Professional negligence in West Midlands

Kennedys

Kennedys continues to enjoy a steady flow of high-value and complex work across a wide range of professional indemnity matters, with recent highlights including notable cases in the High Court. It frequently defends accountants on various tax related claims as well as representing construction professionals, directors, officers and solicitors on substantial multi-party litigation. Other strengths lie in advising on numerous complex coverage investigations. Head of team Eamon Mooney receives plaudits for his work on construction claims and accountants matters in particular. Patric Rouendaal is noted for his D&O claims work and Paul Chaplin has a wealth of experience of working with various major professional indemnity insurers and their insureds. Steve Oates is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Mooney

Other key lawyers:

Patric Rouendaal; Paul Chaplin; Steve Oates; Janet Brook

Testimonials

Eamon Mooney is outstanding. He is approachable but has gravitas that inspires confidence in our insureds. Excellent knowledge of claims against construction and financial professionals’.

‘Good attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the operation of the PI insurance market. Eamon Mooney is a safe pair of hands’.

‘Great commercially-minded practice. I never need to rein them in from falling down a commercially unappealing rabbit hole. Eamon Mooney has been a great help to us. His experience in construction PI is vast’.

‘Kennedys’ professional liability team demonstrates that it is market leading in handling claims made against lawyers. The expertise is clear in its handling of claims on behalf of my firm. The team has a vast knowledge in defending claims against lawyers, but the lawyers are pragmatic and commercial in their advice. They are a trusted pair of hands’.

‘Janet Brook and Patric Rouendaal have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the professional liability market. They provide clear and understandable advice and are very approachable for discussion or query at any time. As said above both are a trusted pair of hands’.

Eamonn Mooney is straightforward to deal with and looks after his clients well’.

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

Liberty

Travelers

RSA

Solicitors Indemnity Fund

Pen Underwriting

Sompo

Hiscox

Chubb

CFC Underwriting

CNA Hardy

Vantage Professional Risks

Nexus

Dual Corporate Risks

Aqueous Underwriting

Zurich

Munich Re

John Sisk & Son Ltd

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is a recognised name for its work in the professional indemnity market and regularly deals with substantial claims and coverage disputes - the team is well regarded for its 'commitment to excellence and standout client service'. Angus Turner focuses on solicitors’ negligence claims and related coverage issues. Neil Frankland concentrates on construction and brokers’ negligence claims while David Gooding is skilled at defending accountants and solicitors’ negligence claims as well as advising insurers on various coverage issues. In addition Gooding deals with claims against other financial professionals including IFAs and trustees.

Practice head(s):

Angus Turner; Neil Frankland; David Gooding

Other key lawyers:

James Thompson

Testimonials

‘Neil Franklin is personable, straightforward and has a very good reputation – he looks after his clients well’.

You can rely on David Gooding’s team to get to the root of the issue immediately and apply not just technical excellence, but also a commercial reality that is second to none. David Gooding genuinely cares, not just about the case, but also about the enduring relationship. You feel that he and his team have your back but aren’t afraid to give you a much needed dose of commercial reality‘.

This is a very competitive market but Mills & Reeve stand out with its commitment to excellence and standout client service. Angus Turner is a standout performer. You’d always want want him on your team when the going gets tough. He also has an excellent team around him‘.

‘Very personable and client focused, engagement is highly rated by both insurers and clients. Client feedback is that the firm is able to grasp difficult legal and tactical positions quickly and to break them down into user friendly forms. Clearly keen to build and develop trusting relationships, focusing on social connections as well as business‘.

Angus Turner – great client engagement, goes over and above to maintain contact with insurers throughout complex cases. Provides advice and legal analysis in a clear and understandable form, always offers to discuss further. Angus is able to quickly grasp and breakdown knotty cases. Client feedback is always positive. He has developed a strong, trusting relationship with insurers and clients, I would highly recommend Angus‘.

‘James Thompson has excellent knowledge of broker E&O matters in particular. Advice is provided in a timely manner and in a clear and understandable fashion. James goes over and above in terms of engagement with insurers, he has always been generous with his time when further clarity or explanation was needed. I would highly recommend James‘.

