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Professional Liability

Michael has wide experience of professional liability disputes, mostly arising out of the conduct of trustees (including pension trustees) and the professional advice they have obtained from solicitors and others. In particular, he has experience of acting for both claimants and defendant professionals in cases of alleged negligence in giving technical pensions advice and in advising on the tax aspects of setting up domestic and offshore trust structures, and in connection with the taxation of pensions.

His recent experience includes:

  • Acting for an offshore trust company in its claim against a predecessor trustee for negligent failure to mitigate UK inheritance tax liability.
  • Acting for an individual trustee in an offshore jurisdiction in proceedings brought by a beneficiary alleging trustee negligence causing the beneficiary to incur a personal tax liability in his country of residence.
  • Advising an employer and pension trustees on a professional negligence claim against the scheme’s previous solicitors in relation to advice given as to how to manage the cost of the scheme, and in connection with powers of amendment and Courage fetters.
  • Acting for an offshore trustee in defending breach of trust claims brought by members of an employees’ income protection scheme which had run out of money to pay benefits.
  • Several cases acting for solicitors defending professional negligence claims based on allegedly incorrect tax advice given in connection with setting up domestic or offshore trust structures.
  • Advising on a claim for negligent financial advice in respect of making pension contributions to a SIPP before the claimant’s 75th birthday, where the quantum of the claim turned on the tax consequences of a pension drawdown many years earlier.
  • Advising on, drafting and successfully settling claims brought by the administrator of a deceased’s estate against both previous sets of professional personal representatives for the negligent administration of the estate, overpayments made to beneficiaries, and the assessment under the Solicitors Act 1974 of fees paid out of the estate.
  • Advising on possible claims against previously instructed solicitors and counsel in connection with the setting up of will trusts of a large landed estate.
  • Acting for a solicitor suing a former client for unpaid fees, and defending a counter-claim in professional negligence.