pnBlawg

the professional negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Property fraud - liability of seller's solicitor to innocent buyer

Purrunsing v A’Court & Co and House Owners Conveyancers [2016] EWHC 789 (Ch) is the latest case concerning conveyancing solicitors’ liabilities towards innocent victims of property fraud. It considers the question of the purported seller’s potential liability to an innocent purchaser and how the nature and extent of the test for relief under Section 61 of the Trustee Act 1925... [More]

Professionals, allegations of fraud, and witness credibility

The headline outcome from Mansion Estates Ltd v Hayre & Co (A Firm) (2016) is HHJ Saffmann considering that it is no less “inherently improbable” that a solicitor would set out to mislead the court than any other person, and going on to find that the Defendant’s documents were “materially compromised”. This was not a case where the judge could find one party had &... [More]

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]

Professional negligence claims in the post-Mitchell era – a potential minefield

The tough approach to compliance with the CPR and court orders is really starting to bite and one result is bound to be more professional negligence claims where litigation has become derailed as a result of a party failing to comply and being refused relief. Following Mitchell v News Group [2013] EWAC Civ 1537, save where breaches are “trivial”, a party seeking relief faces a high h... [More]

Is the past a foreign country? Similar fact evidence in professional negligence claims

Is a claimant entitled to disclosure of previous claims or complaints against a professional on the basis evidence of past transactions show a propensity to negligence? The House of Lords set out the test for admissability of “similar fact” evidence in civil proceedings in O’Brien v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2005] 2 WLR 1038. In that case, the claimant alleged the p... [More]

Scullion appeal abandoned

News reaches us that Mr Scullion abandoned his appeal to the Supreme Court the day it was due to be heard.  This means that the law remains as set out by the Court of Appeal [2011] EWCA Civ 693 - that is to say, that the principle in Smith v Bush  [1990] 1 A.C. 831 only applies to ordinary residential property purchases and not to buy-to-let investments.     ... [More]

Re-visiting Pilkington v Wood [1953] Ch 770 in light of qualified one-way costs shifting

It is still far too early to know precisely what effect the Jackson reforms relating to costs in personal injury cases will have on professional negligence claims. Given the extent of the changes they are undoubtedly going to spawn a number of claims against solicitors for not using the rules to best advantage. But I would like to raise a different point, which is the extent to which qualified o... [More]

Whose advice is it anyway?

Langsam v Beachcroft LLP [2012] EWCA Civ 1230 concerned settlement advice, which the Claimant contended was unduly pessimistic. The claim was dismissed, the judge at first instance and the Court of Appeal unanimously agreeing that the advice provided was reasonable. But the case raises a very interesting question about a solicitor’s duty to advise – and liability for such advice &ndash... [More]