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Derek Holwill

Work 020 7643 5000
Hailsham Chambers (Hailsham Chambers)


Derek Holwill specialises in professional negligence and clinical negligence work, and associated insurance work. His cases in the last year have included Warren v Marsden and others where he represented IFAs sued in respect of advice given concerning a tax mitigation scheme; DB UK Bank Ltd v Colleys, where he is representing valuers sued by mortgage lenders in respective of a series of allegedly negligent valuations; and Mitchells & Butler Retail Ltd v Jeffrey Green and Russell where he represented solicitors sued in respect of the drafting of a commercial lease, a case nvolving interesting limitation issues. Other recent cases include McManus & others v European Risk Insurance [2013] EWHC 18, where he represented insurers against solicitors who unsuccessfully sought a declaration as to the validity and scope of a purported ‘block notification of circumstances’ under their professional indemnity policy – the case involving consideration both of the implications of Quinn v Law Society for solicitors seeking to make notifications to their PI insurers and of the application of J Rothschild v Collyear. He represented the defendant solicitors in Nationwide v Davisons [2012] EWCA Civ 1626, a claim for breach of trust by mortgage lenders involving consideration of s61 Trustee Act 1925, and of the construction of the Law Society’s Code for completion by post. He has been involved in a number of multi-party mortgage lender claims involving various permutations of mortgage fraud; a number of substantial lender claims against valuers involving multiple properties; a very substantial claim involving the valuation of the loss of the benefit of an option to acquire commercial property with interesting issues as to consequential loss claims. Other significant cases: Watkins v Jones Maidment Wilson [2008] EWCA Civ 134 – a decision limitation concerning the application of Nykredit and of Sephton; Law Society v Sephton & Co [2006] 2 AC 543 HL – on limitation and the date of accrual of a cause of action in negligence. His advisory work on coverage issues is mainly in relation to professional indemnity policies, including advice on aggregation clauses, dishonesty issues and issues arising from the inter-relationship of contractual wordings with the wording of minimum terms laid down by various professional bodies. In the clinical negligence field, his practice continues to include several cerebral palsy claims for claimants. He has also chaired and produced reports in five inquests into homicides by mental patients, the Mabota Report, the Licorish Report, the SH Report, the GM Report and the recently published RR/AT Report for NHS London.


Called 1982, Gray’s Inn; Bacon Scholar (Gray’s Inn) 1980; Mould Scholar (Gray’s Inn) 1981; Band Prize (Gray’s Inn) 1982.


Professional Negligence Bar Association.


King’s College, Wimbledon; Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (MA).


Scuba-diving, Lindy Hop.

London Bar

Clinical negligence

Within: Clinical negligence – Leading juniors

Derek Holwill - Hailsham ChambersHe specialises in professional and clinical negligence.

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Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence – leading juniors

Derek Holwill - Hailsham ChambersHe is remarkably astute, gives thoughtful and well-reasoned advice and is a persuasive advocate.

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