Professional negligence in North West

BLM

BLM‘s Manchester team represents professionals of all disciplines and is recognised as a specialist in professional indemnity litigation. The practice assists insurers with strategies to deal with multiple dwelling relief claims and buyer-funded development claims, also handling claims relating to ground rent. It also has extensive expertise handling fraud-related claims. Group lead Jason Nash acts for solicitors, accountant, surveyors and construction professionals, and also represents clients in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. Up-and-coming partner Jennifer Bebbington specialises in professional indemnity claims, predominantly against solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Jason Nash

Other key lawyers:

Ben Parks; Iain Fraser; Anne Eady; Jennifer Bebbington

Testimonials

‘BLM has great strength in depth with some first-rate lawyers and excellent client contacts.’

‘Jason Nash has put together a very strong team with quality performers at all levels who provide strength in depth for claims of all kinds.

‘The firm has an exceptional in depth knowledge of professional negligence law and professional indemnity law. As a consequence, instructions are always meticulously prepared and the forensic analysis of the issues in the case is always superb. Stars in the market. ’

‘BLM has a strong team of intelligent and very competent solicitors, which is led by a number of extremely capable partners. The team has a wide range of expertise across the professional negligence field from failed litigation, to conveyancing problems to construction-type disputes. As a team, they are unfailingly friendly and easy get along with.’

‘There are some superb partners at BLM. Jason Nash is a tremendous negotiator and tenacious in working in his client’s interests.

Key clients

QBE

Zurich

Barbican

RSA

Hiscox

HDI

Manchester Underwriting

AXA

Travelers

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP defends a broad range of professionals, including lawyers, surveyors, financial professionals, engineers, architects and vets. The practice also advises clients in non-traditional and emerging professions, such as recruitment agents, patent attorneys, pest controllers and heating service companies. Louisa Robbins specialises in the defence of property professionals, notably surveyors and valuers; she jointly heads the team with James Preece, who regularly advises lawyers and their professional indemnity insurers in the defence of claims and disciplinary proceedings.

Practice head(s):

James Preece; Louisa Robbins

Other key lawyers:

Sam Godding; Anne-Marie Morgan-Barrett

Testimonials

‘The Clyde & Co team in the North West is exceptional. The team leadership is second to none, and the supporting associates are excellent.’

‘James Preece is extraordinarily hard working, astute, commercially savvy and intelligent.’

‘Comprehensive engagement with clients so as to work tirelessly to understand every single aspect of the specific needs of each case.

‘Very active case management that encompasses a collaborative approach so that no opportunity exists for even the smallest detail to be overlooked and this has consistently resulted in the most robust case management I have been involved with.’

‘Exceptional legal expertise that translates into service delivery unparalleled in my experience with other legal practices’

‘Louisa Robbins is a credit to the firm – she is an approachable, professional and engaging partner. She has exceptional knowledge of her specialism and I have complete confidence in the quality of her work. She has worked with me in building a strategy from scratch and has always prioritised the needs of my business and my team first.’

‘Their highly competent team provides a perfect combination of technical legal analysis and a sensible commercial approach delivered in a personable way.’

‘James Preece has exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge and experience .’

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's professional and commercial risk team has significant experience handling high profile matters across the 'traditional' professions, acting for solicitors, insurance brokers, property managers, engineers, architects and design and build contractors. The practice has also seen growing instructions handling claims against 'emerging' professionals, such as those in the media and IT sectors. The group is also recommended for both coverage and defence instructions on D&O claims. Practice head Ian McConkey and 'focused, incisive' partner Martin Paxton both have a strong record running professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Ian McConkey

Other key lawyers:

Martin Paxton

Testimonials

‘Martin Paxton is a lynchpin in a very strong team’

‘Martin Paxton – a focused, incisive thinker and very good to work with.’

‘Ian McConkey brings a cool-headed analysis to the most difficult and fraught of cases.’

‘Whilst it is always difficult to pick out particular individuals, I would say that one individual who does merit particular mention is Martin Paxton whose client care, communication skills, commerciality and understanding of complex legal positions is of the highest order.’

‘Professional, reliable and always adopts a commercial approach.’

