Settlement reached in professional negligence claim

Acting on a no-win-no-fee basis, Lee Silk recently secured a successful settlement for his clients acting in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors, who provided negligent advice regarding a residential property purchase. During their instruction, the firm failed to advise them about a specific feature at the property which was in breach of Environmental Agency Rules at the time. It was only after completion they discovered that a substantial adjustment needed to be made to the property to ensure it was compliant with the relevant rules, and that the firm had failed to advise them of this issue prior to contracts being exchanged. Had the clients known about this issue at the property and the costs they would need to incur to remedy the issue, they would have negotiated a discount on the purchase price or requested that the vendor fixed this issue prior to completion. As a result of the firm’s negligent advice, they lost the chance to seek to negotiate a discount on the purchase price and suffered loss remedying the property after completion. The firm denied liability in pre-action correspondence and proceedings were subsequently issued, which the firm defended. The case involved complex arguments relating to causation and loss and whether the Court would assess damages on a “loss of chance” basis. The claim settled prior a case management conference taking place. The settlement allows the clients to remedy the issue and pays for the clients’ legal costs.