Professional negligence in Wales

DAC Beachcroft LLP

With nine fee-earners focused entirely on defendant professional negligence work based out of Newport, and also regularly collaborating with Bristol-based colleagues, DAC Beachcroft LLP is 'very well resourced, organised and capable of handling huge amounts of documentation with great efficiency and speed'. The majority of this work relates to litigation and disciplinary proceedings brought against solicitors, an area that 'accessible and empathetic' team head Clare Hughes-Williams  excels, as a result of her many years of experience and 'vast knowledge of the industry'. Catrin Davies also 'knows this area of law inside out', regularly defending solicitors in under settled and/or failed catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence claims. Notably, Davies also recently defended a firm of solicitors in a Court of Appeal case that provided clarity in relation to the date of damage for the purposes of ascertaining whether a subsequent claim is outside of the limitation period. The 'well-organised and hardworkingTom Bedford was promoted to partner in May 2020, in recognition of his expertise at handling often complex disputes regularly involving many claimants.

Practice head(s):

Clare Hughes-Williams

Other key lawyers:

Catrin Davies; Tom Bedford

Testimonials

‘They are just really good at what they do – strong, empathetic and hard working.’

‘The firm and its teams are clearly very well resourced and organised and capable of handling huge amounts of documentation with great efficiency and speed.’

‘Clare Hughes-Williams: leads the pack in terms of high-quality professional liability work and is the person to have in your corner if you need to stand up to the opposition.’

‘Clare Hughes-Williams is a force of nature: she knows everyone in the industry, everything about the industry, and seems to work harder than almost anyone else in the industry.’

Catrin Davies: efficient and knows this area of the law inside out.’

‘Tom Bedford: organised and hard working, knows how to get results for clients.

Key clients

AmTrust

Aviva

Axa XL

MS Amlin

Munich Re

QBE Insurance Company (UK) Ltd

Tokyo Marine HCCI

Travelers Insurance Company Ltd

W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd

Zurich

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE

Bar Mutual

Axis

Quest

Liberty

Work highlights

  • Represented the respondents in a long running Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) prosecution into alleged misconduct arising out of the respondent firm’s retainer to act for the vendor of airport car parking spaces and storage units which the SRA alleged were dubious investment schemes.
  • Defended a firm of solicitors in a Court of Appeal case that provided clarity in relation to the date of damage for the purposes of ascertaining whether a subsequent claim is outside of the limitation period.
  • Represented the respondents in disciplinary proceedings arising from misconduct allegations in which the SRA alleged that whilst acting as attorneys in handling a client’s health and welfare, they had failed to act with integrity, independently, in the client’s best interest.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

With significant resources on the ground in Cardiff, as well as being able to leverage the expertise of lawyers throughout the UK, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has the strength-in-depth and critical mass to handle a huge range and volume of professional negligence work for claimants and defendants in the financial services sector. Nick Rundle leads the claimant offering, which is focused on pursuing secured commercial and residential actions for lenders, including against solicitors, relating to title defects and surveyors overvaluing properties. Senior associate Wayne Davies 'has significant expertise in lenders' professional negligence claims and in related title rectification issues', and is a key member of this team that is able to resource a huge volume of instructions, in part by dint of its effective case management system. Promoted to partner in May 2020, Gareth Vowles leads the firm's defendant-side offering which regularly represents intermediaries, lenders and asset managers in claims arsing from alleged negligent advice and/or the mis-selling of a myriad financial products. Senior associate James Coleman has a balanced offering for financial institutions both as claimants and defendants, including representing commercial and investment banks in regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Nick Rundle

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Vowles; Wayne Davies; James Coleman; Lindsey Caddy; Tiffany Neville; David Sweet

Testimonials

‘The Eversheds financial disputes team in Cardiff has vast experience of making professional negligence claims on behalf of its banking sector clients.’

‘Wayne Davies has significant expertise in lenders’ professional negligence claims and in related title rectification issues.’

‘Tiffany Neville is up and coming.’

Key clients

Santander

Bank of Ireland

Nationwide (including The Mortgage Works and UCB)

Deutsche Bank

GE Money

Investec

HSBC

Castle Trust Capital Plc

West One Finance

Onesavings Bank

Work highlights

  • Appointed to exclusively act in all professional negligence claims relating to shortfalls suffered on secured business lending transactions in England/Wales for one of the UK’s leading banks.
  • Acting for two of the UK’s biggest banks in claims against solicitors and surveyors for negligence relating to residential mortgage transactions.
  • Advised a UK clearing bank on a professional negligence claim against a national firm of surveyors for their overvaluation of a unique residential property on a private estate.

