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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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Medical negligence: defender

Index of tables

  1. Medical negligence: defender
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Brodies LLP acts for a varied roster of clients including major healthcare providers and large insurers, defending complex cases often involving alleged breach of duty, such as those arising from deaths in custody, defective medical products, aesthetic surgery and ophthalmology. The strong team is led by the 'impressively efficient' Duncan Mawby, who has more than 17 years’ experience acting for the three major defence unions in Scotland. Mawby regularly advises the Medical and Defence Union of Scotland as one of the organisation's leading external panel solicitors, a relationship which has been strengthened by the recent secondment of associate Jill Harris  to the union's in-house legal team in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):Duncan Mawby

Other key lawyers:Jill Harris

Testimonials

'Brodies are a top tier Scottish firm with capability in every field, which is rare in the market.'

'Brodies are friendly, approachable, swift in dealing with new and sometimes urgent matters that arise 24 hours a day, seven days a week.'

'Duncan Mawby is a very competent and experienced lawyer.'

Key Clients

Zurich

RSA

Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Association of Optometrists

Spire Healthcare Ltd

RPC

Following recent growth, Clyde & Co LLP boasts the largest clinical negligence defender team in Scotland. Experienced and well-respected solicitor-advocates Graeme Watson and Duncan Batchelor run the practice, which acts for a variety of medical defence unions as well as major corporations and individuals. The team also advises on fatal accident inquiries, criminal proceedings and internal disciplinary hearings and has expertise in defending complex multi-party claims. Watson is noted for his recent work defending manufacturers in high value product liability claims. Dual-qualified senior associate Claire Raftery assists partners with a broad caseload encompassing fatal accident inquiries and aesthetic surgery cases.

Practice head(s):Graeme Watson; Duncan Batchelor

Other key lawyers:Claire Raftery

Testimonials

'The team at Clyde and Co is very experienced in the healthcare sphere and does a very good job.'

'Associate Chris Dunn is definitely an up-and-comer in the field of medical negligence.'

BTO Solicitors LLP has a proven track record of defending GPs and healthcare professionals on behalf of Scotland’s major defence organisations, focusing predominantly on fatal cases, misdiagnosis claims and dentist negligence. The team has taken part in every medical public inquiry in Scotland under the Public Inquries Act 2005. Laura Donald and associate Stephen Waclawski are both solicitor-advocates with extended rights of audience in the Civil Courts. Donald and the 'hugely experienced' Douglas Jessiman - who in recent years has been involved in public inquiries in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland - are described as 'the two best solicitors in this field in Scotland'.

Practice head(s):Douglas Jessiman; Laura Donald

Other key lawyers:Stephen Waclawski

Testimonials

'A strong medical negligence team with key players in the sector.'

'Highly knowledgeable, organised and cohesive team with real legal expertise and understanding of this difficult area of law.'

'Heavily relied upon by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and the Medical Defence Union Limited to run litigation for members in their stead.'

'Laura Donald, Douglas Jessiman and Stephen Waclawski have years of experience handling high value, legally and technically challenging litigation with ease.'

'Douglas Jessiman is very practical and strategic, he can accurately predict the outcome of a case from the outset and sees the strong points that are worth taking. His huge experience is very reassuring to clients and he has such a deep reservoir of knowledge, combined with a great sense of strategy, that he is always a brilliant choice for representation.'

'Cara Docherty is a calm and steadying influence in any case. She works incredibly hard and has very good judgement. Clients really value her pragmatic approach and strategic brain.'

'Jennifer King is phenomenally hard working and super-efficient. She keeps on top of every detail in a case and clients (and the whole legal team) take great reassurance from knowing that she is on top of everything and ahead of the game (and the other side) in terms of case management and preparation.'

'Douglas Jessiman has a knowledge and experience which is at the highest level, combined with an agreeable personality which gives confidence to professionals who are the subject of a claim.'

'Laura Donald and Douglas Jessiman are, in my view, the two best solicitors in this field in Scotland. They have unrivalled experience of dealing with difficult regulatory proceedings involving health professionals and have unrivalled experience.'

Key Clients

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Medical Defence Union Limited


Medical negligence: pursuer

Index of tables

  1. Medical negligence: pursuer
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The growing medical negligence team at Anderson Strathern has expertise in managing complex, high value birth injury claims and cancer claims arising from misdiagnosis or late diagnosis. Practice head Robbie Wilson raised the first TVT mesh claim in Scotland and now manages approximately thirty similar claims. Former firm chair and solicitor advocate Robert Carr has an enviable standing; he is a Law Society of Scotland accredited specialist in both medical negligence and personal injury and is also past president of the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Court of Scotland. Catriona Watt, who heads up the firm's healthcare, public and regulatory team, leads on much of the practice's most important work.

Practice head(s):Robbie Wilson; Catriona Watt; Robert Carr

Testimonials

'The team at Anderson Strathern are highly professional and display great care and compassion. They take the time to explain legal complexities in accessible language and are a pleasure to deal with.'

'Robbie Wilson is a very good lawyer, extremely well prepared, thorough and empathetic. He is great with clients.'

'Robbie Wilson and Catriona Watt are excellent lawyers.'

'The team provide excellent advice and have access to a range of capable experts. They keep us up to date on proceedings. Catriona Watt is very human in her interactions with us and we value that enormously.'

'Catriona Watt is one of a handful of individuals in Scotland with a genuine specialist interest in medical negligence.'

'Excellent lawyers with great interpersonal skills. They are up to date , enthusiastic and committed.'

'Gary Burton is brilliant. He works very well under pressure. In the most complicated of cases he can coordinate all of the different aspects which need to be investigated and proved to a very high standard. He has the respect of his peers.'

Key Clients

Harper, Robertson & Shannon

Martin & Company

Masson & Glennie

Quantum Claims

Pomphreys

Wallace Quinn

Lynn Herbert & Co

Smith & Grant

Balfour+Manson LLP’s exceptional team includes Ann Logan, who has more than 25 years’ experience in medical negligence litigation work across Scotland, England and Hong Kong, and Julie Clark-Spence, a APIL accredited senior litigator with over 11 years’ experience solely in clinical negligence. The team deals with the full spectrum of claims, with particular specialisms including high value cerebral palsy cases involving informed consent arguments. Delayed diagnosis of cancer, fatal claims and neurological negligence are other key areas of work.

Practice head(s):Ann Logan

Other key lawyers:Julie Clark-Spence; David McIntosh

Testimonials

'The firm is one of Scotland's leading medical negligence: pursuer practices, with unrivalled experience and expertise in this area.'

'Extremely thorough and very professional. The whole journey with Balfour+ Manson has been a positive one with no real weaknesses that I can recall.'

'David McIntosh is a very experienced litigator who constantly delivers first-class results and also has a very understanding and empathetic manner with clients.'

'Ann Logan is easy to talk to and very compassionate; reassuring me when needed, which was often, and advising me of my options. She is very professional; from details to timekeeping, everything was meticulous. On a lighter note, she also had a sense of humour I found refreshing.'

Work highlights

  • Representing the mother of a daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of birth injury in a claim against a local health board in Scotland.

Digby Brown LLP has a reputation for taking on high value claims and consistently achieving strong results for clients. The tenacious, specialist team are highly active in the Court of Session, where they pursue the full range of medical negligence claims, often involving negligent surgery or misdiagnosis. 'Formidable' practice head Sue Grant has more than 20 years of litigation experience and is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in both personal injury and medical negligence. The team recently negotiated a six-figure settlement for the partner of a man who suffered irreparable brain damage following late diagnosis of an aneurysm.

