Professional negligence: defendant in Yorkshire And The Humber

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Led by Leeds-based partners Suzanne Wharton and Duncan Greenwood, the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP is particularly known for its work on behalf of major UK PI insurers. Specifics include representing solicitors in ground rent disputes, financial advisers in high value tax matters, energy brokers in secret commission claims and construction professionals in pre-action and litigation work. In addition, recent areas of development include cases relating to property damage, business interruption and allegations of misfeasance in public office. Other key names to note are: Naomi Park, Mark Cawthorne, Andrew Marsh, Laura Clayburn, Gareth Robinson and James Hazlett. Tim Pickworth joined from Walker Morris LLP in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Wharton; Duncan Greenwood

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Park; Mark Cawthorne; Andrew Marsh; Laura Clayburn; Gareth Robinson; James Hazlett; Tim Pickworth


‘DACB knows insurance and the market, whichever office you turn to. They are one of a short list of go-to firms for us, but their capability and profile means that more often than we would like conflicts get in the way of using them as much as we want.’

‘One of the key strengths of the Leeds team is their capability on ground rent. . The team have a lot of expertise in different matters and are very good at allocating matters to associates who have the relevant background to be able to hit the ground running with any matter and provide the best service.’

Key clients

Zurich Professional & Financial Lines

Markel (UK) Limited

Travelers Insurance Company


QBE European Operations FSM

Countrywide Plc


CNA Hardy

Manchester Underwriting Management International General Insurance Company


MS Amlin

Tokio Marine HCC

Global Risk Partners

Allied World

Great Lakes



Mills & Reeve LLP

The professional negligence offering at Mills & Reeve LLP is led by Leeds-based partner Neil Howes. The team has an established reputation for handling complex cases against solicitors, barristers, accountants, insurance brokers and companies operating within the life sciences and technology sectors. Notably, in light of the fallout from the Grenfell tragedy, it is also increasingly active in the defence of construction professionals - the firm has been acting for cladding consultants, build contractors and M&E engineers. Additional areas of growth include claims against insurance brokers vis-à-vis COVID-19 losses and 'Directors and Officers' work covering allegations of malfeasance and undervaluation during the pre-insolvency period. Principal associate Laura Johnson is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Neil Howes

Other key lawyers:

Laura Johnson


‘They adapted smoothly and ably to the need to migrate online during the pandemic, enabling no interruption to effective management of cases.’

‘The team is unusually approachable, collaborative and team-working in its style.’

‘Neil Howes is a delight to work with.  Excellent tactician and commercially astute. Unusually personable and a great team player. The rapport he has built up with younger members of his team, the support he gives them and the respect and affection they clearly hold him in is noticeable and unusual.’

Key clients

Pen Underwriting

Travelers Insurance Company

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

Markel Insurance

CNA Hardy Insurance

Navigators Pro

Axis Specialty (London)

W/R/B Underwriting

AmTrust Europe

Clyde & Co LLP

The professional negligence team at Clyde & Co LLP covers a broad spectrum of matters, acting for a wide range of insurers; the practice is particularly known for defending claims against solicitors, accountants, financial advisers and insurance brokers. In addition, the firm's work also covers cases against property agents and professionals operating within the construction and healthcare spaces. Anthony Brown is the key name in Leeds.

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Brown


Maintaining an impressive client portfolio that includes AIG Europe and Zurich Insurance, the team at DWF is led by Matthew Reynolds. The team is best known for defending a wide range of professionals (including solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers, architects and surveyors) in various professional negligence claims. Adept at handling multi-party, multi-million pound cases, it is also widely recognised for handling defamation claims on behalf of insurers - this work encompasses commercial claims made against SMEs and those involving local newspapers and news organisations. Grant WalkerMalcolm Rogers (recently promoted to director) and Paul Metham (a new hire from Plexus Law) are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Reynolds

Other key lawyers:

Grant Walker; Malcolm Rogers; Paul Metham


‘The team has senior people involved appropriately on complex cases which means that thorny issues are considered from the outset. There is a good understanding of clients’ needs as well as a focus on avoiding claims where a practical solution can be found. Early contact with counsel on complex cases has also enabled innovative solutions to be explored in order to resolve issues before a formal claim begins. ’

‘Paul Metham is a fantastic professional negligence lawyer, with an easy manner and a collaborative approach to managing complex cases. I would recommend Paul to any defendant, whether insured or uninsured, because he thinks deeply about the individual circumstances of his clients and has a good sense of practical and innovative options to manage risk.’

‘An excellent team: very knowledgeable, practical and efficient.’

Key clients

AIG Europe Ltd

Allington Hughes Law

Arch Insurance Company


Armour Risk Management





Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Keebles LLP

Liberty Speciality Markets

Lupton Fawcett LLP

Markel (UK) Limited

MS Amlin


Starr Underwriting Agents Limited


Zurich Insurance Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Markel in relation to a £16m insurance policy coverage dispute.
  • Advised Keebles (now Knights) in relation to the defence of a multi-million pound professional negligence claim.
  • Advised T R Collier & Associates in relation to a professional negligence claim for £33m.


Kennedys bolstered its strong national professional negligence offering with the acquisition of Langleys Solicitors LLP' insurance division in February 2021, a move which saw the firm establish a new base in Leeds. That team included experienced senior associate Matthew Liston, who led the professional liability unit at Langleys and will now be driving forward his new firm's regional professional liability offering in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Liston


‘Matthew Liston is excellent. I was very impressed with his skills in consideration of detailed and complex issues and documentation. He was also very good as an advocate in a settlement meeting. He is also approachable and a pleasant personality and demeanour. I would recommend him to any one looking for PII issues and litigation generally.’

‘Matthew Liston is one of the best and most commercial defendant lawyers I know, and as insurance brokers we know that we can trust our clients claims in Matthe’s hands. We would and do recommend him regularly to both clients and insurers and we see him as a key stakeholder in our business.’

‘Matthew Liston is commercial, proactive, friendly and approachable. He understands the volatile nature of the professional indemnity insurance market and the impact of claims on our clients. While being instructed by insurers he keeps a balance between their needs and keeping our clients informed.’