Susan specialises in commercial disputes, restrictive covenants particularly in financial services, professional negligence claims and insurance coverage issues.
Commercial disputes: advice on contract issues, directors’ duties, warranty claims.
Restrictive covenants in an employment context: Susan acted for the 27 ex-Affinity IFAs whose restrictive covenants were found unenforceable part way through a £10m trial. November 2016. She regularly advises leavers on their rights and also obtains injunctions for employers, in various contexts such as financial advisers, insurance brokers, recruitment and IT.
Professional negligence: Susan has successfully recovered damages for clients whose solicitors, valuers, insurance brokers, agricultural advisers and other professionals have let them down. She acts for a major UK lender in recovering shortfalls on mortgage loans.
Insurance disputes: assists clients whose insurers have refused to pay claims, whether business interruption, commercial or residential property claims, life insurance, or critical illness. Can also help recover from other parties for uninsured losses. Advises on referrals to the Financial Ombudsman.
Susan uses alternatives to Court where suitable such as mediation, early neutral evaluation and the Financial Ombudsman.
Funding is a vital area where we have a wealth of experience and are constantly updating our offering to access the best options. Conditional and contingent fees are available for suitable cases, with After The Event (ATE) insurance.
"Susan Hopcraft is calm, sensible and tenacious – a joy to work with"
- Advising numerous businesses on Business Interruption claims due to illness and Covid-19: using the Ombudsman, Arbitration and Court as dispute resolution options.
- Injuncted an IFA who was soliciting and dealing with clients of his former employer. Commercial deal agreed at mediation with my client’s costs paid.
- Brought a claim in the High Court Shorter Trials Scheme for £500k due following sale of a company. Warranty claims raised by way of defence; settled on very good terms before trial.
- Recovered damages for a widow whose husband had died in an industrial accident but whose original legal team (solicitors and barrister) had missed limitation on the underlying occupier’s liability claim. Heavily defended but mediated and reach settlement before trial. We acted on a Conditional Fee Agreement.
- Defending insurance brokers against a £2m claim for alleged conspiracy, confidentiality and breach of restrictive covenants.
- Recovered a six figure sum for buyers of a residential property whose solicitor failed to advise them of a water main that ran under the plot, thwarting their development plans.
- Advised a company director on his duties in defence of a claim brought for damages. Settlement reached on favourable terms to enable the director to set up new business.
- Recovered damages for a contractor whose high value stock was stolen but whose broker had failed to include that stock in the commercial insurance policy. The lack of insurance to replace the stock seriously damaged the client’s ability to trade (and its very existence). Damages recovered from the negligent broker in short order and pre-action.
- Regularly advising a major UK lender on its mortgage losses, recovering them from negligent solicitors and valuers, as well as seeking Land Registry indemnities.
- Recovered significant damages in various professional negligence scenarios: negligent advice on the value of the marital property in a divorce settlement; negligent nutrition advice for a valuable veal herd; negligent advice on limitation of claim in relation to house defects; negligent placement of liability cover.
"Susan is an excellent litigation lawyer who I had every confidence in instructing. An eagle eye for detail, astute, hard-working and clever."
After graduating with a 2:1 from Queens' College, Cambridge, and gaining Honours in her Law Society Finals Examination, Susan qualified as a solicitor with Cameron Markby Hewitt. She spent over 10 years working as a disputes lawyer at CMS Cameron McKenna in London, took a career break, then joined Wright Hassall in 2009.
Before her family Susan was a British Champion rally co-driver (BTRDA 2002 1400 Champion). She plays tennis as much as possible at Leamington Tennis Club and for Warwickshire seniors. She has given up running and now keeps bees instead now her knees are that bit older.