Key clients

Travelers

WRB Underwriting

Pen

Aviva

BLM

BLM continues to be instructed by a broad range of insurers and corporates on a variety of high-value and complex claims. It represents professionals of all disciplines and is skilled at handling professional indemnity litigation in addition to advising on a whole host of complex coverage issues. Recently the team has seen an increase in ‘farmed’ claims against professionals that are prompted by claims management companies particularly in relation to claims about mortgage advice, pension mis-selling and financial advice. Julian Smart leads the experienced team that includes Lucy Tolond who specialises in handling professional indemnity and financial claims. Alison Siniver covers claims against various professionals such as accountants, surveryors and solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Julian Smart

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Tolond; Alison Siniver; Leonie Salter

Testimonials

‘It has real strength and depth in professional negligence claims against tax advisors, financial advisors and mortgage brokers. The partners properly know their stuff, as well as any of the professional indemnity teams in these fields.’

‘’Alison Siniver is outstanding in claims against accountants and tax advisors. Her knowledge of the actual tax schemes and tax judgments themselves is exceptional, and she is also excellent on the professional liability side as well’.

Lucy Tolond is also really solid on claims against accountants and tax advisors, properly gets to know the case, and really engages with cases in a way many others don’t’.

‘Leonie Salter is very calm and very bright’.

Lucy Tolond is excellent at managing teams and complex strategic issues‘.

‘The team with Julian Smart and Lucy Tolond is unusual in that it engages in both defendant and claimant professional negligence work, particularly in the financial services sector. Lucy Tolond is a real star, in my view.’

‘Lucy Tolond is an outstanding lawyer, both in terms of technical ability and strategic focus. She adopts precisely the correct tactics in cases, and is appropriately robust with the opposition without losing sight of commercial objectives. One of the best prof neg solicitors I have come across, and also does both claimant and defendant work’.

‘The lawyers are very approachable and offer a strong all round service with pragmatic and client orientated advice. In addition to their core work of professional negligence, they also have a strong focus on civil fraud. Julian Smart is calm and unflappable with a strong expertise in civil fraud and recovery claims. Lucy Tolond is technically very strong and a pleasure to deal with‘.

Key clients

Zurich Financial Lines

QBE

RSA

Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Financial (Group) Limited / Towergate Insurance Limited)

Liberty Mutual

Everest Syndicate 2786

European Risk Insurance Company

Aviva

Hiscox

NFU Mutual

Collegiate

Arch

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for claimants across a wide range of professional negligence cases, many of which are funded using conditional fee agreements. The claims range in value from tens of thousands of pounds to millions. Head of team Mark Beesley deals with a variety of complex claims and primarily acts in claims against independent financial advisors, solicitors and accountants but he also represents defendants. Director Michael Young is leading the firm’s efforts in building the new lower value claim instructions practice under the Lime brand.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beesley

Other key lawyers:

Michael Young

Testimonials

‘A very experienced firm, with highly knowledgeable personnel’.

‘A hardworking team that did an excellent job‘. 

‘Michael Young has a brilliant ability to grasp and frame the nuances of his client’s case. He is great on detail and always keeps the commercial and practical realities in mind’.

Key clients

Starston International

Ansell RUS LLC

Dr Chris Day

Jonathan Bird

Diffusion Alloys

Garner Investments

IOSH

Mahmod Shahi

Rolfe

Brac Saajan Exchange

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ansell RUS LLC in the pursuit of a company under a bank guarantee which led to a defence where it was claimed sign off was given without authority – this led to negligence issues. There were various jurisdictional issues as the client is based in Russia with the original debtor in Russia, and the company controller who signed he guarantee having various assets in the US at face value.
  • 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 they have since been pursued in relation to taxes from HMRC.

DWF

DWF has a growing reputation in sizeable accountancy negligence claims that supplements its historic expertise in claims against construction professionals and public authorities. The Birmingham team has strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and has substantial niche expertise in areas where professional negligence overlaps with other areas such as criminal law, health and safety and public law.  Derek Adamson specialises in insurance policy interpretation and in mesothelioma, abuse, legionnaires disease and product liability claims. Paul Donnelly handles a wide range of claims too.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson

Other key lawyers:

Paul Donnelly

Testimonials

‘Paul Donnelly provides excellent tactical and legal knowledge, and is prepared to fight legally novel cases very hard. All done under the excellent oversight of Derek Adamson’.

‘Paul Donnelly and Derek Adamson are stand-out partners. They never let anyone down and always go the extra mile to achieve the client’s goals’.

