Buying a property or investing in a business premises is a major commitment and often requires the services of professionals to help you ensure you are making the wisest investment possible. If that advice falls short of a reasonable level of competence and you suffer financial loss as a result you may be able to make a claim for damages. At Healys we are experts in dealing with Professional Negligence Claims Against Surveyors and Valuers, we offer free initial advice regarding your claim and if you do wish to proceed we offer a “No Win No Fee” service in the form of a Conditional Fee Agreement.
There are a number of aspects which will be necessary to prove in any negligence claim against a valuer or surveyor, but, assuming the professional giving the valuation owed the client a duty of care, most cases will be decided on one or more of the following factors:
In the event that one, or indeed all, of the above are proven, the chances of success in a negligence claim are good, but by no means guaranteed.
This is because it is still incumbent on the claimant to prove that the valuation caused financial loss as a result of the faulty valuation or survey. Without this loss, there is no obligation for the defendant to pay compensation.
In the case of K/S Lincoln and others v CB Richard Ellis Hotels Limited  EWHC 1156 (TCC), Mr Justice Coulson ruled that the methodology used by a valuer or surveyor could have no bearing on the future of any negligence ruling. Instead, he determined, what matters is whether the final valuation falls within the accepted margin of error.
This ruling clarified that of an earlier case, Singer & Friedlander v. John D Wood & Co  2 EGLR 84, in which the judge stated:
“The valuation of land by trained, competent and careful professional men is a task which rarely, if ever, admits of precise conclusion. Often beyond certain well-founded facts so many imponderables confront the valuer that he is obliged to proceed on the basis of assumptions. Therefore he cannot be faulted for achieving a result which does not admit of some degree of error. Thus, two able and experienced men, each confronted with the same task, might come to different conclusions without anyone being justified in saying that either of them has lacked competence and reasonable care, still less integrity, in doing his work.
“Any valuation that falls outside the permissible margin of error brings into question the competence of the valuer and the sort of care he gave to the task of valuation.”
According to the Coulson ruling, in all but the most exceptional of cases, the following thresholds of margin of error apply:
Has a surveyor or valuer provided you with a valuation that falls below the accepted standards of competency for a professional? If so, and you have suffered significant financial loss as a result, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
31st January 2017
Our client, a property developer was in the process of obtaining a property. The case involved two law firms that acted for the buyer & seller. After the transaction was complete, the client discovered that the seller had committed identity fraud and lost a considerable amount of money. Issues included breach of warranty of authority and breach of trust on the part of the solicitors who acted on behalf of the fraudster; the scope of the duty of care of the firm acting on behalf of our clients and whether the clients’ consequential loss of profit was recoverable at law. Continue reading »
Our client divorced with his wife and asked his former solicitors to take on his case. After completing procedures, he realised that the law firm had not protected his interests & assets. Continue reading »
Our client’s claim arose out of the failings of her former solicitors to deal with her divorce. This included the dissipation of assets held by the husband in Hong Kong by way of freezing orders. The claim focused on conflicting evidence between the client and husbands solicitor. Continue reading »
Our client had a previous claim with another law firm in relation to his property being undervalued when sold. Unfortunately our client received poor advice from the previous law firm which resulted in him loosing the initial claim against the mortgagee and valuer. Continue reading »
1st January 2017
Our client needed advice regarding an Under-Lease, and so they approached a firm about their issue. However, our client soon realised that the firm had given incorrect advice. He decided to contact Healys in order to make a claim against the law firm for failure to advise properly in relation to the purchase of an under-lease, the terms of that under lease, the status of the head lessee and rental payment terms. Continue reading »
25th January 2018
David Bailey, Partner in the Dispute Resolution team, discusses the question in the Times Newspaper.
Mediation is generally a cost-effective alternative way to secure dispute resolution. These days, typically in commercial cases, parties arrive legally tooled up with a full set of solicitors, barristers and experts, much as they would for a trial, and act accordingly. Continue reading »