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  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers:

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Who Represents Who

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The β€˜very professional’ team at Clyde & Co LLP has β€˜great experience and sector knowledge’, β€˜broad experience across a range of professions’ and is β€˜outstanding in defendant professional negligence cases’. The team acts for a range of major insurers, as well as major national and international professional organisations; AIG, Markel Insurance, Aviva. Allianz and WR Berkley are clients. The β€˜brilliant’ Simon Konsta and Tom White, who has a β€˜fantastic eye for detail’, acted for for CBRE in a Β£260m claim concerning the alleged over-valuation of a portfolio of 37 commercial properties. Fergal Cathie, who has a β€˜razor sharp legal mind’, defended an international law firm in a breach of duty case regarding advice relating to the enforcement of a €20m commercial loan by its Paris office. Sarah Clover, who heads the firm’s professional and financial disputes team, is β€˜a "go-to" litigator for heavyweight, high value claims’ and is β€˜exceptional on lawyers’ liability cases’. Andrew Blair is managing partner of the UK professional and financial disputes team and heads the brokers’ liability group. Head of the lawyers’ liability group, Richard Harrison is β€˜cool under pressure’ and Neil Jamieson is particularly noted for real estate-related matters. Richard Moody leads the construction liability team and Jonathan Brown is also noted for construction-related matters. The β€˜astute’ James Roberts heads the accountants’ liability group. Mark Sutton and Stuart Hall are also recommended, while associate May Ahmed and legal directors Chris Dunlop, Karen Boto and Nicole McKinnon are also singled out. Bryn Hodges and Helen Rowlands were promoted to partner in 2016. Gaby Kaiser joined Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Mayer Brown International LLP is β€˜one of the pre-eminent firms for professional negligence work’ and its β€˜formidable team’ is β€˜exceptional in complex, high-value claims’ and β€˜adept at cross-border instructions across a range of professions’. Clients include QBE, Markel International, Graham Thompson, Beazley, Knight Frank and AIG. The β€˜astute and authoritative’ William Glassey is β€˜unrivalled in intellectual firepower’ and jointly heads the practice with the β€˜brilliant’ Michael Regan, who is β€˜outstanding on construction disputes’. Regan is handling various claims for Kier, including the recovery of costs associated with rectifying extensive damage to the car park at the Castlepoint shopping centre, as well as a claim arising out of the design and construction of Hairmyres Hospital in Scotland. Sean Connolly is β€˜an exceptional lawyer’ and is particularly noted for his expertise in disputes in the financial sector. Jim Oulton is defending allegations of negligence and dishonesty made against two BDO partners concerning the administration and sale of a hotel. Tom Duncan is advising Costain and its insurers on matters relating to three microbiological treatment plants and four IVC plants in Manchester, which are part of a significant waste-to-energy project. Lindsay McQuillian is β€˜very experienced’; Ingrid Hobbs is β€˜exceptional’; Mandip Sagoo is β€˜a real star performer’; Angus Duncan is β€˜strong’; and Tom Duncan and Sally Davies are particularly noted for construction-related cases. Jonathan Stone was promoted to the partnership in 2017. Senior associates Matthew Williams and James Morris, and associate Hannah Cartwright are other names to note.

CMS has β€˜a fantastic reputation’ for handling work concerning various professional services sectors. The team, which is based across the firm’s London, Bristol, and other UK offices, stands out for its β€˜vast geographical reach’ and its β€˜in-depth sector expertise’. Department head Ed Foss has β€˜a wealth of experience’ and β€˜vast knowledge’. Martin Fox specialises in construction professional indemnity claims and acted for Galliford Try Infrastructure in a dispute pertaining to an Β£18m claim brought by the owners of Broadway Plaza, a development on the site of a former children’s hospital in Birmingham. The β€˜first-rate’ Monica Lesny defended Nick O’Reilly, the former joint administrator of Sixty UK, in a dispute pertaining to professional indemnity issues brought by the liquidators for alleged negligence in the conduct of an administration. Stephen Netherway heads the firm’s financial institutions insurance group and is acting for Spire Healthcare in a Β£10m coverage dispute with its insurer, RSA. Insurance head Alex Denslow is representing Miles Smith and its insurers in a case against Clearway Drainage Systems. In Bristol, Cheryl Gibson specialises in advising construction professionals and insurance brokers and Zoe Burge is also noted. Other key team members include Stephen Tester, who is β€˜exceptional in construction cases’; the β€˜fantastic’ Simon Garrett; Anna Crew, who leads the solicitors’ negligence team; and of counsels Neil Beighton, Martin Davis, and Sarah Hyde. Senior associate Thomas Pangbourne is also singled out. Belinda Schofield left the firm in 2016.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team has β€˜in-depth market knowledge’, provides β€˜very good response times’ and is β€˜client friendly’. Its expertise spans disputes in the legal, construction, technology, financial and insurance industries. Head of the D&O and financial institutions practice Will Allison, who is β€˜very responsive’, is acting for the D&O insurer of the directors of a fund management company facing various criminal investigations instigated by Germany’s Public Prosecutor related to cum/ex trading involving several investment banks. The β€˜brilliant’ Ross Risby is representing Markel Insurance, Brit Insurance, Liberty Speciality Markets and Chubb in a case pertaining to fraudulent acts committed by an employee of a solicitor’s firm in the Isle of Man. Other names to note include head of professional risk Patrick Hill, who is β€˜calm under pressure’, Michael Blackburne, who is β€˜first-rate for construction matters’, Hans Allnutt who is the head of cyber and data risk, Mark Roach, who is noted for construction and engineering disputes, head of accountancy Richard Highley, Phil Murrin, who is experienced in defending claims against solicitors, and the β€˜highly regarded’ Julian Miller. Trevor Chamberlain is now a consultant and Evi Hava moved in-house with the RenaissanceRe Group.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is particularly noted for its β€˜exceptional’ expertise in financial services professional negligence and mis-selling claims, and is β€˜a leading firm in insurance litigation’. The team is also experienced in claims involving pensions, accountancy, tax, legal, technology and construction professionals, and acts for a range of key insurers, as well as blue-chip corporate clients. The team is representing PwC in two High Court actions: litigation pertaining to a professional negligence and conspiracy claim arising from the collapse of Keydata Investment Services, and a dispute concerning a professional negligence and breach of contract claim brought by John Hargreaves (the founder of Matalan) relating to tax advice. Goldman Sachs International, Barbican Insurance, Willis Tower Watson and Marsh are also clients. Paul Lewis leads the global contentious insurance and reinsurance practice and handles cases for solicitors and pension advisers. David Reston is β€˜first-class’ for complex-high value disputes, particularly involving solicitors’ negligence. Tom Leech QC is β€˜very able’, and Sarah McNally and Harry Edwards are also noted. Mark Shillito heads the firm’s UK and US dispute resolution practice and John Corrie was recently promoted to partner. Ian Gatt QC recently joined Stewarts Law LLP.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, the β€˜technically astute and commercial’ team has a β€˜deservedly excellent reputation’ for professional negligence work, handling claims against solicitors, actuaries, other pension professionals, property professionals, insurance brokers and accountants. Willis Tower Watson is a client. Practice head Nicholas Heaton, who is β€˜very clever and a strategist who combines an overall view with an eye for the detail’, specialises in claims against lawyers, professionals involved in pensions schemes and accountants. Angela Dimsdale Gill, who is β€˜tenacious, never gives up on a case and really fights the client’s corner’, acts for claimants and defendants, with a particular specialism in claims arising from the pensions sector. Ruth Grant is β€˜very experienced’ and senior associate Nathan Sherlock is β€˜bright, organised and hardworking’ and acts for a number of law firms.

Kennedys’ group has β€˜vast experience across a range of professional negligence specialisms’, including disputes pertaining to the legal, technology, construction, financial and insurance sectors. AIG, XL Catlin, RSA and Allianz are clients. The β€˜very experienced’ John Eastlake jointly heads the team with Manchester-based Jeremy Riley. Martin Chesher is particularly noted for solicitors’ negligence cases and is defending Travelers and its insured solicitors against a claim brought by the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 (in liquidation). Tom Stapleton, who has β€˜in-depth expertise’, represented Wilkins Kennedy and various insurers in a High Court case against Harlequin relating to an overseas property investment scheme. The team also includes Simon Gibson, who is β€˜a true expert’, the β€˜excellent’ Catherine Shuttleworth, David Wilkinson, who is β€˜first-rate’, and Fleur Rochester, who is particularly experienced in construction disputes and claims against brokers. Christopher Butler joined from RPC in 2016, and senior associate Laura Hurst is also recommended.

