Miles Harris

Education

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




Tel: +44 20 7822 2040
Email: m.harris@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: d.peck@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 2003

Profile

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Logo/4/249/10376/266254/large

Miles is a specialist in professional liability, insurance and commercial litigation.

He has been described by Chambers as “an absolute gem” who is “fabulous with clients and incredibly on top of the detail” (2014) and an outstanding barrister whose personal skills are superb. He has a great ability to make you feel comfortable…” (2015).

The Legal 500 has described him as “a star of the future” and as having “Great commercial awareness, as well as technical ability which sets him apart.” 

He strives to provide his clients with effective advocacy and advisory services that combine diligence, efficiency, knowledge of the law, approachability and commercial sense.

As well as appearing frequently in the High and County Courts in his own right, he has been led in multimillion pound and multi-party disputes in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. He has also been published and lectured widely, especially in matters related to the civil liability of lawyers.

Miles is a formally accredited mediator and is one of the mediators chambers can offer. He also has experience of arbitrating insurance disputes.

He converted to the law after a brief period as a history teacher. He received the David Karmel and William Shaw Awards from Gray’s Inn during his academic and vocational transition before completing pupillage at 4 New Square.

Miles is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, the British Insurance Law Association, COMBAR and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Education

After reading Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic at Trinity College, Cambridge University Miles spent a year teaching History before converting to law at City University.

Publications and Seminars

Miles has written a number of articles on issues of importance in professional liability and insurance law and has been published in the Journal of Professional Negligence, the New Law Journal, Insurance Law Monthly and the Sweet & Maxwell Civil Procedure Rule Reports and by the Practical Law Company. He has also provided solicitors’ liability training to the claims handling unit of a leading firm of solicitors and lectured on a number of different topics including the SRA Code of Conduct and legal professional privilege. He is the author of the Practical Law Company’s practice note on the pre-contractual duty of utmost good faith.

 


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Miles advises and appears regularly in commercial disputes including cases concerning sale of goods, supply of services, mortgages, credit agreements and guarantees. He has particular experience of representing lenders and financial institutions.

Recent claims have included:


Insurance & Reinsurance

Miles is often instructed in connection with insurance disputes as advocate and arbitrator. During the early years of his practice, he completed a secondment with a city firm specialising in insurance law. Chambers 2015 comments that he is “celebrated for his knowledge of insurance-related negligence claims”.

Outside the field of professional liability insurance, he has been instructed in matters involving a wide range of risks including property, ATE insurance, business interruption, life and long-term sickness.

Recent cases include:

- Acting in connection with claim under home insurance after declinature on the basis of fraudulent exaggeration of the claim. Leading counsel instructed for opponents;

- Acting for ATE insurers declining to cover claim on basis of material non-disclosure and/or breach of warranty meeting arguments of estoppel

Miles has significant experience of professional liability insurance, especially issues arising from the Minimum Terms and Conditions for solicitors. By way of example he has

Miles has frequently been published in the Insurance Law Monthly and is the author of the Practical Law Company’s practice note on the pre-contractual duty of utmost good faith.


Professional Liability

Miles is recommended by the Chambers and Legal 500 in the field of professional negligence.

Chambers comments that he “handles defendant and claimant professional negligence cases, and is celebrated for his knowledge of insurance-related negligence claims” and that he is an “an outstanding barrister whose personal skills are superb. He has a great ability to make you feel comfortable...” (2015) and “An absolute gem” who is “fabulous with clients and incredibly on top of the detail” (2014).

The Legal 500 described Miles as having “Great commercial awareness, as well as technical ability which sets him apart.” (2015) and being “a star of the future” (2012).

He has wide experience and knowledge of the field both with and without a leader. He has represented both claimants and defendants in matters involving solicitors, barristers, licensed conveyancers, surveyors, managing agents, insurance brokers , financial advisers, tax consultants, accountants, auditors and architects.

Miles has experience of claims involving all aspects of a professional’s potential liability, including allegations of breach of duty, retainer and trust, breach of fiduciary duty, deceit, dishonest assistance, fraudulent conspiracy and breaches of relevant regulatory provisions, such as the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

He has also provided training to firms on solicitors’ and surveyors’ liability generally and written and spoken on specific issues of importance in professional liability including limitation, privilege, the assessment of quantum in lenders’ claims, the SRA Solicitors’ Code of Conduct and coverage issues. 

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Miles acts both for and against accountants and auditors. Examples of his experience in this area include acting for/advising:

Financial Services Professionals

Miles is regularly instructed in claims involving financial services professionals including allegations such as failure to recommend appropriate investments and life insurance and breaches of the conduct of business rules under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

By way of example, Miles has in recent times:

- Acted instructed as junior counsel on behalf of a tax consultancy that was one of a number of defendants to a multi million pound claim brought by film finance investors, alleging negligence and breaches of FSMA 2000;

- Acted in numerous cases for Claimants and Defendants in cases involving allegations concerning failure to recommend appropriate investments

- Acted for Defendant IFA in relation to a claim alleging failure to investigate the Claimant’s domicile for inheritance tax purposes when establishing off-shore trusts

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Miles has acted and advised in connection with in numerous claims involving insurance brokers.

Chambers comments that he “is celebrated for his knowledge of insurance-related negligence claims” (2015).

Miles work in this area has included:

Lawyers

Miles has extensive experience of claims against lawyers, from appearing as a junior in the Court of Appeal in a multi-million pound claim, to appearing in the High Court in his own right, to working in the professional liability department of a city firm of solicitors and in the claims handling section of a major professional liability insurer.

Miles also undertakes wasted costs work, again for both solicitors and barristers. He also has extensive experience of coverage issues arising from claims against solicitors and the operation of the Minimum Terms and Conditions.

The following is a selection of Miles’ work in this field:

Miles has also lectured and written in this field and both devised and provided a training programme on the law in relation to solicitors’ liability on behalf of a firm specialising in claims against solicitors.

Surveyors & Valuers

Miles has acted in numerous claims against surveyors and valuer since the start of his career. He has been increasingly involved in this field as the current wave of lending claims has emerged in the wake of the credit crunch and the recession. He has not only acted for both lenders and solicitors in connection with particular claims, but has also provided lenders with high level advice on generic issues to assist them with recovery strategy. Miles has been involved in claims raising all the major issues thrown up by lenders’ claims including contributory negligence, fraud, coverage, syndication and the applicability of the SAAMCo ‘cap’.

By way of example, Miles has:


Costs

Miles undertakes an increasing amount of costs work and has acted both on behalf of solicitors seeking costs and disgruntled clients. The costs works naturally fits with Miles’ extensive experience of solicitors’ liability and regulation.


Mediation

Miles is a strong advocate of mediation and a formally accredited mediator.   While acting for parties to a mediation, he built up considerable experience of the process from modest value disputes to very complex, multi-party, multi-million pound mediation.   

Miles is building his practice as a mediator. He is willing to accept instructions to conduct any mediation for which he has relevant specialist legal knowledge.


Property Damage

Miles is frequently instructed in connection with claims involving property damage.

He has dealt with claims arising from flood, fire, electricity outage, water penetration, subsidence and heave (including tree root damage) based on various causes of action including contract, negligence, nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher and the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Presently Miles is instructed as junior (to Graham Eklund QC) in the defence of claims put  in excess of £20m arising from the destruction of a warehouse by fire

For example, Miles has acted in connection with claims involving: