The ‘consistently excellent’ team at Clyde & Co boasts one of the largest professional negligence teams in London, and has grown in size and strength further as a result of its merger with BLM in mid-2022. The firm has a strong background in defending complex cases, representing all magic law firms, most top thirty law firms, the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms, seven of the top firms of property consultants, and many of the top contractors. Their professional service goes beyond the domestic scale, with lawyers focused on professional liability on every continent. Sarah Clover has specialised in lawyers’ professional liability claims for over thirty years and has been involved in some of the most high-profile claims against law firms, often described as the ‘first point of contact‘ for the large City law firms. ‘Grand master’ Richard Moody specialises in the defence of construction professional indemnity claims and related insurance disputes and is regarded as one of the go-to practitioners in the country. ‘Stand out’ partner Richard Harrison heads up the lawyers’ professional liability sub-group. 'Experienced' partner James Roberts heads the accountants’ liability, regulatory and disciplinary group and has a thriving practice acting for all six of the largest accountancy and audit firms in the UK and their global networks. Jonathan Brown is an expert in defending construction professional liability claims, with a focus on D&C contractors across a wide spectrum of claims, including defending post Grenfell claims arising from non-compliant cladding. Bryn Hodges advises on a wide range of complex construction and property professionals, routinely acting for the top ten UK construction companies. Helen Rowlands focuses on complex and high value claims against magic circle and other international law firms, from issues ranging from structured finance to malpractice claims. Legal director Tabitta Van Nouhuys is a name to watch, while on the ex-BLM side Elliot Pound and Alexander Traill are key partners, acting for a wide variety of professionals.
Professional negligence in London
Clyde & Co
Richard Harrison; James Roberts; Richard Moody
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Clover; Elliot Pound; Jonathan Brown; Bryn Hodges; Helen Rowlands; Fergal Cathie; Jane Williams; Tom White; Tim Crockford; Penrose Foss; Andrew Forsyth; Niya Phiri; Tabitta van Nouhuys; Natalia Jeremiah; William Glynn; Ivan Wilkinson; Jonathan Lawrence; Michael Clark; Claire Harpur; Laurel Forde; Alexander Oldershaw; Andrew Kelcher; Celia Lewis; Simon Casey; Simii Sivapalan; Charlotte Davidson; Alexander Traill; Peter Court; Rob Crossingham
‘From my perspective, Clyde & Co is undoubtedly the best firm I have worked with. Clydes’ team has the best knowledge and understanding of the practicalities of audit and accounting and is the most thorough at researching, particularly sourcing documents from email records.’
‘Andrew Forsyth knows more about audit and accounting than any other lawyer I know, by a long margin. He is the standout practitioner in FRC investigations; no other firm has anyone who comes close. His knowledge, attention to detail and drafting skills are far ahead of any competition in this field. He would be my first choice adviser on any FRC investigation or defence against a civil claim.’
‘In my opinion the top firm for professional negligence matters. There is no chink in their armour: everyone I work with there is a true specialist and has bags of talent.’
‘Richard Moody – the grand master. He has seen it all. Vast experience for the “bet the business” type case. Has a brilliant breadth of vision on strategy and can see all the moves before they happen.’
‘Clyde & Co are the firm to beat in this area. Sarah Clover leads a team which is consistently excellent for solicitors’ negligence claims. We instruct her more than anyone else and the quality of thinking, soundness of judgement and organisation is first class. She manages the potential tensions between solicitors and insurers very well. We now know quite a few of her associates and other partners and they are all excellent. She is efficient and responsive on billing, very competent in handling the technological aspects of disclosure and is consistently thoughtful in handling her team.’
‘I work with Tom White who is described as a rising star. I would have thought he is firmly established. Knows his law and procedure. Works like a Trojan. Responsive, approachable and unflappable. Happy to listen and easy to work with.’
‘Clyde & Co are the clear market leader, with strength in depth, and sufficient knowledge of audit issues there are individuals who could probably perform one. They infuse confidence and knowledge, which helps put affected individuals and firms rapidly at ease. I can think of no one I would want more to have our back when dealing with complex cases.’
‘James Roberts is the stand out partner – as a general counsel you want to instruct people who are smarter and more experienced than you and whilst it pains me to admit it, James is in that category.’
Beale & Co
Beale & Co is a specialist construction and insurance boutique which is well-positioned to cater to professional indemnity insurers and construction professionals, with an active practice across the legal, architectural and financial services sectors. Ross Baker and Martin Jensen, who both joined the firm in 2022 from BLM, have a track record of advising clients in the financial sector and defending claims against solicitors and property agents. Chairman Antony Smith continues to work for clients in the construction sector, both in the UK and abroad. Associate Jenny Jeapes is a name to watch.
Peter Sewell; Antony Smith; Sheena Sood; Ross Baker; Martin Jensen
Other key lawyers:
Michael Salau; Keith Lonsdale; Eileen Pathiraja; Ian Masser
‘Beale & Co are market-leaders in the construction professional negligence sector with in-depth industry knowledge, keen commercial awareness, and highly specialist technical understanding. They are hard-working, dedicated, highly professional and tactically astute.’
‘The Beales team is a very strong and dynamic team who are particularly well skilled in dealing with defendant insurer construction disputed.’
‘Ian Masser – a total delight to work with. Michael Salau – clearly knows his stuff and what is the best next step for a case.’
‘Beales has a long history and a deep understanding of working with construction professionals. They know their clients, are in tune with the industry and aware of the challenges we face. One of their strengths is defending construction professionals and they are able to deal with the full spectrum of disputes.’
‘Ian Masser is a safe pair of hands who is able to run with any dispute. He provides sound strategic advice and delivers an efficient and cost effective service. He is always across the detail and is fully engaged on matters. We appreciate the level of ‘face time’ and that matters are not simply left to associates etc to deal with. He has built up a good rapport within the business and they are quick to identify him as a go to person.’
‘Beale & Co are experts in construction and professional negligence disputes. They regularly help our clients navigate the tricky waters of dealing with complex multi-party disputes, successfully resolving contentious matters in a cost effective manner.’
‘Peter Sewell is very approachable, knowledgeable and good commercial lawyer.’
‘Pragmatism and strategic thinking are the key strengths of this team. Their knowledge and experience of the construction sector is second-to-none – you feel that you are in a safe pair of hands.’
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
CMS defends a large number of leading financial institutions, construction, broker and law firms on both insured and uninsured matters. They have a strong contentious practice in non-marine insurers, reinsurers and insurance brokers. Clients benefit from their associated firm network, allowing specialist local insurance lawyers to work worldwide in multiple jurisdictions. Ed Foss is head of the Insurance and Reinsurance Group, and has experience ranging from defending insurance brokers to litigation broker’s liability issues. Martin Fox specialises in construction professional negligence claims for consulting engineers, architects and other construction professionals. He was the lead in the Faithful and Gould case, whereby he defended them in a high-profile and widely publicised claim by Camden Borough Council against Rydon and others. Monica Lesny has built her practice in defending contractors in all risk insurance work, as well as complex coverage and fraud issues. Amy Ramsay is a name to watch for her work acting for a firm of solicitors and their insurers in relation to a large and complex fraud perpetrated by a Partner and employee of the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Fox; Monica Lesny; Simon Garrett; Cheryl Gibson; Zoe Burge; Alex Denslow; Tristan Hall; Alaina Wadsworth; Rob Jones; Scarlett West; Amit Tyagi; Geoff Tan; Chris Bradshaw; Hayley Stevenson; Andrew Milne; Amy Ramsay
‘Like many in the market, the CMS team deliver well their insurance/dispute and professional negligence expertise. Where they add is their application of CMS’s wider experience and awareness of issues affecting the insurance market – so delivering a more seamless service when disputes are more complex.’
‘Ed Foss brings many years experience from both private practice and previous in-house roles to deliver pragmatic and realistic advice. Alaina Wadsworth – delivers a surprisingly broad spread of sector and market expertise in a user-friendly way.’
‘CMS has a wide breadth of expertise both in the UK and Europe. They take a practical approach to managing matters whilst providing high quality technical advice.’
‘The lawyers at CMS are very approachable and we have worked with them for a number of years on a variety of different cases.’
- Defending independent certifiers of cladding on five tower blocks in Camden in the high-profile and wide-publicised claim by Camden Borough Council against Rydon and other defendants. Following Grenfell, the blocks required evacuation and re-cladding.
- Acted for Spire in its coverage dispute against its primary layer insurers, RSA. The claim is worth in excess of £10M in value and it is anticipated with be the subject of an appeal to the Supreme Court in 2022.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
The ‘outstanding‘ team at DAC Beachcroft LLP handles a large variety of cases, defending against claims in the core areas of professional negligence, as well as cyber and data claims, which Hans Allnutt leads on. Liam O'Connell advises clients in respect of major multi-party and cross-border disputes relating to a range of issues, from D&O claims to advising insurers in the contingency market. Mark Roach specialises in complex construction and engineering professional negligence claims. Ross Risby defends claims against a range of professionals, including solicitors and insurance brokers, with key clients including the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Markel.
