Professional negligence in London Bar
4 New Square 'is one of the go-to sets for professional negligence work', and is highlighted for its 'tremendous strength in depth', with 'a wide range of excellent barristers available to assist'. The 'approachable and user-friendly' set is experienced in cases involving professionals from across the spectrum. Highlights include Roger Stewart QC representing the defendant in Mayr and others v CMS Cameron McKenna, a high-value solicitors' negligence claim, and Jamie Smith QC and Shail Patel defending a City investment firm in Various Investors v Canaccord Genuity, relating to the alleged mis-selling of film finance schemes. In addition, Clare Dixon appeared in the Court of Appeal in Matthew v Sedman, which involved a claim against accountants.
4 Pump Court is 'an impressive set with strength and depth' in the professional negligence field, counting 'a whole list of real stars' among its members. The set handles claims against a range of professionals, from accountants and financial advisers to solicitors, barristers, valuers and surveyors, with particular expertise in claims against telecoms and construction professionals. The set's recent highlights include Jeremy Nicholson QC, Sean Brannigan QC, Fiona Sinclair QC and Luke Wygas acting on different sides of Premier Inn v MSA, a complex, five-party cladding claim. Michael Douglas QC, Benjamin Pilling QC, Lynne McCafferty QC and Aidan Christie QC also continue to be involved in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
'Well-regarded as one of the best sets for professional negligence', Hailsham Chambers stands out for its 'spectacular strength in depth' and 'range and breadth of expertise'. The set is 'a leader in solicitors' professional negligence work', with recent highlights including Michael Pooles QC and Matthew Jackson acting for the defendant solicitors' firm in the Supreme Court case of Edwards v Hugh James, which related to the settlement of personal injury litigation. However, members act on claims against a wide range of professionals; in a recent example, William Flenley QC and Francis Bacon appeared in the Court of Appeal in Group Seven v Nasir, which involved accountants' liability.
3 Verulam Buildings is a 'pragmatic and commercial' set, with 'excellent strength in depth in professional negligence'. The 'well-regarded and respected' set has particular expertise in financial and insurance-related professional negligence claims, with Matthew Hardwick QC and Ali Malek QC defending a financial brokerage company in SKAT v Solo Capital Partners, a multi-party claim brought by the Danish tax authority, and Andrew Onslow QC representing the investors in a claim against a tax silk and an independent financial adviser over a film finance tax scheme. Other highlights include Adam Kramer representing the defendant law firm in Addlesee v Dentons, which related to a fraudulent investment scheme.
7 King's Bench Walk stands out for its 'huge strength in depth at junior and silk levels' and 'deep experience of professional negligence work'. The 'excellent' set has particular expertise in accountants' and auditors' negligence claims, but also handles claims against solicitors, barristers, insurance brokers and financial consultants, among other professionals. Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC and Harry Wright will appear in the Supreme Court in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton, which relates to the scope of auditors' duties, and, along with Alexander MacDonald, are also representing various parties in ABN AMRO Bank v Various underwriters, Edge Brokers and others, a high-profile insurance and broker negligence claim.
Noted for its 'very capable practitioners' and 'great strength in depth', Atkin Chambers draws on its position as 'one of the leading construction sets in the UK' to handle a wide range of construction, infrastructure and engineering-related professional negligence claims. Stephanie Barwise QC, Omar Eljadi and Jennifer Jones continue to be involved in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and members are acting on a number of other significant claims involving fire safety issues, including Nicholas Baatz QC and Marc Lixenberg representing the claimant housing association in Stonewater v BAM Construction, a cladding dispute which concerns builders' and architects' liability. International arbitrations relating to construction projects are also an area of expertise.