Berry Smith

Under the guidance of the ‘very dedicated‘ Iwan Doull Berry Smith‘s three-partner team provides a ‘flexible and adaptable’ service to claimants in professional negligence litigation brought against solicitors/barristers, accountants and property professionals. Doull displays a real ‘attention-to-detail‘ and has the most versatile offering within the team, work which includes a particular niche advising after-the-event insurer ARAG Plc in claims against solicitors who negligently advised their insureds.

Practice head(s):

Iwan Doull

Other key lawyers:

Nick Parker; Simon Care

Testimonials

The team provides a flexible and adaptable service.’

Iwan Doull is very dedicated to his work and displays a real attention to detail.’

Key clients

ARAG Plc

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Riverstone Insurance Limited

Brit Syndicate a Lloyds 2987

CAD Properties

Brit Insurance (UK) Ltd

The Welsh Government

Work highlights

  • Representing multi-national ATE insurance provider, ARAG Plc, in a claim against a series of insolvent law firms in relation to the firm’s negligent handling of claims and recovery of insurance premiums owed to our client.
  • Representing a developer of residential properties in a consequential claim of professional negligence against its former conveyancing solicitors for having failed to identify a restrictive covenant, that subsequently required modification (incurring significant costs) following an objection to the development by a beneficiary to the covenant.
  • Representing two high-net-worth individuals as part of a multi-party claim brought against their former solicitors and barrister, for their negligent handling of a claim for professional negligence against the clients’ former accountant, which also involved a further claim for professional negligence against an insurance broker, all of which ultimately failed in the Court of Appeal.

Capital Law Limited

Professional negligence forms a not insignificant proportion of the work flow handled by Capital Law Limited's overarching 17-strong commercial litigation practice. Consequently, the firm has the resources and knowledge with which to advise on some sizeable and document heavy professional negligence claims, some of which are financed through the firm's own litigation fund. The 'strategic and thoughtful' Andrew Brown has a strong pedigree in handling professional negligence claims brought against solictors and auditors, and he co-heads professional negligence sub-group alongside commercial litigation leader Stephen Meade. 'A partner in waiting', senior associate Lucy Emanuel also continues to impress, primarily as a result of her work for financial institutions bringing claims against solicitors, valuers and construction professionals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Brown; Stephen Meade

Other key lawyers:

Philip Jones; Lucy Emanuel; Stacey Whittle; Richard Evans

Testimonials

‘They have a hands-on, informal but effective case management system. I have been impressed by their management of detail, and by their creative thinking in how best to carry the litigation forward. They are proactive, not reactive.’

Key clients

Walsham Chalet Park Limited (in liquidation) (Deloitte LLP)

Roadchef (Employee Benefits Trustees) Limited

Howard Tenens Ltd (a nationwide property developer)

Hartley Pension Trustees Limited

Red Squirrel Consulting Limited

British Medical Association

Solicitors Regulatory Authority

One Market Data

Work highlights

  • Representing Deloitte, as the liquidators of Walsham Chalet Park Limited, in respect of a £25m claim against its former directors and auditors, who substantially inflated the profits of the company and continue with their ponziesque scheme.
  • Advising many businesses in the leisure industry, forced to close due to the pandemic, on professional negligence claims against their insurance brokers for the advice they did/or did not receive when purchasing Business Interruption insurance.
  • Acting for an insurer in a multimillion-pound subrogated recovery action following a fire at an international festival, which resulted in the festival being cancelled part way through. The building contractors, event managers, pyrotechnic engineers and health and safety professionals failed to ensure that sufficient fire-proof equipment and staging was in place.

Hugh James

Led by the 'outstanding' Richard Locke from within the firm's market-leading commercial litigation group, Hugh James has a strong and well-established track record advising clients seeking recourse through professional negligence claims. The arrival in May 2020 of Kevin O’Brien  from JCP Solicitors reinforces the firm's expertise in the area, particularly in light of his core focus on professional negligence claimant work for banking and lender clients. Senior associate Abigail Flanagan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Locke

Other key lawyers:

Kevin O’Brien; Abigail Flanagan

JCP Solicitors

At JCP Solicitors, the 'knowledgeable and commercially astuteSophie Thomas is the main point of contact for commercial (including financial institutions) and private clients, in relation to professional negligence claims brought against solicitors and surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Thomas

Testimonials

‘The professional negligence team take a sensible and proportionate approach to cases. They thoroughly consider the merits and use that to their advantage in settlement discussions.’

‘Sophie Thomas is thorough, knowledgeable and commercially astute.’