Professional negligence in London
With a huge team of lawyers based across the firm's extensive network of offices in the UK and around the world, Clyde & Co LLP’s professional negligence team ‘knows the market backwards’. The group handles some of the most complex claims in the field and counts Big Four accountants, magic circle law firms and multinational insurance brokers amongst its client base. Richard Harrison heads the firm’s liability, regulatory and investigations group and has a track record of cases in the country's highest courts. Sarah Clover, described as the ‘pre-eminent practitioner in this field in London’, specialises in claims against the legal profession; she is the first point of contact for a number of top City, national and US law firms. Andrew Blair has experience of defending claims against solicitors, insurance brokers, surveyors and accountants. Simon Konsta, who stepped down as the firm’s senior partner in 2019, has extensive experience of defending global and domestic investment services firms. Neil Jamieson specialises in claims involving real estate issues.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Clover; Andrew Blair; Simon Konsta; Neil Jamieson; Fergal Cathie; Mark Sutton; Jonathan Brown; Tim Crockford; Angus Duncan; Bryn Hodges; Mandip Sagoo; Tom White; Karen Boto; Nicole McKinnon; Tabitta Van Nouhuys; Niya Phiri; Ivan Wilkinson; William Glynn; Natalia Jeremiah; David Milner; Alex Oldershaw; Ian Birdsey
‘Probably the pre-eminent firm in London for high value prof neg work, specialising in complex litigation involving lawyers, financial advisers, pensions advisers, accountants and valuers. Have been at the top of the profession for many years. The partners are enormously experienced and know the market backwards. I could not recommend them more highly.’
‘Sarah Clover is perhaps the preeminent practitioner in this field in London today.’
‘Andrew Blair is robust and has excellent judgement, will always take a case to trial where that is justified – and win.’
‘Fergal Cathie is unflappable, remorseless in his pursuit of the client’s objectives.’
‘Neil Jamieson is a superb orchestrator of complex litigation.’
‘Sarah Clover is first class – thoughtful, clever and responsive. There is no one better. She has also recruited some excellent people around her. Helen Rowlands is also definitely a star cut from the same thoughtful and careful cloth as Sarah Clover. Diligent and determined, she won’t let us be pushed around and she has great judgement.’
‘High quality of advice delivered in a timely and digestible manner, with the ability to highlight the key areas of the argument promptly.’
‘Ian Birdsey has deep industry knowledge, lots of experience and is very commercial.’
Dentons Europe LLP
- Advised Dentons Europe LLP on the defence of a claim for losses arising out of investments made in a gold recovery investment scheme. The Claimants alleged that the scheme was in fact fraudulent, and that they relied on the involvement of the law firm and representations made by it in deciding to invest in the scheme.
- Advised Dechert on the defence of a claim brought by a former client, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.
Beale & Co’s primary focus is defending claims on behalf of professional firms and their insurers in the construction, engineering, architecture and property advisory sectors. The group also advises on complex coverage disputes both against insureds and between insurers. Peter Sewell and Eileen Pathiraja arrived from DWF in 2019 to strengthen the construction practice; they have both defended some of the sector’s biggest firms in claims based both in the UK and internationally. Antony Smith is a ‘master strategist’ who specialises in disputes arising out of construction contracts and leads large-scale and large-value disputes. Michael Salau’s environmental practice involves advising and defending clients on issues arising from pollution and contamination. Stephen Reilly draws on his previous in-house experience to advise on a range of issues. Ian Masser leads the construction insurance group in London.
‘Beales are an efficient machine and come across as a team in their engagement. Big enough to be capable and still small enough to care. They are personable and respond in a timely manner. The advice is clear and short. Professionals have a habit of repeating what for example the law is, whereas Beales tend to give the advice in a clear and consistent way.’
‘Beales specialises in professional negligence of construction professionals. It is a longstanding and established practice. As such, the firm has a deep knowledge of engineers, architects etc, their businesses, their roles on projects and the challenges they face. They therefore understand the nuances and unique issues that professional face in these types of claims.’
‘Antony Smith is a master strategist and is able to get to the heart of an issue quickly and efficiently.’
‘Beale & Co field an excellent PI practice with some excellent lawyers who are trusted by our insurers and provide a top-drawer service at competitive rates. Beales have taken the time to get to know our business over many years, and now feel like an extended part of our in-house legal team, providing support across a broad range of areas, not just PI.’
‘Antony Smith continues to advise on a number of our major disputes. He is trusted by our insurers, endlessly imaginative when it comes to exploring ADR, and is still willing to get stuck into the detail where necessary.’
‘Ian Masser is a star in the making, very responsive, and has an excellent strategic mind for dispute resolution. He works well with our internal clients, does not sit on the fence and is willing to take a commercial view.’
‘Peter Sewell is very approachable and deals with everything in a straightforward manner.’
‘Ian Masser gives sensible and commercial advice and is not afraid to be honest with clients.’
‘They give pragmatic legal advice and have an understanding of the wide-ranging clients we have. They are responsive and our clients like them.’
‘Stephen Reilly has dealt with a number of large accountants claims for us and has shown his ability to argue our position, but at the same time understand the commercial aspect of insurance and the need in a number of cases to find a commercial agreement between the parties.’
‘Damian McPhun has an overall understanding of the claims environment and the need for commercial as well as pragmatic legal advice.’
Aviva Insurance UK Ltd
RSA Insurance Group
Arup Group Ltd
Jacobs UK Limited
Hardy Underwriting Asia Pte Ltd (CNA Hardy)
Channel Syndicate and Hamilton Syndicate
- Advised a leading international firm of engineers in relation to allegations of defective design arising from the construction of a large-scale transport infrastructure project.
- Advised one of the largest European construction services companies in relation to the defence of claims relating to alleged design issues arising out of a massive transport infrastructure project.
- Advised a UK based business in relation to allegations of negligent advice arising out of a property transaction with sums in dispute in excess of £150m.
CMS handles a broad variety of defendant work, advising some of the largest insurers both on defendant claims on behalf of their clients and in policy coverage disputes. Recently the team has been advising insurers and fire-safety consultants on cladding claims in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy. Ed Foss advises defendant firms of solicitors and their insurers and leads the group across the London and Bristol offices. Martin Fox and Monica Lesny are specialists in construction claims; they defend claims against consulting engineers, architects, design & build contractors, quantity and valuation surveyors and project managers. Tristan Hall defends claims made against professional service firms and directors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive. Provide good solid and pragmatic advice. Take the time to be aligned with their clients needs and strategies. Quality work product tailored to the requirements.’
‘Alex Denslow gives excellent advice and has a pragmatic approach. Very attuned and responsive to clients needs and requirements. Ensures his team provides good advice and support to their clients.’
- Defended a fire strategy engineer in a post-Grenfell cladding claim in relation to a well known hotel chain.
- Advised on a significant number of negligence claims against the prior practices in respect of tax and accountancy advice given pre acquisition.
- Advising Spire Healthcare in respect of alleged medical negligence and fraud of a consultant surgeon. It is anticipated that around 800 patients were impacted.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
The large, highly experienced team at DAC Beachcroft LLP advises insurers and their policyholders in high-value and complex professional negligence disputes across the legal, cyber, construction, technology and insurance sectors. The team regularly handle cases that involve novel points of law and are due to have two cases heard in the Supreme Court in 2020. Head of the global insurance group Liam O’Connell advises on major multi-party and cross-border complex disputes on behalf of insurance brokers, accountants, solicitors and actuaries. Patrick Hill leads the professional and financial lines group and is particularly experienced in matters related to cyber risk. Julian Miller advises insurers both on defending claims and coverage issues; he is regularly instructed by some of the largest insurers on their most complex cases. Matthew Olorenshaw is particularly active within the construction and engineering sphere.
