Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Professional negligence

Browne Jacobson LLP, which has a top-tier practice led from Nottingham, has been growing its presence in Birmingham to provide an even stronger cross-Midlands offering. Key names include 'quality' senior associate Joanne Lewis , who joined the firm in 2021 and is particularly well regarded for her experience in claims concerning negligent conveyancing.

Professional negligence in West Midlands


The ‘excellent and extremely  knowledgeable’ team at Kennedys is lauded for taking the ‘time to ‘know our book of business’  say clients. Led by Eammon Mooney,  it is a ‘go-to’ firm for high-value and complex professional indemnity disputes on a regional, national and international basis. Its work spans a number of industry sectors including accountants, construction and insolvency professionals as well as solicitors. Patric Rouendaal is noted for his D&O claims work.  Paul Chaplin has a vast array of experience of working with major professional indemnity insurers and their insureds. Chaplin has particular expertise in tax-scheme claims. Steve Oates‘ practice has a specific emphasis on defending claims against lawyers, construction professionals and brokers.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Mooney

Other key lawyers:

Patric Rouendaal; Paul Chaplin; Steve Oates; David Sumner


‘The team are down to earth, approachable and quick to respond to us. They are also proactive and good at following  up with us when there has been a delay on our part. The partner we mainly deal with is personable and actually enjoy our interactions with him’.

‘Kennedys regional professional negligence team is second to none. Each client and each claim is treated with the same level of care and attention whether it is a large complex matter or a simpler claim for a smaller client’. 

‘The level of expertise and commercial awareness through-out the team is excellent. A special thank you to Paul Chaplin, Steve Oates and David Sumner whose hard work is always appreciated. I am continuously impressed with the service provided’.

Key clients



Atrium Underwriting

Aqueous Underwriting




CFC Underwriting


CNA Hardy

Dual Corporate Risks


John Sisk


Munich Re


Pen Underwriting



Solicitors Indemnity Fund




Work highlights

  • Acting for Pen Underwriting in the defence of a £12m against a solicitors firm who acted for a developer and in the capacity as a stakeholder for a number of high-risk property investments throughout the country.
  • Defending High Court proceedings on behalf of Chubb brought against a firm of accountants (and others) for £14m arising out of the alleged negligence in advising on a Stamp Duty Land Tax Planning scheme.
  • Acting on behalf of Zurich in the defence of a £4.9m claim against a geotechnical engineer concerning earthwork issues on a housing development.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a stellar reputation for its handling of claims and coverage disputes in the professional indemnity insurance market. The large team consistently acts on multi-million pound claims against various professionals. Angus Turner  focuses on solicitors’ negligence claims and related coverage advice. Neil Frankland  has considerable expertise in construction and brokers’ negligence claims. David Gooding  has an established practice acting in the defence of accountants and solicitors’ negligence claims and is regularly instructed to conduct policy coverage investigations for insurers. Lucy Howard leads on professional indemnity claims arising from trust, probate and private tax related matters and frequently acts for insurers and their insured firms.

Practice head(s):

Angus Turner; Neil Frankland; David Gooding

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Howard


‘The team at M&R is outstanding. The standard of preparation and care are of the top drawer. They save innumerable hours in counsel’s preparation by ensuring that all cases are prepared to the highest standard’.

‘M&R offers Magic Circle service at realistic prices‘.

‘In Birmingham David Gooding is first rate’.

Clyde & Co

The ‘thorough and professional’ team at Clyde & Co,  is co-headed by Alison Siniver  and Julian Smart . Siniver has a vast array of experience in claims against insolvency practitioners, insurance brokers, lawyers and other professionals but excels in claims against accountants. Smart receives a steady flow of instructions from professional indemnity insurers to defend negligence claims against professionals such as surveyors, accountants, architects and engineers. In recent years too, the practice has enjoyed success in dealing with large group actions or repeat claims relating to interest only mortgages, tax avoidance schemes and property searches.

Practice head(s):

Alison Siniver; Julian Smart

Other key lawyers:

Jade Amer


‘Excellent in all respects. A number of brilliant partners, who are hands on and deal with things well (Julian Smart, Alison Siniver)’.

‘Particularly strong in professional liability claims against tax advisers, accountants, financial advisers, insurance brokers and insolvency practitioners. Possibly the best in the Midlands in those areas’.

‘Alison Siniver is outstanding in claims against accountants and tax advisers. She is tenacious and a tough fighter, but also has an outstanding knowledge of the law including authorities’.

