Professional Negligence

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"The ‘top-notch' 1 Chancery Lane ‘fields a real depth of expertise in the professional negligence arena'. Although the set’s main emphasis is on defending professionals it undertakes work for claimants and defendants in litigation, arbitrations, mediations and construction adjudications, and is noted for its ‘first-rate' property-related professional negligence expertise."  Legal 500 2014

"1 Chancery Lane handles a wide range of professional negligence disputes. Members offer services in cases ranging from solicitors' negligence to insurance coverage disputes and also handle claims against teachers and social workers. They frequently appear in the higher courts and are popular with instructing solicitors due to their approachability."  Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2015

1 Chancery Lane is recognised as a leading professional negligence set. Our expertise is reflected in the reported cases in which members have been instructed. We are able to offer barristers at all levels of call with experience in every area of professional negligence work. We can also offer barristers with expertise in insurance law who can advise on professional liability coverage issues.   We provide advice and representation to a number of regulators and also to those facing disciplinary charges in many professional spheres, including barristers, solicitors, doctors, dentists, accountants, surveyors, those working within the financial services industry, sports professionals and the police. A list of updated cases in which members of Chambers have been instructed can be obtained from the Senior Clerk.

Our cases range from substantial multi-million pound commercial claims to small or fast track claims for private individuals.  Whether we act for claimants and defendants we bring the same level of client focus, intellectual rigour and approachability. We have particular expertise in the following areas of practice:

Accountants, Auditors and Actuaries

• Claims involving negligent advice to investors purchasing businesses or to lenders advancing credit on the basis of overvalued company assets and shares.

• Disputes involving a failure to spot fraud in company audits and related work. 

• The unravelling of tax avoidance schemes leading to clients questioning the adequacy of the initial advice and the approach adopted on dealing with HMRC’s challenges.

• Claims arising in an insolvency context.


Construction Professionals and Property Related Claims

• Acting for and against a wide range of construction professionals including architects, engineers, environmental and geotechnical experts, quantity surveyors and party wall experts. The underlying disputes might concern:

    • design and specification,
    • cost advice,
    • contract administration,
    • inspection and supervision,
    • geotechnical investigations,
    • foundation design, and/ or
    • structural or M&E issues.

• The nature of these disputes varies widely, ranging from domestic minor works contracts to multi-million pound commercial developments. We appear in tribunals at all levels, including the County Court and Technology and Construction Court. We also take part in adjudications and arbitrations.

• Survey and valuation claims against surveyors and valuers.


Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisers

• Disputes involving insurance brokers whether sued alone or in complex multi-party actions (i.e. with insurers or other professionals).

• Advising on coverage issues in respect of professional indemnity policies.

• Financial misselling claims, including pensions, investments, interest swaps and derivatives, insurance products, equity release, PPI, remortgaging transactions and tax avoidance schemes. Some of these claims are multi-party or class actions. They often involve difficult jurisdictional (conflict of law) issues and require a knowledge of the regulatory background in which financial advisors operate and of the FSMA statutory regime.



• Acting for and against solicitors and barristers sued in respect of contentious and non-contentious work. The subject-matter of the underlying disputes are diverse and claims range from commercial development property issues, residential conveyancing disputes, unsuccessful personal injury or clinical negligence actions to issues about the will-making process.

• Chambers has particular expertise in bringing and defending claims brought by lenders against professionals. As our members practice in the underlying areas they can bring a sharper focus to these claims and can advise on strategies for recovery and perfecting security.

• Acting for solicitors and barristers in regulatory matters and in respect of potential wasted costs orders. We have substantial experience at all levels and can provide accurate advice and effective representation ranging from advice on how an accused person should respond to questions raised by his or her regulator, to full representation at contested disciplinary hearings.



• Acting for trustees, settlors, beneficiaries and third parties in claims involving:

    • Allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence e.g. maladministration  by trustees of an investment portfolio, selling land at an undervalue, bringing or defending claims to remove a trustee, rectification of deeds, failure to take proper advice on tax avoidance schemes.
    • Recovery of  assets, proprietary and common law remedies.


Our professional negligence group which include two past chairs of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and current committee members produces quarterly briefings on recent cases of interest, hot topics and developments in the field. We provide regular training in-house and tailored to the needs of our clients.  Members of the group edit, a blog concentrating on professional indemnity issues.

Group Members: Simon Readhead QC, Lord Faulks QCJohn Ross QCAndrew Warnock QC, John BryantNicholas YellJulian Waters, Marc RivillandJustin Althaus, Geoffrey Weddell, Maurice Rifat Angus Piper, Paul Stagg, Ivor Collett Sophie Mortimer,  Zachary Bredemear, Kiril WaiteSimon TriggerSimon MurraySaleem KhalidBen HicksLaura Johnson, Andrew SpencerJack Harding, Ian ClarkeLisa DobieRoderick AbbottTom Collins, Richard JG Beaty Francesca O'Neill, Nicola AtkinsKatie Ayres, Ella Davis, Richard Collier, Dominique Smith

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