Helen is an associate and specialises in the defence of professional risks claims.  She started her career with aviation niche firm Beaumont & Son, in London and later joined the mercantile department of Hill Dickinson, advising on policy disputes, coverage issues and dealing with claims involving goods in transit by sea, road, rail and air.

Helen moved to specialise in professional risks when in 1999, she joined Beachcroft Wansbroughs.  Whilst there, Helen was responsible for the training of the department. She has given seminars to clients on loss of chance and limitation and had articles published in Insurance Day.

In 2005 Helen moved from London to join the firm.  She has particular responsibility for claims against solicitors and has also handled claims against accountants, surveyors and managing agents. She has conducted mediations with clients and dealt with managed lender litigation in the High Court. She has spent time on secondment with a leading insurer client and has an in depth knowledge of claims handling at all stages of the life of a claim.  She has successfully defended solicitors' firms at trial and on appeal.  

Helen took on the role of trainee supervisor in 2008 and has seen all her trainees over the 5 years she was supervisor qualify into the firm.  

Experience

Helen has acted for: 

  • one of the UK's largest property services companies and its insurers in relation to a wide variety of claims including lender claims and defects claims against its surveyors and estate agents
  • several Queen's Counsel and Counsel (including multi £m claims) in a range of matters including a reverse share sale company transaction,  professional conduct complaints, planning dispute and failed litigation
  • insurers of IFAs facing claims from multiple clients alleging inappropriate investment advice in relation to high risk classes of investment products
  • architects in claim for defective cladding to substantial residential building and arising out of building extension work
  • a school facing a claim from a former pupil for failing to diagnose dyslexia and provide adequate additional support
  • accountants for alleged negligent tax advice
  • insurance brokers in relation to alleged failure to disclose material facts
  • a tree surgeon for failing to ensure a prospective customer accepted a quote to pollard a diseased tree which fell down in a storm causing a fire which destroyed a 300 year old thatched cottage.

Reported cases:

  • Dawson Cornwell Solicitors v CJ Nicholls [2002] All ER 92 on the extent of a solicitor's duty in taking instructions from a client and cross examining the client on those instructions
  • Cannon v Hart Brown [2010] All ER 81 on the liability of solicitors for failing to remove a term from a contract for the sale of a property
  • Dowling v Bennett Griffin [2013] EWHC 1995 and [2014] EWCA Civ 1545 on a solicitor's duty to exercise reasonable skill and care in relation to the opponents ability to meet any award.  

Unreported cases

  • Phillips v Aldridge Brownlee [2014] - trial based on a solicitor's duty to comply with an undertaking given in relation to a void conveyancing transaction

"Can I once again say thanks for all your assistance on this case, you have been extremely helpful under difficult circumstances for me"

Quote from partner in broker firm where claim for alleged negligence in placing risk was dismissed

"Well done this is great news. All that hard work has paid off and I and all the partners here thank you so much for what you and counsel have achieved" 

Quote from partner in Solicitors firm on being advised that the Claimants' appeal had successfully been opposed
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