Other key lawyers:
‘Julian Miller is a real market heavyweight, amazingly smooth, highly intelligent and sophisticated.’
‘Philip Murrin is very clever and very experienced; the perfect solicitor for serious insurance/professional negligence cases.’
‘Parminder Badhan is calm, hard-working and intelligent.’
London Market Insurers
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Taxbak Limited and its Professional Indemnity Insurers
Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty
Zurich Insurance plc
AmTrust, Aviva, Axis, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, Beazley, Chubb, Enstar, Markel, MS Amlin, QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited, RiverStone and Travelers
- Advising reinsurers on a policy coverage dispute with a major state owned entity based overseas regarding the scope of cover available to meet costs arising from securities class actions in the USA, Netherlands and other jurisdictions.
- Acting for Norton Rose Fulbright in defending a significant professional negligence claim as part of a £35m claim by ABN Amro Bank NV against London Market Insurers and insurance brokers, in relation to Insurers’ refusal to indemnify the bank’s trading losses.
- Defending a substantial professional negligence claim against accountants Taxbak Limited concerning investments by former clients into high profile tax avoidance schemes, with contested matters including the scope of the duty of care owed to those clients.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, a ‘top firm for high value complex disputes’, is instructed by both insurers and professional services firms to handle claims against insurance brokers, solicitors and financial institutions. The team also specialises in cases against pension advisers and accountants, including tax disputes. David Reston is ‘the individual you want to go to’ for claims involving solicitors and represents multiple UK and international law firms. Sarah McNally is particularly active in the construction, infrastructure, projects and energy arena. ‘Tough negotiator’ Paul Lewis is head of the firm's global contentious insurance practice and pensions disputes group; he also manages the relationship with some of the firm’s key insurance broker clients. Kirsten Massey departed in 2019 to relocate to New Zealand.
‘The top firm for high value complex disputes.’
‘David Reston is the best in the market and the individual you want to go to on those exceptional disputes.’
‘Paul Lewis is a tough negotiator who excels on professional negligence involving pension disputes.’
- Advised UBS in relation to alleged breaches of duty of care.
Hogan Lovells International LLP’s international practice advises on complex claims against solicitors, actuaries, pension professionals, property professionals, insurance brokers and accountants. Department head Nicholas Heaton operates a broad practice and is particularly experienced in pensions-related disputes. Angela Dimsdale Gill leads the firm's pensions litigation practice.
Kennedys has a strong track record for both coverage and defence work across multiple professions including the legal, financial, construction and property sectors. Paul Carter leads the construction offering and cladding group, a significant part of which has been administering training to leading insurers and brokers on the legal issues arising in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy. The arrival of the 'amazing' Paul Castellani from RPC has significantly increased the firm’s offering with regards to claims against solicitors; Castellani acts for many top 100 law firms and their insurers. Simon Gibson advises insurers on coverage issues arising from the VW emissions scandal. Martin Chesher is highly regarded for his work defending claims of solicitor negligence while he is also increasingly specialising in claims against accountants and insolvency practitioners.
Other key lawyers:
‘Caterina Yandell is outstanding. Very responsive, with a sharp and clear understanding of what matters.’
‘The team at Kennedys are bright, thorough and grasp the crux of an issue quickly and when appointed to defend a claim they work closely with the insured to explain the issues clearly to them and any strengths to a defence to be focused upon or, crucially, the potential areas where an exposure may exist and why that is the case. This enables insureds to better understand their own risks.’
‘This is a trusted team and can be relied upon to provide prompt assistance to insureds and whenever appropriate will robustly defend an insured’s position whilst always remaining realistic.’
‘A varied team with vast knowledge and capabilities including offices outside of the UK so they can work with to provide assistance on a claim outside of the UK. They understand the insurance market and how different firms work which can assist on tricky cases with large markets.’
‘Paul Castellani is amazing. He just absorbs information and his attention to the tiniest of details is awesome. I would hate to think I was his opponent.’
‘The firm has some top-flight lawyers whilst not being one of the biggest options out there. This enables them to provide excellent service at a better rate than some of their competitors.’
‘Laura Hurst is an outstanding senior associate who is destined for great things. She is very sharp, grasps the issues and reports in an easy-to-digest fashion.’
‘A strong team with a great deal of experience.’
W R Berkley
- Acted for client in defending an application under s.51 Senior Courts Act 1981 for an order that, as non-party, they should pay the uninsured costs of group litigation awarded against the defendants.
- Represented a Guernsey-based corporate trustee defending claims collectively totalling $40m for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.
- Advised KTD Facades Limited on a cladding dispute in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.
Mayer Brown International LLP exhibits ‘excellence throughout the whole team’ in advising on claims against firms in the legal, construction, accountancy and property sectors. The practice is particularly strong in advising the legal profession and handles claims for magic circle firms, barristers, and their insurers. Practice head William Glassey has a focus on defending claims against professionals including solicitors, barristers, pensions actuaries and property professionals. Michael Regan leads the construction and engineering group in London and advises on claims involving defects in design and workmanship, programming, delays and quantum. Sally Davies, the firm's London managing partner, has a long history of defending chartered surveyors and valuers against claims of negligent valuation. Jim Oulton is recommended for his work for insolvency practitioners, accountants and auditors.
Other key lawyers:
Incredibly meticulous attention to detail and a highly effective team service, combined with sound judgement.’
‘Jim Oulton is exceptionally skilled in ensuring that the last drop of excellence is squeezed out of a case. With excellent judgement and great client skills, he is the go-to lawyer for difficult professional negligence cases and commands deep respect from insurers placing difficult cases.’
‘Excellence throughout the whole team.’
‘A hugely experienced team which really knows what it is doing.’
‘Jim Oulton has huge experience in defending claims against accountants, auditors and insolvency professionals. His understated manner conceals a steely determination to achieve the best possible result for his client, and a brilliant strategic mind.’
Mayer Brown distinguish themselves by their partner-led approach which we demanded and they responded to on some of our major cases. They have an extremely deep pool of associate resources for managing larger cases and small. In the face of hostile litigation, Mayer Brown have stood out with their cool and measured advice, which has placed us in good stead for the cases we are fighting.’
‘Jim Oulton and Tim Shepherd really stood out for us in a large recent case. We have also been blessed by excellent secondees.’
- Advised on the defence of a complex, £250m claim against two BDO Partners.
- Advised Blick Rothenberg and its insurers in the defence of a Part 20 contribution claim being pursued against them by a London law firm.
- Advising Adler Shine on the ongoing defence of a professional negligence claim by the liquidators of a group of companies, in respect of audit work.
RPC uses its ‘expertise across the board’ to advise on significant claims against solicitors, architects, brokers, engineers and accountants. Tim Bull leads the professional and financial risks team, and specialises in acting in disputes advising offshore law firms, corporate service providers and trust companies. ‘Lawyer's lawyer‘ Nick Bird ‘has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’ and advises on some of the largest claims against solicitors in the market. James Wickes is instructed to defend high value and complex claims against financial professionals and institutions. Tom Green is experienced in construction claims, focusing on acting for construction professionals, including both main contractors and specialist subcontractors.
‘ RPC is overall an excellent firm. They combine industry insight with good judgement and a nice team feel. They seem to have a great ethos.’
‘Nick Bird is a lawyer’s lawyer – very cerebral, determined and thoughtful. For matters such as pensions he is excellent and won’t let the client be pushed around.’
‘A very professional, competent and cerebral team combining excellent legal practice with commerciality, which is a rare commodity in most law firms.’
‘RPC’s expertise across the board in the firm is excellent and unparalleled.’
‘Nick Bird has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and a forensic mind.’
- Advised Studio E Architects Limited, the architect appointed in relation to the refurbishment works at Grenfell Tower, in relation to potential systemic cladding related issues.
