Professional negligence in Scotland

Brodies LLP

The 'efficient and exceptionally good value' professional negligence team at Brodies LLP has expertise in defendant work across sectors including real estate and construction. Jointly led by Alan Calvert in Edinburgh and Alisdair Matheson in Glasgow, the team is skilled in handling high-value disputes and claims against professional bodies including other solicitors, with specific capabilities in alternative dispute resolution. Louise Kelso has expertise in acting across a range of sectors such as financial services, construction, and education. Othe key members include experienced associate James Jerman who handles large and often sensitive multi-party disputes for clients.

Testimonials

‘Competent and efficient. Advice offered was always on point.’

‘One of the leading Scottish insurance law firms.’

‘Attention to detail and strong understanding of the professional indemnity insurance industry.’

‘They are efficient and exceptionally good value for money when compared to English solicitors! They advise on the very different Scottish legal system in a clear, non-patronising way.’

‘Alan Calvert was always ready with an honest answer. He was frank in assessing prospects.’

‘Alan Calvert, Louise Kelso and Alisdair Matheson – all leaders in their field and know how insurers want matters handled.’

‘Alan Calvert is very personable and has good knowledge of his clients and their business area.’

Key clients

RSA

Aviva

Nexus Claims Management Services Limited

Zurich

MS Amlin

XL Axa

Allianz

Arch

Aspen Insurance UK Ltd

Axis

Channel Underwriting

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended consultant engineers against £3.6m claim from D&B contractors who alleged losses were caused by the insured’s delay and design defects.

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP's defender-focused practice expertly handles complex defendant professional liability matters for its clients, which include advocates, accountants, architects and professionals in many other sectors. In one recent work highlight, the team concluded a £12m claim for a firm of consulting engineers. Practice head Alan Eadie, who is based in Glasgow, continues to be the preeminent practitioner in the team, having amassed over two decades of experience in this field - he is recommended for high-value claims. New partner Lynne Cardow was made up last year and has a wide commercial litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Alan Eadie

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Cardow

Key clients

RSA Group

Aviva plc

W R Berkley Insurance

AIG Europe Limited

RIAS Insurance Scheme

Riverstone Management Ltd

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe

Towergate

Markel International

DAS UK Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for a firm of consulting engineers in a £12m claim arising from a significant gas leak in Midlothian which led to the homes of 64 families being demolished.

Clyde & Co LLP

At Clyde & Co LLP, the professional negligence team is seen as being 'dynamic and commercially aware' and is led by Gavin Henderson. The team has expertise across the commercial, reputational and regulatory space and acts for insurers, legal professionals, and surveyors. Anne Kentish is the name for defending professionals, particularly for her defence of solicitors and advocates in complex claims, whilst Sarah Crewes acts for insurers and other clients in the financial services sector. The practice has a track record of work on significant multimillion-pound claims.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Henderson

Other key lawyers:

Anne Kentish; Sarah Crewes

Testimonials

‘The team are dynamic, commercially aware and available. They are genuinely client focused and helpful.’

‘Gavin Henderson is practical, sees the bigger picture and understands our philosophy.’

‘Sarah Crewes has always been excellent to deal with. She combines knowledge, commercial awareness, and a sharp legal mind with approachability and an understanding of the client’s perspective.’

‘Gavin Henderson understands where we are positioned in the market and will always give honest feedback.’

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP has considerable experience of pursuing professional negligence claims in the financial services, accountancy, construction, and banking sectors, led by David Kerr in Glasgow and Sandy Hastie in Edinburgh. The practice advises major companies and leverages its wider disputes offering to handle complex contentious matters, both in the public and private domains. Key names include John McHugh who advises construction sector clients, while senior associate Andrew McKenzie (along with practice head Kerr) primarily advises banking and finance clients. Fiona Pask is also a core member of the team. Robert Rennie is now a consultant at the firm but remains active in this space.

