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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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Mills & Reeve LLP is a first port of call for many clients in the professional indemnity insurance market. It handles multimillion pound claims involving brokers, construction professionals, financial lines and loss adjusters, among others. The team includes Angus Turner, who specialises in solicitors' negligence claims, and Neil Frankland, who focuses on construction and insurance brokers negligence claims. The other key partner is David Gooding, whose expertise includes claims against accountants and independent financial advisers, as well as more general coverage issues.

Practice head(s):Angus Turner; Neil Frankland; David Gooding

Other key lawyers:Bharti Patel; Kelly Barnett

Testimonials

'Mills & Reeve LLP has a very strong professional indemnity team in Birmingham'.

'Angus Turner is personable and excellent'.

'Angus Turner and Neil Frankland are both very experienced and very well-known'.

'The team overall has real strength in depth and has a whole raft of excellent associates. Bharti Patel is exceptionally bright and Kelly Barnett is exceptionally good'.

Key Clients

AIG

Pen

Capita

MUM

CNA

Elite

Aon

Work highlights

  • Advising a law firm on a claim relating to a potential drafting error with a significant negative impact.
  • Defending a claim against a top 100 law firm in respect of the drafting of a will and the administration of an estate.
  • Handling the defence of litigation against a law firm arising out of commercial property transactions
  • Defending a leading architectural practice against allegations relating to cladding and fire stopping.
  • Advising an insurance broker on issues arising in relation to a marine cargo policy and sanctions following the broker’s client suffering a loss when a shipment of valuable goods was impounded in China.

BLM generates work from a wide range of insurers and corporates in high-value and complex claims. It represents professionals of all disciplines, and has witnessed a significant increase in fraud-related claims recently. Team head Julian Smart is frequently instructed by professional indemnity insurers to defend negligence claims against various professionals, such as surveyors, accountants, engineers and brokers.

Practice head(s):Julian Smart

Other key lawyers:Lucy Tolond

Testimonials

'A top-notch insurance practice'.

'The team has a broad base of experience and expertise in various areas of professional negligence. It is an approachable and user-friendly team'.

'Julian Smart  is excellent, very calm and collected and is very good at diffusing difficult situations'.

'Julian Smart is quietly assured and reassuring for insureds and insurers alike. Julian really knows his stuff and is able to robustly defend an insured's position in an understated and non-confrontational way'.

'Julian Smart is excellent with clients and sees the 'big picture' when it comes to high value/complex litigation'.

'Lucy Tolond is an outstanding litigator'.

'Lucy Tolond is excellent - hands on and with impressive knowledge of the insurance market'.

Key Clients

QBE

Everest Syndicate 2786

European Risk Insurance Company

Aviva

NFU Mutual

Collegiate

DWF has successfully built strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and now has a top-class insurer client base. It offers expertise across the full range of traditional professional negligence defence work, where it acts for professionals and their insureds. It has niche expertise covering areas where professional negligence overlaps into other practice areas such as criminal law, health and safety as well as public law. Paul Chaplin leads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Chaplin; Kieran Walsh (Manchester)

Key Clients

Markel (UK)

Liberty International

Inter-Hannover

Travelers

CNA Hardy

MS Amlin

Work highlights

  • Representing an accountant and its insurers following a claim that it was negligent when acting for a solicitor client on the acquisition of another solicitor’s practice.
  • Representing a firm of tax consultant and its insurer following a claim by a number of clients that the advice given to enter into a tax mitigation scheme was negligent.  
  • Acting for SIPP trustee and its insurers following a number of claims by clients that their due diligence in accepting referrals from an IFA were flawed.
  • Acting for an engineer and its insurer regarding an alleged survey/quote for installing underground pumping/heat meter/plumbing parts to assist with a renewable heat incentive application.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors and its insurer following a number of client account defalcations.

Kennedys has an impressive client roster, which includes many of the leading professional indemnity insurers. The group is adept at handling the full range of professional indemnity matters. It routinely handles complex and high-value claims for a variety of professions. The head of the team is Eamon Mooney, who has a particular focus on construction professionals’ claims, and also handles a significant number of claims against accountants and solicitors.

Practice head(s):Eamon Mooney

Other key lawyers:Patric Rouendaal

Testimonials

'Eamon Mooney is highly regarded'.

'Eamon Mooney is excellent and has a strong team supporting him'.

'Patric Rouendaal has developed particular skill and expertise in D&O work'.

Key Clients

Liberty

RSA

Channel Syndicate

AXA XL

Pen Underwriting

Sompo

W.R. Berley

Work highlights

  • Advising on an application by a high-profile individual in bankruptcy, against a number of parties, including the insured (a firm of solicitors that was previously instructed by the individual).
  • Acting on the defence of a number of multimillion-pound professional negligence claims against a firm of accountants, in a group action, arising from advice given to investors in the ‘Ingenious’ tax avoidance schemes.
  • Following the liquidation of a major UK construction company and the recent service of Part 20 proceedings, the team was instructed by that company’s professional indemnity insurers to take, prepare and lodge a holding defence, to advise upon coverage and to negotiate a path out of the ongoing litigation.
  • Acted for a company that managed terminal leasing contracts for financial institutions.
  • Advising on the ongoing handling of multi-million pound and multi-party litigation after the demerger of a family group of businesses - including allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence against the accountants.

Although the primary focus at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is on the claimant side of the market, it also acts for defendants. It is currently acting for claimants in numerous professional negligence cases, many of which are funded using conditional fee arrangements. These claims range in value from tens of thousands to millions of pounds. It also acts for a variety of defendants, including solicitors and accountants. Mark Beesley and Barry Jervis are the names to note.

Practice head(s):Mark Beesley; Barry Jervis

Key Clients

Alliance Surgical

Brandscape Group

FM Conway

Scanlans Property Management

BDW Trading

Garner Investments

Diffusion Alloys

Star Micronics GB

Work highlights

  • Advising BDW Trading on a multi-million pound claim for negligent advice in relation to a planning application by architects resulting in the inability to develop a 400 houses site.
  • Advising Garner Investments on a claim in relation to losses caused by inappropriate specialist banking transfers.
  • Advising Ashok Dhir on a claim for losses in relation to incorrect drafting of a lease.
  • Advising a property investor on an action in relation to erroneous valuations leading to undervalue sale of a property portfolio.
  • Advising Diffusion Alloys on an action in relation to a negligent valuation and subsequent losses.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's Birmingham team, which includes Chris Busby and Neville Gray, works closely with practitioners in the Nottingham office on a substantial portfolio of professional negligence claims. The group covers both residential and commercial lending claims as well as having considerable pension sector professional negligence expertise. It routinely advises on major pension related professional negligence claims against actuarial firms and solicitors and also acts for pension trustees and major corporates.

Practice head(s):Chris Busby; Neville Gray; Sarah Langham

Key Clients

Santander UK

Lloyds Banking Group

Carey Pensions UK LLP/ Carey Pension Trustees UK

Nationwide Building Society

Coventry Building Society

Work highlights

  • Acting as joint advisor with one other panel firm for all professional negligence claims against Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Acting as sole advisor to Santander’s corporate and commercial recoveries team.
  • Acting as sole advisor for any residential lending professional negligence claims on behalf of the Nationwide Building Society.
  • Acting as joint advisor for any commercial lending professional negligence claims against solicitors and valuers.
  • Defending Carey Pensions UK LLP/ Carey Pension Trustees UK Limited (“Carey”) against multiple misselling claims and complaints relating to its role as a SIPP (self-invested personal pension) administrator and pension scheme trustee.

Wright Hassall LLP has a large claimant professional negligence department, which acts for major lenders on the recovery of losses in the aftermath of mortgage fraud, and also advises on negligence actions for the recovery of losses on property transactions. It also has expertise in negligence actions in probate matters, as well as other issues, such as tax litigation and the misselling of financial products. Sarah Perry and Gemma Carson jointly head up the department.

Practice head(s):Sarah Perry; Gemma Carson

Other key lawyers:Susan Hopcraft

Testimonials

'Susan Hopcraft is calm, sensible and tenacious - a joy to work with'.

Key Clients

Brookvex IMS

Work highlights

  • Advised Brookvex IMS who was negligently represented at an adjudication.

Gateley Plc's team specialises in claims against a wide variety of professionals, such as solicitors, financial advisers, insurance brokers, accountants and insolvency practitioners. It also has a strong reputation for claims against construction professionals, including architects and project managers. Peter Davies, Stephen Goodrham and Mark Wilson head up the team.

Practice head(s):Peter Davies, Stephen Goodrham, Mark Wilson

Work highlights

  • Advised a vehicle manufacturer on a £3m professional negligence claim against the contractor and the architect of client’s new facility.
  • Acted for a major housebuilder in a  £1.5m professional negligence claim against the client’s former solicitors regarding an  option on  a development site.
  • Acting for a major housebuilder in a claim against  a firm of consulting engineers that failed to specify a sufficient number of bed joint reinforcements in the blockwork of houses.
  • Advised a client on a claim relating to the promotion and "sale” of a Ponzi scheme.
  • Instructed to act in relation to auditor liability claims concerning a failed offshore insurance company.

Sydney Mitchell LLP handles a wide range of cases, including those involving  negligence by solicitors, surveyors, accountants and architects. Other matters concern negligent advice by valuers on property transactions. The team, which is co-led by Sundeep Bilkhu and Kamal Majevadia, advises individuals, companies and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):Sundeep Bilkhu; Kamal Majevadia

Work highlights

  • Advised on the recovery of damages against a solicitor firm that failed to ensure that the client's lease was contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • Acting in a claim for damages for overvaluing a property, when connected individuals were committed of fraud in the Crown Court and received custodial sentences.
  • Acting in a negligent claim against a valuer.
  • Advising an individual on a  claim arising out of  missing the limitation date for a claim under the Inheritance Act (family and Dependents) Act 1975.
  • Advising on a  claim for solicitors negligence and breach of a solicitors undertaking arising out of failing to obtain a first legal charge.

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