Firm must pay professional negligence for property advice failures

7th July 2015 by

International law firm Bird & Bird has been told it must pay £1.8m in property solicitor professional negligence compensation as a result of its failure to inform a client of the development of property adjacent to the one it planned to purchase; a development which would have had a negative impact on the value of the purchased property.

The claimant, Orientfield Holdings Ltd, began the professional negligence claim in relation to its attempted purchase of a property in St John’s Wood, North London, for £25m.

Surprisingly, Bird & Bird had come into possession of a planning report that outlined the development of the property; however, the law firm failed to disclose this to the client, who then paid a £2.5 million deposit. This deposit was later forfeited by the client when it did not see the transaction through to completion.

The property solicitor professional negligence claim was brought about with a view to reclaiming the deposit.

In giving his judgement at the High Court last week Judge Mark Pelling ruled that Bird & Bird should have informed Orientfield of the details of the development as outlined in the planning report.

“Clients rightly expect and should have professional advisers who act diligently to protect their interests. It has been a hard fought claim, and it is excellent that all of Orientfield’s loss has been recovered, including its legal costs,” said the claimant’s professional negligence lawyer.

Bird & Bird has said that it will look to appeal the property solicitor professional negligence claim verdict.

The case serves to illustrate the importance of receiving advice and representation that is exhaustive and scrupulous in its attention to detail.
For information and advice regarding your possible right to compensation in the event of financial loss caused by the negligence of a property solicitor click through for more from Healys of Brighton and London.