Beale & Co > Bristol, England > Firm Profile

Beale & Co
Harrison Cowley Ltd
40 Queen Square

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

‘Excellent, pragmatic and user-friendly’, Beale & Co is recognised in the South West market for its strength in construction-related professional negligence disputes. In addition, it is increasingly developing a reputation for handling complex claims for clients in the legal and financial sectors. The practice has a varied client base, acting both for insured professionals and a host of prominent insurers. Joe Eizenberg leads the team and handles claims for a range of professionals, while Giles Tagg handles much of the team’s work in the construction space alongside David McArdle. Joe Bryant specialises in acting for solicitors and insurance brokers. Simon Mathews was promoted to partner in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Joe Eizenberg


‘The team at Beale and Co provide exceptional client service. Beales are a leading firm in handling Design and Construct Professional Negligence disputes and have achieved great results for a number of our clients.’

‘An excellent, pragmatic and user-friendly defendant team. Robust where necessary but never antagonistic for the sake of it, and always seeking a commercial solution.’

‘The team at Beale and Co provide exceptional client service. Beales are a leading firm in handling Design and Construct Professional Negligence disputes.’

‘Extremely approachable and with a vast amount of knowledge in the construction sector. High quality advice. Excellent to work with- reliable, they do what they say they will and generally make my life easier. Absolute experts in construction insurance and on top of all key developments in this sector.’

‘Giles Tagg is excellent, delivering accurate and concise advice in his own unique style. The recently promoted Simon Mathews is also extremely pragmatic and easy to deal with.’

‘David McArdle and Simon Matthews are specialists in their field and fully understand the needs of their clients. They provide clients with clear concise advice.’

‘They are simply a pleasure to deal with, understanding commercial and time pressures of all involved in any disputes. They work with people to ensure best outcome and value for the clients. I see them as the premier Professional Negligence law firm dealing with construction related insurance work in the region.’

‘Giles Tagg is an exceptional lawyer and probably the best construction insurance lawyer outside London. He consistently delivers great results and has excellent commercial instincts. He is pragmatic and commercial but always brings his sense of humour, putting everyone at ease.’

Key clients





Arthur J Gallaghers


Everest Re




WR Berkley


Work highlights

  • Acting in the defence of an architect and their insurer in a complex multi-party litigated claim, with a value of c£40 million, relating to cladding and fire safety issues.
  • Acting in the defence of an insurance broker in relation to a claim for c.£20 million involving allegations of fraudulent acts.
  • Acting in the defence of a solicitor and their insurer in relation to allegations that the solicitor failed to advise on various onerous terms in a lease. Claim value of c.£15 million

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

Beale & Co is a specialist construction and insurance boutique which is well-positioned to cater to professional indemnity insurers and construction professionals, with an active practice across the legal, architectural and financial services sectors. Ross Baker and Martin Jensen, who both joined the firm in 2022 from BLM, have a track record of advising clients in the financial sector and defending claims against solicitors and property agents. Chairman Antony Smith continues to work for clients in the construction sector, both in the UK and abroad. Associate Jenny Jeapes is a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Peter Sewell; Antony Smith; Sheena Sood; Ross Baker; Martin Jensen

Other key lawyers:

Michael Salau; Keith Lonsdale; Eileen Pathiraja; Ian Masser


‘Beale & Co are market-leaders in the construction professional negligence sector with in-depth industry knowledge, keen commercial awareness, and highly specialist technical understanding. They are hard-working, dedicated, highly professional and tactically astute.’

‘The Beales team is a very strong and dynamic team who are particularly well skilled in dealing with defendant insurer construction disputed.’

‘Ian Masser – a total delight to work with. Michael Salau – clearly knows his stuff and what is the best next step for a case.’

‘Beales has a long history and a deep understanding of working with construction professionals. They know their clients, are in tune with the industry and aware of the challenges we face. One of their strengths is defending construction professionals and they are able to deal with the full spectrum of disputes.’

‘Ian Masser is a safe pair of hands who is able to run with any dispute. He provides sound strategic advice and delivers an efficient and cost effective service. He is always across the detail and is fully engaged on matters. We appreciate the level of ‘face time’ and that matters are not simply left to associates etc to deal with. He has built up a good rapport within the business and they are quick to identify him as a go to person.’

‘Beale & Co are experts in construction and professional negligence disputes. They regularly help our clients navigate the tricky waters of dealing with complex multi-party disputes, successfully resolving contentious matters in a cost effective manner.’

‘Peter Sewell is very approachable, knowledgeable and good commercial lawyer.’

