Taylor v Somerset Health Authority: 1993

The plaintiff’s husband had suffered a heart attack at work and soon died at the defendant’s hospital. She went to the hospital within an hour and was told of his death by a doctor about 20 minutes after her arrival. She was shocked and distressed. She identified the body at the mortuary. The defendants had been treating him for many months and had negligently failed to diagnose or treat his serious heart disease. It was admitted that she had suffered nervous shock (ie psychiatric illness) as a result of what she had heard and seen at the hospital.
Held: The claim failed. It did not fall within the ‘immediate aftermath’ principle as her husband’s body bore no signs of violent injury. The death was instead the final consequence of negligence by the defendants many months earlier. The ‘immediate aftermath’ extension had been introduced as an exception to the general principle established in accident cases that a plaintiff could only recover damages for psychiatric injury where the accident and the primary injury or death caused by it occurred within his sight or hearing.
Auld J said: ‘There are two notions implicit in this exception cautiously introduced and cautiously continued by the House of Lords. They are of:
(i) an external, traumatic, event caused by the defendant’s breach of duty which immediately causes some person injury or death; and
(ii) a perception by the plaintiff of the event as it happens, normally by his presence at the scene, or exposure to the scene and/or to the primary victim so shortly afterwards that the shock of the event as well as of its consequence is brought home to him.
There was no such event here other than the final consequence of Mr. Taylor’s progressively deteriorating heart condition which the health authority, by its negligence many months before, had failed to arrest. In my judgment, his death at work and the subsequent transference of his body to the hospital where Mrs. Taylor was informed of what had happened and where she saw the body do not constitute such an event.’

Auld J
[1993] 4 Med LR 34, [1993] PIQR P262
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedTaylor v A Novo (UK) Ltd CA 18-Mar-2013
The deceased had suffered a head injury at work from the defendant’s admitted negligence. She had been making a good recovery but then collapsed and died at home from pulmonary emboli, and thrombosis which were a consequence of the injury. The . .
CitedLiverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Ronayne CA 17-Jun-2015
The respondent was an experienced ambulance driver. His wife underwent emergency treatment at the appellant’s hospital. He had claimed as a secondary victim for the distress he suffered witnessing her suffering.
Held: The hospital’s appeal . .
CitedPaul and Another v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust QBD 4-Jun-2020
Nervous shock – liability to third parties
The claimants witnessed the death of their father from a heart attack. They said that the defendant’s negligent treatment allowed the attack to take place. Difficult point of law about the circumstances in which a defendant who owes a duty of care . .
CitedShorter v Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust QBD 25-Mar-2015
The claimant saw her sister in undeniably distressing circumstances in hospital. It was suggested that the claimant’s professional background, as a radiographer, gave her an unusual degree of insight into her sister’s medical condition and that, as . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence

Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.471890

Frost v Wake Smith and Tofields Solicitors: CA 19 Jun 2013

The court was asked whether the Appellant’s solicitor was in breach of duty in failing to render into a legally enforceable form the agreement to which the parties came in the course of a mediation.

Tomlinson Ryder LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 772
Bailii
England and Wales

Professional Negligence

Updated: 15 November 2021; Ref: scu.512120

Hotson v East Berkshire Health Authority: HL 2 Jul 1988

The claimant (then 13) fell twelve feet in climbing a tree and sustained an acute traumatic fracture of the left femoral epiphysis. At hospital, his injury was not correctly diagnosed or treated for five days, and he went on to suffer a vascular necrosis of the epiphysis, involving disability of the hip joint with the virtual certainty that osteoarthritis would later develop. Prior to the intervention of the doctor, he had a 75% chance of a similar result. The court found that there was a 25% chance that if the doctor had not been negligent, that the outcome would have been better, and had awarded damages for that ‘loss of a chance’.
Held: Damages could not be awarded for that 25% chance because the effect of the judge’s finding as to the chances of the condition resulting from the fall being 75% was a finding in law that that would actually have been the result. The relevant factual question about the plaintiff’s condition immediately prior to the negligence was whether his fall from the tree had left sufficient blood vessels intact to keep his left femoral epiphysis alive. The answer to this question of fact answered the hypothetical question: would a vascular necrosis have been avoided if his leg had been treated promptly? The answer to the first question also answered the second question, because the second question is a mirror image of the first. Built into the formulation of the first question was the answer to the second question.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern
[1987] AC 750, [1988] UKHL 1, [1987] 2 All ER 909
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .

Cited by:
CitedGregg v Scott CA 29-Oct-2002
The claimant sought damages. He had a lymphoma, but despite his seeking medical assistance, it was not diagnosed early, and his life expectancy was diminished.
Held: In order to claim damages for a reduced life expectancy, the claimant had to . .
CitedWardlaw v Dr Farrar CA 27-Nov-2003
The claimant appealed an award of andpound;1,000 damages for the death of his wife for professional negligence. Doctors had differed as to whether the delay complained of had contributed to the death.
Held: It was vital now that medical . .
CitedCoudert Brothers v Normans Bay Limited (Formerly Illingworth, Morris Limited) CA 27-Feb-2004
The respondent had lost its investment in a Russian development, and the appellants challenged a finding that they had been negligent in their advice with regard to the offer documents.
Held: As to the basis of calculation of damages as to a . .
CitedGregg v Scott HL 27-Jan-2005
The patient saw his doctor and complained about a lump under his arm. The doctor failed to diagnose cancer. It was nine months before treatment was begun. The claimant sought damages for the reduction in his prospects of disease-free survival for . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedBarker v Corus (UK) Plc HL 3-May-2006
The claimants sought damages after contracting meselothemia working for the defendants. The defendants argued that the claimants had possibly contracted the disease at any one or more different places. The Fairchild case set up an exception to the . .
CitedNestle v National Westminster Bank CA 6-May-1992
The claimant said that the defendant bank as trustee of her late father’s estate had been negligent in its investment of trust assets.
Held: The claimant had failed to establish either a breach of trust or any loss flowing from it, though . .
CitedSienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willmore SC 9-Mar-2011
The Court considered appeals where defendants challenged the factual basis of findings that they had contributed to the causes of the claimant’s Mesothelioma, and in particular to what extent a court can satisfactorily base conclusions of fact on . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.183100

Parker and Another v SJ Berwin and Co and Another: QBD 17 Dec 2008

The claimants sought damages from their former solicitors. They set out to purchase a football club, expending substantial sums for the purpose, relying on the defendants’ promised provision of service in finding and arranging the funding. They said that the defendants made no progress, the opportunity was lost, and their money wasted. After a dilatory action, the claimants sought permission to amend their particulars out of time to add several new claims.
Held: Some amendments were allowed since they arose from the same facts, and others were rejected as having no prospect of success. However, it was not open to the Claimants to ‘rely on the CCC Films principle in the present case. There is no presumption that their wasted expenditure is recoverable in full. To recover any of that expenditure they must establish that there was a real and substantial chance of the expenditure being recovered, as would be usual in cases of this nature, and as they themselves initially acknowledged and pleaded.’

Hamblen J
[2008] EWHC 3017 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedCobbold v London Borough of Greenwich CA 9-Aug-1999
The tenant had sought an order against the council landlord for failure to repair her dwelling. The defendant appealed refusal of leave to amend the pleadings in anticipation of the trial, now due to start on the following day.
Held: Leave was . .
CitedFinlan v Winfield ChD 2007
Blackburne J said that when considering an application to amend particulars of claim outside the limitation period: ‘the court should not confine itself to a comparison of the new cause of action with the existing cause of action at the highest . .
CitedSmith v Henniker-Major and Co CA 22-Jul-2002
The claimant appealed the strike-out of his claim for professional negligence against the respondent solicitors. He claimed that the solicitors had acted in breach of their duty, and he then called a company meeting. Only he attended. He mistakenly . .
CitedSwain v Hillman CA 21-Oct-1999
Strike out – Realistic Not Fanciful Chance Needed
The proper test for whether an action should be struck out under the new Rules was whether it had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. There was no justification for further attempts to explain the meaning of what are clear . .
CitedIndependents’ Advantage Insurance Company Ltd v Cook and Another CA 24-Jul-2003
‘The power of the court to strike out a statement of case under CPR 3.4(2)(a) – and the related power to give summary judgment under CPR 24.2 – has an important place in the disposal of claims in accordance with the Civil Procedural Rules. The . .
Not appliedCCC Films (London) Ltd v Impact Quadrant Films Ltd 1984
The claimants purchased a licence to promote three films, but the defendant lost the film prints and CCC could not therefore promote them. After their claim for loss of profit failed in the absence of evidence, they claimed for the expenditure they . .
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 . .
CitedLaw Society of England and Wales and others v Shah and others ChD 30-Nov-2007
Solicitor firms had been made bankrupt leaving a shortfall after thefts from client accounts of over 12 million pounds. The thief had diappeared, and the other partners were now discharged form bankruptcy. The Law Society accepted that it could not . .
CitedCullinane v British ‘Rema’ Manufacturing Co Ltd CA 1954
The court considered the possibility of a claim in breach of contract for damages for both capital loss and loss of profit.
Lord Evershed MR said: ‘It seems to me, as a matter of principle, that the full claim of damages in the form in which . .
CitedAnglia Television v Oliver Reed CA 1971
The television company had agreed with the actor defendant for him to appear in a production. He breached the contract. The company sought both loss of profits and for the expense incurred. The issue before the Court of Appeal was whether such . .
CitedSouth Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .
CitedL Albert and Son v Armstrong Rubber Co 1949
(United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit) A purchaser of machines designed to recondition rubber sought damages for breach of contract, namely, the cost of the foundation on which the machines were placed. However, the purchaser did not prove . .
CitedFilobake Ltd v Rondo Ltd and Another CA 11-May-2005
Unsuitability of baking equipment installation. A claimant in a breach of contract claim has a choice whether to claim loss of profits or wasted expenditure. . .
CitedGaloo Ltd and Others v Bright Grahame Murray CA 21-Dec-1993
It is for the Court to decide whether the breach of duty was the cause of a loss or simply the occasion for it by the application of common sense. A breach of contract, to found recovery, must be shown to have been ‘an ‘effective’ or ‘dominant’ . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Litigation Practice, Limitation

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.278861

Bacciottini and Another v Gotelee and Goldsmith (A Firm): CA 18 Mar 2016

A property subject to a planning condition was purchased by the appellant under the advice of the respondent, who failed to notify him of the existence of a planning condition. The judge had awarded the claimant pounds 250 being the cost of the successful application for the removal of the condition. The claimant sought pounds 100,000, being the difference in value before the application succeeded.
Held: The appeal failed. The later removal of the condition meant that the claimant had not suffered the losses alleged.

David, Lloyd Jones, Underhill LJJ
[2016] EWCA Civ 170, [2016] WLR(D) 152, [2016] 4 WLR 98, [2016] PNLR 22
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLivingstone v Rawyards Coal Co HL 13-Feb-1880
Damages or removal of coal under land
User damages were awarded for the unauthorised removal of coal from beneath the appellant’s land, even though the site was too small for the appellant to have mined the coal himself. The appellant was also awarded damages for the damage done to the . .
CitedBritish Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railways Co (London) Limited HL 1912
The plaintiffs purchased eight steam turbines from the defendants. They later proved defective, and the plaintiffs sought damages. In the meantime they purchased replacements, more effective than the original specifications. In the result the . .
CitedPhilips v Ward CA 1956
The Plaintiff had relied on a negligent survey to purchase a substantial Elizabethan property and land. The report did not mention that the timbers of the house were badly affected by death watch beetle and worm so that the only course left to him . .
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 . .
CitedHussey v Eels CA 1990
Profits made on development were not deductible
The purchasers of a property for a price of 53,250 pounds had relied on a negligent misrepresentation that the property had not been the subject of subsidence. In fact it had. The cost of the required works was 17,000 pounds, which they could not . .
CitedWatts and Co v Morrow CA 30-Jul-1991
The plaintiff had bought a house on the faith of the defendant’s report that there were only limited defects requiring repair. In fact the defects were much more extensive. The defendant surveyor appealed against an award of damages after his . .
CitedWapshott v Davis Donovan and Co CA 1996
The defendant solicitors had negligently in 1986 failed to advise purchasers that there was no good title to part (an extension over an adjoining property) of a leasehold flat which they were buying. The problem came to light in 1988 when they . .
CitedKennedy v K B Van Emden and Co; Jordan v Gershon Young Finer and Green and Similar CA 27-Mar-1996
A solicitor failed in 1983 to advise a purchaser of the fact that premium she was paying on purchasing a leasehold flat was unlawful under the Act, and would be unrecoverable on the sale. Before trial however, in 1989 the law changed and the premium . .
CitedGardner v Marsh and Parsons (a Firm), Dyson CA 2-Dec-1996
Damages awarded against a surveyor for a negligent survey which had missed certain defects, were not to be reduced for repairs later carried out by the landlord at his own expense. The trial judge decided to award damages reflecting the difference . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Professional Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.561202

Pegasus Management Holdings Sca and Another v Ernst and Young (A Firm) and Another: ChD 11 Nov 2008

The claimants alleged professional negligence in advice given by the defendant on a share purchase, saying that it should have been structured to reduce Capital Gains Tax. The defendants denied negligence and said the claim was statute barred.
Held: The defence in fact was that the claimant had both brought the claim too early because no tax liability had yet arisen, and too late because the arrangement had been set up several years before. Any contract breach took place when the breach occurred and that was time barred. In negligence, time ran from the time when any actual damage occurred, and ‘where the client has engaged professionals in connection with a transaction to secure for him some property or rights, and because of the negligence of those professionals, the client acquires less valuable property or rights than he would have done if he had been given correct advice, he suffers damage at the time of the transaction, even if the property or rights are worth no less than he actually paid for them.’ The damage occurred on the purchase of the shares, and the claim was time barred.

Lewison J
[2008] EWHC 2720 (Ch)
Bailii
Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 164A, Finance Act 1997, Finance Act 1993, Limitation Act 1980
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedForster 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 . .
CitedWatkins and Another v Jones Maidment Wilson (A Firm) CA 4-Mar-2008
The claimants alleged professional negligence by the defendant solicitors in advising them to agree to a postponment of a completion. The defendants raised as a preliminary issue the question of limitation. The claimant said that the limitation . .
CitedDoncaster Pharmaceuticals Group Ltd and Others v The Bolton Pharmaceutical Company 100 Ltd CA 26-May-2006
Appeals were made against interlocutory injunctions for alleged trade mark infringement.
Held: The court should hesitate about making a final decision for summary judgment without a trial, even where there is no obvious conflict of fact at the . .
CitedNykredit Mortgage Bank Plc v Edward Erdman Group Ltd (No 2) HL 27-Nov-1997
A surveyor’s negligent valuation had led to the plaintiff obtaining what turned out to be inadequate security for his loan. A cause of action against a valuer for his negligent valuation arises when a relevant and measurable loss is first recorded. . .
CitedBaker v Ollard and Bentley CA 12-May-1982
The plaintiff and a Mr and Mrs Bodman agreed to buy a house. The plaintiff intended to live on the first floor and the Bodmans on the ground floor. The solicitor should have advised them to convey the freehold into their joint names and then to . .
CitedKnapp v Ecclesiastical Insurance Group Plc and Another CA 30-Oct-1997
A claim in negligence was brought against insurance brokers for failing to advise the claimant of certain matters with the result that an insurance policy entered into by the claimant was voidable for non-disclosure.
Held: The claimant . .
CitedE D and F Man Liquid Products Ltd v Patel and Another CA 4-Apr-2003
The rules contained two occasions on which a court would consider dismissal of a claim as having ‘no real prospect’ of success.
Held: The only significant difference between CPR 24.2 and 13.3(1), is that under the first the overall burden of . .
CitedSwain v Hillman CA 21-Oct-1999
Strike out – Realistic Not Fanciful Chance Needed
The proper test for whether an action should be struck out under the new Rules was whether it had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. There was no justification for further attempts to explain the meaning of what are clear . .
CitedThe Royal Brompton Hospital National Health Service Trust v Hammond and Others (No 5) CA 11-Apr-2001
When looking at an application to strike out a claim, the normal ‘balance of probabilities’ standard of proof did not apply. It was the court’s task to assess whether, even if supplemented by evidence at trial, the claimant’s claim was bound to fail . .
CitedUBAF Ltd v European American Banking Corporation CA 1984
The defendant invited the plaintiff to take part in a syndicated loan. The defendant’s assistant secretary signed a letter to the plaintiff making representations, now claimed to be fraudulent. The defendant succeeded at first instance arguing that . .
CitedDW Moore and Co Ltd v Ferrier CA 1988
A solicitor was instructed to prepare an agreement providing for the introduction of a new working director into an insurance broking business carried on by a company. His instructions called for the new director to enter into a restrictive covenant . .
CitedBell v Peter Browne and Co CA 1990
Mr Bell asked his solicitors to transfer the matrimonial home into his wife’s sole name. He was to receive a one-sixth interest of the gross proceeds on a sale. His interests were to be protected by a trust deed or mortgage. The solicitor drafted . .
CitedLaw Society v Sephton and Co (a Firm) and Others HL 10-May-2006
A firm of solicitors had a member involved in a substantial fraud. The defendant firm of accountants certified the firm’s accounts. There were later many calls upon the compensation fund operated by the claimants, who sought recovery in turn from . .
CitedWatts and Co v Morrow CA 30-Jul-1991
The plaintiff had bought a house on the faith of the defendant’s report that there were only limited defects requiring repair. In fact the defects were much more extensive. The defendant surveyor appealed against an award of damages after his . .
CitedNykredit Mortgage Bank Plc v Edward Erdman Group Ltd (No 2) HL 27-Nov-1997
A surveyor’s negligent valuation had led to the plaintiff obtaining what turned out to be inadequate security for his loan. A cause of action against a valuer for his negligent valuation arises when a relevant and measurable loss is first recorded. . .
CitedSouth Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .
CitedR P Howard Ltd and Witchell v Woodman Matthews and Co (a firm) 1983
The solicitor defendant knew that the company was a family company effectively run by Mr Witchell from whom they received their instructions. The question raised was as to the duty of the solicitor to company and director.
Held: There is no . .
CitedFirst National Comercial Bank plc v Humberts CA 27-Jan-1995
The plaintiff loaned money on the basis of a negligent survey by the defendant. The borrower subsequently defaulted, and the lender issued a writ. The defendant said that the claim was time barred.
Held: The court allowed the plaintiff’s . .
CitedCoulthard, Ashton Shuttleworth, and Dawes v Neville Russell (a Firm) CA 27-Nov-1997
Auditors who were in a position to advise a company’s directors as to the legality of them making loan payments to a shell company which was acquiring there shares had a duty so to advise. The directors of a company sued them for failing to warn . .
CitedShore v Sedgwick Financial Services Ltd CA 23-Jul-2008
The claimant said that the defendant had given him negligent advice on pensions, failing to say that he should stay within his occupational scheme. The defendant pleaded limitation.
Held: The claimant suffered damage when he made the transfer . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Limitation

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.277737

Yianni v Edwin Evans and Sons: ChD 1981

The respondent valuers reported to a building society that a property would be a sufficient security. The purchaser relied on that report to purchase the property, ignoring the advice in the lender’s form to obtain a full survey. The property was found to have suffered severe cracking.
Held: The valuers had a duty of care to the purchasers. They knew that the report would be passed to them, and that they could be expected to rely upon it. There was sufficient proximity to create a duty of care. Since the plaintiffs’ failure to have an independent survey, or to take other steps to discover the true condition of the house, was due to their reliance on the defendants’ valuation, the defendant’s allegation of contributory negligence failed.
Park J said: ‘The defendants’ representative who surveyed and valued 1, Seymour Road noted the type of dwelling house it was; its age, its price and the locality in which it was situated. It was plainly a house at the lower end of the property market. The applicant for a loan would therefore almost certainly be a person of modest means who, for one reason or another, would not be expected to obtain an independent valuation, and who would be certain to rely, as the plaintiffs in fact did, on the defendants’ valuation as communicated to him in the building society’s offer. I am sure that the defendants knew that their valuation would be passed on to the plaintiffs and that the defendants knew that the plaintiffs would rely upon it when they decided to accept the society’s offer.
For these reasons I have come to the conclusion that the defendants owed a duty of care to the plaintiffs because, to use the words of Lord Wilberforce in Anns v. Merton Borough Council [1978] AC 728, 751H, there was a sufficient relationship of proximity such that, in the reasonable contemplation of the defendants, carelessness on their part might be likely to cause damage to the plaintiffs.’

Park J
[1982] QB 438, [1981] 3 WLR 843, [1981] 3 All ER 592
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedCandler v Crane Christmas and Co CA 15-Dec-1950
Though the accounts of the company in which the plaintiff had invested had been carelessly prepared and gave a wholly misleading picture of the state of the company, the plaintiff could not recover damages. A false statement, carelessly, as . .
CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
CitedAnns and Others v Merton London Borough Council HL 12-May-1977
The plaintiff bought her apartment, but discovered later that the foundations were defective. The local authority had supervised the compliance with Building Regulations whilst it was being built, but had failed to spot the fault. The authority . .

Cited by:
CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc ComC 3-Feb-2004
The claimant had obtained orders against two companies who banked with the respondent. Asset freezing orders were served on the bank, but within a short time the customer used the bank’s Faxpay national service to transfer substantial sums outside . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.193349

Goody v Baring: CA 1956

The plaintiff asked the defendant solicitor to act for him in the purchase of a leasehold house. The solicitor was also asked to act for the vendor. The replies he gave, innocently, on behalf of the vendor were inaccurate as to the conditions of the tenancies. The buyer eventually had to repay overcharged rents to the tenants.
Held: The defendant was liable in that he had not questioned the vendor’s answers, but had simply relayed them. In a contract for the sale of land the buyer’s solicitor has a duty to make appropriate enquiries, and where these reveal some encumbrance, to pursue those enquiries. Once contracts have been exchanged, he remains under a duty to request confirmation of the replies given.

[1956] 1 WLR 448, [1956] 2 All ER 11, [1956] Sol Jo 320
England and Wales

Land, Contract, Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.219178

Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell and Co (a Firm): HL 1978

Extent of Counsel’s Immunity in Negligence

The House considered the extent of a barrister’s immunity from action in negligence, and particularly whether it covered pre-trial acts or omissions in connection with civil proceedings.
Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit extended only to such pre-trial work as was intimately connected with the conduct of the case in Court as distinct from more remote legal services such as advice (including advice not to go to Court). Barristers have a special status, just as a trial has a special character: some immunity is necessary in the public interest, even if, in some rare cases, an individual may suffer loss. The immunity of barristers from suit could be justified on two other grounds. The analogy of the general immunity from civil liability which attaches to all persons participating in proceedings before a court. Second was the public interest in not permitting decisions to be challenged by collateral proceedings.
Lord Diplock said that a barrister is not liable for an error of judgment ‘unless the error was such as no reasonably well-informed and competent member of that profession could have made.’
He considered the barrister’s overriding duty to the court: ‘The fact that application of the rules that a barrister must observe may in particular cases call for the exercise of finely balanced judgments upon matters about which different members of the profession might take different views, does not in my view provide sufficient reason for granting absolute immunity from liability at common law. No matter what profession it may be, the common law does not impose on those who practise it any liability for damage resulting from what in the result turn out to have been errors of judgment, unless the error was such as no reasonably well-informed and competent member of that profession could have made. So too the common law makes allowance for the difficulties in the circumstances in which professional judgments have to be made and acted upon. The salvor and the surgeon, like the barrister, may be called upon to make immediate decisions which, if in the result they turn out to have been wrong, may have disastrous consequences. Yet neither salvors nor surgeons are immune from liability for negligent conduct of a salvage or surgical operation; nor does it seem that the absence of absolute immunity from negligence has disabled members of professions other than the law from giving their best services to those to whom they are rendered.’
Lord Wilberforce said: ‘Some immunity is necessary in the public interest, even if, in some rare cases, an individual may suffer.’ and ‘In principle, those who undertake to give skilled advice are under a duty to use reasonable care and skill. The immunity as regards litigation is an exception from this and applies only in the area to which it extends. Outside that area, the normal rule must apply.’ and ‘Much if not most of a barrister’s work involves the exercise of judgment – it is in the realm of art not science. Indeed the solicitor normally goes to counsel [for advice] precisely at the point where, as between possible courses, a choice can only be made on the basis of a judgment which is fallible and may turn out to be wrong. Thus in the nature of things, an action against a barrister who acts honestly and carefully is unlikely to succeed.’
Lord Salmon: ‘Lawyers are often faced with finely balanced problems. Diametrically opposed views may [be] and not infrequently are taken by barristers and indeed by judges, each of whom has exercised reasonable, and sometimes far more than reasonable, care and competence. The fact that one of them turns out to be wrong certainly does not mean that he had been negligent.’ However ‘it can only be the rarest of cases that the law confers any immunity upon a barrister against a claim for negligence in respect of any work he has done out of court.’ and ‘The normal rule applied by the law is that if anyone holding himself out as possessing reasonable competence in his vocation undertakes to advise or settle a document, he owes a duty to advise or settle the document with reasonable competence and care.’

Lord Diplock. Lord Salmon, Lord Wilberforce, Lord Keith of Kinkel
[1980] AC 198, [1978] 3 All ER 1033, [1978] 3 WLR 849, [1978] UKHL 6
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
ConsideredRondel v Worsley HL 1967
Need for Advocate’s Immunity from Negligence
The appellant had obtained the services of the respondent barrister to defend him on a dock brief, and alleged that the respondent had been negligent in the conduct of his defence.
Held: The House considered the immunity from suit of . .

