Next Generation Partners

Professional negligence in North

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co’s professional negligence team, split between Newcastle and Leeds, provides specialist insurance and professional indemnity advice to insurers, insured professionals and insurance brokers, counting some of the UK’s major insurers among its client roster. Key partner Anthony Brown draws on deep experience in defending claims against professionals and is skilled at working with insurers and insured professionals to resolve claims. The team, led by Louisa Robbins and including associates Kitty Cheung and Andrew Pickavant, is adept in handling high value and complex claims as well as low value claims.

Practice head(s):

Louisa Robbins

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Brown; Kitty Cheung; Andrew Pickavant


‘The standout qualities I have seen are: great strategic and tactical planning and sense; good delegation while retaining proper supervision (which is rare in my experience); sensible use of the bar (not too much, not too little); great efficiency; very good value for money (in particular by sensible delegation).’

‘Seriously experienced litigators in this sphere of work, with excellent instinct for professional cases. A strong team with both breadth and specialism at the same time. Commercially the firm is also extremely astute as to the realities of a case and how best to fight it.’

‘Ben Parks is an excellent partner. I particularly rate his instincts for how to deal with a case efficiently and to reach a resolution in a timely manner. Janet Walters is, for me, a stand-out associate. Down to earth and dependable, I think her judgment is excellent.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a firm of solicitors in a claim by a former client alleging the negligent preparation of a suite of contractual documents said to have caused his removal from a company as a ‘bad leaver’ with only ‘floor value’ for his shares.
  • Representing a firm of accountants against allegations that it gave negligent tax advice relating to the development of land by a consortium of owners.
  • Representing a University against a claim by a law student who alleged unfair treatment in the University’s disciplinary proceedings following a suspension for plagiarism.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s Newcastle-based insurance team acts for an impressive client base including high-profile and London market insurers, leading brokers and MGAs, most notably in relation to policy coverage disputes, policy wording advisory and professional indemnity defence instructions. The team led by Paul Davison advises upon complex and high value disputes and policy coverage issues pertaining to several high-profile test cases including the Covid Business Interruption Test Case and the brain injury class action in respect of Rugby Union. While Stephen McLellan focuses on construction and engineering disputes, legal director Gillian Burnett defends claims brought against professionals and advises insurers on policy coverage issues.

Practice head(s):

Paul Davison

Other key lawyers:

Stephen McLellan; Gillian Burnett

Key clients

Zurich Professional & Financial Lines

Markel (UK) Limited

Travelers Insurance Company

QBE European Operations FSM


CNA Hardy

Manchester Underwriting Management


MS Amlin

Global Risk Partners

Great Lakes

Work highlights

  • Acting for MS Amlin as trusted advisor in respect of ongoing substantial business interruption claims arising from the Covid 19 pandemic, having represented MS Amlin in the FCA Covid Test Case, culminating the in Supreme Court judgment in January 2021.
  • Defending an insured Employer’s Agent in a £9m multi-party TCC litigation on a substantial defects claim.
  • Retained by London market insurers advising upon policy coverage in relation to the long-term head injury claims in sport, including Rugby Union and professional Football.


Weightmans‘ Newcastle-based team ‘is thorough, prompt and reliable and provides sensible advice’, clients feel that they are ‘in very capable hands.’ Led by mediator Richard Palmer, the team provides advice to a diverse client base, including the UK’s largest insurers, handling a myriad of complex high-volume multi-party claims, including post-Grenfell cladding matters. Amy Nesbitt is ‘a shining star’, specialising in insurance coverage, professional liability and cyber. With great experience in advising traditional and emerging professionals in indemnity claims, Anne-Marie Knight has recently been instructed to defend a multi-party claim concerning defective foundations at a printing press, involving novel remedial schemes. She is supported by principal associate Tom Thurlow who is the go-to name for construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Anne-Marie Knight; Amy Nesbitt; Katy Ames; Tom Thurlow; Lauren Whiting


‘The team has particular expertise in defending construction-related claims against professionals, including cladding claims. It offers better value for money that some other firms in the field paying particular attention to ensuring that costs are proportionate and offer value for money.’

‘Richard Palmer: Highly experienced. Very incisive. Gives firm advice. Very effective in mediation. Anne-Marie Knight: Tenacious. Great with clients. Also very skilled in mediation. Tom Thurlow. Exceptional ability to analysis cases and plan strategies. A rising star.’

‘The team I work with at Weightmans are highly cohesive. They seem to work in a very collaborative way. Where work can be carried out at a more junior level for a lower fee, the partners will ensure that those juniors are involved at the appropriate stages and I believe this means that costs are kept proportionate. Having said this, I like to see that there are no more than two or three fee-earners of different levels working on the file. Other firms often render bills where there are multiple fee-earners recording time on a file and i always think this leads to duplication. I think the strength of this team at Weightmans lies in the way they work collaboratively with one another and the end product, i.e. their reports / advice, are very high-quality / well-produced.’

‘One of the stand-out partners for me is Richard Palmer. I have worked with him (and once upon a time, for him) for a long time. What I admire about Richard is his ability to understand what motivates the opposition and what it is they are most concerned about. More often than not, this is the key that unlocks the door to settlement. On top of this, while Richard gives a very thorough analysis of the legal issues, his advice is always pragmatic and commercial. I trust Richard as a safe pair of hands.’

‘Another stand-out partner is Anne-Marie Knight. I usually send Anne-Marie complicated construction professional negligence disputes. What I love about Anne-Marie is her ability to disarm any aggressive opponent with her calm composure. In difficult and sometimes heated disputes, Anne-Marie is unrattled. I admire her common-sense approach and also her ability to build up a constructive rapport with opponents at the same time as maintaining a robust position. She gets results.’

‘Richard Palmer (partner) and Katy Ames (associate) make an excellent team. Both are immensely likeable, intelligent, considered, practical and prompt. They give thorough consideration to all aspects of a matter before providing their advice. What is particularly impressive, is that they are both thorough and prompt. They clearly allocate resources in a very effective way.’

‘Approachable, knowledgeable, pragmatic, commercial, great legal advocates.’

‘Amy Nesbitt – Partner – Absolute ownership of the relationship with our office, with an open and candid approach to all matters and detailed oversight of claims under the teams’ purview. Lauren Whiting – Associate – A great asset to the team and key to the successful management of challenging cases!’

Key clients

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Hamilton Management Agency Limited

Axis Speciality Europe (London Branch)

Star Stone Insurance SE

CNA Insurance Company Limited

Tokio Marine HCC

Nexus Claims Management Services Limited

Starr Underwriting Agents Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for  National D&B Contractor in complex, multi-party dispute concerning allegedly defective foundations at a printing press for a national (and litigious) Newspaper.
  • Acted for a Specialist Acoustic Barrier and Security Fencing Specialist in relation to the partial collapse of an acoustic barrier at a commercial site in London.
  • Acted in a very complex post-Grenfell cladding claim where a national homebuilder and developer pursued the client as main contractor for recovery of remedial works costs incurred in remedying six high-rise residential properties on which a variety of contentious Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding and non-compliant insulation materials had been installed, causing various alleged breaches of building and fire-safety regulations.