Professional Negligence

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The NHBC (National House Building Council) are warranty and insurance providers for new homes in the UK. Builders who are registered with the NHBC must meet NHBC quality standards. This is intended to offer purchasers reassurance and confidence when buying a new build.  NHBC cover NHBC cover starts from exchange of contracts and lasts up to a maximum period of 10 years after the legal completion date. Pre-completion cover provides cover if you lose your deposit because your builder is unable to complete your home. During...

Buyers often look at a new build and think, 'perfect!' They come with a warranty (usually NHBC Buildmark) and because they are brand new you don't expect to have any of the issues that blight older properties. It sounds ideal. However, the reality is rather different. New build properties come with their own list of potential problems. Think of it this way; you are buying a house that nobody has ever lived in and nobody has tested out. It is probably so new it has not completely...

Professional negligence solicitor, Emma Slade, considers the question, is compensation taxable? “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax” Albert Einstein It takes a genius to understand how tax works and if Einstein had difficulties, us mere mortals barely have a hope.  This is no more so than in trying to work out whether tax should be paid on damages or settlement arising out of litigation. And if so, in what circumstances is compensation taxable? The difficulty with trying to work out whether tax...

When you go to the time and expense of getting a survey carried out before you buy a property it is reasonable to expect that it will highlight any serious defects. However, surveyors are only human and mistakes do occur. Here are some points to consider if you think your surveyor missed a major defect and are thinking about claiming compensation. What building defects do surveyors miss? Among the serious building defects that surveyors commonly miss are: subsidence; damp; leaking roof; Japanese knotweed; ...

When a solicitor has missed a time limit it can result in the legal action being struck out by the court. We are frequently consulted by people who have been the victim of a court decision based on a missed deadline that has effectively scuppered their legal claim. Experienced litigation lawyers know that the court rules and in particular court time limits have to be followed to the letter. They will be aware of the perils of leaving things to the last minute, when...

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has attracted widespread criticism concerning ground rent contracts at its new build properties. Although the housebuilder has reportedly set aside £130m to convert the controversial leases, property owners remain sceptical, claiming they will still be significantly out of pocket. The Taylor Wimpey ground rent scandal involves thousands of purchasers of the company’s new build properties who have acquired a 10 year doubling lease. These leases incorporate a ground rent clause which rises year on year to the point where...

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 the...

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 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...