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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Insurance > Professional negligence > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Rising stars

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The BLM professional negligence team is led by Jason Nash - 'one of the most experienced and best-connected partners in the country in this area.' The practice acts for professionals from all disciplines and has particular expertise in professional indemnity claims and in handling claims relating to fraud, especially where solicitors are involved. On the non-contentious side the team assists clients with the drafting of policy wordings and terms and conditions. Nash works alongside Ben Parks, who specialises in defending high value claims brought against surveyors, brokers, accountants and construction professionals.

Practice head(s):Jason Nash

Other key lawyers:Ben Parks; Iain Fraser; Anne Eady; Sarah Elderton; Michael Appleby; Richard Gould; Jennifer Bebbington; Laura Scott

Testimonials

'Jason Nash is one of the most experienced and best-connected partners in the country in this area; he has exceptional judgement.'

'Ben Parks is an up and coming and very highly regarded partner.

'Exceptionally good value for money; a very experienced team, offering insurers and defendants a highly competent service.'

'BLM have achieved a rare consistency in the professional indemnity market in the last few years. They seem hardly to be buffeted by the winds of change which blow other firms off panels and into difficulties. This is probably because they boast such a consistently strong team.

'The team is talented at all levels. Jason Nash has an eye for selecting strong asoociates who provide great support. It is one of the top three professional indemnity practices in the area.'

'I particularly recommend two partners, Ben Parks and Jason Nash. Ben is calm and measured, but his calmness masks a steely resolve. He has a habit of getting good results. Jason is as tenacious as he is sagacious. He has a nose for a weak case and will hunt it down mercilessly.

'Jason Nash is highly experienced in leading teams dealing with the heaviest of cases. He is a born negotiator and has a strong commercial feel.'

'Ben Parks goes from strength to strength. He has developed into a very safe pair of hands in whom clients repose trust.

'Richard Gould is an associate who is both efficient and mature. He has a good feel for which cases to fight.'

'Jason Nash is responsive, pragmatic, and highly personable.'

Key Clients

QBE

Zurich

Barbican

RSA

Hiscox

HDI

Manchester Underwriting

AXA

James Preece and Louisa Robbins lead Clyde & Co LLP's professional negligence department, which in the past year has seen an increase in instructions in the property sector relating to claims against solicitors and surveyors, as well as an uptick in the defence of claims against construction professionals. Disciplinary and regulatory work is another area of enhanced activity for the team. Senior associate Anne-Marie Morgan-Barrett is also recommended.

Practice head(s):James Preece; Louisa Robbins

Other key lawyers:Sam Godding; Anne-Marie Morgan-Barrett; Vicky Hardy

Testimonials

'The team at Clyde & Co has a unique blend of powerhouse intellects and those with an eye for detail and diligence beyond the call of duty. It is a fantastic blend which keeps clients happy and is a dream to work for and with.'

'Louisa Robbins is bright, effervescent, and with an output that would put two solicitors to shame, let alone one. She is liked by everyone who has dealings with her, and is at the very top of her field. If she cannot crack a case, it is uncrackable.'

'James Preece is a seriously bright man, with a great feel for strategy and the nuance of difficult cases. He is also extremely personable, and a great favourite with insurers and clients alike.'

'A great team, highly skilled and a top performer. Clyde & Co perform to the highest standards.'

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

FS Legal

FS Legal has a national reputation for high-profile, multi-million pound ‚Äėbig ticket‚Äô litigation, in particular tax negligence claims having recovered seven-figure settlements. With offices in Manchester, London and Birmingham, the Firm boasts a nationally renowned team of litigators. FS Legal don‚Äôt act for Banks or Insurers and are uniquely conflict-free.

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The practice at DWF, which is led by Andrew MacLeod, holds panel places for many of the UK's largest general professional indemnity insurers and syndicates. The team has particular strength in handling high-value, multi-party construction-related  cases, but also has a track record on claims involving other professionals such as solicitors, insurance brokers, accountants, surveyors stockbrokers and IFAs. Other areas of expertise include D&O/management liability claims as well as breach of contract, IP and cyber claims in the IT and media sectors. Senior associate Nathan Penny-Larter is recommended.

Practice head(s):Andrew MacLeod

Other key lawyers:Mark Jenkyn-Jones; Paul Dally; Michael Pease; Nathan Penny-Larter; Hilary Harrison

Testimonials

'A very strong team, with good leadership and some excellent senior associates such as Nathan Penny-Larter. They are able to deal with complex issues quickly and efficiently, and this includes both coverage and defending the substantive allegations of negligence.'