Key clients

Zurich

Birmingham City Council

Gallagher Bassett

Munich RE

Coventry City Council

Solihull MBC

Travelers

AXA XL

Axis Capital

QBE

Ecclesiastical

Work highlights

  • Advising Prestige E A Limited and Zurich Insurance Plc about a gas explosion that caused catastrophic burns to the tenant of a flat. The claim for injuries was against the building owner and chartered surveyors ( the client). Surveyors were project managers on a refurbishment project. The firm is acting on the personal injury claim and also a health and safety prosecution against the surveyors. In addition the team is also dealing with a claim by the property owner for repairs to the building after the explosion.
  • Instructed to act for the local authority (Birmingham City Council/AIG) and its social services department in relation to a claim arising out of their alleged negligence in the performance of their social services function. In particular, the three sibling claimants alleged that they were exposed to significant mis-treatment and physical abuse at the hands of their family and ought to have been removed sooner.
  • Advising Coventry City Council, AIG, Munich RE, Gallagher Bassett, Zurich in what is thought to be the largest known failure to remove claim ever brought; a case which will likely produce groundbreaking law in the area of causation surrounding neurodevelopment specific to learning disabilities.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP has a large claimant professional negligence department. Its agile team acts for some major UK lenders in the recovery of losses against negligent solicitors and valuers as a result of mortgage fraud or significant losses. Sarah Perry advises on claims against professional advisers across all sectors with specialist expertise in negligent tax planning and investment advice. Gemma Carson is recommended for her work on complex and high-value claims against all professional advisers often involving elements of irregularity and deceit.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Perry; Gemma Carson

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Goodwin; Susan Hopcraft; Jennifer Rhind

Testimonials

‘This practice gives me a complete range of services that I require in my business and personal matters. The range of expertise is extensive and I am able to draw on the experience and abilities within the one practice.

‘The team provides the highest level of legal services to impressive clients on the most complex matters. The lawyers are able to find quick and commercial solutions to the most challenging of cases. Susan Hopcraft is an exceptional solicitor. She quickly gets to the heart of the case and uses a common sense approach to effectively resolve disputes’.

‘The team is one of the best in the country for handling a large volume of complex prof neg cases from the claimant side. It also has in-house accountancy/tax expertise which helps greatly with related prof neg cases and is adept at finding funding solutions’.

‘Sarah Perry is a formidable and well-respected litigator. Matthew Goodwin is particularly bright, commercial and has boundless energy for his clients’.

‘Bright, focused and determined. Excellent appreciation of commercial pressures, objectives and limitations. Gemma Carson has enormous experience and appreciation of tactics and pressure points. Jennifer Rhind gets to grips with a case and the detail. Matthew Goodwin is focused, hardworking and really understands his complex cases’.

Sarah Perry is well-regarded- she is tenacious and represents her clients really well‘.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc has an active practice advising on claims against a wide range of professionals including solicitors, financial advisers, insurance brokers, accountants, insolvency practitioners as well as architects, engineers and surveyors. Mark Wilson frequently advises on complex fraud-related litigation. Peter Davies advises on claims against construction professionals and in particular against geotechnical and geo-environmental engineers. Stephen Goodrham regularly advises on many successful claims against solicitors, accountants and financial advisers.

Practice head(s):

Steve Goodrham; Mark Wilson; Peter Davies

Work highlights

  • Acted in a claim against consulting engineers, who failed to specify a sufficient number of bed joint reinforcements in the blockwork of houses. The matter was settled on favourable terms for the client at pre-action stage.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The group at Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to act on a number of high quality professional negligence cases ranging from advising individuals who have personally suffered from solicitor negligence to commercial organisations that have been wrongly advised by their valuers on property transactions. Sundeep Bilkhu acts for a substantial number of leading lenders and individuals in bringing professional claims against surveyors, accountants and architects.

Practice head(s):

Kam Majevadia; Sundeep Bilkhu

Work highlights

  • Pursuing a claim for damages in the sum of £280,000 against a bank for over-valuing a property, when connected individuals were committed of fraud in the Crown Court and received custodial sentences.
  • Represented a client in a claim against the defendant, a firm of solicitors. The defendant acted jointly for the client and the borrower, in relation to a business loan made by the client to the borrower, which was to be secured against the borrower’s property by way of a legal charge.
  • Instructed to represent the client in respect of a negligence claim against his former solicitors, (the defendant), arising from a personal injury claim in which the defendant failed to meet the court timetable to file the client’s witness statement resulting in the client being unable to file any evidence in his claim for personal injury arising from a car accident.