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DAC Beachcroft LLP is widely regarded as legal adviser of choice for professional indemnity insurers such as Travelers. The practice’s market-leading capabilities span defending professionals in a wide range of sectors, including real estate, where it acts for national and international property consultants, surveyors and lettings companies; financial services, where the group regularly handles claims against accountants, auditors, tax advisers and other financial intermediaries; and legal services. Duncan Greenwood heads the team in Leeds; he is noted for his specialist expertise in claims against solicitors, insurance brokers and property professionals, and regularly assists the firm’s insurer client base with policy coverage disputes. Other key figures include Andrew Marsh, who has an extensive track record acting for employers, contractors and their insurers in the construction and engineering sectors; and Suzanne Wharton, who splits her time between Leeds and Manchester and focuses on high-value claims against solicitors and financial services professionals. In a key mandate, Greenwood represented a firm of insurance brokers in a claim brought by the owner and operator of a waste recycling plant, which suffered a major fire that was not covered by the insurers of the plant; the claimants contended that the policy brokered by the client was not suitable. The claim was resolved at less than 10% of the claim value.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s professional negligence practice is ‘a pleasure to work with; the team always responds promptly with well-considered advice that takes into account the legal position as well as the commercial realities’. The firm acts for a heavyweight list of international insurers and Lloyd’s syndicates, including XL Catlin Insurance, in claims brought against insured professionals in the legal, construction, accountancy and financial services sectors. The practice has also experienced notable growth in its work defending professionals in the technology, biotech and life sciences arenas. Recent work includes defending a firm of solicitors in a claim for indemnity arising from the purchase of a cinema complex development in the North East. Neil Howes heads the team in Leeds and is ‘very easy to work with; he understands what clients are looking for’. Also recommended are consultant Edward Coulson, who is ‘very astute at assessing whether a claim should be defended and at what price it can be settled’, and senior associate Matthew Liston.

Clyde & Co LLP established a presence in Leeds through its 2015 merger with Simpson & Marwick, bringing with it a team in Leeds with a strong track record defending claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, and professionals in the construction and healthcare sectors. Gordon Walker has more than 30 years of experience defending claims against solicitors, surveyors and accountants, among other professionals.

Bond Dickinson LLP has an excellent reputation for professional negligence nationally and is continuing to strengthen its presence in Leeds, most recently recruiting tax and accounting indemnity specialist Karen Eckstein from Clyde & Co LLP. She joins a team that includes Jonathan Watmough, who attracts praise for his ‘superb eye for detail and commercial mind; he is always thinking one step ahead’. The firm’s client base includes insurers such as AIG, QBE and Liberty Mutual insurance, for which the team handles a wide range of professional indemnity claims, including defending claims against solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers and insolvency practitioners.

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