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The new era post of professional liability

Lawyers should be concerned, when negotiating the terms of a retainer, to make the scope of their duty clear, explains Georgina Squire

27 June 2017

The much anticipated Supreme Court decision in BPE v Hughes Holland in March 2017 has provided guidance on the application of causation principles to claims against professionals, something which the court described as ‘one of the main dilemmas of the law of damages’.

Mr Gabriel agreed to lend the sum of £200,000 to Mr Little for the purpose of developing a property which Gabriel understood (erroneously) was owned by Little, or a company controlled by him. Instead, the money was used in the purchase of the property, leaving no surplus for development costs.

BPE Solicitors were instructed to draw up a facility letter and a charge. Unfortunately, when preparing the documents, BPE failed to adapt the precedents used and so, unwittingly, confirmed Gabriel’s incorrect understanding of the purpose of the loan. The transaction was a failure and Gabr...

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