'Nathan Penny-Larter is a standout individual. You want him on your side. He has a broad client base and experience of both insurance, and different areas of professional negligence; works ferociously hard, is clever and is responsive and a pleasure to deal with.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for an architect in a claim relating to high rise student accommodation cladding.
  • Advising an international bridge engineering consultancy on a £22m claim.
  • Acting for a specialist façade contractor on a £12m claim.
  • Represented solicitors sued in connection with the handling of a murder trial.
  • Representing an architect's practice in a £1.2m planning dispute.

Litigation boutique FS Legal has particular expertise in financial negligence claims and complex tax negligence claims against banks, financial institutions and major insurers, with values in the multimillion to billion-pound range. The practice, which is jointly run by Kit Sorrell and Julia Norris, conducts the vast majority of their cases on a fully contingent, no win no fee basis. Senior associate Nicola Stanley is another key member of the team, while Christine Newton joined as a legal director from logistics firm Arrow XL in December 2018.

Practice head(s):Julia Norris; Kit Sorrell

Other key lawyers:Mubarik Haider; Christine Newton; Nicola Stanley

Testimonials

'The firm has developed an impressive niche expertise in claims against accountants, tax advisers and other financial professionals. They are particularly experienced in professional negligence claims arising from failed tax avoidance schemes.'

'Kit Sorrell is very experienced in professional negligence claims; something of an elder statesman on the Manchester legal scene. Julia Norris is keen, commercially astute and has formidable capacity for absorbing complex case files in short time.'

'Julia Norris' advice is clear, concise and confident.'

'Julia Norris is very responsive and demystifies complex issues.'

'FS Legal are utterly fearless and fight for their clients, offering an unbelievable service. They believe in their ability to pick winning cases but there is an underlying desire to assist people who have been subject of professional negligence and have lost all their savings.'

'Julia Norris is an absolute superstar and one of the best professional negligence lawyers around - the combination of Kit Sorrell with all his contacts and experience with a brilliant young lawyer make a fabulous team, and they are proving hugely effective.'

Key Clients

Michael W Halsall Solicitors

George Urquhart

Leasehold Clients

Blackstar/E-Shares Clients

Work highlights

  • Acting for Michael W Halsall Solicitors in a £6m-plus professional negligence claim concerning negligent tax advice.
  • Acting for one of the defendants in a multimillion-pound action dubbed the ’Ingenious’ litigation.
  • Representing more than 630 individual clients nationwide in relation to the Leasehold scandal where homeowners find themselves unknowingly bound by highly onerous ground rent clauses rendering their homes worthless and leaving them unable to sell or remortgage.
  • Acting for numerous claimant companies in claims against their accountants for negligent advice concerning tax mitigations schemes known as E-Shares and promoted by Blackstar (Europe) Limited.

Kennedys' professional negligence practice offers a broad range of expertise, defending all kinds of professionals, from lawyers and accountants to construction professionals and contractors, particularly in relation to cladding/fire-safety issues for commercial and residential properties. The team also advises on insurance coverage disputes, acting for many of the market's leading insurers. Key team members include practice head Jeremy Riley, Claire Bushen, Tom Pelham and associate Thomas Handley.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Riley

Other key lawyers:Claire Bushen; Tom Pelham; Thomas Handley; Sarah Mawbey; Hannah Williams

Testimonials

'The team is exceptional, always available and instantly engaging. In particular, Tom Pelham is a delight to work with. His no-fuss approach is exactly what we need and he puts our clients instantly at ease.'

'The firm has a very good global reach - the Manchester team are responsive and can deal with anything we throw at them.'

At specialist professional indemnity firm Legal Risk LLP, the 'outstandingly knowledgeable' Frank Maher focuses on advising top 100 law firms (including US firms), their insurers and regulators on professional liability claims, including professional indemnity insurance, and professional disciplinary issues. The team also advises on the coverage issues of mergers, acquisitions and closures of law firms, the latter being a particular niche that the practice is recognised for.

Practice head(s):Frank Maher

Testimonials

'They provide a quick response, knowledgeably with very practical advice that you can follow reliably. They advise you of the risks and issues so you can make informed decisions.'

'Frank Maher is so incisive, and if the point isn't within his field of expertise, he will suggest some of equal calibre. A great first port of call.'

'Frank Maher and Sue Mawdsley really know their stuff. It is very reassuring to have them on our team.'

Mickaela Fox and Mike Grant jointly lead Weightmans LLP's professional negligence practice, which acts across the range of professional liability claims, and is well-regarded for its expertise in the legal and construction sectors. In recent months the team has seen an uptick in work deriving from claims against architects, as well as an increase in instructions from insurers on D&O/management liability matters ranging from defamation and claims in the charity sector to regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):Mickaela Fox; Mike Grant

Other key lawyers:Alex Marler; Pamela Freeland; Deborah Sullivan

Key Clients

Markel International

Markel UK

Hamilton Underwriting

Libra Managers

BMIF

Irwin Mitchell

Tokio Marine HCC

Liberty

AmTrust

PartnerRe

Barbican

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Advised on a case in which the High Court dismissed a series of applications made against a barrister arbitrator.
  • Represented an insurer client in a multimillion-pound cross-border coverage dispute with its policyholder.

Led by Mark Molyneux, Addleshaw Goddard's professional negligence department has particular strength in the banking and construction sectors, handling high value claims against solicitors, valuers and other professionals. In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, cladding and fire safety issues have become an area of increased activity for the team, which has been advising a broad range of clients on issues relating to cladding and fire safety compliance. Susan Garrett handles professional negligence claims in the pensions area, while managing associate Matthew O’Neill focuses on claims against valuers, surveyors, brokers and solicitors on behalf of financial services clients.

Practice head(s):Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:Susan Garrett; John Gosling; Matthew O'Neill

Testimonials

'Addleshaw Goddard gives a very high level of client service. It has an extremely high profile in this sector and knows the market very well. It is a firm that never loses sight of the client's commercial aims and gives a top notch service at all levels of seniority. It has the strength in depth to handle the biggest disputes in the sector.'

Ian McConkey is at the helm of DAC Beachcroft LLP's team, which, in addition to acting for most of the major professional indemnity insurers, has considerable experience acting for a wide array of professionals including solicitors, insurance brokers, property managers, engineers, architects as well as design and build contractors. The team also handles an increasing number of claims against 'emerging' professionals, particularly those in the media and IT sector. Martin Paxton and IP and IT specialist Harald Loeffler are also key team members.

Practice head(s):Ian McConkey

Other key lawyers:Martin Paxton; Harald Loeffler; Stephen Gorman

Key Clients

QBE European Operations

Travelers Insurance Co Limited

Zurich Insurance plc

Tokio Marine HCC

Great Lakes SE

Allied World Assurance Company

AmTrust

WR Berkley

CNA Hardy

XL Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for QBE on behalf of a well-known firm of quantity surveyors in connection with a claim arising following the failed development of a joint police/emergency services training facility in Northern Ireland.
  • Acted for a design and build contractor in a part-refurbishment and part new-build of 170+ eco-friendly mixed use apartments.
  • Instructed to act for Amtrust Limited's policyholder in respect of claims for damages by 10 claimants arising out of alleged negligence and breach of contract in provision of solicitor services.

Under the leadership of Ruth Lawrence, Keoghs LLP's main focus is on the defence of claims against a variety of professionals such as solicitors, brokers, IFAs and those in construction. A unique characteristic of the practice is the specialist veterinary team that acts for veterinary surgeons, nurses, farriers and race horse trainers. The team also works closely with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, advising on claims and coverage issues. Christopher Stanton, Sarah Naylor, Jonathan Anslow and senior associate Graham Taylor are all key team members.

Practice head(s):Ruth Lawrence

Other key lawyers:Christopher Stanton; Sarah Naylor; Jonathan Anslow; Graham Taylor

Testimonials

'A good strong performer with a responsive approach.'

'The team is strong in the defence of construction professionals, in particular engineers.'

'The team has a wealth of experience in dealing with coverage issues. They are every bit as good as the London firms in this field. I find they are particularly good at client handling and communication.'

Key Clients

RSA

Arch Insurance

Hiscox Insurance

Libra Managers

AmTrust at Lloyd’s

Aviva

Boots UK

Kingfisher plc

John Lewis & partners

Prosight Lloyd’s Syndicate 1110

Niall Innes and Ben Hardiman lead Mills & Reeve LLP's professional negligence department, which is entirely devoted to insurance disputes involving professional indemnity, construction and D&O policies. The bulk of the team's workload involves the handling of claims against legal professionals including solicitors, barristers and licensed conveyances. Other areas of activity include defending construction professionals such as main contractors, architects and engineers in multi-party disputes, especially in relation to fire safety and cladding issues, as well as acting for insurance brokers.

Practice head(s):Niall Innes; Ben Hardiman

Other key lawyers:Liam Burnett; Emma Harrison; Sarah Rose

Testimonials

'The team are very capable of handling big-ticket complex professional liablity claims, from a legal and strategic perspective.'

'Extremely professional, highly knowledgeable and also very personable.'

'Niall Innes is an exceptionally good partner. Hands on when needed. Very intelligent, tactically astute.'

'Liam Burnett is thorough, exceptionally bright, on the ball and has great judgement.'

Key Clients

AXA XL

AXIS Specialty

Bar Mutual

CNA Hardy

Countrywide plc

Travelers

W/R/B Underwriting

Starr Companies

International Insurance Company of Hannover

Pannone Corporate LLP's practice, which is part of the firm's wider litigation offering, is recognised for handling complex and high value cases against a wide array of professionals including tax professionals, accountants, solicitors, architects and surveyors. The team usually acts for businesses or high net worth individuals, as well as defendants, either where there is no insurance or the insurance that is in place does not respond to the claim. Paul Jonson, Nicola Marchant and David Brown are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):Paul Jonson; Nicola Marchant; David Brown

Other key lawyers:Martin Pennington

Testimonials

'Small but highly specialised niche practice; strong on claimant professional negligence work and other commercial litigation. Very thorough case preparation.'

'Paul Johnson is very experienced and knowledgeable. Daniel Clarke is an academically gifted lawyer with lots of commercial nous. Elizabeth Walsh is an  up and coming associate; very thorough.'

'The niche team at Pannone Corporate is small but perfectly formed, with an extremely hard working and able team.'

'Martin Pennington is utterly devoted to the detail of even the most complex case, stays calm throughout crises, employs a penetrating analysis, and does it all with a dry wit and sunny disposition. A true pleasure to work with.'

'Paul Jonson is smoothness personified, and is the perfect partner for taking charge of difficult cases with difficult clients.'

Gorvins Solicitors routinely handles complex matters involving a wide range of professionals including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers, architects, accountants, insurance brokers and other non-medical professions. Mark Deverell, David Guest and Guy Lightowler are the main contacts. Deverell regularly works with insurers, primarily concerning legal advisers, while Lightowler has considerable experience advising owner-managed businesses, SMS, PLCs and multinationals.

Practice head(s):Mark Deverell; David Guest; Guy Lightowler

Led by Tim Norman, Myerson Solicitors LLP's claimant-focused professional negligence practice works in tandem with the firm's other practices, particularly in relation to property litigation, construction and conveyancing, while also pursuing negligence claims against solicitors and accountants. The firm was boosted in 2018 by the arrival of Sean Hackett - who has a track record in professional negligence claims arising out of property related matters - from Pannone Corporate LLP.

Practice head(s):Tim Norman

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Hassall; Suzanne Carr

Testimonials

'Professional, approachable and easy to work with.'

'It is rare to find a practice which has genuine specialism, like Myersons, in acting for claimants in professional negligence claims.'

Key Clients

CGL Group Limited

Clearway Drainage Services Limited

Bennett Holdings Shrewsbury Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Clearway Drainage Services Limited in a professional negligence claim against its former solicitors for loss of chance following the negligent handling of the client’s High Court litigation claim against its insurance brokers.

Richard Marshall leads Shoosmiths LLP's professional negligence practice, which is known for its expertise in construction and product professional negligence claims, as well as matters involving insurance brokers. Marshall advises clients in the white goods manufacturing industry in relation to tumble dryer fire claims, while Adam Draper has a particular interest in solicitor negligence cases.

Practice head(s):Adam Draper; Richard Marshall

Key Clients

Comparethemarket.com - BGL Group

Hoover Limited

MD Insurance Services

Deltic Group Limited

Max Testo

PSB UK Limited via Chubb Insurance European Limited (Grenfell Inquiry)

HDI Gerling Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Representing PSB UK Limited at the Grenfell Tower inquiry.
  • Serving as sole supplier to Hoover Candy for property and product liability matters.

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