Professional negligence in South West
Burges Salmon LLP acts predominantly for claimants. The firm has expertise in making claims on behalf of lenders and regularly advises on claims in the legal, construction, environmental consultancy and IT sectors. One key area of expertise is handling claims arising from cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions. The firm also advises on professional negligence cases relating to pensions, trusts and tax. Practice head Andrew Burnette leads claims against solicitors and surveyors.
‘Burges Salmon offers real team effort, provides excellent value for money and a really hand-on approach. It is really admirable how the associates are empowered to deliver in their own style’
‘Burges Salmon has an excellent professional negligence team’
‘The firm offers depth and experience’
‘The very high standards of recruitment and internal training ensure seamless service from a customer perspective’
Nationwide Building Society
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
- Advising on a £60m claim against Gleeds UK/Gleeds Group Pension Scheme’s former advisors and lawyers for their work on the connected Part 8 proceedings.
- Advising Nationwide Building Society on a £35m portfolio of claims concerning negligent advice provided to the client by surveyors and solicitors.
- Advising the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on a $39m claim before the High Court relating to an insolvent hotel development, where the defendant’s professional trustee allegedly breached its duty of care and its obligations under the trust deed.
- Advising HR Trustees Ltd on a £22m claim against a blue chip pensions consultancy for errors in properly effecting the closure of a defined benefit scheme to future accrual.
- Advising Sea Containers Ltd and trustees of the Sea Containers 1990 pension scheme on a £6m negligence claim against former actuaries, advisors and scheme administrations in respect of failed attempts to equalise male and female retirement ages.
Clarke Willmott LLP primarily acts on the claimant side and assists with claims against accountants, tax advisors, land agents, banking surveyors, as well as architects, engineers and construction consultants. The firm handles claims against lawyers and accountants arising from negligent advice on tax avoidance schemes, and the failure to take tax consequences into account in corporate transactions. The practice also regularly advises uninsured defendants. The 'superb' Alex Jakubowski is practice co-head and regularly handles lender claims. He also acts for banks, peer-to-peer lenders and building societies.
Alex Jakubowski; Philippa Hann
‘The team is a high-calibre claimant-orientated firm who is not scared of going after big ticket defendants – and it has the resources to do it’
‘Sound pragmatic advice sensibly delivered’
‘Alex Jakubowski is simply superb at the overall tactical aspect of dealing with a case’
Alton & 10 Ors
Hammond & 4 Ors
British Steel Workers
- Advised Alton & 10 Ors on a £30m group action claim against Ernst & young arising from negligent tax advice to invest in a film partnership.
- Advised Hammond & 4 Ors on a £9m misselling group claim against UBS arising from its role in tax scheme misselling.
- Claiming pensions worth £9m overall following negligent transfer advice.
- Advised Lloyds Bank on a £750k claim overvaluation of a 16th century coach house.
- Advising Wellesley Finance on a £3m claim against Curie & Brown.
CMS advises defendants on professional negligence cases in sectors such as engineering and financial services. Cheryl Gibson regularly defends construction professionals on disputes arising from defective properties. The firm is also experienced in defending financial institutions against claims relating to under-performing financial and investment products. Another key aspect of the work is the provision of assistance to solicitors accused of providing poor advice to their clients. The practice is equally experienced in defending claims regarding erroneous manufactured goods, as well as health and safety-related claims.
Other key lawyers:
Nautilus International Insurance
W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Limited
- Defending a loss adjuster and its insurers following a fire at a substantial grade II listed property.
- Defending a firm of solicitors in relation to a £500k professional negligence claim arising from advice given about the effect of onerous restrictive covenants during a residential property conveyance.
- Defended a bathroom pod manufacturer in a £13m dispute with university accommodation contractors.
- Defended Woodley Properties in a £33m breach of fiduciary duty claim.
- Defended an engineer in a multi-party £1m dispute arising from the design and construction of a large oak pool house.