Key clients

QBE European Operations

Travelers Insurance Co Limited

Zurich Insurance plc

Tokio Marine HCC

Great Lakes SE

Allied World Assurance Company

AmTrust

Liberty Mutual Insurance

HSB Engineering Insurance Limited

Swiss Re.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a design and build contractor in a part-refurbishment and part new-build of 170+ eco-friendly mixed use apartments.
  • Acted for a firm of solicitors in relation to the alleged fraud by a member of staff with potentially very significant losses and which has contributed to the closure of the practice.
  • Acted for the directors of an insolvent business in a claim by the administrators. Dealt with the claim as well as liaising with the administrators in relation to the former directors statutory duties and advising on insurance issues.

DWF

The professional negligence team at DWF defends claims against all professionals, with specialisms including high value multi-party cases involving architects and engineers, as well as claims against solicitors, surveyors, insurance brokers, technology and media consultants and accountants. The team has strong relationships with major global and UK insurers and insurance brokers; it is well-regarded for giving ‘clear, commercial and pragmatic’ advice. Andrew MacLeod heads the practice and is well-known for his experience in claims against construction professionals and insurance brokers. ‘Tenacious’ senior associate Hilary Harrison is noted for providing insurers with coverage advice, particularly in relation to D&O insurance.

Practice head(s):

Andrew MacLeod

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Harrison

Testimonials

‘Andrew MacLeod attracts work which would usually be sent to a London firm/office. No doubt this is a result of his legal skills and the high level of service which he provides. His analysis is shrewd, pragmatic and reflects the commercial realities. He is a delight to work with.’

‘A very strong, well-resourced team with a reputation for being a safe pair of hands.’

‘The team have a wealth of experience and are technically very strong. Their advice is always clear, commercial and pragmatic.’

‘Hilary Harrison has an excellent eye for detail. She is tenacious, and a safe pair of hands, and is able to get to grips with complicated technical points, while not losing sight of important commercial considerations.’

‘Andrew MacLeod gets quickly to the issues that matter and provides clear strategies.

‘The team at DWF provide an excellent service – they have a broad range of knowledge and work tirelessly to maintain very high standards. The work product reflects this. ’

Kennedys

Kennedys has broad professional negligence expertise, handling claims in the financial services, insurance, legal, education and construction sectors. The team has also seen increasing instructions in high value cladding claims, architects' disciplinary hearings and in the software and technology sectors. Jeremy Riley leads the team with Claire Bushen, who is well-known for her strong solicitors and accountants practice. Senior associate Tom Handley specialises in dealing with heavyweight claims against construction professionals; associate Hannah Williams is noted for her work advising insurers and reinsurers on complex coverage and monitoring issues.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Riley; Claire Bushen

Other key lawyers:

Tom Handley; Hannah Williams

Testimonials

‘Jeremy Riley is an excellent partner and Hannah Williams is first-rate.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and helpful. If I ever have an issue or quick questions I know that I can contact a number of individuals here and they will always be more than happy to assist.’

‘Claire Bushen is utterly fabulous in every way. Intellectually very switched on, great turnaround time and listens to what the client wants and delivers it exactly.’

Key clients

CFC Underwriting

Keoghs LLP

Keoghs LLP focuses on defending claims against professionals, also advising on professional disciplinary matters and representing policyholders in litigations, arbitration and ombudsman referrals. Practice head Ruth Lawrence specialises in defending high value and complex construction claims, including instructions involving iconic buildings. Sarah Naylor, as well as defending claims against construction professionals, is noted for her work in claims against veterinary surgeons and FCA-regulated professionals; Christopher Stanton is recommended for his advice on claims against lawyers, brokers, accountants and financial advisors.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Lawrence

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Naylor; Christopher Stanton; Jonathan Anslow

Testimonials

‘The leadership of Ruth Lawrence is a key strength which feeds through into the rest of the team, whenever I have worked with them, in terms of quality and approach. ’

‘A really excellent professional negligence practice, with a particular speciality in construction professionals, notably architects and engineers. Some very experienced and skilled partners supported by a growing team of outstanding associates.’