- Advised Edge in relation to a £35m claim brought by a commodity trading arm of an International bank arising out of the financial default of a counterparty in respect of a cargo of cocoa.
- Advised Navigators in relation to a £16 million claim arising out of a multi-party construction dispute under a Design and Build contract.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons has ‘exceptional knowledge of the professional indemnity field‘ and advises defendants from numerous professions and their insurers. In the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy, the team has developed a particular focus on claims relating to defective cladding and fire safety. Head of the UK insurance and construction team Emily Monastiriotis is a ‘vastly experienced practitioner’ who advises insurers and all areas of the construction industry on a wide range of construction and engineering disputes. James Pollock focuses on defending solicitors, construction professionals and brokers in complex, high-value claims. An experienced litigator, Pollock regularly handles claims that are heard in the High Court. Senior partner Colin Passmore is also a key member of the team, with a specialism in advising accountancy professionals.
‘Very capable team of all levels of experience with strong inter-office links means that cases are well resourced irrespective of the office from which they are operated. Diligent and comprehensive advice provided and a real focus on ensuring that clients’ needs are met.’
‘Jonathan Spencer is a very sharp, focused partner – a pleasure to work with. Organises his team(s) well.’
‘Emily Monastiriotis is a vastly experienced practitioner – her reputation speaks for itself.’
‘Exceptionally good firm with some outstanding individuals, especially on construction matters.’
‘James Pollock, Emily Monastiriotis and Jonathan Spencer are well regarded in the industry and are leaders in their fields.’
‘James Pollock is a titan. In a battle, you would want him on your side.’
‘Emily Monastiriotis is very, very good. Knows her stuff and comes across very level and measured.’
‘Simmons and Simmons has exceptional knowledge of the professional indemnity field and were able to successfully defend me against a claim. At all times their work, knowledge and communication were at a very high level. This particularly showed through at a pre-protocol meeting where they effectively ‘took apart’ the opposing side and demolished their claim quickly and efficiently.’
Beaufort Securities Limited
PartnerRe Ireland Insurance Dac
Nexus Underwriting Limited
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
- Successfully defended CMS in the High Court against a number of complex, high value claims for alleged negligence, breach of contract, breach of confidence and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Advised Beaufort Securities on liability and strategy relating to a Financial Conduct Authority investigation in respect of over 1000 claims of made against an investment manager.
- Acted for the fire engineer in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and are advising on matters reflecting the trend towards actions being brought against insurers and their insureds.
Taylor Wessing LLP's principal focus is defending accountants and auditors in complex, high-profile claims and regulatory investigations. The team advises almost all of the largest UK accountancy firms and is described as ‘far and away the industry leader’ in this regard. Practice head Andrew Howell has been described as ‘the best solicitor in London for accountants defence work’ and is involved in complex professional negligence claims and regulatory investigations. Howell is currently instructed in almost half of all public Financial Reporting Council investigations. Julian Randall uses his experience of practising in foreign jurisdictions to advise on cross-border matters. Senior counsel Stuart Broom has acted on several large-scale regulatory actions, primarily involving the FRC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
‘Probably the best professional negligence service provider for accountants and taxation professionals, with unrivalled depth of knowledge and an incredibly effective delivery machine.’
‘Julian Randall and Andrew Howell head this team and deservedly have the reputation of being the best in the market.’
‘An unrivalled team in claims against accountants and auditors – equipped with a real understanding of the field and able to draw on massive experience.’
‘Julian Randall brings huge experience and brilliant judgement to every case.’
‘The scarily intelligent Andrew Howell is fantastic to work with.’
‘Taylor Wessing has a market-leading professional negligence practice. They are regularly instructed in the leading litigation and regulatory cases, in particular those against accountancy firms.’
‘Julian Randall and Andrew Howell are very experienced at handling disputes on behalf of accountancy firms. They are the ‘go to’ individuals in the City for professional negligence cases and know the area backwards.’
‘Andrew Howell is the best solicitor in London for accountants defence work. He has the full skill set.’
‘My experience of them is in auditors professional negligence. Taylor Wessing is far and away the industry leader in that field in my view; with a massive industry depth of understanding, despite charging rates far below the magic circle firms.’
‘Andrew Howell and Julian Randall are the first-choice auditor professional negligence defence solicitors, working with all the big firms, and with decades of experience. They are hands-on partners who do far more than manage their teams; but are also supported by senior counsel and associates with very significant experience and knowledge of the sector and the issues involved in accounting and auditing disputes.’
‘Julian Randall is a grandee of the sector.’
‘Andrew Howell is a very experienced partner who deals with many of the substantial accounting professional negligence disputes.’
‘Stuart Broom is a senior counsel who will go far.’
Grant Thornton UK LLP
- Acted for Deloitte in the proceedings brought by the Financial Reporting Council relating to its audits of Autonomy Corporation plc.
- Acted for Grant Thornton in successfully defending a c.£50m claim by the Manchester Building Society against its former auditor, in relation to interest rate swap contracts.
- Acted for RSM in relation to disciplinary proceedings arising out of an investigation by the Financial Reporting Council into the audit of Tanfield plc.
BLM’s ‘highly qualified, experienced and approachable’ practice advises major insurance firms and their insureds defending claims from the legal, education, financial services and property sectors. Practice head Elliot Pound is a solicitor-advocate and has acted for numerous universities in relation to claims brought by students relating to lost teaching time caused by mass strike action. Martin Jensen works closely with insurers on policy coverage issues, including notification and aggregation of claims, and the impact of suspected dishonesty on coverage. Alexander Traill handles claims involving insurance intermediaries.
‘They are true experts with long-standing and extensive experience of advising on and defending claims against professionals.’
‘Ross Baker knows professional negligence insideout, has excellent judgement, and is commercial and user-friendly – the complete package. He also has real insurance law expertise.’
‘A terrific team with experience of defending claims across a broad spectrum of professions.’
The unflappable Ross Baker would be an asset in any firm of solicitors – he brings great experience to to the table combined with an ease of manner which makes him a joy to work with.’
‘Alex Traill is polished and competent – a class act.’
‘Highly qualified, experienced and approachable. You can trust their advice and they will work hard for you.’
‘Martin Jensen – I value his responsiveness, dedication and his judgement. He is a pleasure to deal with.’
‘The team is able and responsive; good at developing strong relationships with clients (both insurers and insureds) and providers (e.g. barristers). There is an open and receptive atmosphere which is respectful yet confident.’
‘Martin Jensen is responsive and able quickly to grasp the real issues in a case.’
HDI Global Specialty (formerly Inter Hannover)
Royal Veterinary College
- Acted for for UNISON in defending a claim brought by some 800 claimants alleging that UNISON provided negligent advice to in respect of their potential claims for equal pay.
- Acted for the MGA platform of a leading Lloyd’s broker in connection with its binding of a visual arts policy for two US-based film companies.
- Represented an insurer and a top 25 accountant in a dispute over the failure to promptly pay over £8m of corporation tax at the commencement of a members voluntary liquidation, leading to a claim from HMRC for statutory interest of around £500,000.
Supported by the firm's wide regional network of offices, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s London team utilises its financial services sector expertise to advise on claims against insurance brokers, pension advisers and accountants. Simon Brooks is co-head of global insurance; he is experienced in a broad spectrum of commercial disputes and advises on the both claimant and defendant side of negligence claims. Claire Carroll defends claims brought against pensions professionals, trustees and advisers, and advised on a claim granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in 2019. In early 2020 the team aas been boosted by the arrival of Kari McCormick from Burges Salmon LLP.
‘Punches way above its weight and provides clients with a top-tier service for less than a magic circle firm.’
‘Simon Brooks is approachable, responsible, supportive, helpful and friendly. A pleasure to work with.’
