Joyce v Bowman Law Ltd: ChD 18 Feb 2010

The claimant asserted negligence by the defendant licensed conveyancers in not warning him of the effect of an option in the contract. He had been advised that it would allow him to choose to buy additional land, but it was in fact a put option. The court considered the calculation of damages for the loss of the opportunity to buy the land. The claimant had said that he would want to build a new house and in this area of outstanding natural beauty, it was argued that only the additional land would put him in a position to get permission for such.
Held: Though the expert evidence was conflicting, the court believed it likely that some planning permission would have been given. The defendant’s continued insistence that the clause was correct had left the claimant to become more tied in with the deal, and unable simply to sell the property. The claim succeeded, and damages were calculated and awarded accordingly.

Vos J
[2010] EWHC 251 (Ch), [2010] PNLR 22, [2010] 1 EGLR 129
England and Wales
CitedSimple Simon Catering Limited v Binstock Miller and Co CA 1973
In applying the ‘diminution in value’ rule for assessing lost opportunity damages, and particularly in claims against solicitors, a more general assessment should be made, taking account of the ‘general expectation of loss’. . .
CitedDavies v Taylor HL 1974
The plaintiff’s husband was killed in a road accident caused by the defendant’s negligence. They were childless. She had deserted him five weeks before his death and thereafter, he learned about her adultery with a fellow employee. He tried to . .
CitedDodd Properties (Kent) Ltd v Canterbury City Council CA 21-Dec-1979
The defendants had, in the course of building operations, caused nuisance and damage to the plaintiff’s building. The dispute was very lengthy, the costs of repair increased accordingly, and the parties now disputed the date at which damages fell to . .
CitedCounty Personnel (Employment Agency) Ltd v Alan R Pulver and Co (a Firm) CA 1987
The claimant sought damages after his negligent solicitors had saddled him with a ruinous underlease. They had had to buy themselves out of the lease. The court considered the date at which damages were to be calculated.
Held: The starting . .
CitedAllied Maples Group Ltd v Simmons and Simmons CA 12-May-1995
Lost chance claim – not mere speculative claim
Solicitors failed to advise the plaintiffs sufficiently in a property transaction. A warranty against liability for a former tenant’s obligations under leases had not been obtained. The trial judge held that, on a balance of probabilities, there was . .
CitedHanif v Middleweeks (a firm) CA 19-Jul-2000
The client was the co-owner of a nightclub which had been destroyed by fire. The insurers had issued proceedings for a declaration of non-liability, on the ground (among others) that the fire had been started deliberately by Mr Hanif’s co-owner. Mr . .
CitedVictoria Laundry (Windsor) Ltd v Newman Industries CA 1949
The plaintiffs claimed for loss of the profits from their laundry business because of late delivery of a boiler.
Held: The Court did not regard ‘loss of profits from the laundry business’ as a single type of loss. They distinguished losses . .
CitedBanco de Portugal v Waterlow and Sons Ltd HL 28-Apr-1932
Lord Macmillan said: ‘Where the sufferer from a breach of contract finds himself in consequence of that breach placed in position of embarrassment the measures which he may be driven to adopt in order to extricate himself ought not to be weighed in . .
CitedJenmain Builders and Others v Steed and Steed (A Firm) CA 20-Mar-2000
The defendant firm of solicitors acted on the sale of property, but failed to notify a purchaser that he was in a contract race and that another contract had been sent out. The claimant would have been able to exchange, and to have acquired the . .
CitedPilkington v Wood 1953
The plaintiff bought freehold land from a seller conveying as beneficial owner, the defendant acting as the plaintiff’s solicitor in the transaction. When the plaintiff later tried to sell the property he found the title was defective, the seller . .
CitedSmith New Court Securities Ltd v Scrimgeour Vickers HL 21-Nov-1996
The defendant had made misrepresentations, inducing the claimant to enter into share transactions which he would not otherwise have entered into, and which lost money.
Held: A deceitful wrongdoer is properly liable for all actual damage . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Damages

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.401647