Cited by:
CitedAtwell v Perr and Co and Another ChD 27-Jul-1998
Counsel advising during conduct of case has immunity but a wrongful advice on appeal was outside his immunity. Work done before a hearing constituting the formulation of case was within the immunity from suit. . .
CitedMoy v Pettman Smith (a firm) and another HL 3-Feb-2005
Damages were claimed against a barrister for advice on a settlement given at the door of the court. After substantial litigation, made considerably more difficult by the negligence of the solicitors, the barrister had not advised the claimant at the . .
CitedKelley v Corston CA 20-Aug-1997
The plaintiff employed the defendant barrister to pursue her claim for ancillary relief in divorce. She sought to recover damages for his alleged negligence.
Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit for negligence in advocacy extends to . .
CitedThe Football League Ltd v Edge Ellison (A Firm) ChD 23-Jun-2006
The claimants operated football leagues, and asked the defendant solicitors to act in negotiating the sale of television rights to ONdigital. The broadcasts went ahead, but no guarantees were taken for the contract. The claimants alleged . .
CitedHicks v Russell Jones and Walker (A Firm) ChD 27-Apr-2007
The claimants sought to pursue an action in negligence against their solicitors saying that they had conducted another case negligently, and thereby they had lost their chance in the action, on the basis that the hotel at the centre of the action . .
CitedAbrahams v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis CA 8-Dec-2000
The claimant had been arrested for swearing at a police officer. After her arrest, the claimant made admissions to secure a caution, rather than risk prosecution. She later sought to begin a civil action for damages against the police in the course . .
CitedAwoyomi v Radford and Another QBD 12-Jul-2007
The claimant sought damages from the defendant barristers who had represented her in criminal proceedings. They had not passed on to her the statement made by the judge in chambers that if she pleaded guilty he would not impose a sentence of . .
CitedWelsh v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police 1993
On conviction for one offence, the plaintiff asked for two other offences to be taken into consideration. He was bailed pending sentence. He was then arrested for the other offences and wrongfully held in custody. The Crown Prosecution Service had . .
CitedWilliams v Thompson Leatherdale (A Firm) and Another QBD 10-Nov-2008
The claimant sought damages from her legal advisers. They had allowed her to settle an ancillary relief application knowing that the case of White v White had been referred to the House of lords, and the settlement proved to have been on . .
CitedRidehalgh v Horsefield; Allen v Unigate Dairies Ltd CA 26-Jan-1994
Guidance for Wasted Costs Orders
Guidance was given on the circumstances required for the making of wasted costs orders against legal advisers. A judge invited to make an order arising out of an advocate’s conduct of court proceedings must make full allowance for the fact that an . .
CitedMcFaddens (A Firm) v Platford TCC 30-Jan-2009
The claimant firm of solicitors had been found negligent, and now sought a contribution to the damages awarded from the barrister defendant. They had not managed properly issues as to their clients competence to handle the proceedings.
Held: . .
CitedPritchard Joyce and Hinds (A Firm) v Batcup and Another CA 5-May-2009
Standard expected of negligence claim on counsel
The claimant solicitors sought contributory damages from counsel for failing to advise them of the applicable limitation period in an action they were conducting against other solicitors in negligence. Counsel now appealed saying that the judged had . .
CitedJones v Kaney SC 30-Mar-2011
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action.
Held: The . .
CitedLumsdon and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Legal Services Board Admn 20-Jan-2014
Four barristers challenged, by a judicial review, a decision by which the LSB approved an application proposed by the BSB jointly with two other approved regulators, the SRA and IPS, to introduce the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.181061

Simmons v Pennington and Son: CA 1955

Solicitors Followed Historical Practice

Premises owned by the plaintiff were subject to an obsolete covenant restricting their use to that of a private dwelling house. It had in fact been used continuously for many years, both before and after the plaintiff became owner, for business purposes, without any complaint being made. In 1948 the plaintiff sold the premises by auction to B who paid a deposit. The particulars described the property as a ‘valuable and commanding freehold corner shop premises,’. A special condition stated that the property was subject to the restrictive covenants as to user contained in a deed of 1870 (which restricted the user to that of a private dwelling house), so far as those covenants were subsisting and capable of taking effect. In answering a requisition as to title whether the premises were subject to a restrictive covenant, the defendants acting as solicitors for the plaintiff, replied ‘Yes, see special condition 7. There appear to have been breaches of the covenant as to user but no notice of breach has been served.’ The purchaser took that reply as a repudiation and recovered his deposit. While that action was pending another purchaser offered to buy the premises, but the defendants advised him not to sell pending the trial of the first action. The property was then damaged by fire. The insurance lapsed. He claimed damages from his solicitors for negligence.
Held: His action failed. The defendants having in answering the requisition acted in accordance with the general practice of conveyancers, which had been followed for many years without any ill consequence, they could not be held to have acted negligently or failed to come up to a reasonable standard of care, for they could not reasonably have anticipated the result which had flowed from it. The answer given to the requisition on title by the solicitors’ managing clerk followed the form which the trial judge, Harman J. said had been used in answering such questions ‘from the time of the memory of man, or at all events for a long time.’ The solicitors had acted in accordance with the general practice of conveyancers; no ill consequences had ever been known to flow from an answer to a requisition in this form. Denning L.J. said that now the case had gone adversely to the vendor it was possible to see that a mistake had been made, but he warned against being wise after the event. The test to be applied was whether solicitors in that position had ‘failed to come up to a reasonable standard of care and skill such as is rightfully required of an ordinary prudent solicitor.’ It was impossible to say that these solicitors were guilty of a breach of duty to their client; it was one of those misadventures and misfortunes which sometimes happen in the best conducted businesses.

Lord Denning, Hodson L
[1955] 1 All ER 240, [1955] 1 WLR 183
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedFletcher and Son v Jubb, Booth and Helliwel CA 1920
Scrutton LJ said: ‘it would be extremely difficult to define the exact limit by which the skill and diligence which a solicitor undertakes to furnish in the conduct of a case is bounded, or to trace precisely the dividing line between that . .

Cited by:
CitedG and K Ladenbau (UK) Ltd v Crawley and De Reya QBD 25-Apr-1977
The defendant solicitors acted for the plaintiff in the purchase of land, but failed to undertake a commons search which would have revealed an entry which would prevent the client pursuing his development. The defect was discovered only when . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.183165

Haithwaite v Thomson Snell and Passmore (A Firm): QBD 30 Mar 2009

The claimant sought damages from his former solicitors for admitted professional negligence. The court considered the loss suffered in the handling of his claim against a health authority. The solicitors received advice after issuing that the claimant was a patient and therefore required consent to issue proceedings. Having received that consent they were then advised that he was no longer a patient.
Held: The court found that he would have had a 30% chance of establishing negligence against the hospital, and calculated the losses accordingly.

Nicol J
[2009] EWHC 647 (QB), [2009] 15 EG 99, [2009] PNLR 27
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMount v Baker Austin CA 18-Feb-1998
The Defendant solicitors had allowed the Plaintiff’s claim to be struck out for want of prosecution. The court considered how to calculate the value of the loss of the chance of pursuing the claim: ‘1. The legal burden lies on the plaintiff to prove . .
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 . .
CitedDixon v Clement Jones Solicitors (A Firm) CA 8-Jul-2004
The defendant firm had negligently allowed a claim for damages against a firm of accountants to become statute barred. The defendants said the claim was of no or little value, since the claimant would have proceeded anyway.
Held: The court had . .
CitedMasterman-Lister v Brutton and Co, Jewell and Home Counties Dairies (No 1) CA 19-Dec-2002
Capacity for Litigation
The claimant appealed against dismissal of his claims. He had earlier settled a claim for damages, but now sought to re-open it, and to claim in negligence against his former solicitors, saying that he had not had sufficient mental capacity at the . .
CitedSharif and Others v Garrett and Co CA 31-Jul-2001
The applicants sought damages from the defendant solicitors who had failed to prosecute properly a claim for damages. Their building was damaged by fire, but they had not been insured. The action was against the brokers. The court had awarded them . .
CitedHatswell v Goldbergs (a firm) CA 2002
The claimant sought damages from his solicitors where his claim for medical negligence was struck out for delay. The High Court declared his claim as of no value.
Held: The underlying claim in medical negligence was made simply impossible by a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Damages

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.326985

Cave v Robinson Jarvis and Rolf (a Firm): HL 25 Apr 2002

An action for negligence against a solicitor was defended by saying that the claim was out of time. The claimant responded that the solicitor had not told him of the circumstances which would lead to the claim, and that deliberate concealment should extend the limitation period.
Held: Brocklesby was wrongly decided. Section 32 should deprive a defendant of his limitation defence where either he took active steps to conceal his failure, or the failure itself was deliberate and the concealment might not be discovered for sometime. Where the failing was non-deliberate negligence, a failure to disclose was not concealment. Deliberate commission did not require unconscionable behaviour, but was still to be contrasted with behaviour which was accidental, or inadvertent.
Lord Millettt said: ‘As I have explained, in enacting the 1980 Act Parliament substituted ‘deliberate concealment’ for ‘concealed fraud’. This is a different and more appropriate concept. It cannot be assumed that the law remained the same. But reference to the old law explains why Parliament enacted section 32(2) and did not rely on section 32(1)(b) alone to cover the whole ground. With all reference to fraud or conscious impropriety omitted, there was an obvious risk that ‘deliberate concealment’ might be construed in its natural sense as meaning ‘active concealment’ and not as embracing mere non-disclosure. Section 32(2) was therefore enacted to cover cases where active concealment should not be required. But such cases were limited in two respects: first, the defendant must have been guilty of a deliberate commission of a breach of duty; and secondly, the circumstances must make it unlikely that the breach of duty will be discovered for some time.
Given that section 32(2) is (or at least may be) required to cover cases of non-disclosure rather than active concealment, the reason for limiting it to the deliberate commission of a breach of duty becomes clear. It is only where the defendant is aware of his own deliberate wrongdoing that it is appropriate to penalise him for failing to disclose it.
In my opinion, section 32 deprives a defendant of a limitation defence in two situations: (i) where he takes active steps to conceal his own breach of duty after he has become aware of it; and (ii) where he is guilty of deliberate wrongdoing and conceals or fails to disclose it in circumstances where it is unlikely to be discovered for some time. But it does not deprive a defendant of a limitation defence where he is charged with negligence if, being unaware of his error or that he has failed to take proper care, there has been nothing for him to disclose.’
Lord Scott said: ‘If the claimant can show that the defendant knew he was committing a breach of duty, or intended to commit the breach of duty – I can discern no difference between the two formulations; each would constitute, in my opinion, a deliberate commission of the breach – then, if the circumstances are such that the claimant is unlikely to discover for some time that the breach of duty has been committed, the facts involved in the breach are taken to have been deliberately concealed for subsection (1)(b) purposes.
Morritt LJ said, in [Brocklesby v Armitage and Guest (Note) [2002] 1 WLR 598], that in general a person is assumed to know the legal consequences of his actions and that, therefore, if an act has been done intentionally, the actor’s unawareness of its legal consequences would be immaterial and no defence. The premise is, in my opinion, much too wide to constitute a satisfactory approach to construction of a statutory provision such as section 32(2). A person may or may not know that an act of his or an omission to do or say something or other constitutes a breach of tortious or contractual duty. His knowledge or lack of it may well be immaterial to the question whether a cause of action for which he is liable has accrued to the person injured by the act or omission. But that is no reason at all why Parliament, in prescribing the circumstances in which the person injured by the act or omission can escape from a Limitation Act defence, should not distinguish between the case where the actor knows he is committing a breach of duty and the case where he does not. The clear words of section 32(2) – ‘deliberate commission of a breach of duty’ – show that Parliament has made that distinction.
It follows that, in my opinion, the construction of section 32(2) adopted in the Brocklesby case was wrong.’

Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett and Lord Scott of Foscote
Times 07-May-2002, [2002] UKHL 18, [2003] 1 AC 384, [2002] 2 WLR 1107, [2002] 19 EGCS 146, (2002) 81 Con LR 25, [2002] 2 All ER 641, [2002] PNLR 25, [2003] 1 CLC 101, [2002] 19 EGCS 146, 81 Con LR 25, [2003] 1 CLC 101
House of Lords, Bailii
Limitation Act 1980 32(2)
England and Wales
Citing:
OverruledJames Brocklesby v Armitage and Guest (a Firm) CA 9-Jul-1999
A failure by an adviser to make his position clear when he thought he had been negligent, could constitute a ‘deliberate’ act within section 32 even if the defendant’s actions were not motivated by any intention to deceive the claimant: ‘it is not . .
CitedBeaman v ARTS Ltd CA 1949
The italian plaintiff had left Egland in 1935 leaving certain valuables with the defendants for safe keeping. During the war, the property was released to the authorities as alien property, who, informed by the defemdant that they were of no value, . .
Appeal fromCave v Robinson Jarvis and Rolf CA 20-Feb-2001
The court was asked as to the meaning of the word ‘deliberate’ as it appeared in section 32(2) of the 1980 Act. . .

