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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

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  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Professional negligence clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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BLM  is ‘undoubtedly one of the pre-eminent firms in the North-West in professional negligence work. The well-structured team has good industry knowledge in claims handling and defendant litigious work for insurers'. Standout individuals include Ben Parks  and Jason Nash: Parks is ‘calm and measured but his calmness masks a steely resolve'; Nash is ‘as tenacious as he is sagacious - he has a nose for a weak case and will hunt it down mercilessly’. Nash, an accredited mediator, acts for a range of professionals on regulatory and disciplinary matters and sits on the Regulatory Affairs Board of the Law Society. Parks frequently defends high value claims brought against solicitors, surveyors, brokers, IFAs and construction professionals. The ‘excellent’ team is currently defending a solicitor client in a matter under appeal. The claimant paid £1.03m for the purchase of a residential property. Following completion it came to light that the purported vendor was a fraudster impersonating the true vendor. By the time the fraud came to light the purchase money had dissipated. The matter will have serious ramifications on the extent of a solicitor’s liability where they are innocently caught up in a fraud. Key clients include Hiscox and Inter Hannover.

Clyde & Co LLP   regularly acts for defendants and their insurers in claims of the highest value and complexity. Louisa Robbins  is ‘very technically strong with a sound grasp of the detail of her cases and an encyclopaedic understanding of the law. Her analytical skills are very impressive’. James Preece  is a ‘consummate professional liability lawyer who is held in the highest regard throughout the PI insurance market. He is a shrewd tactician and a very skilled litigator’. Preece and Robbins are ‘titans of the professional negligence world nationwide’. At senior associate level Anne-Marie Morgan-Barrett  is a ‘rising star at the firm who is developing a very good reputation for important claims and coverage advice’. The team is defending an international firm of solicitors and Libra Managers in a professional negligence claim under the Consumer Credit Act. The ‘incredibly efficient, commercial and approachable’ team is praised for its ‘succinct and always sensible advice’.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

FS Legal

FS Legal has a national reputation for high-profile, multi-million pound ‘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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Kennedys   has a ‘strong and well-established team that has an excellent reputation both regionally and nationally’. Key individuals include the ‘approachable’ Claire Bushen who provides ‘proactive yet succinct advice’ and the ‘commercial’ Jeremy Riley, who is described as ‘one of the most highly experienced professional liability lawyers in the UK’. Tom Pelham  is also ‘highly regarded’. The ‘commercial and knowledgeable’ Hannah Williams  joined from Hill Dickinson LLP . Thomas Handley  is ‘very impressive, very hardworking and has carved out quite a niche in the field of architects’. Both are senior associates. The ‘very responsive’ team is also active in defending claims relating to directors and officers insurance with an enviable client base including most of the market’s leading insurers. It also has extensive links with both the Northern and London based broking and underwriting community.

Legal Risk LLP  is a niche firm that provides an ‘excellent service with extremely fast response times; the team’s industry knowledge is extremely wide and this it applies in a practical way’. Team head Frank Maher is an ‘outstanding lawyer who always goes the extra mile for his clients’. Maher’s claims experience also spans fraud issues in the UK and elsewhere. The ‘brilliant’ Sue Mawdsley and Francis Dingwall are able to provide ‘easily understandable advice and practical solutions at short notice ‘. The team advises law firms and their insurers and regulators on professional liability and professional disciplinary issues. It is also adept at handling coverage issues that arise during mergers, acquisitions and the closure of law firms.

Weightmans LLP  has a number of ‘excellent’ partners such as Mike Grant , Mickaela Fox , Patrick Gaul  and James Holman . The team that has a ‘major presence in the area’ regularly deals with complex claims on behalf of blue chip law firms and novel claims against senior barristers. It has been busy defending a number of claims against arbitrators and on complex construction professional negligence claims. Key clients include Liberty, Libra, Bar Mutual Indemnity Insurance and Barbican. Highlights included acting for an arbitrator in the defence of an application to remove her from office pursuant to s24 of the Arbitration Act. This was an unusual case as these applications are rarely heard. The claimant unsuccessfully applied to remove the arbitrator citing partiality, inexperience and procedural irregularity. The firm’s client was eventually awarded costs. In another matter involving complex engineering points, the team is currently defending a firm of structural engineers that was engaged in the design of a state-of-the-art and high value ‘eco home’.

Mark Molyneux heads the team at Addleshaw Goddard, which handles a considerable amount of lender professional negligence work and sits on the panel of a number of major banks and building societies. Ben Lowans frequently acts for lenders in their most complex and high value disputes typically against solicitors who had assisted on real estate finance. Consultant John Gosling  is another key member of the team and has considerable experience advising on significant professional negligence claims for banks as well as experience in several non-lender claims. Managing associate Matthew O’Neil   regularly advises financial services clients on claims against valuers, surveyors, brokers and solicitors.

