Case Study: Cross-Border Professional Negligence Claim against Law Firm


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Robert Johnson, Partner and Head of Professional Negligence at Healys LLP, successfully represented claimants who had been involved in a cross-border dispute with a number of financial institutions but their claims failed because of the negligence/breach of contract of the firm of solicitors that had been representing them in that dispute.

The claimants (two companies based in the Cayman Islands) engaged a firm of solicitors to pursue a professional negligence/breach of contract claim against the solicitors who caused the claims against the financial institutions to fail. Robert Johnson was then instructed in place of that other firm of solicitors because (1) that other firm was being investigated by the SRA (and was subsequently shut down) and (2) had been significantly over-recording time/charging the claimant companies.When Robert took over the claim, it was already subject to legal proceedings and hence he had to (and did) get up to speed very quickly in order to prosecute the claims promptly and put pressure on the defendants and thereby not prejudice the claimants' position. Robert also had to deal with an application by the defendant for security for costs which he did by obtaining a deed of indemnity from the after-the-event insurer.

After about 10 months of further litigation to include dealing with disclosure and exchange of witness statements, settlement negotiations were begun and a multi-million pound settlement was agreed.However, while the precise terms of the settlement agreement were being negotiated, the Defendants' professional indemnity insurers (Alpha Insurance, a Danish company) went into liquidation. This required Robert and his team to pursue the liquidator of Alpha and the FCA for recovery of the settlement monies from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which Robert did but with significant difficulty and requiring two separate payments.Robert acted throughout on a damages-based agreement which meant that the claimants did not pay any legal fees (to include those of Counsel) other than disbursements and which Robert was able to keep to a minimum until settlement had been achieved and settlement monies recovered. At that stage, the legal fees were deducted from the settlement monies and the claimants received the balance.

After the settlement the CEO of the claimants said:

"We instructed Robert Johnson, a Partner at Healys LLP, in a substantial professional negligence case against a firm of City solicitors. From the early stages of our working relationship, we realised that Robert is a very talented lawyer. He has an excellent sense of the "big picture", which means that he has a firm grasp of the strategic and tactical issues. His views, whether articulated verbally or in writing, are expressed fluently and cogently. Unlike many legal practitioners, he always reacts to queries in a timely fashion. From the beginning, he showed a firm commitment to our case. And Robert has three decades of experience as a top-flight litigator, which is very useful when trying to work out the opposition's next move. These qualities resulted in a relatively swift resolution of our claim in a significant out-of-court settlement. For complex reasons, we have not yet received all of the monies and are continuing to work with Robert and his team in order to obtain the residual sums. We have no hesitation in recommending Robert Johnson to prospective clients".In his recent interview with Latest TV, Robert discusses what one needs to know when considering a professional negligence claim. Watch the full interview here: Healys Professional Negligence Services Healys Professional Negligence legal team have acted against most professionals, which includes solicitors, barristers, architects, surveyors, financial advisors and accountants.Healys Professional Negligence solicitors have an outstanding reputation for gaining the best possible outcomes in professional negligence cases. For more information or advice, please contact:

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