Prosser v Castle Sanderson Solicitors (a Firm), Geoffrey Martin and Co (A Firm): CA 31 Jul 2002

The claimant sought damages from the respondent solicitors and insolvency practitioners for professional negligence. He had substantial business interests, but fell into financial difficulties, and sought assistance from the defendants. He failed to assist in the preparation of accounts. In a brief meeting during an adjournment of his creditors’ meeting, when he sought an IVA, he was advised of the necessity to agree to the sale of certain property.
Held: At this point the insolvency practitioner was acting as chair of the meeting, and in that capacity did not owe the claimant a duty of care. The solicitor was alleged to have been negligent in not advising him to seek an adjournment of the meeting for fourteen days. To hold him liable, the claimant had to show that there was a substantial chance of an adjournment achieving the desired result. The judge had decided that he would not in any event have provided the accounts, and the result would not have been different. Appeal against the dismissal of the claimant’s case dismissed.


Lord Justice Mummery, Lord Justice Clarke, Lady Justice Hale


[2002] EWCA Civ 1140, [2002] BPIR 1163, [2002] Lloyds Rep PN 584




England and Wales


CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Insolvency

Updated: 20 December 2022; Ref: scu.174430