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Patrick Lawrence QC

Call: 1985 QC: 2002

Chambers & Partners Professional Negligence QC of the year in 2011, Patrick has appeared in a number of leading cases at appellate level. He defended expert witness immunity in the Supreme Court in Jones v Kaney. If you believe the Directories:  A superlative silk, who ‘retains a sense of humour even in the heat of the battle’ He is a particularly good bet if you have a novel legal problem since he has exceptionally good powers of analysis and comes up with ‘creative ideas on how to approach difficult cases’.” [Chambers; 2012] “a Rolls-Royce silk ... able and approachable in equal measure, one of the most in demand professional indemnity barristers ... first port of call, particularly when it comes to large surveyors’ and valuers’ claims ...  a towering courtroom presence .. superb in complex heavyweight cases, known for razor-sharp mind and ability to take a witness apart.

Many of his recent professional negligence cases have been in the commercial and company law sectors. This work fits well with his expertise in auditors' negligence and his involvement in claims against investment/pensions advisers, tax advisers, and other financial services professionals. He is numerate (as barristers go). He is retained in cases where effective cross-examination is considered critical. Many of his cases involve allegations of fraud or other impropriety in the commercial world, and he is prepared to read closely large amounts of material in order to find out what really went on, and then – if necessary – to go to court to prove it. Currently retained in a number of valuers’ claims arising out of 8-figure commercial loans made in the mid-2000s, including the Titan case which raises novel issues as to title to sue in securitisations and which goes to trial in summer 2014.

There is an obvious connection between his professional liability work and disciplinary proceedings involving professionals, and he has acted for complainants and respondents in relation to conduct issues concerning solicitors, barristers, accountants and surveyors. He has conducted a number of substantial hearings involving allegations of misconduct against auditors on behalf of the JDS, the AADB and now the FRC, the bodies responsible for investigating complaints against auditors in cases raising issues of public interest.

He is frequently retained to advise on coverage issues, particularly in the field of professional indemnity insurance.

He studies chance and probability, not only in the legal context, and has readily adapted to the brave new world in which lawyers are required to gamble on the success of their own cases. He has recently advised in a number of cases raising issues as to the effectiveness of ATE policies following the failure of claims run on CFA/ATEs.

Patrick operates also in the field of public law, particularly in cases impinging on politics and party funding. In 2010 he appeared for the successful appellant in the Supreme Court in UKIP v Electoral Commission.

He is a co-author of the chapter on solicitors’ negligence in the Lloyds looseleaf on Professional Negligence.

Education

Christ Church, Oxford, 1st class degree in P.P.E