Professional negligence in North

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for solicitors, property professionals, financial institutions, insurance brokers and construction companies, as well as specialising in coverage disputes and policy wording. Leeds-based Suzanne Wharton leads the team that includes in the Newcastle office: Paul Davison, who acts for a number of leading insurers, advising upon a wide range of complex and high value claims and policy coverage issues; and construction specialist Stephen McLellan. Also notable is legal director Gillian Burnett, who has particular expertise in claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and brokers.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Wharton


‘Provide an excellent resource for professional negligence claims.’

‘Paul Davison is an excellent coverage lawyer. He provides realistic succinct coverage advice.’

‘Gillian Burnett has excellent attention to detail, leaving nothing unturned.’

‘Stephen McLellan is very client focused and approachable to both insured and insurer clients.’

Key clients

Zurich Professional & Financial Lines

Markel (UK) Limited

Travelers Insurance Company

International Insurance Company of Hannover SE

QBE European Operations FSM

Countrywide Plc


CNA Hardy

Manchester Underwriting Management / IGI


MS Amlin

Tokio Marine HCC

Global Risk Partners

Work highlights

  • Appointed on behalf of Markel (UK) Limited who provided advice to an Administrator around the value of outstanding WIP in contracts performed by a major utilities contractor on behalf of Thames Water.
  • Acting for a firm of tax advisors and their insurers in the defence of a £35m claim arising out of a failed property investment club.
  • Acting for an offshore law firm which was retained by a City firm and its client to act in a trusts dispute.
  • Instructed by an electrical engineering contractor to defend a claim concerning the outbreak of a fire at Gemini Retail Park in Warrington.
  • Liquidators of a precious metal company criticise client accountant’s involvement in a transaction by which the company’s assets and liabilities were transferred to a new entity.


Focusing on high value, complex matters, Weightmans specialises in construction-based work, particularly cladding issues. The ‘calm, organised and thorough’ construction expert Richard Palmer leads the practice, and is known for his ‘unflappable manner’, as well as ‘a strong understanding and experience in the insurance market’. His team includes Anne-Marie Knight, who has notable experience in acting for professional indemnity insurers; associate Adam Dymock, who has expertise in claims against solicitors and construction professionals; and ‘up and coming rising starTom Thurlow, who is a ‘calm and methodical’ solicitor with ‘excellent client care'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Adam Dymock; Tom Thurlow; Anna-Marie Knight


‘Watson Burton has commitment to its clients, to fairness and to going the extra mile, even when there is no obligation to do so.’

‘An expert knowledge and ability to manage a clients expectations well, making sure the client is aware of all possible outcomes of a claim.’

‘All lawyers seem more than competent and they are proactive in their approach to the legal issues.’

‘The firm’s insurance practice has a strong reputation both in the North East and nationally, doing some very high value work in commercial disputes, property disputes and professional negligence.’ 

‘Richard Palmer is very approachable and gains a quick grasp of the issues and potential difficulties. He is good at dealing with people and explaining the key points of a claim.’

‘Richard Palmer is a very approachable, careful and pragmatic lawyer who has an uncanny ability to achieve excellent results for his clients.’

‘Tom Thurlow has gained considerably in expertise and confidence, handling complex work efficiently and with great enthusiasm.’

‘Tom Thurlow’s presence in the engine room makes things infinitely more manageable thanks to his ability, good judgement and industry.’

‘Adam Dymock is very reliable and knowledgeable.’

‘Anne-Marie Knight is a very intelligent, thoughtful and committed lawyer, who takes pride in really knowing her cases and in providing a great level of service. You would definitely want her on your side.’

Key clients

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Travelers Insurance Company Limited

Canopius Underwriting Limited

Lucion Services Limited

AmTrust Corporate Capital Limited

CNA Hardy

Work highlights

  • Represented a construction company in a professional negligence claim arising from alleged deficiencies in the design of a gabion retaining wall at a commercial development in Cheshire.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors and its insurers in relation to a claim arising out of negligent advice on the settlement of a Vibration White Finger claim.
  • Representing a party in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry
  • Successful at a preliminary issue trial in the London TCC at which the claimant was seeking an indemnity of £7 million plus costs from the design and build contractor client.
  • Acting for a mechanical and electrical engineer and their insurers, in a long-running multi-party negligence claim relating to construction of a large private residence.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP specialises in litigation and focuses on handling high value and complex claims. The practice acts for insurers, defending claims against a range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, accountants, financial advisers and brokers, as well as construction and healthcare professionals. Anthony Brown leads the team and has particular expertise in defending claims against solicitors and accountants.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Brown


‘Real specialist sector knowledge of professional negligence claims and a deep understanding of the insurer market.’

‘Anthony Brown is a very strong technical lawyer whose written output is always first class.’

‘Anthony Brown is an experience professional negligence lawyer who has the ability to deal with document heavy cases and distil these into commercial reporting and advice. He is also a very good policy advice lawyer.’

Archers Law LLP

Specialising in claimant work, Archers Law LLP acts for local and national businesses, high-profile and high-net-worth individuals, insolvency practitioners and charitable organisations. Kenton Bazeley joined from Tilly Bailey & Irvine in 2018, and leads the team that focuses on claims against solicitors, architects, accountants, surveyors and insurance brokers.

Practice head(s):

Kenton Bazeley