‘Pragmatism and strategic thinking are the key strengths of this team. Their knowledge and experience of the construction sector is second-to-none – you feel that you are in a safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Aviva Insurance UK Ltd

RSA Insurance Group

Arup Group Ltd

Jacobs UK Limited

AmTrust Europe

Hardy Underwriting Asia Pte Ltd (CNA Hardy)

Kier Group

Chubb Insurance

Atkins Limited

Channel Syndicate and Hamilton Syndicate

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 2

Beale & Co is a specialist construction practice, offering a range of advice on construction litigation and arbitration, contract and projects advisory work, and corporate and commercial matters. The team also advises on international arbitration matters, particularly in the context of substantial infrastructure projects. The practice is co-led by Antony Smith and Sheena Sood, both of whom have significant experience in acting on health and safety-related matters for a range of clients, including insurers. Michael Salau is recognised for his environmental and construction practice, whilst Nathan Modell specialises in construction and engineering disputes. James Vernon is recommended for his domestic work, which includes experience of High Court litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sheena Sood; Antony Smith

Other key lawyers:

Michael Salau; Nathan Modell; James Vernon


‘Deep industry knowledge with an accessible, non-pretentious vibe.’

‘Antony Smith is reassuringly in control of every move.’

‘Personal service, they know their customers and take time to develop relationships.’

‘Michael Salau is an exceptional lawyer, and his knowledge of the construction market is extensive.’

‘Nathan Modell gives excellent, high quality, strategic advice.’

‘A boutique firm with very capable and approachable people that are specialised in construction law. They have been in the game for a long time and are able to quickly quickly understand technical and commercial matters that are involved.’

‘Antony Smith and Sheena Sood are both very experienced and seasoned lawyers who are able to combine their expertise with practical commercially sensible advice.’

‘James Vernon works as if he is part of your team. Calm, hard-working, and lives and breathes the dispute with you. Clients trust the advice he gives.’

Key clients

Arup Group Limited

Mace Group

Broadway Malyan



Association for Consultancy and Engineering

BHM Construction


BAM Nuttall


Employment > Health and safety Tier 3

As specialists in construction and insurance law, Beale & Co‘s health and safety team offers a full service to some of the biggest names in the sector. Members of the team regularly attend the board meetings of large corporate clients, giving advice on issues including director responsibilities, corporate manslaughter and building fire safety. Sheena Sood has almost 30 years of experience advising clients in relation to investigations, prosecutions and other enforcements under health, safety and environmental law. She co-leads the team with Joanna Lewis , who regularly acts on serious incidents involving fatalities and life changing injuries, as well as those where serious breaches in regulation have been discovered. Associate Zita Mansi is another key name, focusing on the defence of claims against construction consultants.

Practice head(s):

Sheena Sood; Joanna Lewis

Other key lawyers:


‘In depth knowledge of the construction sector and its health and safety challenges’

‘Beale & Co have an excellent Health & Safety practice alongside their complementary construction and professional negligence practices. Their technical expertise and industry understanding enables them to offer an excellent service in the Health & Safety sector. They are true specialists in this field. They have particular expertise and extensive experience in public inquiries, inquests, and HSE investigations.’

‘Joanna Lewis stands out for her tenacious dedication to getting the best result for her client and her mastery of her case-load. She has an acute attention to detail and incredible understanding of the technical and factual issues of a case. She really does go the extra mile for her clients.’

‘Zita Mansi has showed herself to be a very effective and skillful solicitor.’

‘Joanna Lewis and Sheena Sood are enormously hard working, diligent and effective partners who follow the case through for their clients. They are renowned for their dedication to these types of case and have built up a substantial body of experience in this field. There is no fact in a case that Joanna Lewis is unaware of’

‘An outstanding choice for health and safety matters with a construction, Building Regulations or fire safety angle. Exceptional understanding and experience of the construction industry and advising clients in the most serious cases. The team has a great deal of experience of criminal investigations by the HSE, local authorities and fire and rescue services, as well as inquests and public inquiries.’

In addition to its work with contractors, Beale & Co is respected for its work with consultancies within the construction industry and is seen as the ‘go to’ solicitors for such organisations.’

‘Joanna Lewis brought a good understanding of consultancy companies and the specific issues that affect them and the way they operate. She combined this with a sound understanding of the relevant health and safety law. The focus of Beale & Co on construction and insurance matters was particularly helpful for this client.’

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

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

Beale & Co is a boutique law firm specialising in both domestic and international construction projects, with a dedicated non-contentious team focusing solely on contracts and project-related matters. The team acts for construction firms on both the contractor and consultant side, and is experienced in a full range of standard forms of contract. Will Buckby and Andrew Croft co-head the team. Buckby specialises in matters in the UK, Middle East and Africa, whilst Croft brings additional expertise in joint venture agreements, collateral warranties, and novation agreements.

