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United Kingdom > London Bar > Professional negligence > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence - Leading sets
  2. Leading Silks
  3. 2018 Silks
  4. 2019 Silks
  5. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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2018 Silks

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2019 Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Scott Allen - 4 New SquareVery friendly, professional and approachable.
    • Francis Bacon - Hailsham ChambersHe is the outstanding professional indemnity junior at the Bar and a silk in all but name.
    • Spike Charlwood - Hailsham ChambersHe has a great reputation and is a gentlemanly opponent.
    • Jason Evans-Tovey - Crown Office ChambersHe is outstanding.
    • Hugh Evans - 4 New SquareHe doesn’t pull his punches when a robust approach is needed.
    • Derek Holwill - Hailsham ChambersHe is an extremely capable advocate.
    • Simon Howarth - Hailsham ChambersHe is great on difficult cases.
    • Richard Liddell - 4 New SquareHe is a team player and is excellent on his feet.
    • Kate Livesey - 4 PUMP COURTShe is so clear in her thinking and in her advocacy; she is a standout junior.
    • Charles Phipps - 4 New SquareHe combines formidable learning and technical expertise with an acute sense of how judges are likely to respond in practice.
    • Amanda Savage - 4 New SquareBright, engaging and smart.
    • Alex Hall Taylor - 4 New SquareHe is exceptionally talented.
    • Giles Wheeler - Fountain Court ChambersHe is outstanding in his is his legal analysis and drafting.
    • Simon Wilton - Hailsham ChambersHe is very easy to deal with, hardworking and reasonable.
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4 New Square is 'top of the tree for professional negligence work' thanks to its 'wide range of experience and expertise meaning it is able to provide suitably experienced counsel for a range of claims and subject matters.' Key highlights for the 'user-friendly' set includes Justin Fenwick QC acting for the appellant in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton, which examined the application of SAAMCO in auditors’ negligence cases, while Ben Patten QC and David Halpern QC represented parties on both sides in Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya, the leading case on liability for identity fraud in conveyancing. Elsewhere, Jonathan Hough QC, Miles Harris and Jamie Smith QC appeared in Accident Exchange v McLean, which examined the scope of legal professional privilege. Fenwick QC and George Spalton acted for PwC in Premier MotorAuctions v PwC & Lloyds, a £50m claim involving allegations of negligence and conspiracy, while Neil Hext QC and Alison Padfield QC acted on either side of a claim against insurance brokers arising from a fire at a popular East London bar.

4 PUMP COURT is an 'exceptionally friendly set' that 'understands the technical aspects of professional negligence cases'. Members handle claims involving a range of professionals, with expertise that covers technology, telecoms, construction, accountancy, auditors, financial, legal, surveyors and valuers negligence. The 'efficient' set has been involved in several  high-profile solicitors' negligence cases: Nigel Tozzi QC acted for the defendant solicitors in Evans v Brabners LLP, a claim brought by professional footballer Ched Evans against the law firm which defended him in his first rape trial; Tozzi QC also appeared for the defendant solicitors in Goddard-Watts v Bristol-based Independent UK Law Firm, which alleged the firm failed to ensure the claimant made full disclosure in matrimonial ancillary relief proceedings. Elsewhere, Michael Douglas QC, Aidan Christie QC, Benjamin Pilling QC and Lynne McCafferty QC are involved in The Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, which examines the causes of the fire and the role numerous core participants may have played in the occurrence and spread of the blaze.

Hailsham Chambers is an 'outstanding set for professional negligence' and although it is particularly noted for its experience in claims involving lawyers, the set also handles a raft of accountants', IFAs' and surveyors' negligence cases. Michael Pooles QC acted for the defandant in the Supreme Court case of Perry v Raleys, which examines the correct approach to the assessment of damages for loss of a chance. William Flenley QC appeared in Group Seven v Nasir, which examines the law on dishonest assistance for breach of trust by professionals.

3 Verulam Buildings 'undoubtedly has strength-in-depth' and offers 'quality counsel' for professional negligence disputes, where it is noted for its ability to handle cases in the financial services sector. It is also instructed by a number of major insurance and reinsurance groups. Richard Edwards QC acted for the claimant in Court of Appeal case CGL Group Ltd v RBS, which concerned alleged duties of care owed by banks to customers. Ali Malek QC  is instructed in Carlyle Capital Corporation Ltd (In Liquidation) & Others v Conway & Others, which involves the collapse of a $22bn fund and  professional negligence issues.

