This month Caytons Law secured the dismissal of a multi-track professional negligence claim for about £80,000 against a defendant firm of solicitors.

The Claimant, a property developer funding his claim by virtue of a CFA and ATE insurance (pre-dating the Jackson Reforms), sued his solicitors for apparently failing to explain a) the content of a Tomlin Order the Claimant had signed and b) that he could apply to the court for permission to rent out his property (which the co-owners of the property were frustrating) under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

Caytons had argued the advice provided by the solicitors at the time was practical and sound if not certainly reasonable. The Judge agreed the advice was sensible and found no breach of duty by the defendant firm of solicitors and subsequently dismissed the claim. The Claimant was also ordered to pay the defendant solicitors’ costs and an interim payment within 28 days.

As Tom Morris suggested in his article ‘Must have a Loss, Must have a Cause’ published on 26 June 2015, the case demonstrates that the merits of a claim ought to always be recognised from the outset and the risks of litigation assessed throughout proceedings. In particular, the defendant firm of solicitors were vindicated to resist making a Part 36 offer when liability was in serious doubt.

For further details, please contact John Cayton.