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (now Marsh)
Lockton Companies LLP
United Insurance Brokers Limited
Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Limited (the “Trusteeâ€, the corporate trustee of the Airways Pension Scheme, a British Airways pension fund).
Carey Pensions UK LLP/ Carey Pension Trustees UK Limited
- Defended Aon Consulting Limited in a claim relating to the validity of the governing documents of the Wandel & Goltermann Retirement Benefits Scheme.
- Advised Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Limited on a claim concerning increases in payments to retired workers.
- Defended Carey Pensions UK LLP in multiple mis-selling claims and complaints relating to Carey’s role as a self-invested personal pension administrator and pension scheme trustee.
HFW has ‘great expertise in the field of professional negligence’; the team mainly handles complex, often multi-jurisdictional claims on behalf of defendant brokers, surveyors, architects, engineers and lawyers. The group also advises selected claimants in bringing claims against solicitors. Andrew Bandurka leads the practice and specialises in claims against international insurance and reinsurance brokers, architects, surveyors, construction professionals and financial intermediaries. Jonathan Bruce is experienced in matters relating to energy, marine surveyors and marine salvage. Christopher Cardona is global head of insurance and reinsurance.
‘HFW have great expertise in the field of professional negligence. While I know they act for a variety of professionals, my particular association with them relates to the field of insurance and reinsurance and their representation of insurance and reinsurance brokers. Here they are among the leaders in the field.’
‘Andrew Bandurka brings both judgement and enthusiasm to the task of representing his clients, ensuring they are aware of the risks but not being afraid to go into battle n their behalf.’
‘Chris Foster has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is a first class lawyer.’
‘Deeply knowledgeable of the insurance environment in which their clients operate – they understand the commercial context and pressures which produce the disputes they deal with, and they back it up with strong legal expertise.’
‘Andrew Bandurka is a true elder statesman; his experience is a major asset.’
- Advised Sterling Developments (London) Limited on a claim against a firm of solicitors following the firm’s failure to advise Sterling to submit a claim to the official FCA redress scheme.
Working alongside its strong network of regional offices, Mills & Reeve LLP's London practice advises insurers and defendants from numerous industries on complex claims of negligence. Team leader Neil Davis manages some of the firm’s largest client relationships and specialises in defending solicitors, brokers, construction professionals and technology companies. Virginia Hickley is head of financial claims and primarily advises accountants, professional trustees, independent financial advisers, wealth managers, pension fund administrators and hedge fund managers. Nicolas Oldham leads the construction practice; he handles claims against construction professionals, including surveyors and valuers.
‘The team offer practical advice that is reasoned and they make every effort to find solutions to issues, which can be refreshing.’
‘Virginia Hinckley is always thinking outside the box – she is solutions-focused and pragmatic.’
Pembroke Managing Agency
McAleer & Rushe Contracts UK Limited
- Defending a developer and design and build contractor from allegations of negligence, breach of contract and breach of statutory duty in relation to the construction of a number of high-rise residential buildings in East Manchester.
- Acted in defence of a subrogated claim brought against a firm of nationwide plumbers. The action relates to a claim on plumber’s public liability policy in respect of an escape of water into a commercial building.
- Acted on behalf of the design and build contractor, MARC, and its professional indemnity insurers, in its defence against four related issued proceedings brought against it by Premier Inn Hotels Limited. The claims relate to allegedly defective cladding systems installed at Premier Inn sites at Gatwick, Woking, Maidenhead and Brentford.
Norton Rose Fulbright has a ‘first-rate team with a large amount of experience’, and is best known for its work in the financial services and insurance sectors. The group advises on a range of high value claims involving financial institutions, asset managers, solicitors, accountants, actuaries, insolvency practitioners and insurance brokers. Michelle George ‘demonstrates excellence in her field’ in advising on cross-border disputes; in recent years, George has increasingly focused her practice on claims against solicitors. Katie Stephen specialises in contentious regulatory matters and handles professional negligence disputes relating to regulatory matters. Kirsty Hick and Liam O’Connell departed in 2019 to join DAC Beachcroft LLP .
Other key lawyers:
‘A first rate team with a large amount of experience, especially handling professional negligence claims on behalf of insurers.’
‘Michelle George is unflappable, clever, strategic and diligent.’
‘Adrian Mecz is an experienced market professional.’
‘Michelle George is very good at high value complex solicitor negligence claims.’
‘Michelle George is an excellent professional negligence lawyer.’
‘One of London’s best professional negligence teams, with especial experience in the financial services sector.’
‘Paul Morris is a well-respected and experienced financial services sector litigator with great understanding of professional negligence matters, for both insurers/defendants and claimants. He is well supported by associates who are really empowered by their firm.’
‘I like their robust approach. They are very client friendly, approachable and are always very quick to come back. They are well organised and normally one step ahead of the game.’
‘Michelle George demonstrates excellence in her field and is very knowledgeable generally. Always listens to our views and balances legal views with commercial tactics.’
Lloyds Banking Group
Marsh & McLennan Companies
M S Amlin
Markel International Limited
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP provides ‘exceptional insight into the market’, advising on both the claimant and defendant sides of disputes relating to the legal, construction, technology and financial sectors. Isabel Nurse-Marsh is described as ‘the best pensions professional negligence lawyer in London’ and has advised on some of the largest disputes in the sector. Michael Fletcher predominantly handles claimant work, having advised on claims concerning solicitors' negligence in the conduct of litigation.
Michael Fletcher is an excellent up and coming partner. Hard working, bright and good attention to detail.’
‘Very hard-working and know the area inside out. Do highly quality work and achieve excellent results.’
‘Michael Fletcher is a brilliant lawyer and litigator. Always goes the extra mile. Tough with opponents, excellent with clients.’
‘Excellent client service – decisive and clear advice delivered in a timely and digestible way. Approachable and user friendly.’
‘In terms of responsiveness, Pinsents are head and shoulders above their peers.’
‘Isabel Nurse-Marsh is always a pleasure to deal with.’
‘The Pinsent Masons team has exceptional insight into the market (particularly involving professional negligence and pensions) and tremendous insight into how best to position (in particularly) defendant clients.’
‘Isabel Nurse-Marsh is the best pensions professional negligence lawyer in London. She is experienced, commercial, and a master tactician. She makes herself available and manages her team to get the very best out of them.’
‘Hayley Goldstone -manages her team with great skill and care. She is clever, focused and committed to getting the very best outcomes for her clients. She is keen and willing to engage in discussion about technical aspects of the case to bring the best out of clients and junior lawyers under her supervision.’
‘Pinsent Masons have experience and expertise in defending professional negligence claims against actuarial and benefit consultancies and solicitors firms which is second-to-none.’
‘Isabel Nurse-Marsh has a charm which belies her steely resolve. She is very efficient in identifying the best route through a case, strategically, and then steering that course.’
‘Hayley Goldstone is a tremendously tough litigator, who doesn’t put up with any nonsense from opponents. She is sensible and pragmatic and has great instincts for which way opponents will jump in negotiations and in prosecuting their claims.’
Dalriada Trustees Ltd Scottish Widows
- Advised a market leading insurer in suing two leading law firms for up to £100m in respect of negligent drafting in multiple pension scheme documents, and acting concurrently in the associated rectification action.
- Advised two former partners in a Big 4 accountancy practice who were defending a £15m claim in misfeasance. The claim was made in relation to their appointments by creditors as Joint Administrators of a property owning company.
- Acted for the trustee of a defined benefit pension scheme in successfully pursuing a negligence claim against a well-known pension scheme administrator, in relation to numerous transfers of members’ pension funds to a fake overseas pension scheme.
