Nicola’s professional liability is centred on claims involving lawyers liability and construction-related professional liability where she has a wealth of experience. She also has considerable experience of the related fields of surveyors and valuers liability, most recently in the context of lender litigation and claims concerning accountants and auditors, financial advisers and insurance brokers. Whilst the balance of her practice is slanted towards defendants, she also acts regularly for claimants and finds the insights gained from the differing perspectives useful.
Nicola has extensive experience of claims against construction professionals, including architects, engineers, project managers, building surveyors, quantity surveyors and party wall surveyors. Her experience covers all the main professional services relating to building projects including procurement, design, certification, supervision and contract administration. She appears regularly in the TCC in London and regionally and has experience of arbitrations and adjudications. She is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator.
She has been instructed on claims ranging from high value claims arising from commercial developments and PFI projects to claims arising from work carried out on residential properties by structural engineers and architects. She appeared successfully on behalf of the claimants in Payne v Setchell  BLR 489; (2001) 3 TCLR 26; PNLR 7 (TCC) one of the leading cases on duties of care owed by engineers to subsequent purchasers and the extent of concurrent duties of care on builders and construction professionals.
Recent experience includes:
- Acting for party wall surveyor in defence of claim by neighbouring property owner in multi-million pound central London residential development
- Acting for employer in claim against contractors and architect arising from high-value residential development;
- Acting for sub-contractor manufacturer and installer of oak frames for timber-framed building in multi-party claim arising from defects to residential property;
- Acting for owners of leisure centre in claim against geotechnical engineers alleging negligent site investigation;
- Acting for employer in claim against architect arising from negligent design and supervision of extension to hotel and conference centre;
- Acting for design and build contractors in claim against engineers in multi-party action arising from negligent design of leisure centre;
- Acting for engineers in multi-million pound claim alleging negligent design of flood defences for housing development;
- Advising owners of properties on housing development in dispute with contractors, engineers and the NHBC over defective foul drainage;
- Acting for architects in claim involving negligent advice on planning issues;
- Acting for housing association in claim against design and build contractors for negligent design of roof to residential development;
- Acting on behalf of employer in claim against architect for negligent supervision and certification;
- Acting for demolition contractors in defence of claim arising from demolition of theatre and collapse of neighbouring property;
- Acting for structural engineers in defence of claim arising from design and supervision of replacement windows on local authority estate;
- Successfully defending structural engineer in claim for negligent report on stability of terraced residential property;
- Acting for architect in defence of claim for negligent design and supervision of a hydrotherapy pool;
- Acting on behalf of employer in claim against architect for negligent supervision and certification.
Claims involving lawyers liability form a significant part of Nicola’s practice. She has extensive experience of the full range of claims against solicitors including:
(a) Claims arising from the mishandling of all types of litigation including allegations of undersettlement;
(b) Claims involving residential and commercial conveyancing;
(c) Lender claims often arising from mortgage fraud, and involving breach of retainer, breach of trust and breach of undertaking;
(d) Claims concerning asset and share sale agreements, partnership disputes, personal and corporate insolvency, probate and the drafting of documents including leases, wills and contracts of employment;
(e) Wasted costs applications
She is regularly instructed to act in property- related claims against solicitors arising in the recent wave of lender litigation.
In the area of lost and mishandled litigation, Nicola has substantial experience of a wide variety of underlying claims including in particular personal injury and clinical negligence actions, construction disputes and employment law. She is frequently instructed to act in cases where the underlying issues are construction-related which dovetails neatly with her construction practice.
Her early experience of employment litigation gives her a particular expertise in handling cases involving employment law including issues of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, sex discrimination/harassment, compliance with TUPE obligations, and the drafting of contracts of employment, including restrictive covenants. She is regularly instructed by many of the major trade unions including the RMT, the GMB, the PCS, the Royal College of Midwives and the NASUWT to deal with a variety of claims involving professional liability issues.
