Kennedys fields a thriving practice which frequently handles a broad range of high-value and complex professional indemnity disputes, including an increasing amount of proceedings with an international dimension. Under the leadership of Eamon Mooney, the team is geared to defend accountants, construction professionals, directors and officers, as well as insolvency professionals and solicitors, on a wide range of claims. Other key members of the team include Patric Rouendaal, who is noted for his D&O claims work, and Paul Chaplin who has a wealth of experience in relation to tax scheme claims. Steve Oates has a particular focus on defending claims against lawyers, construction professionals and brokers.
Professional negligence in West Midlands
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is user friendly and accessible. The lawyers make good judgement calls on strategy. Eamon Mooney. Calm and considered, good judge of the realistic merits and pitfalls of a case’.
‘The whole team is first class and provides a good service. Patric Rouendaal is an exceptional solicitor, his service is first class always willing to give advice and help’.
‘A very personable, helpful and supportive team that is willing to go above and beyond and provide support outside the expectations. Steve Oates has been a great support to our regional team and always at the end of the phone’.
‘The professional negligence team at Kennedys has strength in depth which it combines with good communication and delivery. The service we have received has always been sound, both commercially and legally, while being delivered in a friendly and professional way. Paul Chaplin is excellent in his client service delivery. His common sense, and no nonsense approach is provided with good humour and sufficient seriousness to make him very effective’.
‘Paul Chaplin and Eliza Kwok are excellent solicitors. On top of the issues, and involve counsel as appropriate. Always responsive, protect our interests, and clearly explain risks and rewards of particular courses of action. Paul Chaplin is excellent and is ably supported by Eliza Kwok. Very commercial, on top of the detail, and explains clearly and simply complex legal issues’.
‘The Kennedy’s team we work with is highly professional individuals with strength in the PI arena. Great ability to adapt to a varying caseload and complexity. Extremely approachable and great knowledge in their fields’.
Dual Corporate Risks
Solicitors Indemnity Fund
- Recovered £1.1m from a firm of architects in the course of defending a prominent contractor on an instruction from AIG.
- Procured the discontinuance of a £3.2m accountants’ negligence claim in the High Court, on an instruction from Zurich.
- Defended a Top 50 law firm in a £9m claim on an instruction from Travelers.
Mills & Reeve LLP
The first-rate practice at Mills & Reeve LLP deals with a broad range of claims and coverage disputes. Angus Turner plays a pivotal role in the department, excelling in his advice on solicitors’ negligence claims. Neil Frankland focuses on construction and brokers’ negligence claims. David Gooding concentrates on defending accountants and solicitors’ negligence claims and advising insurers on coverage issues. Lucy Howard leads on professional indemnity claims arising from probate-related matters and regularly acts for insurers and their insured firms.
‘Excellent client care and a strong commercial approach’.
‘David Gooding – an excellent tactician with a particular knowledge of claims against accountants. Angus Turner – prepared to fight cases but always has one eye on achieving a commercial settlement of the action. Particular knowledge of claims against solicitors’.
‘Angus Turner – a great person to have on your side. Intelligent, responsive, commercial’.
‘David Gooding’s crew are like an outsourced internal legal team. They seek to understand the context first so that legal advice can be tailored to meet our needs. David Gooding is the gold standard that I hold all other firms to. Very few measure up!’.
Shakespeare Martineau LLP
With Mark Beesley at the helm, Shakespeare Martineau LLP team continues to be busy, acting for claimants in numerous professional negligence cases, many of which are funded by using conditional fee arrangements. Beesley has an excellent reputation for his work on complex professional negligence claims, primarily against independent financial advisors, solicitors and accountants. Michael Young has particular strength in claims that have substantial property and/or financial issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice is flexible, assessing client needs situationally rather than adopting a cookie-cutter approach to taking instructions’.
‘Michael Young is exceptional. He takes time to understand the client’s issues and is then pragmatic in both suggesting and then steering a way forward. He is collaborative by nature but is willing to be hard-nosed when required to secure the best client outcome. He is efficient and effective in getting the most out of counsel’.
‘Particularly accurate and simple advice. Michael Young- took the case as if it was his own’.
‘The people in the team are approachable and diligent. Michael Young is brilliant. He is always across the facts of a case and has a great tactical mind allowing him to see the bigger picture and achieve results for his clients’.
Ansell RUS LLC
- Advising Ansell RUS LLC on the pursuit of a company under a bank guarantee that led to a defence where it was claimed sign off was given without authority, leading to negligence issues. There were various jurisdictional issues as the client was based in Russia with the original debtor in Russia, and the company controller who signed the guarantee having various assets in USA at face value. Case won in the UK. Enforcement ongoing in USA, with challenge in the Supreme Court in South Dakota.
- Advising Starston International Limited on a claim in conjunction with bespoke tax specialists. The company, a management and business consultancy practice, and its founders entered into various financial schemes that have since been pursued in relation to taxes from HMRC.
- Advised Brian Henderson in a successful action through its Lime brand which aims to try and engage more mid-range enquiries that might otherwise slip through the net. These are often through necessity via CFAs or similar funding arrangements. There was a successful resolution of a business dispute .
DWF continues to build on its strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and is developing a growing reputation for its work on substantial accountancy negligence claims. Led by Derek Adamson , the team's client base includes leading insurers and insurance brokers and it is often engaged on claims against social services professionals. Denise Brosnan routinely advises on claims of alleged historical abuse and sexual abuse and is recommended alongside Paul Donnelly .
Other key lawyers:
‘Derek Adamson. He has particular skill in dealing with complex claims against auditors. His background in litigation means that he is wholly unafraid of taking the fight to the other side but also knows when the moment is right to reach a commercial settlement’.
‘Exceptional layer of partners (top quality), with very good associates beneath them. The lower level fee earners are all intelligent and uniformly well-supervised’.
‘Denise Brosnan – very intelligent and detailed approach. Paul Donnelly – most intelligent and tactically astute solicitor that I have met’.
Birmingham City Council
Coventry City Council
- Advising the client on a gas explosion that caused catastrophic burns to the tenant of flat. Claim for injuries against building owner and chartered surveyors for whom the firm acts.
- Instructed to act for the local authority and its social services department in relation to a claim arising out of their alleged negligence in the performance of its social services function.
- Advising the council on a very substantial claim relating to alleged professional negligence over a 15 year period by the client’s social services department in failing to take a family of nine children into care sooner resulting in chronic neglect (and physical and sexual abuse).
Wright Hassall LLP
Wright Hassall LLP has a broad claimant practice that acts for major UK lenders in recovering losses against negligent solicitors and valuers, in addition to advising on other issues such as the mis-selling of products; it is likewise adept as handling tax litigation involving failed trust structures and other disguised remuneration planning. Practice head Nathan Talbott specialises in disputes relating to tax schemes, investments and other financial matters while Susan Hopcraft handles a variety of claims in the financial and property sectors. Gemma Carson is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Wright Hassall provides an excellent service to a range of businesses and individuals in the West Midlands. A London quality service with expertise in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious business’.
‘Susan Hopcraft combines decades of expertise in claims by and against the financial sector with a real sensitivity to the concerns and needs of her client base. Many of Susan’s clients are individuals rather than corporate entities and she stands out for her ability to help clients navigate the often difficult and stressful process of suing their former professional advisors. She has meticulous attention to detail and is always there to advise on tough tactical calls’.
‘Very professional and well organised. I have worked with Susan Hopcraft who is excellent in terms of legal knowledge and client care‘.
‘The team has an unparalleled expertise in failed tax mitigation scheme claims, due in part to its employment of a former HMRC employee who brings an invaluable perspective on the technical aspects of the tax schemes. Nathan Talbott has a wealth of experience and is very sensible in his approach. He knows which points work, and which don’t‘.
Sydney Mitchell LLP
Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to act on a variety of cases, ranging from individuals who have suffered from solicitor negligence, through to commercial organisations that have been wrongly advised by valuers. Sundeep Bilkhu possesses a wealth of experience in property disputes and also acts for a number of leading lenders and individuals in bringing claims against surveyors, accountants and architects.
- Advising on a commercial lease which contains a ground rent escalation clause, where in year 43 the ground rent will be £101,000 a year for a property only worth £225,000.
- Advising on suing a solicitor who failed to keep copies of charge documents sent to a bank, denying the client from recovering his money, but having a statutory declaration from his solicitor saying the contrary.
- Acting to recover damages from a solicitor in negligence for failing to set up a declaration of trust before acting for 4 house purchases, when a conflict arose between them, which would have avoided the dispute if a trust had been in place.