Atkin Chambers is an 'extremely strong construction set' and is therefore 'well placed to handle complex construction, engineering, infrastructure and energy-related professional negligence disputes.' Nicholas Baatz QC represented the developer in Bullring Ltd Partnership v Laing O'Rourke, which examined the design and construction of the iconic Selfridges store at the Birmingham Bullring. Stephanie Barwise QC is representing a group of survivors, bereaved relatives, and former residents in The Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. Phase 2 of the inquiry is due to commence in 2019 and will involve matters which could eventually give rise to actions for negligence. James Howells QC is leading Lucie Briggs in acting for the first defendant in Premier Inn Hotels Ltd v AP14 Ltd & S&T (UK) Ltd & SD Samuels (Special Projects) Ltd, a £6m claim brought by the hotel chain arising out of the design and specification of the cladding on its hotel at Heathrow.

Brick Court Chambers is an 'exceptional set with truly superb counsel at all levels'. It is noted for its experience in high-profile cases involving film finance investment schemes, as well claims involving auditors, solicitors, brokers and financial services professionals. Tom Adam QC appeared for Ernst & Young in Alton v Ernst & Young, a claim alleging that negligent advice was given to wealthy individuals regarding a film finance, tax-management opportunity. Simon Salzedo QC and Tony Singla defended Grant Thornton in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton, a £50m claim for negligent auditing.

Crown Office Chambers is a 'user-friendly set', with a 'strength and breadth' of 'experienced' professional negligence experts. The Ingenious Litigation is a key mandate for chambers, where Ben Quiney QC is leading Carlo Tackzalski in acting for the accountants. John Greenbourne and Ben Quiney QC were involved in Supreme Court's Perry v Raleys, a landmark case on loss of a chance principles in professional negligence claims against solicitors. The set was recently bolstered by the arrival of leading juniors Ivor Collett and Nicola Atkins from 1 CHANCERY LANE.

Fountain Court Chambers is a 'very professional and commercially-savvy set', with 'strength-in-depth across all levels'. It handles a raft of professional negligence disputes across the legal, construction, tax, property and financial services sectors. Mark Simpson QC appeared in Carlyle Capital Corporation v  Conway, acting for the claimant in its appeal against the dismissal of a $1bn claim made against the directors and investment manager after the company's collapse during the 2008 financial crisis. Anneliese Day QC is acting for more than 100 investors in Investors in the Scotts Atlantic Film Finance Scheme v Andrew Thornhill QC, a high-profile case alleging negligent advice.

Wilberforce Chambers is commended for its 'enormous strength-in-depth' and although it is the 'market leader in the pensions field', it is 'starting to become the pre-eminent set for property disputes' and is therefore well placed to deal with professional negligence claims in the pensions and property space. The set handles claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, actuaries, construction professionals, pensions professionals, finance practitioners, company directors, and insurance brokers. John Wardell QC is acting for the defendant bank in N v RBS, which examines duties owed by bankers when money laundering is suspected. Elsewhere, Jonathan Seitler QC acted for the defendant solicitors in Barker v Baxendale Walker, a claim relating to a £40m trust.

2 Temple Gardens has 'excellent experience in professional negligence work' and it is regularly involved in disputes concerning solicitors and barristers; insurance and financial services professionals; architects and engineers; surveyors and valuers; and a range of other construction and design professionals. Charles Dougherty QC acted in Court of Appeal case Schubert Murphy v Law Society, which examined the duty of care owed by the solicitors' representative body to its members and the public. Also of note, Neil Moody QC is acting for the developer in Ramvel v Countryside Properties, a subcontractors' negligence case.

7 King's Bench Walk's experience in professional negligence is 'very impressive' and its barristers are 'very robust and rigorous', according to clients. Members are experienced in complex disputes involving auditors, accountants, solicitors, and financial services professionals. As an example, Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC appeared on behalf of Manchester Building Society in the Court of Appeal case of Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton, a high-profile auditors negligence claim. Elsewhere, James Brocklebank QC successfully struck out a claim against Ernst & Young in Cunningham v Ernst & Young, which alleged conspiracy between EY, Bank of Scotland, and former company directors, resulting in loss to the value of a company.

