Professional negligence in South East

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's 'consistently strong' South East practice is overseen by Oxford managing partner Tony Nurse-Marsh, who also sits on the firm's professional indemnity regional board. The group has an extensive national and international offering, handling the full scope of high-value claims, with Clive Brett and Jim Taylor among the other key names. Other recommended practitioners include legal director Katherine Gregory, who has construction sector expertise, and Philip Evans who defends claims against accountants, engineers and solicitors. The team has a close working relationship with their counterparts in the firm's recently launched Bristol base.

Practice head(s):

Tony Nurse-Marsh

Testimonials

I would strongly recommend Tony Nurse-Marsh and Clive Brett to any colleagues who faced a professional negligence claim. I would have great faith in their judgement. I would say that a particular strength is the ability to act commercially (i.e. settling claims which need to be settled) before the level of costs becomes an issue.’

Philip Evans has not only a grasp of the legal issues but puts the insured client at the heart of the process. Philip is extremely user-friendly, makes himself readily contactable and gives calm and pragmatic advice – a lawyer’s lawyer.’

They are clearly very well versed in professional negligence litigation and their service is excellent.’

‘All the solicitors I work with are excellent. They are knowledgeable, efficient, pragmatic and commercial. Jim Taylor stands out and is our lawyer of choice for professional indemnity matters.’

‘The Oxford office is a consistently strong team in my view. They are very knowledgeable about the law but are also aware of the need to retain a strong commercial approach.’

‘Clive Brett, Tony Nurse-Marsh, Phillip Evans and Katherine Gregory have all impressed. They display the strengths for which the firm is known for.’

Katharine Gregory is a bright and sensible, but still robust, litigator; lots of experience, especially in property-related negligence cases.

Katherine Gregory is very sharp, and a very good lawyer.

Key clients

AIG

Allied World Assurance Company

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

Chubb

Hiscox

Sompo

Travelers

WR Berkley

Zurich

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The claimant professional negligence practice at Cripps Pemberton Greenish is noted for its activity in the financial services sector. Led by Russell Simpson, who specialises in both professional negligence claims and trust and estate disputes, the team handles high-value claims and is well-regarded for its expert knowledge of FCA regulations. Pradeep Oliver is highly rated by peers and counsel and is the key contact for financial services mis-selling matters. Tristam Razzell is also a core member of the group and is recommended for his pensions practice.

Practice head(s):

Russell Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Pradeep Oliver; Tristam Razzell

Testimonials

‘Pradeep Oliver is a very bright, astute and robust litigator with a great deal of professional negligence experience and expertise. He takes no prisoners.’

‘Pradeep Oliver has always struck me as everything you would want in a claimant lawyer – knowledgeable in his field, on top of the details, committed to his clients and, above all, extremely sensible when it came to negotiating the right settlement.’

‘Russell Simpson is calm, professional, and thorough, and was sensitive towards the mental and emotional state I was in.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for executors in a professional negligence claim against two previous firms of solicitors, which was complicated in terms of causation, mitigation and quantum.
  • Acting for a group of investors in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors involved in a fraudulent fractional ownership of a hotel investment scheme.
  • Acting for a company in a professional negligence action against its accountants and tax consultants for negligence advice to implement a risky disguised remuneration trust tax mitigation scheme.

Dentons

Dentons' professional negligence team has considerable expertise in the financial services and construction sector, undertaking claims for a wide roster of banking clients and international players. The claimantfocused practice is overseen by Tim Constable , who is noted for his strong claimant lender work and James Fairbairn. The group also includes senior associate Sarah Rutnah who is recommended for her experience of commercial disputes. While the team was previously divided across Milton Keynes and Watford, the Watford base was closed during 2020 after a successful shift to remote working during the coronavirus lockdown. Lawyers and staff who were previously based there will now work remotely with the option to use the Milton Keynes office when necessary.

Practice head(s):

Tim Constable; James Fairbairn

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Rutnah

Testimonials

‘The Watford team has excellent strength and depth of experience and very good client focus; very responsive.’

‘Tim Constable is always goes the extra mile for his clients; very concerned that the whole service should be the best it can be.’

‘Sarah Rutnah is utterly calm and capable; the person you want to have your back.’

‘Dentons has an extremely impressive presence in this field, particularly in the context of claims by financial institutions against solicitors and valuers, arising in the property context. The work that the team is involved in has an increasing mix of international cases of some complexity, which is reflective of the profile the team has gained.’

‘Tim Constable has an excellent knowledge of the law, and excels when analysing difficult points. Tim is also a great strategic thinker, and provides clear leadership for the legal team. His client service is fantastic, he articulates the client’s position very persuasively in correspondence, and is definitely someone you would want in your corner on a complex case.’

‘The team have many years of experience acting in professional negligence and liability litigation unlikely to be matched in other firms.’