DAC Beachcroft LLP defends against claims in the insurance, financial services, legal and engineering sectors. The firm has particular expertise in handling claims under title indemnity policies for insurers. The practice also advises construction professionals on claims arising from the negligent planning and construction of properties. The team is equally experienced in claims involving criminal and regulatory exposures, as well as indemnity claims involving environmental negligence. Practice co-head Marcus Campbell is experienced in defending claims against insurance brokers and commercial surveyors, while legal director Kylie Poyner defends schools, colleges and universities.
Marcus Campbell; Caroline Cherry
Other key lawyers:
‘The pragmatic, personable and accessible team understands business requirements and concerns’
‘The team is acutely aware that safeguarding client reputation is paramount. As such, the team goes the extra mile to ensure it engages with the client and client expectations within the parameters of the policy cover. The practice keeps fully informed of all developments, which is highly important’
’The advice provided is always clear and thorough and delivered in a way that is understood’
‘Marcus Campbell is personable, pragmatic and accessible’
Aviva Insurance (Corporate & Specialty Risks)
Zurich Financial Services
Markel International Insurance Company
XL Catlin Insurance
Cushman & Wakefield
- Defending against a solicitor’s negligence claim alleging under-settlement of a miner’s Vibration White Finger (VWF) claim.
- Defending Aviva and its insured retail businesses against a £1.6m claim made by the administrators of the insured company against the client in relation to unlawful dividend payments and wrongful trading initiated by the claimants.
- Advising Zurich and insured plant operator on liability and defence strategy in relation to a claim made by a company against its directors for failing to put in place adequate IT security.
- Advising Zurich and insured SME business on coverage and monitoring of a number of defence lawyers in relation to alleged £150m tax fraud and money laundering.
- Investigated the merits and handled the defence of two claims alleging the significant overvaluation of two children’s care homes by the practice’s property consultancy client.
RPC acts for both insurers and their insured clients in defending claims involving professionals such as: solicitors, insurance brokers, accountants, financial professionals and pension experts, as well as surveyors and construction professionals. The firm’s advice to construction professionals involves defence in relation to cladding systems. The team also has expertise in defending fraud and dishonesty cases as well as regulatory and disciplinary investigations. Legal director Rachael Healey regularly handles disputes involving pensions issues, including providing advice on solicitor errors and negligent investment decisions.
Other key lawyers:
‘RPC provides a consistently high quality, has in-depth strength and individuals you can trust to get it right when it matters’
- Acting for Arch Insurance (Europe) and Sense Network in successfully defending £7m group litigation in commercial court.
- Defending Giambrone Law LLP in an £8m group litigation relating to property developments.
Kennedys is especially active on the defendant side and regularly acts for clients involved in the real estate and construction, financial services, food processing and banking industries. The firm is also experienced in handling cases arising from professional negligence in the medical and legal sectors. The practice has expertise in advising on fire-related fatal accidents arising from negligent property development.
Michelmores LLP provides negligence advice regarding employment, finance, intellectual property, real estate, tax planning and banking matters. The firm assists investors with claims arising from the negligent handling of assets by unregulated banks. The practice also acts on agricultural negligence, which involves acting for surveyors and their professional indemnity insurers on claims arising from alleged failure to advise on the provisions of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.
‘The firm is able to provide a high quality but personal client service.’
‘Fiona Pearson is extremely conscientious, hard-working and an excellent communicator.’
Cancer Research UK
Osborne Clarke has expertise in advising the claimant side on claims against pension providers and accountancy practices, as well as professionals from the construction sector, which involve surveyors, valuers, engineers, architects and contractors. The firm is also experienced in handling niche areas including negligence claims arising from the wrong valuation of art works. Practice head Leona Briggs is a ‘well-judged and very competent litigator’ and a real estate specialist.
‘Excellent knowledge and longstanding experience of pensions litigation.’
Acting for both claimants and defendants, TLT offers expertise in claims arising in the financial services, property, corporate, tax, pensions and construction sectors. The firm is also experienced in advising on claims involving solicitors, valuers and other construction professionals, as well as bankers, financial advisers and insurance brokers. The firm has a track record in assisting with the resolution of negligence claims by negotiation and mediation.
