Firm Profile > Beale & Co > London, England

Beale & Co

Professional negligence Tier 2

Beale & Co is a specialist construction and insurance boutique which has an impressive client list, including major professional indemnity insurers. The team's expertise extends globally and, in addition to construction, its lawyers are also active defending claims against clients in the legal, architectural and financial sectors. Antony Smith is chairman of the firm but is still active in handling construction disputes nationally and globally. Sheena Sood is head of the contentious construction team and is skilled in civil claims and health and safety related matters in this sector. Michael Salau  is experienced in both the construction and environmental arenas.

Practice head(s):

Peter Sewell; Antony Smith; Sheena Sood; Damian McPhun; Stephen Reilly

Other key lawyers:

Michael Salau; Ian Masser; Keith Lonsdale


‘The team are at the cutting edge of advising on professional negligence disputes. In particular, they have  great expertise in construction. They lead the way in offering complimentary seminars and advice notes on key topics and developments affecting the industry to ensure their clients have a great all-round understanding’

‘Beales now has one of the best mix of established partners and new blood in the partnership in the market. This makes it both a dynamic and also very experienced team.’

‘All team members are approachable and give sensible, sound advice. The standout is Damian McPhun. He finds solutions that others wouldn’t and achieves exceptional results. He manages to do this whilst being a pleasure to work with!’

‘All of the people I have worked with at Beale have been outstanding. They are all knowledgeable, respectful of others views and a formidable and challenging opposition when you are working against them as individuals.

‘Sheena Sood is competent, knowledgeable and respectful in equal measure.’

‘Antony Smith, Sheena Sood, Michael Salau and Keith Lonsdale are all heavyweights in their field. They build confidence and a rapport with clients very early on and that relationship develops as cases progress.’

‘Peter Sewell is outstanding.’

‘Ian Masser is very engaging and in no way arrogant in his legal debates and discussions with me, particularly where the subject matter can be very complex and confusing – he gives me confidence in the direction of travel chosen.’

Key clients

Aviva Insurance UK Ltd

RSA Insurance Group

Arup Group Ltd

Jacobs UK Limited

AmTrust Europe

Hardy Underwriting Asia Pte Ltd

Kier Group

Chubb Insurance

Atkins Limited

Channel Syndicate

Hamilton Syndicate

Construction: contentious Tier 3

Sheena Sood and Antony Smith lead the contentious construction practice at Beale & Co and are highlighted for their 'real understanding of the construction industry', acting for employers, contractors, architects and other key professionals in a range of disputes. The team offers a particular strength in international arbitration matters, often led by Smith, who also has significant expertise in health and safety-related matters, frequently acting for insurers. James Vernon is also recommended for his domestic work, which often involves High Court litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sheena Sood; Antony Smith

Other key lawyers:

James Vernon


‘Beale & Co were very friendly and approachable from the very first contact. They were very knowledgeable about the processes involved and told us what to expect at all times. At the same time they have managed our expectations accordingly, making sure that we know that any outcome could be possible, be it positive or negative.’

‘The team were quickly immersed in the case, understood it down to the details and were working with us from the off. It made us feel as though we had been working together for a long time as we felt as we were truly one team. This was only after few days. This was achieved through good communication that enabled us to collaborate on a level as colleagues and not as a client/solicitor relationship.’

‘Antony Smith is a great strategist, who is very highly respected inside the firm and externally. Antony is extremely professional, experienced, knowledgeable and very personable. Great to work with.’

‘James Vernon has good attention to detail, a good work ethic and provides good advice on strategy, which has enabled us to obtain a successful outcome. I appreciated his advice, intelligence and the effort levels.’

‘The partners at Beale & Co have a real understanding of the construction industry and are able to draw on their experience to provide expert help in resolving disputes. They are a smaller practice which enables them to build a better network of knowledge. They are extremely good at providing reassurance and care of clients who are the subject of construction litigation and therefore able to draw out a stronger position for their clients as they de-stress the process.’

‘Antony Smith has brilliant negotiating skills and has demonstrated his ability to reach a successful settlement position on every occasion when I have worked with him. His calmness with his clients is tempered with his resolute approach towards frivolous claimants; he is joy to watch in mediations. Sheena Sood is similarly gifted and gets right across her brief to ensure she is completely conversant with the dispute. She brings a highly rational brain to the table that helps clients understand their position clearly.’

‘Competitive rates, high partner-level engagement in matters and strong expertise.’

‘James Vernon has very sound construction industry knowledge and works closely with the team against any deadlines required. He has an easy manner and has a habit of winning adjudications due to his clear insights and reasonable approach to matters. He is also good in mediations.’

Key clients

Arup Group Limited


Broadway Malyan



Association for Consultancy and Engineering

BHM Construction


BAM Nuttall


Health and safety Tier 3

Specialist construction firm Beale & Co 's health and safety practice is co-led by 'subject matter expert' Sheena Sood, and Joanna Lewis The nature of large-scale construction and infrastructure projects poses substantial human risk, and pre-existing relationships with the construction industry allows for efficient collaboration. Zita Mansi is a key associate within the practice, focusing on construction claim defence and counter-claims.  The team has substantial inquest expertise, as well as  prosecuting gross negligence/corporate manslaughter claims and offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act arising from fatalities or site accidents.

Practice head(s):

Sheena Sood; Joanna Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Zita Mansi


‘Responsive, bespoke service with deep sector knowledge. More agile than larger competitors.’

‘Strong team that understands the role of construction professionals and the challenges they face. We have a longstanding relationship with Beales, they have a unique insight into our business, our outlook and ethos – they successfully adopt their practices to align with this. Working with Beales is straightforward. They are client friendly, master strategists and work hard to get things right for us.’

‘Thorough knowledge of the subject and an ability to cut through any confusion to provide positive advice and guidance. Meetings/discussions via video link – due to the pandemic – giving a much more personable service than a phone call or text.’

Sheena Sood brings great strategic awareness, attention to detail, and dedication to her cases.’

‘Joanna Lewis gets to grips with the detail of the factual and technical issues. Tenacious and determined to get the best possible result for her client. She has very sound judgement.’

‘Zita Manzi is a standout individual. Great case research and client-focused approach.’

 ‘Sheena Sood is is a subject matter expect. Understands the intricacies and nuances with HSE work. Provides thorough, practical advice, which takes account of wider business considerations. One of our go to people in this field.’

Key clients

Peter Lind & Company (Central Region) Limited

AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Ltd

EM Highway Services Limited

Mouchel Limited – now part of WSP  Parson Brinkerhoff

Hastingwood Securities Ltd.

WYG Group Limited

Association for Consultancy and Engineering

Ramboll Group

Building Engineering Services Association

Arup Group Ltd

Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

Known for its experience in domestic and international matters, Beale & Co advises on projects and real estate construction. A boutique firm, it also offers close connections with its contentious team, providing a one-stop shop for construction law services. Will Buckby leads the non-contentious construction practice, advising on bespoke and standard contract matters, and is supported by newly promoted partner Andrew Croft.

Practice head(s):

Will Buckby

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Croft


‘Very approachable people that are easy to deal with and work with.’

‘Will Buckby is very approachable and always goes the extra mile to help and deliver succinct advice.’

‘Beale are no-nonsense lawyers who don’t hide behind reams of reports and caveats, they answer the questions clearly and succinctly and promptly.’

‘Beale & Co have offered and provide a tailored service that suits our current needs.’

‘They stand out for their collaboration and thought leadership.’

‘Will Buckby was quick to respond to communications and always keen to help.’

‘Very attentive and easy to work with. Very knowledgeable and provide expertise in construction contracts.’

Key clients

Arup Group Limited


Broadway Malyan



Association for Consultancy and Engineering

BHM Construction


BAM Nuttall


Professional negligence Tier 2

Beale & Co's professional negligence practice is best known for defending clients in the construction sector, but it also has a strong offering for legal and financial services professionals. Heading the department, the 'very knowledgeableJoe Eizenberg is experienced in claims against accountants arising from film finance and tax avoidance schemes, as well as representing professionals facing disciplinary action. The 'commercially and legally astuteGiles Tagg is an insurance litigator, with expertise representing construction professionals and handling coverage issues. Joe Bryant is noted for high-stakes claims involving legal professionals.

Practice head(s):

Joe Eizenberg

Other key lawyers:

Giles Tagg; Joe Bryant; David McArdle


‘Giles Tagg is a fantastic partner to work with. His advice is prompt and accurate and never sugar coated.’

‘The firm is predominantly a construction specialist and has very good partners and associates to assist with the defence of claims against construction professionals. In my opinion, Beale & Co is the leading firm for the defence of construction claims in the South West of England.’

‘Giles Tagg is both commercially and legally astute and understands the needs of clients, which makes dealing with him effortless. He is able to diffuse situations with his calm presence, wit and razor-sharp legal mind.’

‘They are specialists in the field of insurance and construction; this combination is invaluable at this point in time.’

‘They have an excellent knowledge of the law coupled with detailed understanding of construction contracts. We have received excellent advice about our weaknesses and opportunities. In a mediation they proved to be skilled and hard-nosed negotiators.’

‘The team is strong across the professional indemnity sector and knowledgeable on a range of professions.’

‘Joe Eizenberg is very knowledgeable on accountants and general coverage queries. David McArdle deals mostly with construction and is tenacious and responsive. Giles Tagg is also a construction specialist, and is both very knowledgeable and excellent at providing entertaining and informative training (and weekly music recommendations).’

‘Joe Bryant is extremely responsive and puts you at ease. He fully understands clients’ needs and will consider innovative ways in which to offer them the best possible support and guidance, especially during this challenging period, which has been very much appreciated and valued.

Key clients


Arthur J Gallagher


Everest Re




WR Berkley



The Beale & Company ethos is to deliver commercial and cost-effective legal advice with a commitment to putting the needs of clients first – at every stage.

The firm: Beale & Company has a first-class reputation for advising on complex and technical matters in the fields of construction, engineering and infrastructure, insurance, the professions and technology. It has a firm grounding in London, Bristol, Ireland and Dubai. Its dynamic approach to business, coupled with a sense of togetherness and integrity, is valued by its clients and staff alike.

Types of work undertaken
Professional negligence: a core part of the firm’s insurance practice is its specialist teams acting on claims involving all professions. Experienced in handling complex and high-value claims, as well as more straightforward and cost-sensitive matters, the teams advise a spectrum of national and international insurers and insureds including construction professionals, solicitors, accountants and IFAs.

Insurance: as an integral part of the firm’s work, specialists provide advice on matters arising regarding D&O, financial institutions, property and casualty, product, cyber, education and EL/PL risks, in respect of claims (including claims handling and delegated authority schemes), coverage advice and policy wording.

Construction and projects: having been active in the sector for over 50 years, the firm acts for some of the foremost companies, providing specialist advice in the UK and throughout the world. Its non-contentious work includes advising on projects, from inception to completion, to guarantees and other security documentation. The firm has extensive dispute resolution experience handling large, high-value, technical cases effectively. UK and Irish work includes advising on and conducting arbitration, litigation, adjudication and mediation.

International arbitration/dispute resolution: with expertise in all types of dispute resolution across numerous jurisdictions, the firm advises on every aspect of litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including: international and domestic arbitration and adjudications; expert determination; mediation and negotiation. The firm provides clear, unambiguous strategic advice on both avoiding disputes and, where this is not possible, taking disputes through to a successful resolution. Its lawyers have many years of experience in handling complex disputes under all major arbitration and ad hoc rules, as well as DAB/DRB proceedings.

Corporate and commercial: the firm provides advice and services to a range of clients, including global corporations, SMEs, and professional practices. Corporate services include: business reorganisation and restructuring; company sales and purchases; corporate recovery; incorporation of companies and LLPs; joint ventures and strategic alliances; management buy-outs and buy-ins; M&A; private equity, finance; shareholders/partnership agreements; and succession planning.

Health, safety and environment: the firm has a dedicated team with a record of achieving results for its consultant, contractor, employer and insurer clients. It advises on: coroners’ inquests; corporate and gross negligence manslaughter prosecutions; drafting CDM-C and other appointments; drafting policies and procedures and advising on compliance, HSE, EA and police investigations; improvement and prohibition notices; insurance issues and coverage; offences and sentencing; representation.

Regions: a powerful base in Bristol gives a strong national dynamic to the insurance services provided in respect of all areas of claim, together with a highly regarded claims handling resource.

Ireland: the Dublin office provides specialist insurance and dispute services to the London market and other insurers across the professions, providing experience and expertise in the resolution of disputes across Ireland.

International: the increasingly strong practice in Dubai acts for clients throughout the GCC and operates as a hub for the work undertaken for clients in Africa. The firm has a wealth of experience advising developers, contractors, consultants and their insurance providers in international construction and engineering, infrastructure, and power and energy projects. It has provided legal advice to clients in respect of some of the most iconic construction projects in the GCC. Beale & Company is a founding member of the European network, Lexicom. It has relationships with the African Legal Network, which has over 580 lawyers in 14 major African cities.

Recruitment: the firm recruits, on average, six to seven graduate trainees each year across its offices.

Other offices: Bristol, Dubai, Dublin

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Antony Smith
Professional liability Antony Smith
Projects and construction Sheena Sood
Projects and construction Will Buckby
Insurance Damian McPhun
Dispute resolution John Henderson
Health, safety and environmental Sheena Sood
Corporate and commercial Michael Archer
Corporate and commercial James Hutchinson
International arbitration/other commercial Claire Miller
Regions Joe Eizenberg
Ireland Tara Cosgrove
Dubai Claire Miller
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Archer  photo Michael Archer Michael trained as a solicitor with the firm and over a career…
 Will Buckby  photo Will Buckby Partner
 John Henderson  photo John Henderson Dispute resolution is John’s main expertise. Most of his cases are settled…
 James Hutchinson  photo James Hutchinson James is a Partner in the Corporate team at Beale & Company.…
 Joanna Lewis  photo Joanna Lewis Jo is a partner in the construction and engineering and professional indemnity…
 Ian Masser  photo Ian Masser Ian is a partner in the Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure group. Ian…
 David McArdle  photo David McArdle David is a partner in the Bristol Office, specialising in defending claims…
 Damian Mcphun  photo Damian Mcphun Damian specialises in professional liability claims. He has considerable experience of acting…
 Nathan Modell  photo Nathan Modell Nathan specialises in contentious construction matters and has advised a range of…
 Stephen Reilly  photo Stephen Reilly With a strong focus and expertise in Professional Indemnity, D&O, FI, Crime…
 Antony Smith  photo Antony Smith Antony is well known and widely recognised in the construction and insurance…
 Sheena Sood  photo Sheena Sood Sheena qualified in 1992 having trained with Beale & Company. She has…
 James Vernon  photo James Vernon James joined Beale and Company in 2003, qualifying in 2005, and is…
Number of partners : 23
Number of associates : 12
Number of assistant solicitors : 18
Number of other fee-earners : 23