Professional Negligence

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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 for professional negligence. 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...

A professional negligence claim against a personal injury solicitor and barrister 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 personal 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 her claim by her solicitors and her barrister. The advice was...

Lee Dawkins, a Professional Negligence solicitor, 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 allowing landlords to charge an enhanced...

A court has ruled that a solicitors delay in preparing a will is negligent. Lee Dawkins reports on the case of Feltham –v- Bouskell in which a solicitor has been 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 Feltham. The solicitor quite...

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...

The Legal 500 UK 2011 edition has just been published and Slee Blackwell Solicitors are again being recommended in the areas of claimant personal injury law and professional negligence claims. The Legal 500 is acknowledged as the leading guide to the legal profession. Based on independent research carried out annually, it claims to be the “definitive judgment of law firms’ capabilities.” Slee Blackwell’s personal injury team is highly ranked within the South West, with special mentions going to Exeter based James McNally...

A landmark decision by the Court of Appeal in Scullion –v- Bank of Scotland on 17th June 2011, has effectively cut off any potential professional negligence claims by buy-to-let investors against valuation and mortgage surveyors for overvaluing property. The basic facts were that, in 2002, Mr Scullion purchased a buy-to-let property. A property broker organised a mortgage valuation with Colleys Surveyors (now part of Bank of Scotland) who confirmed that the value of the property was £353,000 with a rental value...

Professional negligence lawyer Emma Slade, looks at the importance of retainer documents in surveyors negligence claims The Court of Appeal has placed onerous duties upon surveyors (and by implication, all professionals) when it comes to the duties that they owe their client – even if the surveyor thinks the retainer has been terminated. The facts of Littlewood –v- Radford & Boston (2009) are relatively simple. Mrs Littlewood purchased a flat in 1996 which had only 35 years left remaining on the lease....