Reed Smith LLP
The team at Reed Smith LLP has a ‘deep understanding of how insurers operate’ which enables it to effectively advise both claimants and defendants on negligence claims in the legal and financial services sectors. Jane Howard and Charles Hewetson lead the practice, combining 'unstoppable force' and 'immense experience'; both have considerable experience in claims against financial services providers and accountants, having advised on significant claims for big four accountancy firms. ‘Fierce litigator’ Mark Pring’s previous experience working in the UAE helps him to advise on complex, multi-jurisdictional coverage disputes. Consultant Nick Speed retired in 2020.
‘Charles Hewetson is a partner of immense experience and fine gravity.’
‘Jane Howard is a go to person for accountant’s defence.’
‘Strong policyholder experience, niche knowledge of financial sector/offshore trust businesses. Deep understanding of how insurers operate and plays them very well at their own game.’
‘Mark Pring offers outstanding legal and factual analysis; he has great commercial sense and is a fierce litigator – straight-talking but will outwit the slipperiest opponent. You want him on your side.’
‘Jane Howard and her team’s advice has been timely, efficient, clear and assisted us in our issues which we were able to resolve. We know we are in good hands.’
‘I can give no higher recommendation than in the first instance I have no hesitation to turn to Reed Smith on any matter that they focus on.’
‘Jane Howard leads her team by example, which results in all of the services that are provided being to an extremely high standard. Jane spends a considerable amount of time upfront with her clients to really understand each matter – demonstrating both her diligent and caring manner. Jane is able to draw on a huge amount of experience, and when combined with her ability to advocate clearly, make Jane an unstoppable force. I fully trust the advice that Jane provides to me and I feel fortunate that I can call upon Jane when required.’
‘Genuinely global – the work is joined up and aligned to your needs. Not many practices can claim to operate like this. Cross-functional skills – brought together to operate as a team. Spend time listening to your needs. Rapid turnaround.’
‘Jane Howard has a deep knowledge of issues impacting the accountancy profession. She listens and is responsive. She brings together the right skills to deliver your needs. The quality of work is professional and always on time. She is always available for advice. She is sensitive to affordability.
Stephenson Harwood’s ‘excellent litigators’ are particularly active in complex claimant work for art dealers, accountancy firms and trust management companies. On the defendant side, the group frequently handles claims for Big Four accountancy firms. Stephen Roberts and Roland Foord lead the practice; the former has an ‘unrivalled market reputation’ in advising on issues relating to art and cultural property, while the latter is the firm’s senior partner and specialises in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Kate Cordery is ‘unflappable’ in advising on disputes involving accountants, auditors and tax advisers.
Other key lawyers:
‘Stephen Roberts and Kate Cordery are excellent lawyers – personable and intelligent.’
‘Standout quality and unrivalled experience of the accountancy market.’
‘Kate Cordery is unflappable, charming and intelligent.’
‘Stephen Roberts has an unrivalled market reputation.’
‘Stephenson Harwood are excellent litigators. They bring their broad experience to bear on professional negligence claims.’
‘Roland Foord is hugely experienced and brings authority to bear on any case he handles.’
‘Extremely high-powered partner time from a major City firm with none of the usual filtered advice.’
‘An all-round extremely effective team that approaches all cases with maximum commitment and great consideration about how best to serve their client’s interests.’
‘Helena Berman is an extremely effective litigator. She thinks very carefully about the issues and then puts together a winning strategy. She is also completely committed to her client’s cause.’
‘Jenny McKeown provides standout leadership to any team, and great strategic and commercial awareness.’
National House Building Council
FTI Consulting LLP
Sedgwick Noble Lowndes Limited
Mark Weiss Limited
Insolvency practitioners from BDO LLP
Insolvency practitioners from KPMG LLP
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Gibraltar Financial Services Commission
- Acted for Mark Weiss Limited in a dispute over a painting by Frans Hals sold through Sotheby’s in which its authenticity has been questioned.
- Acting for Raiffeisen Bank International AG in relation to claims against Ashurst (and another) arising out of the sale of shares and loans to an Indonesian oligarchical group.
- Instructed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to undertake a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company Ltd and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises insurers and their clients on defending claims against solicitors, valuers, construction professionals, property professionals and financial services providers. In addition, the firm has recently launched a separate and bespoke insurance claims handling unit which operates across the London, Southampton, Bristol and Plymouth offices. Sushma MacGeoch ‘knows the market back to front’ and is regularly instructed by major insurers and construction companies in the defence of high value claims. Simon Beckwith has ‘unrivalled experience in acting on behalf of defendant insurers’ and advises on high-value claims concerning the operation of occupational and personal pension schemes.
‘Highly regarded team. Excellent knowledge of the industry. Very approachable.’
‘Sushma MacGeoch is very talented lawyer who knows the market back to front. Intelligent, dynamic and with an excellent reputation. Particularly good in dealing with difficult claimants and in driving the deal forward in mediations.’
‘Hannah Cane is highly committed, fair-minded but sticks to her guns when she is right. She really knows her stuff. She is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Unrivalled market expertise going back decades. Expertly shepherded by Sushma MacGeoch. A tough litigation practice that never loses sight of the client’s strategic and commercial aims.’
‘Sushma MacGeoch is calm but tough, Sushma is a stand-out practitioner in the professional negligence market.
T’he team is made up of specialist lawyers whose experience covers the full spectrum of insurance classes. They work closely with clients to ensure bespoke service and deliver excellent client care to both insurer and insured.’
‘Simon Beckwith is probably the best financial services insurance lawyer in the UK and has an unrivalled experience in acting on behalf of defendant insurers.’
‘Both Tim Barr and Simon Beckwith have a close relationship with the insurance market formed over the years. Their approach is very much inclusive and understand the importance to relationships in the marketplace, what is needed and expected.’
‘Engaged and hard working. Available to talk through cases and actively work with us in directing cases.’
AIG UK Limited
Solicitors’ Indemnity Fund
Liberty Global Group
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund
Ashurst works with prestigious clients in the financial services sector, defending negligence claims relating to audits, actuarial, funds, major projects, legal and pension work. The London team is aided by the firm's Glasgow base and is noteworthy for its cross-border expertise. As well as leading the team, ‘hugely thoughtful’ James Levy advises on a range of contentious commercial disputes, focusing on banking and finance litigation.
‘James Levy is a great leader of a team. Hugely thoughtful. The firm has good experience of audit negligence claims.’
‘James Levy’s analysis is second to none and his assistants love working for him.’
Daiwa Capital Markets
The Executive Counsel of the Financial Reporting Council
- Advised Daiwa in a claim brought by Singularis Holdings Limited for over $200m for breach of duty (negligence) and dishonest assistance.
Browne Jacobson LLP handles defendant work for solicitors, brokers, accountants, architects, patent agent, barristers, engineers and construction professionals. Ed Anderson leads the London group and ‘has a vast wealth of knowledge‘ in claims involving tax and pensions issues. Jonathan Newbold is head of the national financial and professional risks group. Former senior partner Derek Bambury has expertise in cross-border work, having had matters heard in the Cayman Grand Court and Gibraltar Court of Appeal.
‘A very solid professional indemnity team.’
‘Ed Anderson is a very good professional indemnity lawyer.’
‘A strong professional negligence team across many professions. The team has good experience, uses the right lawyers for the job and we trust in their advice. They also have capabilities to help the insured in terms of document management etc which has helped in these difficult times.’
‘Ed Anderson has a vast wealth of knowledge. He can recall previous precedents to give you examples of how an argument can run and is pragmatic.’
International General Insurance Company
Tokio Marine HCC
- Advising various insurers in connection with several very large group actions worth £400m. They involve claims against solicitors arising out of buyer financed property transactions involving purpose built student accommodation, hotel rooms and care homes.
- Defending a large firm of insurance brokers against a £15m claim following a large fire at a factory.
- Advising the insurer of one of the main core participants in the public enquiry into the Grenfell tragedy.
DWF advises a range of insurers and syndicates on claims made against individuals from the construction, engineering, legal, financial and insurance sectors. John Bennett is 'deeply experienced' in defending claims against solicitors, as well as accountants, IFAs and patent agents. Mark Klimt’s experience spans construction, insurance brokers and asbestos claims. Harriet Quiney focuses on disputes in the financial services and pensions sectors. Former practice head Peter Sewell departed to join Beale & Co in 2019, along with Eileen Pathiraja.
‘John Bennett’s experience in the fields of lawyers’ professional negligence and the defence of disciplinary proceedings is unrivalled in the market. He has an immediate feel for the right tactics in a case and is very responsive as a service provider.’
‘Sheona Wood has excellent judgment which, combined with the confidence to fight the cases where necessary, makes her a formidable litigant. Very good at assessing the costs/benefits of litigation and not afraid to back her judgement.’
‘Jonathan Hyde has excellent judgement and good client management skills.’
‘Harriet Quiney demonstrates a real depth of knowledge in her field. Engenders trust and confidence. Recognised as an expert.’
‘Huge professionalism, they really know their stuff, and always commercial.’
‘Sheona Wood – a brilliant legal mind, always looking for a practical solution.’
‘Highly intelligent and competent individuals who are very responsive and go the extra mile.’
- Defended a barrister against a £12m claim for professional negligence.
Ince is regularly instructed on disputes involving indemnity insurers, brokers, accountants, law firms and intermediaries. The team has specialist expertise in representing ship surveyors and managers in maritime negligence cases. Ben Ogden and consultant Simon Cooper are the key practitioners.
Keoghs LLP uses its ‘great in-house knowledge‘ to work with various compensation and indemnity schemes on complex claims against solicitors. The group also advise insurers and construction professionals on fire safety and cladding issues following the Grenfell tragedy. Neil Trayhurn leads the ‘efficient and effective team’ and advises on claims against a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, accountants, brokers and surveyors in addition to policy coverage issues.
‘A really efficient and effective team for claims against professionals.’
‘Great in-house knowledge; they grasp the core of the matter at hand instead of losing focus to trivial matters. I can recommend Keoghs as great professionals.’
‘This team is efficient and the key personnel are highly experienced.’
‘Neil Trayhurn is very experienced in the area and has encountered most if not all of the problems which emerge. He has a strong back-up team.’
‘They are a good team to work with in terms of personality and legal knowledge. They will admit if they do not have the jurisdictional capabilities to handle a matter and will allocate the right person to the file.’
‘A good strong team with good levels of experience in all sectors in the professional indemnity market.’
‘Dale Hilton is a top class senior associate. Great advice, manages clients and expectations well and we really enjoy working with him.’
‘Neil Trayhurn has a wealth of experience in prof neg matters.’
‘Dragos Stoica is particularly adept at assisting in developing new products and ways of working.’
Arch Insurance Company (Europe) Limited
Argenta Syndicate 2121
Canopius Managing Agency
Channel Syndicate 2015
EC Insurance Company part of Markel UK
European Risk Insurance Company
HDI Global Specialty
International General Insurance (“IGI”)
Royal & Sun Alliance
Strategic Insurance Services
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP ‘never fails to rise to the challenge’ of advising on complex, multi-party claims against solicitors and construction professionals. The practice specialises in large group action claims; ‘seasoned litigator’ David Niven has a strong reputation for claims against solicitors for mis-sold properties, while David O’Brien advises claimants on disputes arising from failed investment schemes. Construction lawyer Peter Stockill advises on both sides of disputes involving engineers, construction professionals and contractors.
‘The practice has built up a stellar practice in consumer mis-selling cases, acting for tens, scores and sometimes many more individual clients with complaints against professionals and FCA-regulated entities or individuals.’
‘David Niven is a seasoned litigator, commercially astute, dedicated to pursuing his clients’ interests and never afraid of the competition.’
‘David O’Brien is phenomenally bright, with an encyclopaedic and insightful grasp of relevant law and procedure; provides a “magic circle” service. A delight and inspiration to work with.’
‘David Niven is excellent at directing the overall strategy of the cases which he supervises and in identifying issues which need to be resolved. He was correctly described by an opponent as tenacious.’
‘David O’Brien is particularly good at considering legal issues, and is always willing to listen to contrary arguments.’
‘David Niven is one of the leading professional negligence lawyers in the country and is one of my favourite lawyers to deal with. He is straight-talking, knows the law inside out and is very commercial.’
Baltic House, Angelgate and North Point Pall Mall
- Advised Giambrone on a claim against its former solicitors, who acted for it in purchases of off-plan properties in two developments in Calabria, Italy.
- Advised over 400 investors seeking to recover their losses in hotels and care homes following the collapse of Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd in July 2019,
- Acted for 138 clients seeking to recover their losses arising from the property developments known as Baltic House, Angelgate and North Point Pall Mall.
Plexus Law has recently added expertise in issues relating to financial institutions and coverage issues to its existing offering for accountants, IFAs and solicitors. Sarah Cornish, who arrived from Kennedys in 2019 along with her financial lines team, recently stepped down as head and has been succeeded by operating partner Andrew Crocombe. Jacqui Gillespie draws on her previous experience as a property lawyer to advise on claims arising out of residential and commercial conveyancing transactions. Paul Metham arrived from BLM in 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Plexus Law provides exceptional client service. A highly professional firm of very capable lawyers with a depth of experience across its practice areas. The firm is committed to achieving the objectives of its clients.’
‘Alasdair Dick is exceptional. Very responsive and a really good communicator. He listens to his clients, quickly identifies the real issues and takes a proactive approach to finding solutions. He is highly practical and pragmatic and is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for his clients. Alasdair has a keen eye for detail, he is technically sound, provides comprehensive advice, and is tactically astute. Superb operating under pressure.’
‘Angela Horne is always at the top of her game. A brilliant lawyer and sophisticated strategist. She speaks her mind and is at the same time exceedingly good with clients. She is always informed and brings a unique angle to problems.’
‘Laura Mellstrom is another exceedingly good lawyer, extremely diligent and hard working. Has a lovely manner with clients too.’
Pen Underwriting Ltd
Chubb (formerly ACE)
- Successfully defended a firm of solicitors against allegations by developers arising from failure to advise on both assignment of leave, and permitted use of land, with the result that land purchased for developers could not in fact be developed.
- Advised the insurers of property managing agents in connection with a large mixed use development as a result of failures the agents do report on the absence of relevant fire stopping measures.
- Successfully defended senior and junior barristers in connection with a claim for a non-party costs order brought against them.
The London group at TLT works with the firm's offices in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast to advise both claimants and defendants on negligence claims against banks and financial services providers. The team regularly advises several of the leading clearing banks, as well as challenger banks and non-bank lenders. ‘Very clever’ Peter Richards-Gaskin has recently returned from an eighteen-month secondment at a major UK bank. Andrew Lyon handles a number of the firm’s larger, more complex cases.
‘A very strong team, with a high level of expertise equal to any other in the market, and a strikingly high level of commercial awareness.’
‘Nick Curling is extremely committed- he has excellent attention to detail and strong commercial awareness.’
‘Peter Richards-Gaskin has excellent judgement, is very clever and very good with people.’
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Bank of India
Bank of Baroda
- Advising and defending Coutts & Co against allegations that that the bank gave negligent advice to customers in relation to their investment in various tax mitigation film finance schemes arranged by the Ingenious Media group.
- Advising and defending a group of banks in a large issued group action. Claims relate to the banks’ involvement in various tax mitigation film finance schemes arranged by various intermediaries.
- Advising an individual in relation to a claim against investment advisers for negligent and inappropriate advice given to an unsophisticated (in terms of the regulatory definition) client.