Liam O’Connell; Patrick Hill; Mark Roach; Hans Allnutt; William Allison; Richard Highley
Other key lawyers:
Julian Miller; Phillip Murrin; Ross Risby; Parminder Badham; Matthew Olorenshaw; James Davies
‘Outstanding in the prof neg world, consistently praised by clients, excellent work product but without any fuss.’
‘Philip Murrin is a real market leader, highly intelligent and vastly experienced.’
‘Parminder Badhan is a great lawyer, team player, works as hard as anyone in the profession and gets consistently great results.’
‘DACB’s professional liability team must be regarded as pre-eminent in the market, with huge strength in depth and a breadth of experience of complex litigation across the profession.’
‘Julian Miller is fabulous, a first rate strategic thinker in complex commercial litigation. Patrick Hill is a leading light in insurance disputes and an unrivalled authority on all matters relating to cyber risks. Parminder Badhan is the engine room of DACB’s professional liability team, providing detailed instructions and always on top of the detail.’
‘Very good on defects claims involving insurance and/or multiple parties. Good at working with internal teams to gather information and documentation. Approachable on billing.’
‘Matthew Olorenshaw is very knowledgeable on the law and commercially savvy. More important than that, a very pleasant person to work with. Very approachable. Matthew has a good reputation in the insurance market. Everyone has confidence that he will achieve the best possible outcome.
‘James Davies gives good legal and commercial advice.’
Tokio Marine HCC
- Acting for solicitors and their professional indemnity insurers in contribution proceedings against a barrister. The ruling from the Court of Appeal is set to provide clarification on the legal principles relevant to all contribution claims.
- Advising Market Insurers on a significant policy coverage dispute being appealed from the arbitration panel to the Commercial Court. This will help define the nature of professional indemnity insurance cover for solicitors. (See Julian Miller’s case)
- Defending a range of professionals and advising Insurers on policy coverage across some of the most significant and complex disputes which currently exist in the Market.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is well-known for its strong international disputes practice both in the UK and globally, acting for large and respected organisations worldwide. The firm's professional liability capabilities have been recently bolstered by the arrival of experienced practitioner William Glassey from Mayer Brown International LLP. The firm is experienced in insurance and financial professional negligence matters, and are seen as one of the go-to advisers for complex and high value claims that large financial institutions face. Paul Lewis is recognised for his expertise in disputes involving solicitors, insurance brokers and pensions advisers, while ‘outstanding legal mind’ Sarah McNally works on the firm's most complex insurance matters. Newly promoted partner Antonia Pegden is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
William Glassey; Sarah McNally; Antonia Pegden; Alex Oddy; Tristan Smith
‘As well as an outstanding legal mind, Sarah McNally has an amazing capacity to absorb and recall detail, yet without letting it interfere with clear presentation and summary of ideas, issue and risks. The result is very efficient delivery of an excellent legal service.’
‘William Glassey is an outstanding client lawyer.’
‘Alex Oddy and Tristan Smith consistenty pull out all the stops for us and provide excellent quality legal and commercial advice.’
‘Alex Oddy is very experienced, has a great view of the market and provides excellent customer service.’
‘Expertise in the field; knowledge of the insurance market.’
‘Totally on top of large cases at all times.’
National Australia Bank
- Advising National Australia Bank in connection with eight claims brought by over 800 claimants in relation to fixed rate loans, with a complex group claim structure which may have a significant impact on other claims involving fixed rate loans.
- Offering counsel to UBS in connection with complex group litigation arising out of schemes promoted by the Ingenious Media group and various financial intermediaries involving multiple Claimants and Defendants.
HFW‘s team has well-established expertise in financial and construction professional negligence, and is regularly instructed by the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance brokers across the globe, also acting for selected claimants as well as its core defendant work. Christopher Foster heads the insurance team - his 'knowledge of relevant caselaw is second to none, and he is refreshingly hands on for a partner'. Christopher Cardona specialises in dispute resolution in the insurance and reinsurance sector, while consultant Andrew Bandurka is 'highly experienced and dedicated to getting the right result for the client'. Jonathan Bruce is known for his international work in the energy and marine insurance sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Christopher Cardona; Andrew Bandurka; Jonathan Bruce; Rupert Warren
‘They have a high level of knowledge of the commercial/professional aspects of the professional negligence disputes they deal with, combined with first-rate legal expertise. They are also properly sensitive to the needs and interests of their clients.’
‘Rupert Warren is a true expert in the field: thoughtful and informed, but also truly client-focused and commercial. Andrew Bandurka is an elder statesman – highly experienced and dedicated to getting the right result for the client – seen it all, and knows how to deal with any problem that comes up.’
‘A great team with a great practice in the top end of the market.’
‘Chris Foster has a sharp intellect and very considerable experience as a (re)insurance litigator.’
‘HFW is a truly insurance-focused firm; you are always assured that their people have a genuine interest and expertise in the industry.’
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Hogan Lovells International LLP is home to a ‘very thorough and pro-active team’, with specialists in pensions professional negligence disputes, as well as legal and financial professional negligence, advising both law firms and those bringing claims against law firms. The team draws on the wider firm's expansive global network, allowing them to effectively handle multi-jurisdictional cases. Nicholas Heaton leads the team - his experience involves substantial liability claims against professionals including solicitors, actuaries, consultants and accountants. Angela Dimsdale Gill‘s expertise is within the pensions sector, with a history of advising claimants and defendants. Matthew Bullen and counsel Nathan Sherlock are other notable team members.
Other key lawyers:
Angela Dimsdale Gill; Matthew Bullen; Nathan Sherlock
‘Nicholas Heaton is fantastic. Technically superb, he is equally adept with the detail and the big picture and never loses sight of what the client wants and what capital the other side might make of certain litigation decisions. Nathan Sherlock is a different character in terms of personality but is very bright, very hard working and diligent and is able to manage large litigation on his own. Of the other partners, Angela Dimsdale-Gill is formidable and Matthew Bullen energetic’.
‘Nick Heaton is a class act – calm at all times, incredibly knowledgable and with a fantastic grasp of the correct tactical approach to a case’.
‘The Hogan Lovells professional negligence offering is exceptional, especially in claims within the pensions industry or wider financial services sectors. Outstanding lawyers, they think deeply about the legal issues, applying the law skillfully and imaginatively. But they are also remarkable in their skill at mastering every detail of even the most massive case, while never losing sight of the wood for the trees. They really commit to a client’s cause and are formidable opponents’.
‘Very thorough and proactive team, always have the case under control’.
‘Matthew Bullen is very knowledgeable, experienced and hard-working. Nathan Sherlock provides excellent support’.
‘Matthew Bullen is very knowledgeable, experienced and hard-working. Nathan Sherlock provides excellent support’.
‘Angela Dimsdale-Gill – Very client focussed, highly experienced, total commitment to client interests, with a no stone unturned approach. Nathan Sherlock – very able, with good technical skills’.
- Acting for ENRC in proceedings brought against its former solicitors, Dechert LLP and its Neil Gerrard, and a series of high-profile interconnected cases.
The team at Kennedys is well-regarded for its work across all core areas of professional negligence, providing 'an all-round excellent client service'. The firm routinely defends claims against insurance brokers, including substantial Covid-19 related disputes, receiving instructions from a variety of large international law firms, and defending financial professionals. Jeremy Riley leads the team; he has a strong practice in defending construction claims and legal and financial professionals. Paul Carter has expertise in advising reinsurers on claims regarding major losses. Paul Castellani specialises in defending legal and technology professionals, often handling cases involving multiple parties. David Robinson is a name to watch for his extensive expertise in handling complex claims against legal professionals as well as advising insurers.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Carter; Paul Castellani; Martin Chesher; Matt Deaville; Simon Gibson; Fleur Rochester; Catherine Shuttleworth; Caterina Yandell; Paul Lowe; Christopher Butler; David Robinson; Tim Hague; Henry Saunders
‘Paul Castellani – pound for pound, the best solicitors PI defendant professional negligence lawyer I have worked with.’
‘They show real commitment to you as a client. They are quick to respond and work collaboratively and efficiently, both internally and with you.’
‘Paul Castellani is a rare breed of lawyer: both technically excellent and great with people. He takes complex legal issues and sets out his analysis in an easy to understand, jargon-free way. He is also someone who thinks outside of the box and his advice takes into account commercial considerations – he explores practical resolution opportunities rather than simply going through the motions of litigation.’
‘The professional negligence team are well balanced and provide an all round excellent client service.’
‘David Robinson is technically gifted and breaks down complicated issues well for understanding.’
‘The team at Kennedys always go the extra mile. They come up very quickly with solutions to problems and the team work incredibly well together.’
‘Paul Castellani is brilliant. His work is second to none; he ensures he knows every detail of every claim and comes up with solutions and tactics which win the day. A very safe pair of hands to deal with any professional indemnity claim on any subject. Personally he is very approachable and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Henry Saunders is a star in the making. He takes control of claims and fights your corner to the end. He will be one to watch going forward.’
