Lester Doake - DAC Beachcroft
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Lester Doake

Lester specialises in professional negligence claims. He has over 35 years’ experience advising clients across a range of sectors including personal injury and commercial litigation. His key clients include RSA and Willis Towers Watson.

Lester’s primary focus is on professional negligence claims under the Solicitors’ Master Policy, where the firm is one of just four panel firms in Northern Ireland providing immediate advice to solicitors who have notified circumstances under their policy of insurance.

In addition, Lester is a trained mediator.

Relevant experience includes advising:

  • Willis Towers Watson in relation to the successful repudiation of a claim for damages against a former solicitor who was left financially vulnerable. Lester thoroughly investigated the claim and successfully argued the absence of any valid claim for loss/damages following in particular the Supreme Court Decision in BPE v Elliott and Others. This resulted in a withdrawal of the claim with each party bearing their own costs and, very importantly for the insured, no call on payment of his excess.
  • Willis Towers Watson in relation to the settlement of one action and withdrawal of related proceedings against the same firm of solicitors relating to the aborted purchase of a £750,000 apartment in Toronto, Canada for husband and wife clients where a £225,000 deposit was obtained through the re-mortgage of the matrimonial home. Settlement was achieved on a heavily compromised basis with the parallel proceedings withdrawn.  
  • Travelers in relation to a claim brought against an architect in relation to his alleged failure to properly advise in relation to planning permission issues arising from the development of a site. We successfully argued that the architect had fulfilled his duty of care to the client by properly advising him and by proving to the plaintiff’s solicitors that their client had a prior history of stretching the boundaries on planning issues and bringing claims against other professionals in similar circumstances. The claim was withdrawn at an early stage in proceedings just after service of our defence, thereby saving the client costs and the insured his excess payment under his policy.

Lester is recognised in Chambers for his “technical skills in professional negligence matters and acts for the defendants on claims against a broad range of professionals and their insurers….”.

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