Jamie Smith QC


M.A. (Cantab.)

Tel: +44 20 7822 2079
Email: j.smith@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: d.peck@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 1995
Year of Silk: 2015


During his time in Chambers, Jamie has built up a practice embracing professional liability work, insurance matters and commercial dispute resolution. In all that he does, Jamie brings a meticulous eye for detail and a complete commitment to the cause. He prides himself of being “a good team player” and, whilst mindful of the need to see matters from a commercial perspective, he is not afraid to take decisive action and to stick to his guns.

He is ranked in the directories for his insurance and professional liability work. Recognised by the Legal 500 (2015) as a leading New Silk in professional negligence, Jamie is described as “an exceptional talent”. Before he took silk, Jamie was also in the ‘Star’ category for professional negligence in Chambers & Partners. He is described as “highly analytical and able to see through complicated legal issues and distil them down to the essential points”.

Jamie regularly appears in the appellate courts and is equally at home in arbitration. Examples of his recent work include the ground-breaking Supreme Court decision on liability insurance in IEGL v. Zurich and a trilogy of Court of Appeal cases in the professional liability field: Schumann v. Veale Wasbrough (barristers), BPC Hotels (solicitors) and MASNOL (recovery of swap costs in lender claims).

He is a committee member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and a member of the Chancery Bar Association, the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association, the Commercial Bar Association and the British Insurance Law Association.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Jamie’s commercial dispute resolution experience includes freezing and proprietary injunctions (see, for example, Cherney v. Neuman [2009] EWHC 1743), pre-action disclosure applications and foreign jurisdiction issues. He also appears in arbitrations.

In particular, Jamie has:

A sizeable element of Jamie’s work is in the Commercial Court. His current workload includes a claim against a major City investment bank in respect of credit derivative swap transactions and a £40m claim against an aerospace company for an alleged failure adequately to insure MOD stock and equipment.

Jamie recently successfully defended MF Global against allegations of negligent advice in respect of derivatives transactions – Wilson v. MF Global [2011] EWHC 138.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Jamie’s first exposure to insurance issues arose as part of his professional liability work. Insurance has since grown to become a key area of Jamie’s practice and one in which he is both deeply interested and deeply committed: in Court, in arbitration, as an arbitrator and in delivering talks and seminars. Jamie is now seen as an experienced practitioner in this field and was Counsel in the ground-breaking Supreme Court case of IEGL v. Zurich case, exploring coverage issues in the EL field.

On the professional indemnity side, Jamie has very extensive experience of market policies. He has a particular specialism in the Minimum Terms and Conditions (MTCs), as applying to primary layer solicitors’ policies. He is regularly appointed to arbitrate issues arising under the MTCs.

The wide incidence of mortgage fraud has led market insurers to pay close attention to aggregation and dishonesty clauses in their policies and Jamie has repeatedly been engaged to advise on these matters. This includes:

Away from the professional indemnity insurance arena, Jamie advises on a very wide range of topics, from warranties in domestic household policies to exotic ‘prize’ insurance in the on-line gaming industry. As to the latter, Jamie acted for MyLotto24 in its €24m dispute with Great Lakes following a jackpot win by one of its customers.

Jamie also has extensive D&O experience. He recently advised on notification issues in respect of a captive D&O reinsurance programme and he has been involved in coverage disputes following the Meinl Bank litigation, and the Topland affair. Jamie’s disciplinary work has also led to coverage disputes, particularly on the scope of cover side in FCA investigations.

Examples of Jamie’s practice include:

Professional Liability

"An exceptional talent" - Legal 500, 2015 Professional Negligence

Jamie was only 4 years call when he was first recognised in the Directories for his professional liability work and since 2008 he has been in the top category in Chambers & Partners for professional negligence juniors. He has for the last 3 years been nominated as professional negligence junior of the year.

The Directories describe Jamie as “totally unflappable and brilliant on his feet”, “devastatingly intelligent” and as having “a phenomenal work rate, and the rare skill of being able to pinpoint the heart of a case very quickly”. Jamie prides himself on his total commitment to his clients’ cause and on his meticulousness.

