Jamie is recognised by Chambers & Partners 2016 for his ‘formidable professional negligence practice’, described as“extremely able, and provides a very incisive analysis of difficult problems.” “Has an excellent grasp of issues and is not afraid to fight cases. Very easy to get on with and extremely proactive.”
“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:
- Tax planning/offshore trust claims where the trust does not have the envisaged tax sheltering effect.
- IHT planning claims.
- Company takeover/share-swap schemes.
- Allegations of incorrect treatment of negative goodwill.
- Financial advice given by a firm of accountants (Goldberg v. Miltiadous & Ors  EWHC 450).
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.
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:
- He was junior counsel in a £20 million dispute against project managers and computer consultants jointly advising on the construction of an automated distribution warehouse (Universal Music v. E.C. Harris).
- He has acted for and against architects in design and build contracts (London Borough of Dagenham v. Terrapin, UIPL v. McAlpine (£40m claim in respect of commercial premises design and build contract)).
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:
- The involvement of pension advisers in the equalisation of company pension scheme and as to the definition of pensionable salary in an employer’s scheme.
- Whether direct-offer advertisements for SCARP products contravened FIMBRA/FSMA guidelines.
- Claims relating to trading of FOREX derivatives and credit default swap derivatives.
- FSMA client classification issues.
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:
- Advising an online gaming company on the broker’s role in the procurement of specialist ‘prize’ indemnity insurance (€40m claim).
- Representing an IFA following incorrect notification of pensions mis-selling claims (in the light of Rothschild v. Goodyear).
- Acting for a Jersey company as to the broking of a commercial insurance policy for a café: Café le Lecq v. Rossborough Insurance Brokers  JCRO 53.
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:
- Moy v. Pettman Smith  UKHL 7;  1 WLR 581 (HL): House of Lords’ interpretation of the scope of the barrister’s duty to advise.
- The TAG Litigation  EWHC 839 (Comm): high-profile case examining solicitors’ responsibility toward ATE insurers in the wake of the collapse of ‘The Accident Group’ claims management scheme.
- Football League v. edge ellison  EWHC 1462 (Ch);  PNLR 2: £150m claim brought by The Football League arising out of ONdigital’s purchase of TV licensing rights.
- Marplace v. Chaffe Street  EWHC 1919 (Ch): £80m claim brought by potential purchaser of subsidiary of Coats Viyella plc – purchase thwarted by inability to perform ‘whitewashing’ of financial assistance provided by subsidiary to purchaser.
- Tamlura NV v. Cameron McKenna  EWHC 538 (Ch);  Lloyd’s Rep PN 71: £5m claim relating to a share sale agreement.
- Cherney v. Neuman & Ors  EWHC 1743 (Ch): £multi-million claim involving property purchases in London by a Russian Oligarch.
- Pritchard Joyce & Hinds v. Batcup  EWHC 20 (QB);  PNLR 18 and  EWCA Civ 369;  PNLR 28 (CA): contribution claim between solicitors and barristers.
Jamie has also been advising of late on various issues relating to lenders’ claims against solicitors. These include:
- Whether contributory negligence can be raised as a defence to claims for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust.
- Syndication of a loan book.
- Merrett v. Babb issues where the solicitors’ indemnity insurers have withdrawn cover.
- Claims upon the Solicitors’ Compensation Fund.
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:
- Lenders’ claims arising out of syndicated lending and portfolio valuations.
- Claims resulting from inaccurate commercial valuations/yield calculations (to include valuations of hotels).
- Structural surveying cases (residential and commercial), e.g., failures to detect visible defects, to follow the ‘train of enquiry’ and to indicate the need for further expert investigation.
- Contaminated land litigation (e.g., acting for a surveyor in a claim brought by an agricultural supplies manufacturer who purchased a former petrol station).