Cited by:
CitedWilliams v Fanshaw Porter and Hazelhurst CA 18-Feb-2004
The claimant alleged that her solicitors had concealed from her the fact that they had entered a consent order which dismissed her claim for medical negligence.
Held: The solicitor had failed to inform the client that her original claim . .
CitedChagos Islanders v Attorney-General and Another CA 22-Jul-2004
The claimants sought leave to appeal against a finding that they had no cause of action for their expulsion from their islands.
Held: ‘Exile without colour of law is forbidden by Magna Carta. That it can amount to a public law wrong is already . .
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 . .
CitedPolley v Warner Goodman and Streat (A Firm) CA 30-Jun-2003
A cause of action in negligence is complete once the claimant has suffered loss as a result of the negligence, even if the existence of the loss (and indeed of the negligence) is not, and could not be, known to him, and even where that loss is much . .
CitedDenekamp v Denekamp CA 8-Dec-2005
Appeal against striking out of claim and civil restraint order. . .
CitedMortgage Express v Abensons Solicitors (A Firm) ChD 20-Apr-2012
The claimant lender sought damages against the defendant solicitors alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty by them in acting for them on mortgage advances. The defendants now argued that the allowance of an amendment to add the allegation . .
CitedBurnden Holdings (UK) Ltd v Fielding and Another CA 17-Jun-2016
The company, now in liquidation sought to claim for the alledged misapplication by former directors of its funds in 2007. It now appealed against a summary rejection of its claim as time barred.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Section 21(1)(b) . .
CitedSiddiqui v University of Oxford QBD 5-Dec-2016
The University applied to have struck out the claim by the claimant for damages alleging negligence in its teaching leading to a lower class degree than he said he should have been awarded.
Held: Strike out on the basis that the claim was . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Limitation, Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.170275

Rondel v Worsley: HL 1967

Need for Advocate’s Immunity from Negligence

The appellant had obtained the services of the respondent barrister to defend him on a dock brief, and alleged that the respondent had been negligent in the conduct of his defence.
Held: The House considered the immunity from suit of barristers acting in court. An advocate should remain immune from negligence in respect of his actions in court.
Lord Morris of Borth y Gest said that the immunity extended to the ‘conduct and management of a case in court’ by the advocate. The existence of liability in negligence, and indeed the very possibility of making assertions of liability against a barrister, might tend to undermine the willingness of barristers to carry out their duties to the court. An advocate should not be under pressure unwarrantably to subordinate his duty to the court to his duty to the client. The court re-inforced the undesirability of relitigating issues already decided. Also the ‘cab rank’ rule, imposed upon barristers, an obligation to accept instructions from anyone who wishes to engage their services in an area of the law in which they practised.
Lord Reid applied the immunity to the ‘conduct of litigation’ and being ‘engaged in litigation’. These phrases embodied the work covered in drawing pleadings or conducting subsequent stages in the case, and it would also apply to some cases where litigation was ‘impending’ but not to advisory work ‘where that consideration did not apply’.
Lord Reid continued: ‘Every counsel has a duty to his client fearlessly to raise every issue, advance every argument, and ask every question, however distasteful, which he thinks will help his client’s case. But, as an officer of the court concerned in the administration of justice, he has an overriding duty to the court, to the standards of his profession, and to the public, which may and often does lead to a conflict with his client’s wishes or with what the client thinks are his personal interests. Counsel must not mislead the court, he must not lend himself to casting aspersions on the other party or witnesses for which there is no sufficient basis in the information in his possession, he must not withhold authorities or documents which may tell against his clients but which the law or the standards of his profession require him to produce. And by so acting he may well incur the displeasure or worse of his client so that if the case is lost, his client would or might seek legal redress if that were open to him . . So the issue appears to me to be whether the abolition of the rule would probably be attended by such disadvantage to the public interest as to make its retention clearly justifiable. I would not expect any counsel to be influenced by the possibility of an action being raised against him to such an extent that he would knowingly depart from his duty to the court or to his profession. …

Lord Reid, Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest, Lord Upjohn, Lord Pearson
[1969] 1 AC 191, [1967] UKHL 5, [1967] 3 All ER 993 HL(E), [1967] 3 WLR 1666
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAtwell v Perr and Co and Another ChD 27-Jul-1998
Counsel advising during conduct of case has immunity but a wrongful advice on appeal was outside his immunity. Work done before a hearing constituting the formulation of case was within the immunity from suit. . .
OverruledArthur JS Hall and Co (A Firm) v Simons; Barratt v Woolf Seddon (A Firm); Harris v Schofield Roberts and Hill (A Firm) HL 20-Jul-2000
Clients sued their solicitors for negligence. The solicitors responded by claiming that, when acting as advocates, they had the same immunities granted to barristers.
Held: The immunity from suit for negligence enjoyed by advocates acting in . .
ConsideredSaif Ali v Sydney Mitchell and Co (a Firm) HL 1978
Extent of Counsel’s Immunity in Negligence
The House considered the extent of a barrister’s immunity from action in negligence, and particularly whether it covered pre-trial acts or omissions in connection with civil proceedings.
Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit extended only to . .
CitedDutton v Bognor Regis Urban District Council CA 1972
The court considered the liability in negligence of a Council whose inspector had approved a building which later proved defective.
Held: The Council had control of the work and with such control came a responsibility to take care in . .
CitedHill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire HL 28-Apr-1987
No General ty of Care Owed by Police
The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members . .
CitedNational Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
CitedKelley v Corston CA 20-Aug-1997
The plaintiff employed the defendant barrister to pursue her claim for ancillary relief in divorce. She sought to recover damages for his alleged negligence.
Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit for negligence in advocacy extends to . .
CitedVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
CitedVan Colle v Hertfordshire Police QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimants claimed for the estate of their murdered son. He had been waiting to give evidence in a criminal trial, and had asked the police for support having received threats. Other witnesses had also suffered intimidation including acts of . .
CitedRidehalgh v Horsefield; Allen v Unigate Dairies Ltd CA 26-Jan-1994
Guidance for Wasted Costs Orders
Guidance was given on the circumstances required for the making of wasted costs orders against legal advisers. A judge invited to make an order arising out of an advocate’s conduct of court proceedings must make full allowance for the fact that an . .
CitedJones v Kaney SC 30-Mar-2011
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action.
Held: The . .
CitedLumsdon and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Legal Services Board Admn 20-Jan-2014
Four barristers challenged, by a judicial review, a decision by which the LSB approved an application proposed by the BSB jointly with two other approved regulators, the SRA and IPS, to introduce the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates . .
CitedMichael and Others v The Chief Constable of South Wales Police and Another SC 28-Jan-2015
The claimants asserted negligence in the defendant in failing to provide an adequate response to an emergency call, leading, they said to the death of their daughter at the hands of her violent partner. They claimed also under the 1998 Act. The . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
AppliedRees v Sinclair 1974
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) The court discussed the indemnity given to witnesses: ‘But I cannot narrow the protection to what is done in court: it must be wider than that and include some pre-trial work. Each piece of before-trial work should, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Legal Professions

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.181060

Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority: HL 24 Jul 1986

A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it had failed to prove that it had not caused the injury.
Held: The appeal succeeded. It was for the plaintiff to prove his case, and the court must allow that the Health Service will employ inexperienced doctors. The standard of care to be expected must be looked at relative to the experience of the doctor employed. However, the senior registrar was negligent in failing to recognise the error, and the damage was shown to be of the sort which might be expected to follow.
It was one thing to treat an increase of risk as equivalent to the making of a material contribution where one agent was involved, but quite another where any one of a number of events may equally probably have caused the damage.

Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V.-C., Mustill and Glidewell L.JJ.
[1988] AC 1074, [1988] 1 All ER 871, [1987] UKHL 11
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .
CitedBonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw HL 1-Mar-1956
The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had . .
CitedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .
CitedThompson v Smiths Shiprepairers (North Shields) Ltd QBD 1984
The test to be applied in determining the time at which an employer’s failure to provide protection constituted actionable negligence was what would have been done at any particular time by a reasonable and prudent employer who was properly but not . .
CitedClark v MacLennan 1983
The court considered the judment in McGhee: ‘It seems to me that it follows from McGhee that where there is a situation in which a general duty of care arises and there is a failure to take a precaution, and that very damage occurs against which the . .
CitedVyner v Waldenberg Brothers Ltd CA 1946
Vyner was working a circular saw when part of his thumb was cut off. The saw failed in several respects to comply with the Woodworking Machinery Regulations, and in particular the guard was not properly adjusted. The accident happened before the . .
CitedWakelin v London and South Western Railway Co HL 1886
The liability of a defendant in negligence must rest in the first place on there being, per Lord Watson) ‘some negligent act or omission on the part of the company or their servants which materially contributed to the injury or death complained of . . .
CitedCaswell v Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries HL 1939
An action was brought for injuries caused by a breach of statutory of duty.
Held: A breach of statutory duty is regarded as ‘akin to negligence’.
Lord Atkin said that a common sense rather than a philosophical or scientific approach to . .
Appeal fromWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .

Cited by:
ApprovedFairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd and Others HL 20-Jun-2002
The claimants suffered mesothelioma after contact with asbestos while at work. Their employers pointed to several employments which might have given rise to the condition, saying it could not be clear which particular employment gave rise to the . .
CitedBolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1997
The plaintiff suffered catastrophic brain damage as a result of cardiac arrest induced by respiratory failure as a child whilst at the defendant hospital. A doctor was summoned but failed to attend, and the child suffered cardiac arrest and brain . .
Appealed toWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority CA 1986
A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his . .
CitedGregg v Scott HL 27-Jan-2005
The patient saw his doctor and complained about a lump under his arm. The doctor failed to diagnose cancer. It was nine months before treatment was begun. The claimant sought damages for the reduction in his prospects of disease-free survival for . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
CitedBarker v Corus (UK) Plc HL 3-May-2006
The claimants sought damages after contracting meselothemia working for the defendants. The defendants argued that the claimants had possibly contracted the disease at any one or more different places. The Fairchild case set up an exception to the . .
CitedNestle v National Westminster Bank CA 6-May-1992
The claimant said that the defendant bank as trustee of her late father’s estate had been negligent in its investment of trust assets.
Held: The claimant had failed to establish either a breach of trust or any loss flowing from it, though . .
CitedSt George v The Home Office CA 8-Oct-2008
The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant . .
CitedEnvironment Agency v Ellis CA 17-Oct-2008
The claimant was injured working for the appellants. The appellants now appealed the finding that they were responsible saying that other factors contributed to the injury, and in particular that he had fallen at home. The claimant said that that . .
CitedSanderson v Hull CA 5-Nov-2008
Insufficient proof of cause of infection
The claimant worked as a turkey plucker. She caught an infection (campylobacter enteritis) at work, and the employer now appealed against a finding of liability. The employer said that the only necessary protection was regular washing of hands. The . .
CitedSienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willmore SC 9-Mar-2011
The Court considered appeals where defendants challenged the factual basis of findings that they had contributed to the causes of the claimant’s Mesothelioma, and in particular to what extent a court can satisfactorily base conclusions of fact on . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police QBD 31-Jul-1990
Overcrowding at a football match lead to the deaths of 95 people. The defendant’s employees had charge of safety at the match, and admitted negligence vis-a-vis those who had died and been injured. The plaintiffs sought damages, some of them for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Health Professions

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.177399

Wilsher v Essex Area Health Authority: CA 1986

A prematurely-born baby was the subject of certain medical procedures, in the course of which a breach of duty occurred. to ensure that the correct amount was administered it was necessary to insert a catheter into an umbilical artery so that his arterial blood oxygen levels would be accurately read on an electronic monitor. A junior doctor mistakenly inserted the catheter into the umbilical vein with the result that the monitor would give a lower reading. Neither he nor the senior registrar appreciated that the X-rays taken showed the catheter in the vein but both realised that there was something wrong with the readings on the monitor. The senior registrar inserted another catheter but into the same vein and other means of monitoring the arterial blood oxygen were also adopted. The following day the second catheter was replaced by one in the artery. Thereafter the monitoring of the arterial blood oxygen levels continued and at times during the following weeks there were periods when the levels were considered too high. The plaintiff developed retrolental fibroplasia, a condition of the eyes, which resulted in blindness. The breach of duty increased the risk of his suffering it. But there were a number of other factors which might have caused the injury.
Held: ‘If it is an established fact that conduct of a particular kind creates a risk that injury will be caused to another or increases an existing risk that injury will ensue; and if the two parties stand in such a relationship that the one party owes a duty not to conduct himself in that way; and if the first party does conduct himself in that way; and if the other party does suffer injury of the kind to which the risk related; then the first party is taken to have caused the injury by his breach of duty, even though the existence and extent of the contribution made by the breach cannot be ascertained.’
Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V-C dissenting said: ‘To apply the principle in McGhee v National Coal Board [1973] 1 WLR 1 to the present case would constitute an extension of that principle. In the McGhee case there was no doubt that the pursuer’s dermatitis was physically caused by brick dust: the only question was whether the continued presence of such brick dust on the pursuer’s skin after the time when he should have been provided with a shower caused or materially contributed to the dermatitis which he contracted. There was only one possible agent which could have caused the dermatitis, viz, brick dust, and there was no doubt that the dermatitis from which he suffered was caused by that brick dust. In the present case the question is different. There are a number of different agents which could have caused the RLF. Excess oxygen was one of them. The defendants failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent one of the possible causative agents (eg excess oxygen) from causing RLF. But no one can tell in this case whether excess oxygen did or did not cause or contribute to the RLF suffered by the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s RLF may have been caused by some completely different agent or agents, eg hypercarbia, intraventricular haemorrhage, apnoea or patent ductus arteriosus. In addition to oxygen, each of those conditions has been implicated as a possible cause of RLF. This baby suffered from each of those conditions at various times in the first two months of his life. There is no satisfactory evidence that excess oxygen is more likely than any of those other four candidates to have caused RLF in this baby. To my mind, the occurrence of RLF following a failure to take a necessary precaution to prevent excess oxygen causing RLF provides no evidence and raises no presumption that it was excess oxygen rather than one or more of the four other possible agents which caused or contributed to RLF in this case. The position, to my mind, is wholly different from that in the McGhee case [1973] 1 WLR 1, where there was only one candidate (brick dust) which could have caused the dermatitis, and the failure to take a precaution against brick dust causing dermatitis was followed by dermatitis caused by brick dust. In such a case, I can see the common sense, if not the logic, of holding that, in the absence of any other evidence, the failure to take the precaution caused or contributed to the dermatitis. To the extent that certain members of the House of Lords decided the question on inferences from evidence or presumptions, I do not consider that the present case falls within their reasoning. A failure to take preventative measures against one out of five possible causes is no evidence as to which of those five caused the injury.’

