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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: “he is very good at carrying vulnerable clients through a difficult process”, “a wonderful advocate”, “"extremely bright and very personable - a formidable opponent” [Chambers; 2016]. 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.” [Chambers; 2014] “very charismatic and good with clients; he is able and approachable in equal measure” [Chambers; 2015]. “He is a brilliant lawyer with a real appreciation of the ‘human’ side of cases”, “a superb advocate, who always manages to engage the court and present arguments in a compelling fashion”, “highly persuasive” and “can make complicated arguments understandable” [Legal 500; 2016]. “He has a fantastic manner and outstanding judgement”, “Inspires great confidence and tackles problem with the minimum of stress” [Legal 500; 2015].

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 very high-value valuers’ claims arising out of securitised loans made in the mid-2000s.

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, specialising in A1P1 cases and in particular the funding of political parties. He appeared for the successful appellant in the Supreme Court in UKIP v Electoral Commission, and is currently retained in the claims against DECC arising out of retrospective changes to the feed-in tariff scheme.

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


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