Portman Building Society v Bevan Ashford (a firm): CA 2000

The lender alleged negligence in the defendant solicitors.
Held: Otton LJ, delivering the leading judgment, declined to ask himself whether the scope of the solicitor’s duty extended to the lender’s decision or only to the material which the solicitor contributed to that decision, because in his view the distinction was irrelevant in a case where the facts withheld were sufficiently grave. He put the point in this way: ‘where a negligent solicitor fails to provide information which shows that the transaction is not viable or which tends to reveal an actual or potential fraud on the part of the borrowers, the lender is entitled to recover the whole of his loss. In other words, the whole of the loss suffered by the lender is within the scope of the solicitor’s duty and is properly recoverable.’
Otton LJ
[2000] PNLR 344
England and Wales
Cited by:
CriticisedBPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel) SC 22-Mar-2017
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose . .

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Updated: 12 February 2021; Ref: scu.640552