Elizabeth is consistently recommended as a leading junior for professional negligence law by The Legal 500, which comments that “she has a brilliant mind and is always a pleasure to deal with”.
Elizabeth’s initial involvement in professional liability resulted largely from the collapse of the property market at the end of the 1980s, as a result of which many financial institutions sought to recover their losses through negligence actions against their professional advisers (in particular, their solicitors) and she was instructed to act on behalf of building society and bank clients for that purpose. Her understanding of the conveyancing and mortgage background was particularly useful in this context.
Her professional liability practice now covers a much wider field. In addition to alleged negligence in conveyancing matters, she has dealt with cases against solicitors involving advice on financial and property transactions, the drafting of documents and the conduct of litigation, itself relating to a wide variety of matters. She has also been involved in claims against other professionals, such as insurance brokers, surveyors, accountants and actuaries. She is instructed by insurers on behalf of defendants, as well as by claimants. An increasing part of her professional liability practice in recent years has related to pension schemes.
Much of Elizabeth’s work in the mortgages field is done against the background of a potential professional liability claim, so that advising on the main claim also involves dealing with the professional negligence aspects. A similar situation arises in her pensions work. She is also instructed in a professional liability claim against a consumer credit background, reflecting another of her specialist fields of practice. Her professional liability work is not confined to such areas, however, but extends to professional negligence in a wide range of matters where the underlying law has chancery aspects.
Elizabeth Ovey is ranked as a leading junior by Chambers UK and/or The Legal 500 in six commercial and Chancery fields: banking and financial, consumer credit, commercial chancery, traditional chancery, pensions, and professional negligence. She is commended by those directories for her professional negligence expertise in the following terms:
Elizabeth has given talks on topics related to her work at conferences and as part of chambers’ own seminar programme.