‘Tim Constable combines a wonderfully cheerful personality with huge intelligence and diligence as a fearsome litigator.’

 

Key clients

Barclays Bank plc

Co-operative Bank plc

London Borough of Haringey

National House-Building Council

Santander Bank plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for a former special forces soldier against his former solicitor who negligently pursued a claim for personal injuries sustained when the soldier was on duty in Afganistan.
  • Acting on numerous claims against solicitors arising out of imposter fraud where homes are sold by fraudsters masquerading as homeowners.
  • Dentons is on a panel of two firms specialising in professional negligence claims for a high-street bank where it is acting for a number of lenders in claims against solicitors, valuers, accountants, and architects.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's professional negligence team is skilled in handling a mix of both complex claimant and defendant matters for clients. Led out of Oxford by experienced practice head Duncan Crine, the group has expertise in claims across a range of industry sectors such as legal, financial, real estate and engineering. Managing partner Sarah Foster, who also jointly leads the team, is the key contact for trust and probate-related disputes. Highlighted for her 'sensible approach', property litigation head Clare Bellis specialises in professional indemnity matters.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Crine; Sarah Foster

Other key lawyers:

Clare Bellis

Testimonials

‘Duncan Crine is a cool and wise head, with a breadth of practice that means he can brings a wider perspective. Very calm, reassuring and easy to work with.’

‘Clare Bellis works hard to get to the heart of a case; is willing to go the extra mile when a case needs it; has a sensible approach, with lots of experience across a broad range; is completely reliable and very easy to work with.’

‘The size of the team means that there is hands-on attention, but with enough room to ensure that the work is done at the right level and the right cost. The strength of the team means they are more than a match for much larger teams elsewhere.

Work highlights

  • Representing an insured director pursuant to their D&O policy in relation to high court proceedings involving allegations of breach of director’s duties.
  • Bringing claims on behalf of the founders of a global business against leading solicitors and tax advisors, to recover losses attributed to negligent advice in relation to the sale of the business.
  • Acting for a trustee in the defence of a claim arising from the administration of the estate.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's South East professional negligence offering is led by standout practitioner James Robins in Southampton, and has  a strong track record of defending claims for an assortment of insurance leaders. The professional risks team handle matters across the architecture, engineering, and construction space; Justin Tivey is recommended for policy coverage advice while associate Ivan Root handles claims by financial institutions. Insurance disputes head Sushma MacGeoch, who is based in London, is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

James Robins; Sushma MacGeoch

Other key lawyers:

Justin Tivey; Ivan Root

Testimonials

‘Effective response to queries and appropriately qualified fee earners assigned.’

‘Justin Tivey is always quick to respond and gets across complex issues to clients effectively.’

‘Nice people to work with and a nice safe pair of hands.’

‘The South East region has strengthened significantly over the past year with the addition of a claims handling offering for insurers and clients and the recruitment of well respected partners in the London office.’

‘James Robins is our main contact and he oversees the regional insurance teams.’

 

Key clients

AIG Europe (UK) Limited

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'superb' claimant offering at Blake Morgan LLP - which is led by Richard Portlock in Eastleigh - handles a myriad of matters for professional services clients including solicitors and financial advisers. Chris Williams, who splits his time between London and Southampton, is recommended for matters with an IP element, while senior associate Heather Welham handles those with a regulatory aspect. The team's client roster includes individuals, private companies and non-profit organisations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Portlock

Other key lawyers:

Heather Welham; Chris Williams

Testimonials

‘Well resourced and tenacious firm.’

‘Chris Williams is intelligent and responsive with wide and varied experience.’

‘Blake Morgan have been superb in handling our case.’

‘Both Richard Portlock and Heather Welham have been first class in keeping us informed about the progress of the case, letting us know about the next steps and presenting us with clear alternatives when we were navigating our way through this case.’

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP has an excellent reputation as a claimant practice handling high-value matters, both for private clients and organisations. The team, led by the highly rated Karim Mohamed, brings together cross-practice expertise in commercial litigation, real estate law, and construction. Rosie Fletcher is a key member of the team, regularly supporting practice head Mohamed. The group also acts against financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Karim Mohamed

Other key lawyers:

Rosie Fletcher

Testimonials

‘The team I have worked with for many years are client attentive, skilled and knowledgeable.’

‘Karim Mohamed is a doyen of professional negligence. Mayo Wynne Baxter offer unparalleled expertise on the South Coast in bringing and defending professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, and finance industry professionals.’

‘Karim Mohamed is calm under fire; excellent at working with experts.’

‘Karim Mohammed is exceptionally strong. He has a very detailed knowledge of the law and excellent experience in the area of professional negligence. Karim is very well organised and always able to explain complicated matters in a clear and practical manner. His approach is first class and I would not hesitate to recommend him strongly.’

