Causation Defence Alive and Kicking

Wednesday, 26th August 2015

Readers will be aware that Caytons Law recently secured the dismissal of a claim for over £700,000 against a defendant firm of solicitors in a High Court decision (as summarised in Tom Morris’s article ‘Must Have a Loss, Must have a Cause’) .

In a similar case Caytons Law acted for another defendant firm of solicitors and the Claimant’s case collapsed less than one month before trial.

The two resembled one another in that both Claimants were funded by Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA), were deliberately misleading and their alleged losses remained dubious throughout the course of the proceedings.

The Claimant, an individual who had purchased a business based in Northern England for approximately £50,000, alleged the defendant firm of solicitors failed to properly advise her on the assignment of a lease of the premises out of which she was to trade.

Caytons Law conducted the defence of the claim and denied that there had been any breach of duty. Caytons further pointed out that in the unlikely event a breach was proven it could not have caused the alleged loss. Caytons also scrutinised the Claimant’s business partner’s credentials (who jointly instructed the defendant firm of solicitors) and discovered she had been convicted for seven offences of fraud and concealing criminal property.

Consequently, the Claimant and her solicitors were disabused of the notion that insurers would simply roll over and settle a case because there existed a pre-Jackson CFA and a mere identification of an alleged breach of professional duty.

This case is another example of how claimant’s solicitors can become too interested in securing their CFA success fee from their opponent’s insurers which might ultimately blind them to the merits of their client’s case.

Defence costs were kept to a minimum with Caytons Law’s internal barrister, Tom Morris, instructed and Robert Lloyd (Partner) and Alex Delin (Trainee Solicitor) conducting the defence of the claim.

 

For more information please contact Robert Lloyd, Partner and Alex Delin, Solicitor.

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