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Professional Negligence Overview

Chambers is regarded as a leading set for professional negligence and is consistently ranked in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Our experience encompasses the full range of professions across all business sectors, including solicitors, auditors, accountants, investors, taxation advisers and even auctioneers. Members of chambers regularly act for both claimants and defendants, on high and low value claims, on discrete issues, and in multi-party and group litigation.

Members of chambers routinely advise at the pre-action stage and can advise on coverage issues, where required.


Chambers & Partners 2017

Serle Court is noted for its strength in professional negligence disputes, particularly those with significant chancery elements. Members at the set are especially adept at handling claims for and against financial professionals, including banks, insurers and insolvency practitioners. Recent work highlights include Thwaytes v Sothebys, concerning a painting misattributed to Caravaggio, and Walker v Stuart Smalley, which arose from a tax avoidance case. 

Client service: John Petrie is the chief executive of chambers, and Steve Whitaker is the head clerk. 

Philip Jones QC 
Regularly instructed by both sides on professional negligence cases relating to a broad range of business professionals, including accountants, lawyers, company administrators and tax advisers. His practice benefits from his comprehensive understanding of commercial chancery law.
Strengths: "He gets to the point very quickly, takes a very clear approach to the case and in the interlocutory hearings he's good on his feet."
Recent work: Defended Monaco-based accountants and service providers against a negligence claim following the collapse of an investment fund in the Cayman Islands. 

Philip Marshall QC
A commercial chancery barrister with a notable focus on professional negligence matters, Philip Marshall QC can also bring to bear his familiarity with insolvency, banking and civil fraud issues. He serves as both a Recorder and a Deputy High Court Judge.
Strengths: "His handle on the law and his advocacy are both incredible."
Recent work: Acted in Dickson v Christies, regarding the misattribution and inaccurate valuation of a painting by Titian.

Legal 500 2016

Serle Court is considered by some as ‘a go-to set for professional negligence’ and ‘a huge resource of knowledge and expertise’. 

David Blayney QC - ‘A stellar intellect’

Hugh Norbury QC - ‘His calm and very powerful presence combined with clear analysis gives him real imposing authority’ 

Kuldip Singh QC - ‘Excellent on the detail’

Lance Ashworth QC - ‘He rolls up his sleeves and produces high-quality work’ 

Philip Jones QC - ‘Tactically excellent’ 

Philip Marshall QC - ‘Strong expertise’

Daniel Lightman QC - ‘First Rate’

Andrew Bruce - ‘A first-class technician with a brilliant ability to get to the heart of a problem’

Dakis Hagen - ‘Particularly excellent when it comes to difficult and highly technical points, while remaining extremely user-friendly and accessible’ 

David Drake -  ‘He has the brightest and best brain, and great humour a real pleasure to work with’

Geraldine Clark - ‘Very talented’

Richard Walford - ‘A most eloquent and engaging advocate’

Ruth den Besten - ‘A wonderful talent energetic and hugely enjoyable to work with'

Thomas Braithwaite - 'Easy to work with, calm and assured'



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Notable Cases

Solland International Ltd v Clifford Harris & Co [2015] EWHC 3295 (Ch)

Whether a professional negligence claim should be struck out as... more

Lemos v CIBC

A claim alleging gross negligence by professional trustees in the... more

Lexi Holdings v Pannone

Philip Marshall QC and Ruth Holtham continued to appear on... more

Lexi Holdings plc (in administration) v. (1) DTZ; (2) Mace & Jones [2010] EWHC 2290 (Ch)

In a professional negligence claim brought by a mortgagee, the... more

Dickson v Christie’s

The facts of the case are widely reported - e.g.... more

Littman v Aspen Oil (Broking) Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ. 1579

Case concerned a lease of commercial premises in London. The... more

Saab v Jones Day Reavis & Pogue [2002] EWHC 2616 (Ch, Peter Smith J)

Professional negligence claim with respect to advice given for a... more

Cave v Robinson Jarvis & Rolf [2003] 1 AC 384

A solicitor undertook the drafting of an agreement as a... more

Gribbon v Lutton [2002] QB 902

The defendant solicitor had drawn up a stakeholder agreement for... more

Cave v Robinson Jarvis & Rolf [2002] 1 WLR 581

Held that the Court of Appeal would be bound by... more

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