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Addleshaw Goddard fields a team that is ‘in the first rank of professional negligence practitioners; the team’s institutional experience enables it to tailor its services to clients’ expectations, management style and budget.’ In addition to heading the firm’s litigation practice in the North, Sally Emerton heads the professional negligence team and has a substantial track record acting for banks and building societies in disputes against solicitors, valuers and other professionals. In keeping with the firm’s prominent reputation for banking litigation, the professional negligence practice is particularly active in lender claimant professional work, for which it appears on the panels of a number of major banks and building societies. Other key figures include Ben Lowans, who handles investment negligence cases on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, in addition to acting for lenders in high-value disputes; Bill Gilliam, who acts for commercial clients; Joe Wilkinson, whose construction litigation expertise makes him a natural choice for professional negligence cases in that area; and managing associate Lee O’Sullivan, who attracts praise for his ‘redoubtable defence of valuer claims’.

DLA Piper UK LLP has a highly active professional negligence practice that acts for several UK clearing banks, a number of the Big Four accountancy firms, as well as major building societies. Practice head Hugh Evans has more than 35 years of experience handling high-value professional negligence claims on behalf of banks, building societies and other lenders; he leads a team that includes Adam Ibrahim who, in addition to heading the regulatory team in Leeds, has extensive experience handling financial services related professional negligence matters and is heavily involved in claims arising from the FCA’s investigation into the mis-selling of derivatives and swaps. Also recommended is Chris Harvey, who regularly acts for banks, building societies, asset-based lenders and accountants.

Walker Morris LLP’s professional negligence practice is ‘excellent; quick to respond with commercial, practical advice that is to the point’. Headed by Andrew Beck, the practice handles high-value professional negligence claims against solicitors and surveyors for banking and construction sector clients, including Lloyds Banking Group. In an example of its work against surveyors, Andrew Bennett acted for Mortgage Express in a £3.3m claim against a firm of surveyors for breach of fiduciary duty and deceit. Other key figures include Louise Power, who acts for financial institutions in claims for solicitors’ and surveyors’ negligence; Malcolm Simpson, whose clients include Persimmon; Martin Scott, who handles multi-party claims; And Gwendoline Davies.

3volution Limited’s claimant professional negligence practice is headed by Tim Stone, who also heads the firm’s commercial litigation department, and includes Matt Pugh, who focuses on property-related professional negligence claims. They are ably assisted by associate Samantha Wragg, who handles professional negligence claims against a variety of professionals. Highlights included acting for Omega Atlantic Limited in its professional negligence claim against GVA Grimley related to funding advice, and are representing Univer Manufacturing in a claim against its former solicitors alleging that the firm’s drafting of an exclusive distribution agreement and indefinite IP licence failed to protect the client’s interest causing substantial loss.

Gordons LLP’s ‘commercial and practical’ professional negligence practice is led by James Laycock and includes Andrew Breckenridge, a banking litigation specialist who joined in January 2017 from DWF, and Stephen McVey, whose experience includes acting in a multimillion-pound claim against a firm of accountants relating to tax avoidance schemes. The firm continues to handles professional negligence matters for longstanding clients, including Paragon Mortgages and Idem Capital Securities; Frances Mitchell is continuing to act for the former in multiple claims against a firm of solicitors concerning alleged breaches of duty over buy-to-let mortgages. The firm has also experienced growth in work relating to pensions disputes, in which it is acting for claimant trustees in disputes concerning pensions administration. Ian McCombie joined Ward Hadaway.

Steven Beahan leads Irwin Mitchell’s professional negligence practice following the departure of Daniel Brumpton to Manchester-based Berg. The Sheffield team acts for corporates and individuals in claims against a range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, financial advisers and accountants. The team also acts for insolvency practitioners in claims arising from insolvent estates and, working in conjunction with its London office, provides advice on tax-related claims. Clients include insurers such as Aviva Insurance and Aegus Insurance.

Nigel Broadbent heads Lupton Fawcett LLP’s professional negligence practice, which includes a further ten partners spread across the firm’s Leeds, Sheffield and York offices. Broadbent has wide-ranging experience in bringing claims against surveyors, accountants, engineers and solicitors. Also recommended are Paul Sykes, who has an extensive track record handling professional negligence claims at Court of Appeal and Supreme Court levels, as well as before the European Court of Human Rights; Johanne Spittle, who is noted for her handling of claims brought against banks for financial mis-selling; and Jonathan Warner-Reed, who is highly active in professional negligence claims related to property developments. Clients include FirstGroup and Chaucer Foods.

Blacks Solicitors LLP is regularly called on by individuals, SMEs and owner-managed businesses to handle professional negligence claims against a variety of professionals. Recent work for Luke Patel’s practice includes acting in claims for negligence against insurance brokers, solicitors and counsel.

LCF Law’s professional negligence practice is particularly noted for acting for individuals in claims against solicitors arising from inheritance disputes, as demonstrated by Bradford-based Ragan Montgomery’s representation of an individual in a claim against his stepfather’s former solicitors alleging negligence for failure to take adequate instructions as to the extent of the deceased’s estate in drafting his will and for failure to properly execute the will in circumstances where the solicitors knew of the deceased’s pending marriage and terminal illness. The firm also handles claims on behalf of corporates, SMEs and owner-managed businesses; Charles Abraham is assisting a listed company with a multimillion-pound claim against its former accountants arising from tax planning schemes.

Schofield Sweeney’s three-partner practice, spread across its Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield offices, handles a wide range of professional negligence claims. Key figures include Richard Stockdale, who has more than 30 years of experience handling claims against solicitors, surveyors and architects, as well as claims concerning the financial services and construction sectors; Alistair Kennedy, who regularly handles claims against financial advisers; and James Staton.

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