Professional negligence: claimant in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's strong Leeds office carries out work on a regional, national and international level. Construction-related litigation is an area of particular focus, particularly in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy – although unlike some of its competitors, the practice does not focus on one particular practice area. The team, which is led by head of litigation north Sally Emerton, works in tandem with the wider firm's commercial litigation bench to pursue professional negligence claims for commercial clients across many business sectors, including an impressive roster of banks and building societies.

Practice head(s):

Sally Emerton

Other key lawyers:

Joe Wilkinson; Bill Gilliam

Work highlights

  • Advised the freeholder in relation to a claim for breach of contract / in negligence against the architect in relation to the impact on the microclimate around a new building, which led to in increased wind speeds.
  • Successfully represented a manufacturing business in relation to a complicated tri-party action involving numerous cross claims concerning the procurement, design, installation and commissioning of a combined heat and power unit.
  • Successfully advised a banking client on a complex claim against commercial property surveyors in a claim arising out of a series of defective valuations of commercial property.
  • Acting in a high value professional negligence claim against a well-known valuation firm arising out of their valuation of a multimillion-pound collateral security.
  • Claim against a top-tier commercial real estate and investment services firm which over-valued two student halls of residence as part of a £10m commercial real estate transaction.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP’s professional negligence offering is primarily dedicated to banking institutions. The team, which is based in the international firm's Leeds office, handles high value claims arising out of commercial lending, both for claimant and defendant banks, building societies and other lenders. The sizeable team is well-established and counts on the experience of many widely recognised individuals, including consultant Hugh Evans and Leeds litigation and regulatory head Adam Ibrahim. The practice's other areas of expertise include conspiracy, mis-selling, companies forced into insolvency and poor consumer credit advice.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Evans; Adam Ibrahim

Other key lawyers:

David Young

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest)

PwC

Leeds Building Society

GE Capital

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP has a notably large professional negligence team covering a plethora of areas of work. The 14-partner practice advises financial institutions and other companies on claims regarding fraud, money laundering and cybercrime; the practice is also sought out by lenders, borrowers and investors involved in cases relating to defective construction, while it also has expertise in multi-party disputes. The firm's already strong client base is continuing to expanding to include overseas clients involved in claims against conveyancing solicitors back in the UK.

Practice head(s):

Rob Aberdein; Andrew Beck; Gwendoline Davies; Paul Hargreaves; Nick Lees; Louise Power; Richard Sandford; Martin Scott; Malcolm Simpson

Testimonials

‘Very experienced and knowledgeable professionals with high integrity.’

‘Knowledgeable and professional, and also very caring.’

‘They show strong logical thinking and excellent analytical skills.’

‘Team members are detailed in their analysis, intelligent and of good judgement.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

UKAR

Accord Mortgages Limited

Bank of Ireland

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Persimmon

Taylor Wimpey plc

Work highlights

  • Advised on a claim for over £13m by a group of claimants against three sets of solicitors for negligence arising from conveyancing transactions, on the basis that inter alia the defendants were negligent in failing to ensure that the claimants’ deposits were protected.
  • Advising on all aspects of a multi-party claim including liability and quantum plus ancillary advice to international clients regarding the English legal system and processes.
  • Acting for a lender in a mortgage fraud and negligence claim arising from 80 transactions involving a solicitor’s wife and a close friend worth over £6m.
  • Acting for a lender in one of the largest mortgage frauds to hit the Welsh residential market.  
  • Acting for a lender in the prevention of a large scale mortgage fraud worth £50m and the recovery of mortgage advances from fraudulent and negligent solicitors.

3volution Limited

The practice at 3volution Limited generally acts on claims involving banks, solicitors, pensions professionals and accountants. Tim Stone, who co-founded the firm in 2011, has a particular focus on pensions-related disputes, as well as contractual, shareholder and warranty claims.

Practice head(s):

Tim Stone

Key clients

TMD Friction UK Limited

Univer Manufacturing Co Limited

Fresh Pastures CIC

Omega Atlantic Limited

Mr Mark Grafton and RE Grafton Limited

Nexus Vehicle Management Limited

TSA Service Limited

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's professional negligence department in Sheffield delivers 'fantastic results', drawing on the firm's national brand and collaborating with lawyers in the firm's London and Manchester office. The practice represents both corporate clients and individuals against solicitors, barristers, construction professionals, financial advisers and accountants. Particular focus is put on claimant (non-lender) insurance tax, rather than more regional and traditional commercial litigation work. Natasha Guthrie, who supervises all instructions in Sheffield, is lauded for her 'excellent manner with clients.'

