“She is tremendously bright, has a tenacious eye for detail, and brings a new level of strategic thinking to the table.” Legal 500, 2019
“She is very competent and thorough and hits the right points in the right places.” “Extremely responsive wherever she is and whatever the time zone. She has a very reassuring demeanour that instils confidence all round.” Chambers & Partners, 2019
““Siân Mirchandani QC is recognised for her superb professional negligence practice.” Who’s Who Legal, 2019
Siân has considerable experience of claims involving professionals of all types. With her 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 with instructions from a wide range of construction professionals including: architects, structural engineers, civil engineers, building surveyors, approved inspectors and project managers.
Siân has become known for adopting a commercial and problem solving approach which has led to instructions from employers, 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 a number of high value claims against major firms of valuers in cases involving commercial properties packaged as ‘tax efficient’ investments in Germany, Denmark and the UK via securitisation transactions. These cases involved valuations using yields and estimates of rental income for hotels (K/S Lincoln et al v CBRE Richard Ellis); factory outlet centres (Capita Alternative Fund Services & Matrix Securities v Drivers Jonas); a large multi-use warehouse and department store in Germany (Titan Europe 2006-3 Plc v Colliers International UK Plc); a group of commercial buildings in London (Whitetower 2006-3 Plc v Colliers International UK Plc); a group of four substantial office buildings near the Tower of London (LRC Holdings v BNP Paribas).
Siân is regularly instructed on behalf of barristers and solicitors being sued by former clients who value her thorough and quick forensic analysis, followed by clear strategies to bring the claims to an early resolution. Recently Siân has pursued successful applications to strike out secondary litigation on the grounds of collateral attack on a prior court’s decision (Ahmed v Clive D Wood; Allsop v A Barrister). Siân is currently defending the conveyancing solicitors who acted on a development of a nursing home, where clients ‘bought’ an interest in individual care suites; and is also defending the conveyancing solicitors who acted for purchasers of ‘off plan’ holiday homes in Cape Verde. Both cases involve groups of claimants bringing tens of claims.
Siân has wide ranging experience of acting on claims for and against accounting professionals for failure to advise on appropriate tax strategies. One recent case involves the accountant’s failure to advise a commercial waste business to apply for Research & Development allowances against tax.
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, e-disclosure, or claims involving large numbers of sub-claims and group actions.
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.
Siân has acted in a very wide variety of lawyers’ negligence claims, including lost litigation and other ‘loss of a chance’ and ‘package of rights’ claims (acting for and against both solicitors and barristers) including:
- Ahmad v Wood  PNLR 28 –striking out certain allegations for abusive collateral attack, which resulted in the claim value being dramatically reduced
- Right to Buy ‘case managed’ litigation – a large scale case managed litigation involving thousands of firms of solicitors. Siân acted for one of the Major Defendants, facing thousands of claims arising from their role as conveyancing solicitors acting for council tenants exercising their ‘Right to Buy’. The litigation ended in discontinuance by the Claimants at the start of trial.
- AIB Group (UK) Limited v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors  UKSC 58 – Supreme Court decision which confirmed that causation of loss must still be proved in a claim for equitable compensation for breach of trust, and the recoverable loss is confined to the loss actually caused by the breach of trust.
- Arthur J.S. Hall v. Simons  1 AC 615 – House of Lords’ decision which considered the question of when an attack on a previous court’s decision was an impermissible ‘collateral attack’. This led to the abrogation of barristers’ immunity from suit, a victory for Sian’s clients (the defendant solicitors), who following this decision are now able to pursue a contribution from the barristers they had instructed.
Sian’s wide ranging experience of lawyers’ negligence claims includes:
- Pursuing strike out of claims by former clients against barrister acting in an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim
- Pursuing strike out of claims by former clients against solicitors acting on their ancillary relief claims alongside their divorce
- Acting for the claimant Government agency against lawyers advising and conducting disciplinary matters against teachers
- Multi-claimant litigation arising out of a failed development scheme in Cape Verde (re. Sambala) – defending the conveyancing solicitors from claims by purchasers of holiday homes ‘off plan’
- Multi-claimant litigation arising out of a failed development scheme for a care home with assisted living apartments in Northamptonshire – defending the conveyancing solicitors.
- Incorrect advice on planning permission requirements
- Claims arising out of mismanagement of adjudication proceedings.
- Loss of litigation / under settlement
- Scope of solicitor’s duty to client when more than one professional advisor.
- Collateral attacks on existing judgments
- Wasted costs applications
Sian’s recent cases are profiled below.
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Accountants, auditors & actuaries
Siân has wide ranging experience of acting for and against accountants, auditors and tax advisers (particularly high net worth individuals’ tax deferral and avoidance schemes involving film finance, or other bespoke investment products).
Siân has acted for and against accountants including the following cases:
- Acting for accountants alleged to have negligently prepared accounts for a dissolving partnership
- Acting against accountants alleged to have failed to advise correctly about ‘research & development’ tax relief for a waste management company
- In a lost litigation case against accountants for negligent advice on payment of VAT for EU cross border business activities, resulting in company insolvency
- Acting against accountants who advised a ‘Lloyds name’ negligently about tax mitigation
- Acting on the disclosure exercise for the Chase Manhattan Bank v HIH Insurance The various pieces of this litigation, which centred on particular ‘film slates’ came to involve teams from
Financial Services Professionals
Sian has experience of claims against independent financial advisers, including:
- Recently acted for defendant financial advisers in a secure capital bond mis-selling claim.
- Claims involving tax avoidance schemes involving film finance
- Pension mis-selling claims.
- Investment mis-selling and client mis-classification claims
- Insurance mis-selling claims.
- Acting on an appointed representatives’ claim brought under the Commercial Agents(Council Directive) Regulations 1993 against the represented insurers.
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.
Sian’s experience in this area includes the following cases.
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:
- Claims brought by lenders
- Claims concerning overvaluation of properties including farms and commercial valuations based on rental income and yield.
- Structural survey claims, e.g. failure to detect defects; failure to detect and advise on additional parts; failure to advise of need for additional specialist surveys; failure to advise property based on red shale foundations; property development overvaluations.
- Claims involving new build properties involving NHBC and other ‘structural’ guarantee policies of insurance
Sian has been instructed in a large number of high value claims against valuers, and is familiar with the valuation methodologies in commercial property valuation for investment purposes and lending practices involved in securitisation transactions and portfolio lending. Sian was instructed in high value claim brought by a securitisation vehicle ‘SPV’ concerning the valuation of a commercial property in Germany and has recently been instructed in another high value claim concerning the valuation of a portfolio of London commercial properties valued at c. £1.5b.
She is a leading junior for this area of work having been instructed in the main cases which are now cited in this area that are outlined below.
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 are outlined below.
Experience of acting on claims against veterinary surgeons, and in defending such claims and in disciplinary matters. Particular experience of claims concerning food production animals; milk production and milk losses; equine loss or amenity value claims; loss of opportunity (prize money in racing, show jumping).