RPC’s team, which is based across the firm’s London and Bristol offices, is β€˜one of the most efficient, effective and market aware firms for professional negligence litigation’ and fields a range of β€˜astute and adept litigators’. Its expertise spans disputes pertaining to the legal and construction sectors, as well as those involving financial risks, and tech and cyber issues. AIG, Axis Capital, QBE, Libra Insurance Services, Aon and Liberty Speciality Markets are clients. Practice head Tim Bull is defending ConfiΓ nce against a Β£40m claim. Paul Castellani, who β€˜can get to the bottom of any tricky problem extremely quickly’, defended Arch Insurance Company against a Β£5m claim. Alexandra Anderson heads the insurance construction team, where Alan Stone is also very active; Stone defended Colliers International in a dispute before the Commercial Court pertaining to a claim brought by White Tower regarding the valuation of a portfolio of Central London office buildings. Simon Greenley is particularly active in capital markets and financial services disputes, head of insurance Simon Laird specialises in claims against accountants and independent financial advisers, Nick Bird β€˜fights cases hard’, and James Wickes is β€˜a rising star’. Laura Stocks is focused on defending complex and high value claims against solicitors and fellow senior associate Tom Green is experienced in construction-related disputes.

Simmons & Simmons’ team is β€˜an excellent choice for complex, high-value cases’, where it stands out for its β€˜industry expertise, acumen and clout’. It specialises in claims against brokers, accountants, surveyors, valuers, actuaries, lawyers, construction professionals and IT consultants. Insurance head James Pollock provides β€˜real care and attention to clients’ and focuses on defending solicitors, construction professionals and brokers in complex, high-value claims. Colin Passmore has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ and handles disputes involving accountancy professionals and solicitors. Simon Hilditch is β€˜a strong technical resource’ and handles financial liability matters and Carol Hewson specialises in commercial real estate and related professional negligence claims. Recently promoted partner Felix Zimmermann is also recommended alongside of counsel Jeremy Roberts. The β€˜highly rated’ Emily Monastiriotis who is β€˜excellent in construction disputes’ recently joined the team from Bond Dickinson LLP. Emma Kendrick-Jones is now in-house with AIG.

Taylor Wessing LLP is β€˜a pre-eminent firm for claims against auditors and accountants with unrivalled expertise and experience in this field’. The group focuses on complex and high-profile claims and regulatory investigations, and it β€˜gets on with the job in a thoroughly professional, determined and "unflashy" manner’. The team defended PwC against a Β£1.6bn claim arising out of the collapse of the sub-prime lender, Cattles and its trading subsidiary, Welcome Financial Services. It is also advising PwC and one of its retired partners in relation to disciplinary complaints brought by the Financial Reporting Council following its investigation into the audit of Connaught, and represented White Tower 2006-3 in a professional negligence claim against Colliers International (in liquidation) arising out of the valuation of a London property portfolio. Shane Gleghorn heads the disputes and investigations practice, and Andrew Howell, who is β€˜vastly experienced, a superb team leader and is completely unflappable’ leads the professional services group and has β€˜vast experience’ in claims and regulatory investigations involving the accountancy profession. Julian Randall is also β€˜fantastic for accountancy disputes’ and is β€˜extremely clever, a deep strategic thinker, utterly reliable and has excellent judgement’. Stephen Flaherty is β€˜outstanding’, Laurence Lieberman is noted for his financial disputes experience, and senior associates Stuart Broom and James Bryden are also recommended.

BLM has β€˜a highly commercial approach to dispute resolution’ and the β€˜approachable and friendly’ team includes β€˜true specialists in professional negligence work’. The group is adept at defending trade unions, as well as clients from a range of sectors, including education, legal, accounting and other financial services, and construction. Highlights included defending Imperial College London in High Court proceedings brought by a former lecturer, which includes a claim for negligence. The Bar Standards Board, Zurich, RSA, Aviva, Travelers and Unison are also clients. Practice head Elliot Pound is β€˜insightful’, consultant Charlotte Capstick is β€˜immensely experienced, calm, authoritative and shrewd’ and is experienced in property and legal professional indemnity, and Martin Jensen has notable expertise advising on policy coverage. Michael Harvey is β€˜always prepared to go the extra mile’, and Richard Wilkins is β€˜cerebral with excellent legal knowledge and is particularly good at coming up with creative solutions to procedural and tactical challenges’ and is noted for his experience handling disputes pertaining to the education sector. Peter Stockill, Keith Lonsdale and Michael Salau are experienced in construction disputes, and Alex Traill handles professional indemnity, D&O and financial lines claims. Ross Baker joined from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2017. Associates GeneviΓ¨ve Rich, Andrew Layton-Morris and Katherine Heath are also noted.

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP provides β€˜quick and efficient responses’ and β€˜clear and concise’ advice. The team has β€˜in-depth experience in the construction sector’, but also has considerable experience handling disputes involving accountants, acturies, auditors, lawyers, brokers, D&O issues, financial institutions and trustees. Clients include Aviva, CNA Hardy, RSA, Kier, Arup, Capita and First Title. Practice head Antony Smith acts for construction professionals and insurers, and is supported by Sheena Sood, who specialises in claims for construction professionals. Damian McPhun specialises in claims against IFAs, investment managers, accountants, actuaries and other professionals associated with the financial services sector, Ed Anderson is β€˜very knowledgeable and experienced’ and handles claims involving complex tax and pension issues, Stephen Reilly has β€˜a good way of communicating complex issues in a simple and understandable format’ and Heidi Kapadia is also recommended. Ian Masser and Nathan Modell were recently promoted to the partnership.