‘Sarah Naylor – very bright and a joy to work with. Her experience and insight in professional negligence cases is second to none.’

‘Keoghs is a superb outfit with first class legal minds. They are timely, knowledgeable and skillful. First class team and great value for money.’

‘Christopher Stanton is the stand out individual in their team. He has excellent inside into the market and invaluable knowledge of his chosen subject. He has gone beyond what can be expected in facilitating working with an overseas client and is always ready to be of service.’

‘Very knowledgeable in insurance law, and in particular asbestos-related liability and insurance issues’

‘Excellent knowledge of the subject claims instructed upon from the entire team. Always accurately reported and in a timely manner. ’

Key clients

RSA

The Veterinary Defence Society

Amtrust at Lloyd’s

International General Insurance Co. Ltd (‘IGI’)

QIC Europe Ltd

CNA Insurance

Armour Risk Management

Prosight Lloyd’s Syndicate 1110

Aspen Insurance

Aviva Insurance

Zurich Insurance

European Risk Insurance Company

Boots UK Plc

Tesco PLC

John Lewis & Partners

Argo Global

Arch Insurance

Collegiate

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

HDI Gerling

Talbot Underwriting

Hiscox Insurance

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is highly recommended for handling claims made against legal professionals including solicitors, barristers and licensed conveyancers, an area of work where Niall Innes is noted. The practice also handles high value and multi-party construction disputes, acting for contractors, architects, engineers and other professionals, particularly arising from fire safety and cladding concerns. Ben Hardiman, who acts for insurance brokers as well as construction clients, jointly heads the team with Innes. The group also has significant expertise acting for accountants, financial advisors and other financial services professionals.

Practice head(s):

Niall Innes; Ben Hardiman

Key clients

CNA Hardy

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd

W/R/B Underwriting

AXA XL

Countrywide plc and group companies including Countrywide Conveyancing Services and Countrywide Residential Lettings Ltd

Travelers

HDI Global

Tokio Marine HCC

Heatherwick Architects

Omny LLP

China Reinsurance Group

Enstar Limited / Starstone Underwriting Limited Syndicates

International General Insurance Co Limited

Weightmans LLP

The professional negligence practice at Weightmans LLP is particularly known for defending claims against solicitors and construction professionals - including architects, engineers and design and build contractors - with 'total commitment'. The department regularly handles claims involving unsafe buildings and cladding issues. Mike Grant is particularly recommended for disputes related to insurance coverage. He jointly leads the team with Mickaela Fox, who primarily focuses on solicitors’ and valuers’ indemnity claims. Associate Deborah Sullivan is noted for her experience acting for solicitors, and for her knowledge of risk management and compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Mike Grant; Mickaela Fox

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Sullivan

Testimonials

‘The team has so much standalone talent and capability. They are a class outfit with all bases covered. Working with them is like working with your best peers.’

‘A robust house style where they fight their client’s case with total commitment. A cohesive team where the partners and associates seem to get on extremely well and work very happily together. ’

‘Mike Grant has excellent instincts for resolving disputes but also a streetfighter when the gloves come off. I think clients like his complete commitment to getting them out of a tight spot.

‘Mickaela Fox is excellent – providing very high quality advice and a great level of engagement.’

‘Accurate and precise advice; service is excellent. When you need Weightmans on your side they are there for you 100%. ’

‘Mickaela Fox – an absolute shining light. She can pick any issue up, get to grips with it quickly, however complex, and provide sound advice with solutions. Mickaela is such a pleasure to work with, she is focused and genuine and an absolute asset to have on your side.’

Addleshaw Goddard

Disputes head Mark Molyneux leads the team at Addleshaw Goddard, which is particularly well-known for professional negligence work across the banking, construction and general commercial litigation sectors. The practice acts for UK clearing banks, international banks, and other financial services providers, and has experience acting for lender clients in negligence and fraud claims against solicitors and surveyors. Recent instructions have involved claims arising from defective cladding and fire safety legislation compliance. Victoria Pool is noted for her expertise in the insurance dynamics of professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:

Nick Ashcroft; Susan Garrett; Richard Wise; Victoria Pool

Testimonials

‘Hardworking and focused on obtaining the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Practical commercially focused advice, strong capable team.’

