Welcome to the January edition of our Professional Negligence Newsletter.
In this edition James Hall analyses the Supreme Court’s decision in Tiuta and the risks for lenders refinancing following a negligent valuation; Emma Hynes considers claims against expert witnesses following the criticism of an expert in Riva Properties v Foster & Partners; and Martyn Griffiths considers the circumstances in which a solicitor is required to warn that their advice may not be correct following the Court of Appeal’s decision in Barker v Baxendale Walker.
Finally, the Professional Negligence team’s programme of seminars for 2017-18 continues with a seminar on financial advisers that James Hall and Jack Dillon will be presenting on 25th January. Please contact Ashley Allen for more details.
Thank you for reading.
John de Waal QC
Comment - Be Warned: Your Advice May Require a Warning!
When should a solicitor provide a warning to their client that the advice they are giving may not be correct? That question was addressed by the Court of Appel in the case of Barker v Baxendale Walker.
The case concerned the tax planning advice given by Baxendale Walker Solicitors (“BWS”) who held themselves out as tax specialists. Mr Barker was the co-founder and majority shareholder of a parent company of a group which in 1998 was worth £30-£40m. The shareholders of the company decided to sell it and Mr Barker sought tax planning advice to mitigate his exposure to Capital Gains Tax on the sale of his shares.
Comment - Expert witnesses and negligence – Riva Properties Limited v Foster + Partners Limited
Riva Properties Limited v Foster + Partners Limited  EWHC 2574 (TCC) is packed with delicious details – a world famous architectural firm versus a business man with aspirations of building a five-star hotel (retaining a bowling alley as required by planning), conducting business from the front room of his home. The disputed factual and legal issues read like a particularly thorny laundry list. Unsurprisingly, Riva has engendered numerous excellent articles and discussions, not least from Hardwicke’s Cat Piercy and Helena White.
The recent Supreme Court decision in Tiuta International Ltd (In Liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd UKSC 77 creates quite a headache for both claimants and defendants in lender claims against professionals where the lender has refinanced an existing loan facility.
This article examines the decision, and the decision of the Court of Appeal which it overturned; and highlights the practical difficulties that may be caused by what appears to be, superficially, an admirably clear and concise Supreme Court decision occupying a mere fifteen paragraphs of judgment.