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund
W R Berkley
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund
W R Berkley
- Representing the cladding subcontractors in a number of potentially precedent-setting cladding-related claims involving Premier Inn Hotels, after a review by Premier Inn of its hotels following the Grenfell fire in 2017.
- Acting for SRLV and its insurers in large and complex group proceedings in respect of advice it gave in relation to tax-efficient investments in film and video-game finance schemes managed by Ingenious Media.
- Representing a Guernsey-based corporate trustee in respect of claims collectively totaling c.US$40 million pursued on behalf of over 500 investors who invested in a proposed luxury eco-friendly resort in St Lucia, known as Freedom Bay.
Mayer Brown International LLP
Mayer Brown International LLP's team 'has the people and expertise to deal with the most complex litigation' handling cases spanning sectors including construction, legal, accountancy and real estate. The team is led by Jim Oulton and Michael Regan . Oulton, 'one of the grandees of the professional negligence world' is well known for his work for insolvency practitioners, accountants, lawyers and auditors, whereas Regan, who leads the construction and engineering group, is a 'highly experienced and ultra-calm operator; unflappable in a crisis'. Highly regarded former London managing partner Sally Davies has deep experience handling high level construction and insurance claims, while Jonathan Stone is another key name.
Jim Oulton; Michael Regan
Other key lawyers:
Sally Davies; Jonathan Stone; James Morris; Tim Shepherd; Matthew Williams
‘Mayer Brown’s chief strength is in the way they analyse a case, leaving nothing to chance. No matter how complex the case, and extensive the documentation, the team will get on top of the issues and the detail and synthesise it so that the client can understand the key elements of the dispute and take the necessary decisions.’
‘Jim Oulton is one of the grandees of the professional negligence world. Jim is relentless in his pursuit of the right answer and clients always know they have a real battler in their corner.’
‘Tim Shepherd is a rising star. As a relatively new partner, he has already established a heavyweight following of clients. Tim brings thoughtfulness and passion to his work. He is also a real team player.’
‘Technically excellent, tactical, responsive, supportive and proactive. They’re a great, hard-working and very supportive team and a pleasure to work with. I have recommended this team to many.’
‘Mayer Brown has an excellent team- they are responsive and give clear and practical advice and clearly have a deep understanding and connections within the insurance market that brings added value to their advice.’
‘Jon Stone is a real expert in construction professional negligence claims. He always produces an excellent service. He is very good at managing key relationships and keeps everyone informed which helps drive claims forward. He is well respected by brokers, insureds and insurers due to his strong technical knowledge and experience in the insurance sector. Jon is very approachable and is clear on what his clients needs are.’
‘Michael Regan is a highly experienced and ultra-calm operator. Unflappable in a crisis. Always sees through the fog. James Morris – massive capacity for detail, hard work and focusing on what’s important.’
Tuffin Ferraby Taylor
Andrew Thornhill QC; Bar Mutual
- Advising Standard Life and assisting to pursue a substantial claim against its professional team and development manager following significant delay and cost overruns during the construction of a retail park in Newbury.
- Secured a High Court victory for a firm of surveyors and their insurers by successfully defending a £115m claim for breach of duty brought by the National Trust.
- Obtained a significant High Court victory on behalf of the former administrators of One Blackfriars Limited.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright's team 'combine a high degree of legal expertise, litigation strategy and good commercial judgement'. Its lawyers handle high value claims, with a focus on the financial services and insurance sectors. The London team is able to draw on substantial support from the wider firm's vast global network, which spans Europe, the US, Asia, Australia, Canada, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Katie Stephen, ‘undoubtedly one of the best financial service practitioners in the City‘ and Michelle George, with over thirty years’ experience, regularly handle high value and complex commercial cases. Mike George is seen as 'a real rising star for the future.'
Other key lawyers:
Helen Fairhead; Mike George; Katie Stephen
‘A first class professional negligence team acting for insured defendants, mainly solicitors. They have an excellent understanding of the law, commercial awareness of risk, tactical nous and a good client management skills’.
‘Michelle George is always completely on top of the facts, analytical in her approach, keen to explore all the options which could assist her clients, and generally one of the best in this field.’
‘NRF’s professional negligence team is experienced, professional and commercial. They combine a high degree of legal expertise, litigation strategy and good commercial judgement.’
‘Michelle George is brilliant. She is highly strategic, focused and diligent. Mike George is a real rising star for the future. He is very hard working and has very good judgment.’
‘An innovative team that provides a clear roadmap to a successful outcome. The team consistently provides excellent value for money.’
‘Michelle George – a superb legal brain as well as being commercially astute. Michelle cuts straight to the heart of a matter. An excellent strategist.’
‘Mike George is a pleasure to deal with even on the most difficult and sensitive matters. His combination of legal acumen, eye for detail and strategic thinking means he delivers time and again.’
Lloyds Banking Group
Marsh & McLennan Companies
M S Amlin
Markel International Limited
Ward Hadaway LLP and its insurers
Osborne Clarke LLP and its insurers
Bevan Brittan LLP and its insurers
Insurers of Ince & Co
Charles Russell Speechlys and Speechly Bircham and their insurers
- Advised Speechly Bircham LLP and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP defending a High Court litigation all the way through to trial in respect of a professional negligence dispute concerning a private equity sale of a unified communications company.
- Gave guidance to Ward Hadaway LLP in respect of a High Court dispute concerning allegations of professional negligence with quantum in the region of US$45m.
- Offered counsel to Osborne Clarke LLP defending a High Court Litigation in respect of allegations of professional negligence in connection with a 2,000 unit development brought by two of the country’s leading house builders.
RPC fields an impressive professional negligence team covering all core areas, from construction and legal to financial, as well as a well-regarded practice in cyber and technology professional negligence claims. The firm 'deals with the most substantial cases with great experience and depth' defending high-stakes claims against national and international financial institutions, acting for leading international law firms, Big Four accountancy firms and construction specialists from contractors to engineers. Nick Bird is 'a delight to work with and has an amazing tactical brain', while Karen Morrish acts for accountants, lawyers and brokers in complex disputes, often involving top 30 law firms. Tim Bull is an expert in defending a wide range of clients, from solicitors to offshore financial and corporate service providers. Recently promoted partner Ben Gold is another key name, leading on a number of cases, while Michael Newham has recently joined from Mayer Brown International LLP; he defends claims and regulatory investigations against a range of financial professionals.
Nick Bird; Alan Stone; James Wickes; Richard Breavington
Other key lawyers:
Karen Morrish; Tim Bull; Michael Newham; Davina Given; Graham Reid; Simon Laird; Richard Breavington; Alexandra Anderson; Ben Gold; Tom Green
‘Alan Stone – superbly good at managing enormous number of cases and bringing on young lawyers. Alexandra Anderson – a class act with no limits to her capabilities. She’s at the top of her game. Tom Green – very able and knows absolutely everything happening on all his cases which given the number is quite a feat.’
‘The team is very strong with juniors being available and knowledgeable and confident enough to express a view/take matters further rather than always waiting for a partner to tell them what to do..’
‘Alexandra Anderson is a powerhouse. Her work rate, availability, legal and industry knowledge is second to none. She is a lawyer that you would want on your side. Tom Green has been promoted to partner and can only really be described as ‘quality’. Seriously hard working with in depth knowledge of the matters for which he is responsible. He is also an absolute joy to work with, and very practical.’
‘I am a long term fan of Nick Bird at RPC. He is one of the top names in solicitors’ negligence claims. He is utterly reliable in the complex claims – intellectually top notch, thoughtful, insightful and creative. He leads a good team; the quality is consistent throughout.
‘RPC are the ‘go-to’ team for all professional negligence matters, whether for solicitors, accountants, surveyors, construction professionals etc.’
‘Certainly one of the if not the leading solicitors’ defence practice, dealing with the most substantial cases with great experience and depth.’
‘This is a team with strength in depth and some outstanding individuals. The best in London.’
‘Nick Bird – Thoughtful and careful, a delight to work with. Tim Bull – Enormously experienced. Graham Reid – Grounded and capable of extracting winning points of law.’
Studio E Architects
Building Design Partnership Limited
- Acted for Studio E Architects Limited, the architect appointed with regard to the refurbishment works at Grenfell Tower.
- Represented various reinsurers in a coverage dispute against ABSA Group Limited (a South African bank) and related companies.
- Advising various professional and financial institutions on a range of high value and complex legal issues.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons is 'well equipped to handle the most demanding of cases' across the professional services, financial and construction sectors. Recent areas of focus have included cladding claims arising on the back of the Grenfell Inquiry. James Pollock's practice focuses on defending solicitors, construction professionals and brokers in complex claims - he is 'hugely respected in this sector.' Disputes head Emily Monastiriotis is seen as 'one of the most dynamic partners operating in this sector', while former senior partner Colin Passmore continues to work with the team, advising high-profile clients on select matters.
Other key lawyers:
Emily Monastiriotis; Colin Passmore; Zak Coles; Jonathan Spencer; Steven Kaye
‘I have been blown away by their ownership in the cladding arena. The updates and guidance they provide leads the market in this regard.’