Practice head(s):Sue Grant

Testimonials

'The go-to personal injury pursuer firm for high value contentious claims in Scotland.'

'A pleasure to work with. They are committed to achieving the best outcome for all of their clients. '

Drummond Miller LLP's medical negligence team pursues a high volume of fatal claims arising from both surgical and diagnosis errors, in addition to high value birth injuries resulting in cerebral palsy and incurring expenses for lifelong care. The team also wins settlements for clients who sustain permanent injuries during the course of surgery, including a case in which medical staff failed to obtain their patient's informed consent. Practice head Liesa Spiller, who sits on the Law Society of Scotland's Panel for granting specialist accreditations, acts on in fatal and catastrophic injury claims, while Darren Deery primarily represents clients in high value birth injury cases.

Practice head(s):Liesa Spiller; Darren Deery

Harper Macleod LLP has a well-established reputation for advising on medical negligence claims involving children, including those relating to fetal abnormalities, delayed diagnosis and catastrophic injuries, and has additional expertise in pursuing wrongful death claims. The firm's referral network, HM Connect, has led to a substantial increase in instructions from other firms that see Harper Macleod as better placed to take claims forward. Personal injury and reparation head Elizabeth Mitchell and 'miracle-working' professional negligence head Heather Calderwood lead the team, while recently promoted senior associate Amy Dickson merits recognition for her complex caseload including claims relating to still born babies and failed hip replacements.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Mitchell; Heather Calderwood

Other key lawyers:Amy Dickson

Testimonials

'The team are well-informed, well-resourced and determined.'

'Heather Calderwood is determined, hard-working and miracle-working.'

Jackson Boyd LLP  increased its fee income by 100% in 2018, achieving a high volume of settlements for clients. Well-regarded solicitor advocate Debbie Milne manages the employers’ and public liability side of the team, which focuses predominantly on birth injury and stillborn claims, surgical errors and misdiagnosis, with niche expertise in gynaecology treatment errors. Recent cases have involved challenging liability aspects, with multiple potential defenders, as well as questions concerning consent in relation to treatment options. The practice benefits from its positive relationship with the Central Legal Office and Scotland’s medical defence unions, which Milne personally oversees and develops.

Practice head(s):Debbie Milne; Alan Macdonald

Testimonials

'Debbie Milne is very experienced and able in her field of medical negligence. She is organised, sensible in her approach, pleasant to deal with and a good negotiator.'

'Debbie Milne is an excellent solicitor with outstanding case analysis skills.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for the family of an elderly man who died as a consequence of pneumonia following failures in the management of bedsores by nursing staff during a hospital admission.
  • Achieving a settlement the day before proof for a dentist who sustained permanent damage to his hand, preventing him from continuing to in his profession, as a result of a delayed diagnosis and subsequent failure to properly treat a deep cut at first instance.
  • Acting for the mother of a stillborn baby in an ongoing case, in which hospital staff failed to carry out CTG scans after she reported a reduction in foetal movements, leading to a failure to carry out the treatment necessary to prevent the baby's death.

'Outstanding negotiator' David Armstrong and 'excellent solicitor' Jonathan Cornwell head up Lindsays' medical negligence practice, which has diversified its caseload recently, taking on work stemming from dental negligence and prescription errors, often involving complex points of law such as contributory negligence and informed consent. As well as handling complex litigation, the team also looks to utilise alternative dispute resolution as often as possible to expedite the process for clients and keep costs down. Associate Lauren Pasi manages a high volume of complex claims and mentors junior employees remotely from her office in Spain.

Practice head(s):David Armstrong

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Cornwell; Lauren Pasi

Testimonials

'Jonathan Cornwell is an excellent solicitor and a standout in his field.'

'A well organised modern firm which is committed to maintaining expertise They have a good reputation among other firms and with the court. They are pragmatic and focused on doing high quality work.'

'David Armstrong has a very pleasant manner with his clients and is well able to maintain their trust and confidence even when dealing with difficult issues'.

Key Clients

UnionLine Scotland

Ageas Legal

Consumer Action

Ward Haddaway

Thorntons Solicitors

The Society of Radiographers

Oracle

McCallum & Co

Lime (Shakespeare Legal)

Legal 2020 Limited

Hampson Hughes

ACH Group Limited

The Communication Workers Union

Work highlights

  • Investigating a death and obtaining the necessary expert reports to demonstrate that it was caused by the prescription of two different drugs that caused blood thinning.
  • Settling a claim prior to proof on the grounds that consent was never given for an operation which resulted in a permanent disability.
  • Settling a dental negligence case arising from a dentist's failure to provide the claimant with orthodontic treatment while she was a teenager.

Morton Fraser's practice, which was boosted in late 2018 by the addition of former Shoosmiths lawyer Derek Couper, is particularly adept at pursuing delayed diagnosis cases, birth injury cases and fatal claims. Experienced practice head and solicitor advocate Jenny Dickson is an expert on the latest developments in the field, and handles a wide ambit of high value claims, including a substantial cerebral palsy claim. In 2018 the firm rolled out a range of legal aid options for clients requiring financial support.

Practice head(s):Jenny Dickson

Other key lawyers:Derek Couper

Key Clients

Innes & Mackay, Solicitors

Glasgow Law Practice

Work highlights

  • Represented the family of young man who died of a heart attack after his GP failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism.
  • Acting for the family of an individual who died when her prescription medicines caused pulmonary complications.
  • Represented client who was injured during surgery, and whose consent had not properly been taken prior to the operation.
  • Represented client in an unwanted pregnancy case after a contraceptive coil was fitted incorrectly.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland's medical negligence practice is Glasgow is on an upward trajectory following a recent restructuring and relaunch. The team frequently deals with birth injury claims as well as brain injury, spinal injury, late diagnosis and optometry related matters. David Bell has over 30 years’ experience in medical negligence and personal injury, regularly acting in the Court of Session for clients. Associate Kathleen Lang  brings an edge to the team as an accredited specialist in medical negligence with a history of working on both the pursuer and defender side of actions.

Practice head(s):David Bell

Other key lawyers:Kathleen Lang

Testimonials

'Wonderful lawyers with a fantastic client base and a real desire to get the best results for their clients.'

'David Bell is a reliable and trusted individual with great strengths and wonderful client care.'

'Nicola McCartney is one of the most committed solicitors I have worked with - she does a wonderful job for her clients.'

Work highlights

  • Advised on high value medical negligence claim arising from the client's baby being born with cerebral palsy as a result of the poor advice she received on the appropriate place to deliver the baby.


Personal injury: defender

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defender
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Julia McDonald - DWF

BLM added four new solicitors to the team during 2018, consolidating its market-leading position in personal injury. The practice handles the defence of complex public liability and employers’ liability claims, road traffic accidents and fatal claims, including cross-border matters and class actions. The team includes Gillian Rushbury, the head of the firm's solicitor advocacy unit in Scotland, and Ian Leach, who is working with associate Catriona MacLean on claims arising from the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy. The team's partners regularly give advice during government consultations on topics such as legal costs.

Practice head(s):Ian Leach; Gillian Rushbury

Other key lawyers:Rachel Rough; Catriona MacLean

Testimonials

'Rachel Rough's team's knowledge of the local market is extensive. Their desire to provide a first class service moulded to our requirements has inspired confidence in our relationship.'

'The team at BLM are very hard working and knowledgeable.'