‘Neil Franklin has a very strong understanding of the practical and legal aspects of dealing with lenders’ claims for banks and mortgage lenders against professionals such as solicitors and valuers, based on a huge amount of experience in this area.’
Royal Bank of Scotland Group
The Northview Group
UK Asset Resolution (UKAR)
- Investigating a £2.5m loss of opportunity claim against former solicitors of the client as a result of their substandard service.
- Advised on a £4m claim arising from negligent advice provided by a law firm in connection to four foreign currency loans secured against properties in London.
- Advising on claims amounting to £2.5m in relation to negligent advice provided by lawyers.
- Instructed to advise an individual on her potential claim against two firms of solicitors, who had failed to take adequate steps to achieve a fair financial settlement following her divorce.
Acting primarily on the defendant side, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a particular expertise in handling claims against lawyers, insurance brokers, accountants and financial advisers. James Robins leads the practice, which also defends companies of surveyors and property professionals on claims made by commercial property investment funds in relation to alleged mismanagement of property portfolios. The firm also defends directors and trustees against claims in the charity and education sectors.
‘Very experienced team with particular expertise in surveyor’s negligence claims’
‘James Robins has cases with very interesting points of law, and never loses sight of the commercial realities’
Ashfords LLP is involved in providing legal advice on the claimant side and regularly advises on claims in the banking, construction, legal and accounting sectors. The firm acts for banks and lending institutions on claims against professional advisers such as surveyors, tax advisers and solicitors. The firm is also experienced in assisting construction and real estate companies on negligence claims arising from negligent design, cost advice and project management.
Rory Mac Neice; Victoria Bonnet
Lloyds Bank plc
Bank of Scotland plc
Canterbury City Council
Exeter City Council
Cofton Country Holidays
- Advising on a £500k claim against a veterinary clinic arising from a poor treatment of a racing horse.
- Advising on a claim against solicitors concerning negligent advice concerning a development site.
- Acted in respect of a claim against a national firm of surveyors concerning the overvaluation of several children’s care homes.
- Advised Midas Construction on a £1m claim against a timber frame contractor and architect in relation to a defective timber frame residential house.
- Advising Cofton Country Holidays on a £2.5m claim against architects in relation to the refurbishment and extension of a holiday park.
Beale & Co defends insurers of solicitors, brokers, accountants and surveyors, as well as construction and banking professionals against claims related to professional negligence. This includes claims arising from the negligent wording of policy issues, insufficient tax advice, negligent construction planning and the ill-handling of investment and property transactions. Practice head Joe Eizenberg also assists with the resolution of claims disputes through arbitration and mediation proceedings.
Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund
Aspen Risk Management
Tokio Marine HCCI
- Advising on the defence of claims arising from the potential over-certification of works carried out in respect of the maintenance of social housing stock in London.
- Defending in relation to damage resulting from a sinkhole at a property development.
- Defending against claims arising from missed limitation.
- Advising on a claim alleging negligent drafting of a contract for the sale of land.
- Advising against allegations of professional negligence of multiple parties involving the freehold of a property.
Clyde & Co launched a Bristol office in May 2018 with the hire of two hugely experienced partners - Ian Peacock, a a professional indemnity litigator who spent 26 years at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and its predecessor firms, and John Eastlake, who was formerly London head of professional indemnity at Kennedys. The team, which also includes senior associate Toby Rouse and associates Amy Martin and James Whalley, works in tandem with the firm's top-rated London practice, handling a broad range of insurance disputes for big-name clients.
Ian Peacock; John Eastlake
DWF is experienced in investigating, defending and settling professional negligence claims made against professionals and their firms. Practice head Simon Mason, who ‘provides first-class service’, advises on policy disputes and regularly defends claims against accountants, actuaries, insurance brokers and legal practitioners as well as surveyors, estate agents and construction professionals. The firm also has a particular expertise in technical and professional indemnity matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice is very dynamic and forward-looking. It does the technical work very well and is always looking to develop opportunities in other areas and make use of technology and innovative solutions.’