Moore Barlow

The merger of Moore Blatch LLP and Barlow Robbins has created a strong combined professional negligence offering at the newly formed Moore Barlow, led by Mark Osgood in Southampton. The team's lawyers have a proven track record of work on claimant professional negligence matters, with key figures including operations partner Rob Evans, who has carved out a niche in claims arising from financial regulation, taxation schemes, and cybercrime. In Guildford, David Foster leads the firm's dispute resolution, civil litigation and commercial mediation practice, while other key figures include associate solicitor Andrew Reid and senior associate Esther Millard.

Practice head(s):

Mark Osgood

Testimonials

‘The team was very approachable and courteous in answering any of my questions or queries as we have moved through the litigation process.’

‘I found the team to be approachable – they were ailling to meet to discuss our case when other firms we approached dismissed it as not worth pursuing or to have the prospect of limited success. They were understanding; easy to talk to, reassuring and positive. They helped to make the whole process much less stressful for us than it could otherwise have been. They provided clear communication about costs, and they communicated realistic expectations of the results that we could achieve. They managed to exceed these expectations and get a very good result for us.’

‘A good team of solicitors with an excellent understanding of the cases presented to them.’

‘I felt from day one that Mark Osgood was easy to talk to and understood the grounds of my case from the start.’

‘Andrew Reid showed true dedication and insight with the understanding of my case. He demonstrated that he cares about the right result, investigating elements that don’t fall under his expertise, and involved other colleagues for advice and strategy.’

‘Mark Osgood is an excellent litigator; very creative in terms of funding solutions.’

‘Andrew Reid is technically (and technologically) outstanding. Perfect for technically difficult cases or those involving substantial disclosure and evidence.’

‘Rob Evans is personable, reassuring and kind. He provided clear communication every step of the way. He set out our options clearly and the cost implications at each stage. He understood how the situation we found ourselves in impacted on our lives.’

‘Mark Osgood was realistic about our chances of success and clear about the payment structures available for us.’

‘Andrew Reid is extremely pleasant to deal with. He is curious, professional and always has an excellent grasp of the case. His emails are very detailed and advice spot on.’

‘The team are able to get on top of a case very quickly, and are very attentive and responsive to the client’s needs and risks. In particular, they bring a practical and commercial approach to cases, seeking where possible to find a pragmatic solution or compromise. Excellent.’

‘Esther Millard provided a very professional but also personal service.’

‘Esther Millard is an excellent technical lawyer but also very approachable and commercially aware.’

‘Esther Millard handled a dispute for me, and given how stressful the experience can be, she handled the whole process extremely professionally, keeping me well informed of all developments. She was very confident in terms of discussing strategy and realistic in terms of potential outcomes, which is exactly what you want when you are spending considerable sums of money to try to win a dispute; the circumstances of which can be open to different legal interpretations. Esther managed my expectations extremely well.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully opposed a large professional fraud claim (c.£100m) from former clients of a subsidiary business.
  • Successfully resolved client exposure of around £2.75m, relating to that supplier’s advice on and provision of defective building materials in nationwide projects.
  • Recovering compensation for unnecessary tax liability of £250k by family trust, flowing from negligent advice of solicitors.
  • Assisted the mother of a severely brain-damaged five-year-old child in asserting her right to take the child to hospital in Italy for treatment.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

At Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, the largely claimant practice focuses on financial sector disputes pertaining to tax, trusts and pensions matters. The Guildford based team is overseen by Stephen Burns and Duncan Elson who handle financial disputes and contentious trust work respectively. David Savage is a key name for construction-related matters, as is newly promoted partner Andrew Keeley, who also holds engineering law expertise.

Key clients

Cancer Research UK

Royal National Institute of Blind People

Lab Lateral Limited

Icon 1992 Limited

PQW Brenley Corner Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on professional negligence action against former solicitors, relating to breaches of fiduciary and fidelity duties, breaches of confidential information and dishonest assistance.
  • Advised on a claim commenced by PQW Brenley Corner Limited for negligent investment advice, which concerned three interest rate swap agreements.
  • Advice in respect of a professional negligence claim in relation to project management, design management and liaison management services under an NHS framework agreement

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a large professional negligence team handling claims against legal, construction, and engineering professionals. Practice head Sobashni De Silva - described as 'on top of her game' - works in tandem with Anthony Okumah, the recommended contact for claims against solicitors and barristers.

Testimonials

‘The practice is very efficient and clarity to any legal problem is swiftly provided. This is very reassuring and greatly appreciated. It puts the lay person’s mind at ease.’

‘Sobashni De Silva is readily accessible and has overseen my case from the outset. I know I am in good hands with her. She really is on top of her game.’

‘Sobashni De Silva is kind and considerate and always willing to help. Keeping the client’s interests first.’

Key clients

 

Work highlights

  • Instructed to bring a claim against a structural engineer.
  • Assisted client with bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor in connection with a property matter.
  • Assisted client with bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor who assisted the client with a conveyancing matter.