Claims against professionals continue to increase. We have a highly experienced team of professional negligence solicitors who are well-versed in claims against all types of professionals.
We have advised on claims against:
- Surveyors / Valuers
- Independent Financial Advisors
- Pension Trustees
Richard Cook, who heads the commercial litigation team has over 20 years' experience in the field. Originally Richard acted for defendant insurers and self-insured professionals such as accountants before developing a claimant-driven practice at Shoosmiths. Whilst there, Richard acted in the leading case of Johnson v Gore Wood & Co. This involved two separate hearings before the Court of Appeal and a successful appeal to the House of Lords on two issues: the striking out of a claim for abuse of process and the circumstances in which a shareholder can bring a claim for loss suffered by him personally when a company owned and controlled by him had previously brought a similar claim.
Since joining Trethowans Richard has concluded professional negligence settlements in a multi-million pound claim against a well-known firm of accountants in relation to advice given to a pension scheme and a claim against a planning consultant over failure to protect a planning permission. Richard also acted in the case of Youlton v Charles Russell, a six day trial before Mr Justice Warren in the Chancery Division of the High Court, claiming in the region of £4 million for negligent advice over the authority of company directors to enter into agreements on behalf of the company. Judgment was given in our client's favour.
Jon Kelly, another partner in our commercial litigation team, also has substantial experience in the field of professional negligence, particularly in the context of banking and insolvency. Jon has represented some of the largest UK banks and other financial institutions in negligence claims against solicitors and valuers. His experience includes claims for inadequately drafted security documents and over-valuation.
The cases that the professional negligence solicitors in the team deal with are not just high value claims, many are for much smaller amounts. In each case the objective is to try and settle the claim as quickly as possible, using the professional negligence Pre-Action Protocol and mediation as an alternative to litigation. A significant number of professional negligence claims do not in fact even get to the stage where court proceedings are necessary, meaning that a settlement is achieved within months rather than years.
We are flexible and innovative in relation to funding in appropriate circumstances. This can involve, in appropriate cases, conducting claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement where you only pay the disbursements as the claim proceeds, or discounted fee arrangements where a lower fee is charged if the claim is unsuccessful but a larger fee if it succeeds. Details of these arrangements can be provided on request.