Hardwicke is a set that is 'going from strength to strength'. Its members handle a raft of negligence instructions involving solicitors, construction and financial professionals. Paul Reed QC is leading David Pliener in acting for the claimant in Volkerfitzpatrick & Keller v Stewart & Harris, a case brought against the engineers following the settlement of the £200m ‘Accolade’ multiparty dispute in 2015. Meanwhile, John de Waal QC is instructed in Harringay Meat Traders Ltd v Ray Stevens, a £7.5m claim against a surveyor in relation to land compulsorily purchased by the London Development Agency.

Keating Chambers is 'outstanding for construction professional negligence cases' and its barristers are praised for their 'skill and approach'. Technology-related claims are also a key area of specialism for the 'formidable set'.  Zagora v Zurich was a key highlight for Jonathan Selby QC, and David Sheard  acted for the architect defending a particularly significant professional negligence claim in Burgess v Lejonvarn.

With 'very experienced barristers', Radcliffe Chambers is regularly engaged on professional negligence disputes involving solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers, financial practitioners, actuaries, pension consultants, accountants, and auditors. Jeremy Cousins QC and Peter Dodge were involved in the high-profile Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya. Also of note, Gary Lidington successfully appeared for the defendant in Stevens v Channon, which was a claim brought to enforce the terms of a settlement agreement following the compromise of professional negligence proceedings.

Serle Court has an 'array of talented barristers' for professional negligence disputes and is regularly involved in complex cases; Philip Jones QC acted for corporate service providers in the Isle of Man in Axiom Legal Financing Fund v Turnstone & Peacock, which examined the management of funds. Elsewhere, Hugh Norbury QC acted for Keoghs LLP, one of three groups of solicitor defendants, in Accident Exchange v McLean, a £127m claim regarding an alleged conspiracy arising out of the conduct of cases involving credit hire insurance claims. Ruth den Besten joined Essex Court Chambers in 2018.

1 Chancery Lane is a 'strong set' for professional negligence matters and its members regularly handle disputes across the legal, property, construction, insurance, and financial services sectors. Members are also noted for their expertise in public sector claims; Andrew Warnock QC appeared in Goman v Stockport where negligence was alleged against social services. Leading juniors Ivor Collett and Nicola  Atkins joined Crown Office Chambers in 2019.

39 Essex Chambers is noted for its 'exceptionally talented' members' professional negligence experience in the construction and engineering fields. In one example, Stuart Catchpole QC and Adam Robb QC appeared in Kier Build Limited v Cameron Taylor One, a claim arising out of the defective design of the car park for a retail complex.

Maitland Chambers houses 'several excellent barristers for professional negligence work'. The set is regularly involved in professional negligence disputes involving accountants, auditors, financial professionals, lawyers, and property professionals.

Selborne Chambers is an 'excellent set for professional negligence' instructions with its members delivering a 'quality service'. They are often engaged on cases involving solicitors, valuers, accountants and financial services professionals. Nicholas Trompeter is defending the Chief Land Registrar in Dhillon v Barclays Bank & Chief Land Registrar, a claim to rectify the register following a series of mistaken or negligent property transfers. P & P Property Ltd v Owen White and Catlin and Crownvent, an appeal concerning property identity fraud, was a notable case for Gary Blaker QC.

XXIV Old Buildings handles a range of complex professional negligence cases involving lawyers, accountants, auditors, surveyors, valuers and trustees. The set is 'experienced' and has 'excellent individuals' for such disputes. Jackson & Money v Gershinson & Others was a key case for Francis Tregear QC, while Helen Galley appeared in Southwark Living v Cramer Pelmont, a claim against solicitors which alleged failure to protect the client's position.

One Essex Court's members are regularly instructed on professional negligence disputes involving solicitors, accountants, actuaries, auditors and financial services professionals. Alexander Polley is instructed in Boubyan v Various, a case against a number of professionals and fiduciaries arising out of poorly invested funds; audit negligence claim Moorhouse v PwC was also a recent highlight for the junior barrister.

Outer Temple Chambers is 'outstanding on pensions-related professional negligence claims' and its members are noted for their experience in disputes involving trusts and financial services professionals. Andrew Spink QC is acting for IB Maroc which brought a counterclaim in Dell Emerging Markets (EMEA) v IB Maroc, a case regarding alleged failings in Dell's design and implementation of a major IT project. Pensions-related professional negligence dispute Re CRAFT is a key case for Lydia Seymour.

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