'Iain Buchanan is clever, hard working and dedicated.'

'Louise Gallagher is intuitive, firm and practical.'

Key Clients

1st Central

Admiral

AIG

AJG

Allianz

AON

Asda

AstraZeneca

Aspen

Aviva

AXA Insurance

BAI Claims Services Ltd

Diageo

Direct Line

Broadspire

BT

Charles Taylor Adjusters

Chaucer

Chubb

City of Edinburgh Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for Admiral in act for the defender in ongoing litigation relating to a road traffic accident in which the pursuer sustained a severe brain injury along with other multiple injuries.
  • Achieving a favourable settlement for QBE in a road traffic accident claim involving a loss of future earnings advanced by an employee of the British Army.
  • Achieving a substantially reduced settlement for Aviva in a workplace accident claim against the company.
  • Acting in a series of occupational disease claims, including mesothelioma, on behalf of BAI Claims Services' policyholders.

Brodies LLP handles a wide range of cases for major insurers and large companies, with a particular specialism in offshore accidents. The team defends class actions across a range of areas in the personal injury arena, including product liability and public liability, and also defends high value motor accidents, fatal claims and catastrophic injury claims. Tony Jones QC joined from BTO during 2018, adding considerable expertise to the practice. In 2017 partner Elena Fry spent two years as the head of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers in Scotland and was appointed as a member of the Scottish Civil Justice Council in late 2017.

Practice head(s):Elena Fry

Other key lawyers:Tony Jones QC

Testimonials

'Brodies is a top tier Scottish firm with capability in every field, which is rare in the market. They have an excellent brand and reputation, which is backed up by their performance on any case I've instructed them on.'

'Elena Fry is a first-class solicitor - arguably the best in the market. She gets to the heart of any issues on a case very quickly, is pragmatic, and has very strong commercial acumen.'

Key Clients

Aviva

Zurich

Ensatar/Starstone Underwriting

Scottish Power Ltd

Axis Capital

Babcock International Group

Subsea 7

Sunderland Marine Insurance

National Express Group

Cape Plc

Abellio Ltd

CalMac Ferries

Anasuria Operating Company

Gard P&I Club

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service

Work highlights

  • Acted for Turning Point Scotland and its insurer, Zurich, in an unusual case brought by the family of Francis Hughes, a man who died in the care of Turning Point Scotland's homelessness centre as a result of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Acting for Sunderland Marine Insurance and their insured fishing vessel owner in the defence of a claim for damages following catastrophic injury to a foreign seafarer in Scottish waters.
  • Representing a large insurer and coach company in a Court of Session case concerning a fatal coach incident, in a claim intimated by the husband of one of the passengers who died.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team of 'recognised masters in Scottish PI defence work' is led by solicitor-advocate Stephen Bryceland. The large practice acts for brokers, insurers and self-insured companies defending claims in all areas of personal injury, with notable strength handling claims relating to fraud, farming accidents and offshore accidents. Carly Forrest is a civil solicitor-advocate known for acting in cases with an international element.

Practice head(s):Stephen Bryceland

Other key lawyers:Carly Forrest

Testimonials

'BTO's expertise in insurance-specific matters is unrivalled.'

'BTO's team are recognised masters of their jurisdiction in Scottish PI defence work.' 

'The team provides seamless service, outstanding results and consistent value.'

'A team built on stability, experience, professionalism & customer service - and they are always willing to innovate.'

'Partners Catherine Currie, Carly Forrest and Garry Ferguson are exceptional defenders, demonstrating thoroughness in their preparation and delivering consistent success in execution.'

Key Clients

RSA

AIG Europe Limited

NFU Mutual Insurance Society Limited

CHUBB European Group Limited

MPS, MDDUS & MDU

Gallagher Bassett

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Limited

Lockheed Martin

Cunningham Lindsey

UK General Insurance

Riverstone Europe

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended NFU Mutual following a farm accident resulting in no damages being paid, recovery of full expenses in excess of six figures and the defenders being awarded an additional fee given the complexity and novelty of the case.
  • Successfully detected fraud and defended RSA in a road traffic claim resulting in the pursuer agreeing to abandon her claim.
  • Secured a seven-figure saving for a major UK insurer and an award of expenses in favour of the firm's clients following a catastrophic road accident.
  • Achieved settlement prior to proof for Aspen Insurance UK in a claim against the company for damages following a catastrophic injury sustained at work by the pursuer, resulting in a significant saving on costs circa £2m.

Clyde & Co LLP acts for eighteen of the top twenty UK insurers and all of Scotland’s defence organisations, covering all types of claims. The practice has a track record of successfully defending high value road traffic accidents and fatal claims, and in recent years has established itself as a leading authority in historic abuse litigation, with partner Graeme Watson taking charge of these matters and giving evidence to the Scottish parliament on the crucial issue of limitation.

Practice head(s):David Tait; Giles Graham; Mark Donaldson

Other key lawyers:Graeme Watson; Andrew Constable

Testimonials

'There is clearly a culture of trust at Clyde & Co which allows lawyers assisting the partners to flourish.'

'Partners at Clyde's offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh are extremely robust. If I want a case defended in the Scottish Sheriff Courts, I'm instructing Clydes.'

'Mark Donaldson is a vastly experienced hand in the oil, gas and energy sector. He is uniquely placed to offer sound advice on both civil and criminal matters.'

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a religious order in the defence of claims arising out of alleged historic abuse at children's homes in Scotland.
  • Successfully defending the first case in Scotland to be brought under the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) 2017 act.

Anderson Strathern covers the full range of personal injury actions, with specialist expertise in prison matters, serving as sole provider to the Scottish Prison Service for defender personal injury claims and fatal accident inquiries. Jonathan Guy heads up the insurance and health and safety unit, while also serving as lead partner for a number of the team's key clients. 'Experienced and well-respected' director Sarah Phillips  has particular expertise in prison claims.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Guy

Testimonials

'A breadth of knowledge and focus, delivering the best outcomes for clients.'

'Anderson Strathern is a leading player in personal injury defender work in Scotland. It covers a wide range of cases in this area. Its energetic and engaging team has a well-deserved reputation for knowledge, experience and competence.'

'Sarah Phillips is an experienced and well-respected solicitor in the area of defender personal injury work. Hard-working and well-organised, she deals effectively with clients and opponents alike.'

Key Clients

Co-operative Insurance

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Prison Service

The UK Government

Scottish Water

Risk Management Authority

Scotmid

Garwyn Liability Adjusters

Farmer Autocare

Ineos

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a fatal claim for the Scottish Prison Service following a fatal accident inquiry into a prisoner death.
  • Representing the Scottish Prison Service in defending a claim for damages by a prisoner due to a prisoner on prisoner assault with a potential value of more than £2m.
  • Representing the Parole Board for Scotland in a  high value damages claim brought by a prisoner for injuries he sustained in prison and achieving a successful outcome at first instance in Aberdeen Sheriff Court and at second instance in the Sheriff Appeal Court.
  • Representing Scottish Water in an action for damages raised by the family of man who died from prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Burness Paull LLP acts for both private companies and public sector organisations, and has aimed to differentiate itself from other firms handling volume instructions from insurer panel appointments. The team handles employer liability and public liability claims across a wide range of sectors, including aviation, oil and gas, product liability and construction. The practice, which is led by Ewan McIntyre, is also known for its successful defence of mesothelioma claims.

Practice head(s):Ewan McIntyre

Other key lawyers:Will Cole

Key Clients

Amec Foster Wheeler Group Limited

Kier Group PLC

SSE PLC/Scotia Gas Networks Limited t/a SGN

Taylor Wimpey PLC

John Wood Group PLC

Student Loans Company Limited

City of Edinburgh Council

Russell Logistics

Smith & Nephew PLC

Covidien/Medtronic

Gard Insurance Group

Seadrill Group

Charles Taylor & Co Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the carrier in multiple litigations by persons injured, and relatives of persons killed, in a major aviation disaster.
  • Acting for a local authority in respect of a claim by the relatives of a child killed in an accident on local authority premises.
  • Defending a range of employers and public liability claims, including a recent claim by an employee whose leg was crushed by an excavator.
  • Defending a range of employers and public liability claims including complex historic disease claims involving contested inheritance of liability issues.

DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP has a dedicated fraud team in Scotland with a strong track record of investigating and defending exaggerated or false claims, usually arising from road traffic accidents. 'Excellent' solicitor-advocate Andrew Ireland has been leading on a 32-pursuer mesothelioma claim valued at more than £1m, while solicitor advocate Anne Logan  has a strong recent record of  achieving favourable settlements for insurer clients in high value employers’ liability claims.

Practice head(s):John Maillie

Other key lawyers:Andrew Ireland; Anne Logan

Key Clients

AXA

AXA Corporate Solutions

Allianz

NFUM

Covea

ERS*

Ageas/Tesco

Aviva

Admiral

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Settled a high value claim for a quarter of its original value by demonstrating that the pursuer, a motorcyclist injured in a road traffic accident, had exaggerated his injuries and falsely claimed that he was rendered unfit for future employment.
  • Achieved a substantially reduced settlement on behalf of Aviva in an employers' liability claim against their insured, using surveillance to determine that the pursuer suffered no significant injuries when she tripped at work.
  • Handling a 32-pursuer, single defender mesothelioma claim for Riverstone, negotiating a favourable settlement by carrying out investigations which generated reasonable doubt concerning the diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Harper Macleod LLP acts for large insurers, public bodies and private individuals in claims pertaining to wrongful deaths, road traffic accidents and mesothelioma, as well as cases concerning public and occupiers’ liability. Thanks in part to a new referral scheme rolled out in 2018 the practice doubled its number of instructions, and saw a rise in work from clients requiring advice on technical aspects of claims prior to court action. Suzanne McGarrigle has particular experience in employers’ and public liability claims and industrial disease, drawing upon her team’s strong background in health and safety work.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:Suzanne McGarrigle

Testimonials

'A thorough, well prepared and well equipped team.'

'Heather Calderwood is firm, determined, pleasant and pragmatic.'

'Amy Dickson is resourceful, respectful and not scared of running a case.'

Key Clients

Direct Line Group

Forest Enterprise Scotland

Covea Insurance

Acromas Insurance Company Limited

EUI imited

Admiral

Elephant Insurance

Diamond Insurance

Acting predominantly for major clients in the public sector, Morton Fraser’s personal injury practice deals with a high volume of asbestos and historical abuse claims, in addition to work deriving from road traffic accidents, serious brain injuries and employers’ liability claims. Practice head Jenny Dickson, who sits on the FOIL Disease Sector Focus Team, helped the firm to win a competitive tender process in 2018 to exclusively represent Royal Mail in the personal injury sphere.

Practice head(s):Jenny Dickson

Key Clients

Royal Mail

AIG Europe Ltd & AMEC Foster Wheeler

Ministry of Defence

Scottish Government

UK Government

Work highlights

  • Representing AIG Europe and Amec Foster Wheeler, the firm successfully defended an appeal in the UK Supreme Court by a claimant who sought damages for purely psychiatric injury, specifically PTSD, caused by a fire at work which trapped him on the roof of a building for a period of time.
  • Achieving an out-of-court settlement for the Ministry of Defence in a fatal mesothelioma case arising from historic exposure to asbestos during the course of the deceased's employment.
  • Negotiating a settlement on behalf of Royal Mail in a claim for damages arising from a catastrophic brain injury sustained by the pursuer at work.
  • Advising a client regarding a multi-jurisdictional claim brought by a pursuer who sustained serious injuries during a road traffic accident in England

CMS draws on its UK-wide offering and in-house solicitor advocates to handle complex cases in industries such as energy, oil and gas and construction, regularly involving multiple claimants. Within these key areas, industrial disease, product liability, occupiers’ liability and employers’ liability claims are dealt with en masse by the team, which acts for a wide range of major international corporations and insurance providers. Dual-qualified partner Valerie Allan predominantly services clients in the oil and gas sector who benefit from her background as a commercial litigator.

Practice head(s):Colin Hutton; Jan Burgess

Other key lawyers:Valerie Allan

Key Clients

Atos

Capita

Chubb

Coal Products Limited

Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

Electric Insurance

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

GE Aviation

GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control Limited

GE TIP

Imperial Chemical Industries PLC

Legal & General

Work highlights

  • Negotiating a settlement for Bain & Irvine in a personal injury action involving a worker falling from a roof.
  • Defending an energy company in an asbestos disease claim, turning on the sufficiency of the pursuer’s exposure evidence.
  • Negotiated an out-of-court settlement on behalf of one defender in a multiple-defender personal injury claim, which explored questions about the limitations of the protection provided to defenders by a Houston tender and apportionment of liability between co-defenders.

DWF partners Andrew Lothian and Jill Sinclair are prominent figures in their respective areas of personal injury. The 'hugely impressive' Lothian, who heads up the firm's general insurance team, has a strong track record in asbestos related claims, while the 'tenacious and intelligent' Sinclair leads the counter fraud team, which significantly increased revenues during 2018. Associate Julia McDonald covers fatal accident inquiries relating to deaths in custody.

Practice head(s):Andrew Lothian; Jill Sinclair

Other key lawyers:Julia McDonald

Testimonials

'The counter fraud team supports clients with up-to-date intelligence and provides specialist knowledge in order to develop effective counter fraud strategies.'

'The DWF team is Scotland is great to work with - I always look forward to dealing with them as they are knowledgeable, professional and very nice people which helps them stand out in a busy marketplace. They are innovative in their approach to insurance matters such as their award-winning Disrupt To Progress forum on counter-fraud, and back that up with an extensive set of legal expertise and experience.'

'Jill Sinclair is tenacious, intelligent and easy to work with.'

'Jill Sinclair is a pleasure to work with - she's knowledgeable, approachable and always has time to discuss specific issues as well as the wider market.'

'Andrew Lothian is hugely impressive and brings a gravitas and level of knowledge to every meeting he takes part in. His contributions are always considered and should be listened to.'

'Senior associate Caroline Coyle is first class - she's knowlegdeable, enthusiastic and comprehensive in her approach, which clearly provides tremendous support for her colleagues.'

'Caroline Coyle is an amazing solicitor who is extremely knowledgeable and has a lovely manner with clients.'

Key Clients

RSA

QBE

Ms Amlin

Insure the Box

Liverpool Victoria

Enterprise

XS Direct

Gallacher Bassett

Tokio Marine Kiln

Covea

Work highlights

  • Acting for Equity Red star defending three claims arising from road traffic accidents and successfully appealing the decision in the pursuers' favour, based on the assertion that the central expert's status was 'questionable' and therefore his testimony had to be dismissed.
  • Acting for Tokio Marine Kiln in an ongoing claim brought against their insured by a hotel worker who was attacked by a colleague at work and sustained serious facial injuries.
  • Fatal motorcycle claim – liability, quantum and the discount rate.

