Siân Mirchandani

Education

M.A. Vet M.B. (Cantab.) Dip. Law (City)




Tel: +44 20 7822 2036
Email: s.mirchandani@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: a.dolby@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 1997

Profile

Since joining in 1998 following pupillage in Chambers and an earlier career as a veterinary surgeon, Siân has established a thriving practice in professional liability claims, insurance and construction/engineering. Siân has a particular interest in disputes involving technical and scientific elements and this has led to a strong construction and engineering practice with regular appearances in the TCC.

Listed by Legal 500 in the Leading Juniors - Professional Negligence section: "Siân Mirchandani provides sensible, commercial and practical advice"; '"Her strong understanding of the key issues in a case ensure that solicitors feel confident that 'every angle is covered.'"

Impressed solicitors say that “rising star for construction and solicitors claims” Siân is “one to watch", and that Siân is “a joy to work with - very bright”.

Siân has wide and considerable experience of professional liability claims, including claims against lawyers (solicitors and barristers), architects, engineers, insurance brokers and agents, surveyors and valuers, accountants, financial services professionals, land management agents, farm management agents, estate agents, clinicians and veterinary surgeons. Siân is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator.

She also has experience of professional disciplinary matters, arbitrations, adjudications and mediations. Having qualified from Cambridge University as a veterinary surgeon in 1992, Siân worked in academic and general practice as a veterinary surgeon before coming to the Bar and joining Chambers in 1998. Siân has since advised the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, (RCVS) and represented veterinary surgeons before the RCVS disciplinary panel. Siân now provides lectures on professional conduct and professional negligence to veterinary students which are accredited by the RCVS.

Siân has been editor and co-author of the chapter on claims against health professionals in the 5th and 6th Editions of Jackson & Powell on Professional Negligence.

Siân is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, COMBAR, TECBAR, the Chancery Bar Association and the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association.

 


Professional Liability

Siân has considerable experience of claims involving professionals of all types. The Directories speak of Siân as a “rising star for construction and solicitors claims”; “one to watch”, and her profile is described as continuing “to skyrocket”.

With a professional and scientific background, Siân relishes cases which involve scientific aspects or technical issues, and this has led to a strong practice in the Technology & Construction Court. Her practical, ‘hands on’ approach has led to instructions from civil engineering and other building contractors and sub-contractors, and this ‘pure construction’ work complements her continuing construction professionals’ practice.

Siân has particularly developed a practice involving claims arising from design and construction of farm or agricultural buildings, where the combination of her veterinary background and her experience in construction claims as well as professional liability claims has given her clients a considerable advantage.

In recent years Siân has been involved in defending high value claims against major firms of valuers in cases involving commercial properties packaged as ‘tax efficient’ investments in Denmark and the UK. These cases involved valuations using yields and estimates of rental income for hotels (K/S Lincoln et al v CBRE Richard Ellis) and factory outlet centres (Capita Alternative Fund Services & Matrix Securities v Drivers Jonas), where value was added due to the tax savings to be obtained.

Apart from the main fields of professional liability, Siân has also been involved with claims concerning agricultural land agents' negligence and estate agent’s negligence.

Siân particularly enjoys cases in all areas of her practice which involve working alongside solicitors, and other professionals, as part of an interchangeable team, dealing with vast amounts of documentation, or claims involving large numbers of sub-claims.

Siân has experience of using electronic databases and e-documents, rather than conventional paper documents, and has been involved in an e-disclosure exercise in a major construction claim arising from a housing estate.

Lawyers

Siân has acted in a variety of lawyers’ negligence claims, (acting for and against both solicitors and barristers). Siân acted on behalf of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund and the defendant solicitors in the "Immunity Appeals" in Arthur J.S. Hall v. Simons [2002] 1 AC 615). This case involved five appeals to the Court of Appeal and then the House of Lords, and centred on the question of whether an advocate should be liable in negligence for work carried out in court (or ‘at the door of the court’). The decision from a seven man House of Lords led to the abrogation of barristers' immunity from suit, which was a victory for the solicitors, who could then seek contribution from the barristers they had instructed. Another issue considered, which is of particular relevance in lost litigation claims against lawyers, was the question of when an attack on a previous court’s decision was an impermissible ‘collateral attack’.