Jamie’s interest in this field is not just confined to the cases he conducts and defends. He is a voracious reader on the topic, gives talks whenever he has time and is a committee member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Jamie acts both for and against accountants, auditors and actuaries. He is highly numerate – claiming to have studied both Pure and Applied Mathematics at ‘A’ Level!

On the accounting side, he has particular experience in film finance and other tax deferment scheme cases - dating right back to the Bedford Row Film Finance litigation in 2006 onwards. In that regard, Jamie has seen the range of schemes: from sale and leaseback to UK GAAP structures.

Other examples of his work on the accountancy side include:

On the audit side, Jamie represented the Learning and Skills Council in a £40m claim against Deloitte & Touche for alleged negligent auditing of a further education institution (with John Powell QC and Ben Hubble QC). He is currently engaged in a FRC disciplinary matter for a ‘Big Four’ firm arising out of the failure of an AIM company.

Jamie also has substantial experience of disclosure issues arising from documents and working papers held by accountancy and audit practices, e.g., under section 235 of the Insolvency Act.

Jamie’s work in actuary cases has focused principally upon pension scheme cases, e.g., mistakes arising out of Barber equalisation and the indexing of uplift to pensions in payment.

Construction Professionals

Jamie has a particular interest in cases involving complex scientific issues. He regularly acts for and against structural engineers in relation to domestic and commercial underpinning and ground stabilisation schemes. He has often been retained by the Royal & Sun Alliance (now RSA) in claims against construction professionals (to include loss adjusters) arising out of failed underpinning/fire repair projects.

By way of example of Jamie’s work in this field:

Financial Services Professionals

Jamie is regularly instructed in claims involving financial services professionals. This aspect of his professional liability practice has come to the fore in recent years with the rise of litigation involving tax deferment schemes – such as The Bedford Row Litigation and The Innovator Litigation.

Examples of Jamie’s recent work include:

Jamie has just concluded his involvement in a large, multi-party dispute arising from a failed bank guarantee deposit scheme (where £10m of investors’ funds was lost). There were claims against several IFAs and financial intermediaries.

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Jamie’s specialism in claims involving insurance brokers and agents complements his insurance practice (in respect of which he is recommended as a Leading Silk in Chambers & Partners).

Often, Jamie acts in multiparty disputes where both insurers and insurance intermediaries are defendants. He also has offshore experience and has, for example, advised in relation to Channel Islands disputes and pan-European coverage disputes.

Jamie’s work in this area includes:

Jamie has particular experience in business interruption cover claims (and, its counterpart, advance loss of profit cover) and has advised on that type of cover in the context of: (a) a fire at an award-winning Eco hotel project during the construction works period; (b) an arson attack at a supermarket; and (c) a recycling plant.

Jamie also regularly considers D&O issues on the broking side. He is currently involved in a substantial matter relating to European-wide litigation against a high-profile bank and its directors.

He is a member of BILA.


In recent years, Jamie has spent much of his time acting in various high-profile lawyers’ liability cases – both solicitors and barristers. That work has entailed court and arbitration work for both claimants and defendants/respondents and has taken him to the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. The underlying subject matter of the dispute has been very diverse: from the purchase of football rights to the purchase of London property by a Russian Oligarch.

Jamie also undertakes wasted costs work, again for both solicitors and barristers.

The following is but a selection of Jamie’s work in this field:

Jamie has also been advising of late on various issues relating to lenders’ claims against solicitors. These include:

Surveyors & Valuers

Jamie’s practice has for a long time included claims against surveyors and valuers. This is coming to prominence with the next wave of lending claims. Jamie is currently advising a number of lenders in respect of such claims, with a heavy emphasis upon actual or potential mortgage fraud. Similarly, he has been advising professional practices on the merits of various aspects of the lenders’ claims (to include syndication and contributory negligence issues).

Jamie has a full range of experience in:

Patent Agents