Keoghs LLP acquired Hill Dickinson LLP's insurance business division during 2018, opening the firm up to a wider pool of clients including large insurers, major supermarkets and private companies. The firm moved into the Glasgow market in 2017 and is now well-established in the market, handling work for major insurance and retail clients. The firm is currently defending a string of confidential abuse cases for an insurer and has notable experience in employers’ and public liability cases.

Practice head(s):Douglas Cowan; David Hennessy; Emily Jeffrey; Stefanie Johnston

Testimonials

'David Hennessy, Kirsty McDermott and Michelle Thorburn have quickly recognised our brand values and incorporated these into their service offering.'

Key Clients

Zurich

RSA

1st Central

Co-op

LV=

Esure

Liberty

Skuld Insurance

Tesco

John Lewis

Next

Wincanton

Work highlights

  • Represented a Spanish insurer in a foreign accident claim involving complex jurisdictional issues.
  • Represented a major retail client in customer amputation claim, resulting in claim for relief against third party supplier and a favourable settlement for the client.
  • Represented policyholder of defunct insurer in successful defence and costs recovery in defective scaffolding claim.
  • Representing a major legacy insurer in claims for historic abuse including sporting associations, football clubs, religious and care institutions.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP is one of the go-to defender firms for local authorities in Scotland. The team, which comprises six accredited specialists and three solicitor-advocates with extended rights of audience, handles a wide ambit of claims for councils, including fatalities, catastrophic injuries, road traffic accidents, stress at work and breach of contract. The 'reliable and approachable' Sarah Morris regularly conducts proofs, appeals and debates in the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session for public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):John Chalmers; Graeme Edward; Victoria Leslie

Other key lawyers:Sarah Morris

Testimonials

'The team have a geographical coverage which other major players in the market don't, and that is very important to some clients. Even more importantly, they are just full of good people.'

'Ledingham Chalmers provide top class advice in relation to defender personal injury. Their client care is excellent and they represent very good value for money.'

'As a team, they are dynamic and reactive and are always on hand when you need them.'

'Sarah Morris provides outstanding legal advice and has a very good understanding of her client's needs.'

'Graeme Edward is extremely impressive and can be trusted to get the right result on any case.'

Key Clients

Gallagher Bassett International

Zenith Insurance

Tradex Insurance

Markerstudy Insurance

North Lanarkshire Council

Zurich Insurance

Police Scotland

Highland Council

East Lothian Council

Work highlights

  • Representing a local authority in historic child abuse case in the Court of Session, securing abandonment of the claim.
  • Representing a defender via his home insurer, Direct Line, following a claim brought by a person injured on his property whilst cleaning windows.
  • Representing a local authority in public liability claim involving a tripping incident, successfully defending the case in the Court of Session at first instance and securing dismissal of the claim when the pursuer appealed to the Inner House.
  • Acting for a local authority and achieving settlement in a fatal road traffic accident claim.

Weightmans LLP's personal injury practice deals primarily with insurer clients in the defence of high value road traffic accidents, while the team also has a strong foothold in disease, fatal and employers’ liability claims, which frequently contain multi-jurisdictional elements. The team includes Pamela Stevenson, who has 20 years of experience in the field, and solicitor-advocate Douglas Keir, who holds extended civil rights of audience in the Court of Session and the UK Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):Douglas Keir; Pamela Stevenson; Seonaid Busby

Key Clients

Zurich Financial Services

Ageas Insurance

MMI

BAI

Greene King

AXA Insurance

Motor Insurers Bureau

Primark

Aon

Work highlights

  • Defending Doosan Babcock in a claim for damages arising from pursuer's alleged secondary exposure to asbestos via her partner's work clothes.


Personal injury: pursuer

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: pursuer
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Balfour+Manson LLP is consistently involved in complex cases, often involving multiple claimants or cross-border elements, in areas such as public liability, aviation and catastrophic road traffic accidents. APIL accredited fellow David Short, who heads the firm's litigation team, has a background in aviation and mesothelioma claims, while David S McIntosh handles a wide range of high-value claims relating to areas including workplace stress and traumatic brain injuries. Fatal claims arising from offshore accidents represent another key source of work for this specialist team.

Practice head(s):David Short

Other key lawyers:David McIntosh; Ann Logan; Julie Clark-Spence; Iain Nicol

Key Clients

Hugh James Solicitors

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Hugh James to represent a number of the firm's clients who are tea pickers in Kenya who sustained musculo-skeletal injuries during the course of their employment.

Digby Brown LLP has an impressive share of personal injury claimant work in Scotland, fielding a large team across offices in seven different regions of Scotland. The practice, which is led by Gordon Dalyell, is particularly well-known for its work on claims relating to road traffic accidents, mesothelioma and aviation disasters such as the Clutha Helicopter crash in which Mark Gibson achieved settlements for all of his clients. In 2018 the firm raised approximately 1,300 court actions, bolstered by Compensate, a new in-house funding package.

Practice head(s):Gordon Dalyell

Other key lawyers:Mark Gibson

Testimonials

'A very efficient and effective model - the firm has specialist teams which mean their lawyers develop expertise in working on different types of cases, and junior staff are rotated to give them broad experience.'

Work highlights

  • Achieving a high value settlement for a client who sustained significant injuries in a road traffic accident in 2012, preventing him from working in private healthcare in his home country, the US, and therefore including a substantial loss of earnings element.
  • Pursuing a claim against Glasgow City Council on behalf of the relatives of a victim of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy in 2014.
  • Obtaining settlement for more than double the original amount sought for the pursuer in a high value mesothelioma action relating to historic exposure to asbestos during the course of the claimant's employment at two separate companies.
  • Acting for a young man who injured his hand while working on a fishing vessel.

Harper Macleod LLP handles a high volume of fatal claims and an increasing amount of claims relating to offshore accidents, with the firm seeing a 40% surge in instructions in 2018. Elizabeth Mitchell is regularly sought out by insurers to manage policyholders’ expectations when pursuing claims through their legal expense policy, while 'dedicated' senior associate Marina Harper takes charge of most fatal claims and heads up a team handling employers liability, public liability and serious road traffic accidents.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:Heather Calderwood; Marina Harper

Testimonials

'The team is well informed, resourceful, imaginative, determined and experienced.'

'Heather Calderwood is determined, practical, hard working and firm.'

'Senior associate Amy Dickson is resourceful, pleasant and realistic. '

Work highlights

  • Representing the family of a deceased man who was killed in an accident at sea, whilst working as an offshore fisherman.
  • Representing a client who was a passenger in a road traffic accident which resulted in multiple injuries including a spinal cord injury which made him paraplegic.
  • Acting for the parents of a young girl significantly injured in a sledging accident that occurred at a pre-school club, which required her to undergo surgery and receive psychiatric treatment.
  • Acting for client who suffered permanent injuries as a result of inadequate equipment in the workplace.

Lindsays has a far-reaching personal injury practice which often handles multi-jurisdictional cases with multiple claimants, and takes on a high volume of complex claims relating to loss of society, road traffic accidents, psychological injury, asbestos exposure, and injuries sustained at work. David Armstrong  brings considerable expertise to the team as a solicitor-advocate and accredited senior litigator.

Practice head(s):David Armstrong

Testimonials

'Lindsays kept me up to date frequently about the progress of my claim and were easy to get in touch with.'

'Associate Lauren Pasi dealt with my case and I really don't think I could have someone better.  She was very polite, hard working, friendly and kept me informed along the way.'

Key Clients

33 Legal Limited

Autoclaims UK Limited

Cassidy & Nicholson

Clear Law Solicitors

First Accident Assistance

Jeff Law Limited

Freedom Management Group

McKinstry Law

Scotland Injury Lawyers

Total Claims Solutions

Work highlights

  • Achieving a high value settlement for the family of a ten-year-old boy seriously injured in a road traffic accident in 2009, when the car he was in collided with a tractor.
  • Acting for multiple pursuers in a fatal claim for damages on behalf of a family member who died when an unattended vehicle rolled down a hill and struck him.
  • Pursuing an action for compensation based on psychological injuries sustained by the claimant as a result of bullying and harassment over a series of years while he was working for the Royal Mail, leading to his retirement and a substantial wage loss as well as a loss of pension.

Morton Fraser’s personal injury practice achieved a 50% surge in instructions in 2018, with cyclists claims for damages being a particular area of growth for the firm. The team is known for robustly pursuing fatal claims, in particular those brought by bereaved families of victims killed in road traffic accidents, and brings further expertise handling claims in all areas where there are potential health and safety breaches, such as major construction accidents and exposure to asbestos at work. Senior associate Nicola Edgar stands out for her instruction in a wide range of employers' and public liability claims.

Practice head(s):Jenny Dickson

Other key lawyers:Nicola Edgar

Key Clients

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

NewLaw Solicitors

O'Donnell & Co

Strata Solicitors

The Glasgow Law Practice (GLP)

Work highlights

  • Representing the families of two men who were fatally injured in a road traffic accident.  
  • Representing the family of a child killed in a road traffic accident, in a case that involves the rare question of whether step-grandparents and step-grandchildren are entitled to damages.
  • Representing the family of a construction worker killed when he fell from scaffolding.
  • Representing the family in a fatal mesothelioma case.

Aided by two solicitor-advocates, Thorntons Law LLP‚Äôs large team has notable abilities in pursuing claims for workers who have sustained life-changing injuries. Gordon McBean¬†specialises in high value brain injuries, while ‚Äėhighly skilled‚Äô associate Kathleen-Erin Lawson¬†leads the industrial disease team. Solicitor advocate Michelle Adam¬†has a wealth of experience acting for clients suffering from injuries caused by workplace accidents or clinical negligence.

Practice head(s):Gordon McBean; Clare Macpherson

Other key lawyers:Kathleen-Erin Lawson; Michelle Adam

Testimonials

'Thorntons have a very driven and customer focused team. They are a pleasure to work with and always communicate well. '

'The team's strengths include clarity and details of instruction, feedback on reports, attention to detail and reliability when settling fees.' 

'Michelle Adam is a good lawyer and excellent with clients.'

'Clare Macpherson is good to work with and knows her stuff. '

'Gordon McBean has excellent legal knowledge, is focused on delivering good client care and is always easy to contact and plan with.'

Work highlights

  • Represented agricultural worker who was badly injured when a cow charged him, and achieved a greatly increased settlement offer for him.
  • Represented a Chinese national involved in a serious road traffic accident in Scotland resulting in multiple and complex injuries, and negotiated a high level of compensation.
  • Acted for young crew member who suffered life-changing and mutilating injuries aboard works vessel.
  • Representing young man who has suffered a devastating and mutilating near-amputation injury to his hand whilst working with a band saw.

Led by 'excellent litigator' David Bell, Irwin Mitchell has advised claimants on the fallout from several major public disasters such as the Nimrod helicopter crash and the 2012 outbreak of legionnaires disease in Edinburgh. Bell has an additional niche in claims relating to brain injuries: his team sit on the Scottish Head Injury Forum. In recent years the firm has managed a range of complex, often high profile instructions, including fatal claims turning on employers’ liability arguments and serious road traffic accidents leading to the provision of prosthetic limbs.

Practice head(s):David Bell

Testimonials

'Caring professionals who strive to secure the maximum compensation for each client.'

'Thorough and diligent in progressing claims and always willing to take the time to fully explain to clients the ins and outs of their litigation.'

'David Bell's experience of complex claims really helps to guide clients through the maze of their litigation. He seems to relish the challenge that a difficult case brings and really enjoys getting his teeth into a thorny problem.'

Work highlights

  • Secured settlement for family members of a member of the military who took his own life as a result of mental health problems in a long running breach of duty claim against the Ministry of Defence, who denied liability for a number of years.

Anderson Strathern receives a high volume of instructions from the Royal College of Nursing on behalf of their staff for claims relating to accidents at work or outside of work, as well as other claims in areas such as noise induced hearing loss, assault and psychological injury. The team is led by the experienced Robert Carr and Catriona Watt; the 'excellent' Gary Burton was promoted to director in 2018, while Natalie McCartney, a solicitor advocate and prolific litigator in the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session, is now a senior associate.

Practice head(s):Robert Carr; Catriona Watt

Other key lawyers:Gary Burton; Natalie McCartney

Testimonials

'The team secured an excellent settlement with the defender paying all costs so the final bill to my trade union was zero. Superb result.'

'Anderson Strathern offer a varied range of expertise, which is extremely useful, especially when your case is of a complicated nature.'

'The team exhibit a friendly yet professional attitude that makes dealing with them so much easier than other firms.'

Key Clients

Royal College of Nursing

Harper, Robertson and Shannon

Quantum Claims

Masson & Glennie

Martin & Co

Wallace Quinn

Pomphreys

Lynn Herbert & Co

Smith & Grant

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in an action against her employer after she was injured tripping over a bin bag of rubbish that had been left in a hospital corridor.
  • Representing numerous clients against health boards in actions for damages following the insertion of trans-vaginal tape or other pelvic mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Representing the executor of a client in a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority following an assault at work.
  • Represented a client in an action for psychological injury.

Jackson Boyd LLP handles high value road traffic accidents and a wide range of employers liability claims, including offshore accidents, noise induced hearing loss and construction accidents. In 2018 the team experienced notable growth: the firm's employers liability team increased its instructions by almost 50%, and its motor team saw a 30% increase in fee income. 'Extremely capable' solicitor advocate Debbie Milne has particular expertise with industrial disease claims and a strong reputation for handling brain and spinal injuries sustained at work or during public accidents.

Practice head(s):Alan Macdonald; Debbie Milne

Testimonials

'All of the team's solicitors have great rapport with their clients and work hard to make sure that key areas are well researched/investigated and appropriate experts instructed when required.'

'The team at Jackson Boyd are experienced, knowledgeable and proactive and provide great customer service.'

'Professional, efficient and capable of dealing with cases across the whole spectrum of subject matters.'

'Debbie Milne is a determined lawyer who fights her corner with real spirit and tenacity.'

'Alan MacDonald is unflappable and completely reliable.'

Work highlights

  • Obtaining interim payments for a client in an ongoing claim for damages following a road traffic accident in which the claimant sustained serious injuries and may require an above knee amputation.  
  • Acting on behalf of the wife (and six additional family members) of a motorcyclist killed in an accident in June 2015 in a high value claim involving loss of support and pension loss.
  • Acting for the family of a construction worker killed in an accident during the construction of a power substation in a high profile claim involving a civil claim and a potential Fatal Accident Inquiry.
  • Acting for a client who sustained significant injury in a fall at a council recycling centre in a complex case.