DWF’s group is β€˜experienced’ in handling construction, engineering, legal, financial and insurance disputes, and its clients include XL Catlin, Novae, MS Amlin and Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund. Antony Marsh heads the team and is focused on the construction and engineering sector. John Bennett is noted for his expertise in solicitors’ negligence and recently represented a law firm in a Court of Appeal case. Andrew Davis handles disputes involving financial services sector companies, actuaries, insurance brokers, surveyors and construction professionals, Harriet Quiney is β€˜experienced, down-to-earth and inspires great confidence’ and is active in disputes in the financial services and pensions sectors, and Joseph Arazi is β€˜calm, authoritative’, has β€˜a great strategic brain’ and is β€˜fantastic in complex, high-value cases’. Other key individuals include the β€˜brilliant’ Alexandra Goddard, Peter Campion, Peter Sewell, John Groome, Mark Klimt, Matthew Olorenshaw, Jacquetta Castle and Simon Durkin. Senior associate Tom Mungovan is also noted. The team has recently been bolstered by the arrival of β€˜good strategist’ Michael Robin, Tim Barr and Joanne Staphnill following its acquisition of Triton Global, as well as the arrival of Simon Gildener from Bond Dickinson LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s β€˜strong and reliable’ team has β€˜excellent knowledge and understanding of complex issues’, and is β€˜highly professional, diligent, thorough and efficient’. It handles a range of disputes, notably those involving insurance brokers, accountants, lawyers and construction professionals. Headline matters include representing Aon in Part 8 proceedings relating to the validity of the governing documents of the Wandel & Goltermann Retirement Benefits Scheme. JLT Group, HCC International Insurance Company, KPMG, XL Catlin, and Lockton Companies are clients. Practice head Simon Brooks is β€˜very loyal and very hardworking’ and defends claims against insurance brokers, lawyers, accountants and construction professionals; Matthew Allen is experienced in handling accountants’ negligence cases; Paula Gaddum is β€˜first-class’ and focuses on disputes involving accountants, solicitors, construction professionals and brokers; Claire Carroll is β€˜highly regarded’ and defends claims brought against pensions professionals, trustees and advisers; and Jennifer Miles has expertise handling disputes involving professional advisers including pension consultants, actuaries and accountants. Recent hires, including the arrival of Frank Thompson from K&L Gates, have β€˜given the firm’s insurance practice added depth and breadth’. Principal associates; Kate Hill and Christopher Ives, who is based in Manchester, are also recommended.

The team at Fieldfisher has β€˜wide experience’ and handles a range of cases involving solicitors, and construction, property, accountancy and financial services professionals. The team is representing a client in a claim against its former solicitors arising out of a Β£750m property transaction, and is also acting in a professional negligence dispute against a firm of solicitors arising from the terms of a lease of substantial central London offices. Owen Talfan-Davies has β€˜in-depth expertise in property-related negligence work’ and β€˜is a man you want on your side’; Colin Gibson is β€˜incisive, has good commercial judgement’ and is β€˜personally charming, but also tough and single-minded in pursuit of his clients’ interests’; Jonathan Ray-Smith regularly acts for claimant banks, particularly in cases against surveyors and also acts for corporate and individual clients in cases against lawyers and accountants; Simon Moore specialises in disputes for and against high-net-worth individuals and has β€˜great judgement, great vision’ and is β€˜a delight to work with’; Louise Elmes leads the engineering, projects and construction disputes team; and Tony Lewis is β€˜level-headed, an experienced operator’ and is β€˜intelligent and creative, and thinks strategically about cases’.

HFW handles β€˜high-profile and difficult work with ease’ and focuses on defending high-value, complex claims against professionals, including claims against accountants, auditors, brokers, insolvency practitioners and lawyers. Andrew Bandurka is β€˜a good team leader with good judgement’ and specialises in defending professional negligence claims against insurance and reinsurance brokers; Nigel Wick is β€˜effective, experienced and knowledgeable, and has a realistic appreciation of the issues facing his clients’. Costas Frangeskides, David Robinson and Christopher Cardona, who heads the firm’s insurance and reinsurance global group, are also noted. Christopher Foster joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Adam Strong was a recent arrival from Gowling WLG. John Barlow is now based in the firm’s Dubai office. Graham Denny and Paul Wordley joined EC3 Legal in 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright has β€˜a fantastic practice’ and its β€˜experienced’ team is β€˜flexible and able to adapt to the needs of the particular case’. It is noted for its β€˜strong’ expertise in the financial services sector, and regularly advises clients on professional liability issues in this space. Headline work includes representing Gemini in its high-value professional negligence claim against CBRE and Warwick Street relating to property valuations. Beazley, Brit Insurance, Hyperion, Liberty Speciality Markets, Lloyds Bank and Marsh are also clients. Liam O’Connell is β€˜one of the best lawyers in the field’, Paul Morris β€˜stays calm in the face of attempts by the other side to create turmoil, and is great at managing a large team of solicitors and counsel’, Kirsty Hick is β€˜outstanding’, Susan Dingwall is β€˜a calm and reassuring presence to clients’, and Ffion Flockhart is also noted. Senior associate Helen Fairhead is β€˜a real star in the making, intelligent, dedicated and a fighter and able to stand up to the most aggressive opponents’. Deirdre Walker heads the dispute resolution group. Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜highly skilled team’ has β€˜considerable strength-in-depth’, β€˜a client-focused approach’, and is β€˜commercially astute’. It acts for insureds and insurer clients as defendants and claimants, and its expertise spans financial services, pensions, legal, construction, technology and tax disputes. Nick Bradley and Jason Collins jointly head the team. Stuart McNeill handles financial services matters and represented Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) in purusing a valuation claim against the German banking group, DZ Bank and a high-value negligence claim against its collateral manager, Bank of New York Mellon. Zurich, Argo International, Ulster Bank, Inter Hannover, Chubb and RSA are also clients. Pensions litigation head Isabel Nurse-Marsh is β€˜tenacious, hardworking, and goes to great lengths to get the best for her clients’ and Colin Read has β€˜vast knowledge and experience of the engineering and construction sectors’. Recently promoted partner Ian Birdsey combines a β€˜sensible commercial approach with a keen eye for detail’ and handles TMT and cyber matters, and Neal Morris heads the construction advisory and disputes team. Jim Cormack and Jonathan Fortnam are also recommended. Legal director Michael Fletcher is β€˜sharp’ and has broad expertise, and fellow legal director Chamika Hand is experienced in D&O liability.

Reed Smith LLP handles a range of professional negligence matters in the technology, construction, legal and financial services sectors. The team is representing QBE and other insurers in litigation pertaining to the collapse of the Cologne metro, and is defending De Villiers Chartered Surveyors against three professional negligence claims concerning alleged overvaluations of high-end residential properties in London. Amec Foster Wheeler, Mott MacDonald, BASF and The Griffin Insurance Association are also clients. Department head Nick Speed is β€˜excellent’ in disputes in the construction, engineering and technology sectors; Patrick Beale is β€˜first-rate’ for barristers’ and solicitors’ defence work; β€˜insurance expert β€˜Margaret Campbell defends brokers and solicitors; Charles Hewetson is β€˜highly regarded’ and handles claims against lawyers, accountants, and financial institutions. Senior associates Louise Ioannides and Simon Greer are also noted. Jane Howard joined from Gowling WLG in 2017.

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜reliable’ and β€˜innovative’ department is β€˜pure class, a team of the highest quality, offering a tailored service with complete discretion’. It acts for claimants and defendants in a range of complex professional negligence cases. Highlights included defending a large professional services firm of auditors, tax advisers and insolvency practitioners against a claim of alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and breach of contract; and representing a fine art dealer in a Β£14m claim against its former solicitors in the Commercial Court. The β€˜extremely experienced and shrewd’ Roland Foord and Stephen Roberts, who has the β€˜ability to own a case and empathise with the client’, jointly head the team. Andrew Myers has β€˜boundless enthusiasm’, β€˜great attention to detail and considerable tenacity’ and a specific focus on property disputes. Tony Woodcock specialises in professional standards within the financial services sector and Richard Garcia, who is β€˜energetic, imaginative and has excellent client skills’, is noted for banking, asset management and financial services matters. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Helena Berman, who is experienced in pensions, trusts, legal and tax cases, from Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.

