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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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The 'outstanding' six-strong team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has 'an expert knowledge of the law and is also very commercial in its approach to insurance claims' brought against a range of professionals. Led by the 'experienced, calm and pragmatic' Clare Hughes-Williams, the team is best known for defending solicitors in professional negligence claims, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigations and professional disciplinary proceedings. Praised for her 'keen strategic eye which enables her to see the wood from the trees', Hughes-Williams 'brings a refreshingly straightforward approach to tackling difficult claims and achieving the best possible outcome'. The 'dedicated and sensitive' Catrin Davies also 'knows the market very well' and provides 'level-headed advice' in claims against solicitors as well as in defending actions against mortgage brokers, letting agents and veterinary surgeons. Senior associate Tom Bedford is also recommended.

The 'enormously experienced and well-resourced' team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP¬†provides 'clear and commercial' advice to¬†lenders ‚Äď including Santander, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and GE Money ‚Äď in claims brought against solicitors and valuers. As head of the secured recoveries part of the firm's financial services dispute resolution group,¬†Nick Rundle¬†regularly handles work for lenders including Bank of Ireland which he is representing in bringing claims against¬†two firms of surveyors resulting from allegedly negligent advice provided in connection with a decision to advance funds on security of a commercial premises. The 'knowledgeable and commercially focused' Anthony Davies¬†is a 'very safe pair of hands' and as well as handling professional negligence arising from title defects in lending transactions, also has a particular specialism in professional negligence against construction professionals including architects, engineers, loss adjusters, builders and underpinning contractors arising from the defective construction claims.¬†'Technically knowledgeable'¬†senior associate Lisa Murphy¬†provides 'common sense and pragmatic advice' and is a key member of the team that also includes 'excellent' senior associate James Coleman, senior associate¬†Ashley Davies, and 'very effective' principal associate Wayne Davies.

Berry Smith acts exclusively for claimants in professional negligence matters across all areas including financial, accountancy and surveying but according to one client its 'greatest specialism is in property-related work, where it has a national reputation'. In this regard, the 'exceptional' Iwan Doull is 'able to weigh up complex and difficult matters quickly and provides clear and practical advice'. Doull is also noted for his 'excellent and commercial advice' for after-the-event insurers including ARAG, in claims brought against law firms who negligently advised their insureds. 'Ferociously bright' and 'very effective' property litigator Simon Care is also regularly engaged in claimant work against property-related professionals. A growing area of Care's work is in relation to bringing claims against solicitors for negligent advice delivered in the context of property transactions; he is representing Coffee Mania! in a claim brought against its former solicitors for allegedly negligent advice in failing to secure the renewal of a protected business tenancy of premises.

Capital Law LLP 's 'very innovative commercial dispute resolution team' approaches professional negligence work with 'great ingenuity and expertise', for both claimants and defendants. Headed by the 'very commercial and effective' Andrew Brown, the firm has handled several professional negligence claims under the umbrella of its own litigation fund, Capital Dispute Finance, including on behalf of Deloitte, as liquidators of DJ Litts on its £40m professional negligence claim against its former auditors who failed to detect and inform the innocent directors about a ponzi scheme being run by one of the directors of the company. The 'highly experienced, technical and personable' Stephen Meade also has expertise in the area and alongside Brown is representing claimants in a multimillion-pound action brought against their former lawyers alleging losses brought about by their negligent advice in relation to the terms of a freezing order to which the clients were subject to. 'Detail-oriented' solicitor Lucy Emanual is also recommended.

Sitting within the firm's broader commercial litigation practice, which is recognised for its 'very high quality of work', Hugh James handles claimant-side cases for private individuals and corporates brought against a range of professionals including solicitors, barristers, accountants and financial advisers. The 'extremely bright, personable and very technical' Chris Mayers  specialises in professional negligence work and is representing numerous individuals in claims brought against their solicitor for failing to serve the Particulars of Claim within the relevant 14-day period and thereby enabling the defendants in the underlying case to strike out the claim. Praised for his 'outstanding client skills', commercial litigation team head Richard Locke  is 'very tough but also very fair' and regularly handles high-value professional negligence work, as do the 'capable and technically proficient' Robert Phillips, who handles professional negligence as an offshoot of his property litigation practice; the 'very bright and hardworking' Tracey Singlehurst-Ward; and 'extremely experienced' consultant Gareth Williams . At associate level, Abigail Flanagan  and Gareth Roberts  are also recommended.

At JCP Solicitors, Kevin O'Brien has a strong reputation advising claimants in cases brought against solicitors, particularly in relation to underlying corporate, commercial and property transactions. O'Brien recently successfully settled a case on behalf of former owners of a company in a £2m claim against their former solicitors arising from the solicitors’ conduct of the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company. The 'extremely efficient and knowledgeable' Sophie Thomas also regularly handles professional negligence claimant work, with an emphasis on property-related solicitor claims and title rectification issues. Thomas is representing an individual client in relation to a claim concerning an allegedly negligent survey report of a property which failed to report (either sufficiently or at all) on a number of defects at the property which have had a significant detrimental impact on the value of the property.

Although it lacks a standalone professional negligence department, Darwin Gray LLP has 'significant experience of handling claims' against a wide range of professionals including solicitors, barristers, accountants, surveyors, architects and engineers, as part of its 'excellent' broader commercial litigation function. Praised for his 'excellent litigation judgement', Ian Herbert receives direct instructions and referrals from other law firms across a range of professional negligence claimant work.

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