Slater and Gordon's team successfully pursued several mesothelioma claims in 2018, achieving high settlements for clients. The firm’s broader caseload comprises employers’ liability, public liability and fatal claims. Besides acting for individuals, the team represents trade unions such as the Scottish Police Federation and PCS Trade Union. Team head Stuart Cochran works with legal executive Karyn McPhee, who has 25 years’ experience in this field.

Practice head(s):Stuart Cochran

Other key lawyers:Karyn McPhee


Professional negligence

Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Andrew McConnell - DWF

Brodies LLP took on Tony Jones QC from BTO Solicitors LLP in mid-2018 and also increased its team's partner count during the year with the promotion of 'refreshingly frank' Louise Kelso, an accredited mediator and a specialist in solicitor negligence. The practice handles the defence of some of the most important construction claims in Scotland on behalf of engineers, while managing a broader caseload which encompasses solicitor negligence, surveyor negligence and broker negligence across various different sectors, including real estate and corporate, in addition to a range of disputes and employment claims raising issues such as discrimination and equal pay. Jones is one of only three practising civil solicitor advocate QCs in Scotland.

Practice head(s):Alan Calvert; Alisdair Matheson

Other key lawyers:Louise Kelso; Tony Jones QC

Testimonials

'Great understanding of what we need and ability to meet our requirements at short notice on multiple occasions. Very well resourced.'

'Great communication and desire to meet our requirements. Brilliant work product at short notice.'

'The professional negligence team at Brodies is first class. They all work as a genuine team to secure practical solutions for their clients.'

'Louise Kelso was exceptionally down-to-earth in her personal engagement and to-the-point, both in her accurate assessment of the situation/strengths and weaknesses of a case, and her advice on the correct practical approach to take to solve it.'

Key Clients

RSA

Aviva

RBS Group

Zurich

MS Amlin

XL Axa

Allianz

Arch

Manchester Underwriting Management

Faculty of Advocates

Axis

Work highlights

  • Successful avoidance of broker negligence claim arising from declinature of coverage for fire damage at commercial premises.
  • Multi-dispute advice arising from major infrastructure project relating to the improvement of key trunk roads in Scotland.
  • Negligence claim against counsel arising from the settlement of a significant claim against a firm of solicitors.
  • A complex and challenging claim for loss of profit against the quantity surveyor and contract administrator in a development project.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s defendant-focused practice acts for the insurers of architects, accountants, engineers, surveyors, solicitors and construction professionals, as well as insurance brokers. The team has experience dealing with complex multi-party claims in all areas of professional negligence, with recent cases involving aspects such as breach of fiduciary duty and alleged loss of opportunity. Alan Eadie, a qualified mediator, has a track record of acting in multimillion-pound disputes arising from large construction projects and in acting for the master policy insurers in solicitor negligence claims.

Practice head(s):Alan Eadie; Ashley Mawby

Key Clients

RSA Group

Aviva plc

W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Limited

AIG Europe Limited

RIAS Insurance Scheme

Riverstone Management Ltd (formerly Brit Insurance)

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE

Towergate

Markel International

DAS UK Group

Axis Speciality Europe

Allianz

Clyde & Co LLP's professional negligence practice defends insurers, legal professionals, surveyors and architects in high value claims involving complex elements including alleged fraud or breach of fiduciary duty. The team is led by the dual-qualified Gavin Henderson, who defends claims against construction professionals, accountants and surveyors, and has a strong track record on extremely high-profile cases, assisted by the 'knowledgeable and experienced' Anne Kentish, who specialises in defending claims against legal professionals.

Practice head(s):Gavin Henderson

Other key lawyers:Anne Kentish

Testimonials

'Great capabilities, practical and commercial thinking. Ability to think outside the box when faced with a problem.'

'Gavin Henderson maintains a good tactical and strategic overview of a case as well as investigating and analysing the details necessary for a successful outcome.'

Work highlights

  • Advised Hiscox on an attempt to overturn a ruling that searchers owe a duty of care to the holder of an inhibition, following  failure by a firm of searchers to register an inhibition on their website blocking the debtor from selling his property until he paid off his debts.
  • Successfully defending a firm of architects in enforcement proceedings following an adjudication arising from alleged defects in a leading boutique hotel.

Harper Macleod LLP’s pursuer-oriented practice has a remarkably broad client base including private individuals, public bodies, developers, lenders and private companies. The practice has expertise in major construction claims in the public and private sector, internal company disputes involving complex points of law such as liability in a multi-party action, enforcement proceedings against shareholders and lease agreements, and a wide variety of professional negligence matters involving surveyors, accountants, solicitors and IFAs, including fraud and loss of opportunity claims. E-Ming Fong recently succeeded in two separate claims for companies involving contractual disputes.

Practice head(s):Sandy Hastie; David Kerr

Other key lawyers:E-Ming Fong; Fiona Pask

Testimonials

'The team has a great mix of technical ability and people skills. They have great lawyers across the board from partner down to newly qualified solicitors. They are very very experienced across a whole range of professionals but are particularly good when it comes to solicitor negligence.'

'Fiona Pask leads with distinction at all times.'

'Sandy Hastie and Fiona Pask are very impressive partners at the firm. They are excellent at managing client expectations but, similarly, they give details and well-thought through instructions.'

'Laura McCorquodale is a very talented senior associate at the firm. She is an experienced and detail-oriented litigator who is an enviable mix of personable and technically-minded. Andrew Mackenzie is similarly an excellent senior associate who gives very good advice to clients and is particularly good when it comes to devising tactics for the running of the case. Both Laura and Andrew are both rising stars.'

Key Clients

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

AIB Group (UK) plc

Shetland Islands Council

Sandringham Court Ltd

Montbank (Loanhead) Limited

Broxburn Motorzone Ltd

Saga Group Plc

Arc Legal Assistance Limited

Work highlights

  • Secured £1.15m settlement for AIB Group (UK) plc from a firm of quantity surveyors who had been appointed to act as the bank's 'project monitors' in connection with the redevelopment of a former hotel complex in Aberdeen.
  • Acting for Shetlands Islands Council in a £4.5m construction claim in the Court of Session for damages for professional negligence against the principal contractor and subcontracted engineers who developed SIC's headquarters in Lerwick.
  • Instructed by the Scottish Legal Complains Commission to respond to eight appeals brought before the Inner House of the Court of Session, in respect of allegations of professional negligence and inadequate professional services.
  • Represented the Habeebs at the Financial Ombudsman Service and have now raised proceedings in the Court of Session in relation to an action against their former IFA for damages for fraud, breach of contract and negligence.

BLM predominantly acts on the defendant side, with particular strength representing insurers in construction disputes and additional expertise handling solicitor negligence claims, including claims of fraudulent misrepresentation. The firm also advises on cases involving negligent tax advice and equal pay disputes. Solicitor advocate David Taylor has niche expertise in flood litigation and broad knowledge of policy coverage disputes.

Practice head(s):David Taylor; Grant Maclean

Testimonials

'The team displayed excellent understanding and empathy during my dealings with them.'

CMS ’ professional indemnity team primarily acts for engineers involved in major construction projects, while also handling high value solicitor negligence clams and defending a wide variety of clients on behalf of insurers, including administrators and major banks. The dual qualified Harriet Munro - 'a market leading partner' with 'judgement that is second-to-none' works alongside fellow partner Graeme MacLeod and a strong bench of associates, including Davina Cowden and Rowena Williams.

Practice head(s):Harriet Munro; Graeme MacLeod

Other key lawyers:Davinia Cowden; Rowena Williams

Testimonials

'Capable at every level. Legally sound and engaged. Highly commercial. Hardworking with a strong team mentality. Deep understanding combined with a real empathy for professionals. A package unmatched by other firms.'

