Professional negligence in East Anglia

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team has long experience of professional liability matters and there is little that they haven’t seen before‘, says a client of Mills & Reeve LLP. The Norwich-based insurance disputes practice provides ‘sensible, commercial advice from people who are very experienced dealing with insurers and insureds‘. Experienced partners Neil Davies and Stephen King lead a national practice that handles professional indemnity, insurance and financial disputes, many of which are complex and carry potential reputational damage for clients. They count Countrywide plc, Aviva Life & Pensions and Knight Frank among their clients. Senior associates Matthew Wilson and Sophie Briggs, who is ‘thorough, intelligent and a creative thinker‘, are highly recommended by clients.

Practice head(s):

Stephen King; Neil Davies

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Wilson; Sophie Briggs


‘The team has long experience of professional liability matters and there is little that they haven’t seen before. You get sensible, commercial advice from people who know the field and have properly considered the issues and the likely outcomes, so you don’t waste time on points that don’t matter. They are very experienced dealing with insurers and insureds, so highly astute to the particular issues that can arise where interests might diverge.’

‘Neil Davies: vastly experienced, commercially astute, and a robust litigator – he is someone you want on your side. Neil gives practical advice and fights hard for his clients’ interests.

‘Sophie Briggs: Sophie is thorough, intelligent and a creative thinker who can see different angles to a case and spot important issues that others miss, but remains down-to-earth and commercial. A rising star in the team.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable, professional and efficient. Able to deal with matters for us at very short notice and decipher large amounts of information swiftly so they are able to provide guidance on next steps, which enables us to proceed.’

‘All individuals are very professional, knowledgeable, efficient and very approachable and friendly. These qualities make it very pleasant to work with them and makes our jobs that bit easier.’

‘They have a wide range of expertise in every area of law that we have approached them about, including commercial litigation, immigration, patents, contract law and more. The team that we have dealt with have all been very personable and supportive and Neil Davis has been exceptional.’

‘Neil Davis has an exceptional level of knowledge, his advice is clear and very helpful. He’s also a really nice guy and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Countrywide plc and group of companies

JD Cooling Group

CNA Hardy


Pen Underwriting

Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited

W/R/B Underwriting

Canopius Managing Agents Limited

Knight Frank

Key Group

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a practice across its offices in East Anglia, Essex and London, and it handles a broad range of work for referrers throughout the UK. Max Roessler in Norwich and head of litigation Laurence Weeks in Cambridge are the lead partners. Roessler focuses on claims against solicitors, the majority arising from negligent property and transactional advice. Weeks  frequently handles  claims against accountants concerning errors in tax advice, refunds and audit reviews. Cambridge-based partner Sara Sayer also plays a key role in the practice, frequently acting on behalf of colleges, universities and schools in negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Max Roessler; Laurence Weeks

Other key lawyers:

Sara Sayer

Buckles Solicitors LLP

At Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough, ‘the team is exceptional, the lawyers are proactive and commercial, and they respond to all matters with efficiency and purpose‘. The firm has significant experience and expertise in contractual and tortious claims arising from breaches of professionals’ duties, and it has particular expertise in matters concerning solicitors’ and accountants’ negligence. It also handles claims connected with estate planning and associated tax issues, thanks to its large substantial wealth preservation practice. Lead litigation partner James Maxey and senior associate Nick Porter are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter


‘The team is exceptional. They are proactive and commercial. They respond to all matters with efficiency and purpose. Good communication skills and professional throughout.’

‘Nick Porter – He is exceptional. Very proactive and commercial. He responds to all matters with efficiency and purpose. Good communication skills and professional throughout.’

BM: Removed matter 3 as formatting was off.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a company director in proceedings arising from the mis-selling of financial products. Claimed value in excess of £2m.
  • Defending accountants in claim brought by client alleging failure to stop fraudulent payments being made from client’s bank.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors has a professional negligence practice based in its offices in Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham. It handles complex and high-value claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, financial advisers and insurance brokers, frequently acting on behalf of claimants. Partner Philip Lumb in North Walsham and legal executive Kate Smith in Norwich are the key practitioners. Lumb has a broad practice focusing on professional negligence, personal injury and clinical negligence.

Practice head(s):

Philip Lumb

Other key lawyers:

Kate Smith

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 a private client following a failed personal injury claim where a prominent specialist personal injury firm issued a claim against the wrong defendant, causing loss.
  • Advising 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

Hatch Brenner LLP is ‘very aware of its responsibility to clients and is incredibly efficient‘. Lead litigation partner Mark Fitch handles all of the firm’s professional negligence work, which mainly focuses on representing claimants in claims against solicitors, though he also handles matters involving accountants, architects and surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fitch


‘We discovered that Hatch Brenner are very, very aware of their responsibility to clients. The case was won but was only 20% of what we should have received. Mark Fitch then proceeded to reduce their costs and persuaded our barrister to do the same.’

‘Mark Fitch was the senior partner who handled our case and turned out to be the opposite of our previous solicitors, who never contacted us at all and cost us an awful lot of money through their failures. Mark and his secretary were incredibly efficient and provided us with all relevant information both verbally and in writing. His sense of humour allowed us to be more relaxed in what turned out to be a vexatious and protracted action which we eventually won.’