Professional liability

What sets us apart as leaders in professional liability work is a thorough understanding of those areas of law within which the professionals themselves operate.

At Wilberforce Chambers we combine dedicated experience in professional negligence with an impressive knowledge of contracts, trusts, tax, complex corporate structures and transactions, pension regulation, land law, financial services, construction law, intellectual property and insurance.

We aim to give clear, practical and realistic advice. This commitment to user-friendly service, combined with our rigorous approach to legal issues and strong advocacy skills, ensures that we stand out from the competition, particularly in complex and difficult cases. Our determination to get the best for our clients also means that we seek to be closely involved in all aspects of the litigation process, from the earliest stages to the ultimate determination, helping to review the best options at each step. In addition, many of our members are trained mediators and arbitrators who can assist in settling disputes without the requirement for potentially costly court litigation.

Our members’ experience encompasses a wide variety of professional negligence work, including claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, actuaries, construction professionals (including engineers, architects, surveyors and project managers), finance practitioners (including tax and pension advisers), company directors and insurance brokers.

Our members offer expert advice and advocacy in relation to a wide range of professional liability and disciplinary issues.

Our work includes:

  • Advising on the merits of potential proceedings.
  • Advising on pre-action protocol letters.
  • Drafting statements of case setting out the client’s case.
  • Advising on the content of, and settling reports to, insurers, ensuring that the costs and consequences of the various options are evaluated.
  • Appearing at interlocutory hearings.
  • Advising on evidence, tactics, merits and settlement.
  • Advising on the content of, and settling, witness statements.
  • Liaising with experts and helping them to express their opinions clearly in reports.
  • Advising on Mediation Statements and appearing at mediations.
  • Appearing at trials and subsequent appeals.

We also have experience in dealing with regulatory issues in relation to a variety of different professional bodies.

Rankings and recognition

Wilberforce is ranked as a leading professional negligence set in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

Chambers & Partners 2024: Wilberforce Chambers can bring to bear deep expertise in a wide range of professional negligence claims, acting for both defendants and claimants. The set is frequently sought out for solicitors’ liability claims and matters involving financial services professionals, often complicated by fraud elements. Property-related work is a strong suit, and the barristers are an obvious choice for negligence claims concerning the more complex of conveyancing matters, or major development projects. Members continue to act in matters of considerable size and importance, including Curtiss v Zurich Insurance, a group claim alleging dishonest certification of new-build flats in the largest tower block in Wales.

The Legal 500 2024: Wilberforce Chambers is a leading set which combines dedicated experience in professional negligence with their overall impressive knowledge in the areas of finance, legal, construction, and insurance. In the case, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey v Osborne ClarkeJonathan Seitler KC acts for 54 claimants in a group action against solicitors in relation to the claimants’ investments in student accommodations, where the investors lost money as a result of factors which it is said the solicitors ought to have reported. Additionally, Ian Croxford KC successfully acted for Mischon de Reya LLP in Aurium Real Estate London Ultra Prime Ltd v Mishcon de Reya LLP – Aurium claimed that the solicitors had provided Aurium negligent advice in respect to its legal rights concerning a building being demolished.

Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2023: Jonathan Seitler KC wins Professional Negligence Silk of the Year.

Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2022: Ian Croxford KC shortlisted for Professional Negligence Silk of the Year.

Notable cases

Yee Shi Yin & Others v 174 Solicitors Limited [2023]

A claim by multiple purchasers of off-plan units in city centre blocks against the vendor’s solicitors for having paid away moneys held as stakeholder.

Read the full judgment

Aurium Real Estate London Ultra Prime Ltd v Mishcon de Reya LLP [2022]

A significant 15-day trial involving allegations of negligent legal advice in relation to a proposed development project in central London. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2022.

Read the full judgment


Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey v Osborne Clarke [2021]

A heavy multi-million pound claim by Persimmon PLC and Taylor Wimpey against former solicitors Osborne Clarke for failing to draft option agreements in a way that avoided foreseeable loss.

Read the full judgment

BASF Corporation v Carpmaels and Ransford [2021]

A substantial claim brought against Carpmaels and Ransford, patent attorneys, which centres round the Defendant’s failure to file a notice of appeal against the revocation of a patent for an emission reduction system to be used in diesel engine worldwide.

Read the full judgment

Barrowfen Properties Limited v Patel and others [2020]

A claim against, inter alia, a firm of solicitors for negligence, deceit and unlawful means conspiracy to procure the entry of the claimant into administration.

Read the full judgment


Financial Services Compensation Scheme Ltd and others v Estera Corporate Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd [2020]

A high-value trusts dispute arising from the insolvency of the Freedom Bay property development scheme in St Lucia. The case raised important legal questions about trustees’ ability to rely on investors’ contributory negligence as a defence.

N v RBS [2019]

Complaint brought by N (whose identity is anonymised) that the bank acted in breach of its duty of care/mandate in freezing its accounts and then terminating the banking relationship with immediate effect. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2019.


David Roberts Art Foundation Ltd v Marlene Riedweg [2019]

Acting for the vendor of land, a charity, in respect of a contract for the sale of land for over £8m which the defendant failed to complete.

Read the full judgment

Tiuta International Ltd (in Liquidation) v De Villiers Chartered Surveyors Ltd [2019]

Professional negligence Supreme Court case against valuers, who made an early summary judgment application which turned on the proper application of the ‘but for’ test of causation.

Read the full judgment



Caliendo v Mishcon de Reya [2015]

Acting for the solicitors in a claim in relation to sale of Queen’s Park Rangers to Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. One of The Lawyer’s “Top 20” cases of 2015.

Read the full judgment


Symrise v Baker McKenzie [2015]

A professional negligence claim arising out of the Mexican tax implications of a highly leveraged acquisition by a private equity fund.

Read the full judgment


Earl of Cardigan v Moore [2012]

High profile action by the Earl of Cardigan against trustees of the Savernake Estate.


AG of Zambia v Meer Care Desai & Others

A case involving issues were whether the defendant firm was a sole practitioner or a partnership and whether the purported partner was vicariously liable.

MG Rover Collapse

Claim against Deloittes arising from the collapse of The MG Rover Group.

Sea Containers Pension Schemes

Professional liability claim arising from alleged failed equalisation of the scheme.

Insights View all thought leadership

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    Wilberforce shortlisted for Chambers of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2024

    We are delighted to announce that Wilberforce Chambers has been shortlisted at this year’s The Lawyer Awards for Chambers of the Year! Winners will be announced on Tuesday 18th June at London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel. We are incredibly... Read more

    Friday 12 April 2024

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    Four wins for Wilberforce at Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023

    We are absolutely delighted to have picked up four awards at last night’s Chambers UK Bar Awards! We are proud to announce that Wilberforce Chambers won the highly coveted ‘Set of the Year‘ award, as well as ‘Chancery Set of... Read more

    Friday 1 December 2023

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    Wilberforce shortlisted in five categories at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023

    We are delighted to announce that Wilberforce has been shortlisted in five different categories at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023. Chancery Set Real Estate Set Chancery Silk – Tim Penny KC Professional Negligence Silk – Jonathan Seitler KC Real... Read more

    Monday 11 September 2023

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    Jennifer Seaman appointed to the London A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown

    We are delighted to announce that Jennifer Seaman has been promoted to the London A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. The appointment is for a period of five years commencing 1st September 2023 and expiring on 31st August... Read more

    Tuesday 1 August 2023

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