Practice head(s):

Sandy Hastie; David Kerr

Testimonials

‘Harper Macleod is an excellent firm. They have a real depth and breadth of legal talent across their litigation team. Their lawyers are able to turn their skills as litigators to produce a legal strategy to get their client where they need to be as efficiently as possible.’

‘Sandy Hastie, Fiona Pask, E-Ming Fong and Laura McCorquodale are all exceptional lawyers. They are able very quickly to analyse the legal issues at hand and produce a solution-focused plan for their client. They are truly one of the most impressive firms in Scotland.’

Key clients

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC)

AIB Group (UK) plc

Shetland Islands Council (SIC)

Optical Express Group

Montbank (Loanhead) Limited

Glasgow City Council

Shetland Trust

Saga Group Plc

5 P.M.

Robert Kidd

Work highlights

  • Acting for the pursuer in an action for $210m in damages for unlawful means conspiracy, against Lime Rock Group, Ledingham Chalmers LLP and ors.
  • Acting for Montbank (Loanhead) Limited in a £500,000 claim against solicitors, MBM Commercial LLP, in connection with the failed assignation of a claim against a major retail bank for breach of a facility letter.
  • Acting for the pursuers; John & Isabella Devlin in a £820,000 claim against RBS in respect of allegedly negligent advice in relation to the investment of National Lottery winnings.

BLM

BLM acts for an array of insurers, brokers, and underwriters across the corporate sector as well as professional bodies in the financial services, accountancy, and engineering fields. Practice head Grant Maclean is experienced in commercial and contractual disputes and co-head David Taylor has a specialism in property damage litigation and coverage issues. Greg MacDougall is the name for medical-related professional negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Grant Maclean; David Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Greg MacDougall

Testimonials

‘I have dealt with many solicitors over the years, both in a private and a business capacity; with many you feel it is all about fees. I did not get that feeling with BLM. I found them extremely personable, extremely professional and very knowledgeable in their area – they actually really care about achieving positive results for their clients and are also prepared to be truthful if they feel the client has a weak/no case. This is very refreshing.’

‘Grant Maclean is very direct, even if was giving me bad news. I felt he was always on top of the case.’

Key clients

Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians

Work highlights

  • Instructed to provide an expert opinion on the performance of a solicitor in the context of Court of Session Proceedings having regard to the principles in Hunter v Hanley.
  • Retained to represent the interests of a firm of chartered accountants and tax advisers in proceedings raised against it in the Court of Session by an offshore trust.

CMS

CMS has 'one of the best teams in the market' in Glasgow, with expertise across the construction and commercial property sector, handling high-value claims for project managers and contractors. Harriet Munro - 'a real star' - is highly rated by clients and handles the most complex and high-value disputes involving policy coverage disputes. Co-head and commercial litigator Graeme MacLeod is the key name for claims against solicitors’ and advocates’ negligence. The team also receives numerous instructions from insurers and actors in the financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

Graeme MacLeod; Harriet Munro

Testimonials

‘One of the best teams in the market. Highly capable and a real pleasure to work with. The are highly attuned to the needs and sensitivities of both the insurer and the insured. Also very good at the law, very commercial, efficient and well organised.’

Harriet Munro is a real star. Undoubtedly a market leader in this sector. In reality there is no one better than her. Impressively smooth and switched on. Well plugged in to the insurer market in London. Never misses a beat and always has the bigger picture in mind.’

Key clients

QBE

Markel International

AIG

RSA

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group

Novae Group plc

Liberty Syndicate

AXA XL (formerly XL Catlin)

WR Berkley

Munich Re

Work highlights

  • Defended high-profile £30m-plus claim against the former Joint Administrators of Rangers Football Club.
  • Acted for a corporate trustee, Mountwest Trustees Limited, facing allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence in relation to its role as a trustee of an employee benefit trust.
  • Acting in a complex $210m claim for solicitors’ negligence.

