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Professional Negligence Blog

Read our Professional Negligence blogs below. 

When tactics don't pay off, and instead result in a pay out

Jigna Varsani
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It is well known that litigation can be a costly business. But a failure to follow court rules and be uncooperative can make it even more costly, as the case of Ayton v RSM Bentley Jennison & Ors highlights. The matter concerned a claim in...

Does a stay extend the date for service of the claim form?

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Can you extend the date for service of the Claim Form by entering into a Stay? This pertinent question was answered recently in the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Grant v Dawn Meats (UK) [2018] ECA Civ 2212. Background The Claimant was employed by...

Solicitor's Negligence v Client's Fraud - Who comes out on top?

Jigna Varsani
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A recent Court of Appeal decision in Stoffel & Co v Ms Maria Grondona [2018] EWCA Civ 2031 has left raised eyebrows with a lot of people thinking “really, surely not?!”. The impact of this ruling will have a far-reaching effect on...

RBS GRG claims update

David Wright
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In a recently released report by The Financial Conduct  Authority (FCA), “significant concerns” were identified about how approximately 16,000 SME customers were mistreated by RBS. The report highlighted that RBS failed to support firms with...

FSCS Announcement good news for mis-sold Harlequin investment claims

Seth Lovis
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Following a review by the FSCS, it has been announced this week that more people may now be able to claim compensation for bad investment advice in relation to Harlequin investments. Thousands of people were advised to re-mortgage their homes and/or...

Appeal process to be overhauled

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It comes as no surprise, particularly to legal practitioners that Lord Justice Briggs has described the Court of Appeal as suffering a “grave overload” of work (Lord Justice Briggs’ report published on 27 July 2016) so much...

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act - 6 years in waiting

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It is possibly one of the most long-awaited Acts to come into force in recent times. The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 (“the Act”) finally come into force on 1 August 2016. This is after it has been amended by the Third Parties...

Don't make your friends your enemies!

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Many solicitors are asked for legal advice by their friends and a recent case provides a stark warning to professionals about the perils of giving free advice to friends.   The case of Peter & Lynn Burgess v Basia Lejonvarn [2016] TCLR...

Seth Lovis & Co settle claim against conveyancing solicitors

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I recently settled a case against a firm of solicitors relating to a lease taken out on agricultural land.   The case involved my client, Mr X who had instructed solicitors in 2009 prior to taking out a lease on land. Mr X intended to set up a...

Making time stand still - does it work?

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Claimants and Defendants should be made well aware of the relevant limitation periods in all claims as it can mean the end of a claim if it is not caught. There are ways to “stop the clock” for limitation purposes and solicitors should ensure...

Form E - does the 'E' stand for Error?

Andrew Maidment
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The BBC has recently reported about a system error which has only just become apparent with the HM Courts & Tribunal Services online version of the Form E. The Form E is a document used in divorce and ancillary relief proceedings which requires each...

Loss of opportunity - who should prove the loss?

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It is an established principle that when a solicitor has made a mistake which has resulted in the loss of an opportunity to bring or pursue legal proceedings (such as missing limitation or causing the claim to be struck out), the burden is on the claimant to...

Limiting Instructions and Duties

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The Court of Appeal has recently upheld the decision that a solicitor who has a very limited retainer, should only be held accountable for those limited instructions and not impose a wider duty of care on solicitors. The case in question is Sharon Minkin v...

Yet another court fee hike proposed

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It is now 4 months since the government introduced substantial increases to the court fees, including a 5% fee for issuing money claims worth £10,000 or more (capped at £10,000 for claims worth £200,000 or more). Despite fierce opposition...

Know your limits

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When deciding whether to instruct a solicitor, it is sensible to ask the solicitor if they have expertise in the field in which you wish to appoint them. The question of a solicitor’s expertise was recently put before the Court and the Solicitors...

When is information actually advice?

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There has been a widespread surge of “mis-selling” claims against financial advisors and professionals in recent years. The court considered the question of whether advice was given, what the standard of care was for the financial advisor and if...

Standardised advice will not suffice

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Professionals often advance the argument that financial restraints from clients can limit the scope of their retainer, thereby limiting their liability to their clients. As a stark warning to professionals, the Court recently found in the case of Andrew...

Mis-spelling can be fatal!

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There have been many cases dealing with the issue of applications for relief from sanctions and in recent months, the Courts have been more sympathetic and allowed more of these such applications to succeed than previously. However, the recent case of ...

Avoid at All Costs? Not Likely

Andrew Maidment
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The case of Hurst and another v Denton-Cox [2014] EWHC 3948 (Ch) concerned a claim for professional negligence against a barrister. That claim was struck out and the Defendant barrister was entitled to seek their costs of having defended the action;...

Unreasonable refusal to mediate has no costs sanctions

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Recent cases has shown us that an unreasonable refusal to mediate will have serious costs consequences for the party who refused the invitation to mediate (such as the case of PGF II SA v. OMFS Co. 1 Ltd. , [2012] EWCA Civ 1288) . However, this decision...

Who is to blame for the loss - Correctly assessing causation and damages

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Causation has long been a matter in dispute between parties in professional negligence claims and even when the professional admits they have done wrong, it can be difficult to determine which losses are directly attributable to that negligence. In the case...

Beware of trying to extend a professional's duty of care

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The duty of care of a professional was recently considered in the case of Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd –v- Knight Frank LLP [2014] EWHC 3347. This case involved a valuer employed by Knight Frank who had been instructed by the Claimant to provide a...

Waiving Privilege Could Be Key

Andrew Maidment
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On 12 th September 2014, the High Court passed down a judgment in a professional negligence action which could have far reaching implications for such claims when the matter of legal privilege comes in to question. The Defendant, a law firm, was instructed...

Court considers £360,000 loss to be "nominal"

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In a recent decision, a Court has find that a buyer of a luxury yacht who suffered a loss of about £360,000 on a purchase worth £3.6 million was “modest”. Such a large sum of money in my opinion, could not be considered...

Mis-handling of estate claims triple in 2013

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Figures recently released by the High Court show that 368 claims were issued last year in relation to the mis-handling of wills and estates, compared to 107 claims brought in 2012. The figures are astonishing and the spectrum of claims relate to theft...