‘Richard Wise: cool, calm and collected, totally unrufflable and able to give focused advice to get to the heart of the matter

‘Victoria Pool: very capable, covers all the bases, you know she has thought of everything.’

‘All members of the team were fully familiar with our case at all times. Despite their relatively large size they offer a friendly, easy to use and understand legal service that one may expect from a much smaller practice. They make us, the client, feel special and important and really care about getting the right results for us. Whilst friendly they are also incredibly efficient, knowledgeable and determined to succeed .’

‘Mark Molyneux is a brilliant tactician and an outstanding legal expert. He ensures full participation from all of his team who clearly hold him in extremely high esteem.’

FS Legal

Litigation boutique FS Legal is highly regarded as a claimant firm, particularly in tax negligence and professional services disputes. Julia Norris is particularly known for her experience in financial services and tax negligence; she jointly heads the team with experienced litigator Kit Sorrell. Senior associate Nicola Stanley is noted for her handling of claims acting for banks against solicitors and valuers.

Practice head(s):

Julia Norris; Kit Sorrell

Other key lawyers:

Christine Newton; Mubarik Haider; Nicola Stanley

Testimonials

‘FS Legal is a very experienced firm in professional negligence work, with a deservedly good reputation for providing a top quality, commercial service to its clients.’

‘Kit Sorrell and Julia Norris are excellent litigators, client focused and responsive, thorough and commercially aware.’

‘We were very pleased with FS Legal and the way they dealt with our claim – very diligent in all they did. We would use them again. Christine Newton was absolutely brilliant.’

‘Kit Sorrell and Julia Norris are stars in their field. Christine Newton and Nicola Stanley back them up with tremendous support.’

‘Julia Norris is commercially astute and very dedicated to her clients.’

‘Christine Newton is very thorough; brings clear judgement and wide experience.’

‘Our main point of contact has been Julia Norris who inspires confidence and certainly made me sure that we were being advised correctly at all times. She was very happy to explain the legal issues I did not understand, and throughout she remained sympathetic, sensitive and reassuring regarding the commercial problems we faced.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a number of former clients of Blackstar (Europe) Limited (in Liquidation) in fraud and negligence claims.
  • Represented 600+ individual clients nationwide in relation to the leasehold scandal.
  • Instructed by a football agent in a case involving tax avoidance schemes.

Legal Risk LLP

Niche firm Legal Risk LLP is highly recommended for law firms and their insurers and regulators, regularly advising on professional indemnity insurance and professional disciplinary issues. A particular focus is coverage issues arising from M&A and law firm closures. Liverpool-based firm founder Frank Maher has a strong record defending large law firm claims for insurers, with experience in those involving fraud. He jointly heads the firm with Francis Dingwall .

Practice head(s):

Frank Maher; Francis Dingwall

Testimonials

‘This truly niche practice delivered excellent and rapid service from the get go, which continued unabated throughout.’

‘They not only displayed an encyclopaedia knowledge of the law, but were also well versed in the art of legal brinkmanship. No detail escaped them and they always provided clever guidance and clear suggestions at every stage.’

‘Legal Risk continue to display both peerless knowledge within their chosen specialisms but also temper this with an unusual practical understanding of the nature of their clients, matching advice and achievable outcome to the nature, size and resources of the firm concerned.’

‘Frank Maher is technically excellent and has a wealth of experience and knowledge that make him the obvious choice for clients requiring advice on issues relating to profession negligence and their insurance cover. ’

‘Frank Maher was outstanding. Empathetic, excellent knowledge of a very specialist area of the law, practical, rapid, clear and considered advice, even when, as the client, it could be difficult to hear. Always available and engaged. Good communicator.’

