We specialise in providing expert legal advice on professional negligence claims.
The following are examples of successful claims against negligent professionals, from surveyors to solicitors.
Successful claim against chartered surveyor who gave an inaccurate survey report
The claimant in this matter commissioned the chartered surveyor firm to undertake a full building survey of a London flat with gardens, which he had intended to purchase for over £1 million. The surveyors were aware that the claimant was visually impaired and that he would rely heavily on their surveyors report.
The report stated that the surveyor had “no hesitation in recommending [the property] as a worthwhile investment”, following which the claimant bought the property in reliance of the surveyors report. After a year, the claimant’s garden discovered Japanese knotweed (a non-native rapidly growing weed species). The invasion of Japanese knotweed can be a serious issue, and often its presence results in mortgage lenders requesting assurances that it will be eradicated before agreeing to advance any mortgage funds. The claimant was put to the cost of excavating the Japanese knotweed of over £10,000.
The claimant was advised to pursue a claim against the surveyors for the costs of all remediation work and the consequent reduction in value of the property. It was evidenced in court that a reasonably competent surveyor would have identified and reported on the presence of Japenese knotweed in a Level 3 Building survey. What was most damning was the fact that the surveyor would have had to actually push past the knotweed in order to carry out his inspection in the first place!
The claimant achieved the fantastic result of £50,000 in damages (to include the diminution in value of the property).
Successful claim against solicitor who mis-managed settlement funds for clients
The defendant solicitors acted in group litigation for almost 30,000 Ivory Coast residents in a damages claim for personal injuries caused by the dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast. The solicitors were successful in securing settlement sums of over £30 million.
However, the defendant firm arranged for the settlement sums to be paid into an (unsecure) bank account in the Ivory Coast. Consequently, around £6 million was stolen by fraud from the settlement sums held in the African bank account. The solicitors were negligent in not conducting diligence checks on the account and taking into account the potential for fraud or corruption. Clearly, the firm were in breach of its duties as the trustee for the sum received.
The firm presented the defence that the loss was too remote to be recoverable. However, the court were persuaded that the defendant should have at least recognised the risk of a dishonest claim and the claimants achieved the successful result of receiving the compensation they would have received in the underlying case had the defendant firm not have acted negligently.
Successful compensation claim after solicitor’s mistake causes claim to become discontinued
The defendant solicitor firm were instructed to bring an asbestos-related disease claim by the relatives of a deceased former insulation engineer who had had lung cancer.
The defendant solicitor’s firm made a crucial mistake during the evidence gathering process of the claim. The defendant firm instructed a doctor’s report to prove that the lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure. In providing instructions to the doctor, the negligent solicitors’ firm included the deceased’s hospital and GP records but crucially neither the mineral fibre analysis nor the post-mortem report.
The doctor’s report subsequently stated that the lung cancer was not linked to the asbestos exposure, which caused the claimants to discontinue the claim and lose the chance of damages or an out of court settlement agreement. It was accepted that if the defendant solicitors had provided the correct documentation to the doctor, then his report would have been materially different.
At trial the judge concluded that the claimants had good prospects of success in the underlying claim and the breach of duty (in not providing all the relevant documents to the expert) led to the claim being discontinued. The claimants achieved the successful result of £200,000 damages awarded by the court.
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Instruct Specialist Professional Negligence Solicitors
We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers operating from the only law firm based in the Middle Temple Inn of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. Our team have expertise in advising on claims for compensation against professionals that have fallen below the standard expected, which causes clients financial or personal loss. We are experienced in bringing successful claims against negligent solicitors, barristers, financial advisers, surveyors, valuers, architects, tax advisers and IFAs.
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