pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Facts about damage that are “material” under s14A(7) of the Limitation Act 1980

Blakemores v Scott and another [2015] EWCA Civ 999 concerned a claim by a firm of solicitors for outstanding fees in excess of £635,000 allegedly owed under CFAs entered into in 2009.  The Appellants had instructed Blakemores to apply to the Land Registry to close title to correct a mistake on the register under paragraph 5(a) of schedule 4 to the Land Registration Act 2002 (the “... [More]

"Same Damage" - Section 1 of the Contribution Act of 1978

An old conundrum was posed during a recent TCC hearing I had: what exactly is meant by ‘same damage’ within the meaning of section 1 of the Contribution Act of 1978? The background of the instant case concerned a compromise in the original action that had been effected on different bases to that being alleged for the contribution claim.  It was held that the mechanism/allega... [More]

Aggregation clauses...as easy as 1,2,3?

    The individuals invited to invest in holiday homes in Turkey and Morocco by Midas International Property plc might, if they had reflected on the myth of King Midas’ golden touch, have had second thoughts before they parted with the price for their undeveloped plots. Perhaps some did but placed confidence in a scheme by which their funds would be held in escrow by solicito... [More]

Costs Budgeting: are incurred costs untouchable?

How do you get around costs budgeting? One might have thought that incurring as much by way of costs as you can before the CCMC: Practice direction 3E 7.4 states that the court may not approve costs incurred before the date of a budget. In CIP Properties Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure [2015] EWHC 481 Coulson J came up with an order which would prevent parties to litigation trying to get around... [More]

Schubert Murphy v The Law Society

In Schubert Murphy v The Law Society [2015] P.N.L.R. 15 (QBD), Mitting J refused to strike out a claim by solicitors who alleged that it had suffered loss during a conveyancing transaction as a result of relying upon misinformation on the Law Society’s "Find a Solicitor" website. Someone calling themselves John Dobbs submitted and obtained a practising certificate to operate as a sole practi... [More]

Causation: the Defendant’s friend

“When a judge says ‘It ill behooves the Defendant to argue that his negligence did not cause the Claimant’s loss…’, you know he doesn’t understand how a causation defence works.”  So commented a colleague of mine in my early days of doing professional negligence cases.    In a recent solicitor’s negligence claim[1] the High Court... [More]

LIP new guidance for lawyers

On 4 June 2015 guidelines prepared jointly by the Bar Council, CILEx and the Law Society were published. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/Support-services/Advice/Articles/Litigants-in-person-new-guidelines-for-lawyers-June-2015/

Knowledge of negligence – Section 14A of the Limitation Act

Section 14A of the Limitation Act is extremely challenging and has given rise to a considerable body of case-law.   One particularly vexed question is the extent of knowledge required where lawyers are sued for providing allegedly negligent advice on an underlying claim. In particular, does the claimant to have to know that the advice given by the lawyers was wrong? Or is that excluded b... [More]

The Duty to Warn....!

There are relatively few cases on the subject of what warnings professionals need to give to their clients when advising/acting for them.  In a case that came before Akenhead J in the TCC this March, the following guidance was given.  Clearly much will depend upon the expert evidence and any contracts in such cases, but it is still worth bearing in mind this summary on a common yet surpr... [More]

No duty owed by conveyancing solicitors to investigate the solvency of a vendor

No duty owed by conveyancing solicitors to investigate the solvency of a vendor: Karmjeet Singh Kandola v Mirza Solicitors LLP [2015] EWHC 460 (Ch) The High Court has recently dismissed a negligence claim brought against solicitors for the alleged failure to investigate the solvency of a party in the context of a property transaction.  The claimant, a businessman and owner of several buy to l... [More]