Mustill LJ, Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V-C
[1986] 3 All ER 801, [1987] 2 WLR 425, [1987] QB 730
lip
England and Wales
Citing:
AppliedBolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee QBD 1957
Professional to use Skilled Persons Ordinary Care
Negligence was alleged against a doctor.
Held: McNair J directed the jury: ‘Where some special skill is exercised, the test for negligence is not the test of the man on the Clapham omnibus, because he has not got this special skill. The test . .
CitedA/S Rendal v Arcos Ltd HL 1937
. .
CitedBonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw HL 1-Mar-1956
The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had . .
CitedMcDermid v Nash Dredging and Reclamation Co Ltd HL 2-Jul-1986
The Court explained the duty of an employer towards his employees as regards their safety: ‘an employer owes to his employee a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure that the system of work provided for him is a safe one. Secondly, a provision . .
ReviewedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .
Appealed toWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedMcGhee v National Coal Board HL 1973
The claimant who was used to emptying pipe kilns at a brickworks was sent to empty brick kilns where the working conditions were much hotter and dustier. His employers failed, in breach of their duty, to provide him with washing facilities after his . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedMcTear v Imperial Tobacco Ltd OHCS 31-May-2005
The pursuer sought damages after her husband’s death from lung cancer. She said that the defenders were negligent in having continued to sell him cigarettes knowing that they would cause this.
Held: The action failed. The plaintiff had not . .
Appeal fromWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedFarraj and Another v King’s Healthcare NHS Trust (KCH) and Another CA 13-Nov-2009
The claimant parents each carried a gene making any child they bore liable to suffer a serious condition. On a pregnancy the mother’s blood was sent for testing to the defendants who sent it on to the second defendants. The condition was missed, . .
CitedSienkiewicz v Greif (UK) Ltd; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willmore SC 9-Mar-2011
The Court considered appeals where defendants challenged the factual basis of findings that they had contributed to the causes of the claimant’s Mesothelioma, and in particular to what extent a court can satisfactorily base conclusions of fact on . .
CitedDarnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust SC 10-Oct-2018
The claimant had been assaulted. He presented at the defendant hospital with head injuries. Despite his complaints he said he was not treated properly, being told to wait five hours at reception, and went home. Later an ambulance was delayed and he . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.190115

Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council: QBD 10 Oct 1997

An educational psychologist has a professional duty of care to a child when asked to assess for that child for dyslexia, even though the report may be for the local authority.
Garland J
Times 10-Oct-1997, [1997] 3 FCR 621, [1998] ELR 38
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromPhelps v Mayor and Burgesses London Borough of Hillingdon CA 4-Nov-1998
The plaintiff claimed damages for the negligent failure of an educational psychologist employed by a local authority to identify that the plaintiff was dyslexic.
Held: An educational psychologist has no duty of care to a child, as opposed to . .
CitedDavid Lannigan v Glasgow City Council OHCS 12-Aug-2004
The pursuer said the teachers employed by the defendant had failed to identify that was dyslexic, leading him to suffer damage. The defenders said the claim was time barred, which the pursuer admitted, but then said that the claim ought to go ahead . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 October 2021; Ref: scu.84697

Hopkins v Mackenzie: CA 27 Oct 1994

A loss arising from a solicitor’s failure to pursue a case arose only when the claim was struck out, not earlier when compromised, and even though value already diminished. Accordingly the limitation period began to run from that time.
Hobhouse LJ
Times 03-Nov-1994, Independent 27-Oct-1994, Gazette 07-Dec-1994, [1995] PIQR 43
Limitation Act 1980
England and Wales
Cited by:
DisapprovedKhan v R M Falvey and Co (a Firm) CA 22-Mar-2002
The claimant sought damages from his former solicitors for failing to act to avoid his case being struck out. The second action was itself delayed, and the defendants asserted that the cause of action occurred not when his claim was actually struck . .
CitedIqbal v Legal Services Commission CA 10-May-2005
The claimant had been a partner in a firm of solicitors. They came to be suspected by the respondent of overclaiming legal aid payments and sums were withheld. For this and other reasons the practice folded, and the claimant became insolvent. He . .
CitedVision Golf Ltd v Weightmans (A Firm) ChD 26-Jul-2005
A lease had been forfeited. The defendant firm of solicitors had negligently failed to apply for relief. They argued that that failure had in fact caused no loss to the claimants, since they would have lost the lease anyway.
Held: The ‘but . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 October 2021; Ref: scu.81467

Warner v Penningtons (A Firm) and Others: CA 10 Mar 2011

In the course of being sued for professional negligence in their handling of a personal injury claim, the defendants sought to allege (inter alia) negligence by an expert who had provided a report. The defendants now appealed against summary judgment in her favour.
Rix, Smith, Keene LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 337
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 14 October 2021; Ref: scu.431730

Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust: CA 23 Mar 2017

Claimant’s appeal in personal injury litigation based upon alleged negligence by the receptionist in a hospital’s accident and emergency department. The principal issue in the appeal is whether the receptionist (or the health trust acting by the receptionist) owed any tortious duty to provide accurate information to the claimant about waiting times.
Jackson, McCombe, Sales LJJ
[2017] EWCA Civ 151
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromDarnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust QBD 31-Jul-2015
The claimant sought damages, alleging that the defendant Trust had failed in its treatment of him when he attended Accident and Emergency after being assaulted. The court now considered the issue of liability. The claimant attended with a head . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromDarnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust SC 10-Oct-2018
The claimant had been assaulted. He presented at the defendant hospital with head injuries. Despite his complaints he said he was not treated properly, being told to wait five hours at reception, and went home. Later an ambulance was delayed and he . .
CitedDarnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust SC 10-Oct-2018
The claimant had been assaulted. He presented at the defendant hospital with head injuries. Despite his complaints he said he was not treated properly, being told to wait five hours at reception, and went home. Later an ambulance was delayed and he . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 27 September 2021; Ref: scu.581069

Candler v Crane Christmas and Co: CA 15 Dec 1950

Though the accounts of the company in which the plaintiff had invested had been carelessly prepared and gave a wholly misleading picture of the state of the company, the plaintiff could not recover damages. A false statement, carelessly, as contrasted with fraudulently, made by one person to another though acted on by that other to his detriment, was not actionable in the absence of any contractual or fiduciary relationship between the parties. This principle had not been qualified Donoghue v. Stevenson.
Denning LJ (dissenting) said:’Accountants, in preparing and rendering accounts and reports, owed a duty of care not only to their clients but to any third person to whom they knew that their clients were going to show the accounts and reports when, to the knowledge of the accountants, that person would consider the reports and accounts with a view to the investment of money or taking some other action to his gain or detriment. ‘Let me now be constructive and suggest the circumstance in which I say that a duty to use care in statement does exist apart from a contract in that behalf. First, what person’s are under such duty? My answer is those persons such as accountants, surveyors, valuers and analysts, whose profession and occupation it is to examine books, accounts, and other things, and to make reports on which other people – other than their clients – rely in the ordinary course of business.
Secondly to whom do these professional people owe this duty? I will take accountants but the same reasoning applies to the others. They owe the duty, of course to their employer or clients; and also I think to any third person to whom they themselves show the accounts, or to whom they know their employer is going to show the accounts, so as to induce him to invest money or take some other action on them. But I do not think the duty can be extended still further so to include strangers of whom they have heard nothing and to whom their employer without their knowledge may choose to show their accounts. Once the accountants have handed their accounts to their employer they not, as a rule, responsible for what he does with them without their knowledge or consent. The test of proximity in these cases is, did the accountants know that the accounts were required for submission to the plaintiff and use by him?
Thirdly, to what transactions does the duty of care extend? It extends, I think, only to those transactions for which the accountants knew their accounts were required.’
Asquith LJ illustrated the law excusing liability for negligent miststatement: ‘Singular consequences would follow if the principle laid down in [Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562] were applied to negligent misrepresentation in every case in which the representee were proximate to the representor. The case has been instanced by Professor Winfield and referred to by my brother Denning of a marine hydrographer who carelessly omits to indicate on his map the existence of a reef. The captain of the Queen Mary, in reliance on the map and having no opportunity to check it by reference to any other map, steers her on the unsuspected rocks, and she becomes a total loss. Is the unfortunate cartographer to be liable to her owners in negligence for some millions of pounds damages? If so, people will, in future, think twice before making maps. Cartography would become an ultra-hazardous occupation.’
Cohen, Asquith, Denning LJJ (Dissenting)
[1951] 2 KB 164, [1951] 1 All ER 426, 36 Digest (Rep 1) 17, [1951] 1 TLR 371
England and Wales
Citing:
DistinguishedDonoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson HL 26-May-1932
Decomposed Snail in Ginger Beer Bottle – Liability
The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
CitedLe Lievre v Gould CA 6-Feb-1893
Mortgagees of the interest of a builder under a building agreement, advanced money to him from time to time, relying upon certificates given by a surveyor as to stages reached. The surveyor was not appointed by the mortgagees, and there was no . .
CitedDerry v Peek HL 1-Jul-1889
The House heard an action for damages for deceit or fraudulent misrepresentation.
Held: The court set out the requirements for fraud, saying that fraud is proved when it is shown that a false representation has been made knowingly or without . .

Cited by:
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 . .
CitedMutual Life And Citizens’ Assurance Co Ltd And Another v Evatt PC 16-Nov-1971
The plaintiff had been an investor with the defendant. He asked them about an associated company. He was given advice which was incorrect. He claimed damages for negligence.
Held: The company was not itself in the business of giving such . .
CitedBank of Credit and Commerce International (Overseas) Limited (In Liquidation); BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg) SA (In Liquidation); Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA (In Liquidation) v Price Waterhouse CA 13-Feb-1998
The special relationship between an auditor and a bank, meant that a duty of care could extend even to a second bank with its own auditors. In determining whether there had been an assumption of responsibility, the the relevant factors would include . .
ApprovedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
AppliedYianni v Edwin Evans and Sons ChD 1981
The respondent valuers reported to a building society that a property would be a sufficient security. The purchaser relied on that report to purchase the property, ignoring the advice in the lender’s form to obtain a full survey. The property was . .
CitedCustoms and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc CA 22-Nov-2004
The claimant had obtained judgment against customers of the defendant, and then freezing orders for the accounts. The defendants inadvertently or negligently allowed sums to be transferred from the accounts. The claimants sought repayment by the . .
CitedMidland Bank Trust Co Ltd v Hett Stubbs and Kemp (a firm) ChD 1978
A solicitor had failed to register an option as a land charge over property. The court was asked what steps should have been taken by a solicitor in the conduct of a claim: ‘Mr Harman [leading counsel for the plaintiff] sought to rely upon the fact . .
CitedPrecis (521) Plc v William M Mercer Ltd CA 15-Feb-2005
Purchasers of a company sought to claim in negligence against the respondent actuaries in respect of a valuation of the company’s pension funds.
Held: There was a paucity of authority as to when a duty of care was assumed. The words used and . .
CitedSutradhar v Natural Environment Research Council HL 5-Jul-2006
Preliminary Report of Risk – No Duty of Care
The claimant sought damages after suffering injury after the creation of water supplies which were polluted with arsenic. He said that a report had identified the risks. The defendant said that the report was preliminary only and could not found a . .
CitedMcKie v Swindon College QBD 11-Feb-2011
The claimant sought damages after having moved jobs, his former employer wrote to his new one saying that he would not be welcome back on the campus, which would be a substantial part, giving reasons.
Held: The claimant succeeded on liability. . .
CitedBanca Nazionale Del Lavoro Spa v Playboy Club London Ltd and Others SC 26-Jul-2018
The Playboy casino required a reference for a customer, but asked for this through a third party. The bank was not aware of the agency but gave a good reference for a customer who had never deposited any money with them and nor to whom it had issued . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 August 2021; Ref: scu.179811

