PNLA online conference – ‘Getting inside the case’ – COMING SOON – target launch date 18 June 2021

PNLA Online conference
PNLAlive The online conference venue Watch the conference whenever it suits you. Tickets can be purchased at any time and access will continue to be available over the coming weeks.
The format is recorded TV style talks in a programme accessible via the PNLAlive link sent when ticket(s) are purchased. Ask questions and make comments using the event WhatsApp. A Q&A Zoom meeting will be held to conclude the event with the speakers on a date to be fixed. To buy a ticket first Login/Register using the button on the Home page or via the Tickets link below. Alternatively email,
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Chairman: David McIroy – Head of Forum Chambers

Keynote Speaker: Sir David Foskett – 39 Essex Street

Event sponsors

Berkeley Research Group, Temple Legal Protection, Kevin Edward Costs & Hanscomb Intercontinental

Professional Negligence and Liability – “Getting inside the case”

Professional negligence and liability. The law continues to develop with another new crop of recent judgments. Legal principles are developing not only in a linear fashion according to the type of professional or area of law, but also in ways which can be applied thinking laterally to many other situations. Is there a scenic outcome to your case? – this conference will help you to find out.

David McIlroy - Chairman Forum Chambers
Sir David Foskett - Keynote Speaker 39 Essex Street
Ben Patten QC 4 New Square
Sian Mirchandani QC 4 New Square
Ben Lynch QC Fountain Court Chambers
Paul Marshall Cornerstone Chambers
Adam Grant KE Costs Lawyers
Sean Gibbs Hanscomb Intercontintal
Philip Crooks Berkeley Research Group
Carlo Taczalski & Nicola Atkins Crown Office Chambers
Simon Wilton Hailsham Chambers
Kelly Whittaker & Justin Briggs Burges Salmon LLP


X mins PNLA Introduction

X mins Chairman’s Keynote Address 

David McIlroy – Head of Chambers – Forum Chambers 

David specialises in banking and financial services law, commercial law, and professional negligence. His combination of experience and insight enables him to identify persuasive arguments and to see where the law might be developed in the future. David is Visiting Professor in Banking Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Chambers and Partners 2020

“He is a super chap who is very committed to clients and highly pragmatic in his approach.”

“He has very detailed knowledge of his subject and comes back to you very quickly.”

David McIlroy

X mins Keynote Address
Sir David Foskett – 39 Essex Street
Until his retirement as a judge in 2019, David was a “highly respected” first instance High Court judge (the Supreme Court in Mandalia v SSHD [2015] UKSC 59). He presided over a number of high profile cases and dealt with a wide spectrum of disputes including commercial and employment matters, education, sporting and leisure-related cases, planning and public law cases (many involving human rights issues) and significant clinical and other professional negligence and personal injury cases. He case-managed and tried substantial multi-party litigation and engaged in significant fact-finding exercises in many cases.
Following his retirement as a full-time judge, David joined 39 Essex Chambers as an arbitrator/mediator and accepts appointments in those capacities or as early neutral evaluator, both domestically and internationally, and is also available to conduct independent inquiries, chair disciplinary proceedings or appeals therefrom within corporate and/or public, sporting, educational or similar bodies.
Prior to his appointment as a judge in 2007 he had a distinguished career at the Bar with a broad common law practice, but specialising in professional negligence and general commercial matters. He has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 1992 and is a member of the LCIA and the ICC. He is also a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators. He was Treasurer of Gray’s Inn in 2018.

As from 1 June 2019 he has been Chair of the Civil Mediation Council in the UK.
His interest in and identification with dispute resolution began with the publication in 1980 of the 1st edition of ‘The Law and Practice of Compromise’, now known as ‘Foskett on Compromise’. This book is seen as the primary reference point for all issues concerning settlement and is used by practitioners and judges both in the UK and in other common law jurisdictions across the world. The 9th edition was published early this year.

X mins Design Liability & Professional Negligence: The Cladding Problem and Architects’ Liabilities post Grenfell
Ben Patten QC– 4 New Square
Ben Patten QC’s expertise lies in a range of commercial work, including construction disputes, professional liability claims, commercial litigation and insurance and reinsurance disputes.

Described as “calm under pressure and always willing to stick his neck out on a case” he acts for both claimants and defendants in the TCC, Commercial and Mercantile Courts, Queen’s Bench Division, Chancery Division and Arbitrations. He also appears in the Court of Appeal and in expert determinations, mediations and other ADR hearings.