Examples of her wide experience in this area include:

Sian’s recent cases in this area include:

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Sian has acted for and against accountants including:

Sian was also involved in major litigation arising from tax deferral and avoidance schemes involving film finance (Chase Manhattan Bank v HIH Insurance). The various pieces of this litigation, which centred on particular ‘film slates’ came to involve teams from many of London’s largest firms of solicitors, and included an enormous disclosure exercise.  

Financial Services Professionals

Sian has experience of claims against independent financial advisers, including:

Sian’s recent experience includes acting on a claim concerning alleged misadvice on a tax avoidance scheme involving film finance.

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Sian has acted for a number of the prominent insurance broking practices. She has also represented clients against their former insurance brokers in claims concerning selling unsuitable products, failing to advise of necessary products, failure by broker and/or client to give material disclosure to insurer; claims concerning a chain of brokers: introducing, producing, placing brokers, and their respective liabilities to insured and insurer. Sian is often instructed in multi-party disputes where both insurers and brokers are defendants.

Examples of Sian’s work in this area includes:

Sian’s recent experience includes:

Surveyors & Valuers

Sian is regularly instructed to act on behalf of surveyors and valuers, and has recently been defending a number of claims brought by lenders, as well as pursuing valuers when acting for lenders and solicitors in claims arising out of mortgage transactions.

Sian has a full range of experience of:

Sian was recently instructed by CB Richard Ellis in the successful defence of claims concerning hotel valuations brought by Danish property owning vehicles,: K/S Lincoln; K/S Chesterfield; K/S Wellingborough v CB Richard Ellis Hotels Ltd [2010] EWHC 1156 (TCC).

Sian recently acted for the Defendant firm of valuers, Drivers Jonas, in the claim brought by the trustee and manager of a unit trust involving a factory outlet centre constructed within an Enterprise Zone (Capita Alternative Fund Services & Matrix Securities v Drivers Jonas).

Sian is currently acting (led by Patrick Lawrence QC) in a claim involving a €200 million portfolio of commercial properties in Benelux/Germany, where the original lender has sold the loan as part of a securitisation involving an SPV issuing 'no recourse' loan notes to different classes of noteholders.

Construction Professionals

Sian has a particular interest in claims involving technical and scientific knowledge and this has led to a strong construction and engineering practice. Sian regularly appears in the TCC. Sian has also acted for and against construction professionals in a wide range of construction disputes including arbitrations and adjudications.

Examples of Sian’s work in this area include:

Veterinary Surgeons

Experience of acting on claims against veterinary surgeons, and in defending such claims; in disciplinary matters. Particular experience of claims concerning milk production and milk losses.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Sian undertakes a wide range of commercial work, including general and international commercial litigation, personal and corporate insolvency, commercial contractual claims. Sian has experience of pursuing freezing injunctions and pre-action disclosure applications.

Examples of Sian’s work in this area include:


Construction & Engineering

Siân has wide experience of advising and acting for employers, contractors and sub-contractors in disputes brought in the London and regional Technology and Construction Courts, including:

Recent cases include:


Insurance & Reinsurance

Sian has wide ranging experience of advising and acting for both insurer and insured on claims concerning policy construction and coverage issues. As part of her insurance brokers’ negligence practice Sian is often instructed in claims where the insurer is the co-defendant, following avoidance of a policy.

Sian’s experience of claims in this area includes:

Recent cases include


Chancery

Experience of a variety of chancery matters including:


Disciplinary

Siân has a growing practice in defending professionals before professional disciplinary bodies. Siân is a former member of the Disciplinary Panel for the Council of the Inns of Court which is concerned with barristers’ conduct and service issues.

Her past work in this area includes:

Sian provides the annual lectures on professional conduct and negligence for the students of Bristol University Veterinary School, which are accredited by the RCVS. Sian was also part of a working party advising the RCVS and drafted the RCVS' current guidance on the roles of expert witnesses.


Property Damage

Siân has considerable experience of commercial claims, particularly claims involving fires and destruction of commercial and residential property (and contents). Alongside her insurance and reinsurance practice, Siân is regularly instructed in insurers’ subrogated claims following fires.

Current and recent cases include: