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Who Represents Who

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According to clients, Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘an absolute pleasure to work with’. The professional negligence practice is headed by the ‘very conscientious and astuteDavid Gooding, who is ‘without doubt one of the top professional indemnity litigators in the West Midlands’, and includes Angus Turner (‘has the legal expertise but also recognises commercial realities’), who heads the national legal negligence claims practice and, and construction and brokers negligence expert Neil Frankland. Assisted by principal associate Sarah Trendell-Smyth, Turner is advising on a client fund theft case, while Gooding is defending a major accounting company in high-value multi-party proceedings pertaining to claims of breach of confidentiality and serious misconduct against the company’s partners. Principal associate Lesley-Ann Hamlynis also acting in this matter. Other key mandates included representing an architect in a claim involving inspection duties arising from the refurbishment of a residential and leisure facility, and handling coverage issues arising from a fraud claim brought against an international law firm. Notable clients include Zurich, QBE, and Nexus.

DWF’s acquisition of Triton Legal (formerly Robin Simon LLP) significantly strengthened its capacity to handle defence work for professionals such as architects, surveyors, solicitors and financial services advisers. Caroline Coates leads the practice alongside head of the occupational health and casualty practice Derek Adamson, who specialises in policy interpretation in the context of mesothelioma and environmental claims.

Eamon Mooney, who advises insurers such as AIG, Allianz and Liberty on defence and coverage work, leads the Midlands professional negligence team at Kennedys with the support of Patric Rouendaal, who specialises in claims against solicitors, and property, liability and contractor’s insurance claims expert Robert Welfare. The team was recently instructed to handle a high-value claim against solicitors arising from allegations of negligent conduct of litigation with the assistance of senior associate Alison Siniver, who also supported a partner in the London office on the defence of a multi-million pound claim brought against accountants. Mooney represented an animal feed consultant with regards to allegations of over-supplementation of cattle, and addressed a counterclaim filed against an insured design and construction company in connection with the building of a manufacturing facility overseas. Angela Fisher specialises in claims against clients in the construction sector such as architects, contractors, engineers and project managers.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP provides ‘a very solid, safe and knowledgeable service to clients and excellent support counsel’. The practice, which focuses on acting for claimants, is headed by Mark Beesley, whose expertise covers claims against solicitors and accountants. He is acting for longstanding client FCC Paragon in a claim alleging losses following a reference tenancy report indicating the tenant did not appear to exist or have the required credentials. Clients rate the ‘calm, experienced, well-informed and well-prepared’ Tim Speed for ‘delivering what they need in a solicitor’; he acted for West Bromwich Commercial Limited in a claim against an allegedly negligent valuation of a care home. In other highlights, the team represented a major insurer in connection with High Court proceedings against the client’s former digital marketing agency, while Barry Jervis acted for the trustees of an investment fund property portfolio in a claim against their former solicitors on the grounds of the allegedly negligent omission of a safety guarantee for a business premises lease. Associate Claire Burrows and associate partner James Woolstenhulme are also recommended.

According to clients, BLMis outstanding in every respect’ and ‘does everything it can to provide a superb service’. The ‘formidable and professionalLucy Tolondstands out for her technical, tactical and leadership qualities’ and has substantial experience in advising on claims against accountants, financial advisers and insolvency practitioners. Her recent highlights include defending an insolvency practitioner in a claim concerning the liquidation of a major utilities contractor, and handling policy coverage issues on behalf of a major global insurer related to a high-value contribution to the insured company’s pension scheme from former directors. The team is led by national professional and financial risk group head Julian Smart, who specialises in fraud and fund recovery; he recently acted in a multimillion-pound claim against a surveyor arising from allegations of failing to identify defects in a newly built property. Jagdeep Singh Hayre has experience acting for claimants and defendants in the construction sector, with particular emphasis in payments disputes related to public grants and large-scale public contract claims. Notable clients include Allianz, Aviva and Hiscox.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPknows the process inside out’. Practice head and ‘total professionalChris Busby attracts praise for his ‘strong knowledge and flexible approach’. Neville Gray’s clients value his ‘understanding of detail, and firm grasp of the overall strengths and weaknesses of their position’. Busby and Gray are handling several claims arising from residential and commercial lending. Other highlights for the team included acting in a high-value claim related to the valuation of a significant area of development land in Scotland. Senior associate Daniel Murphy represent clients such as Nationwide and is recommended alongside Nottingham-based associates Kyle Richards, who ‘thinks of the commercial endgame at all times’, and the ‘excellentDaniel Jackson.

Key figures in the Birmingham office of Gowling WLG include Andrew Nugent Smith and arbitration specialist Andrew Manning Cox. He is defending a multi-party claim with complex third-party proceedings and significant disclosure issues. On the construction side, Ashley Pigott advises on high-profile disputes with property law expert Carole Peet, who has a track record of handling Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 cases on both the claimant and defendant sides.

Wright Hassall LLPhas a very strong reputation in professional liability work’, and its ‘robust and results-focused’ team ‘work tirelessly for the best outcome’. Sarah Perry leads the practice and specialises in claims against solicitors, accountants, auditors and financial advisers. The ‘personable and practical’ Matthew Sharp is ‘tenacious when required’ and works alongside ‘unflappable and determined’ solicitor advocate Matthew Goodwin, who is ‘a top-notch legal analyst’. The team recently acted in a claim against solicitors for acts of omission with regards to the re-mortgaging of a property, and Susan Hopcraft led the advice to a married couple on a claim against an insurance broker. Other key names include Gemma Carson, who handles cases in the construction sector involving elements of procedural anomaly and deceit, and senior associate Nathan Talbott, who focuses on disputes concnerning the financial services sector.

The professional negligence practice at Freeths LLP is ‘building a strong team with an impressive range of experience’, and was joined in 2016 by Louise Wilson and Richard Coates from Gowling WLG and Emms Gilmore Liberson, respectively. Wilson is ‘a very bright and experienced lawyer with a fantastic track record’ and the ‘charming’ Coates is ‘a strong lawyer and a pleasure to work with’; the pair recently acted for clients with regards to claims against solicitors, and defended a conveyancer in a claim brought against him regarding a share sale transaction he was not aware of.

Hatchers Solicitors LLP’s professional negligence practice is headed by associate and dispute resolution expert Esther Richards, with support from Patrick Gittins, who handles commercial, regulatory and personal injury claims, and assistant solicitor Jennifer Woods. The team recently handled a number of claims against surveyors concerning failure to advise clients of damp and asbestos problems. Woods also advises clients on actions against medical professionals, and is acting on behalf of a client seeking to pursue the manufacturer of crib-retaining walls following the collapse of her purchase.

Sydney Mitchell LLP handles high-value and complex claims regarding property and banking issues for clients such as Hertford Solutions and West Bromwich Building Society. The ‘commercially astuteDean Parnell has ‘technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’. He leads the practice with Kamal Majevadia, who is singled out for insolvency, restructuring and financial cases. Assistant solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu supports the partners with regards to negligence claims against solicitors and construction professionals, and recently represented a professional client in a case against his governing body for allegedly failing to adequately represent him in court resulting in significant liability costs. The ‘hardworking and responsive’ Preena Lal is also recommended.

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