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Professional Negligence & Regulation/Discipline

Maitland Chambers has extensive experience in advising, litigating and negotiating settlements in professional negligence claims in a wide range of fields.

Chambers can offer expertise at all levels, from teams of counsel led by one or more senior silks for heavy commercial disputes worth hundreds of millions of pounds, to juniors able to take claims involving individuals or SMEs to trial and/or ADR.

Much of Chambers’ professional negligence work falls in the areas of Banking and Financial Services, Company, Partnership & LLPs (claims against bankers, accountants, auditors, financial advisers); Real Estate (valuers, surveyors and project monitors, estate agents); legal services (solicitors; barristers); and property damage (engineers, architects, quantity surveyors). Members have also acted in cases concerning such diverse professional fields as art valuation, IT consultancy and pension valuation. Members act for both claimants and defendants.

One of Maitland’s great strengths is the ability to offer expertise across specialisms. Our members are comfortable dealing with professional negligence cases which cross-over into civil fraud, which raise PI insurance and coverage issues, which give rise to allegations of breaches of directors’ duties or to questions of partnership or LLP law, and which involve sales / securitisations of loan books by mortgage lenders.

A number of members of Chambers have experience of acting before regulatory and disciplinary tribunals.

Several members contribute to leading practitioner texts in the field, such as Simpson, Professional Negligence and Liability; Flenley & Leech, The Law of Solicitors’ Liabilities; and Tomlinson & Grant, Lender Claims.

A number of Maitland’s barristers are members of the Professional Negligence Bar Association; Thomas Grant QC is the PNBA’s Vice-Chair for 2021.

Expertise

Maitland’s range of specialist fields means that it is ideally placed to accept instructions in professional negligence claims concerning financial services and banking. Many of our members have experience in high-profile and high-value cases in this field.

Our barristers act regularly for claimants and defendants in e.g.:

  • Claims against accountants and auditors
  • Claims alleging negligent (or fraudulent) financial or pensions advice
  • Cases where civil fraud claims against (e.g.) defaulting directors, partners, or LLP members give rise to ancillary negligence or fraud claims against the professional advisers of a company, partnership or LLP
  • Claims against bankers

A core area of Maitland’s work involves cases where remedies are sought both against directors or partners for breaches of their statutory or equitable obligations and professional advisers for negligence: For further details, please see our Civil Fraud and Company and Partnership pages. 

Timothy Harry is a contributing editor of the leading textbook, Simpson, Professional Negligence and Liability.

Notable cases include:

  • Frederick v Positive Solutions [2018] EWCA Civ 431: alleged fraud and negligence of the agent of a financial adviser, raising issues of vicarious liability
  • International Leisure Ltd v First National Trustee Co Ltd [2013] Ch 346: negligence claims against an administrative receiver brought by both the debenture holder and the debtor company did not offend the rule against reflective loss

Chambers has a long-established and highly-regarded presence in property-related professional negligence litigation; this forms a significant part of the practice of many of our property silks and juniors.

Members act regularly for claimants and defendants in cases involving e.g.:

  • Claims by property owners and developers against their professional advisers
  • Claims by mortgage lenders and finance companies against surveyors, valuers, and lawyers
  • Allegations of fraud / tortious conspiracy embracing primary defendants and their professional advisers
  • Disputes over professional indemnity insurance and coverage

Chambers’ expertise also embraces professional negligence claims in relation to property damage and the design and construction of buildings, for example:

  • Claims against architects, engineers and quantity surveyors
  • Claims against surveyors and project monitors

More details of our work in real property litigation can be found here.

Maitland Chambers is a major contributor to Tomlinson & Grant, Lender Claims (1st edition: 2010; 2nd edition due December 2021), a leading textbook on the law of professional negligence claims by mortgage lenders and connected topics. Thomas Grant QC is a general editor, Alec McClusky is a contributor, and Timothy Harry will contribute to the 2nd edition. 

Notable cases include:

  • CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v VeCrREF [2018] EWHC 2838 (Comm): alleged breach of receivers’ and estate agents’ duties in relation to disposal of large commercial / residential block
  • Barclays Bank v TBS&V Ltd [2016] EWHC 2948 (QB): valuers’ negligence claim in relation to complex valuation of care home
  • Paratus AMC Ltd v Countrywide Surveyors Ltd [2012] PNLR 12: effect of securitisation on claim against valuer; also margin of error and contributory negligence
  • Scullion v Bank of Scotland [2011] 1 WLR 3212 (CA): leading case on valuer’s duty in the context of a “buy-to-let” purchase

These arise in a wide range of contexts, including:

  • Claims by lenders against their solicitors (please also see our Real Property section above) 
  • Negligent advice claims arising in diverse circumstances
  • Claims alleging misconduct of litigation
  • Cases where negligence is alleged in the context of conveyancing
  • Negligence in preparing wills under the White v Jones principle, and in relation to setting up trusts and similar matters (please also see our Private Client expertise)

Members are well versed in the areas which commonly raise difficulties in this field, most obviously the interplay between professional negligence and civil fraud; professional indemnity insurance and coverage issues; and negligence / fraud claims which give rise to points of company, partnership and LLP law.

Thomas Grant QC is a contributor to Flenley & Leech, The Law of Solicitors’ Liabilities (4th edition: 2020), a leading textbook in this area. Maitland Chambers is a major contributor to Tomlinson & Grant, Lender Claims (1st edition: 2010; 2nd edition due December 2021), a leading textbook on the law of professional negligence claims by mortgage lenders and connected topics. Thomas Grant QC is a general editor, Alec McClusky is a contributor, and Timothy Harry will contribute to the 2nd edition. 

A number of members of Chambers have experience of acting in cases before regulatory and disciplinary tribunals, including the Law Society, the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

Notable cases include: 

  • Santander UK plc v R A Legal Solicitors [2014] PNLR 20 (CA): solicitor’s liability for breach of trust in context of mortgage fraud)
  • DB UK Bank Ltd v Edmunds & Co [2014] PNLR 12 (CA): solicitor’s liability for breach of trust in conveyancing transaction)

Our members are particularly well suited to handling cases which raise complex issues which cross between different areas of specialism.

We frequently act in professional negligence cases which:

  • Also involve allegations of civil fraud 
  • Concern professional indemnity insurance and coverage 
  • Also concern alleged breaches of directors’ duties 
  • Give rise to questions of partnership or LLP law 

They are also experienced in addressing the complicated problems which can arise on the assignment of professional negligence claims, for example in the context of sales of real property, or of sales / securitisations of loan books by mortgage lenders. For further information regarding our expertise in these areas, please visit our Real Estate and Banking & Financial Services pages. 

Notable cases include:

  • Santander UK plc v R A Legal Solicitors [2014] PNLR 20 (CA): solicitor’s liability for breach of trust in context of mortgage fraud)
  • Paratus AMC Ltd v Countrywide Surveyors Ltd [2012] PNLR 12: effect of securitisation on claim against valuer; also margin of error and contributory negligence)

Notable Cases

Trilogy Management Ltd v Harcus Sinclair (2017)

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Paratus AMC Ltd & RMAC 2005 NS1 Plc v Countrywide Surveyors Ltd (2011)

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