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Call: 1979    QC: 2002

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Professional Liability

John is recommended in Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 as a leading silk in the field of professional negligence. He acts for and against a wide range of professionals, including barristers, solicitors, surveyors, financial advisers, accountants, patent attorneys and actuaries.

Chambers and Partners 2022 describes John as “a pleasure to work with. He has fantastic cross-examination techniques and is very approachable.”

Recent cases include:

  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Estera Corporate Trustees. Acting for a corporate trustee in the defence of a number of claims for breach of trust/breach of a duty of care relating to a failed hotel development in St Lucia (2019).
  • N v RBS [2019] EWHC 1770. John successfully defended the bank against a claim that it acted in breach of its duty of care/mandate in freezing its accounts and then terminating the banking relationship with immediate effect.
  • Keymed (Industrial & Medical Equipment) Ltd v Hillman [2019] EWHC 485. John acted for Keymed in proceedings brought against two former directors for breach of fiduciary duty and/or breach of duty of care in relation to payments they authorised for the executive pension scheme of which they were the only members.
  • Richard Ward Couture Styling v HGF Limited. John acted for the defendant in defence of a claim arising out of the alleged failure to issue applications worldwide to protect the design rights of a de-tangling hairbrush (2018).
  • Orientfield Holdings v Bird & Bird LLP [2017] EWCA 348. John acted for the claimant who succeed in its claims for professional negligence against its former solicitors, who had failed to explain the results of a Plansearch Plus report but had instead formed their own view that the report contained nothing adverse.
  • Lyons v Fox Williams [2017] EWHC 532. John acted for the claimant who was seeking to obtain compensation for a failure to advise him of his rights under a long-term disability insurance policy which was held not to be covered by the retainer.
  • PB Limited v Watson Burton – acting for a leading silk and junior in the defence of a multi-million pound claim arising from the joint opinion that they gave as to the construction of an asset sale agreement.
  • Dualglo v Bromhead Johnson [2014] EWHC 2149 – successfully defending a claim against r a patent attorney who was sued for failing to advise that broad patent protection could not be obtained for a new glow-in-the-dark product called Dual Glo. It was claimed that this had resulted in very substantial losses sustained by the company and its backers. Amongst other matters the case involved complex issues concerning science and intellectual property law and procedure
  • Acting successfully for a barrister who had been threatened with a multi-million pound claim arising out of the alleged failure to warn of the risks involved in extending the validity of a claim form [2013].
  • Wilson & Go Plant Ltd v. Grant Thornton UK LLP [2013] – acting on claims of negligence against Grant Thornton both in respect of its auditing of a UK company and its corporate finance advice on the acquisition of that company for over £16m.
  • Acting on claims against a solicitors firm and a trust company  for substantial compensation for professional negligence and breaches of trust arising out of the wrongful diversion of trust monies to a new trust structure set up by them for the claimant’s brother in law.
  • Langsam v. Beachcroft LLP [2011] EWHC 1451 (Ch); [2011] 3 Costs LO 380; [2012] EWCA 1230; [2013] 1 Costs LO 112 – acting on a lengthy trial and subsequent appeal on claims by the owner of Britannia Hotels against his former solicitors with regard to the advice they gave as to the value of his earlier claim against a firm of accountants and as to the merits of a settlement.