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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Insurance > Professional negligence > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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The 'excellent' Mills & Reeve LLP  is 'commercially minded' and 'unafraid to take on the fight when necessary'. The firm is led by the trio of Angus Turner, Neil Frankland and David Gooding. Turner specialises in solicitors’ negligence claims and is 'highly respected in the professional indemnity market' and 'consequently carries weight in mediations'. Frankland  is an expert in construction and brokers negligence claims. Gooding has extensive experience in defending solicitors negligence claims, and is 'a real leader in big litigation' and 'is focused on getting the best result whether by way of settlement or litigation'.  Also recommended is Sarah Trendell-Smyth, who focuses on claims against lawyers and loss adjusters, and is 'brilliantly well prepared', 'a great communicator' and 'robust at just the right moments'.

DWF is 'a strong firm' with 'a solid following in the professional indemnity market'. Paul Chaplin heads the team and provides 'first-class advice' in defending professional negligence and indemnity claims. Steve Oates has similar strengths in negligence and indemnity claims, representing solicitors, brokers and construction professionals. Derek Adamson is an expert in occupational health policy coverage who is 'massively experienced' and 'will roll his sleeves up to break the back of any heavyweight case'. Also recommended is Paul Donnelly who focuses on professional indemnity defence cases.

The 'excellent' Kennedys works on both the defence and coverage of professional indemnity matters. Practice head Eamon Mooney focuses primarily on construction-related issues and is 'very commercial' and 'thorough'. He recently defended a firm of accountants on a group action that alleged the operation of tax avoidance schemes.  He also advised on alleged negligence from a construction firm stemming from structural steelwork issues on a residential buildings project. Patric Rouendaal is also a key figure, with notable expertise in professional indemnity defence claims against solicitors and surveyors.  Insurance coverage expert Robert Welfare is also recommended.

The 'excellent' Shakespeare Martineau LLP  works for both claimants and defendants and is known for its 'tough approach to litigation'. The 'long established' Mark Beesley leads the team  and has particular strengths in acting on claims against financial advisers, solicitors and accountants. He recently advised BDW Trading on a claim against an architect regarding a wrongly prepared reserved matters planning application, which resulted in the client being unable to appeal the application's a refusal and the subsequently denied the development of a site of 400 houses.  The 'very good' and 'very experienced' James Woolstenhulme acted for Brandscape in a claim against its marketing company on the failed launch and booking system behind the client's 'Top Gear Driving Experience'. Also recommended is Michael Young, who regularly advises on professional negligence claims.

BLM is 'a strong firm in this region' with 'an established following' and 'proven expertise' in this field. Julian Smart  leads the team, and is 'pragmatic' , 'commercial' and 'has a very deep understanding of the sector'. He has extensive experience representing professional indemnity insurers in defending negligence claims against accountants, financial advisers, brokers, surveyors, architects and engineers. Lucy Tolond  has 'the understanding and range of expertise, crossing multiple different disciplines, necessary to answer the most complicated questions'. She focuses on claims against accountants, financial advisers, insolvency practitioners and insurance intermediaries.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  provide an 'excellent level of service and knowledge' with 'a strong team of lawyers'. Chris Busby  leads the practice and is 'extremely experienced in finance-related professional negligence', 'good with clients' and 'commercially minded'. Neville Gray  has 'an excellent grasp of case management' and strong expertise in commercial and residential lending claims. Senior associate Daniel Murphy  is 'very thorough and experienced' and 'a very safe pair of hands'.  Associate Kyle Richards  is 'very engaged with the detail on his cases' and 'keen to test the strengths of difficult legal and evidential arguments to ensure a case is robust'.

Gowling WLG 's  work on professional negligence is particularly strong in the commercial and construction sectors. Commercial litigator Andrew Nugent Smith  regularly works on negligence claims and is particularly active in the automotive sector. Other key figures include construction disputes specialist Ashley Piggot  and landlord and tenant disputes expert Carole Peet . Andrew Manning Cox has joined CEDR Chambers .

Wright Hassall LLP  deals with negligence claims against valuers, surveyors, solicitors, brokers and accountants. Gemma Carson  leads the team and has notable strengths in handling cases involving procedural irregularites or deceit. Managing partner Sarah Perry  is also a key figure and particularly strong on claims involving negligent tax planning or investment advise.  Daniel Jennings  specialises in fraudulent and necessitating injunctive relief cases. He recently acted for BA Property Management on a claim against an architect whose negligence cost the client its planning permission for a hotel and residential development. Susan Hopcraft  is also recommended.

Freeths LLP  is a 'strong broad practice', acting for professionals in legal services, financial services  and construction. Practice head Richard Coates has 'a great attitude' and 'an amazing presence when dealing with other aggressive firms'. Also recommended is Louise Wilson , who is 'a very good instructing solicitor' and a 'sensible', 'considerate', and  'an independent-thinking team player'.

Gateley Plc has a strong reputation in professional negligence, particularly on construction-related cases. Steve Goodrham is one of three partner who heads the practice and 'gets to the heart of a case very quickly', 'works out with the client what the right approach is' and 'then sticks to it'. Fellow practice head Peter Davies  is particularly active on construction related claims and advised a major house builder on a claim against geo-environmental engineers who failed to identify asbestos contamination on the client's purchased site. Also leading the team is Mark Wilson  , who focuses on claims against insolvency practitioners and offshore accountants and auditors. Also recommended is Michelle Davies who acts on claims against solicitors, tax advisers and accountants, and 'is very good at getting to grips with the detail of a case' and 'making sure that deadlines are met'.

Hatchers Solicitors LLP  is headed by senior associate Esther Richards, who has advised on claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and architects. Patrick Gittins is also a key figure, with notable expertise in claims against solicitors involving mishandled injury claims, regulatory breeches, costs issues and alleged poor service. Assistant solicitor Jennifer Woods, who specialises in contentious matters, is also recommended.

Sydney Mitchell LLP 's litigation team is highly active in professional negligence cases, most notable against in the areas of legal services and construction. Sundeep Bilkhu is a key figure with extensive experience in negligence relating to property transactions.

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