‘Zak Coles – diligent coverage advice, she is one of two advisors that I immediately think of in this area now. Emily Monastiriotis – walking cladding encyclopaedia and incredibly responsive, I have been incredibly grateful for her expertise in this area.’
‘Excellent level of experience. Well resourced at senior and associate level.’
‘Experience and ability to quickly identify issues in complex and high value cases. In particular; James Pollock is hugely respected in this sector and Emily Monastiriotis is one of the most dynamic partners operating in this sector. Jonathan Spencer is an up and coming star.’
‘The practice has expertise in construction and engineering but also in property and those practices cross fertilise. They have experience acting for claimants and defendants whereas some firms always seem to act for defendants only and that wider experience is useful. Cases are managed efficiently.’
‘The team at Simmons is very well equipped to handle the most demanding of cases. They have the strength and depth to look after the client’s needs, and they know how to win.’
‘Emily Monastiriotis is a class act. She’s an expert with clients and knows how to win cases. Dispute resolution at Simmons will go from strength to strength in her hands.
Steven Kaye’s promotion to partner is very well deserved. He’s great at looking after the client, very sensible, has great judgement, and lives and breathes the case. You want him on your side.’
CNA Hardy/ IGI Insurance/ MPB Structures Limited
- Defending a AED >1BN counterclaim in relation to the second largest construction project in the Middle East.
- Advising a construction and property services firm in relation to the defence of its entire portfolio of properties on post-Grenfell cladding claims, the cumulative value of which is in excess of £100 million.
- Acting for the fire consultant who provided advice in the early stages of the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project, in relation to matters arising out of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Taylor Wessing LLP
Taylor Wessing LLP has built a strong reputation for its expertise in accontancy professional negligence, with 'a depth of knowledge of the reality of auditing beyond any other London litigation team.' The firm also handles high profile claims across financial, legal and construction professional negligence. Andrew Howell, 'an intelligent, careful partner, who is sensitive to client priorities' acts on disputes involving accountants, auditors, tax advisers, valuers, architects, surveyors, solicitors and investment advisers. Howell and Julian Randall have acted on some of the most high profile audit negligence cases in recent years. Stuart Broom is a highly intelligent junior partner, while senior associate Stephanie High is a name to watch.
Other key lawyers:
Julian Randall; Laurence Lieberman; Stuart Broom; James Bryden; Stephanie High
‘They take an effective, practical approach to litigation, with excellent client communication.’
‘Andrew Howell is an intelligent, careful partner, who supports his team very effectively and is sensitive to client priorities.
‘This is a very well-regarded team within the professional negligence market, with a well-deserved reputation for excellent legal service.’
‘I have worked with Andrew Howell and Julian Randall mostly, and I would recommend them to anyone with a difficult professional negligence or audit regulatory issue.’
‘Strong at every level. Stuart Broom is a highly intelligent junior partner. Andrew Howell is one of the leading names in the sector, with a deep knowledge of professional negligence litigation.’
‘Julian Randall and Andrew Howell: decades of experience in audit defence work for the big four and other major auditors. They have a depth of knowledge of the reality of auditing beyond any other London litigation team. Stuart Broom: Upcoming, rigorous, hard-working, with a depth of understanding of the field.’
‘Some of the best individuals in this area – Andrew Howell, Julian Randall, Stuart Broom – mean the team has a real depth of expertise/experience to draw on. In this area, Taylor Wessing punches well above its weight in disputes generally.’
‘Andrew Howell and Stuart Broom are fantastic at applying common sense to strategic and tactical problems: they ask all the right questions to make sure they don’t put a foot wrong. Julian Randall has a really sharp mind and digs into the really difficult legal problems to make sure the best points for the client are being identified.’
Grant Thornton UK LLP
- Acted for Grant Thornton in respect of proceedings by the liquidators of Patisserie Holdings Plc (in liquidation) and its group companies, arising from its role as statutory auditor.
The ‘brilliant team’ at DWF has a strong reputation for its breadth of knowledge and technical expertise within the professional negligence sphere. The firm is regularly instructed on multi-party and high value disputes on behalf of solicitors, surveyors and construction professionals. John Bennett is known for his work in solicitor’s negligence. Harriet Quiney has expertise concerning regulatory investigations involving financial professionals. Lucy Tolond recently joined the London team from BLM, bringing a strong reputation as a robust litigator.
John Bennett; Harriet Quiney; Mark Klimt
Other key lawyers:
Lucy Tolond; Ian Welland; Damien McKinnon; Sheona Wood; Robert Goodlad
‘DWF has huge experience in professional negligence resulting from their longstanding connections and relationships with the insurance companies who fund most defendants in professional negligence actions. The sheer number of professional negligence partners they possess who are of the very highest quality is unrivalled.’
‘Lucy Tolond is a fantastic recent acquisition for DWF – I have worked with her for many years and she is technically excellent, robust, great with clients and a pleasure to work with. Harriet Quiney – very good on financial services-related professional indemnity work and policy coverage issues. A very robust but pleasant opponent. Ian Welland – a stalwart of the defendant professional indemnity scene, and well-respected by all.’
‘The DWF team were very understanding of our needs – they appreciated the pressures we were under maintaining the project progress despite the ongoing discussions, and very quickly understood the position and sought to justify and respond against comments received robustly and fairly. DWF helped a potentially difficult situation become manageable without becoming overly adverse and disruptive.’
‘Harriet Quiney demonstrates a wealth of knowledge in her field and gives us the confidence we are getting the appropriate advice. Damian McKinnon is very responsive and demonstrates high level knowledge in his field, again giving us complete faith and confidence in these individuals and the firm as a whole.’
‘Sheona Wood stands out as a personable yet incredibly smart, robust and knowledgeable practitioner in the field of professional negligence litigation. She is undeniably an asset for her clients.’
‘There is a wealth and diversity of experience amongst the partners and associates in the professional negligence team at DWF. It is a bit of a hidden gem in the London insurance market, providing first class service and advice with no fuss or bravado. They simply get the job done and done very well, first time.’
‘John Bennett is the complete expert in barrister’s and solicitor’s negligence. John is fantastic with clients, bringing calm and charm, as well as technical brilliance and commercial acumen. A real stand out in the market.
‘Excellent relationship building and global reach. We had a liaison partner in London, who put us in contact with partners in other offices and facilitated a smooth delivery of services. The advice was very clear and unambiguous.’
Hiscox Underwriting Limited
Starr Underwriting Agents Limited
Liberty Speciality Markets
Arch Insurance Company Limited
- Defending a law firm and their professional indemnity insurers against a c.£84m claim by its former client, a property developer, for advice given in connection with a claim against a large national bank.
- Instructed for a top 50 law firm in connection with a c.£50m claim by its former client, a property development company, for advice given in connection with the acquisition, development and attempted sale of a large block of prime real estate in London.
- Acting on behalf of insurers in a highly complex coverage aggregation dispute in connection with claims arising from the discovery of a theft of monies from a firm of solicitors’ client account.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP defend high value claims and advises on regulatory investigations involving accountants, insurance brokers and pensions advisors. Simon Brooks is skilled in high value, complex claims, defending legal, financial and construction professionals. Claire Carroll defends claims brought against pensions professionals, trustees and advisers. Jennifer Miles, meanwhile, led the firm's team which reached a settlement on behalf of a former KPMG audit director who had faced an investigation and enforcement proceedings brought by the Financial Reporting Counsel.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Carroll; Jennifer Miles; Naz Gauri; Kari McCormick; Matthew Allen; Paula Gaddum
‘I have worked with Simon Brooks and Naz Gauri on a number of cases. They are in my experience both knowledgeable and experienced in the field of professional negligence and provide effective and focused representation for their clients.’
‘Simon Brooks has good judgement, which in my view is the key to effective representation.’
‘Naz Gauri and Simon Brooks provide excellent service and have a commercial approach. They are approachable and pragmatic.’
United Insurance Brokers
Airways Pension Scheme Trustee Limited (the “Trustee”, the corporate trustee of the Airways Pension Scheme, a British Airways pension fund).
Options Personal Pensions (previously Carey Pensions UK LLP/ Carey Pension Trustees UK Limited
- Represented an ex-KPMG audit director in both the investigation and subsequent enforcement proceedings brought by the Executive Counsel of the Financial Reporting Counsel under the Accountancy Scheme.
- Acted for a client who had placed insurance coverage for organisers of an Ultra Techno music festival in Abu Dhabi, which was cancelled because of the spread of coronavirus.
Keoghs LLP works across the legal, property, construction and electrical sectors, handling coverage matters and cyber insurance claims. The firm is known for having 'a good mix of people with different specialisms' providing 'clear and succinct advice.' Neil Trayhurn leads the team, with over twenty-five years’ experience in defending claims against professionals. Other notable members of the team include Dragos Stoica, Andrew Schütte, who is known for his ‘exceptional technical ability‘, and Connie Cobb, who focuses on the construction and electrical sectors.
