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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 > Insurance > Professional negligence > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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One of the major players in the region’, DAC Beachcroft LLP attracts praise for its ‘client-friendly approach, attention to detail and fluid service’. Paul Davison (who is recognised for his ‘incredibly commercial approach’) leads the practice, which includes Warren Kemp, who regularly handles matters in the construction and engineering sectors, and Helen Ager, who is ‘a charming lawyer who gets results through calm and measured persuasion; clients cannot recommend her highly enough’. The defendant-focused group handles the full gamut of issues with notable expertise acting for solicitors, accountants, property professionals, financial institutions, insurance brokers and clients in the construction sector. In a key mandate, the firm acted for Catalina Insurance Ireland in claims arising from failure to investigate a property that had been converted into flats without the relevant planning permission. It also defended a claim concerning fraudulent account transactions and assisted with issues concerning allegations of solicitor negligence. Other major insurer clients include Zurich, Markel, Travelers Insurance Company and XL Catlin.

Watson Burton LLP’s ‘strong team’ combines ‘excellent service levels and efficient response times coupled with a strong team’. The practice is led by Richard Palmer, a ‘great negotiator’ who is ‘very good technically, has unmatched pragmatism and is always on top of the details’. He is ably assisted by Anne-Marie Knight, who focuses on the construction sector, ‘calming and assured’ associate Caroline Rye, and solicitors Adam Dymock and Tom Thurlow, who are both ‘very clear and thorough’. Hiscox Underwriting, Travelers Insurance Company, Canopius Underwriting, Lucion Services and AmTrust Corporate Capital (A new win for the team) are key clients. Knight’s recent highlights include acting for the insurers in a multi-party claim arising from commercial property damage, while Palmer represented an insurer and local authority in a claim relating to allegedly undetected asbestos. The team has notable expertise acting for asbestos consultants and also regularly advises engineers, contractors, solicitors, accountants and franchisors. Newly promoted partner Anthony Rance is recommended for claims in the technology sector.

The ‘highly experienced, capable and professional’ team at Clyde & Co LLP has ‘a practical and sensible approach to litigation’ and is ‘able to cover all areas of professional indemnity from both a coverage and defence angle’. The firm’s Newcastle office sits as ‘a key component in the firm’s national and international offering’ and is ‘highly regarded in the region’. The practice regularly defends claims against a variety of professionals including solicitors, barristers, accountants, financial advisers, insurance brokers and healthcare professionals. The ‘highly personableAnthony Brown is recognised for his mediation experience, particularly in multi-party claims, and ‘has notable skill in accountancy claims’. Other key practitioners include Gordon Walker in London, who is well regarded for his experience acting for solicitors, and the ‘practical and eminently sensible’ Edinburgh-based Gavin Henderson, who handles claims against construction and financial professionals. Other key clients include QBE, Markel and Hiscox.

The department at Burnetts is noted for its ‘excellent reputation in the local area’. Senior associate and ‘thorough, attentive, detailed and strategic thinker’ James Johnston heads the practice, which includes consultant Patricia Hall, who is a ‘truly exceptional lawyer’. The group’s recent work includes acting for an individual in a claim against a solicitor who had misappropriated a portion of the client’s damages following a previous clinical negligence claim, handling a claim relating to negligent conveyancing, and representing an individual against a firm of solicitors that failed to prepare a will in reasonable time. Johnston is also advising a construction company in a claim against a solicitor relating to negligent advice regarding a Part 36 offer and cost consequences given to the client following litigation, and Hall is handling a claim against solicitors for negligence and a breach of fiduciary duty relating to a property transaction.

At Hay & Kilner, Ros Sparrow is the key name for professional indemnity mandates, and regularly advises a client base encompassing individuals, insurers, insured parties and brokers. The practice handles issues across a wide range of sectors, acting both for and against solicitors, banks, mortgage lenders, financial advisers, insurance brokers, surveyors and healthcare professionals. The group’s work also encompasses professional conduct and risk management. Other key contributors to the practice’s mandates include litigator Martin Soloman, Rodney Jones, who has expertise in agricultural issues, and Neil Dwyer, who also handles employment disputes.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine attracts praise for its ‘impressive expertise and knowledge’, which ‘ensures clients receive an excellent level of service that is unbelievably helpful’. Alison Leith heads the department, which primarily acts for claimants in disputes against solicitors, architects, accountants, surveyors and insurance brokers. Other key figures include Kenton Bazeley, associate Debra Burton, who is a member of the contentious probate department, and associates Gemma Smith and the ‘highly professional’ Helen Lyne, who are recognised for their property litigation expertise.

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