Agouman v Leigh Day (A Firm): QBD 16 Jun 2016

The defendant firm of solicitors had acted for the claimant and 30000 others in a claim for personal injuries from the leaking of a tanker. The claim was settled but before damages could be paid, another group obtained orders against the sums received. The result was that the claimant received nothing. She now claimed in professional negligence.
Andrew Smith J
[2016] EWHC 1324 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Updated: 14 July 2021; Ref: scu.565796

Meadows v Khan: QBD 23 Nov 2017

Claim for the additional costs of raising the claimant’s son, A, who suffered from both haemophilia and autism. It is admitted that, but for the defendant’s negligence, A would not have been born because his mother would have discovered during her pregnancy that he was afflicted by haemophilia and so would have undergone a termination. It is agreed that she can recover the additional costs associated with that condition. What is in dispute is whether she can also recover the additional costs associated with A’s autism. The defendant’s position is that such costs are outside the scope of her liability because the service she was providing was only in relation to the risk of haemophilia.
Held: The claim succeeded. The Court of Appeal has decided in Parkinson and Groom that recovery for the costs associated with a disability not directly linked to the negligence is fair where the disabled child would not have been born but for the negligence and where the disability arises out of the normal incidents of conception, intra-uterine development and birth. I can see no good reason to distinguish this case as a matter of principle or policy.
Yip J said: ‘Once it is established that, had the mother been properly advised she would not have wanted to continue with her pregnancy, should it matter why she would have wanted a termination? Why logically should there be a distinction between the parent who did not want any pregnancy and one who did not want this particular pregnancy? In each case, the effect of the doctor’s negligence was to remove the mother’s opportunity to terminate a pregnancy that she would not have wanted to continue. To draw a distinction on the basis of considering the underlying reason why a mother would have wanted to terminate her pregnancy seems unattractive, arbitrary and unfair.’
Yip J
[2017] EWHC 2990 (QB), [2017] WLR(D) 778, [2018] Med LR 161, [2018] PIQR Q4, [2018] 4 WLR 8
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMacFarlane and Another v Tayside Health Board HL 21-Oct-1999
Child born after vasectomy – Damages Limited
Despite a vasectomy, Mr MacFarlane fathered a child, and he and his wife sought damages for the cost of care and otherwise of the child. He appealed a rejection of his claim.
Held: The doctor undertakes a duty of care in regard to the . .
CitedHardman v Amin QBD 2001
Henriques J said: ‘McFarlane does not affect the law so far as it relates to the wrongful birth of disabled children.’ . .
CitedGroom v Selby CA 18-Oct-2001
The defendant negligently failed to discover the claimant’s pregnancy. A severely disabled child was born. The question was as to the responsibility for payment of excess costs of raising a severely disabled child, a claim for economic loss. The . .
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 . .
CitedSouth Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .
CitedParkinson v St James and Seacroft University Hospital NHS Trust CA 11-Apr-2001
A mother had undergone a negligent sterilisation, and in due course she gave birth to a disabled child.
Held: The right to bodily integrity is the first and most important of the interests protected by the law of tort. The cases saying that . .
CitedRees v Darlington Memorial Hospital NHS Trust HL 16-Oct-2003
The claimant was disabled, and sought sterilisation because she feared the additional difficulties she would face as a mother. The sterilisation failed. She sought damages.
Held: The House having considered the issue in MacFarlane only . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedBPE 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 . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromKhan v Meadows CA 15-Feb-2019
Appeal from the judgment of Yip J who determined that the costs related to the autism of Adejuwon, the respondent’s son, following his birth may be properly recovered by her and assessed damages in the agreed sum of pounds 9,000,000. Adejuwon . .
At First InstanceKhan v Meadows SC 18-Jun-2021
‘ A woman approaches a general medical practice for testing to establish whether she is a carrier of a hereditary disease. Tests which are inappropriate to answer that question are arranged. A general medical practitioner when informing her of the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 July 2021; Ref: scu.601106

Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK Llp: ComC 2 May 2018

claim for damages by a building society caused by the admitted negligence of its accountant.
Teare J
[2018] EWHC 963 (Comm), [2019] WLR(D) 49
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSouth Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromManchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK Llp CA 30-Jan-2019
Liability of an auditor for losses incurred on long term interest rate swap agreements which were entered into in reliance upon negligent accounting advice and which were closed out at a loss when the negligent advice came to light. . .
At ComCManchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK Llp SC 18-Jun-2021
. .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 June 2021; Ref: scu.614943

Channon (T/A Channon and Co) v Ward: QBD 12 May 2015

The claimant had lost significant sums through his accountancy practice, but now claimed that his insurance broker, the defendant had negligently failed to renew his professional indemnity policies, even though he had supplied policy numbers to the claimant. The defendant disputed whether the losses were part of the claimant’s practice.
Held: a burden lay on Claimant to establish that but for the negligence of the Defendant there would have been a policy in existence that covered the claim in question. Ordinarily such a step will not be difficult. Thereafter the burden is carried by the defendant broker if he seeks to establish that the insurer would have repudiated for some reason, whether that be by reason of breach of a condition or exemption.
Cotter QC HHJ
[2015] EWHC 4256 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMunro Brice and Co v War Risks Association 1918
Bailhache J discussed the principle that if there is a qualification of the general risk which covers the policy’s whole scope (so that there is no unqualified risk left), the burden is on the insured to prove facts which bring the case within the . .
CitedFraser v B N Furman (Productions) Ltd CA 1967
The employer’s liability policy contained a condition precedent that the insured should take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and disease. The company sought to rely upon the clause to avoid liability.
Held: ”Reasonable’ does not . .
CitedArmory v Delamirie KBD 1722
A jeweller to whom a chimney sweep had taken a jewel he had found, took the jewel out of the socket and refused to return it. The chimney sweep sued him in trover. On the measure of damages, the court ruled ‘unless the defendant did produce the . .
CitedPhillips and Co and Another v Whatley PC 2-May-2007
(Gilbraltar) The respondent had made a claim against his former lawyers, the appellants, alleging that he had lost out on a very significant personal injury claim for their failure to issue a writ in time. . .
AdoptedEverett v Hogg Robinson 1973
The court was asked whether a re-insurer would have repudiated by reason of a failure to disclose an adverse claims record had the broker not been negligent.
Held: if a broker relies on a causation defence he must satisfy the court that 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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 June 2021; Ref: scu.572351

Harrison and Another v Bloom Camillin: ChD 28 Oct 1999

When assessing the losses suffered by a plaintiff alleging that, through the professional negligence of his solicitors, he had lost the opportunity to pursue a similar action against his accountants, it was right to acknowledge, and allow for the fact that the vast majority of such actions came to be settled rather than going to full trial. The damages should reflect the uncertainties of litigation. The issue of law which would have arisen in the lost action should be treated as a question of fact in this dependent action.
Neuberger J
Gazette 25-Nov-1999, Times 12-Nov-1999, (2001) PNLR 195
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedKitchen v Royal Air Force Association CA 1958
The plaintiff’s husband, a member of the RAF, was electrocuted and killed in the kitchen of his house. A solicitor failed to issue a writ in time and deprived the plaintiff of the opportunity to pursue court proceedings.
Held: Damages were not . .
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 . .
CitedMount v Barker Austin (a Firm) CA 18-Feb-1998
The plaintiff sought damages for professional negligence from his former solicitors in respect of their conduct of a claim on his behalf. He succeeded, but was awarded no damages because the judge had found that his action would be bound to fail. He . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.81257

Esterhuizen and Another v Allied Dunbar Assurance Plc: QBD 10 Jun 1998

A non-professional will writing agency should be subject to the same standards of professional negligence in drawing up wills as a recognised lawyer. This is necessary to protect members of the public using will writing services. ‘the process of signature and attestation is not completely straightforward and disaster may ensue if it is not correctly done. Any testator is entitled to expect reasonable assistance without having to ask exprssly for it. It is in my judgment not enough just to leave written instructions with the testator. In ordinary circumstances just to leave written instructions and to do no more will not only be contrary to good practice but also in my view negligent.’
Gazette 15-Jul-1998, Times 10-Jun-1998
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.80378

Wild and Another v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: QBD 3 Dec 2014

Claim for damages arising from alleged want of care of child in the womb, leading to a stillbirth. The claimant father suffered psychiatric damage after being told of the death of his wife’s baby in utero as a result of negligent treatment by clinicians working for the defendant hospital. He argued that Taylor v A. Novo could not preclude a claim ‘in a case where the first manifestation of the injuries sustained by the primary victim occurs in front of (or within sight or hearing of) the secondary victim (or where he comes across the primary victim in the immediate aftermath of this injury) but is separated in time from the act or omission constituting negligence’. In a clinical negligence case where the first manifestation of the negligent act or omission was a shocking event seen, heard or otherwise directly experienced by the secondary victim, a claim would lie. It was argued that it could be seen from the reference to Walters that the Court of Appeal in Taylor v A. Novo had not intended to state any new principle.
Held: The argument failed.
Michael Kent QC, expressed ‘difficulty’ with the proposition because of Lord Dyson’s approval of Auld J’s observation in Taylor v Somerset and his observation that Peter Gibson LJ’s remarks in Walters were obiter. The term ‘external event’ was ‘explained by the context of these claims which is that they are all made by those who are not directly participating in the events which have been engulfed the primary victims and which are in that sense external to the claimant’. It was ‘arguably going too far’ to argue, as the defendant had, that Lord Wilberforce’s reference to the ‘fact and consequence of the negligence’ meant that the negligence must itself be synchronous with the sustaining of shock by the secondary victim. It was ‘a little unlikely’ that the Court of Appeal in Walters had overlooked the fact that the fit was a result of the earlier negligent treatment, so that the cause of action had already accrued prior to the start of the relevant ‘event’. Ultimately, however, it was not necessary to resolve any of these points, because the claimant learned of the death after it had happened and witnessed no shocking event. This was fatal to the claim:
Michael Kent QC
[2014] EWHC 4053 (QB), [2016] PIQR P3
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedLiverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Ronayne CA 17-Jun-2015
The respondent was an experienced ambulance driver. His wife underwent emergency treatment at the appellant’s hospital. He had claimed as a secondary victim for the distress he suffered witnessing her suffering.
Held: The hospital’s appeal . .
CitedPaul and Another v The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust QBD 4-Jun-2020
Nervous shock – liability to third parties
The claimants witnessed the death of their father from a heart attack. They said that the defendant’s negligent treatment allowed the attack to take place. Difficult point of law about the circumstances in which a defendant who owes a duty of care . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 May 2021; Ref: scu.539569

