Chambers’ Professional Liability Group acts for professionals and their insurers and claimants in every type of claim or other form of dispute involving professionals, whether the dispute is between claimant and professional, insurer and insured, or regulator and professional.
Over many years members of Hailsham Chambers have appeared in the cases which have shaped the law relating to the liability of professionals. The breadth of experience across all call bands permits chambers to service clients’ dispute resolution needs from the smallest complaint to an ombudsman, through to pre-action protocol letters of claim and response, to hearings in the County Court, the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. We often provide both leader and juniors for larger cases, and have the capacity within chambers to handle document-heavy disputes involving claims over £100 million.
Besides having the highest academic qualifications, members of the Professional Negligence Group pride themselves on being approachable to clients, commercially astute, well-prepared, and open-minded.
Instructions to act for or against lawyers have been the mainstay of the team’s caseload for as long as professional negligence has been a specialism within chambers. As a result of this vast experience, many of Hailsham’s barristers are considered to be leaders in this field.
The expertise of Hailsham’s members is re-enforced by the fact that The Law of Solicitors' Liabilities, the bible for this specialist area, is co-authored by William Flenley KC of Hailsham Chambers and has chapters contributed by members of Chambers.
Hailsham’s barristers frequently appear in £multi-million claims and have been responsible for seminal judgments in this area. They have had significant experience of claims involving allegations ranging from outright fraud including conspiracy to breach trust, breach of fiduciary duty, and ordinary negligence.
Members of Chambers are also often instructed to advise on liability and coverage issues arising between lawyers and their insurers.
Our counsel have been instructed in many significant cases. Recent examples include:
Hailsham Chambers offers particular expertise relating to claims against financial professionals, be they actuaries, IFAs, banks or product providers.
Members of chambers at all levels of call are equipped to handle the diverse and challenging issues presented by such claims.
Counsel’s experience covers the full spectrum of dispute resolution in this area including:
Members of the Hailsham team have great experience of claims arising from the work of surveyors and valuers in a range of contexts including:
Members act frequently for and against accountants and auditors in High Court claims and before a variety of disciplinary bodies.
With particular expertise in cases involving breach of duty (including breach of accountancy standards), Counsel have been involved in cases about the failure to give appropriate, taxation or investment advice and failures to detect fraud or in relation to company restructuring.
Members of Hailsham's Professional Liability Group are specialists in the full range of construction and engineering claims concerning construction professionals. Our members have experience in complex, multi-party and high-value disputes including claims against architects, engineers (civil, structural, and geotechnical), quantity surveyors, project managers and design and build contractors. Our experience spans bringing and defending claims in adjudication, arbitration and the Technology and Construction Court.
Members of Chambers have acted for or against insolvency practitioners and LPA receivers in many High Court claims, including where receivers are alleged to have failed to realise the true value of assets following bankruptcy or corporate insolvency. Counsel also have substantial experience of coverage disputes between insolvency practitioners and their insurers, including in cases where dishonesty is alleged against the insured.
Members of Chambers advise extensively on liability issues relating to professional trustees in many jurisdictions.
Barristers at Hailsham act for or against insurance brokers where there are allegations of breach of duty, including failures to select appropriate cover or to advise as to the scope and limitations of cover under different policies, failures to obtain the necessary information from clients or to give appropriate advice on disclosure of material facts, and the failure to give notice of claims.
Hailsham Chambers acts for Directors, Officers, Trustees, Companies and their Insurers, across a range of industries, in relation to D&O insurance issues including breach of duty and of covenant, breach of trust, negligence and wrongful trading/Insolvency Act claims. We have experience of the wide range of claims which often arise including: improperly diverting business to a competitor, poaching, shadow directors, s.994/unfair prejudice claims, questionable payments and disputes about share purchase agreements/M&A. We work closely with experts in valuation and forensic accountancy. We can also assist in claims relating to health & safety, pensions liabilities and regulatory issues. Furthermore, our insurance expertise means we are particularly well placed to assist in resolving the coverage disputes which often arise in this line of business.
For many years Hailsham has advised insurers and insureds about coverage issues. More senior members often sit as arbitrators in such disputes (frequently where a solicitor or accountant is the insured). The team is well versed in the intricacies of interpreting policy wording, whether and to what extent notifications are effective, fraud, successor insurance and co-insurance issues, as well as aggregation issues in more complex or high value disputes. We help insureds develop and implement strategies to resolve difficult coverage problems and lead market meetings amongst different insurers to agree common strategies. We advise those looking to bring large claims against insureds about insurance issues and have acted in many Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) 2010 Act claims. In all this, we are fortified by our deep knowledge of underlying professional liability claims and our knowledge of how the insurance market actually works. Hailsham can also offer advice and support in relation to Directors' and Officers’ Liability claims and we are engaged in a number of Covid Business Interruption claims.
Members of Chambers are skilled in assisting clients in a range of dispute resolution environments, including arbitration and mediations, where members act either as mediators or as constructive contributors to settlement. The Professional Liability Group is also a supporter of the PNBA Adjudication Scheme and indeed members were closely involved in its formulation and launch.