DWF

DWF has vast expertise across the professional negligence sphere,  with a particular focus on solicitors' negligence claims. Practice head Alison Grant acts for a range of London-based market insurers and is the key name in the group for high-value meditations. Lindsay Ogunyemi acts for surveyors, solicitors, accountants, and construction professionals and is supported by senior associate Andrew McConnell. The Scottish team works closely with the firm's London office.

Practice head(s):

Alison Grant

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic, helpful and commercial.’

‘Alison Grant is highly experienced and has great knowhow.’

‘Lindsay Ogunyemi has been in this area a long time now; she is able to adapt to a changing marketplace.’

‘Alison Grant is available and approachable.’

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles the full gamut of professional negligence matters with an emphasis on solicitor negligence claims. The team has a number of specialisms catering to clients' needs with Gillian Carty overseeing the contentious insolvency practice and Iain Drummond specialising in construction law. Practice head Elaine Brailsford is the key name for pursuing professional negligence claims against solicitors and surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Brailsford

Other key lawyers:

Iain Drummond; Gillian Carty

Key clients

Lochaber Properties Limited

Cour Limited

Executors of James MacKenzie

Wheatley Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the landlord of a major wind farm (Cour Limited) in connection with a disputed change of control of the tenant company and professional negligence action against the client’s former solicitors.
  • Advising Scotland’s largest social landlord; Wheatley Housing Group on a £3m dispute with a contractor and structural engineer.
  • Acting in a professional negligence action for Lochaber Properties Limited against the client’s former solicitors.

TLT

TLT acts for clients in the financial services sector, including leading banks and insurers. Practice head John Paul Sheridan specialises in claims against solicitors, surveyors, and architects, as well as property-related disputes. The team advises across the financial services industry sector and also has mediation expertise.

Practice head(s):

John Paul Sheridan

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP handles professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, and private companies, as well as multi-party claims. Headed by David Flint, the practice also has an insolvency sub-group which deals with matters for corporate and private clients. Litigator Elaine Motion handles insurance claims, while the group also handles some property-related claims.

Practice head(s):

David Flint; Elaine Motion

Testimonials

‘A very able team with good understanding of the law. They work hard in their clients’ interests.’

‘This is a very professional practice whose team members are among the brightest in the business; they are also well-informed about their specialist areas of practice.’

Burness Paull LLP

At Burness Paull LLP, the pursuer-focused professional negligence group handles claims for corporate clients, professional advisers, and construction professionals. Headed by specialist construction lawyer Chris MacKay, the team has a cross-practice approach and offers clients a full service across real estate, commercial, and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Chris Mackay

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Mawby

Testimonials

‘Dedication and strategic thinking.’

‘Chris Mackay is a standout partner.’

Key clients

GMB Union

Fife Council

The Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners

Kapital Residential Limited

Kerilee Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for GMB Union in a high-value professional negligence claim against their former solicitors.
  • Advising Fife Council in a Court of Session professional claim against Atkins Limited relative to their responsibilities as engineers on a flood prevention scheme, valued at circa £7.5m.
  • Acting for the Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners in a Court of Session professional negligence claim against Halcrow Group Limited in respect of the North Harbour deepening project at Fraserburgh Harbour.

Dentons

The litigation-heavy professional negligence practice at Dentons acts for both claimants and defendants across a range of sectors, including insurance. Senior associate Sarah Wardell acts in claims against solicitors, tax advisers and medical professionals.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Wardell

Testimonials

‘Good communication between team members. Commercially driven advice with risk analysis. Strategic thinking.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance plc

Cousin Biotech SAS

Beazley Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting for the insurer, Zurich, and insured, Cousin Biotech, in 11 actions raised against them in negligence and under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in respect of Pelvic Mesh product.
  • Acted for Beazley Insurance and their insured, a firm of process servers, in defending third party proceedings by Sheriff Officers in Scotland arising from defective service of Scottish proceedings in England.