Chambers and Partners has described Ben as greatly respected for his effective manner in court, “he has a very nice way of presenting an argument which appeals to judges hugely,” and his ‘good commercial instincts’. ‘Peers are impressed by his skills as an advocate generally, and particularly note his strength in solicitor negligence cases’ as well as the “incredibly calm,” “persuasive” approach he demonstrates in his construction and professional indemnity work for a client base of developers, contractors and insurers. Previous editions says of him “You can throw anything his way and he will deal with it.” “He has a mild and gentle manner with clients, but is determined and clear in his advice. He is also very effective as an advocate, as he’s calm but good at focusing on the right issues and directing judges’ attention to them.” “Technically he’s one of the best around. He is also highly responsive.” Ben is also rated as a leading Silk by the Legal 500.

Ben has also been described in the Directories as being “really at the top of his game”, “a top performer who has a very concise and effective drafting, advisory and advocacy style” and “a star of the future”.

X mins Litigation Funding Update
Nicholas Ellor Senior Underwriter (speaker) and Andy Lyalle Temple Legal Protection
Nicholas has recently joined Temple as a Senior Underwriter to provide support to the commercial underwriting team.

Nicholas brings with him twenty years’ worth of experience working as a solicitor in London on both contentious and non-contentious company commercial and corporate matters. Having been a practitioner, he is fully aware of the pressure and time constraints a commercial litigator has to operate under and will be able to bring his insights to the table and provide a fast and professional service.

1200-1245 Design Liability & Professional Negligence: Limitation, Contribution and the Likely Shape of Claims
Sian Mirchandani QC – 4 New Square
Siân Mirchandani QC has established a broad commercial practice encompassing construction/engineering, professional liability claims, insurance and disciplinary claims in court proceedings, arbitrations and adjudications.

Siân has a particular interest in disputes involving construction, IT, technical and scientific elements and this has led to a strong construction/engineering practice and wide ranging experience in regulatory and experimental product testing claims.
Prior to her successful first application for silk in 2018, Siân was recognised as a Leading Junior by the directories for Construction, Professional Negligence and Disciplinary.

In Legal 500, 2019 Siân is described by her clients as “an excellent advocate – tenacious and extremely detailed, identifying potential problems and arguments even before they arise” and “tremendously bright, has a tenacious eye for detail, and brings a new level of strategic thinking to the table”.

In Chambers & Partners, 2019, Siân has been commended for her approach to her cases: “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”, “proactive, helpful” and “someone who prepares the case very well”. Who’s Who Legal, 2019 says: “Siân Mirchandani QC is recognised for her superb professional negligence practice.”

X mins – Business Interruption Insurance
Ben Lynch QC – Fountain Court Chambers

Ben is a highly regarded commercial silk, who has been described in the directories as “a barrister with a frighteningly astute mind, who doesn’t leave any stone unturned”. Ben has a specialist practice in insurance and reinsurance, acting in various landmark cases and being heavily involved in recent business interruption issues (including The FCA Test Case and Rockliffe v Travelers). Ben is also an editor of MacGillivray on Insurance Law.

Ben’s practice encompasses all aspects of commercial dispute resolution; over the years he has developed a strong reputation in the fields of professional negligence, telecommunications disputes, competition law, cyber, fraud, injunctions, international commercial arbitration, regulatory law, professional discipline, group actions and shareholder disputes.

Ben is commended for his “great work ethic, who has a fantastic eye for detail, excellent technical ability and superior client-handling skills”, won the Chambers & Partners ‘Insurance Junior of the Year’ award in 2017 and is ranked in the legal directories across a number of practice areas.

Ben has recently acted in a number of landmark cases, including The FCA Test Case [2021] UKSC 1, Rockliffe Hall Ltd v Travelers Insurance Co Ltd [2021] EWHC 412 (Comm), Travelers Insurance Co Ltd v XYZ [2018] EWCA Civ 1099, Redman v Zurich Insurance Plc [2017] EWHC 1919 (QB); [2018] 1 W.L.R. 280 and AIG Europe Limited v OC320301 LLP [2017] UKSC 18; [2017] 1 W.L.R. 1168.

X mins The Post Office convictions overturned – observations from  – Paul Marshall Cornerstone Chambers 

Paul specialises in litigation and dispute resolution in contract law, civil commercial fraud, professional negligence and company law.

Paul is praised for his “strong analysis” (Legal 500) and “attention to detail” (Chambers and Partners). He is “a very tough opponent and very good in a difficult case” (opposing QC) and “a delight to work with” (Chambers and Partners). He is noted for his willingness to “think outside the box” (instructing solicitor), his capacity for lateral thinking (Chambers and Partners) and for being “unflappable” (Chambers and Partners).

