Mason v Richard Freeman and Co (A Firm): CA 25 Mar 2010

The claimant appealed against dismissal of his claim for damages against his former solicitors. He had set out to purchase an apartment for a former partner, with assistance from a friend and a mortgage, signing a home-drafted trust document. Two of the three agreed to transfer it to the former partner, discharging the claimant, but ignoring the friend’s interest, which was unprotected, and in breach of the trust terms. The friend sued the claimant who settled and sought to recover his losses from the defendant who had acted throughout but had been unaware of the trust document. The judge had found no instructions to the defendant to register any charge in favour of the friend.
Held: There was no question of the defendant having accepted instructions to protect the interest of the friend. It had not. At the most he had indicated that the friend, not the firm’s client, was free to protect his interest himself. The direct instructions relied on by the claimant made no sense unless read to refer to the discharge only of the charge.


Wall LJ, Rimer LJ, Sir Scott Baker


[2010] EWCA Civ 287




England and Wales


Appeal fromMason v Richard Freeman and Co (A Firm) QBD 2009
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Professional Negligence

Updated: 16 August 2022; Ref: scu.406412