“She is user-friendly and her advice is always very clear and concise.” “She is extremely hard-working, very bright and has an exceptional mastery of the detail of complex matters. She provides invaluable input.” – Chambers & Partners, 2016
‘Extremely hardworking’ – Legal 500, 2016
‘A good team player who is insightful and responsive.’ – Legal 500, 2015
Ranked as a Leading Junior in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, Lucy is praised for being “good at the detail, very positive and has good knowledge of the law.”, “she works hard under difficult circumstances and is very approachable and normal.”
Lucy has swiftly built her experience acting for claimants and defendants in claims against solicitors, including claims arising from commercial and property transactions, lost or mishandled litigation, and claims which involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and dishonesty. She has a particular interest in the latter, especially in claims where fraud may be alleged.
She also has particularly strong experience acting in claims against valuers, both for claimant and defendant, and enjoys the challenges presented in such matters by sometimes complex valuations (and equally complex expert evidence).
She also acts for and against a range of other professionals, including surveyors and valuers, architects, financial services professionals, and insurance brokers and agents. She particularly enjoys cases set in a commercial context or with an international or cross-jurisdictional angle, or which raise issues of foreign law.
Lucy is equally comfortable working individually or as part of a counsel team, has been frequently led by senior members of Chambers, and enjoys the challenge of urgent and interim applications.
A flavour of Lucy’s past and current work and experience in relation to lawyers’ negligence is provided by the following:
- Acting on behalf of a company in liquidation in its claim against its former solicitors, for mishandled litigation in the context of alleged conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty. This complex matter ended in a 7 day trial in the Chancery Division in respect of the enforceability of a contingency fee agreement. Judgment is awaited. (Led by Justin Fenwick QC).
- She is instructed in a claim against a firm of solicitors (and land agents) in respect of the sale of development land under an allegedly defective agreement. Led by Justin Fenwick QC. This matter also gave rise to issues in respect of a party’s entitlement to change expert, in which Lucy assisted (Adams & Others v Allen & Overy & others (2013) Foskett J).
- Acting for defendant English solicitors in a claim brought by a firm of Brazilian lawyers, arising out of advice given in relation to a D&O policy of insurance. (Led by Sue Carr QC).
- Acting on behalf of Pannone in a claim for damages in excess of £40 million brought against it by the administrators of a company, arising out of the fraudulent activities of its director. The case raised issues of illegality and the duties of solicitors acting for companies committing fraud on third parties. (Led by Patrick Lawrence QC and Anneliese Day).
- Acting for well-known defendant solicitors in a multi-million pound claim relating to the alleged negligent drafting of a Share Purchase Agreement and mishandling of subsequent litigation against the vendors for breach of warranty. This claim involved allegations of breach of fiduciary duty. (Led by Patrick Lawrence QC and Rick Liddell).
- Advising multiple firms of solicitors and their insurers in relation to multiple claims by lenders in relation to conveyancing transactions, some relating to property company The Step. (Led by Justin Fenwick QC and Graham Chapman).
- In relation to these and similar claims, Lucy has carried out drafting work and has also appeared alone on urgent applications dealing with the question of when solicitors are entitled to provide ex-clients’ files to third party lenders.
- Advising and acting for various firms of solicitors, again in relation to professional negligence actions arising out of conveyancing. Some of this litigation related to large-scale buy-to-let schemes and a background of suspected mortgage fraud, in circumstances where the main claim was effectively a contribution claim by valuers against a firm of solicitors. Led by Patrick Lawrence QC, she is presently also defending a firm of solicitors from allegations made by borrowers, which raise issues of illegality and the knowledge by borrowers of the nature of the transactions in which they became involved.
- Acting in various claims against solicitors involving issues of the nature and scope of solicitors’ duties to testators, estates and/or beneficiaries. She also has experience of the issues which arise in the context of insolvency administration orders and bankruptcy more generally.
- Recently instructed by defendant solicitors in various cases concerning issues of finality of litigation, where claimants have sought to revive “dead” claims against firms.
- Extensive experience acting in mortgage-related and trust-related disputes. Lucy particularly enjoys disentangling the complicated issues which arise in this area of work.
Surveyors & Valuers
Lucy has excellent experience of acting in claims against valuers, both for claimants and defendants. In respect of claimant-work:
- With Sue Carr QC and Graham Chapman, she acted for the successful trustee and investment company in a multi-million pound claim against defendant surveyors in litigation concerning the acquisition of a factory outlet shopping centre by a Unit Trust: (1) Capita Alternative Fund Services (Guernsey) Ltd (2) Matrix Securities Ltd v Drivers Jonas  EWHC 2336 and  EWCA Civ 1417.
- She is presently advising a bank in respect of its claim against a firm of valuers for the alleged overvaluation of commercial property in Birmingham.
Lucy also has extensive experience of acting on behalf of defendant valuers. In particular:
- She is instructed (led by Patrick Lawrence QC) in respect of claims by a bank against valuers regarding the valuation of a portfolio of properties across the UK. This matter raises further interesting questions in respect of the determination and application of a bracket / “margin of error” in valuation cases.
- She is currently acting (led by Jamie Smith) in respect of a claim arising out of the alleged over valuation of managed office space.
Financial Services Professionals
- Acting for financial consultants in a claim against them arising out of advice given in relation to appropriate life and critical illness cover, and in a claim arising out of advice given in relation to endowment mortgages, and for another firm of financial consultants in respect of a claim arising out of advice relating to the transfer of pensions and SIPP investments, including investment in a property Unit Trust.
- Assisting a senior member of Chambers in relation to a very high value auditor’s negligence case, involving issues of Hong Kong law.
Ophthalmologists & Optometrists
Lucy is also instructed directly by the Association of Optometrists, defending negligence claims against ophthalmologists optometrists, including those arising out of the eventual diagnosis of rare eye diseases, as well as more common ocular diseases and conditions including retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. She enjoys the opportunity of engaging with complex expert evidence at a very early stage presented by these cases. She has a very serious interest in professional liability claims with a healthcare angle, whether the claims are directly against health professionals or not.
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Acting for a claimant in relation to a potential claim against the expatriate tax team of a well-known firm of accountants, in respect of their handling of her US and UK tax affairs.
Insurance Brokers & Agents
Acting for insurance brokers, seeking unless orders against various claimant assureds bringing fire damage claims.