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DAVID LASCELLES ACTS FOR LAW FIRM SUCCESSFULLY RESISTING PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIM

In EMW Law LLP v (1) Bryant (2) Bryant and (3) Chesterton Commercial (8.4.16), David Lascelles was instructed by the Claimant law firm in its successful pursuit of a claim for unpaid fees and defence to a counterclaim alleging professional negligence.

The defendant property developers had engaged the Claimant in relation to a tax enquiry launched into their affairs by HMRC. The Defendants alleged that the Claimant had provided incorrect advice as to the terms upon which HMRC were prepared to settle the tax enquiry. The Defendants claimed that this led to them entering into a settlement agreement with HMRC on less advantageous terms than those in fact available. The Defendants alleged that this caused them to incur heavy short term financing costs, relying upon an apparent written financing agreement and proofs of payment in support of their claim.

Following a four day trial, the Judge (HHJ Gerald) found "no hesitation whatsoever” in rejecting the Defendants’ counterclaim on both liability and quantum. He entirely rejected the Defendants’ case that the advice given was incorrect. He found that the Defendants’ claim was a cynical and disingenuous ploy. He accepted that the Defendants’ key witness demonstrated a "chilling disinterest in veracity”. The judge also accepted EMW’s case that the alleged finance agreement and purported payments did not exist.

In arriving at his decision, the Judge recorded that David’s "enquiring mind and eye for detail” had extracted the evidence which "torpedoed” the Defendants’ case. He awarded EMW judgment on its unpaid fees, dismissed the Defendants’ counterclaim and ordered that they pay indemnity costs.

Posted: 15.04.2016 at 12:21
Tags:  Cases  Commercial Law
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