Professional negligence in East Anglia

Mills & Reeve LLP

In Mills & Reeve LLP's Norwich office, lead partners Stephen King and the 'robust and practicalNeil Davies are part of a national 13-partner insurance disputes team that handles professional indemnity, insurance and financial litigation. The firm is frequently involved in high-stakes claims against lawyers, finance professionals, clinicians, and clients in the construction industry. 'Weak claims brought against her clients are shot down in flames', say clients of principal associate Clare Howard, who has a particular focus on cases involving lawyers. She and senior associate Matthew Wilson are among the firm's 'highly experienced and very commercially minded lawyers, who are very effective at cutting through the nonsense to achieve helpful results'.

Practice head(s):

Stephen King; Neil Davies

Other key lawyers:

Clare Howard; Matthew Wilson


‘Highly experienced and very commercially minded lawyers, who are very effective at cutting through the nonsense to achieve helpful results. The partners know exactly what they are doing, and the associates provide really excellent support.’

‘Neil Davies is a really effective partner, he gets straight to the point of the case, saving the client costs and time. Robust and practical in dealing with the other side, but pragmatic in his approach so as to move things on as quickly as possible.’

‘An extremely efficient and can-do team, with strength in depth.’

‘Clare Howard is a very knowledgeable and experienced practitioner who gives clear and good advice. Most of her work is for insured professionals. Weak claims brought against her clients are shot down in flames, and she negotiates her way adeptly around the good ones.’

Key clients

Countrywide plc and group of companies

Canopius Managing Agents Limited

CNA Hardy


Pen Underwriting

Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited

W/R/B Underwriting

Knight Frank

JD Cooling Group

Key Group

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a strong regional presence through its offices in Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich, though it also provides insurance litigation services through its Chelmsford and London offices. The firm acts predominantly for claimants in their grievances against solicitors and accounts, and it has a busy niche practice in negligent probate matters. Max Roessler in Norwich leads the practice, which draws on the skills of commercial litigators Laurence Weeks and Sara Sayer in Cambridge to advise clients across the UK. Norwich-based Bernadette Baker handles negligence cases involving wills, trusts and probate.

Practice head(s):

Max Roessler

Other key lawyers:

Sara Sayer; Laurence Weeks; Bernadette Baker

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough focuses solely on advising claimants; the firm has significant expertise in cases connected with estate planning and tax issues. A growing proportion of its work stems from contentious probate cases, though it handles a broad range of claims against solicitors and accountants. Practice head and solicitor advocate James Maxey has a broad litigation practice, of which professional negligence claims constitute a substantial part. Senior associate Nick Porter has more than 20 years’ experience in commercial litigation and professional negligence work, with particular expertise in seeking and defending injunction proceedings.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter

Work highlights

  • Acting for a company director in proceedings arising from the mis-selling of financial products. Claimed value in excess of £2m.
  • Acting for executors and beneficiaries of a will regarding various allegations of negligence by their former solicitors arising out of the administration of their late parents’ estates.
  • Acting for a company in a potential claim against its former solicitors for negligent advice arising out of a franchise agreement.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, which has offices in Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham, frequently handles claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, financial advisers and insurance brokers. Philip Lumb in the North Walsham office leads the practice, bringing to bear 17 years' experience in professional negligence, personal injury and clinical negligence matters. Legal executive Kate Smith and litigation executive Shaun Taylor play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Philip Lumb

Other key lawyers:

Kate Smith; Shaun Taylor

Work highlights

  • Acted for clients in a potential claim for professional negligence, due to failure to provide a right of way to their property when dealing with the conveyance of their previously owned neighbouring property.
  • Advising client following a failed personal injury claim where a prominent specialist personal injury firm issued a claim against the wrong defendant, causing loss.
  • Advising client on a claim against financial advisers, stockbrokers and fund managers following significant loss to a trust caused by repeated, longstanding failures in investment strategy.

Hatch Brenner LLP

Norwich firm Hatch Brenner LLP has a long track record in advising local clients on claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and architects. Lead partner Mark Fitch is a vastly experienced litigator with notable skills in mediation, and his recent work included an unusual case that required him to pursue solicitors who had missed a limitation date on a claim of negligence against other solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fitch