Recent and current cases include:
- Acting for solicitors in defence of a number of group actions by members of Unite and contribution claim from Unite arising from equal pay litigation;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claim arising from omission of commercial lease liabilities from CVA
- Acting for solicitors in multi-party mortgage fraud claim raising issues of breach of trust and breach of undertaking;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of several lender claims arising from sale and leaseback transactions;
- Acting for solicitors in Concord Street litigation alleging negligence in relation to the obtaining of NHBC certification on purchase of newbuild flats;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of £3m claim arising from the drafting of lease agreements for commercial development. The claim settled on favourable terms shortly before trial;
- Acting for claimants in claim against solicitors arising from misappropriated purchase funds;
- Acting for purchasers of development property in Spain in claim against UK solicitors;
- Advising solicitors on wasted costs application in relation to conduct of employment tribunal proceedings;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claims arising from advice on forfeiture of leases;
- Advising public authority on claim against solicitors arising from alleged negligence in drafting of redundancy agreements;
- Advising the DWP in claim against solicitors arising from advice on procurement;
- Acting for the London Eye with Nicholas Davidson QC in multi-million pound claim for compensation for negligent failure to register an option for renewal of the lease of part of the land on the South Bank;
- Acting for beneficiary of will in claim against solicitors arising from negligent advice concerning assignments of beneficial interests;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claim concerning handling of high-value sex discrimination claim by City banker;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claim alleging failure to check NHBC certification on purchase of newbuild property;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claim by property owner for negligent mishandling of TCC litigation;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of claim for negligent advice on bonus provisions in director’s service agreement;
- Acting for solicitors in numerous substantial loss of litigation personal injury actions;
- Acting for solicitors in defence of lost litigation claim for wrongful trading by liquidator against directors;
- Acting for employment consultants in defence of claim arising from advice given to local authority on redundancy consultation procedures;
- Acting for shareholders in claim against solicitors arising from advice on share sale agreement;
- Acting for solicitors in claim involving conflict of interest between family members in context of the drafting of wills;
- Acting as part of a team on behalf of major lender on claims against solicitors arising from buy-to-let mortgages and failure to disclose sub-sales and discounts.
Surveyors & Valuers
Nicola has considerable experience in this type of claim involving commercial and residential property, most recently in the context of the current wave of lender litigation. She acts for both claimants (including lenders and residential property owners) and defendant surveyors and valuers.
Recent and current cases include:
- Acting for valuers in defence of £6m claim concerning allegedly negligent valuations of several commercial rental properties in North London;
- Acting for valuers in defence of £1m claim by bank arising from valuation of high-value residential development property;
- Acting for valuers in defence of claim by lender arising from valuation of new-build apartments;
- Acting for valuers in defence of claim arising from valuation of shopping centre;
- Acting for valuers in defence of claim arising from valuation of high-value residential property;
- Acting for valuers in defence of claim arising from valuation of a number of shared home ownership properties.
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Nicola acts both for and against accountants and auditors in claims arising from the auditing of accounts, the provision of tax advice, the structuring of transactions and the sale of companies.
Her experience includes:
- Acting for accountants in defence of claim by former clients alleging fraud
- Acting for accountants in claim involving alleged failure to report on defalcations by company directors when conducting audit;
- Acting for shareholders in claim against accountant for negligent tax advice relating to a share sale agreement;
- Acting for accountants in claim arising from advice given as to the effect of share sale agreement;
- Acting for claimants in claim against chartered accountant arising from advice given on setting up of offshore trust (Richards (t/a Colin Richards & Co) v Hughes  EWCA Civ 266)(CA);PNLR 35).
Financial Services Professionals
Nicola regularly acts and advises in claims involving financial services professionals arising from advice on pensions, mortgages and other investments.
Her experience includes:
- Representing the claimants in a claim against a chartered accountant giving financial advice on setting up of offshore trust (Richards (t/a Colin Richards & Co) v Hughes  EWCA Civ 266)(CA);PNLR 35);
- Acting for the directors of a family company pension scheme in a claim for negligent advice against financial advisers; alleging negligent advice;
- Acting for individuals in claims arising from negligent advice on transfer out of final salary pension scheme;
- Advising claimaint in relation to claim against financial adviser for negligent investment advice;
- Acting for trade union in defence of claim by family of deceased member alleging negligent advice in relation to death benefits;
- Acting for IFA in claim against former employers seeking losses for negligent reference;
- Acting on behalf of several claimants in mortgage misselling claims.
Insurance Brokers & Agents
Nicola acts for both claimants and defendants. Recent cases include defending a broker against claims arising from failure to effect cover for employers liability and advising as to a broker’s liability for failure to advise on run-off cover.