Claims against IFAs, financial services professionals, financial institutions and SIPP providers are Weightmans LLP’s primary focus; the team frequently represents SIPP Trustees and their insurers. The group also handles construction claims and Quentin Fox has been heavily involved in a large number of cladding-related claims following the Grenfell tragedy, both in defending construction professionals, and also in connection with the various policy coverage issues. Robert Crossingham advises financial professionals on claims involving complex commercial transactions. Edward Lewis manages all the partners in the firm’s national professional risks team, which is spread across its London, Liverpool and Newcastle offices.
‘The team at Weightmans combines first-class legal knowledge and expertise in their field with a personal touch not often found in firms of a similar size.’
James Denison, Robert Crossingham and Alex Marler stand out for their expertise, knowledge and ability to cut through complicated legal issues, providing advice in a clear and succinct manner. James in particular is a formidable litigator with an outstanding legal mind. All three are a pleasure to work with.’
AmTrust Europe Ltd/Collegiate
AXA Insurance UK Plc
Markel (UK) Ltd
Tokio Marine HCC
Starstone Insurance SE
- Defended a firm of accountants and auditors in a large claim in which it is alleged that they were negligent in their client account audits of a solicitors’ firm.
- Acted for the professional indemnity insurers of one of the parties involved in the construction of a City Tower block at 100 Bishopsgate, RNP, in relation to a very substantial claim arising from the use of a “slipform” rig to construct the central concrete core of the development.
- Defended an insured property search company against a group action by residents of a new build residential development. It is alleged that property search agents failed to report on a major new road scheme proposed by the local council and that, as a result, they have suffered diminution to the value of their properties.
The team at Withers LLP primarily advises barristers and their insured in relation to services provided in areas including pensions, tax, judicial review and real estate. The practices also advises claimant in disputes with professionals from numerous industries. Eleni Polycarpou, who now leads the practice, has a particular specialism in art litigation and continues to advise on complex, high profile and sensitive matters for Bar Mutual and its insured. Christoper Coffin, now a consultant, has notable expertise in disputes concerning Russia, Ukraine and the CIS.
‘The team, led by Eleni Polycarpou, is exceptional in terms of the depth of knowledge, experience and in terms of its efficiency to turn around quick items in a fast moving litigation.’
‘Eleni Polycarpou is exceptionally hands-on. She is fantastic in terms of client management. A real diamond.’
‘There is a high level of partner engagement, with good strategic insight and a high level of responsiveness.’
‘Eleni Polycarpou gives thoughtful, practical, sound and strategic advice and is very easy to work with.’
- Acted for Bar Mutual and Mr Lowe QC following allegations made against them from a number of individual claimants who they had represented in an unsuccessful action against various high street banks relating to shared appreciation mortgages.
- Advised three hedge funds incorporated in the BVI that are all in liquidation, in a high-value claim to recover substantial settlement proceeds arising from a dispute between the claimants, associated companies and Societe Generale.
- Act for a high-net-worth individual in a professional negligence claim against the Defendant, a well-known law firm, after receiving tax advice which led to over a £1 million immediate tax charge.
The ‘very thorough and knowledgeable’ group at Burges Salmon LLP predominantly advises claimant lenders in disputes primarily against solicitors and surveyors. The team is also experienced in pensions litigation and handles substantial claims for pension schemes and their trustees. Andrew Burnette leads the practice from the Bristol office and specialises in significant claims against solicitors, surveyors, auditors and financial services professionals. Justin Briggs' focus is pensions-related disputes.
‘Specialist expertise in bringing claims against accountants.’
‘Very thorough, knowledgeable and able.’
‘Burges Salmon are very responsive and make you feel like a very valued client. They also have a depth to their practice in a full range of fields that not all specialist firms in London can offer.’
‘Excellent national firm who provide excellent value for money.
‘Andrew Burnette is the stand-out person – he is a savvy litigator. He understands the commercial dynamics and the legal challenges, and so is able to get the right result for the client time after time.’
‘Justin Briggs and Suzanne Padmore are excellent. They are committed to their clients, technically knowledgeable, tactically astute and real team players, working well with their associates and counsel.’
‘Suzanne Padmore is excellent – her team are all top drawer.’
Financial Services Compensation Scheme Ltd
Sea Containers Ltd
Nationwide Building Society
- Advised and negotiated a settlement for the clients in their claim against professional advisers for losses suffered by the scheme arising out of the discovery that its governing deeds were defective due to invalid execution.
- Represented the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in a case concerning the collapse of a development company offering off-plan timeshares in a hotel development in St Lucia.
- Conducted of a large portfolio of claims arising from debts in the Nationwide commercial lending book. These cases concerned negligent advice provided by surveyors and solicitors in connection with commercial property transactions.
Carter Perry Bailey LLP goes ‘the extra mile’ to defend claims against solicitors, property agents, brokers, pharmacists and financial institutions, as well as handling claimant work for insurance entities. The team's international client base includes insurers, brokers, financial institutions, public authorities and corporates. The 'exceptional' Mark Aizlewood works with insurers on a wide range of coverage issues. Managing partner Stephen Carter handles both contentious and non-contentious insurance work.
‘They are a very experienced team, where you can be assured that one of the partners will bring their considerable skill and experience to work on your case.’
‘Mark Aizlewood is exceptional. A real fighter who has his clients’ backs and can be relied upon to leave no stone unturned.’
‘Stephen Carter knows everything there is to know about insurance and reinsurance, and associated professional negligence (for example brokers) litigation.’
‘The team at the firm have excellent subject matter expertise, are very pragmatic and accessible. They all go the extra mile for the client and every assignment, however big or small, matters.’
Syria Arab Insurance Company
Balva Insurance Company AAS
PartnerRe Ireland Insurance Ltd
Maas Lloyd Schadeverzekeringsmaatschappij NV
Solicitors Indemnity Fund
Nexus Claims Management
NPA Insurance Company
- Advising Nexus Claims Management on coverage issues in connection with a cross border claim arising from investment advisers misappropriating client funds. Proceedings have been commenced in the US.
- Advised financial services firm Partner Re and insurers following an alleged underpayment of £10m VAT on international swap transactions; claims are being raised in the US and France.
- Assisted an insurer and its policyholder in defending a £8m claim brought against insurance brokers following rejection of a substantial claim following a fire at the claimant’s business premises.
Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP’s ‘dynamic and client-focused disputes practice’ advises on complex, high value claims against bankers, financial service providers, accountants and architects. Sinead O’Callaghan has experience handling claims against real estate valuers. Name partner Marc Keidan left to found his own firm in early 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘CYK are a fantastic boutique firm who punch well above their weight and manage to attract work of the highest quality. They are at least on a par with other London firms of this size and are a pleasure to deal with, they can easily go pound for pound with any of the commercial solicitors within the Square Mile.’
‘Lydia Danon is dynamic, can-do and brings bags of enthusiasm to her cases. She is a great team player too who instils great confidence to her clients.
‘Stephen Elam is a great lawyer, who is very calm under pressure and can see the bigger picture of a claim at a very early stage.’
‘A dynamic and client-focused disputes practice.’
‘Lydia Danon is very experienced and brings a calm head to any dispute.’
‘Lydia Danon is a legend – totally on the ball.’
‘Stephen Elam is completely committed and thinks through every move very carefully.’
‘They have a very good knowledge of the market, making collaboration very easy.’
‘They are very easy to deal with and they have the ability to communicate complex issues so that practicable decisions can be made to progress matters.’
Mary Ward House Limited and Timothy Murphy
- Advised Mary Ward House Limited, which operates a conference and student accommodation business in Central London, in respect of a claim against Lloyds Bank in negligence and breach of statutory duty relating to inappropriate interest rate hedging products.
