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Professional Negligence

If you have been let down by a professional advisor and you have suffered financial loss as a consequence, you may be able to bring a claim for damages for professional negligence.  You will need to prove that the professional owed you a duty of care, that there has been a breach of that duty, and that the breach caused your loss.  You may need expert evidence to prove the amount of your loss.

Many professionals are obliged by their governing body to have professional indemnity insurance cover to ensure that financial claims against them can be met but specific procedures often have to be followed in order to bring these claims and advice from a member of our experienced team can be extremely important.

Our team has worked on disputes involving accountants, barristers, chartered surveyors, insurance brokers, quantity surveyors and solicitors.   The team has particular experience advising financial institutions and others bringing claims for damages against solicitors for negligence, and against surveyors for negligent over-valuation of property.

If your complaint relates to service, there may be an ombudsman or regulator who can deal with your complaint.  These include:

  • The Legal Ombudsman (for complaints against lawyers)
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (for complaints against insurance brokers and financial advisors)
  • The Ombudsman Services: Property (for complaints relating to estate agents, residential managing agents, residential letting agents, and other property professionals)

For any further advice on professional negligence claims above please contact one of our team today to see how we can help.

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    Meet the Team

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    Rob Kelly

    Senior Associate — Dispute Resolution

    Direct dial: 01202 377871

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    Rob Kelly
    • “I've worked with a fair few lawyers over the years and Rob Kelly is the most on the ball and efficient lawyers I've ever come across. I'm looking forward to working together for many years to come.”

      Roger Woodall CEO - Diamond Sporting Group

    • “I have had the pleasure of working with several members of the team at Laceys regularly over a period of years. I found Rob Kelly in particular, who worked on a successful litigation case for me over a period of several years to be outstanding in all aspects of the work he undertook, and the manner in which he did it. I now consider him a friend. I would not - and have not - hesitated to recommend Laceys to my family and friends, and continue to use them for all legal matters.”

      Dan Collins

    • “ I just wanted to thank you for your great work on the professional negligence case and other cases you have represented Indian Ocean and Tiien through the last few years.”

      Mehdi Vahdati, Director and Proprietor - Indian Ocean (Bournemouth) Limited

    Rob practices in two main, complimentary areas of work – contentious wills, probate and trust disputes, and property disputes.

    Contentious wills, probate and trusts

    More than half of Rob’s time is spent dealing with the contentious aspects of wills, probate and trusts, an area in which he has practiced continuously for over 20 years.  He advises and acts in disputes relating to wills and inheritance, trusts, the duties of trustees and personal representatives, and the administration of estate.

    Rob’s practice embraces:

    • Personal representative and trustee disputes (including personal representative and trustee disagreements, removals / substitutions and alleged misconduct)
    • Disappointed beneficiary claims
    • Will disputes (where the validity of a will is challenged on the grounds of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of a will, and fraudulent calumny)
    • Financial provision claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
    • Proprietary estoppel claims
    • Disputes about the proper construction, and rectification, of wills
    • Caveats
    • Professional liability claims arising from the preparation of wills and trusts and the administration of estates

    He has mediated (either as appointed mediator or as a representative) dozens of disputes involving contentious wills and probate issues.

    Property disputes

    The other side of Rob’s practice is contentious property work.  This embraces:

    • Residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes
    • Disrepairs
    • Repairing covenants
    • Possession claims
    • Lease termination and lease forfeiture
    • Dilapidations
    • Service charge disputes
    • Interpretation and enforcement of leasehold covenants

    Rob’s style is a mix of listening, asking (tough) questions, diplomacy and reality testing. He’s interested, flexible, and pragmatic. He offers a common sense, realistic approach to assist his clients in searching for solutions to their disputes and brings straight talking and integrity to his work.

    Rob is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.  He holds an LLB (Hons) degree in law.  He successfully completed training as a mediator under the ADR Chambers / Harvard Law Project Scheme in June 2006, was one of the first mediators to have been appointed an IMI Certified Mediation Advocate in the UK with a commercial practice, and is a member of the Civil Mediation Council.

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    Mark Timberlake

    Managing Partner — Dispute Resolution

    Direct dial: 01202 377863

    Email

    Mark Timberlake
    • “The advice Mark gave was very good value for money and the combination of strictly accurate legal advice and common sense were exactly what I needed.”

      Nick Stocks. Director, Spitfire Court Properties Ltd.

    • “Mark Timberlake is an exceptional solicitor. He has a huge depth of knowledge in his speciality and looks after his clients in a very kind and patient manner. Mark is unfailingly courteous and always a pleasure to deal with. I am always confident in any matter that Mark has dealt with.”

      Jane Balmforth

    • “We have had many years of top class professional advice and assistance in many respects of our property ownership. However great our worries initially, matters have been dealt with in a most professional manner and to our satisfaction.”

      Michael Filer, Bourne Court Consortium

    Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1989 and since then has specialised in property and landlord and tenant disputes, possession and debt recovery in relation to both commercial and residential property. He has extensive experience in relation to issues involving blocks of flats including representation in the Property Chamber and the courts. He has also dealt with many commercial disputes, professional negligence and insolvency claims.

    He has frequently given talks on the law as it affects managing agents through the Association of Residential Managing Agents and other groups.

    He has been recommended for many years by the Legal 500 Guide to the Legal profession which has said that Mark ‘is very highly rated by clients’, ‘explains complex issues in understandable terms’ and ‘is excellent in really difficult situations’. 

    Mark is married with 2 teenage children and at weekends can often be found on his boat which he sails competitively.

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    Brendan Herbert

    Partner — Dispute Resolution

    Direct dial: 01202 377810

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    Brendan Herbert
    • “Brendan has been really great on a whole range of professional negligence issues. I highly recommend him.”

      Cressida Granger, Perspex Pension Fund/Mathmos Ltd

    • “Brendan is an excellent support and shows empathy when dealing with difficult situations. He explains clearly costs and possible outcomes and makes me feel like I have somebody on my team.”

      Jacqueline Entwistle

    • “Always professional and prompt on a wide range of legal matters.”

      Matthew Hornsby

    Brendan has a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Liverpool, and went on to obtain his Post Graduate Diploma in Law, and Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (now the University of Law), in Chester.  Brendan completed his training with a national firm in Manchester and London, and was admitted as a solicitor in 2005.

    Brendan is part of our Dispute Resolution Team, working with both private individuals and businesses to either avoid or resolve disputes. With over 10 years experience he has helped clients deal with a wide variety of issues from professional negligence claims and breach of contract disputes, to more specialist areas including construction disputes, intellectual property work, licensing applications and inheritance claims.

    Brendan has a very approachable manner, and places great importance on client relationships. He enjoys tackling all matters directly, and always looks to provide clients with practical, cost-effective solutions. Outside of work Brendan runs a hugely successful music festival in the Cotswolds.

    When he is not knee-deep in mud at a festival, he enjoys travelling (especially in Africa, where he worked as a safari camp manager for a year),  golf, photography and getting out and about in the Dorset countryside.

    To find out more about Brendan being described in the 2021 Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ and what this means to him here;

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