Practice head(s):

Steven Beahan; Natasha Guthrie

Testimonials

‘Great technical knowledge and ability to progress claims efficiently.’

Key clients

Arc Legal Assistance Ltd

Aviva Insurance

Axa Insurance

Abbey Taylor Limited

Aegus Insurance

DAS UK Group Limited

ESure

Wilson Field Limited

Begbies Traynor LLP

LIM Insurance

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett has the capacity to handle a variety of complex professional negligence disputes of the highest value, including contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes, civil fraud and property matters.

Blacks Solicitors LLP

Blacks Solicitors LLP's professional negligence team regularly handles claims against solicitors, accountants and surveyors; it includes partner Luke Patel, who heads up the commercial dispute resolution and personal injury and medical negligence teams, and solicitor Yat Wong, who is well versed in litigating cases.

Practice head(s):

Luke Patel

Gordons LLP

The team at Gordons LLP has undergone some changes over the past year, reducing its previous focus on buy-to-let mortgage lenders. The team now increasingly focuses on financial services and pensions-related claims, in particular against solicitors, valuers and corporate trustees. Andrew Breckenridge is head of the practice and has experience both on the claimant and defendant side.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Breckenridge

Key clients

Goldcrest Finance Limited

Goldcrest Distribution Limited

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a clearing bank in a claim brought against it and the valuer commissioned by it, by two guarantors in respect of commercial lending and successfully obtaining summary judgment.
  • Advised on a group claim for 53 individuals against a former firm of solicitors for more than £660,000.
  • Acting for six estates in professional negligence claims against a former firm of solicitors, concerning the misappropriation of funds by a former partner for a value in excess of £1m.
  • Acting for a corporate SIPP trustee which faced two High Court actions in Manchester by a SIPP scheme’s current trustee and the scheme Member, essentially alleging negligence and breach of duty in relation to an alleged failure to collect commercial rent arrears and to complete distraint many years earlier.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law’s Yorkshire professional negligence offering is led by Leeds-based solicitor Jonathan Watmough. His substantial experience includes working for indemnity insurers, while he has also previously acted on the defendant side, meaning he has extra insight to offer clients. He mainly acts in tax-related cases against accountants and insurance brokers, while conveyancing claims are also a key source of work.

LCF Law

LCF Law’s professional negligence practice is split across the firm's Leeds and Bradford offices. The departments are particularly noted for their specialisation in the litigation of property and financial matters – areas in which practice heads Ragan Montgomery  and Charles Abraham are knowledgeable. The duo also handle claims in a number of other sectors too, including a significant amount involving solicitors and accountants.

Practice head(s):

Charles Abraham; Ragan Montgomery

Work highlights

  • Representing a car industry executive in pursuing a professional negligence claim against his former tax advisers arising from a HMRC investigation.
  • Aadvising the executors of an estate in pursuing a negligence claim against a firm of solicitors concerning inheritance tax liabilities arising from a trust deed.
  • Successfully represented a doctor in respect of a professional negligence claim against her former solicitors following her purchase of a long lease of a residential property.
  • Represented an individual in relation to a claim against his former solicitors in respect of litigation advice received in a High Court claim.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP’s nascent Leeds office is now becoming a magnet for professional negligence claimant work, acting for clients including banks and financial institutions. The team has moved to address clients' cost concerns by developing a system enabling them to bring multiple claims against defendants and grouped claims to be run in the same action. Matthew Howarth, who heads up the practice, has been acting on claimant lender professional negligence claims since the mid-1990s, acting on standalone, and grouped litigation claims bringing multiple claims against defendants.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Howarth

Key clients

Mortgage Trust Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on long-running claim against a firm of solicitors where it is alleged that the firm failed to advise Mortgage Trust of the true nature of the applications it was funding.
  • Acted on claim against former legal advisers for failing to properly advise on a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors acting on a buy to let transaction.
  • Advised on valuer claim against firm of valuers in their valuation of buy to let property.
  • Instructed by HDI Gerling to defend its insured, global chemicals group BASF, against a high value claim against multiple defendants for catastrophic personal injuries after a contractor fell several metres into a sump at their factory.