Ruth Lawrence; Neil Trayhurn
Other key lawyers:
Dragos Stoica; Connie Cobb; Andrew Schütte; Dale Hilton
‘Good mix of people with different specialisms. Deliver what they say they will with no surprises. Easy to deal with.’
‘Andrew Schutte: exceptional technical ability delivered in a no-nonsense style. He’s the go-to partner for any troublesome legal problems.’
‘A growing team which has recruited carefully and effectively.’
‘Neil Trayhurn – An enormously experienced partner who has an excellent commercial feel.’
‘Strong team, very communicative and provide clear and succinct advice.’
‘Dale Hilton is very helpful, personable and always provides good advice.’
‘Good availability of personnel to assist in the PI industry with on time reporting, good expertise and all are approachable.’
Mills & Reeve LLP
Mills & Reeve LLP has an experienced team which defends claims against construction, legal and financial professionals. The practice is led by Neil Davis and Nicolas Oldham. Whilst Oldham heads up the construction and engineering risk practice, Davis leads the technology and cyber team. Lisa Taylor works alongside Tom Filby, defending complex claims against legal and financial professionals. Principal associate Claire Roake is a name to watch due to her focus in defending claims against solicitors, pensions advisers, IFAs, professional trustees and actuaries.
Neil Davis; Nicolas Oldham
Other key lawyers:
Eric France; Andrew Tobin; Tom Filby; Lisa Taylor; Claire Roake; Andrew McConnell
‘The team have a diverse range of skills and capabilities including using resources within other teams to assist with the legal advice given. The firm ensures we have good contacts within a range of offices and teams which assists with their overall offering and reserving and billing are transparent.’
‘Andrew McConnell is extremely approachable, communicative in terms of different strategies, and has a good knowledge of construction.’
‘They are a very visual team in terms of getting out in the market, attending events and offering training.’
PRP Architects and CNA
Manchester Underwriting Management
- Acting for a large national developer and design and build contractor and its PI Insurers in defence of fourteen separate claims by various housing associations, freeholder and leaseholder claimants in relation to fire-safety related-cladding defects identified in buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP offers a full-service negligence offering for both claimants and defendants. The firm’s strength lies within the financial services sector, with notable expertise in pensions negligence work. The team also caters for construction disputes, including cases over defective cladding. The team also benefits from wider in-house capabilities, including a advocacy unit, e-Data advisors and legal project managers to help clients save time and additional costs. Isabel Nurse-Marsh is the head of the pensions litigation team, with a track record of working with law firms that have been sued. Michael Fletcher regularly handles the highest value and complex matters, with expertise in solicitors’ negligence claims. Stuart McNeill regularly acts in cases involving domestic and international banking clients.
Laura Cameron; Michael Fenn; Colin Read; Isabel Nurse-Marsh; Neil Morris
Other key lawyers:
Stuart McNeill; Ben Fairhead; Michael Fletcher; Chamika Hand; Hayley Goldstone
‘Pinsent Masons are always well prepared and good to work with – they have a lot of experience in the professional negligence field.’
‘Superb – highly experienced, extremely bright and very responsive to clients’ commercial objectives.’
‘Colin Read is an excellent lawyer who is an astute professional negligence practitioner – the backbone of the firm’s reputation.’
‘The Pinsent Masons professional negligence team has extensive experience of professional negligence claims concerning financial services, especially in the pensions industry. They combine a deep understanding of all facets of professional negligence law with practical expertise in its application to the specific practice area in which the case arises.’
‘Isabel Nurse-Marsh is steel in a velvet glove: she is fearsomely tough, but utterly charming. She is also pragmatic and measured. She considers all sides of the case before devising the strategy which delivers the best outcome.
‘Hayley Goldstone is another outstanding partner in the team, delivering brilliant results for her clients. She is unflappable; impressively calm under fire. She also shows superb judgement for how her opponents will act next, playing many moves ahead of them down the chess board.’
‘The team is one of the leading claimant professional negligence teams in London. Thorough and experienced, they are phenomenal adversaries.’
‘Michael Fletcher has an incredible brain and is a favourite with clients.’
‘Ben Fairhead is a very able specialist in pensions related professional negligence. He has good tactical sense.’
- Acted for a global organisation which is now suing a leading law firm. The claim relates to negligent drafting in relation to a pension scheme and dates back decades.
- Ongoing work as advisors to a major actuarial firm and a major insurance broker in responding to numerous claims made/threatened for negligence, demonstrating the trust that such clients place in us and our ability to act effectively across multiple matters.
- Defending a major law firm in response to a £20m claim for negligence arising out of the closure of a pension scheme.
The financial lines practice at insurance specialist firm Plexus Law is spread across London, Leeds, Manchester and Taunton, fielding teams led by partners who ‘are closely involved in the cases but in a cost-efficient manner’. Head of the team Andrew Crocombe specialises in coverage disputes and defending claims against professionals, D&O’s and corporates. Jacqui Gillespie has experience with claims against solicitors and licensed conveyancers. Alasdair Dick is regularly instructed on high profile construction matters and is someone who ‘identifies the real issues and takes a proactive approach to finding solutions.’
Other key lawyers:
Jacqui Gillespie; Alain Orengo; Alasdair Dick
‘A partner-led team where individual partners are closely involved in the cases but in a cost-efficient manner.’
‘Alasdair Dick is a bright, imaginative and engaged with a focus on securing successful outcomes for his clients. Jacqui Gillespie is an experienced litigator with sound judgement.’
‘I have worked with Alain Orengo who is a pleasant and hard working lawyer, good to collaborate with, always ready to listen and take on board my thoughts and come up with innovative solutions.’
‘Plexus Law has bags of experience in this area. A very focused and dedicated team who work extremely hard to get great results for clients. Very commercial and resolution-focused.’
‘Alain Orengo and Jacqui Gillespie are both stars. Alain is always on top of every last detail, he’s a pugnacious litigator, an expert negotiator and gets the best possible result for his clients. Jacqui too is fearsomely hard-working, always knows her brief inside out, can fight a case when required but always has an eye on the best commercial outcome.’
‘Plexus have a great team in professional negligence and professional discipline. Advice is first rate and they are efficient and cost effective.’
Pen Underwriting Ltd
Chubb (formerly ACE)
- Acted for The Rugby Football Union along with its insurers in relation to a multimillion pound claim for negligent design and construction of utilities upgrades to Twickenham Stadium in preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
- Instructed to act for an insured solicitor who had allegedly negligently breached its duty to its client in a proposed property development – successfully defended matter and had application for Permission to Appeal first instance Judgment dismissed.
- Acted for an insured solicitor in claim involving allegations of fraudulent concealment on behalf of the solicitor – successfully had claim struck out.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP fields an experienced, international professional negligence team handling cases in the financial services, legal and insurance sectors. The firm is focused on sophisticated and cross-border work, dealing with clients' most sensitive matters, handling work for clients such as the 'Big Four' accountancy firms.
Jane Howard; Charles Hewetson
Other key lawyers:
Mark Pring; Margaret Campbell
‘Excellent sector knowledge of the financial and insurance sectors mean that Reed Smith is top of the list for actions against brokers, fund managers and other regulated professionals.’
‘Mark Pring is an exceptionally hands-on and collaborative partner. A real subject-matter expert for insurance industry professionals.
‘Margaret Campbell has huge experience of professional indemnity work, particularly for lawyers. Also very good on claims against insurance brokers.’
‘Impressive work with expert witnesses – great team players.’
‘Reed Smith are able to deal with matters in very quick order as well as possessing the expertise internally to deal with a wide range of areas.’
‘Jane Howard is not only highly knowledgeable in her area and easily contactable, but she is also extremely personable. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Jane.’
Stephenson Harwood handles both claimant and defendant based work and is known for its 'unrivalled expertise and experience in defending professional negligence claims in the context of pension schemes and private trusts'. The firm regularly sees itself in cases involving the 'Big Four' accountancy firms and other global financial institutions. Roland Foord is the firm's senior partner; he has extensive experience acting for and against professional services firms. Helena Berman has over twenty-five years experience in cases involving financial institutions, professional service consultancies, lawyers and regulatory bodies. Of counsel Paul Hollands is a name to watch.
Kate Cordery; Roland Foord
Other key lawyers:
Helena Berman; Paul Hollands; Jenny McKeown; Adam Culy; Danielle Maddox
‘What has stood out to me about this team is the way in which they support you at every stage of the case by anticipating potential issues before they have arisen, by explaining clearly the various options involved and also by the collaborative nature of the team (they obtain the client’s views and find a solution with you rather than for you).’
‘What makes Adam Culy different from other lawyers/competitors is firstly his personable nature and being someone that always offers insight, suggestions and ideas when there are perceived road blocks or tricky situations. I have found that he is really good at looking at the bigger picture and having a holistic view of the issues, but also offering specific and practical suggestions.’
‘I really enjoyed talking about the case with Paul Holland, and listening to his analysis which was always very thorough and well considered.’
