Sarah is a Senior Associate based in Kennedys’ Manchester office.  She has been involved in professional indemnity work since 1997, initially working as a claims handler in a specialist professional indemnity broking team before qualifying as a solicitor in 2001.  She joined Kennedys in 2011.

Her practice focuses on defending complex claims against a number of ‘traditional’ professions, with experience of mediation and litigation through to trial. 

Sarah regularly defends solicitors in a wide range of claims, including those arising from alleged mortgage fraud, wills and the administration of estates, disappointed beneficiary claims, conveyancing transactions and previously failed litigation.  She is managing a scheme dealing with a major insurers’ MDR claims work.  She also specialises in defending claims against accountants and tax advisers, particularly in relation to tax mitigation advice.  

Sarah has extensive experience of acting for construction professionals (particularly architects and engineers) in claims arising from subsidence following geotechnical appraisal, design and construction of swimming pools, a number of claims involving defective roofs, drainage, extensions and alterations to properties, structural decking and natural ventilation systems.  In addition, Sarah is experienced in defending surveyors and insurance brokers and advises on policy coverage issues.

Sarah regularly gives training seminars and webinars to insurers, brokers and insureds and has completed a secondment with a professional indemnity insurer client. 

Work highlights

  • Successful defence of architects at trial in the TCC against allegations of negligently designing the roof to an office block.
  • Successful strike out of parts of claim against solicitors arising from advice relating to the purchase and renovation of a former MOD property, including a finding that the duty of a conveyancing solicitor did not extend to advising on the commercial risk of the transaction.
  • Successful defence of a £2.5m claim against an accountant acting as Trustee in Bankruptcy. Allegations included that he sold property at a significant undervalue and made payments to parties with no valid claim in the bankruptcy.  The Claimant was persuaded to discontinue his claim with no damages being paid.
  • Currently defending a firm of solicitors in relation to claims that have been made following the discovery that a former solicitor employee may be involved in organised mortgage fraud. The largest losses claimed are £5.9m and £1.9m respectively.
  • Defending accountants and business growth advisers against a number of claims (plus a complaint to the ICAEW) arising from introducing clients to a business growth strategy with tax mitigation ran by independent specialists, and a change to the law by Finance Act 2, which had retrospective effect.
  • Acting for accountants in relation to advice provided to clients relating to tax mitigation, in particular investments in Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). In the largest claim, potential losses totalling up to £100m are claimed by multiple claimants.
  • Resolution of a +£2m multi-party dispute arising out of the design of an Academy School Building, acting for the architects.