francis Dingwall advises law firms and other professions and their insurers on professional liability issues and policy coverage disputes. The team is adept at handling coverage issues on mergers, acquisitions and the closure of law firms. Named clients include ALAS (Attorneys Liability Assurance Society). It has acted for over 30 of the top 100 firms and acts on policy coverage disputes both for the insurer and the insured.

Weightmans LLP stays on β€˜top of the detail of each case’. The β€˜very intelligent and knowledgeable’ Mickaela Fox β€˜combines excellent legal and analytical skills with a very empathetic and helpful personality’. Patrick Gaul is β€˜very switched on’ and James Holman adopts a β€˜sensible and commercial approach to his cases and deals carefully and well with his clients’. Mike Grant is β€˜full of enthusiasm and proactive energy. His sharp mind and outstanding technical expertise place him in the premier league of professional indemnity lawyers’. Associate Alex Marler is β€˜excellent at dealing with large and case-managed litigation’. The team has been increasingly advising on coverage work around non-disclosure and breach of warranty claims and has niche expertise in defending arbitrators. It has witnessed increased instructions in complex negligence claims against barristers and has also been working on a large number of claims against construction professionals. The practice has also enjoyed repeat instructions from blue chip law firms. Key clients include Inter Hannover, Travelers, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Liberty. Highlights included dealing with multiple claims arising from the design of several commercial premises. Some of these premises collapsed which required demolition of existing structures and the re-design and construction of new premises. It also successfully defended a barrister in the High Court in a professional negligence action arising from the settlement of a personal injury claim where the claimant lacked capacity.

Clients of Addleshaw Goddard single out its particular experience in financial-led professional negligence work such as large-scale valuer negligence cases. Key figures include John Gosling, who is an β€˜excellent lawyer with great strategic judgement’, and Ben Lowans, who acts for major banks, building societies and commercial clients. Paul Rowley is a managing associate with β€˜years of experience to bring to bear on cases’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is known for its β€˜high levels of service and for the breadth of its advice’. The β€˜solid’ Martin Paxton specialises in defending claims against various professionals including lawyers, insurance brokers and construction professionals. Ian McConkey heads the team and is known for his considerable experience in diverse claims against professionals such as brokers, valuers, directors and officers. Harald Loeffler has extensive experience of defending complex IT, IP and contractual disputes for insurers. β€˜Very knowledgeable’ senior associate Claire Randall- Smith is also recommended. It counts Markel, Aviva, Zurich and Travelers as clients. It is regularly instructed on complex, multi-party, high-profile and high-value claims particularly against solicitors, insurance brokers and design and construct contractors.

DWF fields an β€˜outstanding practice’ that covers the full range of disciplines, from fatality to criminal defence/health and safety investigations to inquests and regulatory proceedings. Head of team Kieran Walshe is β€˜hugely experienced, has fine tactical and commercial judgement, and is immensely hardworking’. Andrew MacLeod, Paul Dally and Mark Jenkyn-Jones are also key members of the team. Clients include QBE Insurance, Novae Syndicates, Ageas Insurance and Aviva. The team defended a firm of solicitors (on instruction by its professional indemnity insurers) in a claim for contribution/indemnity that was brought by a bank following declaration proceedings seeking removal of the bank’s legal charge.

FS Legal is a β€˜firm that punches well above its weight and is particularly strong in the areas of financial services, pensions and tax schemes’. The β€˜commercially focused and tenacious’ Kit Sorrell garners praise for his β€˜personal attention to clients and for ensuring that he gets a good result for his clients’. The other key partner is Julia Norris, who is β€˜definitely on the ball’. It routinely handles complex, multimillion-pound claims and represents high-profile individuals and national corporations such as Morris Homes.

Mills & Reeve LLP has a β€˜strong and visible brand in Manchester’ and fields an β€˜accessible, responsive and knowledgeable team that is willing to go that extra mile when needed’. Key contacts include the β€˜very bright and personable’ Niall Innes and β€˜clear and concise communicator’ Ben Hardiman. The team is renowned for its work in handling claims against legal professionals (solicitors, barristers and licensed coveyancers) and has been instructed to defend a number of high-profile and multimillion-pound claims. It is defending a firm of solicitors in a claim resulting from the sale of off-plan hotel rooms. Clients include Bar Mututal Indemnity Fund and XL Catlin.

Pannone Corporate LLP has a β€˜very accessible and responsive team that provides commercially sound advice’. The β€˜very calm and measured’ David Brown β€˜genuinely cares about his clients and does everything in his power to achieve the best possible outcome for them’. Paul Jonson has a β€˜good strategic overview of his cases’ and is also recommended. Other β€˜very able members of the team’ include associate partner Martin Pennington, who β€˜works extremely hard and is brilliant at getting to grips with and analysing data in complex cases’; and senior associate Sean Hackett, who is a β€˜first-rate litigator with an eye for detail’. It is a primarily claimant practice that acts against a wide range of professionals including tax professionals, architects and solicitors.

Berg recruited the β€˜incredibly user friendly and quietly knowledgeable’ Daniel Brumpton* from Irwin Mitchell, bringing his β€˜superlative client skills, commercial sense and tactical acumen’. He attracts praise for his β€˜depth of knowledge across all indemnity work’. The claimant professional negligence practice works for both businesses and individuals and β€˜can only go from strength to strength under his leadership’. *Since publication, Daniel Brumpton has joined Nelsons Solicitors Limited.

Mark Deverell heads the practice at Gorvins Solicitors, which handles a range of complex professional negligence and liability matters for clients against professionals including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers and architects.

Shoosmiths LLP β€˜punches well above its weight’. Key figures include the β€˜very able’ Adam Draper, who is β€˜excellent with clients’, the β€˜very professional and knowledgeable’ Richard Marshall, who provides β€˜sound and well-considered advice’, and β€˜proactive’ solicitor Matthew Brown. Highlights included acting for Deltic Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, in the pursuit of a Β£1m professional negligence claim against its former insurance brokers. In another matter it is advising the claimant in a claim for the rectification of a will against the solicitors who prepared the will.

Slater Heelis LLP advises claimants in claims against a wide range of professionals such as solicitors, accountants, financial advisers and engineers. Helen Brown is skilled at handling high-value claims and associate Daniel Stern is experienced in property related negligence claims.

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