Xmins The Auditors Perspective – Philip Crooks – Managing Director of  Berkeley Research Group

Phil Crooks is a Chartered Accountant with over forty years of experience in accounting, auditing, and investigations.

He has acted as advisory and testifying expert in connection with litigation, arbitration, and regulatory matters. Previously, he was an audit partner at a large firm and has acted as expert on a range of forensic accounting matters.

Mr. Crooks was a partner in a large accounting firm for over twenty years. He was UK head of audit and had responsibilities including setting the strategy and overseeing audit quality for the firm. He gained extensive experience of quality review programs, internal investigations, and liaising with regulators.

Before that, he was in audit at a Big Four firm for fifteen years. His earlier career included accounts preparation, providing insight into how accounts are put together, knowledge that he has applied in investigations, due diligence, and other forensic work.

Mr. Crooks’ more than forty years of audit experience has been across a range of sectors and businesses of varying size and complexity. He has audited UK businesses with overseas operations as well as UK subsidiaries of US and other overseas parents. This has included family businesses, private-equity backed and plc entities. The sectors have included construction, education, retail, manufacturing, technology, and services. His recent audit experience has included a PE backed buy-and-build group in the private education sector and a UK listed company constructing a port in India. On the former, he acted as audit partner for a ten-year period, from the formation of the business and its subsequent acquisition of thirty schools in the UK and schools in Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, and Brazil.

X mins “Practice and procedure in PN claims 2021” 
Carlo Taczalski and Nicola Atkins– Crown Office Chambers
Carlo specialises in commercial, construction, insurance, and professional negligence matters. He has been recommended in the Legal 500 as a leading individual in a number of his core practice areas since 2017.

He is regularly in court both on trials and interlocutory matters, for both claimants and defendants as sole counsel and in both leading and led capacities. He has appeared before a wide range of tribunals including in the Privy Council, High Court, arbitral tribunals and in adjudications. The regularity of his court work means that he is very good on his feet, and is praised for his meticulous and forceful cross examination and preparation. Carlo is also a TECBAR and PNBA accredited adjudicator.

Nicola specialises in professional negligence, construction and property related disputes. She has a particular interest in professional liability claims involving construction professionals and frequently represents architects, engineers, surveyors and contractors both as sole counsel and with a leader. She is ranked in Chambers & Partners 2019 as an “up and coming” junior in the field of Professional Negligence (TCC). Nicola is also recommended by the Legal 500 where she is described as “exceptional”.

Nicola is an experienced advocate and regularly appears in the County Court, High Court and in arbitrations and has been led in the Court of Appeal.

X mins ADR by Adjudication-update

Simon Wilton – Hailsham Chambers – Accredited PNBA Adjudicator

Simon is a highly experienced junior barrister specialising in professional negligence, professional regulatory matters, and commercial disputes particularly in the insurance field. He has wide experience of interlocutory, trial and appellate advocacy, arbitration work, and all kinds of alternative dispute resolution.

Simon was short-listed by Chambers & Partners as professional negligence junior of the year in 2014 and 2016.

Since 2016, Simon has been head of the Professional Negligence Group at Hailsham Chambers.

“He offers a technically brilliant, commercial approach and he’s excellent with clients, as well as robust in court” “A very solid performer. He really understands his cases and he’s very thorough and effective.” Chambers UK, 2018

Simon Wilton

X mins Anatomy of a Pensions Claim
Justin Briggs – Partner and Kelly Whittaker – Associate – Burges Salmon LLP
Justin is a partner in Burges Salmon’s dispute resolution team, specialising in pensions disputes; private and commercial trust disputes; and professional negligence relating to pensions, trusts and tax.

Justin has specialised in both claimant and defendant pensions and trusts disputes since 1997 and professional negligence disputes since 1995.

Justin is a member of the Association of Pensions Lawyers (APL) and the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Practitioners (ACTAPS). He holds the Bristol University Certificate in Pensions Law and is recognised as an expert in pensions litigation in both the Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories.

Kelly is an associate in Burges Salmon’s dispute resolution team and acts for commercial clients and financial institutes in complex multi-party disputes often with a professional negligence and/or pensions related basis. Kelly primarily acts on behalf of claimants in claims against actuaries, solicitors and surveyors/valuers.

Kelly’s experience includes High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court proceedings as well as advising clients on alternative forms of dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

X mins – Chairman’s closing remarks

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