bto solicitors - Corporate & Commercial Business Lawyers Glasgow Edinburgh Scotland

  • "really fights your corner..."
    "really fights your corner..." Chambers UK
  • "Consistently high-quality work and client-friendly approach."
    "Consistently high-quality work and client-friendly approach." Chambers UK

Professional Liability

BTO’s highly regarded team is led by Tim Edward, based in Edinburgh. A “strong team frequently advising insurers on solicitors' negligence claims. Increasingly entrusted with noteworthy cases outside the legal sector, including disputes involving accountants, engineers, architects and surveyors ” (Chambers UK). It has also successfully retained its Band 1 ranking in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK for successive years and is applauded by clients for being “commercially-minded and able to settle on the best possible terms."

Over the last two decades, the Professional Liability team at BTO has handled numerous significant professional liability actions. We tender advice to insurers who provide professional indemnity cover and to leading professional organisations and their members in a diverse range of disciplines. Clients include: accountants, solicitors, advocates, architects, surveyors, engineers, estate agents, alternative therapists, financial advisers and fund managers, planning consultants and property searchers.

The team has strong expertise in the investigation of claims anywhere in Scotland, instructing and liaising with experts and in the proactive, but sensitive, handling of claims and disputes, whether by negotiation, alternative dispute resolution or the court process.

Where appropriate, and where no potential conflict of interest arises, we also pursue claims on behalf of leading financial institutions, corporate clients and individuals against their former professional advisers.

Increasingly, we find ourselves called upon to advise, support and represent professionals in relation to regulatory and disciplinary matters. We have experience in assisting professionals in responding appropriately to client complaints and in guiding and representing them through regulatory and disciplinary investigations and hearings conducted by their various professional bodies.

Contacts: Tim Edward, Partner


  • Blemain Finance Limited v Balfour + Manson LLP

In these cases, the first to proceed to Proof (Trial) on this issue in Scotland, bto successfully defended two firms of solicitors sued by Lenders.  The solicitors were sued for alleged breach of a warranty of authority.  The Lenders claimed that the solicitors had warranted that they acted for the “true” individuals of the names given by the Borrowers and had warranted that their clients (the Borrowers) were the true owners of the properties against which loans were being  advanced by the lenders. It was later discovered that the Borrowers had in fact stolen the identities of the true owners of the properties.  The Court held, both at first instance and following an Appeal by the Lenders, that the only warranty the solicitors gave was that they had a client of the name in question and that the client had given them authority to act and not that the client had certain attributes.  Accordingly, the solicitors were not held liable for the Lenders’ loss as a result of the fraud.

  • Acting for the Law Society of Scotland Master Policy Insurers

Acting for the Law Society of Scotland Master Policy Insurers in the handling of a significant number of claims brought by various Lenders seeking recovery of losses following alleged breach by solicitors of the provisions of the CML Handbook.

  • House building project - alleged negligence and breach of contract

For a firm of architects in defending a claim by an individual/employer for alleged negligence and breach of contract in relation to substantial losses the employer claims to have sustained in connection with a house building project.

  • Residential and commercial property valuations

For various firms of surveyors in the defence of claims for alleged professional liability in the carrying out of residential and commercial property valuations.

  • Acting for an individual Chartered Accountant in his defence of a complaint

This was submitted by former clients to the Taxation Disciplinary Board Limited in London and, separately, for the firm of Chartered Accountants for which that individual works and the individual in their joint defence of a civil action for professional liability brought by the same former clients.

  • Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB) v Balfour + Manson LLP (9 Sept 2013) 2013 G.W.D. 31-632

bto successfully argued that the claim by the AIB against a firm of solicitors had prescribed in that a period of more than 5 years had passed from the date on which the AIB had actual knowledge of loss.  This decision at first instance was challenged, but upheld, on appeal.



  • "...impressive..."

    Chambers UK
  • "high-quality advice."

    Chambers UK
  • "takes a team approach to claims and really puts everything into it."

    Chambers UK
“The level of service has always been excellent, with properly experienced solicitors dealing with appropriate cases" Legal 500

Contact BTO


  • 48 St. Vincent Street
  • Glasgow
  • G2 5HS
  • T:+44 (0)141 221 8012
  • F:+44 (0)141 221 7803


  • One Edinburgh Quay
  • Edinburgh
  • EH3 9QG
  • T:+44 (0)131 222 2939
  • F:+44 (0)131 222 2949