Markel Law LLP

Markel Law LLP is a UK legal services business owned by New York-listed US insurer Markel Corporation, operating from Manchester, London and Croydon. The Manchester professional indemnity team acts for a variety of insurance divisions, defending professional indemnity claims and providing policy coverage advice. The practice acts for policyholders under legal expenses insurance policies, bringing professional negligence claims against a range of professionals including solicitors, accountants and insurance brokers. Mark Rankin has significant experience defending claims against policyholders in the emerging professions, principally those in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. He jointly heads the practice with Christopher Burns, who specialises in dealing with construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rankin; Christopher Burns

Testimonials

‘Chris Burns is excellent with clients – they are able to feel reassured that he is interested in and understands the detail of the case. He has a wide depth and breadth of experience and good legal knowledge to give a clear steer of where the case will end up.’

‘Our experience of Markel Law was excellent. The service provided was friendly, approachable, understandable and suitably compassionate. At no time have they disappointed or failed to meet expectations.’

‘The team has excellent experience in insurance professional negligence, in particular in a construction context, with a wide breadth and depth of knowledge.’

‘Their competence and experience shone through to allow me to feel confident I was getting the best advice possible.’

Key clients

Federation of Small Businesses

Markel (UK) Limited

Markel Legal Expenses Insurance

Markel International Insurance Company Limited

Galleon Marine Insurance Agency Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised insurers in relation to policy coverage regarding a high-profile, multi-million pound indemnity claim.
  • Defended a claim by a property development company in relation to alleged negligence in allowing a planning permission to expire, with the resultant loss of the majority of the development opportunity.
  • Defended a claim by an ongoing client of the firm alleging that negligent advice gave rise to avoidable tax charges of up to £2m upon the inter-generational transfer of £27m worth of family assets.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP's claimant professional negligence practice sits within the firm's wider commercial litigation group. The team acts against a wide range of professionals, including tax professionals, accountants, solicitors, architects and surveyors.  Commercial litigators Paul Jonson, Martin Pennington and David Brown jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jonson; Martin Pennington; David Brown

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Marchant

Testimonials

‘They deliver excellent quality and offer an interesting alternative to the larger firms for commercial clients wishing to bring a professional negligence claim. ’

‘Martin Pennington has one of the most penetrating brains of any solicitor I have worked with; he is able to assimilate and analyse even the most complex factual matrices, as well as to debate difficult legal issues with insight.’

‘Paul Jonson is a canny and assured operator, who puts clients at ease and navigates difficult cases with aplomb.’

‘Highly specialised firm with a strong track record in claimant professional negligence work. ’

Shoosmiths LLP

The professional negligence team at Shoosmiths LLP is well-known for its expertise in construction sector claims and in product liability claims. The group also handles claimant actions on behalf of individuals. The department can draw on support from the firmwide risk and litigation services team. Practice head Richard Marshall is particularly known for his work involving professional negligence arising of defective product design resulting in catastrophic damage.

Practice head(s):

Richard Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Adam Draper

Key clients

Comparethemarket.com – BGL Group

Hoover Limited (Commercial Insurance Client)

MD Insurance Services

PSB UK Limited via Chubb Insurance European Limited

HDI Gerling Insurance Company

MD Insurance Services

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Work highlights

  • Represented a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Advised Hoover Candy on product liability claims where professional negligence is alleged.
  • Advised Heptonstalls in relation to a systematic allegation of professional negligence by an ATE insurer.

Gorvins Solicitors

Gorvins Solicitors handles a range of professional negligence and liability cases, representing clients against solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers, architects, accountants, insurance brokers and a wide variety of other non-medical professionals. Mark Deverell primarily handles professional negligence matters involving legal advisors and insurers; he jointly heads the team with David Guest and Guy Lightowler, who has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Mark Deverell; David Guest; Guy Lightowler

Myerson Solicitors LLP

The claimant-focused professional negligence practice at Myerson Solicitors LLP is particularly recommended for claims against solicitors and accountants. Other strengths include claims in the finance and construction sectors. Team lead Tim Norman concentrates on representing clients in construction sector claims.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Norman

Testimonials

‘Appetite for risk: willingness to take on difficult cases and consider flexible billing arrangements such as CFAs.’

‘The team work closely with our case. They have knowledge and professionalism.’

‘From the beginning, they listen carefully, and understand the problem. They get to the point quickly and correctly.’

Key clients

LTS Lohman Therapie-Systeme AG

Larchwood Investment Limited

Novopacs USA Inc