Key clients

Legal & General Partnership Services Limited

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Spearheaded by Mark Beesley, the team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP excels in acting for claimants on a wide range of professional negligence matters. It is equally adept at handling claims ranging from tens of thousands of pounds to those involving millions of pounds, many of these claims are funded by using conditional fee arrangements.  Beesley has a first-rate reputation for his work on claims against independent financial advisors, solicitors and accountants. Michael Young  has particular experience in high-value negligence claims with complex property and/or finance issues.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beesley

Other key lawyers:

Michael Young


‘Michael Young worked extremely hard to come to a positive end to my case. He kept in touch with me on a regular basis to inform me of how we were getting on, what needed to be done, any further information they required from me and what we needed to do in order to further the case to conclusion’. 

‘They are a very strong team across the board’.

‘Michael Young is an excellent and user friendly solicitor with a pragmatic approach’.

‘The team are professional and intelligent. They are able to get to grips with complex matters quickly and draw out the key issues and concerns across multiple sectors’.

‘Michael Young is clear and concise in his instructions. He has a real knack for identifying the key concerns and issues in factually and legally complex scenarios’.

‘Michael is always willing to offer an opinion and give clients relevant and focussed advice which meets with their aims, goals and commercial objectives. He is a genuine pleasure to work with’.


Key clients

Starston International

Graham Ketley

Ansell RUS LLC

HCC International Insurance Co Plc


Jay Makwana

Work highlights

  • Acting for Ansell RUS LLC in a complex case involving issues of professional negligence and various jurisdictional matters  as the client is based in Russia, the original debtor is in Russia, and the company controller who signed the guarantee has various assets in USA.
  • Advising Starston International Limited on a claim in conjunction with bespoke tax specialists.
  • Acting for HCC International Insurance Co PLC in the pursuit of the return of insurance monies via a subrogated claim following the payment out of a bond.


The Birmingham team at DWF has a growing reputation for its work in substantial accountancy negligence claims to supplement its historic expertise in claims against construction professionals and professionals in public authorities. A growing area for the team is acting in cases against employment agencies and umbrella organisations in respect of modern slavery claims. Practice head,Derek Adamson, leads the accountants’ negligence team and also advises on construction claims.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson


‘Derek Adamson: excellent for auditor’s negligence cases and is a great all round litigator’.

‘Derek Adamson – what he does not know isn’t worth knowing’.


Key clients


Birmingham City Council

Gallagher Bassett

Munich RE

Coventry City Council

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Work highlights

  • In AB v (1) Worcestershire County Council & (2) Birmingham City Council [2022] EWHC 115 (QB) – acting for Birmingham City Council, the team was successful in persuading the court that as a child does not have a civil right to be taken into care there can be no breach of Art6 of the ECHR and that the Art3 ECHR (the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) threshold was not met.
  • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with the personal injury claims (and indeed the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
  • Instructed by Ecclesiastical to act on behalf of an academy school to defend a sexual abuse claim brought by a former student.

Wright Hassall LLP

Under the leadership of Nathan Talbott at Wright Hassall LLP, the focus of the practice is primarily claimant based. It continues to be busy advising on various solicitors’ negligence claims and a significant proportion of its work relates to negligent tax and financial advice too. Gemma Carson has a wide range of experience of acting in complex claims against all professional advisers often involving elements of irregularity and deceit.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Talbott

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Carson; Jennifer Rhind


‘The team is country-leading in its claimant professional negligence work. The team knows the contours of professional negligence litigation very well. Particularly impressive is their expertise in claims relating to failed tax avoidance schemes’.

‘Nathan Talbott – commercially astute, tactically very aware, and knowledgeable on the law’.

‘Know their stuff – have a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses of a case and act accordingly’.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Dean Parnell  and Ian Sheppard co-head the department at Sydney Mitchell LLP, which continues to be busy acting on a number of professional negligence cases for individuals against solicitors. The group is also experienced at bringing claims against a wide range of professionals such as architects and financial advisors.

Practice head(s):

Dean Parnell; Ian Sheppard

Work highlights

  • Advising client on a potential £3,000,000 professional negligence claim.
  • Acting for client in a claim in excess of £400,000 against a firm of solicitors who provided negligent advice in relation to the preparation and execution of a will.
  • Acting for a client who failed to register an equitable charge for a client which has resulted in a loss of at least £140,000.