Claimant-focused firm Edwin Coe LLP specialises in claims against insurance brokers and advising brokers on their own professional indemnity insurance. The group also has particular expertise in quantum issues, business interruption losses and identifying underinsurance. Roger Franklin shows ‘very sound judgement’ in advising on a wide variety of insurance-related disputes. Michael Whitton acts in claims against accountants, solicitors, financial advisers and construction companies. 'Highly knowledgeable' Nicola Maher has particular expertise in relation to substantial property claims arising out of fires and other catastrophic incidents.
Other key lawyers:
‘Edwin Coe just about invented claims against insurance brokers – without a doubt it has more experience of successfully pursuing such claims than any other firm. They are also effective in acting for SMEs and individuals in claims against other professionals, particularly lawyers.’
‘Michael Whitton has seen it all before and is a tough negotiator.’
‘Roger Franklin has very sound judgement, is a good rain maker and is happy to take matters to trial if needed.’
‘Nicola Maher has great attention to detail.’
‘Nicola Maher is highly knowledgeable, capable and intelligent.’
Sartex Quilts and Textiles Limited
RR Securities Limited
- Advised Sartex Quilts and Textiles Limited on matters arising from a fire at its premises in May 2011. The broker was pursued for negligence and breach of contract as Sartex was significantly underinsured.
Healys LLP ‘compares very favourably with other larger law firms’ in advising individuals and companies on claims against a range of professions. In recent years, the practice has primarily acted against solicitors, though practice head Robert Johnson has a ‘wealth of experience’ in advising on claims involving barristers, architects, surveyors, financial advisers and accountants. David Bailey handles large group claims and fraud issues. Eleanor Richards arrived from Wannops LLP in 2019, while Adrian Taylor departed for Herrington Carmichael LLP.
‘Robert Johnson’s strengths lie in his candid, accurate and realistic provision of advice. His ability to give a detailed brief of the issues and legal remedies and solutions available along with realistic assessment of associated risk is his main strength.’
‘Healys have given me absolutely professional and sound advice from people who are well qualified and experienced. From the start of the case until the very end the whole team were faultless in their attitude and handling of all matters.’
‘Robert Johnson is an absolute professional with a wealth of experience and a practical attitude in his handling of a case. His advice is given without drama, but in a clear terms, and with complete understanding of the anxiety these cases can cause. Never did I feel pressured and yet his guidance was always critical to progressing matters.’
‘The Healys team is very focused and works well together. They offer excellent strategic advice and have a very good success rate. Nor do they drag out cases unnecessarily. In my view, this team compares very favourably with other, larger law firms in this sector.’
‘Robert Johnson and Richard David are very personable. They work well together. One of their advantages over their competitors is that they respond quickly to queries. Both Robert and Richard are good strategic thinkers, who communicate their ideas, both verbally and in writing, very well. In particular, I consider Robert to be one of the best lawyers I have worked with.’
Roskill Advisors/Alternative Real Estate Fund
Kiritkumar & Smita Brahmbhatt
Paratus AMC Limited
- Advised on a claim by two companies based in the Cayman Islands against a firm of solicitors and its three individual partners for professional negligence.
- Acted on behalf of a high-net-worth couple in relation to an architect’s professional negligence claim in the sum of approximately £1.5 million in relation to the defective design and construction of a private cinema and other works to a mansion located in North London.
- Advised on a claim against a firm of accountants (Grant Thornton) for failure to provide proper tax planning guidance in relation to a (now failed) tax avoidance scheme.
Hamlins LLP's team is led by the well-regarded Amanda Burge, a ‘ferocious litigator’ who has 'enormous experience of fighting large-scale commercial and professional negligence disputes'. The practice advises claimants in disputes against a range of professionals including solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, trustees and construction consultants.
‘The team is competent and able with a practical understanding of client needs and requirements.’
‘Amanda Burge has acted for us in some tricky matters where clarity of thought and identification of objectives is important. She has been able to see the woods for the trees and been able to produce results.’
‘The practice is properly resourced. Advice is provided promptly and without chasing which takes much of the stress out of the situation.’
‘Advice is well considered. Its also communicated clearly which gives one more confidence in it.’
‘Amanda Burge is a real star.’
Amanda Burge has enormous experience of fighting large-scale commercial and prof neg disputes and inexhaustible tenacity. You want her on your side. Not against you.’
‘Amanda Burge involves herself fully in all her cases and therefore provides a vastly experienced partner-led service to her clients.
‘Amanda Burge is a ferocious litigator. Clients really feel that she is on their side. But she’s not a “point and shoot” litigator. She continually reviews the merits of her cases and has the judgement to recognise when a case needs to be settled.’
European Land & Property Limited
Triple Point Investment Limited
The Pear Group of Companies
- Acted for a large property investment and development company in a breach of contract and professional negligence claim against a national firm of surveyors. The claim relates to their negligent measurement of a substantial office building.
- Advised on a claim for professional negligence against the contract administrator, architect, consultant and principal designer on two different developments. The claim is for delay and consequential losses as a result of failing to implement various project management tasks in a timely manner causing delay to practical completion as a consequence.
- Advised a property company on a professional negligence claim against a construction professional.
Irwin Mitchell's London team works alongside lawyers in the national firm's other UK offices to aid claimants in disputes against a range of professional services firms. The team has experience advising on claims against architects, accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, insurance brokers and surveyors.
Kingsley Napley LLP draws on its experience in civil fraud and banking litigation to advise individuals and corporate entities in relation to claims against banks, financial advisers and other investment bodies. Practice head Ryan Mowat has particular expertise in claims involving contentious trusts and fraud, and acting on behalf of clients in the media, sports and entertainment sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘Kingsley Napley’s professional liability team has been growing in profile over recent years. It covers a broad range of professionals. Members of the team demonstrate acute understanding of the relevant law and pursue a careful strategy sensitive to the requirements of professionals and their insurers.’
‘Ryan Mowat is excellent – personable, commercial, good with difficult clients.’
‘A reputable law firm with a good reputation.’
Having recruited Avi Gordon and Josh Cocklin from Cubism Law in 2019, Kyriakides & Braier Solicitors’s newly established team acts for claimants in disputes against solicitors and their insurers. Gordon, who leads the practice, is a well-regarded strategist who specialises in high value claims against large City law firms.
Other key lawyers:
‘Avi Gordon and Josh Cocklin are without doubt the best litigation lawyers I have ever dealt with. The energy they put into a case, their forensic manner and frightening intelligence coupled with a real commercial nous makes them a formidable team that gives every confidence.’
‘The staff go above and beyond for their clients and are compassionate and realistic with managing client expectations.’
‘Avi Gordon is a superstar – committed and focused.’
‘Avi Gordon and Josh Cocklin are completely approachable, with each bringing a unique skillset to the table. Both are prepared to debate the issues openly with full participation of the client’
‘Avi Gordon is an experienced solicitor who carries out professional liability claims, and is one of the few in the sector who really has knowledge of the area. He is very competent, sensible, and a pleasure to work for.’
‘Avi Gordon is an excellent strategist and very hardworking.’
Michelmores LLP’s team specialises in claims stemming from agricultural, financial services, construction, trust and probate disputes. The group, which spans the firm's offices in London, Bristol and Exeter, increasingly handles high value and cross-border disputes, particularly with regards to claims relating to international tax and trusts advice.
‘Michelmores compares very well with top City firms in terms of client services; resourcing and experience.’
‘Fiona Pearson is very easy-going and a pleasure to work with generally; achieves great results for her clients; very hard-working.’
Cancer Research UK
Landmark Information Group
Specialist commercial litigation and arbitration firm Signature Litigation LLP’s claimant practice handles claims in the financial services sector and also advises on cases involving other professions. Daniel Spendlove leads the practice and has expertise in banking litigation issues in addition to negligence.