Ashurst’s β€˜impressive’ department includes β€˜a number of very experienced litigators, who are also a pleasure to work with’ and specialises in handling a variety of negligence disputes for clients in the financial services sector. The group defended Daiwa Capital Markets Europe against a $200m claim for breach of duty and dishonest assistance by Singularis Holdings and is defending Gala Coral against a Β£2m claim brought by Nadia Isaacs alleging a duty of care breach. Practice head James Levy β€˜often brings a different perspective to strategic decisions’; Lynn Dunne regularly acts for large financial institutions and insolvency practitioners; and Edward Sparrow is another key name. Senior associate Lauren Bernard β€˜doesn’t shy from taking the big decisions, and is also on top of the detail’.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s professional negligence team has β€˜heaps of experience’ and β€˜an attentive and proactive’ approach, and acts for a range of insurer clients. It is representing insurers in a claim brought by a UCIS against a firm of solicitors, and in a dispute pertaining to a Β£3.5m claim pursued against a firm of accountants, acting as auditors, concerning the alleged failure to advise on the solvency of a company following a Β£6m share sale by the company’s sole director that was funded entirely by a loan from the company. Head of insurance disputes Sushma MacGeoch is β€˜a good strategist and excellent negotiator’; Jane Williams, who is β€˜a true star’, advises insurers on professional negligence coverage issues and defends claims against solicitors, brokers and accountants; and construction disputes head Hannah Cane defends claims pursued against solicitors, management consultants, and clients in the property, construction and financial services sectors. Southampton-based James Robins and legal director Dan Hall are other names to note. Emily Monastiriotis moved to Simmons & Simmons, Simon Gildener joined DWF, and Ross Baker is now with BLM.

β€˜Insurance specialists’ Ince & Co regularly defends professional negligence claims brought against professionals and their insurers, and has a focus on the legal and insurance brokerage industries, as well as acting for ship surveyors and managers in maritime negligence cases. The team is acting for individuals insured with Chubb in a a dispute pertaining to a $16m claim against two former directors, relating to the liquidation of the South of England P&I club. The Griffin Insurance Association, Ed Broking, Meinl Bank, International Transport Intermediaries Club and Lamp Insurance are also clients. David Rutherford is experienced in defending solicitors in professional negligence cases, and Simon Cooper is noted for his expertise in acting for insurance brokers. Ben Ogden and insurance department head Chris Jefferis jointly head the team.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s β€˜impressive’ team is β€˜professional and forward thinking’ and handles claims involving lawyers, financial services and construction professionals, and insurance brokers, and is increasingly active in advising on risks in the technology sector. It defended a mid-sized firm of accountants in a dispute pertaining to advice given in relation to the settlement of two Jersey trusts. Pembroke Managing Agency, PartnerRe, Nexus, Hamilton, XL Catlin, and Collegiate are also clients. Practice head Neil Davis is β€˜first-rate’; he defends claims against insurance brokers and has a developing practice in handling cases involving technology and life sciences companies. Head of the firm’s construction and engineering risks practice Nicolas Oldham handles disputes and claims against construction professionals, including surveyors and valuers. Head of financial claims Virginia Hickley has recently handled several tax avoidance claims. Paul Spibey defends claims brought against a range of professionals, and is particularly active in acting for clients in the financial services sector. Consultant Harriet Strevens has β€˜vast experience’.

Plexus Law is β€˜a heavyweight in professional negligence litigation’ and β€˜brings a meticulous eye for detail’ and β€˜a robust approach to litigation’. The team’s expertise includes handling professional negligence cases involving solicitors, valuers, construction professionals, surveyors and clients in the financial services sector. It defended Greenhalgh Financial Services and its professional indemnity insurers against a Β£1m claim, and defended RSA against allegations of negligent advice concerning a compulsory purchase compensation claim. Peter Court has β€˜an excellent commercial feel, and a first-rate understanding of his client’s needs’ and Simon Beckwith, whose β€˜attention to detail is meticulous and advice on legal issues and tactics first-rate’, jointly head the team. Mark Ratcliff handles claims against accountants, actuaries, IFAs, insurance and mortgage brokers, trustees of occupational pension schemes, fund administrators and managers; Gary Thwaites is experienced in defending claims against architects, engineers and other construction professionals; Gary Wicks handles claims against architects, engineers, M&E engineers, quantity surveyors and other construction professionals.

Weightmans LLP’s team is β€˜a growing force’, which β€˜combines a strong regional presence with London market expertise’. It handles claims against construction professionals, IFAs, and property professionals, and also advises on coverage issues. Quentin Fox is β€˜commercial and good under pressure’ and has experience in defending claims against clients in the construction industry, including architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and contractors, and claims brought against financial advisers, and also handles policy coverage disputes. Ed Lewis specialises in policy coverage advice and related disputes, and acts exclusively for insurers, with a particular focus on insurance issues pertaining to the construction, technology and professional services sectors. Robert Crossingham has particular expertise in matters concerning property and financial transactions. Associate James Denison is also recommended. National head of professional risks Mike Grant is based in Liverpool.

Withers LLP’s team has β€˜an established expertise in this field, acting for individual claimants, and for defendants’, and it brings β€˜strong, stable, competent and calm representation to any claim or defence’. The team is highly regarded for its work in defending barristers, on the instruction of insurer, Bar Mutual, and also acts for claimants in matters against a range of professionals. Department head Christopher Coffin β€˜is a good person to have on high-profile, high-value cases which require a calm head and a willingness to take on the opposition’. Associate Caroline Thompson is β€˜one to watch, providing really skillful and measured input’. Special counsel Eleni Polycarpou is β€˜an excellent lawyer who combines strong forensic analysis with brilliant people skills’.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s team provides β€˜sensible, measured and thoughtful advice’ and has β€˜extensive knowledge of the insurance market’. It handles cases involving the insurance brokerage, construction, financial services, legal and technology sectors, among others. Michael Howard has β€˜a wealth of experience in professional negligence’ and handles claims made against construction professionals, insurance brokers, accountants and solicitors and has developed expertise in cases involving the emerging professions. Jim Hobsley’s β€˜depth of knowledge and mastery of a case is impressive’; he acts for solicitors, barristers, accountants, surveyors and patent and trade mark attorneys. Head of the financial and professional risks group Jonathan Newbold specialises in claims with a financial services or management liability element, as well as handling policy coverage matters. Associate Rhys Davies is also recommended. Head of business and professional risk Derek Bambury is β€˜superb’. Colin Peck and Francis Mackie were recent arrivals from Weightmans LLP.

Edwin Coe LLP’s claimant-focused practice is β€˜one of the go-to firms for claims against insurance brokers; it knows the subject inside out’, and provides β€˜a highly commercial service’ and β€˜is able to explain complex legal matters in simple terms’. Michael Whitton has β€˜an instinctive feel for where a case will end up’ and β€˜achieves great results’, Nicola Maher β€˜leaves no stone unturned in her pursuit of her client’s interests’, and Roger Franklin, who is head of insurance litigation, has β€˜an in-depth grasp of the nuances involved’ and is β€˜a solicitor you would be glad to have on your side in a crisis’. Senior associate Kate Dwyer is another key name.

Gowling WLG’s practice is noted for its pensions disputes expertise, acing for accountants, actuaries and other pension professionals, and is also active in construction disputes. It acted for Philips Electronics UK and Philips Pension Trustees in a Β£300m claim against Aon Hewitt and AllianceBernstein, the fund’s investment advisers and investment managers. It is also representing E.On in a dispute pertaining to defects encountered at E.On’s offshore windfarm development, known as Robin Rigg. β€˜Excellent litigator’ Ian Gordon and the β€˜fantastic’ Peter Shave are noted for their expertise in pensions-related cases. Recently promoted director Tim Crockford is β€˜bright, highly capable and very personable’. Former team head Jane Howard joined Reed Smith LLP in 2017, and James Gordon has also left the firm.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s β€˜strong and reliable team’ provides a β€˜superb service’ and stands out for the β€˜interaction and knowledge sharing between lawyers’. It advises a range of professionals, with particular specialisms acting for barristers and dentists, as well as acting for clients in the technology, cyber and construction industries and other areas of the legal profession. The group also handles high-value coverage disputes. Practice head Neil Trayhurn and Dragos Stoica joined from Triton Global in 2017. Andrew SchΓΌtte, who handles claims and coverage matters pertaining to a range of sectors, is β€˜excellent’. Senior associates Dale Hilton, Andrew Hill, who is experienced in cyber-related matters, and Rachel Evans are also singled out. Sarah Naylor, who splits her time between London and Liverpool, is another name to note. Jamie Monck-Mason left the firm to join Willis Towers Watson and Dileep Pisharody joined Rosling King LLP.

Boutique firm Signature Litigation LLP specialises in handling larger, high-value matters, often with a cross-border element, and acts for claimants and defendants. It is representing Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation in pursuing claims against its former solicitors, and acted for Fortelus Special Situations Master Fund and Trimast Holding in a Β£37m claim against an international law firm. Daniel Spendlove represents corporations, financial institutions and directors in professional negligence disputes. Graham Huntley and Abdulali Jiwaji are also recommended.

TLT is β€˜excellent for banking-related professional negligence’ disputes and handles claims against financial advisers, accountants, insurance brokers, claims handlers, tax mitigation advisers, and law firms, and also defends claims against valuer subsidiaries of its banking clients. It acted for a major clearing bank in a professional negligence claim against a property valuer pertaining to the valuation of a care home. RBS, Nationwide Building Society, Paratus AMC, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Santander are clients. Andrew Lyon has β€˜a fantastic claimant practice’ and Peter Richards-Gaskin, who β€˜builds an excellent rapport with clients and can lead a team in the most complex disputes’, is defending a number of large lenders against high-value claims. Recently promoted legal director Nick Curling, and associate Claire Kershaw, who is an β€˜astute lawyer who is totally dedicated to the client’s cause’, are also recommended.

The team at Burges Salmon LLP is based across its London and Bristol offices, and has a predominantly claimant-focused practice, and is adept at bringing cases against companies in the financial, legal, pensions, IT, construction, environment, energy, accountancy and tax sectors, among others. Team head Andrew Burnette is β€˜commercial, effective and on the ball’ and Paul Haggett is β€˜experienced’. The group is acting for Nomura London Retirement Benefits Plan Trustee and Nomura International in a Β£10m claim against Mercer regarding the drafting of pension scheme rules. It is also pursuing a large portfolio of claims for Nationwide Building Society concerning advice provided by surveyors and solicitors’ firms regarding commercial property transactions. The Co-operative Bank, Volvo Group (UK) and Cobb Europe are also clients.

Carter Perry Bailey LLP’s team is β€˜approachable’, β€˜agile and proactive, and moves quickly when needed’. The group handles professional negligence cases for various insurers, and is adept at handling matters involving insurance brokers, solicitors, property agents and financial institutions. AXA Art Insurance, PartnerRe Ireland Insurance, NPA Insurance, DIP Investments and Hampden Group are clients. Practice head Mark Aizlewood is β€˜not afraid of a fight’ and β€˜thinks through the law and tactics clearly, and in advance, enabling clients to gain a tactical edge’. Simon Thomas is β€˜an excellent negotiator and tactician’, β€˜provides calm advice’ and β€˜sticks to his guns’.

Cubism Law is included in the table for the first time following its merger with Neumans LLP. The legacy Neumans LLP team represented Continental Transfert Technique in pursuing a claim for the alleged negligent enforcement of an arbitration award against a law firm. Anjan Patel is β€˜tenacious in the pursuit of his client’s interests’.

The β€˜professional’ team at Fladgate LLP has β€˜good commercial awareness’. The group acts for high-net-worth individuals and companies in claims against solicitors, accountants and construction professionals, and handles defence work for clients including Deloitte and the Medical Defence Union. It is representing a family trust in a claim against a firm of solicitors pertaining to the loss of opportunity to invest in property. Professional negligence head Simon Brew is β€˜very knowledgeable’ and dispute resolution head Simon Ekins is β€˜excellent’. Janet Keeley, Sophia Purkis, Jonathan Hibberts and Digby Hebbard are also noted.

Hamlins LLP’s β€˜quick and efficient’ team predominantly handles claims against law firms, accountants, financial advisers, trustees, and construction professionals, including surveyors and civil engineers. European Land & Property, Triple Point, ICF Group and VolkerFitzpatrick are clients. Head of litigation Amanda Burge β€˜has superior strategic insight and considers all options and the impact of any steps on other related proceedings’.

Healys LLP handles claimant work for clients in disputes against a range of professions, including solicitors, valuers, architects, IFAs, construction and financial services professionals. The team is acting for a private individual in a claim against its former solicitors regarding alleged failure to deal with an employment claim, and represented Dreamvar (UK) in a claim against two firms of solicitors concerning a fraudulent property transaction. Dispute resolution head Robert Johnson is β€˜bright, commercial and manages to master the detail while at the same time being focused entirely on the commercial aims of the client’. Jerome O’Sullivan is β€˜tenacious and a strong negotiator’. David Bailey joined from Shakespeare Martineau LLP in 2016.

Irwin Mitchell handles claimant instructions against surveyors, financial services advisers and solicitors. HSBC, RBS and Kleinwort Benson are clients. Practice head Jonathan Sachs is β€˜super experienced and massively knowledgeable’ and, according to one client, β€˜his number should be the first dialed for anyone who becomes involved in a professional negligence case’.

With offices in London, Bermuda and the US, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran and Arnold LLP acts for insurers in a range of professional negligence cases, primarily those involving companies in traditional sectors, but is increasingly handling disputes pertaining to cyber liability issues. It is handling coverage and strategy issues for Beazley relating to a claim made against an offshore law firm. Karen Morrish who handles defence and coverage work relating to cases involving lawyers, accountants and insurance intermediaries, Tristan Hall, who handles coverage work relating to fund managers, and advises insurers on cyber liability issues, and Edward Smerdon, who is instructed on coverage issues relating to financial lines claims, are the practice co-heads.

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Legal Developments in London for Professional negligence

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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