Lowick Rose Llp v Swynson Ltd and Another: SC 11 Apr 2017

Losses arose from the misvaluation of a company before its purchase. The respondent had funded the purchase, relying upon a valuation by the predecessor of the appellant firm of accountants. Further advances had been made when the true situation was revealed.
Held: The accountants’ appeal succeeded. As a general rule ‘collateral benefits are those whose receipt arose independently of the circumstances giving rise to the loss’ and loss which has been avoided is not recoverable as damages, although expense reasonably incurred in avoiding it may be recoverable as costs of mitigation. To this there is an exception for collateral payments (res inter alios acta), which the law treats as not making good the claimant’s loss. It is difficult to identify a single principle underlying every case. In spite of what the Latin tag might lead one to expect, the critical factor is not the source of the benefit in a third party but its character. Broadly speaking, collateral benefits are those whose receipt arose independently of the circumstances giving rise to the loss.
In this case: ‘subrogation is not being invoked for its proper purpose, namely to replicate some element of the transaction which was expected but failed. It is being invoked so as to enable Mr Hunt to exercise for his own benefit the claims of Swynson in respect of an unconnected breach of duty under a different transaction between different parties more than two years earlier.’
Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord, Hodge
[2017] UKSC 32, [2017] 3 All ER 785, [2017] 2 WLR 1161, [2017] 1 CLC 764, [2017] WLR(D) 257, 171 Con LR 75, [2018] AC 313, [2017] PNLR 18, UKSC 2015/0170
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC 2017 Apr 11 Video
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDunlop v Lambert HL 16-Jun-1839
A cargo of whisky was lost in carriage by sea between Leith and Newcastle. A second shipment was made and the loss was claimed. The House was asked whether ‘in a question between a carrier and the person to whom the carrier is responsible in the . .
CitedIn Re Lee’s Patent PC 16-Jun-1856
. .
CitedBradburn v Great Western Rail Co CEC 1874
The plaintiff had received a sum of money from a private insurer to compensate him for lost income as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of the defendant.
Held: He was entitled to full damages as well as the payment from the . .
Appeal fromSwynson Ltd v Lowick Rose Llp CA 25-Jun-2015
This appeal concerns the amount of damages recoverable by a lender from a negligent firm of accountants who failed to do a proper exercise of due diligence on the borrower to whom the money was lent. The majority of the loan was repaid by utilising . .
CitedBritish Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railways Co (London) Limited HL 1912
The plaintiffs purchased eight steam turbines from the defendants. They later proved defective, and the plaintiffs sought damages. In the meantime they purchased replacements, more effective than the original specifications. In the result the . .
CitedParry v Cleaver CA 9-May-1967
The plaintiff policeman was hit by a car whilst he was on traffic duty. When he claimed damages in negligence the defendant sought to have deducted from his award an amount received by way of additional pension payments received which had been . .
CitedParry v Cleaver HL 5-Feb-1969
PI Damages not Reduced for Own Pension
The plaintiff policeman was disabled by the negligence of the defendant and received a disablement pension. Part had been contributed by himself and part by his employer.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal succeeded. Damages for personal injury were . .
CitedBurston Finance Ltd v Spierway Ltd ChD 1974
The lender took a charge over a property held by a company which subsequently became void because it was not registered within the required period at Companies House.
Held: A voidable charge is a valid charge unless and until set aside: . .
CitedAlbacruz (Cargo Owners) v Albazero ‘The Albazero’ HL 1977
The House was asked as to the extent to which a consignor can claim damages against a carrier in circumstances where the consignor did not retain either property or risk. To the general principle that a person cannot recover substantial damages for . .
At First InstanceSwynson Ltd and Another v Lowick Rose Llp ChD 30-Jun-2014
The claimant said that it had received negligent advice from the defendant accountants in its financing of the purchase of a company in the US. After the company fell into difficulties, further advances were made. The parties disputed the . .
CitedChetwynd v Allen 1899
A lender M advanced pounds 1,200 to pay off an existing mortgage held by T over a property owned by the plaintiff. M made the advance on the basis of certain misleading representations and non-disclosures by the plaintiff’s husband. M was told that . .
CitedPaul v Speirway Ltd (in liquidation) 1976
The plaintiff had made a loan to a company in which he had a joint interest in order to enable it to pay the price due under a contract for the purchase of development land. The company failed, and he now claimed to be a secured creditor by . .
CitedBoscawen and Others v Bajwa and Others; Abbey National Plc v Boscawen and Others CA 10-Apr-1995
The defendant had charged his property to the Halifax. Abbey supplied funds to secure its discharge, but its own charge was not registered. It sought to take advantage of the Halifax’s charge which had still not been removed.
Held: A mortgagee . .
CitedArab Bank Plc v John D Wood Commercial Ltd (In Liquidation) and others CA 25-Nov-1999
Having once recovered damages against a valuer for a negligent survey, there was nothing to stop a lender recovering also under a policy of insurance under a mortgage indemnity guarantee, and so the lender was not required to give credit for monies . .
CitedBank of Cyprus UK Ltd v Menelaou SC 4-Nov-2015
The bank customers, now appellants, redeemed a mortgage over their property, and the property was transferred to family members, who in turn borrowed from the same lender. A bank employee simply changed the name on the mortgage. This was ineffective . .
CitedDarlington Borough Council v Wiltshier Northern Ltd CA 28-Jun-1994
The plaintiff council complained of the work done for it by the defendant builder.
Held: Steyn LJ said: ‘in the case of a building contract, the prima facie rule is cost of cure, i.e., the cost of remedying the defect: East Ham Corporation v. . .
CitedLinden Gardens Trust Ltd v Lenesta Sludge Disposals Ltd and Others; St. Martins Property Corporation Ltd v Sir Robert McAlpine HL 8-Dec-1993
A contractor had done defective work in breach of a building contract with the developer but the loss was suffered by a third party who had by then purchased the development. The developer recovered the loss suffered by the purchaser.
Held: . .
CitedLondon and South of England Building Society v Stone CA 1983
A claim was by lenders against negligent valuers after they failed to spot subsidence. They sought for the difference of pounds 11,880 between the amount advanced and the amount which would have been lent upon a proper valuation. The borrowers’ . .
CitedDarlington Borough Council v Wiltshier Northern Ltd and Others CA 29-Jun-1994
The council owned land on which it wanted to build a recreational centre. Construction contracts were entered into not by the council but by a finance company, the building contractors being the respondents Wiltshier Northern Ltd. The finance . .
CitedRevenue and Customs v The Investment Trust Companies SC 11-Apr-2017
Certain investment trust companies (ITCs) sought refunds of VAT paid on the supply of investment management services. EU law however clarified that they were not due. Refunds were restricted by the Commissioners both as to the amounts and limitation . .
CitedBanque Financiere De La Cite v Parc (Battersea) Ltd and Others HL 16-Apr-1998
The making of an order for restitution after finding an unjust enrichment by subrogation, is not dependant upon having found any common or unilateral intention of the parties. The House distinguished between contractual subrogation of the kind most . .
CitedEdinburgh and District Tramways Co Ltd v Courtenay SCS 29-Oct-1908
(Court of Session Inner House First Division) There was contract between a tramway company and an advertising firm, under which the firm paid a rental for the right to display advertising on the tramcars. It was up to the firm to provide the boards . .
CitedLipkin Gorman (a Firm) v Karpnale Ltd HL 6-Jun-1991
The plaintiff firm of solicitors sought to recover money which had been stolen from them by a partner, and then gambled away with the defendant. He had purchased their gaming chips, and the plaintiff argued that these, being gambling debts, were . .
CitedTFL Management Services Ltd v Lloyds Bank Plc CA 14-Nov-2013
The court was asked: ‘A spends money seeking a judgment for the recovery of a debt from B. A fails to recover the debt because, so the court holds, the debt is not in fact owed by B to A (as A mistakenly thought), but owed by B to C. C then recovers . .

Cited by:
CitedTiuta International Ltd (In Liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd SC 29-Nov-2017
Allegation of professional negligence. The claimant sought damages against the defendant surveyors for negligently valuing a partially completed residential development over which it proposed to take a charge to secure a loan. On an initial . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 May 2021; Ref: scu.581644

Tiuta International Ltd (In Liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd: SC 29 Nov 2017

Allegation of professional negligence. The claimant sought damages against the defendant surveyors for negligently valuing a partially completed residential development over which it proposed to take a charge to secure a loan. On an initial application for summary judgment, an issue arose as to damages.
Held: The appeal succeeded, though the court emphasised that the decision was sensitive to facts assumed for the purpose of the pre-trial application.
The measure of damages is, with qualifications, the sum needed to restore the claimant as closely as possible to the position that he would have been in if he had not been wronged. Where a claimant lends money, and but for a negligent valuation would not have done so, the measure is the difference between: (a) the position the claimant would have been in, had the defendant not been negligent and (b) the claimant’s actual position. This is the ‘basic comparison’ discussed by Lord Nicholls in Nykredit Mortgage Bank plc v Edward Erdman Group Ltd (No 2) [1997] 1 WLR 1627. The basic comparison is typically between: (a) the amount of money lent by the claimant, plus interest on that money and (b) the value of the rights acquired under >the loan agreement plus the true value of the overvalued property
Lady Hale, President, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs
[2017] UKSC 77, [2017] 1 WLR 4627, [2018] 2 All ER 203, [2018] 1 BCLC 179, UKSC 2016/0156
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 2017 Nov 06am Video, SC 2017 Nov 06pm Video
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedNykredit Mortgage Bank Plc v Edward Erdman Group Ltd (No 2) HL 27-Nov-1997
A surveyor’s negligent valuation had led to the plaintiff obtaining what turned out to be inadequate security for his loan. A cause of action against a valuer for his negligent valuation arises when a relevant and measurable loss is first recorded. . .
Appeal fromTiuta International Ltd v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd CA 1-Jul-2016
Appeal against an order giving summary judgment for the respondent, De Villiers Surveyors Ltd, on one issue relating to the claim by the appellant, Tiuta International Ltd, for damages for professional negligence.
Held: The appeal succeeded . .
CitedLowick Rose Llp v Swynson Ltd and Another SC 11-Apr-2017
Losses arose from the misvaluation of a company before its purchase. The respondent had funded the purchase, relying upon a valuation by the predecessor of the appellant firm of accountants. Further advances had been made when the true situation was . .
CitedPreferred Mortgages Ltd v Bradford and Bingley Estate Agencies Ltd CA 8-Mar-2002
. .
CitedKomercni Banka, A S v Stone and Rolls Ltd and Another ComC 15-Nov-2002
Toulson J discussed a set off against a claim for damages: ‘The question whether an alleged benefit should or should not be taken into account cannot be determined by mere application of the ‘but for’ test. Where the wrongful conduct consists of . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 May 2021; Ref: scu.599718

Little and Others v George Little Sebire and Co: QBD 17 Nov 1999

Times 17-Nov-1999
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromLittle and others v Messrs George Little Sebire and Co CA 14-Jun-2001
The defendant accountants appealed a finding of professional negligence. They had organised schemes with respect to tax saving for their client companies.
Held: The judge was correct to reject the defendant’s argument that the company could . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 May 2021; Ref: scu.83091

Woodward v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: QBD 1 Aug 2012

The Claimant alleges, and the Defendant admits, that the Defendant negligently failed to diagnose and then to treat the pituitary tumour for more than three years and that as a result of that failure the Claimant grew both in height and frame to a size which considerably exceeds what would have been expected.
Stuart Baker HHJ
[2012] EWHC 2167 (QB)
Bailii

Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.463366

Hamlin and Another v Edwin Evans (A Firm): CA 15 Jul 1996

The plaintiffs had discovered that the defendant surveyors had negligently failed to observe that there was dry rot but did not start proceedings until other negligence was discovered more than six years later.
Held: Although the negligent survey had led to two heads of loss there was only one cause of action. Since the plaintiffs had discovered the dry rot over six years previously, the action was statute barred. Only one cause of action arises from a negligent survey; and there is only one applicable limitation period.
Gazette 17-Jul-1996, Times 15-Jul-1996, [1996] PNLR 398
Limitation Act 1980 14A
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedWatkins and Another v Jones Maidment Wilson (A Firm) CA 4-Mar-2008
The claimants alleged professional negligence by the defendant solicitors in advising them to agree to a postponment of a completion. The defendants raised as a preliminary issue the question of limitation. The claimant said that the limitation . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 April 2021; Ref: scu.81199

Broadley and Guy v Chapman and Co: CA 26 Jul 1993

The limitation period starts when the plaintiff realizes that her injury may have been caused by the failure of the medical practitioner. ‘Attributable to’ means ‘capable of being attributed to’ and not ’caused by’. ‘Act or omission’ does not equate with ‘negligence’, ‘actionable’ or ‘tortious’.
Ind Summary 26-Jul-1993, Times 06-Jul-1993, [1993] 4 Med L R 328
Limitation Act 1980
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedO’Driscoll v Dudley Health Authority CA 30-Apr-1998
The plaintiff sought damages for the negligence of the respondent in her care at birth. Years later the family concluded that her condition was a result of negligence. They waited until she was 21, when they mistakenly believed that she became an . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 April 2021; Ref: scu.78661

Arbuthnott v Feltrim; Deeny v Gooda Walker; Henderson v Merrett: CA 14 Dec 1993

Underwriters owe a professional duty of care to Lloyds names in underwriting, even though they were acting as agents.
Times 30-Dec-1993, Independent 14-Dec-1993
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromArbuthnot and Others v Feltrim and Others; Deeny and Others v Gooda Walker Ltd and Others QBD 12-Oct-1993
Lloyds’ names sought damages from their underwriting agents for negligence. The court had to decide as a preliminary issue whether any duty of care arose to the names.
Held: Until 1990, names signed an agreement with a member’s agent who in . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromHenderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd HL 25-Jul-1994
Lloyds Agents Owe Care Duty to Member; no Contract
Managing agents conducted the financial affairs of the Lloyds Names belonging to the syndicates under their charge. It was alleged that they managed these affairs with a lack of due careleading to enormous losses.
Held: The assumption of . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 April 2021; Ref: scu.77859

AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler and Co (A Firm): ChD 23 Jan 2012

The claimant bank sought damages from the defendant solicitors, saying that they had paid on mortgage advance moneys but failed to deliver as promised and required, a first mortgage over the property purchased. The solicitors had failed to discharge an existing first charge (to Barclays). The parties now disputed whether the sum due to the bank was the entire sum loaned, or only the net sum lost after the sale.
Held: The solicitors had acted in good faith, but in breach of trust.
Prima facie the bank was entitled to reconstitution of the trust fund by repayment of the amount wrongly paid away. As to the bank’s alternative claim for equitable compensation or damages, he said that where the breach consisted of failure to discharge a prior mortgage, with the result that the bank’s interest had been postponed to the Barclays charge, the bank was entitled to equitable compensation for the additional amounts due to Barclays for which Barclays had security in priority to the bank. The solicitors were therefore liable to the bank for the additional amount ultimately obtained by Barclays by reason of its prior security.
The court analysed the breach of trust: ‘ In the present case, . . . what the defendant’s instructions authorised them to do with the funds paid to them was to pay to Barclays (or to its account) such sum as was required to procure a release of its charge, and pay the balance to the borrowers or to their order. Had they complied with their instructions they would have paid (taking all the figures in round terms) andpound;1.5m to Barclays and andpound;1.8m to the borrowers. In the event they paid andpound;1.2m to Barclays and andpound;2.1m to the borrowers. In my judgment, in so doing they committed a breach of trust in so far as payment was made contrary to the authority they had been given.
It does not however in my judgment necessarily follow that the whole of the payment of andpound;3.3m was made in breach of trust. The difference between what the defendant did and what it ought to have done if it had complied with its instructions was the andpound;300,000 that should have been paid to Barclays but was instead paid to the borrowers. That in my judgment was the extent of the breach of trust committed. It was not a breach of trust to pay andpound;1.2m to Barclays; that payment was made as partial performance of the authority and obligation to discharge Barclays’ secured debt. It was not a breach of trust to pay andpound;1.8m to the borrowers, as that was the sum to which they were entitled. The breach consisted of the failure to retain an additional andpound;300,000 and apply that to the discharge of the Barclays debt.’
David Cooke HHJ
[2012] EWHC 35 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCook v The Mortgage Business Plc CA 24-Jan-2012
cook_mbpCA2012
The land owners sought relief from possession orders made under mortgages given in equity release schemes: ‘If the purchaser raises all or part of the purchase price on mortgage, and then defaults, the issue arises whether the mortgagee’s right to . .
Appeal fromAIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler and Co Solicitors CA 8-Feb-2013
The defendant firm of solicitors had acted for the claimants under instructions to secure a first charge over the secured property. They failed to secure the discharge of the existing first charge, causing losses. AIB asserted breach of trust.
At ChDAIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler and Co Solicitors SC 5-Nov-2014
Bank not to recover more than its losses
The court was asked as to the remedy available to the appellant bank against the respondent, a firm of solicitors, for breach of the solicitors’ custodial duties in respect of money entrusted to them for the purpose of completing a loan which was to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 March 2021; Ref: scu.450453

Asiansky Television Plc and Another v Khanzada and Others: QBD 4 Nov 2011

Andrew Smith J
[2011] EWHC 2831 (QB)
Bailii
Citing:
CitedMount v Barker Austin (a Firm) CA 18-Feb-1998
The plaintiff sought damages for professional negligence from his former solicitors in respect of their conduct of a claim on his behalf. He succeeded, but was awarded no damages because the judge had found that his action would be bound to fail. He . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 March 2021; Ref: scu.448157

Janin Caribbean Construction Ltd v Wilkinson and Another: PC 11 Oct 2016

(Grenada)
Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Hodge, Sir John Gillen
[2016] UKPC 26
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRees v Sinclair 1974
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) The court discussed the indemnity given to witnesses: ‘But I cannot narrow the protection to what is done in court: it must be wider than that and include some pre-trial work. Each piece of before-trial work should, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.570455

Magill v Royal Group of Hospitals and Another: QBNI 28 Jan 2010

[2010] NIQB 10
Bailii
Citing:
CitedHucks v Cole CA 1968
(Reported 1993) A doctor failed to treat with penicillin a patient, the plaintiff, in a maternity ward who was suffering from septic spots on her skin though he knew them to contain organisms capable of leading to puerperal fever. Several . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 February 2021; Ref: scu.403399

Harris v Bolt Burdon (A Firm): CA 2 Feb 2000

A case is suitable for striking out which raises an unwinnable case, where continuance of the proceedings is without any possible benefit and would waste resources on both sides.
[2000] EWCA Civ 3037, [2000] CP Rep 70, [2000] CPLR 9
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDowson and Others v Northumbria Police QBD 30-Apr-2009
Nine police officers claimed damages for alleged harassment under the 1997 Act by a senior officer in having bullied them and ordered them to carry out unlawful procedures. Amendments were sought which were alleged to be out of time and to have . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 February 2021; Ref: scu.342142

Gordon, Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair v Messrs Turcan Connell: SCS 23 Dec 2008

The pursuer sought damages in professional negligence saying that the defender solicitors had failed to advise them properly in the management of the family trusts so as to minimise the liability to tax.
Lady Smith
[2008] ScotCS CSOH – 183
Bailii

Updated: 12 February 2021; Ref: scu.279820

Banque Bruxelles Lambert Sa v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd and Others: CA 24 Feb 1995

The plaintiffs were mortgagees. The defendants were valuers. The defendants negligently over-valued properties and the plaintiffs then accepted mortgages of the properties. Later the property market collapsed and the various borrowers defaulted and on sale the plaintiffs obtained substantially less than the sums they had advanced. The relevant question was whether the plaintiffs could include in their damages the difference in the value of the properties between the time of entering into the mortgages and the sale of the properties.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Damages payable to a secured lender for a negligent valuation included losses attributable to general market. Discussing liability where two causes contributed to the damages: ‘the event which the plaintiff alleges to be causative need not be the only or even the main cause of the result complained of: it is enough if it is an effective cause’
Sir Thomas Bingham MR described the valuer’s task: ‘In the absence of special instructions, it is no part of V’s duty to advise L on future movements in property prices, whether nationally or locally. The belief among buyers and sellers that prices are likely to move upwards or downwards may have an effect on current prices, and to that extent such belief may be reflected by V in his valuation. But his concern is with current value only. He is not asked to predict what will happen in the future. His valuation is not sought to protect L against future decline in property prices. In no sense is he a guarantor of L’s investment decision.’
He spoke also as to the measurement of damages: ‘where a mortgage lender would not, but for the negligent valuation, have entered into the transaction with the borrower he could recover the net loss he had sustained as a result of having done so; that a fall in the market was foreseeable, and since, in such a case, the lender would not have entered into the transaction but for the valuer’s negligence and could not escape from it unless and until the borrower defaulted, that negligence was the effective cause of his loss, and a fall in the market was not to be treated as a new intervening cause breaking the link between the valuer’s negligence and the damage sustained; accordingly on the assumed facts the mortgagees were entitled to recover damages in respect of the loss they had sustained which was attributable to market fall.’
. . And: ‘In a no-transaction purchase case, it seems clear on English authority that effect will be given to the restitutionary principle by awarding the buyer all that he has paid out less what (acting reasonably to cut his losses including selling the property) he has recovered. In no case before [the present case] has any head of foreseeable damage been excluded from the calculation.’
. . And: ‘In no-transaction mortgage lending cases it has been the practice since Baxter v Gapp [1939] 2 AER 752 to award the lender the net loss sustained as a result of entering into the transaction, which may be expressed as the difference between what the lender advanced and what the lender would have advanced if properly advised (which is always nil). Thus related expenses of sale and realisation less sums recovered . . Should a rise in the market have contributed to [a full recovery] then, as in the successful transaction case, that contribution will not be ignored so as to treat the lender as sustaining a financial loss which in fact he has not sustained. If in such a case a fall in the property market between the date of the transaction and the date of realisation contributes to the lender’s overall loss sustained as a result of entering into the transaction, it would seem to us, on a straight forward application of the restitutionary principle, that the lender should be entitled to recover that element of his loss against the negligent party.’
. . And :’Where a buyer is claiming damages for negligence in a successful transaction case the diminution in value rule ordinarily provides an adequate measure of the buyers loss. As the cases show, to award, for example, the full cost of repairs will usually lead to over-compensation. This assessment will ordinarily be made as at the date of breach, for there is no other appropriate date. The same rule will usually be applied where the buyer decides to keep the property with knowledge of its defective condition or over-valuation even if, with that knowledge, he would not have bought in the first place. In such a case no account is taken of later fluctuations in the market, for he remains the owner of the property as a result of his own independent decision and not of the negligence of the valuer or surveyor.’
Sir Thomas Bingham MR
Times 24-Feb-1995, Gazette 22-Mar-1995, Times 21-Feb-1995, [1995] QB 375, [1995] 2 All ER 769
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromBanque Bruxelles Lambert Sa v Eagle Star Ins Co Ltd and Others QBD 7-Mar-1994
A negligent valuer was liable for the loss arising from an overvaluation, but the valuer was not liable for that proportion of the lender’s loss on the loan which was attributable to the fall in the market after the valuation date, even though (i) . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromSouth Australia Asset Management Corporation v York Montague Ltd etc HL 24-Jun-1996
Limits of Damages for Negligent Valuations
Damages for negligent valuations are limited to the foreseeable consequences of advice, and do not include losses arising from a general fall in values. Valuation is seldom an exact science, and within a band of figures valuers may differ without . .
CitedPaterson and Another v Humberside County Council QBD 19-Apr-1995
A local authority was liable for nuisance for damage (cracks to house) caused by tree roots once it could be shown that it knew of the soil condition, by virtue of the council’s own warnings to residents of the danger in the area meant that the . .
CitedHelmsley Acceptances Ltd v Hampton CA 11-Mar-2010
The claimant lender sought damages from an allegedly negligent valuation by the defendant. It had syndicated its loan, and the defendant now argued that it could only claim for that part of the loan for which it retained ownership.
Held: The . .
CitedDowns and Another v Chappell and Another CA 3-Apr-1996
The plaintiffs had suceeded in variously establishing claims in deceit and negligence, but now appealed against the finding that no damages had flowed from the wrongs. They had been sold a business on the basis of incorrect figures.
Held: . .
CitedBPE 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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 February 2021; Ref: scu.78174

Matthews v Hunter and Robertson Ltd: SCS 11 Jun 2008

Lord Brodie
[2007] ScotCS CSOH – 88
Bailii
Citing:
CitedClarke v Bruce Lance and Co CA 1988
The defendant solicitors drafted a will, which the testator executed in 1973. The testator later granted a lease of a service station which had been disposed of in the will, and then granted an option for its purchase at a fixed price, which the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 February 2021; Ref: scu.268803

Vision Golf Ltd v Weightmans (A Firm): ChD 21 Jul 2006

Nugee QC DHCJ
[2006] EWHC 1766 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoVision Golf v Weightmans (a Firm) ChD 26-Jul-2005
The defendant solicitors were joint tortfeasors, having failed to make an application to court in a timely fashion, when it might have succeeded. It defended the claim saying that had the claimant issued proceedings against a second firm that firm . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.243988

Toth v Jarman: CA 19 Jul 2006

The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for damages for nervous shock, associated with the alleged negligence of the defendant doctor in treating his son. It was said that the medical expert had not disclosed a conflict of interest.
Held: The presence of a conflict of interest in an expert need not necessarily disqualify an expert, though ‘where an expert has a material or significant conflict of interest, the court is likely to decline to act on his evidence or indeed to give permission for his evidence to be adduced.’ The test was as to the independence of his opinion. The court made suggestions for the Rules committee as to possible amendments to the expert’s standard declaration.
Sir Mark Potter President, Arden LJ, Wall LJ
[2006] EWCA Civ 1028, Times 17-Aug-2006, [2006] 4 All ER 1276
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWhitehouse v Jordan HL 17-Dec-1980
The plaintiff sued for brain damage suffered at birth by use of forceps at the alleged professional negligence of his doctor. The Court of Appeal had reversed the judge’s finding in his favour.
Held: In this case most of the evidence at issue . .
CitedNorth Glamorgan NHS Trust v Walters CA 6-Dec-2002
A new mother woke in hospital to see her baby (E) fitting. E suffered a major epileptic seizure leading to coma and irreparable brain damage. E was transferred to a London hospital and the following day the claimant was told by a consultant that E’s . .
CitedLiverpool Roman Catholic Archdeacon Trustees Inc v Goldberg (No 2) 2001
The claimant brought proceedings for professional negligence against a barrister specialising in tax. The Defendant wished to rely upon the expert evidence of another tax barrister in the same set of chambers as him, who was a friend of many years’ . .
CitedPollivitte Ltd v Commercial Union Assurance Company Plc 1987
An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the court by way of objective unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise. . .
CitedField and Another v Leeds City Council CA 8-Dec-1999
The parties were involved in a dispute as to repairs on a tenanted property. The court had ordered an independent surveyor’s report. The claimant objected to the use by the defendant of an employee for this purpose, and was involved in their claims . .
CitedNational Justice Compania Naviera S A v Prudential Assurance Company Ltd (‘The Ikarian Reefer’) 1993
Cresswell J spoke of the nature of the duty owed by expert witnesses: ‘The duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses in civil cases include the following:

1. Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the . .
CitedAlcock and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police HL 28-Nov-1991
The plaintiffs sought damages for nervous shock. They had watched on television, as their relatives and friends, 96 in all, died at a football match, for the safety of which the defendants were responsible. The defendant police service had not . .

Cited by:
See AlsoToth v Jarman CA 21-Nov-2006
. .
CitedChester City Council and Another v Arriva Plc and others ChD 15-Jun-2007
The claimant council alleged that the defendant had acted to abuse its dominant market position in the provision of bus services in the city.
Held: It was for the claimant to show that the defendant had a dominant position. It had not done so, . .
CitedKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 January 2021; Ref: scu.243326

Palmer v Tees Health Authority and Another: QBD 1 Jun 1998

A Health authority was not liable in negligence for failing to restrict the freedom of a mental health out-patient who had threatened to kill and did so. The threat was not specific enough to allow action.
Times 01-Jun-1998
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromPalmer (Administratrix of the Estate of Rose Frances Palmer) v Tees Health Authority and Hartlepool and East Durham NHS Trust CA 2-Jun-1999
A claim for damages on behalf of a murdered child’s estate and the child’s mother for psychiatric damage against a health authority for negligence in having failed to manage a psychiatric outpatient who had abducted and murdered the child, was bound . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 January 2021; Ref: scu.84545