Brick Court Chambers is 'a strong set in the professional negligence area', with a number of 'excellent barristers, both silks and juniors'. Members handle claims against a wide range of professionals, but have recently been particularly active in claims against advisers in relation to film finance tax schemes, with Tom Adam QC defending two leading silks in McClean & Others v Andrew Thornhill QC and Lancaster & Others v Jonathan Peacock QC. Auditors' negligence cases are also an area of strength for the set: Simon Salzedo QC continues to represent the defendants in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton (leading Sophie Shaw) and BAT v PricewaterhouseCoopers.
An 'excellent' set, Crown Office Chambers has 'great strength in depth', with 'first-rate silks' and 'juniors who are all experts in their field'. Members handle claims involving solicitors and barristers, insurance brokers, accountants and construction professionals, among others. Recent examples of the set's strength in construction-related claims include Ivor Collett and Nicola Atkins representing parties in claims relating to the installation of flammable cladding, and Ben Quiney QC and Richard Sage representing the defendant in National Trust v Cuffe, which relates to a fire in a stately home. Other highlights include Daniel Shapiro QC acting for the defendant in Mayr & others v CMS Cameron McKenna, a high-value solicitors' negligence claim.
Fountain Court Chambers is 'a leading professional negligence set', with 'particularly impressive silks' and 'heavyweight juniors'. The 'high-calibre' members are experienced in claims against a broad range of professionals, including barristers and solicitors, financial services professionals, fund managers, and accountants and tax advisers. In recent highlights, Anneliese Day QC, Mark Simpson QC and Natasha Bennett are acting on either side of Axiom Funds v Mayer Brown, a solicitors' negligence case relating to the collapse of a legal financing fund, and Richard Coleman QC is representing three major banks in the high-profile Ingenious litigation brought by investors in a film finance scheme.
'A leading construction set', Keating Chambers is highly experienced in construction-related professional negligence cases, acting on claims against professionals ranging from architects, contractors and engineers to property developers and surveyors. The set, which is highlighted for the 'depth of both senior and junior counsel', has particular expertise in claims involving complex fire safety issues: Adam Constable QC is representing one of the defendants in Premier Inn v Urban Innovations and others, a multi-party claim relating to alleged defects in the cladding of a hotel. Members of chambers including Adrian Williamson QC, Marcus Taverner QC and Rachael O’Hagan are also involved in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
Wilberforce Chambers has 'an excellent reputation' for professional negligence work. The set draws on its strength in areas including trusts, property and pensions to handle claims against professionals, ranging from accountants to construction professionals, tax and pensions advisers, and insurance brokers. Members have recently been involved in a number of solicitors' negligence claims, with Joanna Smith QC acting on a claim against two law firms and a planning consultant relating to a proposed commercial development in George J Goff Ltd v Chaplin Farrant Ltd & Cozens-Hardy LLP, and Jonathan Seitler QC and Benjamin Faulkner acting for the defendant in Khangura v Walker Morris, a solicitors' negligence case concerning conveyancing issues.
The 'responsive', 'flexible' and 'commercially astute' members of the 'always strong' 2 Temple Gardens are experienced in claims against professionals including solicitors and barristers; insurance and financial services advisers; architects and engineers; surveyors and valuers; and other construction and design professionals. Recent highlights of note include Charles Dougherty QC, Isabel Barter and David Thomas acting for a QC in Gaze v HS, a claim concerning the scope of a barrister's duty to advise, and Neil Moody QC representing the developer of a large residential complex in Ramvel Ltd v Bartlett Plumbing and Countryside Properties, a contractors' negligence claim relating to the construction of a soil vent pipe system.
39 Essex Chambers is an 'excellent' set, with 'a deep roster of top QCs and very good juniors', which draws on its strength in construction matters to handle claims against engineers, architects, builders, surveyors and other construction professionals. Paul Darling QC acted for the claimant in Blue Manchester Ltd v North West Ground Rents Ltd, a claim relating to cladding defects, while Stuart Catchpole QC continues to be involved in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. The set was also strengthened by the arrivals of Andrew Kearney (also an associate mediator at St John's Chambers), David Sawtell (from Lamb Chambers) and Camilla ter Haar (from Five Paper) in early 2020.