‘I have worked with Adam Culy largely, although my employer has wider relationships with this team. Adam is very knowledgeable and experienced in the accountancy and professional negligence areas. He makes himself available at short notice to assist on matters, and I recommend him to others in my industry.’
‘The Stephenson Harwood professional negligence team has unrivalled expertise and experience in defending professional negligence claims in the context of pension schemes and private trusts. Their strategic vision at how to extricate a client from a claim with the minimum of cost is exceptional.’
‘Jenny McKeown has been brilliantly astute: she wears her learning lightly, but her judgement calls have been faultless, knowing which strategy to pursue when and predicting accurately how the litigation will play out.’
‘The team at Stephenson Harwood brings in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, coupled with excellent attention to detail. They are excellent at anticipating a client’s needs and their work product is invariably top notch. I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’
Sedgwick Noble Lowndes Limited
Mark Weiss Limited
HSBC UK Bank plc
- Instructed to defend a claim for circa £54 million (plus interest) against Deloitte by Christopher Rokos, a high-profile hedge fund founder, in relation to his participation in an Enterprise Zone Investment Scheme which is currently under challenge by HMRC.
- Acted for Mark Weiss Limited, an established London Old Master dealer, in a dispute over a painting sold privately through Sotheby’s in 2011 as a work by Frans Hals which has been questioned as to its authenticity, with Sotheby’s purporting to unwind the sale. The work was sold through Sotheby’s to a major USA collector for around US$11.2 million.
- Defending Mercer Limited and Sedgwick Noble Lowndes Limited in a negligence claim issued by the employer and trustees of the Honda pension scheme in December 2009 regarding a range of alleged defective amendments to the scheme between 1984-2000.
TLT's 'commercial and pragmatic' London professional negligence team is led by Peter Richards-Gaskin and forms part of the firm's nationwide practice. Dedicated to working for financial institution claimants, the team focuses on retail, commercial and wholesale banking litigation including cases concerning mis-selling, negligent advice and fraud. Andrew Lyon is head of the financial services sector, while other key names include legal directors Nick Curling and Claire Kershaw.
Andrew Lyon; Peter Richard-Gaskin
Other key lawyers:
Nick Curling; Claire Kershaw
‘TLT has a very strong professional negligence team and is highly regarded in the market.’
‘The professional negligence team is very experienced indeed and is both commercial and pragmatic.’
‘I have worked with Nick Curling on a substantial number of professional negligence claims over the years and regard him as an exceptional individual in this field.’
Coutts & Co
- Defending claims brought against Coutts by 21 individuals in connection with their investments in film finance schemes promoted and operated by the Ingenious Media group.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's national insurance disputes team, which includes lawyers in London, Bristol and Southampton, is led by Sushma MacGeoch - she is 'a tenacious litigator, who instils confidence in her team and fights ferociously to achieve the best outcome for the client.' Hannah Cane is head of construction insurance, while David Clark is head of claims handling. Simon Beckwith is another key name, with 'the strategic skills of a chess grandmaster in plotting his clients' cases.'
Sushma MacGeoch; Hannah Cane; David Clark
Other key lawyers:
Simon Beckwith; Mark Ratcliff; Tim Barr; Jo Rideout
‘WBD bring a high quality approach for a sensible fee. Their use of technology when it comes to document storage and presentation is second to none. They are very sensitive to the client’s commercial needs and tailor their approach according to the sums at stake.’
‘Sushma MacGeoch is a tenacious litigator, who instils confidence in her team and fights ferociously to achieve the best outcome for the client. Sushma has unrivalled industry experience in the professional sector and speaks the client’s language.’
Hannah Cane – thoughtful, dynamic individual with a specialism in solicitors’ cases. Great team player and strategist.’
‘Excellent client handling skills. Willing to fight the right cases.’
‘James Robins: provides excellent leadership on cases.
Tim Barr: acutely aware of the commercial implications for clients of cases brought against them.’
‘Simon Beckwith is one of London’s leading experts in defending professional negligence claims. He has the strategic skills of a chess grandmaster in plotting his clients’ cases and leads a powerful team.’
‘Simon Beckwith has 30 years experience in acting for insurers on professional negligence matters. That kind of experience is hard to find.’
Browne Jacobson LLP
Browne Jacobson LLP has a strong national team which defends claims against a range of professionals including legal professionals, accountants, surveyors/valuers, actuaries and architects. Team head Ed Anderson has twenty-five years experience in defending claims, specialising in complex claims in areas such as tax and pensions. ‘Standout partner’ Jonathan Newbold who is based in Nottingham, is head of financial services and insurance. Tim Claremont leads the construction and engineering team, and has broad experience advising on both domestic and international claims.
Ed Anderson; Jonathan Newbold
Other key lawyers:
Derek Bambury; Tim Claremont; Jim Hobsley; Lisa Henty; Laura Brown
‘Jim Hobsley is very efficient and has an excellent attention to detail. His advice is swift and sensible and he is able to take on board all of my queries and deal with them expeditiously. His approach is measured and comprehensive and he gives good and solid advice. I feel that my case is in safe hands with him.’
‘Excellent, highly respected team.’
‘Jonathan Newbold – a standout partner, a lawyer’s lawyer yet immensely popular with clients. Derek Bambury – very well liked by the industry and clients alike.’
‘Wide range of experience, capabilities and understanding of client’s needs. Good understanding of what needs to be communicated, when.’
‘Clarity of advice; accessible and straightforward.’
‘Ed Anderson is extremely knowledgeable with the right amount of determination and client awareness. Lisa Henty is methodical, informative and approachable.’
International General Insurance Company
Tokio Marine HCC
Great Lakes Insurance
- Advising insurers on several thousand buyer-financed property claims (aka fractional sales) involving PBSA (purpose built student accommodation) and the developers Pinnacle Alliance and North Point Group.
- Offering counsel to an insurer on a large group action. This involves fraudulent buyer-financed development schemes involving hotel rooms and care homes and the developer Northern Powerhouse Developments.
- Defending a very large firm of insurance brokers against a claim arising out of the avoidance of a property policy following a fire that destroyed a Grade II listed property. We are also dealing with a separate coverage arbitration against their former insurers regarding coverage for the claim.
Burges Salmon LLP
Burges Salmon LLP has a primarily claimant-focused practice, covering a range of areas of professional negligence including claims concerning pensions, lawyers and surveyors. The team has of late seen a surge in claims in relation professional advice during the Covid-19 pandemic. Andrew Burnette is the head of the practice, specialising in claims against solicitors, surveyors, auditors and financial services professionals – he splits his time between London and Bristol. Justin Briggs has a track record of work on pensions claims.
Other key lawyers:
Justin Briggs; Suzanne Padmore; Caroline Brown; Amy Khodabandehloo; Kelly Whittaker
- Advising the PPF-appointed Professional Trustee, now PSGS Trust Corporation Ltd (formerly HR Trustees Ltd), in a negligence claim against a pensions consultancy which results from errors committed in the closure of a defined benefit scheme to future accrual, as well as in implementing other scheme changes.
- Pursuing a surveyor negligence claim against Cushman & Wakefield for over-valuing two neighbouring mansions in St James’ Park, London, which stood as security for a £30 million bridge-to-sell loan to a developer.
Edwin Coe LLP
London firm Edwin Coe LLP is known for dealing with claims against insurance brokers - the team's experience is described as 'unrivalled in the industry'. The team focuses on acting for claimants against insurance companies and brokers’ PI insurers. Roger Franklin is the head of insurance litigation - he is a 'hugely experienced partner with a busy and impressive caseload. Nicola Maher also pursues claims against insurance brokers, but also has an interest in relation to cyber insurance cover. Oliver Pannell is a name to watch for his interest in issues related to cladding.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Whitton; Nicola Maher; Oliver Pannell; Kate Dwyer; Simeon Gilchrist
‘Very experienced at handling claims against professionals. Their experience of dealing with claims against insurance brokers is unrivalled in the industry – they handle more such claims than any other claimant firm, and they prosecute such claims much better than anyone else.’
‘Michael Whitton has done claims against brokers for longer than anyone else. Very tough negotiator.’
‘Roger Franklin – another hugely experienced partner with a busy and impressive caseload. Conducts a wide range of claims against professionals.’
Nicola Maher – partner with great attention to detail. Oli Pannell – a new partner who is technically excellent and is a joy to work with – a real rising star.’
‘The team is very careful and diligent while pursuing difficult cases with great skill and intelligence’
‘Simeon Gilchrist is hard working, intelligent and very knowledgeable. Also practical in advising effective ways of managing the case. Highly recommended.’
‘Very focused, and really know their stuff. Always a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Nicola Maher and Michael Whitton are both hugely able lawyers.’
The 'exceptionally thoughtful' team at Fieldfisher handles complex disputes in both the claimant and defendant arenas. Aymen Khoury is experienced in contractual disputes - he has a strong international practice with a focus on the Middle East, and is praised for his 'inspirational leadership'. Owen Talfan Davies specialises in professional negligence related to real estate and energy. Matthew Sharp is a name to watch for his claimant based work relating to tax.