'Collegiate in their approach, combining various skill sets and specialist expertise required in complex litigation.'

Harriet Munro is a market leading partner who has received insufficient recognition. She has judgement which is second to none, based on a deep understanding of insurer clients and their needs and interests. A total star.'

Key Clients

AIG

Chubb/ACE

Liberty Syndicate

Markel International

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group

Novae Group plc

QBE

RSA

WR Berkley

XL Catlin

AXA

Work highlights

  • Acting in a Supreme Court case which tested the issue of solicitors’ duties to third parties, and achieving a successful outcome for RSA, the lead insurer of the former firm of solicitors Bell & Scott.
  • Successfully defending Bracewell Stirling Consultants in a claim intimated against them by Midlothian Council for damages following the discovery of elevated levels of carbon dioxide at a housing site in Gorebridge.

DWF handles a high proportion of all professional negligence claims against solicitors in Scotland, owing in large part to its position on the Law Society of Scotland’s Professional Indemnity Master Policy. The team is headed up by Alison Grant, 'one of the best and most experienced lawyers in the field of professional negligence in Scotland'. 'Tenacious litigator' Lindsay Ogunyemi is frequently instructed by large insurers to handle claims against surveyors, brokers, accountants and construction professionals, while associate Andrew McConnell regularly handles high value, complex claims with an increasing focus on the construction sector.

Practice head(s):Alison Grant

Other key lawyers:Lindsay Ogunyemi; Andrew McConnell

Testimonials

'Highly professional and pragmatic team; good early understanding of the issues.'

'Alison Grant and her team display a highly professional yet practical approach to getting matters resolved while protecting the client's best interests.'

'Alison Grant is excellent and leads an experienced and helpful team giving expert and pragmatic advice in a helpful, user friendly manner.'

'A leading team in this market. Alison Grant is quite simply one of the best and most experienced lawyers in the field of professional negligence in Scotland. Her team members are hard-working, knowledgeable in the law and rightly instill confidence in insurers and insured alike.'

'Alison Grant is a top class lawyer who delivers expert advice in a helpful manner based on her long years of experience in this field.'

'Alison Grant has unrivalled knowledge of the nature and number of claims which arise against solicitors in Scotland. She has handled every possible type of claim. She is wholly pragmatic in her approach.'

Key Clients

RSA

Pinpoint

Arch

Allied World

Pen Underwriting

Zurich

Chaucer

Novae

Starr Underwriting

QBE

Travellers

Work highlights

  • Acted for RSA and their insured in the defence of a claim brought by the widow of a soldier who sought damages on the basis that she was given negligent advice about the consequences of remarrying in terms of her entitlement to compensation from the US Government.
  • Settled a claim brought by a commercial lender against RSA and their insured solicitors alleging breaches of the CML Handbook in relation to eleven property transactions, using complex prescription arguments to reach a settlement for one third of the original claim value.
  • Defending RSA and their insured solicitors in a high value professional negligence claim brought by a former client of the solicitors who discovered upon purchasing commercial premises that the solicitors had failed to send the disposition registering title of the subjects to the keeper.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a leading pursuer of solicitor negligence claims arising out of alleged mortgage fraud and breaches of the CML Handbook during property transactions, demonstrated by the firm’s roles on several high value cases for lenders and liquidators in recent months. The practice also acts for pursuers and defenders in construction disputes across various different sectors, including renewable energy, roadworks, and private and public sector projects. Banking and finance litigation head Alastair Frood has a particular focus on profession negligence, while Elaine Brailsford brings 25 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution to the team.

Practice head(s):Alastair Frood

Other key lawyers:Elaine Brailsford

Key Clients

Lochaber Properties Ltd

Ernst & Young LLC

Work highlights

  • Acting on professional negligence action against Lochaber Properties Ltd's former solicitors, involving complex lease arrangements that were devised by the solicitors to the detriment of the claimant's ability to generate income through a sub-lease.
  • Acted for Ernst & Young as liquidator in a multimillion-dollar fraud case, alleging breach of trust and dishonest assistance, and achieved a settlement against two defenders following a successful appeal in the Court of Session.
  • Acting in a professional negligence and breach of contract claim on behalf of Aggreko plc.

TLT 's practice has notable expertise in the financial services sector, acting for a string of big-name banks and other lenders. Practice head John Paul Sheridan leads on all matters concerning solicitor and surveyor negligence and carries out his own advocacy in the Court of Session; he also has expert knowledge of prescription issues, having previously provided evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the matter. The practice also pursues claims for individuals against their former solicitors and acts for claimants in construction disputes.

Practice head(s):John Paul Sheridan

Testimonials

'A hard-hitting and committed team with a depth of experience in professional negligence and liability disputes.'

 

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

UKAR

BT plc

EON plc

Heineken

Brewdog

Target Group

Virgin Money

Landmark Mortgages

RBS

Work highlights

  • Acting in two parallel claims against electrical engineers and a construction company following a fire at a food processing factory.
  • Pursuing a claim on behalf of one partner in a separation action, where their former solicitors failed to raise proceedings within the time limit for an unequal split of assets, causing loss of opportunity for the client.

Balfour+Manson LLP act for pursuers in claims against their solicitors, accountants, co-workers and private companies. The firm also handles unusual multi-party disputes, claims arising from negligent tax advice and pension-related matters. Iain Nicol, who is accredited in professional negligence and personal injury, drafted the Professional Negligence Pre Action Protocol and recently, through representations to the Law Society, secured an increase in the fees payable under the protocol.

Practice head(s):David Flint

Other key lawyers:Iain Nicol

Burness Paull LLP's professional negligence practice works on both the pursuer and defender side of claims across a range of sectors, focusing on corporate clients rather than panel appointments for insurers. The team excels in particular in the realm of construction, receiving instructions from major firms of architects and engineers in high value cases, while also represents public bodies. Ewan McIntyre is lead partner for the firm's cross-discipline liabilities practice, which encompasses the professional negligence team, while Chris MacKay, who is has dual expert accreditation in both construction and arbitration, has niche expertise in disputes concerning harbours and ports.

Practice head(s):Ewan McIntyre

Other key lawyers:Chris Mackay

Testimonials

'The team displays an out of the ordinary concentration on identifying and pursuing the client's interests in the circumstances of each case.'

Key Clients

Millar & Bryce Limited

Fife Council

John Graham Construction Limited

Trustees of the Elliot of Harwood Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Fife Council in a high value professional negligence claim against Atkins Limited relative to their responsibilities as engineers on a flood prevention scheme.
  • Act for searching company Millar & Bryce in connection with professional indemnity claims against them brought by users of their service.
  • Acting for John Graham Construction in a seven-figure professional negligence claim against Scott Wilson Scotland Limited in relation to the design of the drainage system in a new high school.

Dentons acts for both pursuers and defenders on a variety of claims concerning solicitors and financial services experts. The practice, which benefits from its appointment to the Law Society of Scotland’s Pursuers’ Advisory Panel, is led by Tim Edward, who advises some of the leading insurers in the market.

Practice head(s):Tim Edward

Key Clients

Zurich Insurance

Aviva Insurance

Rieuneau Avocats

Cousin Biotech SA

Beazley Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting for Beazley Insurance and its insured Priority Investigations in defending a potential claim for defective service of proceedings.
  • Successfully defended a claim by a solicitor against Scottish law firm Pagan Osborne arising from its role in the executry of her late husband’s estate.


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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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