Professional negligence in Wales

DAC Beachcroft LLP

'Streets ahead of anyone else in the region and a serious player on the national scene', the Newport-based five-strong team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is focused exclusively on defendant work, and has deeply embedded ties with insurers who instruct them across negligence claims brought against a raft of professionals. It is, however, perhaps best-known for its defence work on behalf of solicitors, an area for which the 'exceptionalClare Hughes-Williams and the 'dedicated and sensitiveCatrin Davies are particularly well-regarded. Senior associate Tom Bedford also handles solicitors' defence work, as well as actions brought against surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Clare Hughes-Williams

Other key lawyers:

Catrin Davies; Tom Bedford

Testimonials

‘The team has extensive expertise, with litigators who are willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Case handling is intelligent and balanced.’

‘The firm has vast experience and knowledge in the professional indemnity field.’

‘Clare Hughes-Williams inspires confidence and gives clear and direct advice.’

‘Clare Hughes-Williams is quick to identify and focus on the issues at the heart of the matter.’

 

Key clients

AmTrust

Aviva

Axa XL

MS Amlin

Munich Re

QBE Insurance Company (UK)

Tokyo Marine HCCI

Travelers Insurance

W R Berkley Insurance (Europe)

Zurich

Liberty

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Co-headed by Nick Rundle and Anthony DaviesEversheds Sutherland (International) LLP benefits from a 'core team of accomplished lawyers dealing with complex and higher-value professional negligence cases'. The team specialises in acting for banks as secured lenders in claims brought against solicitors and valuers. As well as expertise in the core professional negligence issues, the team's  has broader financial services litigation knowledge enabling it to act in matter relating to fraud, title rectification and enforcement of directors' guarantees. Principal associate Wayne Davies has a 'wealth of experience' handling negligence claims arising in commercial lending - often involving large portfolios of properties. Senior associate James Coleman has a thriving practice for lenders in claims relating to retail and commercial lending.

Practice head(s):

Nick Rundle and Anthony Davies

Other key lawyers:

Wayne Davies; Ashley Davies; James Coleman; Alison Poole

Testimonials

‘The proactive team provides an excellent level of service.’

‘James Coleman is adept at working with big corporate clients and handling large cases and projects.’

‘Wayne Davies is technically excellent.’

Key clients

Santander

Bank of Ireland

Nationwide (including ThMortgage Works and UCB)

Deutsche Bank

GE Money

Investec

HSBC

Capital Trust Capital Plc

Legal & General Insurance

MD Insurance Services

Work highlights

  • The firm acts for two large UK-based banks across a range of professional negligence matters, including in cases where the client suffers a shortfall of more than £30,000 on a residential mortgage account (these cases involve claims against solicitors and surveyors for negligence relating to residential mortgage transactions).
  • Advising the lender in connection with claims against a leading firm of residential property surveyors relating to the alleged overvaluation of 14 properties in connection with 14 separate mortgage applications during the period 2006-2010.
  • Represents a bank in relation to a loan made on a Grade II listed manor house within its own grounds.
  • Representing a bank in a professional negligence claim following the failure by solicitors to redeem all existing charges upon completion of a remortgage, with the consequence that the bank’s charge has not been capable for registration.
  • Instructed by a secured business lender to pursue a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors which failed to register a charge at companies’ house, with the consequence that the security was void when the company became insolvent, leaving the client as an unsecured creditor.

Berry Smith

Berry Smith acts exclusively for claimants in professional negligence matters. 'Honest and reliable' team head Iwan Doull  is particularly accomplished at handling claims brought against solicitors, and receives a significant flow of work from a major legal expenses insurer. Leveraging the firm's strong real estate and construction offering, the team also handles a significant volume of matters brought against property professionals, including surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Iwan Doull

Other key lawyers:

Simon Care; Gavin Hoccom

Testimonials

‘The team provides empathetic, honest and swift advice.’

‘The responsive Iwan Doull doesn’t give us false hope but we have every faith in him to be able to achieve justice.’

Key clients

ARAG Plc

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Riverstone Insurance

CAD Properties

Dawnus Construction

The Welsh Government

Work highlights

  • Reached a settlement on the eve of a trial for partners owning a substantial chain of retail properties against their former insurance broker.
  • Representing an after the event insurer against a firm of solicitors for negligent advice as to prospects of success for a claim that the insurer would not otherwise have insured.
  • The firm is representing an ultra-high-net worth individual in a claim against her architect and contract administrator for breach of contract and negligence arising from the refurbishment of a property in St John’s Wood, London.

Capital Law Limited

Capital Law Limited 'approaches matters with ingenuity and expertise', in negligence claims brought against a number of professions, including solicitors, accountants and surveyors. The 'commercial and effectiveAndrew Brown has particular third party litigation funding expertise and continues to run numerous professional negligence matters through the firm's own fund - Capital Dispute Finance. 'One to watch', associate Lucy Emanuel 'has already amassed considerable experience across the business end of the professional negligence field', and regularly handles claimant work against accountants, auditors and insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Meade and Andrew Brown

Other key lawyers:

Philip Jones; Lucy Emanuel

Testimonials

‘Practical and cost-effective, founded on a wealth of experience and technical knowledge.’

‘A very experienced and competent professional negligence team who are familiar with hard-nosed commercial litigation plus the various options for funding such litigation.’

‘Philip Jones’ down-to-earth and approachable style, belies a wealth of litigation experience and legal knowledge.’

‘Lucy Emanuel is very smart, efficient and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

DJ Litts (Firearms) Ltd (in liquidation)

Howard Tenens

Hartley Pension

British Medical Association

Mr and Mrs Pickering

Deloitte

Work highlights

  • The team represented a company (in liquidation) in a £82m claim brought against its accountants and auditors for failing to detect and report that a ponzi scheme was being run through the company accounts.
  • Acting on behalf of a claimant developer in a multimillion-pound professional negligence claim against the project manager, quantity surveyor and contract administrator.
  • Acting on behalf of a pension trustee and operator in respect of a claim against a third-party trustee for paying away money, held on trust, in breach of its professional obligations and/or fiduciary duties.
  • Acting on behalf of a claimant in a claim against its former solicitor for negligent advice in respect of a disciplinary process.

Hugh James

Hugh James represents private individuals and corporates as claimants in cases brought against a range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, accountants and financial advisers. Litigation team head Richard Locke provides 'incisive and no-nonsense advice' and is particularly active handling cases brought against solicitors. Senior associate Abigail Flanagan has developed a strong professional negligence practice in claims against solicitors and finance professionals, including in relation to pension  matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Locke

Other key lawyers:

Rob Phillips; Gareth Williams; Tracey Singlehurst-Ward; Abigail Flanagan

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of various claimants against a solicitors firm that mishandled hearing loss claims.
  • Acting on behalf of seven claimants in a claim against their solicitor for failing to serve the Particulars of Claim within the relevant 14-day period.
  • Representing a midwife in relation to a claim against her former solicitor and barrister arising out of the negligent conduct of her employment tribunal claim, which resulted in the claim being under-settled.

JCP Solicitors

JCP Solicitors regularly handles claimant professional negligence work for a range of south west Wales-based clients against a myriad different professionals. The 'knowledgeable and energeticKevin O’Brien is particularly accomplished at representing clients bringing claims against solicitors in relation to property and commercial transactions. The 'proactive and responsiveSophie Thomas manages the firm’s commercial recoveries work, and has a growing reputation for dealing with property-related professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Kevin O’Brien and Sophie Thomas

Testimonials

‘The team is highly knowledgeable, approachable, efficient and proactive.’

‘Kevin O’Brien is an established expert and market leader in the field.’