Professional Negligence

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Callers to our 'free legal helpline' frequently ask us, 'can I sue my surveyor for negligence?' As this is one of our core areas of practice we are always willing to provide initial guidance on surveyors negligence claims and a free case assessment. However, for those interested in the law that governs this type of case here is a brief overview of the key principles. Any claimant will need to prove three things: that the surveyor owed them a duty of care; that...

Is an architect negligent if their design cannot be built within the client’s  budget? This is the issue that the court had to consider in the case of Riva Properties Ltd & Others –v- Foster & Partners Ltd. It involved the renowned architects Foster & Partners who have designed a range of iconic buildings, such as London's Millennium Bridge. Mr Dhanoa commissioned Fosters to design a 5 star hotel. The build budget was around £70m.  However, Foster's design was costed at £195m. Mr Dhanoa had difficulty funding the project and concluded that...

Emma Slade, looks at solicitors negligence claims against lawyers who fail to give correct advice on legal costs Whenever an individual or company becomes involved in any sort of litigation, one of their main concerns is likely to be how much money it will cost them. Its never easy for a solicitor to give a definitive estimate of legal costs. Litigation is by its nature open ended. There are many variables in a case, making it difficult to predict which path a case is likely to take. And because...

Professional negligence lawyer, Emma Slade, looks at a recent court decision in which a firm of solicitors dealing with a property transaction were held liable for negligence and financial loss suffered by a party who was not their client. We often get enquiries to see if a potential client can sue another party’s solicitor. We have to turn those cases down as there isn’t a relationship between the caller and the solicitors they wish to sue. This is never more so...

A Claim for professional negligence against a personal injury barrister and his instructing solicitors has been rejected by the High Court. The claim had been brought by an injured pedestrian who thought her compensation claim had been under-settled by her lawyers. The injury claim was settled for £12,000 shortly before trial. The claimant, who had suffered a serious head injury believed that her claim had a much higher value. The claimant was advised to settle by her solicitors and her barrister. The advice...

Lee Dawkins, who specialises in Professional Negligence at our Taunton office, looks at the worrying problem of Modern Ground Rent provisions under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the legal redress available to unwitting purchasers faced with sky high rent increases. Slee Blackwell’s professional negligence department has recently been retained to deal with several professional negligence cases involving long leases of National Trust property in Devon that have been extended under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. The 1967 Act contains a provision...

Solicitor’s delay in preparing a will is negligent says court Lee Dawkins, Slee Blackwell’s Taunton based Negligent Wills Specialist, reports on the recent case of Feltham –v- Bouskell in which a solicitor was found to be negligent for the delay in preparing a Will. The solicitor’s client, Hazel Charlton, was a woman in her 90’s. She had recently been admitted to a nursing home and was suffering from dementia. Hazel decided that she would like to leave a legacy to her step-granddaughter, Lorraine...

A review by the FSA has highlighted a number of banks, including Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS, who may have mis-sold interest rate hedging products, principally to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Interest rate hedging products were developed to protect borrowers against the risk of interest fluctuations. These products take several different forms, such as:- Interest rate swaps – that “fix” the interest rate Interest rate caps – that cap rises in interest rates Interest rate collars – that limit interest rate rises...

Professional Negligence lawyer at Slee Blackwell’s Taunton office, Lee Dawkins, looks at judicial criticism of the “tick box” approach adopted by E.Surv in a recent surveyors’ negligence claim The courts have given further guidance on the approach to be taken in negligent mortgage valuation cases. E.Surv, the UK’s largest residential surveyor, was found to have been negligent in carrying out two mortgage valuations. In giving his judgment, Mr Justice Coulson criticised E.Surv for blindly following the lender’s “tick box” form. The lender, GMAC,...

Speaking purely from a legal point of view it isn’t a great time to be representing landlords. There has recently been a spate of cases that have gone against landlords following poor advice from solicitors, opening the way for professional negligence claims to be brought against the lawyers. The first case concerned the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. This Act states that anyone who owns property owes a duty of care to people who visits their property, be it a visitor or...