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We have experience in a wide range of commercial and construction professional negligence claims and the associated regulatory issues: accountants and auditors, construction professionals, financial practitioners, insurance brokers, solicitors and barristers and surveyors. A core team at Thirty Nine Essex Street represented the claimant insurers (Winterthur/NIG) dealing with the ground-breaking professional negligence litigation arising out of the collapse of The Accident Group.
Accountants and auditors
Instructions are regularly received to advise and act in disputes involving due diligence, tax and business advice/professional services. Our auditors' work includes failure to detect corporate/management fraud, over-valuation of assets, under-statement of liabilities and breaches of corporate governance. Members of Thirty Nine Essex Street act and have acted in disputes concerning the full range of accountancy firms - from the Big Four firms and the large London and nationally represented accountancy firms right down to the high street practice. Our experience extends to accountancy advice provided to clients in all commercial and construction industry sectors and includes claimant as well as defendant work. In addition to mainstream negligence actions, our team provides advice and representation in relation to related professional indemnity insurance issues and regulatory and disciplinary proceedings.
Thirty Nine Essex Street has a longstanding reputation in the field of construction law and members of this team are also recognised as leaders at the Bar in the related area of professional negligence claims against construction professionals. Members of Chambers are regularly instructed to advise and act for both claimants and defendants in disputes involving alleged professional negligence on the part of architects, engineers, project managers, designers and surveyors in the construction, engineering, information technology, mining and energy sectors.
The financial services sector is subject to a comprehensive and detailed regulatory regime. The relationship between that regime and civil claims for loss incurred by deficient advice on investments, pensions, tax, product mis-selling or other financial matters is an area requiring sophisticated legal advice and a sound knowledge of the sector. The regulatory framework of financial services gives those who believe that they have suffered loss in consequence of the failings of their financial advisers the opportunity to seek redress from the FSA rather than embarking on litigation. Members of Thirty Nine Essex Street have extensive experience in advising on all aspects of such claims and drafting representations to the FSA. They have also appeared before disciplinary committees of the ICAEW and the British Insurance Brokers Association. We believe that experience of the inter-relationship between the regulatory framework and the outcomes afforded by litigation/arbitration is critical to ensure the best route to obtain the most advantageous redress or defence for the client. In addition to mainstream negligence actions, our team provides advice and representation in relation to related professional indemnity insurance issues and regulatory and disciplinary proceedings.
Solicitors and barristers
Members of Chambers are instructed by professional indemnity insurers including the BMIF and claimants in many disputes involving barristers and solicitors, particularly those arising from failed or settled litigation.
Significant recent cases dealing with professional negligence matters:
- Acting for London Underground and Kajima in negligence actions prompted by the Chancery Lane derailment
- Advising and representing a defendant firm of quantity surveyors facing a £12 million claim stemming from cost overruns in a large commercial development.
- Advising and representing defendant engineers in the sprawling railway infrastructure case, Secretary of State for Transport v Pell Frischmann Consultants Ltd.
- Advising and acting for the defendant engineers on the Thelwall Viaduct refurbishment - Secretary of State v Mott Macdonald Ltd
- Landfast (Anglia) Ltd v Cameron Taylor One Ltd. (2008) 117 Con LR 53 (TCC) advising and representing consulting engineers and building surveyors in a dispute about an alleged failure to advise on the amount of site preparation needed.
- Lingfield Properties (Darlington) Ltd v Padgett Lavender Associates  EWHC 2989 (QB) advising in a dispute about Architects' negligence in relation to the use of fire-retarding materials.