‘The practice has in-depth strength in handling complex high value claims.’
‘The team is bright, responsive, practical and personable.’
‘Simon Mason is very approachable, knowledgeable and above all, friendly. He is only too happy to go out of his way to provide support and assistance.’
- Acting in the defence of an insured accountant providing company secretarial services for a nominal fee.
- Advising on a claim arising from alleged negligent architectural services.
- Advised on a claim alleging negligent accounting advice provided by the client to an architecture firm.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Harrison Clark Rickerbys regularly acts on the claimant side and is experienced in advising on professional negligence claims in the banking, construction and real estate sectors, which also involves tax-related claims against tax advisers and consultants. Adam Finch is the practice head and specialises in disputes in the banking and finance sector. The firm has expertise in handling negligence claims that include the misappropriation of assets and the leakage of confidential information.
Lester Aldridge LLP
Principally acting for claimants, Lester Aldridge LLP assists with professional negligence claims against accountants, property surveyors and independent financial advisers, which involves claims arising from aggressive and illegal tax schemes. Practice head Kate Stewart specialises in the negligent construction of properties and regularly advises on claims against architects and project managers. The practice also has expertise in claiming against solicitors in relation to breach of duty.
- Claiming against a project management company in relation to the collapse of a property construction project.
- Advising on a claim against solicitors and financial advisors arising from breach of duty.
- Advising on a claim against a construction company arising from the defective construction of residential dwellings
- Claim against firms of solicitors for negligent advice in the context of the negligent drafting of a deed of trust.
VWV advises banks and financial institutions on professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors and valuers. The firm is also experienced in assisting both private claimants and defendants on corporate, charity, insolvency and real estate claims. The practice advises on insolvency litigations arising from professional negligence of solicitors, tax advisers and accountants. Another area of expertise is the handling of intellectual property infringement claims.
Cheltenham Borough Council
- Advised Platform Funding on a professional negligence claim against its former solicitors in relation to a fraudulent sale and leaseback scheme.
- Acted for Platform Funding in a claim against a firm of valuers.
- Advising a local council on a claim arising from negligent legal advice provided by solicitors in relation to a real estate development site.
- Defending a claim in relation to purported investment advice.
- Defending a claim in relation to tax impacts ignored.
Meade King LLP
Specialising on advising the claimant side, Meade King LLP acts on professional negligence claims against engineers, architects, solicitors, surveyors and accountants. The practice is also experienced in litigating against accountants. The firm assists with claims arising from negligent construction planning, insufficient tax advice and inefficient negotiation strategies of solicitors regarding divorce claims and maintenance proceedings. Simon Price is a construction specialist with more than ten years of experience, and has become the new practice head after the retirement of John Vasey in April 2018.
‘The firm has a very strong reputation for dealing with negligence claims. The team provides clear and unambiguous guidance to the clients.’
‘Simon Price gives clear and succinct advice and recommendations. He responds to queries quickly and presents his solution in an easily understandable manner.’
- Claim against accountants
- Claim against solicitors
- Claim against structural engineers
Stephens Scown LLP
Stephens Scown LLP specialises as a claimant firm in disputes arising from negligent legal, construction and financial services provided by professionals including lawyers, surveyors, architects, valuers, surveyors and accountants, as well as tax advisors and bankers. The firm handles claims in regards to the negligent construction of hotels and holiday development sites, insufficient pensions’ advice and poor legal advice on tenancy liabilities.
Catherine Matthews; Toby Claridge
‘There exists a well-managed and strong dialogue between partners and associates so that work is correctly split and allocated properly’
‘A dedicated team that has a sound commercial approach to professional negligence litigation’
‘Toby Claridge sees the bigger picture and manages to broker deals in the face of mounting challenges, while keeping his eye on the commercial imperatives’
‘Catherine Matthews is a gifted lawyer with a keen tactical sense of how to manage complex litigation’