Hardwicke is 'an approachable set' with 'experienced barristers who really know their chosen fields'. The set, which includes 'many excellent juniors', draws on its strength in property and construction to handle a range of construction-related professional negligence claims, with Paul Reed QC, David Pliener and Ebony Alleyne acting for the leaseholders in a claim against various members of the project team in Green Oasis International Company Limited v Northacre Plc, which relates to defective redevelopment works, and Catherine Piercy acting for a subcontractor in Premier Inn v KD Facades and others, a high-profile cladding claim. Members also have expertise in solicitors', investment and financial services negligence, among other areas.
Radcliffe Chambers has a 'stellar line-up of practitioners' in the field of professional negligence, particularly in claims relating to property, trusts, financial services and pensions advice. The set has expertise in claims against solicitors, financial professionals, pension consultants, accountants and auditors, and surveyors and valuers, among others. Recent highlights include Jeremy Cousins QC and Peter Dodge acting for the claimants in CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v VeCREF I SARL, which involved a claim that receivers appointed to a development project breached their duty of care by selling at an undervalue, and in Howard v Gateley UK, a solicitors' negligence claim relating to the sale of a financial services firm.
1 Chancery Lane 'covers the whole gamut of liability issues', handling claims against professionals including solicitors and barristers, insurance brokers, property valuers and surveyors, accountants and financial advisers. The set also has a niche expertise in professional negligence claims involving local authorities and the education sector; in a recent example, Andrew Warnock QC represented social services in Goman v Stockport. He is also acting in the Supreme Court case of Grondona v Stoffel & Co, a solicitors' negligence claim concerning the conveyance of a residential property and the registration of a mortgage against it.
Outer Temple Chambers stands out for its 'strength in depth in pensions professional indemnity work', frequently advising on claims against solicitors, barristers, actuaries, financial services professionals and insolvency practitioners in relation to occupational pension schemes. The set also handles claims involving financial services, wills and estates, businesses in administration and the conduct of litigation. In a recent highlight, members of chambers including Nicolas Stallworthy QC, David E Grant and Nicholas Hill were on the legal teams of three of the four parties in Briggs v Aon & others (Re Gleeds), a professional negligence case arising out of earlier proceedings relating to a pension scheme.
Selborne Chambers is particularly experienced in professional negligence claims against solicitors' firms, especially in relation to property transactions, but the set also acts on claims against financial services professionals and insurance brokers, among others. Recent highlights have included Nicholas Trompeter representing the Chief Land Registrar in Dhillon v Barclays Bank Plc & Chief Land Registrar, a claim relating to mistaken or negligent property transfers, and Edward Bennion-Pedley acting for the Frederick family in Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions (Financial Services), which considered the liability of a financial services adviser for the fraud of an agent.
The 'commercial and accessible' Serle Court has 'a number of impressive silks in the professional negligence space'. The 'user-friendly' set acts on claims against a wide range of professionals, and is particularly strong in cases with company elements, as well as international and offshore matters. Recent highlights include Philip Jones QC representing the defendant corporate services providers in the Isle of Man High Court in Wickes & Ors v Humbles & Ors, which relates to the management of a property development, and Daniel Lightman QC acting for the defendant in Estera Trust & Anor v Singh & Ors, a claim concerning the duties of company directors.
XXIV Old Buildings handles claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, surveyors, valuers and trustees, and is particularly experienced in professional negligence cases involving financial mismanagement. Highlights include Francis Tregear QC acting for a Swiss investment bank in The Public Institution for Social Security v Al Rajaan, which relates to breach of fiduciary duty and tracing claims, as well as appearing in Jackson & Money v Gershinson & Others, which concerned a claim of breach of duty against the directors of a company in liquidation. In addition, Helen Galley appeared in Southwark Living Ltd v Cramer Pelmont, a solicitors' negligence claim.