Other key lawyers:
Owen Talfan Davies; Antony Phillips; Jonathan Ray-Smith; Matthew Sharp
‘Exceptionally thoughtful and thorough and totally committed to the clients’ cause.’
‘Good strength in depth and breadth – there is expertise across the various sectors required to bring and maintain a successful professional negligence claim in big-ticket litigation.’
‘Matthew Sharp – excellent attention to detail, very responsible, and always with a good idea for the broader commercial strategy.’
‘Clients looking for a well-resourced full-service firm for professional service need look no further. One of the key strengths of Fieldfisher is the fact that it can easily draw on its wide range of expertise in other departments for specialist ad-hoc advice on any given professional negligence action. Having real expertise on hand means the costs are controlled and delay is avoided because partners in other departments are able to provide the depth of expertise required.’
‘Aymen Khoury leads an exceptionally talented team of lawyers. His inspirational leadership brings out the star quality of his associates and his commercial and strategic mind puts clients at ease.’
Aurium Real Estate London Ultra Prime Limited
British Pipeline Agency
Hoegh Capital Partners
Mirza Law Limited & Ors
- Acting for a property development company, in relation to a professional negligence claim in the High Court against Mishcon de Reya LLP.
- Instructed for a consortium of overseas investors in claims arising from a multi-million pound development dispute concerning a large student accommodation development in Liverpool.
- Acting for UKOP on a quadripartite property dispute, giving rise to claims in trespass on private land, negligence and breach of contract, in relation to pipelines installed in the wrong location. Claims in trespass and for damage to property were brought against our client resultant from the negligence of our client’s contractors, arising from oil pipelines being laid contrary to terms agreed between UKOP and a substantial landowner.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is focused on group action claims against solicitors and on claims for and against construction professionals. The professional negligence team is led by David Niven, working alongside David O’Brien. Niven acts for claimants in high value, multi-party actions against solicitors and other professionals, while O'Brien - 'a standout performer' - specialises in complex commercial and financial disputes. Senior associate Nicole Blakey is described as 'a star, fantastic to work with - very clever but also approachable and kind.'
Other key lawyers:
David O’Brien; Nicole Blakey; Colin Hayes; Kamran Rehman
‘The individuals in the team in each case complement one another so that there is a partner in charge of overall strategy, an associate solicitor who deals with the day-to-day running of the case and one or two paralegals. They are all extremely competent and work very well with each other.’
‘David Niven has a really good grasp of tactics and strategy and is very experienced. He is commercially minded and a really good negotiator.’
‘David Niven was instrumental in setting up the group actions practice – he saw that there were many individuals who had smaller claims against solicitors who would not get proper redress on their own and he set up a team to help larger groups. David O’Brien is extremely bright and able to explain difficult concepts clearly.’
‘Nicole Blakey is a star – she is fantastic to work with – very clever and aware of the legal concepts but also approachable and kind – she serves her clients well.’
‘Kamran Rehman has good commercial judgment. He has a strong team under him.’
‘The team has strength in depth across the board with some standout individuals. One of the top firms when it comes to a professional negligence practice.’
‘David O’Brien is a standout performer – excellent on the detail, a very good communicator and at the top of his game.’
Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd
Giambrone – 85 claimants
Cutlers Holdings Limited (formerly Sheffield United Limited) and Scarborough Group International Limited
Social Money T/A SoMo
- Acting for c.200 claimants pursuing professional negligence claims against their own solicitors, seeking damages of c.£17m
Weightmans LLP is active in defending claims in the construction, cyber and financial services sectors. The firm has been heavily involved in defending a large number of cladding-related claims post-Grenfell on behalf of construction professionals. Quentin Fox acts on behalf of insurers and has over thirty years experience in the field. James Denison has a focus on the financial services and construction industries. Legal director Eleanor Kilner is regarded for her work in niche areas of professional negligence including auctioneers, matrimonial and interior design.
Quentin Fox; Simon Adam
Other key lawyers:
Ed Lewis; Eleanor Kilner; James Denison
‘Quentin Fox is an acknowledged expert in the field of professional liability particularly as regards insurance related disputes. He rightly commands a huge following amongst insurers and has a remarkable ability to choose the right points and make them count.’
‘The team are responsive, knowledgeable and on point with their advice whether dealing with a large corporate client or small SME which is important to us in the work Weightmans provide as our clients are very diverse in size.’
‘Quentin Fox’s ability to cut to the chase and at a very early stage and identify a strategy which fits both ours and our clients needs is highly appreciated.’
AmTrust Europe Ltd/Collegiate
AXA Insurance UK Plc
Markel (UK) Ltd
Tokio Marine HCC
Starstone Insurance SE
- 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.
Withers LLP advises clients bringing complex claims against a wide range of professionals, including lawyers, accountants, tax advisors, architects, real estate professionals, engineers, physicians and hospitals, handling both claimant and defendant work. Eleni Polycarpou leads the team, having built a diverse practice acting for various claimants and defendants, especially in the legal and financial realm. Roberto Moruzzi has over thirty years experience dealing with professional negligence claims, and has been instrumental in building the firm's UK/Italian practice. Senior associate Joshua Swift is a name to watch.
Other key lawyers:
Roberto Moruzzi; Stephen Ross; Joshua Swift; Peter Leckey
‘Prepared to fight cases where necessary, keeping in mind the commercial (and personal) reality for the client.’
‘Eleni Polycarpou: excellent strategist and great with clients.’
‘Withers shows great dedication to its clients and fights tenaciously for their interests. Withers have the benefit (rare in my experience among professional negligence firms) of having fee earners who are very experienced in commercial litigation and arbitration, so bring that perspective also to the table, which is very helpful.’
‘Peter Leckey is a tenacious and formidable lawyer, who seeks to obtain every possible advantage for his clients. Eleni Polycarpou is extremely commercially aware and brings huge practical experience to the team.’
‘A very effective time team that understands the tensions – and commercial realities – for client in this area.’
‘The team is unique because they bring both fraud/breach of trust and professional negligence to the table with considerable experience of those areas. There are few firms that can combine that expertise.’
‘Stephen Ross has a wealth of experience, is extremely calm even under fires that the other side are determined to keep lighting. There are few partners that can withstand onslaughts of this nature. But he does marvellously.’
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Nicholas Yell
Etroy, Stephane Roland and RBC Trust Company
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Colm Nugent
- Acting for a successful entrepreneur in a £10m claim against his former solicitors, arising out of a complex shareholder dispute following the sale of a successful business.
- Instructed by Bar Mutual’s insured, Nicholas Yell, in a claim made by his ex-clients against him and his instructing solicitors, who alleged in broad terms negligence on the part of both Mr Yell and his instructing solicitors as regards a trial the ex-clients were defendants in some years ago.
- Acting for Barrowfen Properties Limited in a derivative action against a former director and his legal representatives in respect of various claims including forgery, conspiracy and professional negligence.
Carter Perry Bailey LLP
'Amazing' boutique firm Carter Perry Bailey LLP is known for being 'absolutely first rate on insurance and reinsurance and professional negligence'. The firm prides itself on its high partner to staff ratio in comparison to larger firms, and clients 'can be sure their case will be given the attention it requires by someone who really understands the issues'. Firm founder Stephen Carter leads the team; he works with 'true star' Mark Aizlewood, who has expertise in claims against solicitors, valuers, construction and finance professionals. Fellow founder Bernadette Bailey has expertise in international direct insurance claims, including public and employers’ liability.
Other key lawyers:
‘A great team, which is unusually partner-led in a much truer sense than most law firms. You can be sure your case will be given the attention it requires by someone who really understands the issues. They are absolutely first rate on insurance and reinsurance and professional negligence. An amazing boutique firm.’
‘The standout individual for professional negligence is Mark Aizlewood. He is a real fighter – happy to take on the difficult points as well as the clear ones. A true star.’
‘Mark Aizlewood is a real gem, giving considered, economic professional indemnity advice on claims of any size. He comes across as really caring about the outcome and is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Small, close-nit team who work well together – all very focused on client needs with no separate agendas.’
‘They are a small but very experienced and knowledgeable firm in this area of who provide a first-rate service and are extremely friendly and pleasant people to deal with.’
‘Bernadette Bailey and Stephen Carter epitomise the values of the firm – they are both excellent lawyers who are prepared to dig in if appropriate, but are always able to offer good practical solutions to thorny issues.’
PartnerRe Ireland Insurance Ltd
Nexus Claims Management
NPA Insurance Company
- Acting for Solicitors’ Qualifying Insurers arising out of the sale of commercial premises for conversion to residential property for a sale price £3m.
- Instructed by Nexus Claims to defend a £9m claim against a firm of brokers arising from alleged failures to advise in respect of business interruption cover.
- Advising qualifying insurers on coverage issues consequent upon the failure of one of its policyholders, to include as to the Successor Practice provisions and availability of Run-off cover.
Hamlins LLP's professional negligence team has experience acting both for and against professionals in sectors including legal, financial and construction. Dispute resolution head Amanda Burge is the key name - she is able to draw on her experience of working at defendant insurer firms and is regarded as 'the consummate professional lawyer - highly focused, commercially aware and personally committed'. Sarah Finch focuses on property matters, advising on real estate professional negligence claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a commendable depth of knowledge and experience in many areas of law enabling it to provide well thought-through advice on complex issues. The team also has wide connections to call in expert advice when needed.’
‘Amanda Burge is the consummate professional lawyer. She is highly focused, commercially aware, personally committed, fully immersed in the legal issues involved, tenacious, resilient, able to review the merits of a case, thoughtfully assesses the best approach to dealing with the other side and gives great confidence and faith to us as clients. At the same time, she is friendly, conversational and makes all our interactions smooth and easy.’
‘The team listened to our specific needs from the start and we didn’t ever feel that we needed to spend an endless amount outside of our budget to get the work done.’
‘The team was always quick to respond to queries and even worked over holiday periods to ensure we got what we needed in tight timescales.’
‘Amanda Burge is exceptional. A high quality service, delivered speedily. Amanda always manages to make time – one is never left in limbo wondering if you are going to get an answer. And her answers are clear and practical. Also a pleasure to work with. She spends time getting to know her client and works well with us to achieve optimum solutions.
‘Amanda Burge is very thorough and is able to propose sensible and achievable objectives with a clear idea of the cost of getting there.’
‘Strong reputation, good clients and excellent service’
‘Sarah Finch is more than just a good solicitor – she is business minded, personable, approachable and so pleasant to deal with. She gets stuck in to matters and does not shy away from putting in the time needed to consistently provide us with the best advice and service we could ask for!’
European Land & Property Limited
Triple Point Investment Limited
The Pears Group of Companies
Dobler Metallbau GmbH
- Acting on behalf of joint owners of a property in respect of a claim against a firm of solicitors who gave negligent advice relating to the property which our clients purchased in 2016. The owners only received limited information about a defective licence.
- Instructed on behalf of an industry regulatory body in respect of multiple clams against one of its members for professional negligence and/or fraudulent activity.
- Acting on behalf of a property developer on a professional negligence claim against a statutory manager for negligent conduct in the course of his appointment.
Stewarts Law LLP
The ‘talented and experienced’ team at Stewarts Law LLP have a specialised practice focused on tax based professional negligence, and has advised on several high profile tax professional negligence actions, including the high-profile Ingenious litigation relating to film finance schemes. Founder of the department David Pickstone represents both high net worth individuals and corporates; he is known for being 'extremely good at conveying complex legal issues in ways that laymen can understand.' He works alongside James Le Gallais, who 'combines a particularly astute legal brain with hard-edged commerciality' and senior associate Alex Lerner.
Other key lawyers:
James Le Gallais; Darren Kidd; Alex Lerner
‘David Pickstone is an outstanding communicator – extremely good at conveying complex legal issues in ways that laymen can understand.’
‘A team of exceptional lawyers across all levels of seniority. Talented and experienced in the sector, they are really very impressive indeed. Top quality partners are supported by a team of up and coming associates who look to be stars of the future.’
‘James Le Gallais is an outstanding lawyer combining a particularly astute legal brain with hard-edged commerciality. He is a joy to work with. David Pickstone is a pre-eminent partner in relation to tax scheme work.’
‘Best in class litigation practice.’
‘David Pickstone – excellent client skills, high quality legal and litigation skills.’
- Represented a large group of claimants in the Ingenious Litigation, with the firm being the lead claimant group. The procedural decisions arising from the case have set important new precedents in relation to security for costs and litigation funding, alongside issues such as the scope of the duty of care of professional advisors.
- Instructed by c.130 investors in a complex claim against a leading KC arising out of their failed investments in The Invicta FIlm Partnership No.43 LLP.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors
Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles a variety of complex claims, with a focus on supporting vulnerable clients in cases of solicitors negligence. The firm also acts in claims against legal, construction and engineering and financial professionals. Sobashni De Silva has over fifteen years' experience of representing a diverse clientele in a range of claims, while Anthony Okumah also has expertise in claims against legal and financial professionals.
Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah
‘The professional negligence team has an excellent attitude to collaboration.’
- Assisted with bringing a professional negligence claim against a client’s former solicitor in connection with a property matter.
- Instructed to assist with bringing a professional negligence claim against the client’s former solicitor who assisted the client with a conveyancing matter.
Healys LLP has an established practice focused on claimant based work, covering legal, financial and construction professional negligence. Team head Robert Johnson, who has now been at the firm for over 17 years, has a wide range of experience dealing with claims against solicitors, barristers and litigation funders. David Bailey has a good track record acting for claimants against legal and financial professionals.
Other key lawyers:
David Bailey; Ben Parr-Ferris
‘We took a professional negligence claim to Healys on the recommendation of a friend who had had a successful outcome from them on her own claim. We had previously had a bad experience with another firm of solicitors which had taken a whole year to achieve very little. But from the very start of our relationship with Healys we were impressed and reassured by the diligence, professionalism and pragmatism of their team. Going to law is never a comfortable experience for the layman, but we felt from the very start that we were in excellent hands, and the final outcome fully justified our confidence.’
‘Robert Johnson immediately got to grips with the issues. Until our matter was concluded he kept absolutely on top of things, pushing hard to get us a settlement, and copied us in to everything as matters developed. We were impressed at how thorough and tenacious he was. His whole attitude was immensely encouraging and reassuring, and in the end he achieved a very successful outcome for us. We were extremely pleased with all our dealings with him and his firm.’
‘Fast and effective communication, impressive understanding of law, procedures and process. I just wish I had found out about them earlier!’
‘I worked with Robert Johnson – he was always very fast to respond, clear in terms of my expectations and was able to advise me on the process and the most likely outcome. The result of my claim was exactly as predicted, although it turned out even better.’
‘I can only stress how impressed I was with Robert Johnson – I will not hesitate to instruct Healys for any future legal requirements.’
‘Fabulous law firm, so efficient and easy to work with These people know their craft and walk the extra mile for you.’
‘I cannot sing high enough praises of Robert Johnson, For courtesy, honesty, attention to detail, concern for client and sense of fairness. Not only from a professional legal services perspective, but also from a communication perspective which was second to none. I truly believe that if I had used Robert service from the outset, I would have certainly had a more favourable outcome, rather than spending valuable time and money on poor legal advice and service from previous law firm.’
Gravitas & CIE International
Monmouthshire Building Society
Landbay Partners Limited
Roskell Lagra Limited (Mr Sheyi Banjo)
Gorse Irwin Limited (Mr Sheyi Banjo)
- Acted on claim against a firm of solicitors arising out of the fact that in acting for the client in his intended purchase of the property, they transferred the purchase monies of £270,000 to the conveyancers purportedly acting for the sellers, but did not obtain for the client the property, or take any (proper) steps to ensure that the sellers solicitors had carried out sufficient due diligence on the parties for whom it acted.
- Acted on claim against a firm of architects arising out of the manner in which they dealt with the demolition of a then existing building and the erection of a detached single two-storey dwelling with access, parking and amenity at the client’s property in failing to ensure compliance with planning permission/building regulations.
- Acted on a claim against a firm of solicitors arising out of the manner in which they handled the client’s arbitration proceedings in a $20m claim against a Chinese company under the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Administered Arbitration Rules.
Kyriakides & Braier Solicitors
Kyriakides & Braier Solicitors specialises in representing claimants pursuing high value claims against City of London law firms, specialist practices and counsel. Heading the team is Avi Gordon, who has extensive experience in undertaking claimant professional negligence, including commercial disputes and legal negligence claims. Alongside Gordon is Josh Cocklin, whose vast experience includes acting for claimants against law firms and financial institutions.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have worked with Avi Gordon in a complicated professional negligence case. He is very bright, conscientious, and a pleasure to work with.’
‘The team are innovative and energetic.’
‘Avi Gordon is very responsive and hardworking.’
‘The people I dealt with managed every aspect of the case in a manner so far in expectation, that I had not encountered before with any lawyers. .They were not only easy to get on with and approachable but forensic in their study of every aspect of the case and totally committed.’
‘Avi Gordon managed my case with input from Josh Cocklin. Their calm, common sense and insightful approach along with their willingness to learn and understand different businesses so they could deliver the case to it’s strengths went far beyond what one would normally expect from lawyers. I genuinely can’t praise them enough.’
‘I like the team – they get on well together and support each other. Their client management is really pleasant.’
‘I have worked with Avi Gordon and Josh Cocklin. Avi Gordon is really a pleasure to work with and he just absorbs the problem and manages it. Avi is very firm and is an excellent litigator. I have used many firms, including magic circle, over the years and he really is amongst the best.’
‘Josh Cocklin is an excellent strategist. He is brilliant at getting into detail and is very decisive. He is always calm and measured and does not seem to get fazed by anything.’
Karis Developments Limited
- Acting for Karis Developments Limited in its £18 million negligence claim against Howard Kennedy LLP arising out of their drafting of a large scale development agreement with a local authority.