Milton v Walker and Stanger: 1981

The plaintiff instructed her solicitor to prepare documents and advise on a gift from P’s uncle to P and her cousin W in the proportions 2/3:1/3. P and W agreed that, should the farm be sold, the costs and capital gains tax (CGT) arising there from should be shared equally between them. The agreement prepared by the defendant did not have this effect. P claimed that by reason of the defendant’s negligence she would have to pay 2/3 of the CGT on a sale of the farm, instead of 50%.
Held: The loss arose when the agreement was executed, not on the sale of the farm or assessment of CGT: ‘If shortly after executing the agreement the plaintiff had issued a writ against the defendants, however difficult or even speculative the process might have been, the court would have awarded damages.’ Had P brought an action shortly after the agreement had been executed, the court would have awarded damages (however difficult or speculative the assessment of damages on that date might have been).


Nourse J


[1981] 125 SJ 86


AppliedForster v Outred and Co CA 1981
A mother signed a mortgage deed charging her property to H as security for a loan to her son. She claimed the solicitor had been negligent in his advice. The solicitor replied that the claim was out of time. The loss accrued not when demand for . .

Cited by:

CitedDaniels v Thompson CA 18-Mar-2004
The executor brought an action against the solicitor who had advised his client in connection with the transfer of her house in which she was to continue to live, saying he should have advised her that the gift would not protect her from Inheritance . .
CitedRobert Mark Gordon v J B Wheatley and Co (a Firm) CA 24-May-2000
The defendant solicitors had negligently advised the claimant in connection with a mortgage scheme he operated for customers. His case was that the defendants had negligently failed to advise him to register under s3 of the 1986 Act. The claimant . .
CitedThe Law Society v Sephton and Co and others CA 13-Dec-2004
The Society appealed dismissal for limitation of its claim against the defendant firm of accountants arising from alleged fraud in approval of a solicitor’s accounts.
Held: The liability did not arise until the Society decided to make . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Professional Negligence

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.196068