At DAC Beachcroft LLP head of department Ian McConkey has considerable expertise in professional negligence claims against solicitors, brokers, valuers, construction professionals as well as directors, officers and emerging professionals. Martin Paxton  is a ‘very effective lawyer who is great with clients and at managing opponents’. Harald Loeffler is a known name for his work in the defence of complex IT, IP and contractual disputes on behalf of insurers. The group is frequently instructed on the most complex, multi-party, high-profile and high-value claims especially against solicitors, insurance brokers and design and construct contractors. It has a number of excellent clients such as Travelers Insurance, AmTrust, Markel and Allied World Assurance Company.

Headed by Andrew MacLeod and Paul Dally, the team at DWF holds panel appointments for some of the UK’s largest general insurers and syndicates. MacLeod defends in contentious claims against construction professionals and insurance brokers – he also routinely advises on construction-related appointment agreements. Dally has vast experience on a broad range of claims against all professions and miscellaneous ‘new’ professions. Mark Jenkyn-Jones  is an ‘experienced and highly skilled litigator who makes even the most complicated of claims look easy’. Senior associate Chris Burns has a ‘natural ability to deal with the most complex of matters in the most sensible of ways’. Key clients include RSA Insurance Group, Towergate AIUA, Novae Syndicates and Ecclesiastical Insurance. The team has specialist knowledge of highly technical insurance matters particularly relating to policy coverage advice on new and bespoke risks such as drones, cyber insurance and data breaches.

FS Legal  is a ‘leading firm in this geographical area for professional negligence relating to financial advice' The team has notable expertise in conducting proceedings on behalf of high-net-worth individuals and undertakings who have suffered losses arising out of negligent advice in connection with tax avoidance schemes. The ‘immensely experienced and thoroughly professional’ Kit Sorrell  is a ‘great tactician who knows how to plot the outcome of a case from the very outset’. Julia Norris ‘can command a lot of detail very quickly. She is extremely hardworking, very bright and unfazed by anything that is required of her. Together they make an ‘excellent and completely client-focused team. They can attract work that one would ordinarily expect to see large firms litigate on. They are fearless and innovative litigators who really seem to go that extra mile for their clients’. The claimant-focused professional negligence firm also has ‘high-quality assistants and junior staff who all provide creative and insightful advice’.

Keoghs LLP  ‘offers excellent value for money and now punches well above its weight’. In a major development four partners moved from Hill Dickinson LLP  to the firm along with two legal directors. Ruth Lawrence  is a ‘force to be reckoned with - she is widely experienced and a highly skilled negotiator’. Jonathan Anslow  is a ‘thoroughly reliable pair of hands and fights hard to produce the best possible outcome for his clients’. Christopher Stanton is a ‘first-class lawyer who has great knowledge about everything that he does’ and Sarah Naylor  is ‘especially excellent’ for her work in professional indemnity claims, coverage disputes, product liability claims as well as drafting and advising on policy wordings. Legal director Tony Wilson  is a ‘veteran litigator who is one of the best in the business for veterinary surgeons’.

Mills & Reeve LLP  ’s ‘extremely responsive' team 'is able to provide pragmatic solutions' and 'leaves clients with the impression that it knows its onions’. Niall Innes  ‘inspires confidence; he can spot a good point a mile off and has an extraordinary ability to distil a complex case to its core elements. He then produces a very swift and instinctive answer on how best to achieve the client’s strategic goals’. Also recommended are Ben Hardiman, who has a ‘real can-do attitude', and principal associate Liam Burnett, who has 'a razor-sharp mind and is an incisive litigator who is particularly skilled at spotting his opponent’s weak points’. It is renowned for handling claims made against legal professionals (solicitors, barristers and licensed conveyancers) and has been instructed to defend a number of high profile and multi-million pound claims recently. Clients include XL Catlin, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Travelers.

Pannone Corporate LLP   ‘is a formidable force. The team is particularly able to handle financial and tax information well in professional negligence cases’. Paul Jonson  deals with matters with a ‘calm assurance and pragmatism’. Martin Pennington  ‘is one of the most thorough solicitors you could meet’ and Nicola Marchant  has particular expertise in professional negligence in trust and probate matters as well as in partnership disputes. David Brown is also recommended. It is primarily a claimant practice that acts against a wide range of professionals such as tax professionals, architects and solicitors.

Gorvins Solicitors  regularly handles a range of complex professional negligence and liability matters for clients against solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers, architects, accountants and insurance brokers. Mark Deverell is the practice head.

Shoosmiths LLP  has a ‘highly energetic and enormously competent team that punches well above its weight'. Adam Draper  has a particular emphasis on solicitor negligence and investment advice. Senior associate Richard Marshall  has ‘huge resources of energy and is always prepared to go the extra mile for the client. He considers all possible angles before working out the best strategy for his clients’. Marshall is particularly known for his professional negligence work in defective product designs. Highlights included receiving instructions from Deltic Group (a large UK nightclub operator) to pursue a £1m professional negligence claim against its former insurance brokers. In another significant matter the team secured a successful outcome for its client in a product liability dispute where a small business faced a substantial loss relating to a possible design defect for luxury carpets that it had supplied to a wealthy customer.

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