The Liver Building

Professional Negligence


Speaker: Abigail Holt, Sarah Jameson & Robert Sterling

Date: Tuesday 21st January, 2020

Time: 10:00 - 11:45

Areas of Law: Civil Litigation; Personal Injury

Competencies: Robert Sterling -
A2,A4,A5 and B2.
Abigail Holt -
A2, A3, A4, A5
Sarah Jameson -
A2, A4, A5, B2, B4, B5

Liverpool Law Society,
2nd Floor Helix,
Edmund Street,
L3 9NY

Course Code: S4396


At a time when professionals are increasingly under time and costs pressures and there can be a temptation to delegate knowledge to algorithms and unqualified assistants, this seminar aims to look at issues and recent developments pertaining to duty of care, breach, causation and damages so as to identify when there has been a professional failure.

The seminar inevitably interrogates the issue of whether the extent of protection of professional people is appropriate and justified.

  • Solicitors Liability and Damages since Hughes-Holland v BPE Solicitors and Wellesley LLP v Withers LLP

These are two of the most important cases in the last few years, dealing with the nature and scope of a solicitor’s duty of care foreseeability and loss of chance, particularly in the context of commercial and conveyancing transactions.

  • “Loss of a chance”: Factoring the different models of causation into the assessment of lost chances in professional negligence cases.

Causation is key to all tort cases, both in terms of analysing liability and also how that translates into the assessment of value of any loss. When such litigation goes wrong then this adds a further twist in identifying liability and value of a claim. The presentation will address the whys and wherefores and illuminate potential traps.

  • Liability to Third Parties: An analysis into the instances of liability owed to third parties

Clients are at the heart of our professional lives. They are the source of the brief and the one to whom we direct our professional care and attention. However, there are circumstances in which it is possible for solicitors to owe duties to a party alien to this relationship. This talk focuses on this latter duty, and the ingredients which may cause a solicitor to widen her professional care and attention to the third party.

Followed by Questions

Speaker Biographies

Abigail Holt specialises in all aspects of personal injury litigation, industrial disease (mainly asbestos, lung disease and VWF/HAVS) and fatal accident/disease litigation. All other areas of law with medical issues including clinical negligence. Abigail has experience of cases involving regulation of healthcare professionals. NMC, GMC, Care Standards Tribunal and HCPC. Abigail has a particular interest in Brexit. In March 2018 she undertook an extended visit to the European Court of Justice, where she worked in the Cabinet of Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston. She worked on a number of issues including: employment rights and discrimination; trademarks; competition (satellite TV services) harmonisation of VAT and rules pertaining to “turnover” taxes.

Sarah Jameson was called to the Bar in 2016 prior to which she completed her undergraduate law degree at Cambridge and the BPTC in Manchester. Sarah is a member of the Chancery and Housing Departments. She has a diverse practice in both of these fields and acts for both private and public clients. Sarah appears regularly in the County Court. She has also appeared in the High Court and First Tier Tribunal.

Robert Sterling joined Cobden House Chambers from St. James’s Chambers in 2015. Robert specialises in Chancery and commercial litigation with an emphasis on professional negligence, corporate and personal insolvency and company, property and probate work. He appears mainly in the High Court and has experience in the Lands Chamber and in Land Registry adjudications. In the last few years he has also re-established his defamation practice and developed an expertise in costs disputes.


Member £55
Non-member £80
Corporate Member Training Offer 1 Credit
Training Season Ticket Free
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