Practice head(s):

Will Buckby; Andrew Croft

Other key lawyers:

Tim Kittow


‘Beale & Co’s non-contentious team are very customer centric, people and relationship focused, with a clear eye for technical detail.’

‘Will Buckby is exceptional, he is a technical lawyer and has buckets of charm. That combination can be a rare commodity in the profession of law as a whole.’

‘Beale & Co have a very strong team at all levels from partners to less senior staff.’

‘Andrew Croft is very knowledgeable and has an excellent understanding of the construction industry and of current topical matters.’

‘Will Buckby is always happy to spend time speaking to the client, even on an informal basis.’

‘Tim Kittow is very knowledgeable and has an excellent understanding of the construction industry, construction law, and how to mitigate risk to their client within the appointment.’

‘The people are approachable and available at all times. They are extremely professional and diligent in their advice.’

‘Knowledge of every aspect of construction law and application. They keep the industry informed on new legislation and important topics, assist in managing business risk, review commercial appointments and advise on claims and mitigation.’

Key clients

Arup Group Limited


Broadway Malyan



Association for Consultancy and Engineering

BHM Construction


BAM Nuttall


Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 5

Continuing to strengthen and expand its market presence, boutique insurance practice Beale & Co recently welcomed ex-BLM duo Ross Baker and Martin Jensen to form a combined five-partner strong team of litigators with significant capabilities and expertise in defending professional negligence claims, and on policy issues arising from PI and D&O policies. Senior associate Nathan Penny-Larter specialises in defending professional negligence claims against architects, engineers and other professionals. The team was also recently joined by product recall specialist Jason McNerlin, also formerly of BLM - he is known for 'providing prescient insight into issues that may arise in respect of coverage, liability and recoveries.'

Practice head(s):

Ross Baker; Martin Jensen

Other key lawyers:


‘Very bright lawyers who are technically excellent with sound judgement.’

‘Ross Baker – a new arrival who has excellent understanding of the law, sound judgment and is very good with clients.’

‘Already a strong team in insurance and reinsurance (and the overlap area of insurance brokers’ negligence claims), Beale & Co have recently added Ross Baker and Martin Jensen from BLM at partner level, along with some experienced associates.’

‘Ross Baker – insurers and reinsurers trust him with their very high profile and high value work – with good reason. He has huge experience of insurance litigation and is tough but also has great soft skills.’

‘Martin Jensen – an intelligent and pragmatic litigator. Excellent on liability insurance coverage including professional indemnity insurance.’

‘Martin Jensen is a very gifted lawyer: technically brilliant, but never allowing the law to obscure a sensible commercial settlement for the client. Martin is a superb team player; he is collaborative, supportive and generous in his praise of others. If I were in trouble myself, Martin is the person I would want to look after my interests.’

‘An excellent firm with an exceptional insurance and reinsurance litigation practice. Beale & Co’s lawyers are a detail-driven team, leaving no stone unturned, and offering their clients a quality of service that is not easily matched. With an extensive level of expertise within this area of the law, Beale & Co offer excellent advice and undertake a diligent approach to each of their matters.’

‘Ross Baker is a true expert in insurance and reinsurance litigation, offering unbeatable knowledge in this area of the law and a wealth of practical experience to match it. He demonstrates excellent judgement and offers clients sound and strategic advice, whilst also ensuring that clients are always kept up to date throughout the litigation process. A very safe pair of hands, no matter how challenging the case.’

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition

Beale & Co’s competition team welcomed the arrival of new practice head Paul Henty from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in July 2021; he advises on merger control issues, behavioural competition matters and state aid.

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

Chairman Antony Smith
Senior partner / construction disputes Sheena Sood
International Arbitration Antony Smith
Professional Negligence Peter Sewell
Projects and construction Will Buckby
Health, safety and environmental Sheena Sood
Competition and Public Procurement Paul Henty
Corporate and commercial James Hutchinson
Regions Joe Eizenberg
Ireland Tara Cosgrove
Dubai Claire Miller
International Arbitration / construction disputes Claire Miller
Joe Eizenberg photo Joe EizenbergAfter graduating from the University of Sydney, Joe practised at a specialist…
Giles Tagg photo Giles TaggGiles is a partner in the professional negligence team in Bristol, specialising…
Number of partners : 23
Number of associates : 12
Number of assistant solicitors : 18
Number of other fee-earners : 23